04/02/2017 Reporters - Short Edition


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04/02/2017

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Welcome to Reporters. I'm Phillipa Thomas.

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From here in the world's newsroom we send out correspondents to bring

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you the best stories from across the globe.

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In this week's programme.

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I think God led this country to put Donald Trump in office.

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Divided America.

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After week two of Donald Trump's unique style of diplomacy,

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further splits in opinion.

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Nick Bryant travels to the Bible belt of Tennessee and finds

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his supporters fully behind their new President.

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There are two Americas right now and how you react to Donald Trump

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determines which one you inhabit.

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I am 12 years old.

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12 years old.

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The children of LA forced into prostitution.

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Angus Crawford gets exclusive access to the US police operation to rescue

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them and meets the girls stuck in a life of hell.

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What sort of things have happened to you working on the street?

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Raped, someone pulled a knife out on me, a gun, tried to rob me.

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Shark sighting, of a large shark.

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We do advise that nobody enter the water.

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And, protecting Australia's beaches.

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Hywel Griffiths reports on how shark nets are keeping the swimmers safe

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but harming marine life.

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It is two weeks since he took the oath of office

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and President Trump's administration has already issued dozens

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of orders, many of them sharply dividing opinion.

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But the President's supporters say he's simply fulfilling the promises

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he made on the campaign trail, whether people like them or not.

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Nick Bryant has travelled to the southern state of Tennessee

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to see how people are taking to their new President.

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The hills of eastern Tennessee, a landscape that reminds us that it

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wasn't just the rust belt that won Donald Trump the presidency,

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but the Bible belt, as well.

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Father God, we are so grateful to meet here together...

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Chattanooga prides itself on being the buckle of that belt

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and at this bible study group this morning, praise for his socially

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conservative Supreme Court nominee, and thanks to God for placing him

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in the White House.

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God has done a work in him. He has changed him.

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You can just see it in the people he surrounds himself with.

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And I do believe he's brought a seriousness that people just

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didn't think were going to come out of Donald Trump.

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I think God led this country to put Donald Trump in office.

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I was very opposed to him.

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Mark West started out as a Never Trump Republican.

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He is an evangelical Christian who looked upon the New Yorker

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as a philandering playboy but he's become a convert.

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Social conservatives and conservatives in general have

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been so fed up with Washington for so long, for decades,

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that we wanted someone to go to Washington and blow it up.

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Whether I was a Trump supporter or not, so many of us are looking

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for Trump to do exactly what he has been doing so far, to completely

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change the landscape, figuratively blow up Washington

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and give us a new American revolution.

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It has been the pace of the Trump presidency,

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it's felt like a final furlong gallop, that's impressed

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Kelly and Todd Floyd.

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We are excited to see what he will continue to do.

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You think he is making good on his promises?

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I think he is, I think the implementation of

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the immigration policy showed that he was not a career politician,

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but I think that's why he got voted into office,

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because we don't want career politicians any more.

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There's no sign here of buyer's remorse.

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To travel from coastal cities like New York and Los Angeles

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into these heartland communities feels like crossing

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into a parallel universe.

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There are two Americas right now and how you react to Donald Trump

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determines which one you inhabit.

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The cannons from the American civil war that dot this landscape can be

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viewed both as relics of the past and reminders of how conflict

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and divisiveness is almost written into this nation's DNA,

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and once again, it feels like the people of America

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are sharing the same continent but not the same country.

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Nick Bryant, BBC News, Tennessee.

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It's thought to be the Los Angeles Police Department's biggest ever

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operation to find girls, some as young as 11,

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and young women who have been forced into a life of sexual exploitation.

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Officers made almost 500 arrests and rescued more than 50 people.

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Angus Crawford was given exclusive access to

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the operation to free them.

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Look beyond the handcuffs and the painted nails.

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These aren't adults, just girls aged 16 and 17 arrested

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on the street for prostitution.

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Once inside, no cell, no bars or locks, just a room,

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a place of safety where young people can get help and support.

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We find minors every day that are out here working.

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11 is the youngest we've had.

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On the street they call The Blade, in the richest country in the world,

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children are bought and sold at any time of day, every day.

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A car approached us - she's again moving slowly.

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Sergeant Brian Gallagher heads the area vice unit.

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His job tonight - find those girls, get them off the street.

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They stop a man they recognise.

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He has a passenger. It's cold and she's shivering.

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It is 4am and a routine patrol of the vice squad here has pulled

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over a car driven by a man they know is a pimp.

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When they stopped it, a young woman got out of the car

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and they're concerned about her.

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She says she's 19.

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Her parents have reported her missing.

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See her tattoo? It's the name of her pimp.

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Here, they call it branding.

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A lot of these girls, when we talk to them,

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they'll tell us they're out here for 20 hours a day working.

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They get a little bit of food.

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They get abused physically, sexually.

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It's barbaric what's being done to these little kids.

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My cousin grabbed me on the way home from school...

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America is slowly waking up to reality.

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Thousands of children are being sexually exploited for money.

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I am 12 years old.

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12 years old.

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That's why they launched Operation Reclaim and Rebuild,

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state-wide, lasting three days.

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Prostitutes and customers arrested, processed.

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Some are released with a warning.

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For others, it's jail.

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Just 18, caught for a second time, Treasure.

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She started on the street in middle school.

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You were a child when you first started doing this?

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Yeah.

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What sort of things have happened to you working on the street?

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Raped, someone pulled a knife out on me, a gun, tried to rob me.

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For detective Brian Gallagher, it seems neverending.

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Children forced to work the streets turn into women who know only this,

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a life of violence and exploitation.

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Angus Crawford, BBC News, Los Angeles.

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Campaigners in Australia are calling for an end to the use of shark nets

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because they're killing too many dolphins and turtles.

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A recent spate of shark attacks on the east coast has forced

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the authorities to put up more, but some nets have

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been cut deliberately by those who oppose them.

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As Hywel Griffiths reports from Sydney, there is a fine line

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between keeping swimmers safe and protecting marine life.

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In a country where catching a wave is a national obsession,

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the allure of the ocean is endless.

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As is the debate over how best to share these waters

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with some of the locals.

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Shark nets have been Australia's answer since the 1930s.

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Sections are set hundreds of metres out at sea.

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They don't create an enclosure, but they do offer reassurance.

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I think they're a great idea.

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We have got to try to protect our kids.

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So, that's what it's all about to me.

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Probably against them.

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You see creatures in the wildlife getting stuck out there.

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You take a risk swimming in the ocean and that's

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where sharks belong.

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That's what the nets are meant to keep out.

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Great whites are one of ten species targeted by the programme

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here in New South Wales.

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The nets are put in place from September to April, when these

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beaches at are at their busiest.

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Last year, they trapped over 130 of the targeted,

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more dangerous sharks, but they also trapped

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another 600 marine animals, including dolphins,

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rays and turtles.

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This video shows what happens when one becomes entangled.

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A group of tourists managed to set this turtle free but 19 others died

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in the nets last year.

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The nets have whale and dolphin alarms, and they're

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checked every three days.

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Around half of the animals are set free alive, but some campaigners

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have decided to take matters into their own hands.

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This is their home, that's where they live.

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We can't exclude them from where they live.

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They're not coming up into the car parks to get us,

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so let's not go into the ocean to kill them.

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Diver Dave Thomas admits he's cut shark nets in the past

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to free trapped rays.

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He argues they don't really protect humans,

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only harm the sea life.

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The net is a random thing.

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It's not based on any science or factual data.

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It is out there killing anything and everything and the risk

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to people is negliable.

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Shark sighting, rather a large shark.

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We advise nobody enter the water...

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There hasn't been a fatal shark attack on these beaches in 60 years.

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The local government says it is a sign the nets do work

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and that cutting them is dangerous.

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People who have deliberately tampered with the nets,

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that have cut the nets, released them from anchors

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or floats, obviously very dangerous, not only for the individuals

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involved, but creating a real hazard for the swimmers

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and surfers at those beaches.

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Finding the right balance between protecting humans

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and preserving sea life is a challenge and here it

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seems as elusive as ever.

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Hywel Griffiths, BBC News, Sydney.

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Always nice to finish on a sunset.

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That's all from Reporters for this week.

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From me, Phillipa Thomas, goodbye for now.

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A weekly programme of stories filed by BBC reporters from all over the world, ranging from analyses of major global issues to personal reflections and anecdotes.