17/10/2016 World News Today


17/10/2016

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This is BBC World News Today, with me Tom Donkin.

:00:07.:00:08.

Iraqi security forces launch an attack to liberate

:00:09.:00:12.

Mosul from so-called Islamic State militants.

:00:13.:00:20.

30,000 fighters are involved, attacking it from several positions.

:00:21.:00:23.

But reaching the city might cost many lives.

:00:24.:00:28.

The Kurdish forces have been moving forward steadily

:00:29.:00:30.

We're now at a distance of about 300 metres from the nearest

:00:31.:00:34.

IS positions, but this is really just the first stage

:00:35.:00:37.

of what is expected to be a long battle.

:00:38.:00:43.

Donald Trump claims the media and Hillary Clinton rigging the US

:00:44.:00:49.

election. More than two years

:00:50.:00:53.

after being kidnapped, 21 Chibok schoolgirls return home

:00:54.:00:56.

to their families. And China's reaching

:00:57.:00:58.

for the moon and possibly Mars, after successfully launching two

:00:59.:01:00.

astronauts into space Hello and welcome to World News

:01:01.:01:17.

Today. The offensive to drive Islamic State

:01:18.:01:19.

militants out of Mosul, their last major stronghold

:01:20.:01:21.

in Iraq, is continuing. 30,000 Iraqi troops and Kurdish

:01:22.:01:23.

fighters are taking part in the offensive

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on the northern city, Our correspondent, Orla Guerin,

:01:27.:01:28.

joined Kurdish fighters Here's her report

:01:29.:01:33.

from the frontline. At first light, the advance

:01:34.:01:39.

on so-called Islamic State. Zero hour had finally come,

:01:40.:01:43.

bringing an offensive that could decide the fate

:01:44.:01:48.

of the extremists We joined Peshmerga fighters

:01:49.:01:50.

from the autonomous Kurdish region. There name means

:01:51.:02:01.

"those who face death" and they were ready

:02:02.:02:02.

to kill and die today. Well, the offensive

:02:03.:02:11.

is now well underway. The Kurdish forces have been

:02:12.:02:16.

moving forward steadily and We are now at a distance

:02:17.:02:19.

of about 300 metres from the nearest IS positions, but this is really

:02:20.:02:26.

just the first stage of what is expected

:02:27.:02:28.

to be a long battle. It could take months

:02:29.:02:31.

to drive the IS fighters First, they have to be flushed out

:02:32.:02:33.

of the villages up ahead. There were only a handful

:02:34.:02:42.

of IS remaining, but the Peshmerga Here's what happened

:02:43.:02:45.

when one attacker approached Before he could reach them,

:02:46.:02:53.

his vehicle exploded. Two more attackers were stopped

:02:54.:03:16.

by air strikes from The Peshmerga say they are

:03:17.:03:19.

fighting a global battle. TRANSLATION: We have

:03:20.:03:27.

a powerful enemy. They are not just fighting the Kurds

:03:28.:03:30.

or the Shia, says the colonel. We want to defeat them

:03:31.:03:34.

for everyone's sake. And this is the territory IS

:03:35.:03:39.

has been forced to abandon. Any civilians were

:03:40.:03:44.

already long gone. There was little enough

:03:45.:03:48.

resistance here. But it will be a very

:03:49.:03:52.

different story inside Mosul. The Kurds are supposed

:03:53.:03:58.

to clear a path to the city, But as they drive out IS,

:03:59.:04:01.

they've been adding to their territory and what they have

:04:02.:04:12.

captured they intend to keep. Just one of the ways

:04:13.:04:14.

in which the battle for Mosul Orla Guerin, BBC News,

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on the front line. Those living in Mosul are facing

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an impossible decision - The UN says it believes

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up to 100,000 people may escape to Syria or Turkey,

:04:26.:04:31.

but it's likely many will be head of UNICEF's field office

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in the Iraqi city of Irbil. Thank you very much for joining us.

:04:34.:04:50.

There are obvious dangers for the Army in Read taking Mosul but what

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are these humanitarian challenges, helping people physically and

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mentally affected by living under these Islamic State militants for so

:04:59.:05:07.

long? Thank you for this opportunity. The main concern is the

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safety and well-being of the children. And the families that are

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fleeing from Mosul. Making sure those children who spent many years

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with the Isil under extremely physical conditions, making sure

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that when they come out they find a solidity is and services that are

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friendly to them, that is the critical priority for now. I guess

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that is the main challenge, trying to delve into the mind of these

:05:38.:05:41.

people, even young people, who have lived for so long under this regime

:05:42.:05:48.

in Mosul? You have had experience in other conflicts, but anything quite

:05:49.:05:53.

like this? This is extremely difficult and very, very hard to

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equate with other emergencies. It is exceptionally challenging. Children

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and communities live under very difficult conditions. We know

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children have missed their schools under Isis, many of them were not

:06:13.:06:19.

immunised, they are traumatised, have seen a lot of distractions, and

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it is a condition that none of us wish to be. -- a lot of destruction.

:06:26.:06:31.

If there is still meet, we understand this could go on for

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quite awhile, and some innocent could be used as human shields. Is

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that a real concern for you? Definitely anything that harms the

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children and the people is a real concern to ours and to all aid

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agencies working under these conditions. I just want to ask you

:06:48.:06:54.

briefly, how hard is it to get the message into Mosul in terms of

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letting these people know after what happens when the city is liberated,

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if it is? Those specific security details are not within the reach of

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the aid agencies, but the message that comes out of aid agencies and

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the humanitarian structure is making sure agencies are prepared, put

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resources in place, teams in place, and focus more on preparedness and

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response of planning when people are out of the danger and brought into

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camps and the government is working on that, that is our priority, line

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of possibility on weight we should be looking. Thank you very much.

:07:45.:07:49.

When so-called Islamic State took Mosul, in June 2014,

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it became a symbol of its growing power in the region.

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Its leader chose the city to announce a caliphate.

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As our World Affairs Editor John Simpson reports, re-capturing

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Mosul would have huge implications for the region,

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Mosul would have huge implications for the region.

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Back in June 2014, they seemed unstoppable, driving a far bigger

:08:07.:08:11.

force of Iraqi soldiers out of Mosul.

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Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, their leader, announced he was setting

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up a Muslim caliphate, covering large parts

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But their extremism quickly alienated people,

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especially given the public brutality of the constant

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executions they carried out, often for trivial offences.

:08:34.:08:35.

How serious is this for so-called Islamic State?

:08:36.:08:42.

Well, this was the area IS controlled

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Now, 21 months later, it's in retreat almost everywhere.

:08:45.:08:54.

But because Mosul is Sunni dominated, the operation

:08:55.:08:56.

Kurdish troops make up a sizeable proportion of the attacking force.

:08:57.:09:06.

The Iraqi army has a Shia majority and there's been a history

:09:07.:09:09.

of bitter hostility between them and the Sunnis in the region.

:09:10.:09:15.

The force is being backed by Western air strikes against IS positions.

:09:16.:09:19.

There are around 30,000 Iraqi and Kurdish trips altogether

:09:20.:09:21.

against between 3,500 and 5,000 IS fighters.

:09:22.:09:29.

But the defenders have had time to prepare.

:09:30.:09:34.

They'll have planted of booby-trap bombs.

:09:35.:09:37.

Britain's involved in the Mosul campaign.

:09:38.:09:43.

As recently as yesterday, our Typhoons and unmanned aircraft

:09:44.:09:47.

were striking terrorist positions on the outskirts of Mosul.

:09:48.:09:52.

And our army has been helping to train the Iraqi and Peshmerga

:09:53.:10:00.

And our army has been helping to train the Iraqi

:10:01.:10:02.

and Peshmerga forces who will be doing the fighting.

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We're not putting combat troops on the ground into this operation.

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The real danger is that the attack on Mosul could result

:10:08.:10:10.

A million inhabitants may need food and shelter and be

:10:11.:10:13.

If things go wrong, Mosul could turn into an Iraqi version of Aleppo

:10:14.:10:21.

and Russia would then claim that its ferocious tactics

:10:22.:10:23.

EU foreign ministers have strongly criticised Russia

:10:24.:10:44.

A statement issued after talks in Luxembourg condemned Russia

:10:45.:10:48.

for causing untold suffering in eastern Aleppo.

:10:49.:10:49.

Russia and the Syrian government were accused of deliberately

:10:50.:10:51.

Moscow has just announced it will observe an eight-hour pause

:10:52.:10:55.

in air strikes on Thursday to allow civilians

:10:56.:10:57.

Speaking after that meeting, the EU High Representative

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for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy,

:11:04.:11:07.

Federica Mogherini, said the top priority was for the Syrian

:11:08.:11:10.

regime and Russia to stop the bombing of Aleppo.

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We say that the European Union firmly believes that there is no

:11:13.:11:15.

This means that the European Union supports and encourages all efforts

:11:16.:11:21.

in all formats to stop, not only the bombing on Aleppo,

:11:22.:11:25.

but also supports all efforts to avoid any further military

:11:26.:11:31.

escalation and any further direct confrontation on a military level

:11:32.:11:35.

and also supports all efforts in all formats to agree,

:11:36.:11:37.

implement and monitor an effective ceasefire.

:11:38.:11:44.

Now, let's take a look at some of the day's other news.

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The first 14 of around 100 child refugees earmarked

:11:51.:11:52.

for resettlement are on their way to Britain from the makeshift camp

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Most of them are thought to be aged around 16.

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They've been living at the Jungle without their families.

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One person has died and six others have been injured after an explosion

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at a factory of the chemical giant BASF in Germany.

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The explosion happened at a river harbour during work on a pipeline

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route for transporting raw chemicals for shipping.

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Six more people are still unaccounted for.

:12:15.:12:27.

A committee of experts in Austria has decided that the house

:12:28.:12:29.

in which Adolf Hitler was born - should be torn down -

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and a new structure built in its place.

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They've recommended that the new building is used

:12:35.:12:36.

With just 21 days to go until the US election,

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Donald Trump has claimed it's all rigged against him.

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Writing on Twitter, he's repeated his unsubstantiated claim

:12:43.:12:44.

that the media is publishing negative stories to help

:12:45.:12:46.

It's the latest in a series of comments where

:12:47.:12:49.

he's called into question the fairness of this election.

:12:50.:12:51.

Katty Kay joins us now from Washington.

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Thanks for joining us. Mr Trump says there has been voter fraud, one big

:12:59.:13:05.

supporter has said the Democrats are cheating, do these claims have any

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basis? Very little. The evidence for voter fraud in the United States

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over the past few decades is slim, the Washington Post has done an

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extensive survey looking at voter fraud between 2000 and 2014 and find

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a total of 31 cases, of people impersonating somebody else to take

:13:27.:13:30.

their vote away from them, effectively, so not much basis for

:13:31.:13:35.

this. Today we are seeing pushback from constitutional lawyers, as well

:13:36.:13:40.

as from some Republican party state operatives, the Secretary of State

:13:41.:13:46.

for a Republican from self, the chief Republican in state, has said

:13:47.:13:52.

he can assure Mr Trump the voting is not right but will be free and fair.

:13:53.:13:59.

And it is even some dispute amongst the Donald Trump campaign about what

:14:00.:14:02.

he means when he says things like fraud is going on on a large scale

:14:03.:14:07.

already, that the election is absolutely wrecked, including at

:14:08.:14:11.

polling places, so not clear what he means by that, what kind of Rocky is

:14:12.:14:16.

talking about. Not even total clarity in his campaign about what

:14:17.:14:22.

he means. But this message of the rigged election, is that resonating

:14:23.:14:27.

with his core base? It does very much salt. When you speak to trump

:14:28.:14:35.

supporters, the field, -- when you speak to Tump supporters, and there

:14:36.:14:38.

have been sections of United States who have felt the establishment is

:14:39.:14:43.

stacked against them, somehow it is corrupt and they cannot win

:14:44.:14:46.

elections fairly, the conservative movement because they see the media

:14:47.:14:51.

is biased against them, but knew to be seeing the election itself is

:14:52.:14:56.

rigged, but this establishment anger that some high PR not getting a fair

:14:57.:15:01.

shake, I remember hearing that in 2000 and eight at seven appeal and

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rallies. But to have the candidates themselves -- during that in 2008 at

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rallies for Sarah Palin, but surprising to hear that voter fraud

:15:18.:15:19.

is taking place. Thank you. There have been emotional scenes

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in the Nigerian capital, where 21 of the 276 kidnapped Chibok

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schoolgirls were reunited The girls were taken by the Islamist

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group Boko Haram in April 2014. It is unclear how the release

:15:28.:15:31.

was negotiated, but an official says talks are underway

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to free more girls. After 2.5 years,

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they're free at last! Daughters reunited

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with their parents. It was a time for celebration,

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but also reflection. We are so excited, we never thought

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this day would come. These girls were amongst those abducted by

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extremist from Boko Haram. One described what she had experienced.

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TRANSLATION: I never thought I would see you again.

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There was a day when a bomb dropped by jet very close to where I was.

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It is only by God's grace we survived.

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For 30 days, we were without food, but yet, we are here.

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The parents wanted their daughters to get an education but it was a joy

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speed. Had cost them their children. -- but it was a choice that they

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thought had cost them their children.

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TRANSLATION: I said to her, "Are you really alive?"

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And she replied, "Yes, I am." We both burst into tears.

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What did she tell you about her time in captivity?

:16:59.:17:00.

They were told their parents were no longer alive,

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They never imagined that they would see us again.

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But officials seek negotiations are continuing, but dozens of students

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reportedly don't want to come home after marrying fighters.

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For now, these girls are free to rejoice.

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But recovering will not be easy with so many of their schoolmates still

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being held. The British Government says it had

:17:38.:17:38.

nothing to do with a decision to withdraw UK banking services

:17:39.:17:45.

from Russian-state broadcaster RT. The broadcaster's editor in chief

:17:46.:18:02.

said that NatWest's decision was final. Micron said they are

:18:03.:18:08.

contacting the company to discuss further. -- NatWest said.

:18:09.:18:13.

Oksana Boyko is an RT presenter based in Moscow, and joins me now.

:18:14.:18:16.

Thank you for joining us, do you have any more detail about this? We

:18:17.:18:24.

were not expecting it at all. I think it would be exciting to see

:18:25.:18:28.

the bank perhaps reconsider or at least look into the matter, because

:18:29.:18:33.

the letter sent to ours states that the decision is final, they are not

:18:34.:18:37.

in the decision to even the go see it, and that was after more than ten

:18:38.:18:42.

years of having a pretty good relationship with the bank. We were

:18:43.:18:48.

satisfied with services and thought we were good clients. But if they

:18:49.:18:52.

are willing to look into the matter, all the better, but we are looking

:18:53.:18:58.

into alternative options, because as I said, that came pretty unexpected.

:18:59.:19:07.

You have been in the UK, but have run into difficulty, some claiming a

:19:08.:19:10.

lack of impartiality, do you think that is the reason for the closing

:19:11.:19:15.

of this banking system for you? The British government says it is not

:19:16.:19:19.

involved, do you also accept that? Well... I think it is yet to be

:19:20.:19:27.

seen. Again the drop nature of that statement -- abrupt nature of that

:19:28.:19:30.

statement raised suspicions, especially given the bank, Royal

:19:31.:19:36.

Bank of Scotland, is owned by the government, 73% of shares owned by

:19:37.:19:39.

the government, why we suspected some government length. You are

:19:40.:19:43.

right that we have been under pressure in the UK, we don't think

:19:44.:19:48.

that is because of the lack of impartiality, in fact, we don't

:19:49.:19:51.

think that any broadcaster present in the UK is impartial for that

:19:52.:19:57.

matter, but we do believe that we are bringing a valuable alternative

:19:58.:20:02.

position to the British audience and we hope to continue doing so,

:20:03.:20:08.

especially given for example the BBC has a very sprawling operation in

:20:09.:20:12.

Moscow, hiding a lot of people now to bring Russian language news to

:20:13.:20:17.

the Russian audience there, hiding a lot of producers and reporters,

:20:18.:20:21.

essentially what we have been doing in the UK -- hiring. We hope to

:20:22.:20:35.

continue. Without banking, is it possible to continue long-term? I

:20:36.:20:39.

think it is possible if you bring the international News, you can do

:20:40.:20:47.

that fire the internet, but as we said, we would like to stay in the

:20:48.:20:51.

UK and produced local content. I think that is, to be honest, that is

:20:52.:21:00.

the bone of contention here, because, as you noted, not everybody

:21:01.:21:03.

has been happy with the kind of news we bring to the British audience, it

:21:04.:21:09.

is often contradicting not only the line that the British government

:21:10.:21:12.

takes, but also the editorial lines of many British broadcaster. Thank

:21:13.:21:18.

you for joining us, we will have to leave it there. That is a presenter

:21:19.:21:23.

with RT. The country is celebrating

:21:24.:21:26.

after successfully sending two astronauts to its orbiting space lab

:21:27.:21:29.

called Heavenly Palace 2. They'll be there for the next

:21:30.:21:31.

33 days carrying out research. Beijing invited a handful of foreign

:21:32.:21:34.

journalists to observe the launch. Amongst them was our China

:21:35.:21:37.

Correspondent Stephen McDonell. Seeing this Chinese rocket take-off

:21:38.:21:39.

was every bit as powerful This country has great ambitions,

:21:40.:21:51.

when it comes to the stars. And there is a feeling here

:21:52.:22:08.

that nothing can stop them. It's not something a journalist

:22:09.:22:16.

is normally allowed It's not often you get to go

:22:17.:22:17.

to a press conference with astronauts and I have to say

:22:18.:22:37.

it's rather exciting. But if I swing around here,

:22:38.:22:40.

you can see this is the bubble Now, the reason they're behind glass

:22:41.:22:44.

is they do not want to get sick. I suppose, if you are blasting off

:22:45.:22:48.

to spend a month living on the space station,

:22:49.:22:51.

you wouldn't want to be TRANSLATION: Being an astronaut

:22:52.:22:53.

is my dream and my duty. Although the job is full

:22:54.:22:57.

of challenges and risks, In two days' time, Jinh Haipeng

:22:58.:22:59.

and Chen Dong will be on board They said they couldn't wait

:23:00.:23:08.

to look back down on the planet in the Gobi Desert,

:23:09.:23:18.

north-western China. Now, Sir David Attenborough has

:23:19.:23:28.

a new accolade to add to the many he's notched up over a decades-long

:23:29.:23:32.

career in which he's brought the natural world

:23:33.:23:34.

into our living rooms. He was guest of honour today

:23:35.:23:36.

at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead in the North

:23:37.:23:41.

of England, where construction has begun on a research

:23:42.:23:46.

ship named after the But as Victoria Gill reports,

:23:47.:23:48.

the ship could have ended up Just reaching the

:23:49.:23:52.

Antarctic is tough. But at a time of rapid

:23:53.:23:55.

environmental change, So, in a Birkenhead shipyard,

:23:56.:23:57.

thousands of miles from the icy ocean, a polar research vessel

:23:58.:24:06.

is under construction. News of this ?200 million UK

:24:07.:24:10.

investment in polar science was almost eclipsed by the

:24:11.:24:14.

online vote to name the ship with the public overwhelmingly

:24:15.:24:16.

opting for the name Despite that, the vessel

:24:17.:24:20.

has been named Sir David Attenborough,

:24:21.:24:24.

in honour of Britain's most If you have any knowledge

:24:25.:24:26.

of Antarctic exploration, or Arctic exploration, or the Navy,

:24:27.:24:32.

you can think of some very, very distinguished names

:24:33.:24:35.

that have been carried by ships. That my name should be among them

:24:36.:24:41.

now is a very humbling realisation. Sir David took part in a ceremony

:24:42.:24:54.

today to begin the ship's construction winching a huge section

:24:55.:25:04.

of its keel into place. But Boaty McBoatface

:25:05.:25:06.

lives on - this is Boaty. It's a robotic submersible that

:25:07.:25:08.

will be deployed from the deck of the vessel, carrying out

:25:09.:25:11.

on the water investigations in places that would

:25:12.:25:13.

otherwise be inaccessible With the first polar

:25:14.:25:15.

mission scheduled for 2019, Sir David and Boaty will set

:25:16.:25:22.

out to explore Earth's A great honour for Sir David. The

:25:23.:25:37.

main headline, the offensive to drive Islamic State forces out of

:25:38.:25:41.

Mosul has begun. Kurdish fighters have spearheaded the operation

:25:42.:25:46.

clearing the way Iraqi troops. Don't forgot, you can get in touch

:25:47.:25:56.

with me on Twitter. That is all for now. Stick around

:25:57.:26:02.

The week has certainly started on a marked sunshine and showers

:26:03.:26:09.

theme, quite breezy in places as well, I'm sure

:26:10.:26:12.

No great surprise when you see the chart, because we have a number

:26:13.:26:16.

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