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This is BBC World News Today. I'm Philippa Thomas.
the British authorities say the scale of modern slavery
in the country is far larger than previously thought,
with tens of thousands of victims spread across
Its horrible, I tell you, it's just horrible...
Even now I just feel like, my heart starts beating a little bit.
it's ready to launch missiles towards the pacific island of Guam,
where America has a massive military presence
Britain's Food Standards Agency says 700,000 eggs contaminated
Bridging the generations - the veteran playwright
Alan Ayckbourn turns to science fiction to reach a new audience.
Hello, and welcome to World News Today.
Authorities in Britain say modern-day slavery and human
trafficking is now so prevalent in the country that there
are cases is almost every large town and city,
with ordinary Britons unwittingly coming into contact
There are likely to be tens of thousands of them,
according to the UK's National Crime Agency.
More than 300 police operations are currently targeting
And in just two months, this year there have been 111 arrests.
Here's our social affairs correspondent, Dominic Casciani.
Another day, another anti-slavery operation.
Over the last six months, the National Crime Agency has
coordinated operations to smash trafficking and slavery gangs.
This suspected brothel, run in the north-east of England,
Today, a new analysis from the agency suggests
the true scale of modern slavery is far greater
Aurel from Romania was coerced into hard labour.
A gang controlled his life for four months until he got out.
It's just horrible, I tell you, it's just horrible.
Even now, I just feel like my heart is start beating a little bit.
Modern-day slaves are tricked into the UK by gangs promising a
better life, and coerced into work they can't escape from.
Women forced into prostitution make up to ?600 a day.
Men are trapped in gruelling work in food processing or agriculture,
and victims are on the high street in nail bars and car washes.
You are more likely than ever before to unwittingly
run by workers under the control of a gang.
It's impossible to count all the victims, because,
like this enterprise, they are hidden from view.
But investigators say the more they look, the more they find.
We have also seen people as young as 13 and 14 being sexually
exploited and forced to engage in prostitution.
This is a growing problem, for which we think there's a shared
responsibility across society in the United Kingdom to address.
Some critics say the NCA has been too slow off the mark,
It says there has been a surge in the police response.
Charities investigating the abuses say there are obvious signs that
someone is being held against their will.
They are forced to work against their will.
The trafficker controls their finances, controls their movement.
In the small villages, there are few jobs and no money...
A new online campaign from the National Crime Agency.
It's pledging to carry on raids month after month, but investigators
say they will still need the public's help
Earlier, I spoke with the anti-slavery campaigner
and human rights barrister, Cherie Blair, who through her work
as the chair of the law firm Omnia Strategy, advises companies
on complying with the Modern Slavery Act.
Well, it's surprising, actually, where these people can turn up.
It could be the people who are picking
strawberries in the fields, if you are in a rural area.
It could be the girl who is doing your nails in the nail bar
who doesn't speak very good English, and seems very shy
It could be the guy washing your car in one of these
So these are the sort of places, and of course,
the sex industry is an industry where the are very many such people.
But it is not just actually about people
It is also about the kind of goods that we buy, and where they
It might seem strange to some of our viewers that
we are talking about the United Kingdom,
a developed country, sees itself as progressive,
and yet this problem, it still seems, is pretty pervasive.
Well, I think, as long as there is one person in slavery,
then that is a problem, and the statistics say
that they estimate about 13,000 people in slavery here
in the UK, and of course, today, the NCA, who said that the problem
That is the National Crime Agency, saying
Much bigger than they had anticipated.
In 2015, we passed the Modern Slavery Act.
In that first year, the number of prosecutions for
The following year, 2016, it had gone up,
This year, we have had this report saying
that the police are actively looking into over 300 cases.
So, are you satisfied that there are the tools
to prosecute and to bring people to justice?
That there are the tools to prosecute, definitely.
We do now have an array of offences, and we
have seen people in the UK be prosecuted.
One of the first prosecutions, for example, was a
couple from Nigeria who had brought with them a domestic servant,
beat her, didn't let her go out, worked her all the hours of the day,
and they were prosecuted successfully for
offences of slavery so, that is one example for sure,
Whether we have the resources and the knowledge to
actually identify people who are living in slavery is another
question, and that is, I think, what the report
today was highlighting, that it is a bigger problem than the
police imagined, and they are going to need to devote
And you're talking about specialist resources there, because
by definition, these people often don't speak English,
It is very hard to get to them, to find them in the first place.
Very much so, but, you know, in today's interconnected world,
though, it is very hard to keep someone in complete isolation,
Very much so, but, you know, in today's interconnected world,
though, it is very hard to keep someone in complete isolation,
Neighbours seeing strange activities in the street,
customers going to the nail bar and noticing that the girls are
very subdued, can't speak English very well, seem to be
Maybe just asking a little bit more about where these people
have come from, and where do they go home to tonight?
So, Cherie Blair, are you saying to your fellow Britons,
don't be too complacent about the situation in which other
people find themselves, their working environment,
they could be witnessing modern-day slavery?
I think sometimes, as Brits, we do not like
to be too nosy and prying into other people's business, but in this case,
Just when you thought the war of words between North Korea
and America could not get any more heated,
Pyonyang has just pushed it up another notch.
A statement from the dictatorship says it has a plan to launch
missiles into the sea around the US pacific island territory of Guam.
Washington has threatened a devastating response.
From Guam, Rupert Wingfield Hayes reports.
It may not look like it, but there is trouble in paradise.
This little Pacific holiday island is now the
focus of unwanted worldwide attention.
from North Korea today, this strangely
TRANSLATION: The Hwasong-12 rocket will be launched
by the Korean People's Army and will cross the sky above Japan,
flying 3,356 kilometres for 1,065 seconds before hitting
the waters 30 to 40 kilometres away from Guam.
This is the Hwasong-12 missile, on parade in Pyongyang this spring.
No-one should doubt it can reach Guam.
In recent months, North Korea has successfully
tested a host of long-range missiles.
The little holiday island is now within the reach of Kim Jong-un.
But at the volleyball court, the locals seem
I think we are kind of used to the whole ebb and flow of hearing
we're going to be bombed and it not happening and hearing
It is not anything that is new to us.
It never follows through, so I was not really concerned.
I think it is probably like a distraction,
maybe, a political kind of move on the side
of US and Korea, just to get attention, maybe.
If the aim of North Korea is to scare people,
People are not fleeing the beaches for the airport.
The threat against Guam is very specific.
That has a few people worried that maybe, just
maybe, Kim Jong-un is planning some sort of action to fire one or more
missiles over Japan in this direction.
Guam's two huge military bases are home to a
It makes the island a very attractive target.
The tourists, on whom this island depends, are already much more
TRANSLATION: I saw the news and started to check where the US
military bases on Guam are located. I am worried.
Everyone here is hoping this latest threat is
But they are also starting to wonder what they will do if it is not.
It's feared that 19 more African migrants drowned near the coast
of Yemen when people smugglers forced them off a boat.
It's the second such incident in the area in two days.
Yesterday 50 migrants perished after they were forced into the sea
The victims, most of whom were teenagers, came from Ethiopia,
They were headed to Yemen and were forced off the boat close
From there they hoped to reach Saudi Arabia and the Emirates
The International Organisation for Migration's Communication Director,
His colleagues in Yemen were told by survivors what happened.
These are two really tragic incidents that happened in Yemen
in which we learnt from migrants, After coming across the bodies
on the beach, we learned from the survivors that a smuggler
appears to have been worried by the appearance
of some authorities, some local authorities,
and rather than be arrested himself, he appears to have forced the young
men off the boat into the waters at a very dangerous time
when the seas are quite rough, and of course, most of them cannot
swim or have a very poor capacity for swimming.
And indeed, we have seen really high numbers of deaths.
51 in one incident reported yesterday, and then today, up to 19.
We are fortunate in the sense that we came across,
the staff came across the bodies buried on the beach,
so we got to learn about it from the survivors, but it is very
possible this is happening quite regularly.
The smugglers have absolutely no scruples about the lives of those
they are carrying with them, and indeed we know that many,
when they do get ashore in Yemen, once again are exploited,
held and detained, and calls are made to the families
so they can extort even more money from them.
Britain's Food Standards Agency says that some 700,000 imported eggs
contaminated with a pesticide have entered the food chain in the UK.
That's a massive increase over the original estimate of 21,000.
Meanwhile, Dutch investigators have arrested two people after raids
on companies in the Netherlands and Belgium linked to
a European-wide egg scare. Emma Simpson reports.
This Belgian farmer has had to destroy not just
The produce is contaminated with an insecticide which is banned
That is where it has ended up on a potentially
TRANSLATION: You cannot put your eggs on the market for three months.
And so I took the decision to kill the animals because it is really too
The company which came to clean and treat the red
lice with an organic product really used Fipranol.
This farm is in the clear and millions of eggs have now been
pulled from supermarket shelves on the continent.
Fipranol may be popular for getting rid of fleas on
pets, but it can be dangerous to humans.
Here in the UK, we produce our own eggs but also import them
And some of the eggs from affected farms
We're not talking about fresh eggs we buy off supermarket shelves.
The affected eggs went into processed foods like sandwich
A few days ago the Food Standards Agency said
Sounds a lot, but that is just .007% of all
There is no reason why people should avoid
Our assessment it is very unlikely it is a public health risk.
People need to not have food which contains a substance that
Four supermarkets of limited number of
Four supermarkets are withdrawing of limited number of
Others will already have been consumed.
Yet another food scare, highlighting just how complex supply
chains can be and how easily problems can spread.
Now, it's a story we reported on earlier this week
here on BBC World News, and that's made news around the world
You will probably have seen the CCTV footage of a jogger seeming to knock
a pedestrian into the path of a London bus.
Well, police earlier said they'd arrested a man over the incident.
The 33-year-old women only escaped serious injury thanks to the quick
The suspect, aged 50, has been released pending further inquiries.
It's a nail biting wait for the final result
of Tuesday's Presidential elections in Kenya.
Those released so far put appear to put the incumbent,
Uhuru Kenyatta, ahead by a clear margin.
But the opposition claims the electoral commissions computers
were hacked to give Mr Uhuru that lead, and have urged
to declare its leader, Raila Odinga, the winner.
International observers say the polls were conducted in
The BBC's Tomi Oladipo reports from Nairobi.
The official result of Kenya's elections have not yet been
announced, but the main opposition party says the tally is a fraud.
We demand that the IEBC chairperson announce
the presidential election results forthwith, and declare
the Right Honourable Raila Amolo Odinga and his
Excellency Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka as the duly elected
president and deputy president of the Republic of Kenya,
Early results indicate that its leader, Raila Odinga, is
trailing his rival, President Uhuru Kenyatta,
Now, the opposition say a source within
the electoral authority has provided numbers to prove they won the vote.
The opposition had earlier claimed the
electoral database was hacked, and election results manipulated.
The electoral authority admits there were
unsuccessful hacking attempts, but insists the results were not
Foreign observers also described the process as credible.
We believe this system is accountable, so far, and at every
step is followed, if somebody monkeyed with it, one will be able
So trust in the process going forward, that is the key.
On Tuesday, millions of Kenyans displayed that faith, and have been
The opposition claims are likely to add
Life in Kenya has been largely on hold since
A political stalemate will only bring more of the
uncertainty that Kenyans have been hoping to avoid.
The Electoral Commission says it is still
verifying the results as they come in.
Official figures are not expected for at least another day.
The United States has expelled two Cuban diplomats,
amid suggestions that mysterious technology was used
to damage the hearing of US embassy staff in Havana.
US State Department officials believe covert sonic devices may
Cuba says it's investigating the claims.
For more on this mysterious story, the BBC's Will Grant
In late 2016, several US embassy staff in Havana began to report
headaches and loss of hearing. As things worsened, they returned to
the United States for treatment. US officials in Cuba began to
investigate. Some familiar with the case have suggested a sonic device
was placed inside or outside the diplomats' homes.
What this requires is providing medical examinations to these
people, initially when they started reporting what I will call symptoms,
it took time to figure out what it was, but this is ongoing. Two Cuban
diplomats were asked to leave the country, but not formally declared
persona non grata. TRANSLATION: For its part, the Cuban Government
issued a lengthy statement on state television announcing the move as
unsubstantiated. They also staunchly protected the record with
international diplomats on the island. However, the incident comes
after a recent downturn in relations. After President Obama
improved ties with Cuba, President Strom has ruled this back. The idea
of US diplomats losing the hearing is unlike that help mend ties. This
latest twist in the long and convoluted relationship between the
United States and Cuba is straight out a cold war
spy novel both sides and we hope that an investigation will help them
get to the most bizarre of incidents.
Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth, was a box office hit, and now
there is a sequel. I was relieved the very next day when the entire
rest of the world redoubled their commitments to the Paris agreement,
and in the US, our largest states and hundreds of cities, and business
leaders, said, we are still in the Paris agreement, and it now looks as
though the US is great to meet our commitments in spite of Donald
Trump. It is time to put America first. He has surrounded himself
with a rogues gallery of climate change deniers controlled by the
large polluters. This is well known. I had reason to believe that he
might stay in the Paris agreement, but I think they control his
thinking on this. The truth about the climate crisis is still
inconvenient for these large polluters and the politicians who
they control. The next generation would be justified in looking back
at us and asking, what were you thinking? Could you not you what the
scientists were saying? Could you not hear what mother nature was
screaming? We are feeling the effects of this climate crisis now,
we have had all-time record downpours here in the United Kingdom
in the last couple of years. Just this week, there were record fires
in high temperatures in southern Europe. You could go right around
the world and every night on the TV news now, it is like a nature hike
through the book of Revelation. Mother nature has joined this
discussion, and she is getting the attention of a lot of people who may
not see this as a political controversy. It is a question of the
survival of our civilisation. But we do have the solutions.
Sir Alan Ayckbourn is one of Britain's most successful
playwrights, best known for his comic observations of
Now, at the age of 78, he has written an
epic drama called The Divide, which has its world premiere
tomorrow at the Edinburgh International Festival.
It's set in England 100 years from now -
a deadly contagion has struck, leading to men and women
being separated either side of a giant wall.
The playwright spoke to our Arts Editor, Will Gompertz,
and told him why he had chosen to enter the world
It was, I think, an attempt by me to bridge my ageing writing
personality to a younger generation, and the way to do that, I thought,
was through the medium of science fiction.
It gives you an even playing field, where you say to your younger
audience, "Now this is a world that I don't know but I have
"created and you don't know, and you can inhabit it."
Is it a concern of yours that the theatre is failing
If you look in the average audience, maybe because of
money, but they seem to be middle to late middle age.
The sort of people I want in there...
You can get the very young, you can catch them before they are
ten, but after that they are a lost tribe.
where we are considered mature enough to be possible carriers
How do you keep on challenging yourself?
How do you make sure, you know, after all these plays
you don't find yourself repeating past ideas?
That is a real problem because I keep thinking I must have
I had a stroke a few years back, and for the first time in my life
for a few months I had no ideas. And I thought, well that's it.
Then a little germ arrived and I go, wow, they're
still manifesting, and of course now manifesting furiously.
I feel very excited but a little bit nervous.
I've written next year's play as well.
It's a play called Better Off Dead, I hope that
Sir Alan Ayckbourn speaking to our arts editor Will Gompertz there.