09/12/2017 World News Today


09/12/2017

The news programme for audiences who want more depth to their daily coverage. With a focus on Europe, Middle East and Africa.


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Transcript


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This is BBC News.

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The headlines.

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The UK's Foreign Secretary travels

to Iran and says he had frank talks

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about obstacles in their

relationship. At the heart of the

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discussions the fate of this British

woman jailed in Iran for spying. Her

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husband gives the visit a cautious

welcome.

It can only lead to a

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better case for us.

Also this hour.

Another day of clashes in the row

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over Donald Trump's recognition of

Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

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The Palestinians pull out of a

meeting with the US vice-president

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in protest. And, President, poet and

a parade of motor bikes, France says

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goodbye to its rock and roll legend,

Jonny Hallyday.

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Welcome

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to World News Today.

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The Foreign Secretary,

Boris Johnson, says he has had frank

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and constructive talks

with his Iranian counterpart

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in Tehran over the case of British

Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

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who's been in jail since 2016.

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Our diplomatic correspondent

James Robbins reports.

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It could look routine,

shaking hands before talks.

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But there is nothing routine

about this encounter.

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The Foreign Secretary looking

uncharacteristically tense,

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and with good reason.

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He wants to improve relations,

but also criticise some of Iran's

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actions, while arguing for prison

releases, including

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of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe,

a case many accuse him of damaging

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because of loose talk last month.

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Watching anxiously with me

in London, Nazanin's husband,

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who has campaigned day in,

day out for freedom since

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she was arrested last year.

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I'm sure it will make a difference,

him being there, raising her case,

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and in the context of a lot of other

stuff, can only help improve

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relations, can only lead

to a better case for us.

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I think that's right.

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I'm not expecting that on Monday

morning he comes back

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with her on the plane.

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Boris Johnson is saying nothing

at all publicly while in Iran,

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instead the Foreign Office issued

a statement after two

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hours of what they called

a constructive meeting.

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One good sign is that

Iran's Foreign Minister confirmed

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Boris Johnson should be able to meet

President Rouhani tomorrow.

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Something that is not automatic

on a visit like this.

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Talks went on for two hours.

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It seems that this was

a genuine discussion,

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not a pre-scripted exchange.

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Positives and negatives

in relations were aired.

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We should not expect

immediate consequences,

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but Iran is in no doubt how much

importance the British

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side attaches to getting

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe home.

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Earlier I asked Siavash Ardevan of

BBC Persianian about what might have

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come up in those meetings.

He hasn't

met the head of Iran's judiciary,

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which is really the branch he should

be meeting, the people handling the

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case.

Because they are different,

aren't they? The Government and the

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judiciary are separate. That's

significant in this case.

It's a

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power struggle between the two.

Often you have the judiciary trying

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to undermine the Government's

foreign policy. As much as the

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President Rouhani or Boris Johnson's

counterpart may want to help it

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boils down to hardliners who

controls the judiciary.

What do you

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make of the fact Boris Johnson will

meet with the President tomorrow?

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Well, the President is not handling

her case, so as much as the

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President may be able to pressure

the head of the judiciary, it's very

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good. But at the end of the day

really it's up to the judiciary

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whether they want to go along with

the Government and release her or

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not. The due process is that after

five years, which is the sentence

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that she has received, if you serve

a third of that sentence, then you

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are eligable for par role. Next

month will be that, we approach that

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dead dlien. -- deadline, so that's

good news.

Her husband is being

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cautiously opt miscontinuing you

could say. Even though he is not

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expect willing her to come home on

the plane with Boris Johnson, he is

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crossing his fingers she may be back

for Christmas, is that a realistic

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time scale if the judiciary decide

to release her?

It is, like I said,

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next month will be approaching the

third of the sentence she's already

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served. Even according to Iranian

law if the judiciary decides that

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it's appropriate to release her,

yes, that could be done.

In terms of

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negotiations, and as you have said,

Boris Johnson is talking to the

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Government which is separate to the

judiciary, but what kind of

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conversations do you think will be

going on, negotiations on the

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ground?

Well, we know that the

Iranians are demanding money owed,

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something to the tune of £400

million owed by the British

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Government from back in the 70s,

they want that money back. The

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British Government has not paid the

Iranians back because of revolutions

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and sanctions and we understand

they're facilitating now to make

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that payment possible, that would

make the Iranians happy and there

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are bilateral issues, trade and

other things signed between the two

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sides. So the more the Iranians feel

they've made headways with the

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British Government and private

sector they'll feel like they've

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gained enough concessions to release

her.

Journalists at the BBC are

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hoping that Boris Johnson will raise

the issue of how British or

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Persianian journalists over here in

the UK are being treated by the

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Iranian Government.

Yes, after Boris

Johnson went to Iran the BBC

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released this statement calling on

Boris Johnson to bring that issue

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up. Yes, we here at the BBC Persian

TV are hoping that issue also comes

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to the foreand Boris Johnson's

negotiations with the Iranian

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authorities.

What's the issue?

That

they are harassing families in Iran,

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interrogating them, summoning them

every now and then, pressuring them

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to somehow force us to resign from

our jobs, spreading fake news,

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personal slander against us. They've

also just recently frozen all our

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assets, so is disinherited dozens of

people from properties and whatever

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assets they may have had in Iran.

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The Palestinian President Mahmoud

Abbas has pulled out

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of a meeting with the US

Vice President Mike Pence,

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which was due to happen

in Cairo later this month.

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The announcement comes as protests

in the Middle East and other muslim

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countries continue over

Donald Trump's decision

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to formally recognise Jerusalem

as the capital of Israel.

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There have also been Israeli

air strikes on Gaza -

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after rockets were fired

from the territory into Israel.

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Tom Bateman reports.

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A display of grief and of anger.

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Funerals were held in Gaza for two

people killed in Israeli

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air strikes last night.

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The Islamist group Hamas

said the men belonged

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to their armed wing.

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Weapons stores and a base run

by the militant group

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were targeted said Israel.

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A new round of hostilities

between old enemies.

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Israel said three rockets were fired

from Gaza last night.

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One landed in this

southern Israeli town.

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There was minor damage

but no casualties.

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Further disruption took place

in Jerusalem as Palestinians

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continued to vent their anger

at President Trump.

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Police broke up protests before

they gained momentum.

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And for a third day in the occupied

West Bank protesters threw

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stones and burned tyres.

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Israeli troops responded

with tear gas in Bethlehem

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and Palestinians answered back.

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The clashes since Mr Trump's

statement have so far not matched

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the scale of previous escalations

in violence this year but people

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here remain wary and diplomatic

relations between the Palestinian

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leadership and the White House

are under severe strain.

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President Trump appealed

for calm and moderation.

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His critics point to what's happened

here in the three days

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since his announcement and say

he has stoked precisely

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the opposite.

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Many Israelis continue

to praise his move but it comes

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at the cost of increased tensions.

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Staying in the Middle East,

and Iraq's Prime Minister has

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announced that the war

against the armed group

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Islamic State in his

country, has been won.

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Haider al-Abadi says Iraq has been

liberated and his army is now

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in full control of the areas along

the border with Syria.

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At the height of its strength,

the militant group controlled

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a third of Iraqi territory,

and proclaimed a caliphate.

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But in the last few months, it has

lost control of all of the remaining

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areas it held in Iraq.

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I thank all the countries,

as well as humanitarian

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and international organizations,

that stood with Iraq,

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and its people, during this battle.

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I salute every Iraqi fighter

who took up arms to defend our land.

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I salute the souls of

the martyrs and those injured,

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and their families, who preserved

Iraq and its people.

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Iraq survived united and victorious.

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The New York Times has carried out

an investigation which suggests

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that the number of people who've

died in Puerto Rico as a result

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of Hurricane Maria is far higher

than official figures suggest.

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The authorities said that

64 people were killed

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by the storm in September,

but the paper's investigation says

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the total number of deaths caused

by the hurricane could have risen

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to more than one thousand.

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Let's speak to Frances Robles from

the New York Times now. Tell us

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about the investigation, how did you

acertain the figure could indeed be

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far higher than the Government said

and how certain are you of those

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facts?

Well, the beauty of what we

did is that we are looking at the

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Government's own figures. This is

not a scientific study based on

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theory. It's based on the mortality

statistics being compiled by the

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Department of Health. What you see

is on 20th September the deaths

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there shoot up, really markedly. So,

OK, what happened on 20th September?

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Well, there was almost a category

five hurricane. So we went back and

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looked day by day comparing

September and October to 2015, 16

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and 17. It's absolutely indisputable

that about 37 people a day

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additionally were dying...

What do

you put the inaccurate Government

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figures down to, this vast

discrepancy?

Well, the thing that's

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important to consider is that we are

not looking at people that drowned

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or got hit by a tree or got caught

up in a tornado. We are looking at

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what happened when the system

collapsed in the days and weeks and

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months after the hurricane. You have

to remember even today most of

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Puerto Rico does not have

electricity, a lot of people don't

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have cell service. We are talking

about people who didn't have cell

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service to call 911 or if they did

have a landline the ambulance never

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arrived. People who didn't have

electricity to power their

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respirators. If you are the guy who

didn't have electricity for the

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respirator machine you get to the

hospital eventually and you die,

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that's a natural death. OK. So

that's how it was coded. The

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Government isn't going out of its

way to get behind all of those

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natural deaths to say how many of

these natural deaths were people who

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were waiting for ambulances who had

no electricity in their homes and

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died of heat strokes and things of

that nature?

I guess that's

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important to learn from what

happened in case heaven forbid this

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happens again. What are the

Government saying now they've been

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presented with this information?

They started hedging a couple of

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weeks ago because other news

organisations had also done other

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kinds of investigations, CNN for

example, literally called every

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single funeral home in Puerto Rico

and what's interesting about the CNN

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study compared to ours is that the

results match identically. CNN was

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able to reach half of the funeral

homes and came up with 500 deaths

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that the funeral directors thought

were hurricane-related. We came up

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with 1,000 deaths looking at the

totality of the mortality

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statistics. So now the Government is

saying OK, well, if you bring us the

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information we will look into it. So

this morning in fact the day after

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the story first posted online, they

increased the total by two. So one

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of them is a person whose respirator

machine was not functioning and

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another is a person who died waiting

for an ambulance. What's interesting

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is both those people did die on the

day of the hurricane.le.

What do you

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make of President Trump's

intervention in this, on the day he

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tweeted that the island had to deal

with its massive debt, food water

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and medical top priorities and doing

well, hashtag FEMA he said. Weeks

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later he visited Costa Rica and

praised the low official death toll,

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related it to hurricane Katrina

saying that had been a real

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catastrophe so welcoming this

relatively low death toll in the

0:14:100:14:13

area.

That's right. I think that

Donald Trump was working off the

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information that he was being given

by the Government and the day that

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he was in Puerto Rico they were

still sticking to the number 16 and

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it was a few hours after he left

that the number first doubled and

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everybody was like, wait a second, a

second ago the President was here

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praising the number 16. Then when I

went back and we looked, went day by

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day from the 20th September until

October 3rd visit, we saw that 550

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people had died, above that same

time period the year before. Is it

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16 or was it 50? That's the

question.

OK -- 550. There we will

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leave it, thank you for joining us.

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Tens of thousands of people have

filled the streets of Paris

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for the funeral of the singer

Johnny Hallyday - who died

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on Wednesday at the age of 74.

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His coffin was driven in a cortege

down the Champs-Elysees,

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followed by hundreds

of leather-clad bikers.

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From Paris, Hugh Schofield

sent this report.

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For nearly 60 years,

Johnny Hallyday sang his songs

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to the French, and today they came

to bid him goodbye.

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Tens of thousands of fans,

many of them from the older

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generation, people who grew up

to his sounds in the happy,

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optimistic days of the 60s.

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For France, Johnny

was le rock and roll.

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He was the first to open their ears

to the thrilling new music coming

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from The United States.

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America was his obsession.

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America and motorbikes.

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Hence the escort of hundreds

of bikers for his funeral cortege

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down the Champs-Elysees.

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TRANSLATION:

Let him rest in peace

and wreak havoc up there.

0:15:520:15:57

Let him sing, and get it going,

and open his heart up there,

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surrounded by family and friends.

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Stars of music and screen,

political leaders past and present,

0:16:050:16:09

they were all there for the funeral

service inside the church.

0:16:090:16:13

For the French, Johnny

was their rock hero,

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the man who, for half a century,

was always there with new songs

0:16:170:16:21

and new performances.

0:16:210:16:25

With his death people do feel that

part of the nation's life has gone.

0:16:250:16:35

Donald Trump's visit to the Southern

US state of Mississippi has

0:16:360:16:39

been met with a protest

by Democratic leaders.

0:16:390:16:41

Mr Trump toured a new

civil rights museum

0:16:410:16:43

in the state capital,

Jackson.

0:16:430:16:47

He said he'd studied

and admired the American

0:16:470:16:49

civil rights campaigner,

Martin Luther King, all his life.

0:16:490:16:51

Two Democratic party congressmen

and the city mayor pulled

0:16:510:16:53

out of the ceremony,

accusing the president of deepening

0:16:530:16:55

racial divisions in the country.

0:16:550:17:01

Officials in California have

extended the red alert caused

0:17:010:17:05

by a series of wildfires.

0:17:050:17:06

And say it will now remain in force

until at least Sunday.

0:17:060:17:09

One person has been killed, and 700

buildings have been destroyed,

0:17:090:17:11

by fires burning out of control

in several parts of the state.

0:17:110:17:14

More than 200,000 people have been

forced to leave their homes.

0:17:140:17:21

Stay with us, still to come. A new

discovery from ancient Egypt.

0:17:210:17:26

Archaeologists unveil a mummy and

other treasures dating back more

0:17:260:17:29

than 3,000 years.

0:17:290:17:40

Britain's Foreign Secretary says

he's had frank talks with his

0:18:540:18:56

Iranian counterpart over the case of

a British-Iranian woman held in

0:18:560:19:00

prison there. There have been

further protests in the Israeli

0:19:000:19:03

occupied West Bank and the Gaza

Strip in response to President Trump

0:19:030:19:07

declaring Jerusalem to be Israel's

capital.

0:19:070:19:11

Let's get all the sport now with

John Watson.

0:19:110:19:16

The football action first.

0:19:160:19:20

Chelsea suffering a surprise

derby defeat at West Ham

0:19:200:19:23

in the Premier League today.

0:19:230:19:24

A goal in the 6th minute

was the difference between the two

0:19:240:19:27

sides to give David Moyes his first

win since taking charge.

0:19:270:19:31

West Ham remain in the bottom three.

0:19:310:19:33

The defending champions could be 14

points off the top by the end

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of the weekend if Manchester City

beat neighbours United tomorrow.

0:19:360:19:43

What a great result for us.

0:19:430:19:47

We needed to find one

of the results, we came close

0:19:470:19:50

against Manchester City for long

periods, thought we

0:19:500:19:52

were going to get it.

0:19:520:19:53

Don't get us wrong,

it was tough today.

0:19:530:19:55

Chelsea kept us under pressure.

0:19:550:19:58

We scored a good goal, played well

at times in the first half.

0:19:580:20:01

If we had been better with the ball

a couple of times in the second half

0:20:010:20:05

we might have got another goal.

0:20:050:20:15

To face one game, at the same time

when you play almost always with

0:20:150:20:19

same players it's very difficult

because you have to play something

0:20:190:20:29

and only is that we have just

started this period.

0:20:290:20:34

The day's other results.

0:20:350:20:44

Christian Benteke missed a last

minute penalty in Palace's 2-2 draw

0:20:450:20:49

with Bournemouth.

0:20:490:20:55

England's Ashes tour of Australia

has been affected by news of another

0:20:580:21:01

drinking-related incident.

0:21:010:21:03

This time Ben Duckett dropped

from England's tour match today

0:21:030:21:08

for pouring a drink over the head

of James Anderson at a bar in Perth.

0:21:080:21:14

It's the latest incident relating to

poor player behaviour in a series

0:21:140:21:17

which threatens to become a

nightmare for the team trailing 2-0

0:21:170:21:21

with three matches to play.

0:21:210:21:26

I think it's fairly trivial.

0:21:260:21:27

In the climate it's

just not acceptable.

0:21:270:21:29

Everyone's been warned about even

small things can be blown out

0:21:290:21:31

of proportion and the ECB have also

been quite strict to the boys

0:21:310:21:34

with their message.

0:21:340:21:42

It's simply unacceptable.

0:21:420:21:43

Doesn't matter how trivial

it is in this environment

0:21:430:21:45

and what we have had to go

through already with some

0:21:450:21:48

of the small problems.

0:21:480:21:49

As I said, it's not

right, not acceptable.

0:21:490:21:52

Today's warm-up match was intended

to give England's batsmen the chance

0:21:550:21:58

to press their case for inclusion

in the remainder of the series.

0:21:580:22:01

Still no one registering that

big score which England

0:22:010:22:03

have missed so far.

0:22:030:22:05

Ronnie O'Sullivan is closing

in on a 6th UK championship title

0:22:180:22:22

after a 6-4 victory over

Stephen Maguire in the semifinals.

0:22:220:22:27

The Rocket booked his place

in tomorrow's final after holding

0:22:270:22:30

off a late fightback from Maguire.

0:22:300:22:32

He did hold a 4-0 lead.

0:22:320:22:33

That was cut back to 5-4 before he

took a decisive 6th frame in York.

0:22:330:22:37

He faces the 2008 winner

Shaun Murphy or Ryan Day

0:22:370:22:39

who are playing now.

0:22:390:22:49

He has been known as a cyclist but

Bradley Wiggins finished in 21st

0:22:490:22:54

place on his competitive rowing

debut at the British indoor

0:22:540:22:56

championships in London.

0:22:560:23:01

He retired from cycling last year

and was competing in the elite

0:23:010:23:04

men's 2,000 metres race.

0:23:040:23:05

He began slowly after mistakenly

believing he had false started.

0:23:050:23:08

He finished with a time

of six minutes 22 seconds.

0:23:080:23:11

Half a minute behind

the overall winner Adam Neil.

0:23:110:23:14

That is all the sport.

0:23:140:23:22

We're taking you now to the story

of a man who over the last 50 years,

0:23:220:23:26

has discovered more than 20%

of the world's coral species.

0:23:260:23:29

Charlie Veron was also one

of the early scientists

0:23:290:23:31

to document coral bleaching.

0:23:310:23:32

We follow him underwater

on the Great Barrier Reef

0:23:320:23:34

I have been diving on the Great

Barrier Reef for just over 50 years.

0:23:380:23:44

Beautiful pictures.

Archaeologists have

0:25:160:25:23

discovered a mummy in one of two

0:25:240:25:24

previously unexplored tombs

in the ancient Nile city of Luxor.

0:25:250:25:27

The mummy is believed to be

about 3,500 years old and that

0:25:270:25:30

of a senior official from Egypt's

"New Kingdom".

0:25:300:25:32

Other items on display include

wooden masks and richly

0:25:320:25:34

coloured wall paintings.

0:25:340:25:35

The tombs were apparently

discovered by a German

0:25:350:25:37

archaeologist in the 1990s,

but were kept sealed until recently

0:25:370:25:39

by the Egyptian authorities.

0:25:390:25:47

That's it from me.

There is plenty more on our website.

0:25:470:25:52

Don't forget you can get

in touch with me and some

0:25:520:25:55

of the team on Twitter -

I'm @SamanthaBBCNews.

0:25:550:25:57

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