The news programme for audiences who want more depth to their daily coverage. With a focus on Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Browse content similar to 09/12/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
This is BBC News.
The UK's Foreign Secretary travels
to Iran and says he had frank talks
about obstacles in their
relationship. At the heart of the
discussions the fate of this British
woman jailed in Iran for spying. Her
husband gives the visit a cautious
It can only lead to a
better case for us.
Also this hour.
Another day of clashes in the row
over Donald Trump's recognition of
Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The Palestinians pull out of a
meeting with the US vice-president
in protest. And, President, poet and
a parade of motor bikes, France says
goodbye to its rock and roll legend,
to World News Today.
The Foreign Secretary,
Boris Johnson, says he has had frank
and constructive talks
with his Iranian counterpart
in Tehran over the case of British
Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
who's been in jail since 2016.
Our diplomatic correspondent
James Robbins reports.
It could look routine,
shaking hands before talks.
But there is nothing routine
about this encounter.
The Foreign Secretary looking
and with good reason.
He wants to improve relations,
but also criticise some of Iran's
actions, while arguing for prison
of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe,
a case many accuse him of damaging
because of loose talk last month.
Watching anxiously with me
in London, Nazanin's husband,
who has campaigned day in,
day out for freedom since
she was arrested last year.
I'm sure it will make a difference,
him being there, raising her case,
and in the context of a lot of other
stuff, can only help improve
relations, can only lead
to a better case for us.
I think that's right.
I'm not expecting that on Monday
morning he comes back
with her on the plane.
Boris Johnson is saying nothing
at all publicly while in Iran,
instead the Foreign Office issued
a statement after two
hours of what they called
a constructive meeting.
One good sign is that
Iran's Foreign Minister confirmed
Boris Johnson should be able to meet
President Rouhani tomorrow.
Something that is not automatic
on a visit like this.
Talks went on for two hours.
It seems that this was
a genuine discussion,
not a pre-scripted exchange.
Positives and negatives
in relations were aired.
We should not expect
but Iran is in no doubt how much
importance the British
side attaches to getting
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe home.
Earlier I asked Siavash Ardevan of
BBC Persianian about what might have
come up in those meetings.
met the head of Iran's judiciary,
which is really the branch he should
be meeting, the people handling the
Because they are different,
aren't they? The Government and the
judiciary are separate. That's
significant in this case.
power struggle between the two.
Often you have the judiciary trying
to undermine the Government's
foreign policy. As much as the
President Rouhani or Boris Johnson's
counterpart may want to help it
boils down to hardliners who
controls the judiciary.
What do you
make of the fact Boris Johnson will
meet with the President tomorrow?
Well, the President is not handling
her case, so as much as the
President may be able to pressure
the head of the judiciary, it's very
good. But at the end of the day
really it's up to the judiciary
whether they want to go along with
the Government and release her or
not. The due process is that after
five years, which is the sentence
that she has received, if you serve
a third of that sentence, then you
are eligable for par role. Next
month will be that, we approach that
dead dlien. -- deadline, so that's
Her husband is being
cautiously opt miscontinuing you
could say. Even though he is not
expect willing her to come home on
the plane with Boris Johnson, he is
crossing his fingers she may be back
for Christmas, is that a realistic
time scale if the judiciary decide
to release her?
It is, like I said,
next month will be approaching the
third of the sentence she's already
served. Even according to Iranian
law if the judiciary decides that
it's appropriate to release her,
yes, that could be done.
In terms of
negotiations, and as you have said,
Boris Johnson is talking to the
Government which is separate to the
judiciary, but what kind of
conversations do you think will be
going on, negotiations on the
Well, we know that the
Iranians are demanding money owed,
something to the tune of £400
million owed by the British
Government from back in the 70s,
they want that money back. The
British Government has not paid the
Iranians back because of revolutions
and sanctions and we understand
they're facilitating now to make
that payment possible, that would
make the Iranians happy and there
are bilateral issues, trade and
other things signed between the two
sides. So the more the Iranians feel
they've made headways with the
British Government and private
sector they'll feel like they've
gained enough concessions to release
Journalists at the BBC are
hoping that Boris Johnson will raise
the issue of how British or
Persianian journalists over here in
the UK are being treated by the
Yes, after Boris
Johnson went to Iran the BBC
released this statement calling on
Boris Johnson to bring that issue
up. Yes, we here at the BBC Persian
TV are hoping that issue also comes
to the foreand Boris Johnson's
negotiations with the Iranian
What's the issue?
they are harassing families in Iran,
interrogating them, summoning them
every now and then, pressuring them
to somehow force us to resign from
our jobs, spreading fake news,
personal slander against us. They've
also just recently frozen all our
assets, so is disinherited dozens of
people from properties and whatever
assets they may have had in Iran.
The Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas has pulled out
of a meeting with the US
Vice President Mike Pence,
which was due to happen
in Cairo later this month.
The announcement comes as protests
in the Middle East and other muslim
countries continue over
Donald Trump's decision
to formally recognise Jerusalem
as the capital of Israel.
There have also been Israeli
air strikes on Gaza -
after rockets were fired
from the territory into Israel.
Tom Bateman reports.
A display of grief and of anger.
Funerals were held in Gaza for two
people killed in Israeli
air strikes last night.
The Islamist group Hamas
said the men belonged
to their armed wing.
Weapons stores and a base run
by the militant group
were targeted said Israel.
A new round of hostilities
between old enemies.
Israel said three rockets were fired
from Gaza last night.
One landed in this
southern Israeli town.
There was minor damage
but no casualties.
Further disruption took place
in Jerusalem as Palestinians
continued to vent their anger
at President Trump.
Police broke up protests before
they gained momentum.
And for a third day in the occupied
West Bank protesters threw
stones and burned tyres.
Israeli troops responded
with tear gas in Bethlehem
and Palestinians answered back.
The clashes since Mr Trump's
statement have so far not matched
the scale of previous escalations
in violence this year but people
here remain wary and diplomatic
relations between the Palestinian
leadership and the White House
are under severe strain.
President Trump appealed
for calm and moderation.
His critics point to what's happened
here in the three days
since his announcement and say
he has stoked precisely
Many Israelis continue
to praise his move but it comes
at the cost of increased tensions.
Staying in the Middle East,
and Iraq's Prime Minister has
announced that the war
against the armed group
Islamic State in his
country, has been won.
Haider al-Abadi says Iraq has been
liberated and his army is now
in full control of the areas along
the border with Syria.
At the height of its strength,
the militant group controlled
a third of Iraqi territory,
and proclaimed a caliphate.
But in the last few months, it has
lost control of all of the remaining
areas it held in Iraq.
I thank all the countries,
as well as humanitarian
and international organizations,
that stood with Iraq,
and its people, during this battle.
I salute every Iraqi fighter
who took up arms to defend our land.
I salute the souls of
the martyrs and those injured,
and their families, who preserved
Iraq and its people.
Iraq survived united and victorious.
The New York Times has carried out
an investigation which suggests
that the number of people who've
died in Puerto Rico as a result
of Hurricane Maria is far higher
than official figures suggest.
The authorities said that
64 people were killed
by the storm in September,
but the paper's investigation says
the total number of deaths caused
by the hurricane could have risen
to more than one thousand.
Let's speak to Frances Robles from
the New York Times now. Tell us
about the investigation, how did you
acertain the figure could indeed be
far higher than the Government said
and how certain are you of those
Well, the beauty of what we
did is that we are looking at the
Government's own figures. This is
not a scientific study based on
theory. It's based on the mortality
statistics being compiled by the
Department of Health. What you see
is on 20th September the deaths
there shoot up, really markedly. So,
OK, what happened on 20th September?
Well, there was almost a category
five hurricane. So we went back and
looked day by day comparing
September and October to 2015, 16
and 17. It's absolutely indisputable
that about 37 people a day
additionally were dying...
you put the inaccurate Government
figures down to, this vast
Well, the thing that's
important to consider is that we are
not looking at people that drowned
or got hit by a tree or got caught
up in a tornado. We are looking at
what happened when the system
collapsed in the days and weeks and
months after the hurricane. You have
to remember even today most of
Puerto Rico does not have
electricity, a lot of people don't
have cell service. We are talking
about people who didn't have cell
service to call 911 or if they did
have a landline the ambulance never
arrived. People who didn't have
electricity to power their
respirators. If you are the guy who
didn't have electricity for the
respirator machine you get to the
hospital eventually and you die,
that's a natural death. OK. So
that's how it was coded. The
Government isn't going out of its
way to get behind all of those
natural deaths to say how many of
these natural deaths were people who
were waiting for ambulances who had
no electricity in their homes and
died of heat strokes and things of
I guess that's
important to learn from what
happened in case heaven forbid this
happens again. What are the
Government saying now they've been
presented with this information?
They started hedging a couple of
weeks ago because other news
organisations had also done other
kinds of investigations, CNN for
example, literally called every
single funeral home in Puerto Rico
and what's interesting about the CNN
study compared to ours is that the
results match identically. CNN was
able to reach half of the funeral
homes and came up with 500 deaths
that the funeral directors thought
were hurricane-related. We came up
with 1,000 deaths looking at the
totality of the mortality
statistics. So now the Government is
saying OK, well, if you bring us the
information we will look into it. So
this morning in fact the day after
the story first posted online, they
increased the total by two. So one
of them is a person whose respirator
machine was not functioning and
another is a person who died waiting
for an ambulance. What's interesting
is both those people did die on the
day of the hurricane.le.
What do you
make of President Trump's
intervention in this, on the day he
tweeted that the island had to deal
with its massive debt, food water
and medical top priorities and doing
well, hashtag FEMA he said. Weeks
later he visited Costa Rica and
praised the low official death toll,
related it to hurricane Katrina
saying that had been a real
catastrophe so welcoming this
relatively low death toll in the
That's right. I think that
Donald Trump was working off the
information that he was being given
by the Government and the day that
he was in Puerto Rico they were
still sticking to the number 16 and
it was a few hours after he left
that the number first doubled and
everybody was like, wait a second, a
second ago the President was here
praising the number 16. Then when I
went back and we looked, went day by
day from the 20th September until
October 3rd visit, we saw that 550
people had died, above that same
time period the year before. Is it
16 or was it 50? That's the
OK -- 550. There we will
leave it, thank you for joining us.
Tens of thousands of people have
filled the streets of Paris
for the funeral of the singer
Johnny Hallyday - who died
on Wednesday at the age of 74.
His coffin was driven in a cortege
down the Champs-Elysees,
followed by hundreds
of leather-clad bikers.
From Paris, Hugh Schofield
sent this report.
For nearly 60 years,
Johnny Hallyday sang his songs
to the French, and today they came
to bid him goodbye.
Tens of thousands of fans,
many of them from the older
generation, people who grew up
to his sounds in the happy,
optimistic days of the 60s.
For France, Johnny
was le rock and roll.
He was the first to open their ears
to the thrilling new music coming
from The United States.
America was his obsession.
America and motorbikes.
Hence the escort of hundreds
of bikers for his funeral cortege
down the Champs-Elysees.
Let him rest in peace
and wreak havoc up there.
Let him sing, and get it going,
and open his heart up there,
surrounded by family and friends.
Stars of music and screen,
political leaders past and present,
they were all there for the funeral
service inside the church.
For the French, Johnny
was their rock hero,
the man who, for half a century,
was always there with new songs
and new performances.
With his death people do feel that
part of the nation's life has gone.
Donald Trump's visit to the Southern
US state of Mississippi has
been met with a protest
by Democratic leaders.
Mr Trump toured a new
civil rights museum
in the state capital,
He said he'd studied
and admired the American
civil rights campaigner,
Martin Luther King, all his life.
Two Democratic party congressmen
and the city mayor pulled
out of the ceremony,
accusing the president of deepening
racial divisions in the country.
Officials in California have
extended the red alert caused
by a series of wildfires.
And say it will now remain in force
until at least Sunday.
One person has been killed, and 700
buildings have been destroyed,
by fires burning out of control
in several parts of the state.
More than 200,000 people have been
forced to leave their homes.
Stay with us, still to come. A new
discovery from ancient Egypt.
Archaeologists unveil a mummy and
other treasures dating back more
than 3,000 years.
Britain's Foreign Secretary says
he's had frank talks with his
Iranian counterpart over the case of
a British-Iranian woman held in
prison there. There have been
further protests in the Israeli
occupied West Bank and the Gaza
Strip in response to President Trump
declaring Jerusalem to be Israel's
Let's get all the sport now with
The football action first.
Chelsea suffering a surprise
derby defeat at West Ham
in the Premier League today.
A goal in the 6th minute
was the difference between the two
sides to give David Moyes his first
win since taking charge.
West Ham remain in the bottom three.
The defending champions could be 14
points off the top by the end
of the weekend if Manchester City
beat neighbours United tomorrow.
What a great result for us.
We needed to find one
of the results, we came close
against Manchester City for long
periods, thought we
were going to get it.
Don't get us wrong,
it was tough today.
Chelsea kept us under pressure.
We scored a good goal, played well
at times in the first half.
If we had been better with the ball
a couple of times in the second half
we might have got another goal.
To face one game, at the same time
when you play almost always with
same players it's very difficult
because you have to play something
and only is that we have just
started this period.
The day's other results.
Christian Benteke missed a last
minute penalty in Palace's 2-2 draw
England's Ashes tour of Australia
has been affected by news of another
This time Ben Duckett dropped
from England's tour match today
for pouring a drink over the head
of James Anderson at a bar in Perth.
It's the latest incident relating to
poor player behaviour in a series
which threatens to become a
nightmare for the team trailing 2-0
with three matches to play.
I think it's fairly trivial.
In the climate it's
just not acceptable.
Everyone's been warned about even
small things can be blown out
of proportion and the ECB have also
been quite strict to the boys
with their message.
It's simply unacceptable.
Doesn't matter how trivial
it is in this environment
and what we have had to go
through already with some
of the small problems.
As I said, it's not
right, not acceptable.
Today's warm-up match was intended
to give England's batsmen the chance
to press their case for inclusion
in the remainder of the series.
Still no one registering that
big score which England
have missed so far.
Ronnie O'Sullivan is closing
in on a 6th UK championship title
after a 6-4 victory over
Stephen Maguire in the semifinals.
The Rocket booked his place
in tomorrow's final after holding
off a late fightback from Maguire.
He did hold a 4-0 lead.
That was cut back to 5-4 before he
took a decisive 6th frame in York.
He faces the 2008 winner
Shaun Murphy or Ryan Day
who are playing now.
He has been known as a cyclist but
Bradley Wiggins finished in 21st
place on his competitive rowing
debut at the British indoor
championships in London.
He retired from cycling last year
and was competing in the elite
men's 2,000 metres race.
He began slowly after mistakenly
believing he had false started.
He finished with a time
of six minutes 22 seconds.
Half a minute behind
the overall winner Adam Neil.
That is all the sport.
We're taking you now to the story
of a man who over the last 50 years,
has discovered more than 20%
of the world's coral species.
Charlie Veron was also one
of the early scientists
to document coral bleaching.
We follow him underwater
on the Great Barrier Reef
I have been diving on the Great
Barrier Reef for just over 50 years.
discovered a mummy in one of two
previously unexplored tombs
in the ancient Nile city of Luxor.
The mummy is believed to be
about 3,500 years old and that
of a senior official from Egypt's
Other items on display include
wooden masks and richly
coloured wall paintings.
The tombs were apparently
discovered by a German
archaeologist in the 1990s,
but were kept sealed until recently
by the Egyptian authorities.
That's it from me.
There is plenty more on our website.
Don't forget you can get
in touch with me and some
of the team on Twitter -