31/12/2017 World News Today


31/12/2017

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


LineFromTo

This is BBC World News Today.

0:00:040:00:06

I'm Philippa Thomas.

0:00:060:00:07

Our top stories...

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Iran's president says there should

be "space for criticism"

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after a fourth day of protests.

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Police in Tehran use water

cannon on demonstrators.

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Celebrations around the world

to usher in the start of 2018 -

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this is the scene live in Moscow.

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Security forces in the democratic

republic of Congo have killed at

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least eight people during protests

calling for the president to stand

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down. And how a prank call known as

"swatting" led to a police shooting

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with terrible consequences.

0:00:450:00:54

Hello and welcome

to World News Today.

0:00:560:00:58

Police in the Iranian capital,

Tehran, have used water cannon

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against protesters during a fourth

day of anti-government

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demonstrations across the country.

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The authorities say they arrested

about 200 people during clashes

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in Tehran on Saturday.

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They've restricted access

to the popular social media

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messaging app Telegram,

which officials say has been

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used to foment violence.

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In his first comments on the unrest,

President Hassan Rouhani said

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Iranians have the right to protest

and criticise the government,

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but their actions shouldn't lead to

violence or damage public property.

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Alan Johnston has more.

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On the protests go.

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Water cannon, deployed in the heart

of Tehran late on this fourth day

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of unrest in the streets.

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As they marched down one

of the capital's avenues,

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they made their feelings known.

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"Death to the dictator,"

they chanted.

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On Saturday night, gunshots rang

out in a western city.

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A casualty is carried away.

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Two people died.

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But officials insist

the police didn't open fire.

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They blame the deaths

on provocateurs in the crowd.

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TRANSLATION: In these clashes,

traces of groups and anti-regime

0:02:270:02:30

media and Western intelligence

services are visible.

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In these clashes, no bullets

were fired by the police,

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military or security forces

towards the people.

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The goal was for the protests

to end peacefully.

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The night also brought

violence to other cities.

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A governor's office was set ablaze.

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And in Mashhad, the security

forces watched as some

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of their motorbikes burned.

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The protests initially focused

on economic grievances,

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but they've become highly political,

with demands for an end

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to the rule of the clerics.

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Demonstrations like these have been

organised on social media,

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so the authorities have stepped in.

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The Telegram messaging app says it

refused to shut down channels

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engaged in peaceful protest,

and now the government

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has restricted access

to most users of the service.

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The government rallied

its supporters on Saturday,

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showing that huge numbers

of Iranians back it.

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And the authorities

promise they will tackle

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the nation's economic woes.

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For the first time since

the unrest began, we've heard

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from President Rouhani.

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He said people were free

to criticise his government,

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but there should be no violence.

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He knows the anger in

the streets is dangerous.

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The wave of protests represents

the most serious challenge that

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Iran's leadership has

faced for years.

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Alan Johnston public BBC News.

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People across the world have been

welcoming in the New Year

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with fireworks and displays.

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These are the scenes in Moscow,

where it has just turned

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midnight and it's now 2018.

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The fireworks bursting over the

Kremlin. You can see a few lucky

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sightseers getting a close-up view

of the spectacular in the sky. So,

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that's the scene in Moscow. Russia

has so many different time zones, of

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course.

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New Zealand kicked off

the celebrations -

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here were the scenes in Auckland.

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Three, two, one...

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The traditional firework display

centred around the Sky Tower.

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It meant the show took place

some 200m above ground -

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and could be enjoyed as far

as 80 kilometres away.

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Then over to Sydney -

the harbour and its iconic bridge

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taking centre stage as usual.

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Around a million and a half people

were there to watch the show,

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which featured a rainbow theme

to celebrate the passing of

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the country's same-sex marriage law.

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These were the celebrations

earlier in the North Korean

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capital Pyongyang.

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President Kim Jong-Un

will deliver his annual

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New Year address later -

and he's expected to talk about his

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country's relationship with the USA.

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And this is Dubai about an hour ago.

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These pictures show the spectacular

lights display at the world's

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tallest building, Burj Khalifa.

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London's celebrations are less

than three hours away.

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Let's cross to Jonathan Blake,

who's opposite the London Eye

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on the Victoria Embankment.

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Over to you.

Well, the crowds are

building here in central London in

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anticipation of that spectacular

fireworks display, which will of

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course happen as Big Ben chimes

midnight. 100,000 people

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midnight. 100,000 people have

tickets to watch tonight's show up

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close. As the hours go by they are

now feeling the areas along the

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River Thames here and the bridges

across the river, taking their place

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in anticipation of that show. It is

a huge event for London, widget that

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requires about 3000 staff working on

the day to keep people safe and make

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sure everybody gets a good view.

It's years and months in the

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planning in terms of this year's

display, and I am pleased to say

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that we're joined by someone from

the company responsible for

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tonight's show. We will hear from

them in just a moment. Earlier on I

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spoke to the Mayor of London, Sadiq

Khan, who explained why it was

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important for London to put on such

a show at New Year's Eve.

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Not just

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Londoners will be enjoy in tonight's

fireworks, people around the country

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will be watching the fireworks on TV

and also people around the world.

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This is a sign of confidence, it is

who we are, it is showing the world

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we are London, we are the greatest

city in the world, London is open.

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But also our theme of gender

equality, the theme of the

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soundtrack showing the world that we

are a beacon for pluralism and

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equality, with just women artists

later, we don't simply

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tolerate difference,

we respect it and

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embrace it and celebrate it.

we respect it and

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So,

we respect it and

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So, what

we respect it and

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So, what can

we respect it and

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So, what can we

we respect it and

0:07:450:07:45

So, what can we expect

we respect it and

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So, what can we expect from

we respect it and

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So, what can we expect from the

we respect it and

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So, what can we expect from the

display tonight?

We have got a

0:07:450:07:47

fantastic show. At midnight there

will be 12 minutes of fantastic

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fireworks, ticking off with Big Ben,

which is live for us this year,

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obviously, it's been closed for

maintenance of. We will start in the

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traditional way with the chimes, and

then we've got a fantastic track

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which starts off with celebrating

some of the greatest artists London

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has ever produced. And then after

five minutes we have Mind The Gap,

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where we turn the lights off and

have a bit of fun and there we start

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of the last section, all female

artists to celebrate next year's the

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centenary of women's suffrage.

We

saw some of the pictures from other

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cities - how do you make London

different?

First of all we try and

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make it unique, the soundtrack is

something that no-one else could

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use, but also with the architecture,

no-one else has got one of these and

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the Houses of Parliament and

everything. So we try and create

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something which is very much a

synchronised to the music, something

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that really rocks, who that is fun

and that really takes the

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pyrotechnics, the lighting and sound

and puts it together to create some

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magic.

Every year it seems to go

without a at all., you can't

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rehearse for this, so are you

retiring on the technology to do its

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job, how much manpower is there?

There is a whole host of technology

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from the show point of view. Our

team I was working out last night

0:09:010:09:04

has 750 people in our team alone in

the run-up to build all we need for

0:09:040:09:10

the show. And then tonight we've got

nearly 4000 by the time we've got

0:09:100:09:14

the stewards in, so it's a major

operation. We can't rehearse it, we

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do computers similar nations, last

night we played the music and put

0:09:180:09:24

the lighting on, so we rehearsed

that side of things and made sure

0:09:240:09:28

everything fires, but we didn't get

the London Eye until four o'clock

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this afternoon to load it with

lighting and start to put the pyro

0:09:310:09:38

on. So, I haven't even got a show

yet!

We'll let you go and prepare,

0:09:380:09:45

that was a representative of the

company putting on the show tonight.

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The crowds are building just 100,000

people will be watching it up close.

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Security is tight, as you would

expect. The Metropolitan Police are

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asking people to be vigilant, but

the display itself will kick off at

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midnight, as Big Ben chimes.

0:10:010:10:04

Let's take a look at some of

the other stories making the news...

0:10:040:10:14

At least eight people have been

killed as security forces have clash

0:10:160:10:22

at with people demonstrating in the

Republic of Congo. These latest

0:10:220:10:26

rallies were called by Roman

Catholic activists and backed by

0:10:260:10:32

opposition parties. The authorities

banned the protests, saying they did

0:10:320:10:36

not have the resources to police

them. Security forces set up

0:10:360:10:40

roadblocks and used tear gas and

live ammunition to break it up at

0:10:400:10:45

several locations, including

churches. The protesters are

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demanding the resignation of the

president. His second term as

0:10:490:10:55

president finish one year ago and

the constitution bars him from

0:10:550:10:58

seeking a third mandate. He promised

to step down by the end of this

0:10:580:11:02

year, but he didn't.

TRANSLATION: We

are tired, we have never had peace

0:11:020:11:10

in this country, nothing works, the

president should go and rest.

0:11:100:11:17

TRANSLATION: Even under President

Mobuto, which was a dictatorship,

0:11:170:11:21

you could march peacefully. We are

really tired of Kabila.

They are

0:11:210:11:27

attending Mass in the capital. The

opposition leader called on his

0:11:270:11:33

country men to stand together.

TRANSLATION: I am simply asking our

0:11:330:11:39

people to resist this dictatorship

and we need alternatives.

So, this

0:11:390:11:44

violence is a repeat of tensions

that have erupted time and again

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over the past year. More than 50

people were reportedly killed in

0:11:460:11:52

anti-government protests between

April and October. There are

0:11:520:11:55

concerns that this will persist.

Some breaking news for you... We're

0:11:550:12:03

getting reports of a plane crash in

Costa Rica in which 12 people have

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died. First news coming out of the

public security ministry in Costa

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Rica says it is believed that ten of

those on board were foreigners, who

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tourists, visiting Costa Rica. We'll

bring you more details as we get

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them.

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Six people have died

after a seaplane crashed

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into a river in Australia - it's

thought four of the

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victims may be British.

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although this hasn't been confirmed

by the police.

0:12:330:12:35

The Foreign Office here is in

contact with officials in Australia.

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The aircraft, which was

on a sightseeing trip in advance

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of the New Year celebrations,

came down in a river close

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to the suburb of Cowan.

0:12:430:12:44

Phil Mercer reports from Sydney.

0:12:440:12:45

The seaplane crashed into Jerusalem

Bay near the town of Cowan.

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On board were five

passengers and the pilot.

0:12:480:12:50

The single-engine aircraft

is thought to have sunk rapidly.

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A witness said it had made a tight

right-hand turn and then nosedived

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into the Hawkesbury River.

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A full-scale search

was soon under way.

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There were no survivors.

0:12:580:12:59

Police divers have

found the six bodies.

0:12:590:13:02

Police divers have found six bodies.

0:13:030:13:12

The wreckage of the plane remains

in more than 40ft of water.

0:13:120:13:15

The authorities say a full

investigation will take place.

0:13:150:13:17

I cannot confirm the identity

or ages of the people

0:13:170:13:20

who were on the plane.

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We are...

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It is early in the investigation,

and we are working with the plane

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company, getting investigators

here to confirm the identities

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and investigate why the plane

crashed into the water.

0:13:270:13:31

The seaplane was returning

from a waterfront restaurant

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to Rose Bay on Sydney Harbour.

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It's a journey that would normally

take around 20 minutes.

0:13:350:13:37

The aircraft is owned

by Sydney Seaplanes.

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It provides flights around some

of the city's most popular

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tourist attractions,

including the Opera House,

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the Harbour Bridge, and to the north

the Hawkesbury River.

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The company said in a statement

that its pilots are some of the most

0:13:570:14:01

experienced in the world and that

all its flights had been suspended

0:14:010:14:04

until further notice.

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Air-crash investigators will arrive

at the site of the accident

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early on New Year's Day

to try to establish how and why

0:14:100:14:13

a routine sightseeing flight

could end in catastrophe.

0:14:130:14:15

Phil Mercer, BBC News, Sydney.

0:14:150:14:25

Stay with us on BBC

World News, still to come...

0:14:300:14:37

How a prank call led to an innocent

man dying.

0:14:370:14:42

This is BBC World News Today.

0:15:510:15:58

The latest headlines...

0:15:580:16:03

After days of protests in Iran, the

president has said the people have

0:16:030:16:08

the right to demonstrate, so long as

they do not disrupt public order.

0:16:080:16:11

Let's get more now

on our top story -

0:16:110:16:13

the protests in Iran.

0:16:130:16:14

We can talk now to Trita Parsi.

0:16:140:16:16

He is the author of

Losing An Enemy: Obama,

0:16:160:16:18

Iran And The Triumph Of Diplomacy

and the president of the National

0:16:180:16:21

Iranian American Council.

0:16:210:16:22

What do you make of what President

Rouhani has said about these

0:16:220:16:29

protests?

It is quite different

compared to the tone of the Iran

0:16:290:16:34

government in 2009, when it quickly

and brutally clamped down on the

0:16:340:16:37

protest. What is happening now is

that Rouhani is taking a quite

0:16:370:16:42

different position, essentially back

knowledge and that people have

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legitimate grievances, acknowledging

that they have a right to protest,

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and then focusing instead on pushing

back against some of the violence

0:16:490:16:53

and some of the looting. That is

probably not going to sit down very

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well with some of the hardliners,

mindful of the fact that the slogans

0:16:560:17:00

have been quite harsh and very much

targeting the regime as a whole,

0:17:000:17:04

including chance of death to the

dictator and death to the supreme

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leader. So, it seems like the

protests are also being used as a

0:17:080:17:12

political instrument by the

political factions to score points

0:17:120:17:15

against each other.

From the point

of view of President Rouhani,

0:17:150:17:20

there's not a lot you can offer the

protesters at least in the

0:17:200:17:23

short-term, given that economics,

rising prices, were at the root of

0:17:230:17:26

the trouble?

In some ways, yes. He's

not going to in to be able to turn

0:17:260:17:31

around the economy that quickly.

However, the protests are not just

0:17:310:17:37

because of the lack of economic

progress, it is also because of the

0:17:370:17:40

mismanagement as well as the

corruption that exists in the

0:17:400:17:42

country. And that's something that

Rouhani can address much quicker by

0:17:420:17:49

taking much more firm positions and

measures against corruption.

Do you

0:17:490:17:53

think there is a particular

resentment of the regime given that

0:17:530:17:57

so many people in Iran are so young,

they weren't around at the time of

0:17:570:18:02

the Islamic Revolution?

Certainly

there is a tremendous amount of

0:18:020:18:05

discontent. Because they have

legitimate reasons to be discontent,

0:18:050:18:11

mindful of the situation that

exists. But what I think you're

0:18:110:18:14

seeing here is quite different from

2009, when it was about election

0:18:140:18:19

fraud and about people wanting to

see change through the elections and

0:18:190:18:23

through the legislative process.

Now, when you listen to the slogans,

0:18:230:18:27

it seems like it has bypassed that

phase rather quickly, in fact

0:18:270:18:31

instantaneously, and gone towards

much, much bigger demands in which

0:18:310:18:35

they're not taking sides between the

reformists and the hardliners but

0:18:350:18:39

they're targeting the regime as a

whole.

If they're targeting the

0:18:390:18:43

regime, and President Trump is

saying publicly, we're watching the

0:18:430:18:47

Iranian people, they must be allowed

to protest, surely from outside,

0:18:470:18:50

that interference can be

counter-productive?

Certainly,

0:18:500:18:57

particularly if the messenger is

someone like a Donald Trump. I mean,

0:18:570:19:01

this is an American president that

is extremely unpopular outside of

0:19:010:19:04

the United States, and I would say

particularly in Iran. In the past

0:19:040:19:09

year he has taken several measures

that ordinarily Iranians feel have

0:19:090:19:14

targeted them, such as the Muslim

ban which has disproportionately

0:19:140:19:17

affected Iranian nation was, his

hugging of Saudi Arabia as well as

0:19:170:19:21

his efforts against Iran, which

continues to enjoy broad support.

0:19:210:19:28

So, having his blessing is certainly

not a political plus in the Iranian

0:19:280:19:32

political context.

The Chinese

leader has used his new years

0:19:320:19:44

message to suggest his country will

play a greater role in international

0:19:440:19:48

affairs in 2018. Under previous

presidents China kept a lower

0:19:480:19:52

profile but the president set out

his foreign affairs priorities in a

0:19:520:19:56

number of areas.

TRANSLATION: As a

responsible major country, China

0:19:560:19:59

must speak out. China will staunchly

safeguard the authority and status

0:19:590:20:04

of the United Nations and actively

fulfil its due responsibility and

0:20:040:20:10

duty in international affairs. China

will honour its promises in

0:20:100:20:14

countering global climate change and

actively push forward the common

0:20:140:20:18

construction of the Belton road.

China will act as a builder of world

0:20:180:20:23

peace and a contributor to global

development and an upholder of the

0:20:230:20:26

international order.

0:20:260:20:28

Michael Bristow is the Asia Pacific

Editor for the World Service.

0:20:280:20:33

Well, he spoke a lot about a

domestic agenda, about alleviating

0:20:330:20:38

poverty in the next three years. He

said that would happen for the first

0:20:380:20:41

time in thousands of years in

Chinese history. He also talked

0:20:410:20:44

about the corruption campaign,

anti-corruption campaign, which

0:20:440:20:50

would continue. But most strikingly

I think was his vision for China in

0:20:500:20:54

the future, on the world stage.

Previously Chinese leaders have

0:20:540:21:00

sought to hide themselves a little

bit and to put China on the

0:21:000:21:03

sidelines and let others take the

leader. Sju jumping is not like that

0:21:030:21:07

at all. He is due to put China right

on the world stage, as we heard

0:21:070:21:12

there, defending the United Nations,

tackling climate change, maintaining

0:21:120:21:15

the world order. And this is

something that we have not heard

0:21:150:21:19

from a Chinese leader for a long

time he started doing that much more

0:21:190:21:25

during the year, I am thinking of

Davos for example, where it was the

0:21:250:21:30

Communist Chinese leader rather than

the capitalist American president,

0:21:300:21:33

who was talking about the importance

of international trade? Exactly. I

0:21:330:21:36

think he's written reinforcing the

message which he has been building

0:21:360:21:40

up all year. , however,, there was

the party congress, he spoke about

0:21:400:21:45

something very similar. And it all

comes at a time when President Trump

0:21:450:21:50

appears to be looking inward and

turning America more inward. And

0:21:500:21:54

that's to a certain extent is

opening a lot more space for China

0:21:540:21:57

to move into, not just in its

backyard in east Asia but across the

0:21:570:22:04

world. We see China, which once

believed that countries should not

0:22:040:22:09

interfere in each other's affairs,

getting drawn in as it has got

0:22:090:22:13

Agger, to world affairs more and

more. And as I said, China is

0:22:130:22:17

perhaps taking the place which has

been vacated by the United States.

0:22:170:22:21

And when you look at the new silk

road project and the amount of

0:22:210:22:28

investment, for example, China has

in Africa, economically already it

0:22:280:22:33

is THE big international player?

There is no bounds to China's

0:22:330:22:37

ambition. You mentioned the silk

road, one bels, one road as it is

0:22:370:22:42

awkwardly titled in China. It is

about infrastructure, roads,

0:22:420:22:47

railways, whole towns and cities

across and from Asia, and also along

0:22:470:22:50

the sea lanes of Southeast Asia,

wielding ports and forming new

0:22:500:22:54

alliances. Really he sees China at

the centre of a New World order at

0:22:540:23:02

the very least in Asia, and that's

what he hopes to push forward over

0:23:020:23:07

the next few years.

0:23:070:23:13

A man has been arrested

after an alleged prank call that led

0:23:130:23:16

to the police shooting dead a man

in the US state of Kansas.

0:23:160:23:19

Police surrounded the home

of Andrew Finch after receiving

0:23:190:23:21

a hoax emergency call from a man

claiming to have shot dead his

0:23:210:23:24

father and taken his family hostage.

0:23:240:23:25

Police say they believe the report

was an act of "swatting"

0:23:250:23:28

where a fake emergency is reported,

sending the police

0:23:280:23:30

to another address.

0:23:300:23:36

This is 911, what's going on without

my mum and dad and I have shot him

0:23:360:23:42

in their head and he's not breathing

any more...

0:23:420:23:53

What kind of weapons do you have...

0:24:080:24:20

Officers came here preparing for a

hostage situation, several of them

0:24:550:24:58

got into position...

0:24:580:25:01

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