07/01/2018 World News Today


07/01/2018

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 World News Today.

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-- this is BBC World News Today.

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Our top stories...

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An explosion in Syria's

northwestern city of Idlib,

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said to have targeted the government

opposition, has killed

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at least 18 people.

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The BBC's China editor

Carrie Gracie is stepping

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down from the role,

citing unequal pay

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with her male colleagues.

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And Hollywood gets red carpet-ready

for the Golden Globes -

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the first major award ceremony

since the sexual harassment

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scandals.

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We hear from one of its top stars.

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I couldn't bear the thought of being

in a movie that glorified somebody

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who had heard people in these ways.

-- somebody who had hurt people.

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Hello and welcome

to World News Today.

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More than 30 people are missing

after a collision between an oil

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tanker and a cargo ship off the east

coast of China.

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It's the worst disaster

of its kind for many years.

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The tanker remains on fire

and 136,000 barrels of oil

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worth around $60 million -

are either burning or

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spilling into the sea.

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Andy Moore reports:

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Still burning fiercely many hours

after the original collision,

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and still no confirmed news

about the fate of its 32 crew.

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30 were Iranian and two

were from Bangladesh.

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The tanker is more than 270 metres

long and was carrying just under

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1 million barrels of oil.

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If the entire cargo ends up

the ocean, that will be

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ten oil spills in the world ever.

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It has a huge potential

for environmental damage.

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The Panamanian-registered tanker set

off from the Persian Gulf

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on its journey to South Korea.

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It sailed through the Malacca Strait

before colliding with a Chinese

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freight ship in the East China Sea

about 160 nautical miles off

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the port city of Shanghai.

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Major oil spills from tankers

are becoming less common.

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One of the most serious in recent

years was the sinking

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of the Prestige off the coast

of Spain in 2002.

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More than 60,000 tonnes of oil

came ashore over a long

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stretch of coastline.

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Specialist clean-up vessels have

been sent to the scene

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of the tanker fire.

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Chinese authorities have confirmed

there is an oil slick,

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but they cannot confirm how

big it is.

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Andy Moore, BBC News.

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An explosion in Syria's

northwestern city of Idlib has

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killed at least 18 people,

according to a monitoring group.

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Another 10 people were

injured in the attack,

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the Syrian Observatory

for Human Rights said.

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The explosion was said to have

targeted the headquarters

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of an opposition faction.

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Idlib province is the last remaining

rebel stronghold in Syria.

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I can speak now on the latest

situation in Syria

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with Joshua Landis.

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He is the Director of the Centre

for Middle East Studies

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at the University of Oklahoma

and author of the blog

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Syria Comment.

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He joins me now from Italy. What do

you make of what is going on in the

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Idlib area?

Well, Idlib is in the

north along the Turkish border. The

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Russians and Americans negotiated

three big areas of deconfliction

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zones, as they called it, where they

would agree to stop fighting while

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the battle with Isis was being

waged. But the territorial battle

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against crisis has come to an end

now, says Syria has begun moving its

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units back towards the three major

areas, one of which is Idlib and is

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still held by rebels. In Syria, the

Assad government has every intention

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to take back these regions. So we

are going to see a lot of fighting,

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I fear, in the next weeks.

Thank you

for stopping those phones for us!

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That is one of the areas. Eastern

Ghouta is another. Obviously, this

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does go against the general

narrative we have seen in Syria.

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Yes, it does. The Syrian government,

Assad has repeated over and over

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again that he intends to take back

all of Syria. The United States is

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of course occupying almost 30% in

the north. It has helped to

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encourage set up a government there.

But there are still big rebel

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enclaves. That is where we will see

a lot of fighting. They had been

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under deconfliction zones, but those

are collapsing, so we are going to

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see more fighting in those regions.

And in Idlib, there are about 2

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million people, many of the rebels

have fled to this area. Turkey does

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not want them to be driven inside

Turkey. It has moved troops into the

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region. Syria, of course, wants to

get rid of those people. There is a

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big number of Al-Qaeda people there

as well. So this is going to become

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an increasingly fraught battle

ground.

We have seen a lot of focus

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on the vulnerable, the children

especially.

As we said, there are

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over 2 million refugees, desperately

poor, and this is turning into a

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major battle ground, with bombing

from the regime. The regime is

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exhausted. It is using air power

rather than men on the ground, which

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is very expensive for them, to roll

them back. That means lots of

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casualties and grisly scenes.

Joshua

Landis, thanks for your time.

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Former Egyptian Prime Minister

Ahmed Shafik has said

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he will not run in this year's

presidential election.

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The statement was published

on his Twitter page.

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Mr Shafik had previously

announced his intention to run

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and he was seen as the main rival

to President Sisi.

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The BBC's Hanan Razek

has more from Cairo.

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So today, Shafik announced

through his Twitter page

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that he is no longer running

for the upcoming election

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which is expected around

April or May this year.

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In his statement, he said

that he realised he is not the ideal

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candidate to lead the country's

affairs in the coming period.

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For this reason,

he decided not to run.

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Shafik was himself a presidential

candidate back in 2012

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and he lost by a narrow margin

to the Muslim Brotherhood candidate

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back then, Mohammed Morsi.

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He got almost 49% of the vote.

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After that, he left

for the Emirates and did not come

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back until last month.

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Back in November, he announced that

he would run for the presidency.

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Let's take a look at some of

the other stories making the news.

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Police in Sweden say a 60-year-old

man has died in an explosion outside

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an underground station in Stockholm.

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The incident happened

at Varby Gard metro station

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in the south of the city.

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A woman nearby was also hurt.

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According to a police

spokesman, an object exploded

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after it was picked up.

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The incident is not believed

to be terrorism-related.

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President Macron of France has led

tributes to the 16 people

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who were killed in Islamist attacks

in Paris three years ago.

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Commemorations began

at the offices in Paris

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of the satirical magazine,

Charlie Hebdo, to remember the 12

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people who died when two gunmen

burst into an editorial meeting.

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Malaysia's long-serving former prime

minister, Mahathir Mohamad,

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has been chosen once again

as a candidate for the top

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job at the age of 92.

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Mr Mahathir resigned

as prime minister in 2003,

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but has been drawn back

into politics because of his

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opposition to the current

Prime Minister, Najib Razak.

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The BBC's China editor Carrie Gracie

has resigned from her post,

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citing a lack of equal pay compared

with male colleagues.

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In an open letter, Ms Gracie -

who has been at the BBC

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for more than 30 years -

accused the corporation

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of having a "secretive

and illegal pay culture".

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She said the BBC was facing

a "crisis" over the question

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of equal pay.

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With me is our Media

Editor, Amol Rajan.

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Just to explain, Carrie Gracie is

not leaving the BBC, she has just

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resigned from her post.

She has

indeed. She is one of the most

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respected international

correspondence of her generation

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with over three decades at the BBC

and as the China editor, one of the

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hardest posting in the world, a

difficult post-war Britain. She is

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leaving her post as China editor

rather than leaving the BBC. She is

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doing it because, in an explosive

letter which is actually to licence

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fee payers, she says the BBC is

failing to live up to its own values

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of trust and accountability and

transparency when it comes to equal

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pay. The context for this is that

last year, the BBC was forced

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against its will to reveal the pay

of on-air talent who were paid over

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£150,000. That revealed not just

that many men were paid a lot more

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than senior women at the BBC, but as

Carrie Gracie sees it and many

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others have also argued, that there

are some men getting paid more than

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women for doing the same sort of

job. Her point is that there are

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other international creditors at the

BBC who happen to be male who are

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getting paid more money --

international creditors. The BBC has

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offered Carrie Gracie more money. It

has launched audits looking at the

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question of equal pay, but her

central allegation is that the BBC

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doesn't take this issue seriously

because if it did, she will be paid

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the same as others with the same

role.

She is also calling for

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transparency and talks about ethnic

minority gaps and other gaps

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potentially. You are a senior

editor. Would you be happy to have

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your pay published?

Personally, I

feel that the BBC should be as

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transparent as possible because it

belongs to the public, so I would be

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happy for my pay to be in the public

domain?

Want to share it with us?

As

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media editor, I get paid £133,000,

so I did not qualify for the

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£150,000 list. I do other work which

also takes me over £150,000. The BBC

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should be transparent. But in trying

to report the subject, the thing I

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have come across is the immense

anger that people at the BBC feel,

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especially senior women, about the

fact that the BBC does not take this

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seriously. There are now 200

complainants, according to Carrie

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Gracie's letter, 200 people who have

complained to the BBC because they

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feel that their pay is unjust. This

is not about gender pay as a whole,

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it is the specific issue of whether

women are paid less than men for

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doing the same job. And that one,

Carrie Gracie says the BBC is

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failing.

You have spoken to senior

people at the BBC.

They say they

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don't want to comment on individual

cases. They have obviously had a

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difficult negotiation with Carrie

Gracie. But they would say the BBC

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is doing a lot on this. Firstly, the

BBC goes further than other

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organisations. They would say that

Tony Hall is committed to this and

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that a lot has happened in the last

few years under his leadership. And

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they do point to these different

reports. I will not get technical,

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but there is an internal audit of

pay. PwC have been brought in to

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look at pay across the organisation.

There is also a report looking at

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on-air talent which is due to report

in the next few weeks or months. The

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BBC is certainly doing a lot on

this. That clearly is not enough for

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Carrie Gracie. And crucially, it is

not enough for around 200 other

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people who have made formal

complaint and some of whom may take

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legal action. That is where this

gets nasty. It is on the front page

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of the Times tomorrow, and the BBC's

reputation could be tarnished.

Amol

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Rajan, thanks for being so open with

us.

Pleasure!

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Hollywood season is about to get

under way with the 75th Golden

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Globes. It is the first major

ceremony since Hollywood was hit by

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sexual harassment scandals. Michelle

Williams stars in one nominated

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film, all the money in the world,

which was reshot following

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allegations about Kevin Spacey, who

had a major role in the movie. The

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BBC's James Cook has been speaking

to her about the experience.

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It was the movie that never stopped

shooting. You know, we went through

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a lot with the film and we realised

that this thing that we loved and

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loved working on together was going

to be for naught, and there were

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some sadness around that, more

sadness around the allegations and

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the pain that has been caused. And

then this phone call came, this

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late-breaking idea of how to save

the film, rewrite the story, do the

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right thing, and I was exuberantly

and immediately on board for it.

I

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think for a lot of audiences, they

have been disappointed, upset to

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watch some of their idols fall in

terms of Kevin Spacey and others. As

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someone who works with him, how

disappointed were you?

That was one

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of the things I found most upsetting

about being in a film that he was

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also in, is that films, because they

are larger than life, they glorify

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people. I couldn't bear the thought

of being in a movie that glorified

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somebody who had hurt people. In

these ways. I didn't want anything

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to do with it. I wouldn't have gone

to promote it. I wouldn't have

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talked about it, because I would

have felt like it is not the right

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thing to do for those people that

have been hurt. They don't need to

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be re-traumatised by seeing this

movie come out and seeing big

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posters and flashy advertisements.

It's not appropriate, so I didn't

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want any part of it.

Is what is

happening in Hollywood a permanent,

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significant change, do you think?

There's no way of knowing. I can't

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tell the future, I can only tell you

what I hope and what I know to be

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true, which is that I don't know a

single person who hasn't taken this

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on as though it's another job.

Everyone is working day and night to

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create the kind of change that will

be permanent. Our hope is to hand

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our daughter is a different world.

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Stay with us on BBC

World News, still to come...

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Big names struggle against lower

league opposition in the third round

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of the FA Cup.

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This is BBC World News Today.

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The latest headlines:

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A tanker is on fire in the East

Tennessee and spilling oil, the

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worst disaster of its kind to 32

years. An explosion in Syria's

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north-western city of Idlib has

killed at least 18 people.

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The German Chancellor Angela Merkel

has begun what may be her last

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chance to build a stable government

coalition and end months

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of political stalemate

following September's election.

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As she went into the first

days of talks in Berlin,

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she said she was optimistic -

but admitted there is still

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a lot of work ahead.

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This is the country's longest-ever

period of coalition-building.

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For more on the talks,

I am joined from Dresden

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by Ulrich Brueckner,

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a Political Analyst and Professor

in European Studies

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at Stanford University.

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How critical are these talks?

Germany is of course key to a stable

0:17:030:17:07

Europe.

People of course tend to use

big words like crisis in a situation

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that has never happened in Germany

before. But if we look at the

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situation in the country is in, no

one is really very worried. People

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are surprised that we are in such a

situation, but there are no signs of

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getting nervous or anxious. It is

more like a form of irritation that

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it takes so long and it is hard to

predict what the next steps will be.

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How much is the refugee and migrant

questions still a key political

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issue?

Well, it was an important one

for the elections and the result we

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had, like AFP for the first time

being represented in parliament,

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speaks for itself. But the number

went down drastically, not because

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of the situation in Germany, but

because of the responses from the

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countries on the migration route. It

is therefore still be relevant in

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the room and there are a lot of

discussions about this, but it is

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certainly not just a question for

Germany. It can only be solved on a

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European level and therefore, we

first have to get our act together

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and then convince the other European

Union member states to find and

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integrate an immigration solution

for all of us.

About how much is the

0:18:350:18:40

question of policy on refugees and

taxation part of what will have to

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be negotiated now?

As I said, we are

not in the situation of crisis,

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neither on a political level,

because the constitution forces that

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we will have a government no matter

what. When we look at the migration

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numbers, it is not so much a

question of how many people

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currently come to Germany, but the

much longer lasting and more

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pressing question of how we can

manage to integrate them

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successfully. This is not something

that will be decided in the next

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elections or in the coming year, but

it is more a question of a

0:19:140:19:18

generation or two.

Professor Ulrich

Brueckner, thanks so much.

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Pressure also on the British Prime

Minister, Theresa May -

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who's confirmed there'll be

a cabinet reshuffle on Monday.

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The Labour opposition

has called the planned

0:19:300:19:32

reshuffle "little more

than a desperate PR exercise."

0:19:320:19:34

Here's our political

correspondent, Eleanor Garnier.

0:19:340:19:37

A new year, perhaps a fresh

start after a torrid 2017

0:19:370:19:42

in which Theresa May

lost her majority in the general

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election, faced a rebellion

from some of her own MPs,

0:19:460:19:51

was forced to deal with Cabinet

resignations and even had

0:19:510:19:54

to sack her second-in-command.

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It means she starts

the year with a reshuffle.

0:19:560:20:00

Well, no prizes for

guessing, Andrew, that

0:20:000:20:02

obviously, Damian Green's

departure before Christmas means

0:20:020:20:04

some changes do have to be made.

0:20:040:20:08

Speaking exclusively to the BBC,

the Prime Minister has made clear

0:20:080:20:12

that she wants her government to be

about more than just Brexit,

0:20:120:20:14

insisting she is in listening mode.

0:20:140:20:23

One of the clear messages we got

was that there are a number

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of areas in which people

0:20:260:20:28

were concerned about

what we were proposing.

0:20:280:20:29

So just as we have looked at issues

on school funding, tuition fees,

0:20:290:20:32

on housing and we're taking forward

approaches in relation to that,

0:20:320:20:36

on this issue of foxhunting, what I

can say is that there won't be

0:20:360:20:40

a vote during this Parliament.

0:20:400:20:41

And on the environment,

plans for 50 million more trees,

0:20:410:20:43

a push to win over new voters

and those who've drifted away.

0:20:430:20:49

But the new year has already

brought in old problems,

0:20:490:20:53

under pressure on rising

train fares, and claims

0:20:530:20:55

that this winter crisis

is the toughest yet for the NHS.

0:20:550:21:00

The NHS has actually been better

prepared for this winter pressure

0:21:000:21:03

than it has been before.

0:21:030:21:05

You mentioned operations

being postponed.

0:21:050:21:08

That was part of the plan.

0:21:080:21:12

Of course, we want to ensure that

those operations can be reinstated

0:21:120:21:15

as soon as possible, but it's

about making sure that those

0:21:150:21:17

who most urgently need care are able

to get that treatment

0:21:170:21:20

when they need it.

0:21:200:21:22

Labour's blamed Government cuts

for the problems in the NHS

0:21:220:21:24

and warned the Prime Minister

against promoting the Health

0:21:240:21:26

Secretary in this week's reshuffle.

0:21:270:21:31

She hasn't got a plan

to get those people off

0:21:310:21:33

the trolleys in corridors,

0:21:330:21:36

those elderly people

this freezing January,

0:21:360:21:38

being treated in ambulances.

0:21:380:21:39

She's got no plan for them.

0:21:390:21:40

Her only plan, apparently,

is to promote this Health Secretary.

0:21:400:21:43

She should be demoting

this Health Secretary.

0:21:430:21:46

If she promotes this

Health Secretary tomorrow,

0:21:460:21:49

it is a betrayal of those 75,000

people in the back of ambulances.

0:21:490:21:55

The Prime Minister said today she's

not a quitter, and she'll want

0:21:550:21:57

and need the best possible team

around her to get her

0:21:570:22:00

through what many predict

will be a tough year ahead.

0:22:000:22:03

Eleanor Garnier, BBC

News, Westminster.

0:22:030:22:13

Let's check on the the sport.

0:22:140:22:16

Holders Arsenal have been knocked

out of the English FA Cup by second

0:22:160:22:19

tier Nottingham Forest in a 4-2

upset at the City Ground.

0:22:190:22:22

It's the first time since

Arsene Wenger took over

0:22:220:22:28

the managerial reins at the Gunners

in 1996 that they've been

0:22:280:22:30

knocked out at this stage.

0:22:300:22:31

The Frenchman was forced to watch

the tie from the stands as he served

0:22:310:22:35

the first of a three-match touchline

ban handed down by the Football

0:22:350:22:38

Association and he saw his side

give away two penalties.

0:22:380:22:44

It was very frustrating and

unfortunately, it was a case on top

0:22:440:22:52

of that to see the team lose because

we played against a very good

0:22:520:22:56

Nottingham Forest team who were

sharp and focused. They were

0:22:560:23:05

decisive and overall, our

performance was not good enough

0:23:050:23:06

today to win the game.

0:23:060:23:08

No such problems for

Arsenal's North London rivals

0:23:080:23:10

Tottenham as Harry Kane scored twice

in a 3-0 win over Wimbledon.

0:23:100:23:14

Jan Vertonghen claimed the last

goal, with all of them coming

0:23:140:23:16

in the second half at Wembley

against their third

0:23:160:23:20

tier opponents.

0:23:200:23:26

So confirmation of those results,

while Premier League West Ham have

0:23:260:23:28

been forced into a replay

after they were held to a goalless

0:23:280:23:31

draw at Shrewsbury Town,

who are two divisions below them.

0:23:310:23:33

Goalkepper Joe Hart described

the Hammers performance as terrible

0:23:330:23:38

while Leeds United were knocked out

by a side two divisions below them,

0:23:380:23:41

going down 2-1 at Newport County.

0:23:410:23:46

Barcelona have been showing

off their new signing

0:23:460:23:48

Phillipe Coutinho ahead of him

officially putting pen

0:23:480:23:50

to paper on Monday.

0:23:500:23:52

The 25-year-old Brazilian is moving

from Liverpool for a fee

0:23:520:23:58

thought to be in excess

of $190 million.

0:23:580:24:00

Since arriving at Anfield five years

ago, he's scored 54 goals

0:24:000:24:02

in over 200 appearances,

hitting double figures in each

0:24:020:24:05

of the last three seasons.

0:24:050:24:06

Coutinho was the club's joint top

scorer in the Premier League

0:24:060:24:08

last term with 13 goals.

0:24:080:24:10

Coutinho being shown off comes

after the Catalans' 3-0 victory

0:24:100:24:14

at home to Levante, which means

they're nine points clear

0:24:140:24:18

of second placed Atletico.

0:24:180:24:26

Real Madrid are currently at 2-2.

0:24:260:24:36

Real started the match 17

points adrift of Barca.

0:24:360:24:46

Let's move on to cricket

now, where the fifth

0:24:460:24:48

and final day is due to get under

way inside the next two hours

0:24:480:24:52

in Sydney with host Australia

heading for a 4-0 Ashes victory.

0:24:520:24:54

England will resume on 93 for 4

in their second innings,

0:24:540:24:57

still 210 days behind -

after Australia had

0:24:570:24:59

declared on 649 for 7.

0:24:590:25:00

The Marsh brothers, Shaun

and Mitchell, both hit centuries

0:25:000:25:02

on what was an extremely hot day

at the SCG, becoming the third

0:25:020:25:05

set of brothers to do so for

Australia in the same innings.

0:25:050:25:14

That is your sport for now.

0:25:140:25:22

A French singer who rose to pop by

and -- to pop fame in the 1960s has

0:25:220:25:29

died. She was born in October 1947

into a musical family

0:25:290:25:36

died. She was born in October 1947

into a musical family. Her father

0:25:360:25:37

was a singer and songwriter. She won

the Eurovision Song Contest in 1965

0:25:370:25:43

representing Luxembourg and enjoyed

international success with her song,

0:25:430:25:47

a tribute to jazz legend Ella

Fitzgerald. The French singer had

0:25:470:25:53

been suffering from cancer for two

years. He was taken to hospital last

0:25:530:25:56

month with a severe infection. She

was 70 years old. That's

0:25:560:26:01

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