16/03/2018 World News Today


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16/03/2018

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This is BBC World News Today.

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I'm Kasia Madera.

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Our top stories...

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Britain's anti-terror police launch

a murder inquiry into the death

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of a Russian exile living in the UK.

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Nikolai Glushkov was

found dead at his home

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near London on Monday -

he had been a critic

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of Vladimir Putin.

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In a separate development,

the British Foreign Secretary

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accuses President Putin

of being behind the recent nerve

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agent attack in the UK.

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Our quarrel is with Putin's Kremlin

and with his decision,

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and we think it overwhelmingly

is likely that it was his decision

0:00:350:00:38

to direct the use of a nerve agent

on the streets of the UK,

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on the streets of Europe,

for the first time since

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the Second World War.

0:00:440:00:45

Tens of thousand of people

are forced to flee from Syria

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following two separate offensives

against rebel forces.

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And coming up -

pictures of the first polar bear

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to be born in the UK in 25 years.

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Hello and welcome

to World News Today.

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We start with the news that UK

counter-terrorism police

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are treating the death of a Russian

businessman on Monday as murder.

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It comes as a war of words

between London and Moscow continues

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over the use of a nerve agent

to poison former Russian double

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agent Sergei Skripal

and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury

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nearly two weeks ago.

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Police now say that

Nikolai Glushkov, whose body

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was found in his London home,

died from a "compression

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to the neck".

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However, at this stage,

they say there is no evidence

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linking his death to the attempted

murders two weeks ago.

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Naomi Grimley reports.

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A dramatic new twist.

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The Met Police have a new

investigation on their hands,

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this time into the murder

of 68-year-old Nikolai Glushkov.

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Officers have been investigating his

death carefully since he was found

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at home in New Malden on Monday.

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But a postmortem has

now found he died from

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compression to the neck.

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In the 1990s, Glushkov

was a director of the state

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airline Aeroflot.

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He was charged with money laundering

and fraud and spent some

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time in jail in Russia.

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Glushkov was a close

friend of the Russian

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tycoon Boris Berezovsky,

and, like his friend,

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he fled to the UK and was granted

political asylum here.

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In 2013, Berezovsky

himself was found dead.

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The police said it was suicide,

but Glushkov was convinced his

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friend had been killed.

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As for the diplomatic fallout

from the two attempted

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murders in Salisbury,

British diplomats in Moscow

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are still braced for tit-for-tat

reprisals after Britain announced

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the expulsion of 23

Russian officials.

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There is no word on that yet,

but Russia says it has stopped

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listening to the long list

of allegations from the West.

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TRANSLATION:

There's investigations,

hearings, but not a single piece

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of evidence has been presented

to the public.

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The lack of facts is instead

being compensated for by more

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and more waves of sanctions.

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At RAF Northolt, Boris Johnson

was standing shoulder to shoulder

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with his Polish counterpart,

making it clear that President Putin

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is the man he wants to see punished,

not Russians in general.

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Our quarrel is with Putin's Kremlin

and with his decision,

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and we think it overwhelmingly

is likely that it was his decision

0:03:360:03:39

to direct the use of a nerve agent

on the streets of the UK,

0:03:390:03:42

on the streets of Europe,

for the first time since

0:03:420:03:45

the Second World War.

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The Russians gave an immediate

response to that remark, saying

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it was shocking and unforgivable.

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In Salisbury last night,

specialist police teams

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were still at the graveside

of Sergei Skripal's wife and son.

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131 people in this quintessentially

English city are believed to have

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had possible contact

with the deadly nerve agent.

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They may not be in hospital,

but the anxiety caused

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to them is trouble enough.

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Naomi Grimley, BBC News.

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We will have an update on that story

from the home of Nikolai Glushkov

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shortly, so stay with us.

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Police say the focus of the Miami

bridge operation has switched

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from rescue to recovery,

as hopes fade of finding more

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survivors in the rubble.

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At least six people were killed

when the footbridge near

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Florida International University

collapsed on to a

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freeway on Thursday.

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BBC Mundo's Patricia Sulbaran has

the latest from the scene.

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They are trying to recover the

remaining victims that are trapped

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underneath the rubble. Yesterday

this bridge collapsed, crashing at

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least eight vehicles and now the

rescuers are trying day and night

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just to recover these victims. They

have said that there are no

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survivors, unfortunately. This

bridge was supposed to bring safety

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to the students at the University of

Florida because it was meant to

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cross a heavily travelled highway.

However, had collapsed yesterday but

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what we know is that there was

testing performed on the same day,

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but we do not yet know the results

of the collapse of this bridge, any

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investigation could take days. We

know that it was put up on Saturday

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in a matter of six hours because it

was a bridge that was constructed in

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an accelerated fashion. But the

authorities are being cautious and

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are not getting any conclusions and

they have said that they will have a

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thorough investigation into what

caused this tragedy.

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Let's take a look

at some of the other

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stories making the news...

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German Chancellor

Angela Merkel is distancing

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herself from comments

by the new Interior Minister,

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who says Islam doesn't

belong to the country.

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In a newspaper interview,

Horst Zayhoffer said Germany

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was shaped by Christianity,

and shouldn't give

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up its traditions.

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Mr Seehofer, who heads

a Bavaria sister party

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of Merkel's Conservatives,

has been a vocal critic

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of her refugee policies.

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Thousands of protestors

in Tokyo have gathered

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in front of Parliament,

calling for the resignation

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of the Japanese Prime

Minister, Shinzo Abe.

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Mr Abe has been accused

of a suspected cover-up

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linked to cronyism,

but denies any wrongdoing.

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Two Israeli

soldiers have been killed

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in what the Israeli military says

was a deliberate car-ramming.

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Two other people were injured

in the incident in the West Bank

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near the town of Jenin.

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The driver, a Palestinian,

has been detained and is being

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treated for injuries.

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Zimbabwe's current leadership

is dismissing comments

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by the former President,

Robert Mugabe, saying

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he was ousted illegally.

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Mr Mugabe is insisting that what he

calls "the disgrace" be undone.

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But the country is looking

to move on from his decades

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of rule, as Shingai Nyoka

reports from Harare.

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He cut a lonely figure

as he emerged from seclusion,

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still deeply embittered

by the events of last November.

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This is how Zimbabweans

reacted to the news that

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Robert Mugabe had resigned.

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Under pressure from his own

party and the military,

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he had finally relented.

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He now says his successor assumed

power through a coup

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and this must be undone.

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We must undo this disgrace

which we have imposed on ourselves.

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We don't deserve it.

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Yes, we may have our shortcomings

here and there, but overall

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we must obey the law.

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He says he is not seeking to be

president again but is open

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for dialogue to help

legitimise his successor.

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Just four months ago Zimbabweans

witnessed some surreal

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scenes at this very spot.

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Soldiers, military tanks,

stationed here just a few

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metres from where former

President Robert

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Mugabe's office was.

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And now with his re-emergence,

Zimbabweans are wondering

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once again what role,

if any, he has to play

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in their future.

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He has had enough.

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I think it is about time

he let others take over.

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The current president is actually

doing better than what he was doing.

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TRANSLATION:

During his time

he failed to deliver so now

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there is nothing that he can fix.

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TRANSLATION:

Yes, the coup

was illegal but we have had

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one leader since 1980.

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We don't want that anymore.

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We need to change.

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The man who never liked to lose has

now thrown his support behind

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a new political party

of old Zanu PF members.

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Some believe it could divide

the Zanu PF vote in what were his

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stronghold provinces.

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But President Mnangagwa appears

unfazed at the new developments.

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In a statement he said Robert Mugabe

resigned according to the

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Constitution and the

nation has moved on.

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Isolated for now even by regional

peers, it seems the sun has

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set on Robert Mugabe's old career.

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But even now he seems determined

to carve out a new path.

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Let us get the latest on our top

story. The murder of the businessmen

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Nikolai Glushkov. Our reporter is

outside his home in south-west

0:10:010:10:06

London. Simon, police are treating

this now as a murder investigation.

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Yes, I do a lot of activity at the

home as there has been throughout

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the week, ever since the body was

discovered on Monday evening. The

0:10:160:10:20

amount of police activity suggested

right from the word go that this was

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perhaps simply more than an

unexplained death as the police

0:10:240:10:28

labelled it at the start of the

week. It was Russian authorities

0:10:280:10:34

during the course of the afternoon

with their own investigations who

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rebut this as a murder. That

prompted the Metropolitan Police in

0:10:380:10:42

London to issue further details

during the course of the afternoon,

0:10:420:10:47

they have said that they were

initially called here on Monday

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evening when the body was

discovered. A postmortem

0:10:500:10:53

investigation was carried out and

that determine the cause of death

0:10:530:10:56

was compression to the neck. At that

point, the police were prepared to

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declare that this was a murder. They

have said that there is nothing to

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link this at the moment with the

events in Salsbury, with the nerve

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agent poisoning. We have also said

there is nothing to suggest that

0:11:110:11:13

anyone has been poisoned here, they

are keeping an open mind about the

0:11:130:11:17

situation. But they have been

prepared to tell us that they do

0:11:170:11:20

believe this was murder. Of course,

a prominent former Russian

0:11:200:11:24

businessmen, it will raise great

concerns. This was a businessman who

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had been jailed for fraud.

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had been jailed for fraud. He came

to this country seeking asylum. He

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was also a close associate of other

critics of President Putin, and that

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is why there have been so many

questions about his death ever since

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it became public knowledge in the

early part of this week.

Yes,

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Nikolai Glushkov was wanted by the

Russian Federation and was on the

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list of those they wanted

extradited. Two years ago the Home

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Office Secretary refused that

extradition. It is someone that the

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Russians want to speak to.

Yes, he

had been living here for two years

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and neighbours have told us that

they did not realise his background,

0:12:020:12:05

they did not realise that he was

this former Russian businessmen, but

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neighbours have said about how

shocked at the heart and it will be

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those close associations with his

past in Russia, with his links with

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the authorities, the fact that he

had been very critical of President

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Putin, that will raise many

questions about whether or not there

0:12:210:12:24

was any more sinister involvement in

this. But for the moment the police

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activity continues here and in the

last few minutes we have seen more

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of go into one of the tents at the

house, the investigation is still

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ongoing during the course of the

evening.

Simon Jones, from

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south-west London outside the home

of Nikolai Glushkov, thank you.

0:12:410:12:48

South Africa's chief

prosecutor has announced

0:12:510:12:52

that the former president Jacob Zuma

will be prosecuted for

0:12:520:12:55

corruption, just weeks

after being ousted from power.

0:12:550:12:57

The charges relate to

a multi-billion dollar arms deal

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before he took office.

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Mr Zuma denies any wrongdoing.

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The BBC's Milton Nkosi

reports from Johannesburg.

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The call for Jacob Zuma to have his

day in court has been a long time

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coming. He faces 16 charges of

corruption, including money

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laundering, fraud and racketeering.

This was set aside nine years ago,

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paving the way for Mr Zuma to become

president.

I have come to the

0:13:270:13:34

difficult conclusion that it is

neither possible, nor desirable to

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continue with the prosecution of Mr

Zuma.

This case dates back to the

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early 90s when the state purchased

fighter jets, patrol boats and other

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arms any massive defence overall.

Now known as the arms deal. The

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charges relate to allegations that

Mr Zuma solicited bribes for his

0:13:560:13:59

personal benefit from the French

arms company, through his financial

0:13:590:14:04

advisor.

0:14:040:14:08

advisor. He, the financial advisor,

was tried and found guilty of

0:14:090:14:11

corruption in 2005. But the former

president has always maintained his

0:14:110:14:17

innocence. This is what he told me

when I asked them about this

0:14:170:14:21

corruption allegations back in 2012.

There is nothing to clear my name

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on. Absolutely. Nothing. I am sure

that is just politics more than

0:14:250:14:33

anything. It is nothing. There was

only one issue that was raised some

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time ago, the arms deal issue. And I

was never involved in that process,

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I was a provincial minister. So I

never got involved. There were

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allegations. These allegations could

not stick. I have no corruption to

0:14:530:15:00

clear.

Mr Zuma is no stranger to

controversy. Two years ago, he was

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ordered by the highest court in the

land to repay some of the public

0:15:090:15:13

money used for security upgrades at

his private residence. The current

0:15:130:15:20

charges he is facing have nothing to

do with his latest corruption

0:15:200:15:24

scandal, involving his relationship

with the controversial book the

0:15:240:15:29

family. The prosecuting authority

has said it has more than 200

0:15:290:15:33

witnesses lined up for this case.

This is going to be a long and

0:15:330:15:39

complicated trial. -- gripped her

family.

0:15:390:15:46

-- Gupta family.

0:15:460:15:50

North Korea's Foreign

Minister has made a surprise visit

0:15:500:15:52

to Sweden for talks,

prompting speculation that it

0:15:520:15:54

could prepare the groundwork

for a meeting between Donald Trump

0:15:540:15:56

and the North Korean

leader Kim Jong Un.

0:15:560:15:58

The Swedish Foreign Minister,

Margot Wallstrom, says Sweden

0:15:580:16:00

is happy to help with problems

on the Korean peninsula but that

0:16:000:16:03

it's up to the parties involved

to find a way forward.

0:16:030:16:05

Celia Hatton has more.

0:16:050:16:13

There has been speculation that

those talks could take place in

0:16:250:16:27

Sweden.

Of course, the security

situation on the train peninsula is

0:16:270:16:34

of interest to the whole world and

in the eyes of the world are on the

0:16:340:16:40

situation in North Korea and on the

Korean peninsula. We value this

0:16:400:16:47

opportunity to arrange a meeting. We

believe in dialogue and in the

0:16:470:16:51

political process.

But we are not

naive. The Swedish website SVT has

0:16:510:16:58

said that he could extend his trip

by two days to Sunday, possibly to

0:16:580:17:03

discuss the release of US citizens

from North Korean detention. Other

0:17:030:17:07

countries are eager to talk to North

Korea, too. The South Korean

0:17:070:17:11

government has said it would like to

set up a high-level summit of its

0:17:110:17:14

own ahead of a separate planned

meeting between the two Korean

0:17:140:17:24

leaders.

TRANSLATION: The preparation

0:17:240:17:26

committee would like to hold

high-level talks between North Korea

0:17:260:17:28

and South Korea in late March to

make way for the summit that is

0:17:280:17:30

coming up. We will propose these

talks to North Korea.

0:17:300:17:34

High-level summits normally take

months, not weeks to engineer, North

0:17:340:17:38

Korea's state media has yet to

confirm any talks meeting with the

0:17:380:17:43

US or South Korean leaders, leaving

outsiders to watch and wait at a

0:17:430:17:48

summit to date or place is

announced. Celia Hatton, BBC News.

0:17:480:17:57

And the White House says

President Trump and the South Korean

0:18:000:18:02

president Moon Jae-In have spoken

to discuss preparation for upcoming

0:18:020:18:05

engagements with North Korea.

0:18:050:18:06

And that they've both expressed

cautious optimism that - quote -

0:18:060:18:08

a brighter future is available

for North Korea if it

0:18:080:18:11

chooses the correct path.

0:18:110:18:19

There were taught that there would

be more changes at the White House

0:18:370:18:41

but we have heard that that is not

the case.

I have spoken to in number

0:18:410:18:45

of staff this morning, reassuring

them that the personnel changes,

0:18:450:18:50

there will be no immediate changes

at this time. People should not be

0:18:500:18:55

concerned, we should do exactly what

we do every day and that is come to

0:18:550:18:59

work and do the very best job that

we can't and that is exactly what

0:18:590:19:04

we're doing and what we are doing

and what we're focused on and many

0:19:040:19:06

of us have relate that to other

staffers that were not part of that

0:19:060:19:09

meeting.

Sarah Sanders, we will keep

you posted.

0:19:090:19:16

The Syrian Government has

appealed to civilians

0:19:210:19:23

to leave all remaining areas

of Eastern Ghouta

0:19:230:19:25

under rebel control.

0:19:250:19:26

Dozens of people have died

in renewed shelling of the enclave.

0:19:260:19:29

Thousands are being displaced

by fighting across the country.

0:19:290:19:31

It's one of two main

military operations

0:19:310:19:33

going on in Syria -

in Eastern Ghouta near

0:19:330:19:35

the capital Damascus

0:19:350:19:36

and the other in the north.

0:19:360:19:37

There, Turkish Armed forces

and their allies have almost

0:19:370:19:39

completely encircled

the city of Afrin.

0:19:390:19:41

Some 30,000 people

have fled the area.

0:19:410:19:43

The Syrian regime is also trying

to retake Eastern Ghouta,

0:19:430:19:45

where 20,000 people have

left their homes as the Syrian

0:19:450:19:48

Army gains territory.

0:19:480:19:53

The BBC has spoken to an American

teacher that is in Eastern Ghouta.

0:19:530:19:57

She has been living there for ten

years, she is the mother of eight

0:19:570:20:01

children and that describe what it

is like to live there day after day

0:20:010:20:04

under these bombardments.

Right now

the situation is very difficult. We

0:20:040:20:11

are being bombed on a daily basis.

We live every day under fire from

0:20:110:20:16

air strikes. From helicopters that

send barrel bombs. From surface to

0:20:160:20:24

surface missiles. From mortar

shells. We send our days and nights

0:20:240:20:29

in the basements. The basements are

not equipped, of course, for life to

0:20:290:20:36

live in. So we have to cook upstairs

and use the bathroom upstairs. That

0:20:360:20:42

makes things very difficult. Right

now, today, there is less bombing

0:20:420:20:48

than usual in the city that I am

currently in. But other cities have

0:20:480:20:52

experienced a terrible bombardment

today. There are more than 55 people

0:20:520:20:59

have died in one incident today from

a Russian air strike. More than 200

0:20:590:21:05

people were injured in that air

strike. Present al Assad's forces

0:21:050:21:13

are trying to stir up the people.

They are trying to make them leave.

0:21:130:21:18

They have no food or medicine. They

have no home because of the

0:21:180:21:21

destruction. -- President Bashar

al-Assad. I hope this does not

0:21:210:21:27

happen because there is a fire at

both ends. We are being killed here

0:21:270:21:36

and will be killed elsewhere

eventually. They will not leave the

0:21:360:21:39

people here. They will take revenge

on them. They will not leave them

0:21:390:21:46

alone to live their own lives. If it

is not now, it will be solely in the

0:21:460:21:51

future, they will pick them up from

the universities, from the schools,

0:21:510:21:55

from the places of work, that is how

they work, that is how the regime of

0:21:550:22:01

President Bashar al-Assad works.

That was us hearing from an American

0:22:010:22:10

teacher who has lived there for the

past ten years.

0:22:100:22:15

An Indian pop star has been

sentenced to two years in prison

0:22:150:22:18

for smuggling migrants abroad.

0:22:180:22:19

Daler Mehndi and six others

were accused of cheating people

0:22:190:22:22

of large sums of money by falsely

promising to take them

0:22:220:22:24

to Western countries.

0:22:240:22:25

Mehndi said he will appeal

the conviction in a higher court.

0:22:250:22:28

He was one of the most popular

Punjabi singers of the 1990s.

0:22:280:22:34

About a dozen people

are reported to have been injured

0:22:340:22:36

after a ski lift ran out of control,

in the Caucasus

0:22:360:22:39

mountains in Georgia.

0:22:390:22:40

Video footage of the incident

in the Gudauri ski resort shows

0:22:400:22:42

a chairlift apparently moving

in reverse, pulling skiers

0:22:420:22:44

back around the pulley

to the start of the lift.

0:22:440:22:47

As it malfunctions, the cable

doesn't stop and the chairs start

0:22:470:22:49

smashing into each other.

0:22:490:22:50

Several skiers try to jump

off the moving lift,

0:22:500:22:52

to avoid the pile-up.

0:22:520:22:53

A local mayor said the lift

stopped in a power cut,

0:22:530:22:56

and then started travelling

at speed in reverse.

0:22:560:23:04

Footage has been released of a polar

bear born in the Scottish Highlands,

0:23:080:23:11

just before Christmas.

0:23:110:23:16

Staff at the wildlife park

where the cub was born are yet

0:23:160:23:19

to find out whether the bear

is a boy or a girl but it is

0:23:190:23:22

proving to be a confident

and curious little character,

0:23:220:23:24

as our Scotland Correspondent Lorna

Gordon has been finding out.

0:23:240:23:32

The first tentative steps

outside for Britain's polar

0:23:320:23:36

bear cub in 25 years.

0:23:360:23:39

Emerging from its den

in the Highlands, its mum close by.

0:23:390:23:45

This is how I knew we had a polar

bear cub, you can hear the sound.

0:23:450:23:53

Keeper Vickie Larkin was the first

to find out that a cub had arrived.

0:23:530:23:58

I am super excited.

0:23:580:24:01

It is probably the most

exciting thing to happen

0:24:010:24:04

in my whole zoo career.

0:24:040:24:05

I am really excited seeing how

the cub grows, getting

0:24:050:24:08

to know its little character

and also just eventually sharing it

0:24:080:24:13

with the public as well.

0:24:130:24:17

It is just such an amazing

thing to happen.

0:24:170:24:20

The two male polar bears at the park

are kept in a separate enclosure,

0:24:200:24:23

well away from the female

and its new offspring.

0:24:230:24:27

Arktos, who you can just see

at the back will never meet his cub.

0:24:270:24:33

This replicates what would

happen in the wild.

0:24:330:24:40

The cub copies

everything its mum does.

0:24:400:24:42

It's learning and growing fast.

0:24:420:24:46

Inquisitive and, for

the most part, fearless.

0:24:460:24:53

Some conservationists question

whether these animals should ever

0:24:530:24:55

be bred in captivity,

but keepers here say diminishing sea

0:24:550:24:58

ice threatens the polar bear

population in the wild.

0:24:580:25:03

We try to give our animals the best

quality of life we can,

0:25:030:25:07

we have some of the biggest

enclosures in captivity.

0:25:070:25:09

The wild population is in trouble.

0:25:090:25:13

Whilst we may not be

able to do it right now,

0:25:130:25:16

it may be necessary to augment

the wild population from a captive

0:25:160:25:19

population in future.

0:25:190:25:21

The area the cub is

exploring is growing fast.

0:25:210:25:27

It is still being shielded from view

but this polar bear cub

0:25:270:25:30

is likely to be a big draw,

and people could get

0:25:300:25:32

to see it in the open

within the next few weeks.

0:25:320:25:35

Lorna Gordon, BBC News, at the

Highland Wildlife Park in Kincraig.

0:25:350:25:43

Some super cute images to end the

programme. That is one of the most

0:25:470:25:51

viewed videos on our website. Have a

look on our website if you want to

0:25:510:25:55

see it again.

0:25:550:25:56

Don't forget you can get

in touch with me and some

0:25:560:25:58

of the team on Twitter.

0:25:580:26:06