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tv   BBC News  BBC News  January 8, 2022 12:00am-12:30am GMT

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this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. i'm alice baxter. they call me mr tibbs. tributes pour in for the giant of hollywood, sir sidney poitier, who has died aged 94. he was the first black man to win the oscar for best actor. a court in the us state of georgia hands out life sentences to three white men who murdered ahmaud arbery, a killing that sparked black lives matter protests. the aftermath of days of unrest in kazakhstan. security forces are ordered to shoot to kill protestors. novak djokovic has thanked fans for their support and remains in this hotel. the australian government rejects claims that the grand slam champion is being held captive after failing to meet
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vaccine entry requirements. and this letter had no surname or address on the envelope — just a short biography. but amazingly, it made it to the right person. hello and welcome to audiences in the uk and around the world. one of the best known black hollywood actors of the past century, sidney poitier, has died. he was 94. he was the first black man to win an oscar for best actor, and his success paved the way for generations of other black artists. his films, including in the heat of the night and guess who's coming to dinner, reflected an america struggling with issues of racism and prejudice at the height of the civil rights movement. his impact ultimately,
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transcended the silver screen. our correspondent lizo mazimba looks back on the life of a hollywood icon. # in the heat of the night... sidney poitier�*s virgil tibbs, a man of authority... i'm a police officer. ..intelligence and a steely determination never to back down. the kind of qualities that defined poitier on screen and off. he made his cinema debut playing a doctor, a man of status, something almost unheard of for black performers then. and with roles like an escaped convict in the defiant ones and a struggling husband in a raisin in the sun, he tackled prejudice head—on. maybe i'll get down on my black knees. all right, mr charlie. all right, mr great white father. you just give us that money! and we won't come out there and dirty up your white folks' neighbourhood. the era, of course, meant he had a burden his white counterparts rarely had
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to carry — the weight of being a symbol. but he bore it with dignity. in lilies of the field, playing a travelling handyman, helping build a group of nuns a new chapel. the winner is sidney poitier. he won the academy award, the first black performer ever to receive the oscar for a leading role. in the years that followed, he became hollywood's biggest star, redefining how audiences saw black characters, with films like to sir, with love. you will call me sir or mr thackeray. the young ladies will be addressed as miss, the boys by their surnames. some of what i am was reflected in those movies. it was, in a way, i was saying to an audience, "this is who i am, look at me." more controversial was his role as a highly gifted, hugely successful doctor engaged to a white woman in guess who's coming to dinner.
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i love your daughter. there is nothing i wouldn't do to try to keep her as happy as she was the day i met her. some criticised it, saying the impression it gave was of an interracial relationship that was only acceptable because his character was so perfect and accomplished. he also directed �*80s comedy stir crazy, the first movie from an african—american film—maker to pass the blockbuster $100 million mark in the united states. what are you doing? i'm getting bad! in his later years, he was awarded the presidential medal of freedom by barack obama, who today said sidney poitier epitomised dignity and grace. oprah winfrey paid tribute, saying, "my honour to have loved him... ..mentor, friend, brother." while denzel washington said, "he was a gentle man and opened doors for all of us that had been closed for years." those words two decades after he celebrated him at the academy awards.
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40 years i've been chasing sidney. i they finally give it - to me, what do they do? they give it to him the same night. i i'll always be following in your footsteps. - there's nothing. i would rather do. that same night, poitier also received an honorary oscar. hollywood recognition for a star who blazed a trail for so many... they call me mr tibbs. ..and who entertained millions more. sidney poitier — one of the greats. sidney poitier, who's died at the age of 94. in the us, three white men who were convicted of chasing and then murdering ahmaud arbery, a black man, in the state of georgia, have been sentenced to life in prison. travis mcmichael, his father gregory and their neighbour roddy bryan were convicted of felony murder. they had chased mr arbery
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while he was jogging before he was shot to death. their defence had claimed they feared he was planning to commit a crime. the mcmichaels will spend life in prison without the possibility of parole. roddy bryan will serve life, but does have the possibility of parole. here's georgia superior court judge, timothy walmsley, outlining some of the evidence from the trial. there's a frame where i believe ahmaud arbery, it looks to be if he's 20 yards out, that may be close — 30 yards out. it's the frame of travis mcmichael lifting the shotgun to fire at ahmaud arbery. and you watch that with context — don't want to say context — after hearing the evidence in this case and thinking about a young man that had been running at that point for almost five minutes, and it is a chilling, truly disturbing scene. ahmaud's mother gave her
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reaction to the sentencing outside the court. first, i want to say thank you to god, who made this all possible. yes _ my prayer was to give justice for ahmaud. he filed for us in the courts, he gave us a fairjudge, judge walmsley, he heard the testimonies from each witness. he gave us a very good verdict and he gave us a very good sentence. let's get some of the day's other news. the us supreme court has begun hearing arguments about the legality of president biden�*s vaccine—or—testing rules for large businesses. opponents say he does not have the authority to impose the rule without going through congress. backers say it will save lives. judgement is not expected for several days. nato's secretary general, jens stoltenberg, says russia is continuing its military build—up near ukraine, posing a real risk of a new armed
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conflict in europe. mr stoltenberg repeated that nato remains ready to talk to russia, but warned the allies would impose a heavy price for any further russian aggression. india has imposed a weekend—long lockdown in delhi, to try to slow the spread of coronavirus. restaurants, markets and most shops will be closed until monday morning, with people only allowed to leave their homes for essential trips. austria's chancellor karl nehammer has tested positive for coronavirus. the 49—year—old, who took over as chancellor a month ago, is in self—isolation and says he isn't showing any symptoms. in a statement issued through his spokesman, he said, "there is no need to worry, i am fine and doing well." the president of kazakhstan has ordered his security forces to use lethal force on protestors, after days of unrest following a sudden rise in fuel prices. russian troops have arrived to support his government.
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the us secretary of state, has warned that it may be difficult to get them to leave. our correspondent abdujilal abdurasulov is in kazakhstan�*s largest city, almaty, with the latest. the army of kazakhstan is standing guard here on the streets of almaty. after days of violence and many protesters killed, the state security forces seem to be back in control, and when we came close to them, the warning not to approach is very clear. gunshot. today, the president was clear, too — any more unrest will be met with lethal force. translation: terrorists| continue to damage state and private property and use weapons against civilians. i have given the order to shoot to kill without warning. president tokayev portrays the protesters as terrorists who are sowing chaos. they say that their movement
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is peaceful and blame the authorities for provoking the violence. the unrest was triggered by a sharp rise in fuel prices, but this country's corrupt authoritarian regime is unpopular. some of the biggest clashes took place here at the former presidential residence and the mayor's office. the buildings were burned out, and you can see here all these cars were also set on fire. you can hear again the shots, but maybe it's the military and police officers are firing into the air to warn people not to approach the square, because they closed the square in order to prevent people from gathering. many people fear that the violence will drag on. along with protests, many shops were looted. this 22—year—old man said that while he supports the demands of protesters, he wants looters to be stopped. "it's really scary, and we feel we have no protection," this woman says.
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this is one of the electronic shops that was looted in almaty, and i think the looters tried to burn this place as well, because it still smells of smoke. this mass unrest is a huge blow for almaty, which is the financial capital of kazakhstan. it's not clear yet if the violence is over or how much damage has been done to the authority of kazakhstan�*s ha rdline leader. abdujalil abdurasulov, bbc news, almaty. i've been speaking to marie dumoulin, who is the director of the wider europe programme at the european council on foreign relations. i asked what triggered the uprising in kazakhstan. the trigger was a change in the calculation of fuel prices, of liquid petroleum gas prices, which is very used in western regions of kazakhstan. it stopped to be subsidised
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on first january. so the price doubled all of a sudden. and this triggered demonstrations in this particular region, which is historically for protests in kazakhstan. there have been very serious protests. back in 2011, with brutal repression, and ever since, there have been a lot of social movements in the region. it is basically one of the richest regions of the country because that's where petroleum oil is produced. but it's also one of the regions where the living standards are the harshest for the people, so that also explains part of the social and economic demands of people demonstrating there. what came as a surprise is that the protests spread across the country very fast. also, demands pertaining to governance and political demands, which was new in that kind of social movement.
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and where are these demonstrations going to lead? because rresident tokayev has issued a shoot to kill order now. claiming they are foreign trained terrorists. where do you think this is going to lead? this is also a way to tell people, the people who basically want their demands to be satisfied, not the ones exercising violence, but the actual demonstrators. at the way to tell them, go home, otherwise, it will be serious. so, i think most of the demonstrations will be ended in the next few hours or few days if they are not already ended. it's actually very difficult to get information on what is actually going on on the ground because internet is cut and communications have become
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very, very difficult. so, the message is to the demonstrators, go home, and to the looters and violent people, it's more than that. yeah. and dozens of them have actually been killed already. what do you think moscow is likely to do? well, moscow has come in, but not on its own. it has come in and the framework of the collective it has come in in the framework of the collective security treaty organisation, which is unprecedented security treaty organisation, which is unprecedented because this organisation until now had existed only on paper, and now, russia decides... well, kazakhstan asks its allies in this organisation to support. russia make sure not to go in alone, but to have
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contingents from belarus, from armenia to intervene together with russia. of course, the bulk of the troops are russian, but other countries are represented, too. this is bbc news. the headlines... sidney poitier, the first black man to win the oscar for best actor, has died aged 94. a court in the us state of georgia hands out life sentences to three white men who murdered ahmaud arbery, a killing that sparked black lives matter protests. let's get more now on the death of hollywood giant sidney poitier. here are some of the tributes which have been paid to him by actors and directors. the actor don cheadle said he was the standard bearer for generations of actors and directors. "he is irreplaceable. "
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denzel washington said he was a gentle man who opened doors which had been closed for years. spike lee said he was a proud, dignified, handsome and strong black man, a game—changer who impacted lives with a positive force. and the director steve mcqueen said, "with his "caribbean heritage and american birth, "sidney poitier was an icon to the black diaspora. "he was someone to be proud of, he was someone who dared, "he was someone to love and he was someone to cherish." i've been speaking to the film director, screenwriter, and actor kasi lemmons, who directed the tribute video for sidney poitier�*s honorary oscar. i asked her what he had meant to her. i mean, i think one of the first performances i saw was in the heat of the night, and it was absolutely stunning. he had this presence and this dignity that everyone talks about, and it was just so moving.
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and he slapped this white man back, and i think that was a very big moment, he slaps this racist back. it was a huge moment for us. it was a huge moment for us in america to see that on film, and i'm sure i saw it after the film was released, but it was startling and empowering to see him stand up for himself. i also remember to sir with love, and kind of this feeling with of him as a matinee idol, and i think the importance of him opening the door to a generation of young african—american actors kind of standing on his shoulder and looking up to him, and feeling profound love for this man, and such admiration. that's what i was trying to capture in my tribute. it must�*ve been much to you to ask that edit that it must�*ve meant so much to you to ask that edit that
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tribute video for his honorary oscar. he was a prolific actor. how did you pick his best bits to go into that film, and what was it like watching him watch it at the oscars? it was incredible. i first of all got to interview this generation of incredible actors who were saying these profound words and how profound words about how he affected them so deeply, and i guess the hardest part was getting it down to four minutes. there was such a volume of beautiful work and performances and so many people had so many loving words to say about him. but i can remember sitting in the audience at the oscars and watching him come from backstage, and i could just tell from the way he stepped onto the stage, he hadn't seen it before that moment. i can tell he was moved and it was the most incredible feeling. as i understand, the two of you went on to become great friends. what was he liked as a man, as a friend? well, he was great. we had a couple of lovely long lunches, and i wasjust so in
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awe of him, which i try not to let show. i tried to just talk as friends, and it was wonderful. he was so full of wisdom and just what you would expect them to be — graceful and poised expect him to be — graceful and poised and brilliant and charming. he was the most graceful man i've ever met. just really an incredible person to be around. you felt like you were just in the presence of something almost mythically graceful. i love that word graceful, but he was also a forceful character, wasn't he? he turned it down the role of othello because he refused to be typecast. but a lot of the roles that he played did reflect the racial tensions that america was going through during his career, during his time. i think it was extremely important.
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i think there was a point in time where people considered him soft or he was too perfect, but he and his great friend harry belafonte were very adamant. he was an activist, and extremely political. i think harry brought him into the civil rights movement. actually, his working career are very political when you look at it in the light of really breaking those barriers and opening those doors. novak djokovic has thanked people "around the world," for their support as he awaits a decision on his deportation from australia. the world number one men's tennis player remains in immigration detention in melbourne ahead of the australian open, after being denied entry to the country on wednesday. government officials say he isn't being held captive, and is free to leave any time. shaimaa khalil reports from melbourne. this is the immigration detention hotel where novak djokovic is being kept. adnan chopani has been
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here for five months now, after being moved from another facility. i live in level two and djokovic lives in level one. that is the food we've been served every day in containers. we found a maggot and mould on the bread and we've been reporting it, but unfortunately, there has no action been taken. outside the hotel, there was dancing and music, but also anger and frustration among novak djokovic's supporters. it's unclear if the tennis star will remain here until monday, when his legal team will challenge the cancellation of his visa. novak djokovic is waiting for a court decision on whether he'll be able to stay and compete in the australian open, or be deported. whatever happens, this has gone way beyond tennis. the world number one is now at the centre of a political and diplomatic storm. djokovic arrived on wednesday with an exemption, granted by tennis australia
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and the state of victoria. but the border force has revoked his visa, saying he did not meet the rules of entry. his mother dijana said on thursday that he was being kept like a prisoner. australia's home affairs minister, karen andrews, hit back, saying there was nothing stopping him from leaving. mr djokovic is not being held captive in australia. he is free to leave at any time that he chooses to do so and border force will actually facilitate that. the tennis star posted on instagram, thanking his fans around the world. another player has now had her visa cancelled. renata voracova from the czech republic is understood to be detained in the same hotel as djokovic. the australian open is one of the biggest sporting events here, but it's turning into a big international embarrassment for the government. shaimaa khalil, bbc news, melbourne. a letter, posted to a man
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in northern ireland, with no surname or address on the envelope — just his first name and a 57—word biography — has amazingly managed to find its way to the right place. our ireland correspondent, emma vardy, has more. "feargal, lives across the road from the spa. "his ma and da used to own it." no house number, no street name, a few things much more personal than that. the first thing i noticed was the amount of detail on the envelope and basically, my biography. "moved to waterford after he got married." despite nothing more than a short story and half a postcode, yesterday, this letter found its way straight to feargal lynn. i laughed so much. right through it all, to playing guitar, through to, "friends with the fellow who owns the butchers in waterford." feargal had taken to writing letters to people over lockdown as a way to brighten the gloom, but never expected such a strange reply.
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the letter was from an old friend in belfast, who perhaps could have found out his address but thought this way was a bit more fun. we were talking about the pandemic, we were talking about mental health and the need to brighten the mood a bit. did she actually expect it to reach you? i think she just took a punt. "plays guitar and used to run disco in the poker hall." it happened to be that feargal�*s local postman was also a childhood friend. we've had some strange addresses over the years, but this is the most bizarre. the first line, "feargal who lived across from the spa." boys, i knew right away who it was. this could give other people ideas, if they don't know an address. that would be a nightmare! and inside the letter, just a cheery hello and a recipe for coleslaw that feargal had been asking about, but it meant much more than that. so much letters these days, it's meaningless, it's financial, it's this demand and it's so nice to receive
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something so personal. "friends of the fellow who runs the butchers "in waterford to bt44, northern ireland." so, could letters make a comeback over e—mail in future, as something a lot more enjoyable? well, we'll keep you posted! emma vardy, bbc news. a volcano perched on top of one of ecuador�*s famous galapagos islands has erupted, producing a spectacular lava flow. the one mile high wolf volcano is located on isabela island, home to a rich variety of flora and fauna of the type that helped inspire charles darwin's theory of evolution following his visit in 1835. fortunately, the eruption poses no threat to wildlife populations — or to humans. you can reach me on twitter — i'm @bbcbaxter. we always love to hear from
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you, but for now, thanks for watching. do stay with us. hello. well, earlier, the skies were clear and we had a touch of frost, even some icy patches in places after the recent wintry weather. but now, a weather front is approaching, and the first half of saturday at least will be very wet and windy. here's the low pressure that's sweeping into the uk, here's the weather front, and this is rain—bearing cloud, so if the rain hasn't reached you already, it will do very soon. ahead of this weather front, there's some temporary snow falling across the highlands of scotland, but for many of us, it really is rain. in the rain will be heavy, it'll bring also very blustery weather by the end of the night to many western parts of the uk. and look at the temperatures — 8 degrees in belfast, double figures in the southwest,
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just around freezing or above across eastern parts of the country. here's that low pressure around early saturday. within it, we've got milder air. you can see the milder winds coming in from the south. behind the cold front, yes, there's a slightly colder weather, but not as cold compared to what we've been having in the last few days. so, here's that wet and windy weather for the first half of saturday. later, notice that the skies clear. there will be frequent blustery showers, some will again be wintry, particularly across the highlands, but for many of us, it is rain. it will feel chilly in the wind, but notice that rain really dragging its heels around east anglia and the southeast. it may not clear the southeast until after dark, so here, it really will be an unpleasant day. come the evening, i think saturday night into sunday, things will start to dry out. here's the good news — saturday night into sunday, the weather will calm down, which means that on sunday, it will be a much better day.
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better — there still will be some showers around, particularly across northern areas, and infact, we are expecting later on sunday some damp weather to move into southwestern parts of england and maybe wales. but on the whole, it's a much better day, much drier and brighter for many of us, with temperatures around the average for at the time of the year. so, here's the weekend summary again. you can see that wet weather earlier in the day on saturday, much better by sunday, and thereafter, it is turning milder. bye— bye.
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this is bbc news,
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the headlines. one of the best known black hollywood actors of the past century, sidney poitier, has died. he was 94. mr poitier was the first black man to be awarded best actor at the academy awards in 1964 and paved the way for a new generation of stars. in the us, three white men who were convicted of chasing and then murdering ahmaud arbery, a black man, in the state of georgia, have been sentenced to life in prison. the case became a focus of protests by the black lives matter movement. the us have questioned kazakhstan�*s decision to seek russian military support to deal with a wave of violent unrest. russia says its deployment of troops is temporary. dozens of people have been killed during nationwide protests triggered by a rise in fuel prices. now on bbc news, it's time for the media show.

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