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tv   Our World  BBC News  February 26, 2021 1:30am-2:00am GMT

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president biden has held his first telephone conversation with king salman of saudi arabia, ahead of the us releasing an intelligence report about the murder of saudi journalist, jamal khashoggi in 2018. the president biden says he wants to recalibrate relations between the two countries, with more emphasis on human rights. the president has also held a ceremony to mark the vaccination of 50 million americans against the coronavirus. mr biden said the united states was weeks ahead of schedule on the path to immunising 100 million people. that was a key election promise, before his first 100 days in office. the pop superstar lady gaga, has offered a $500,000 reward for the return of two of her french bulldogs after a gunman shot her dog walker and stole the animals in hollywood. the handler is being treated in hospital and is reportedly recovering well.
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now on bbc news: our world. welcome to europe. it's been a bad year for travel lovers. but the pandemic hasn't stopped everyone. we are here to meet some people who have been blogging about theirjourney to europe. they are not your typical travel bloggers. �*harraga', in arabic, means someone who burns through borders. they're undocumented migrants, passing into europe illegally. over the last few years, this group of unorthodox travellers have made a corner of youtube their home. a place where they can document their wild journeys for fans back in morocco. but are these stories of adventure encouraging other people to take
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a difficultjourney? or are theyjust providing a service, showing the hardships of migration so that others won't make a fatal mistake? it's may 2020. five years after the migrant crisis that led the eu to secure its borders. but that hasn't stopped anwar al hafidi. he's in greece without a visa, hiking through the forest so that the police will not find him.
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anwar wants to go to italy. he trained as a barber in morocco but he left because he wasn't making enough money to get by. anwar is following a route taken by tens of thousands of north africans before him. he flew to turkey, where moroccans do not need a visa. and then he set off for europe by land. in sharing his journey on youtube, he has become part of a phenomenon that started two years ago. the migrant influencer. in morocco, they belong to a forgotten generation. nearly one in four young people do not have a job. but through youtube they found a new identity.
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this is said. better known in the world of youtube as boya vlog. he has a university degree but last year he left his home in morocco and moved to turkey. and from there he decided to reach europe on foot. with 1.5 million views on his channel, he's built up a cult following with his special brand of dark humour.
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church bells ring we travel to meet him in the italian city of bergamo, where he's now living, undocumented, and is still vlogging. when he left morocco, said had no intention of posting his journey online.
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but his light—hearted posts mean he's creating a rosy picture of a journey that's often really dangerous. what do you think was the most difficult part of the journey? in some of your videos towards the beginning
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thejourney seemed kind of fun, like an adventure. do you think that may encourage more people to try to take it? one person who has been influenced by videos like said's is anwar. he is still making his way across greece, following a route that he spent years researching on youtube. he is constantly on the move, so we're following his journey online and chatting on whatsapp. he's bought a bike and he's hoping to cycle all the way to italy.
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like said, he does not make it very far before he is arrested. unlike said, though, anwar takes his youtube followers with him. even when things go wrong. as soon as he's released, six days later, he tells his followers how to avoid the police.
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his channel has become an unvarnished account of life on the road. each post is getting tens of thousands of views. but two months in, he's nowhere near his destination. he has travelled through five different countries but the border with
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croatia and the eu seems impenetrable. he has been pushed back by croatian police four times. so he retreats to the bosnian capital, sarajevo. anwar spent six months working as a barber in turkey to save for his journey. but there are other influences who have figured out how to make money through their vlogs. meet zizu. with over 12 million views on his channel, he became one of the most popular migrant youtubers in morocco. in 2018, he followed his heart to brazil to meet a girl he fell in love with online. but when that ended he decided to head north to the us. the jungle is not easy. not easy. is dangerous or not?
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very dangerous. he told the bbc that he funds is journey through ads on his channel, social media partnerships and crowdfunding his fans. but there are other people finding ways to make money from the migrant youtube phenomenon. lurking in the comments section of those videos, we found people smugglers using the platform to find clients who are willing to pay to get into the eu illegally. looking at some of the comments underneath anwar�*s posts, there is a post here that has a phone number that says a moroccan guy in turkey who can help you travel by truck to the czech republic or slovakia. we asked an undercover reporter in morocco to contact the number posted on youtube. she pretends to be a single mother, hoping to reach austria with her young daughter. a people smuggler on the other end says he can arrange her travel.
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he sends our reporter an example of the fake medical documents that he can produce which will help her circumvent morocco�*s strict covid travel ban. he says an associate will collect her from the airport. youtube says videos and comments offering contact information, that facilitate the sale of smuggling services, violated policy and that on review they have removed a number
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of these comments. the posts we found no longer on the platform. but we know that they were there for at least two months. it is coming to the end of a hot summer in eastern europe. anwar spent a month at a migrant camp in bosnia, just beyond the eu border. but he is ready to try to cross croatia again. he is travelling with a group. they're passing through a country that's still showing scars of the bosnian war almost 30 years ago.
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at this stage, his videos are still full of tips for would—be travellers. but once again he's caught by the croatian police and sent back to bosnia.
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something is starting to change in anwar. instead of offering advice, he is now issuing warnings. he has given up on italy and decides to aim north, for germany. he says he got as far
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as austria in the undercarriage of a lorry, but then he was spotted. the austrian police drove him back to hungary. the hungarian police drove him back to serbia. and the serbian police drove him all the way to the south. he has been pushed back almost 1000 kilometres in a matter of days. and it is here, in serbia, that we eventually meet. he is staying in a camp for migrants, but we are not allowed in, so we arrange to meet in nearby town. —— in a nearby town. anwar isjust doing an instagram live right to his 2000 or so followers and as soon as he started, the questions started pouring in.
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he's answering their questions, but this isn't just about anwar helping other people avoid trouble — his followers are supporting him as well. so was that a busy one? did you get many questions? but are you worried that people
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will then try and do the same route, take the same risks that you did? he says no matter what he does, people are going to travel anyway. a few weeks ago, anwar posted a 15—minute video which explains why shipping containers are a dangerous mode of transport. he felt compelled to make video after the deaths of seven people. they'd snuck inside
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the wrong shipping container at a station in serbia. their bodies were found four months later, when the container was finally opened up in paraguay. one of the victims, ahmed belmiloudi, was a friend of anwar�*s. your whole experience so far, do you feel like it has been worth it?
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we were hoping to speak to anwar again, but it seems like some of the other people that he's travelling with have put pressure on him not to talk to us. so the only way we've been able to speak to him today is by voice note. he's scared, but he leaves with the men that have been swearing at him, heading for the hungarian border that night. we were in touch with him for another week, and then he went quiet.
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throughout his journey, anwar has been getting help from said. they belong to a network of migrant influencers who have been supporting each other on social media. foranwar, said is a success story. his new life in europe is something to aspire to. he's working, but is only getting by on odd jobs until, he hopes, he gets the legal right to work in italy. but said is starting to realise that europe is a complicated dream. it is something he is now trying to communicate to his followers.
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but anwar might not have seen these posts. he's missing. what do you think? do you think he is safe, or do you think something has happened to him?
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it seems said is starting to realise the power of his voice online.
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hello there. there always seems to be something to talk about with the weather across the uk. we started the week with heavy rain, particularly in the far north and west. then wednesday brought the warmest day of the year so far with with temperatures peaking at 18 celsius. so far with temperatures peaking at 18 celsius. a little bit fresher for thursday, yes, but still highs of 12 or 13 degrees — that's above average for late february. all the warmth, however, has moved its way over to the near continent and a change of wind direction — a fresher westerly — meant that fresher feel to thursday's weather but again, those temperatures are still pretty good for late february. it does, however, mean that clear skies by day will lead to clear skies through the night, so we are going to see quite a chilly start to our friday morning. at dawn, our temperatures will be hovering around orjust below freezing in a few places. the only exception, the far north and west. a weak weather front toppling cross high pressure will introduce a little more in the way of cloud,
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but it's all going to be about this high over the next few days, keeping the story relatively quiet. so yes, we will pretty much have some sunshine from dawn till dusk across the country, with the exception of the north—west of the great glen. here, a little bit more of a breeze and maybe a little more in the way of cloud. but in terms of the feel of things, pretty decent temperatures once again — 10—12 celsius the high. now, as we move out of friday into the start of the weekend, the high pressure is going to firmly establish itself across the country. we'll have a weak weather front toppling across that high again in the far north—west. it will introduce more in the way of cloud and some light, patchy rain across central and southern scotland first thing in the morning, but a very weak affair, and either side of that frontal system to north—west scotland and central and southern england, there'll be decent slices of sunshine to be found and temperatures, well, 10—12 in the north, 1a in the south—east. maybe just that little bit cooler and disappointing where the cloud will linger.
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but the high stays with us for the second half of the weekend and so, again, that a relatively dry, settled story, but plenty of sunshine by day is going to lead to some clear nights and if you're a gardener or grower, it's worth bearing in mind that we could see a return to some frost and some fog, which may well be slow to lift away. but there will be some dry, sunny weather in the forecast — not only for the weekend but, as you can see, for much of next week as well. take care.
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welcome to bbc news. our top stories: president biden holds his first telephone conversation with king salman of saudi arabia, ahead of the us releasing an intelligence report about the murder of saudi journalist jamal khashoggi. ina in a video call, the queen urges people to be selfless and have the coronavirus jab. it is obviously difficult for people if they have never had a vaccine, but they ought to think about other people rather than themselves. one of the world's biggest bands, k—pop�*s blackpink, urge their fans to take action on climate change after being inspired by a david
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attenborough documentary. and the pop superstar lady gaga offers a $500,000

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