10/01/2017 World News Today


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10/01/2017

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This is BBC World News Today with me, Nuala McGovern.

:00:07.:00:11.

The headlines: The man Donald Trump wants to be the US Attorney General

:00:12.:00:14.

faces protesters as he is questioned by fellow senators.

:00:15.:00:17.

Jeff Sessions said claims he'd once sympathised with the Ku Klux Klan

:00:18.:00:20.

were "damnably false" and denied failing to protect

:00:21.:00:22.

the rights of minorities in the past.

:00:23.:00:30.

This caricature of Louis in the 86 was not correct. I had become the

:00:31.:00:41.

latest attorney. I supported civil rights attorneys, major civil rights

:00:42.:00:43.

cases in my district. we'll be live in Chicago

:00:44.:00:46.

to enter the White House where President Obama's preparing

:00:47.:00:50.

to make his farewell address. Emotional scenes in Iran

:00:51.:01:00.

as an estimated 3 million people pay their last respects to former

:01:01.:01:03.

President Rafsanjani - a hugely

:01:04.:01:05.

influential reformist leader. Also coming up,

:01:06.:01:06.

from 32 countries to 48 - Fifa says it's expanding

:01:07.:01:09.

football's World Cup. The woman who sat on the

:01:10.:01:10.

front row of history. British war correspondent

:01:11.:01:13.

Clare Hollingworth 1935, I went out and I got to Warsaw

:01:14.:01:37.

and he said, one of us has got to go to the frontier and I was on the

:01:38.:01:43.

German- Polish frontier and the German hordes, tanks, moved in.

:01:44.:01:58.

the next President of the United States in ten days' time.

:01:59.:02:02.

On Tuesday the team he has picked to help him govern came

:02:03.:02:05.

under the spotlight as Republicans and Democrats clashed over his picks

:02:06.:02:08.

for the cabinet, in confirmation hearings by the US Senate.

:02:09.:02:18.

Trump's choice for Attorney General - Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions -

:02:19.:02:20.

is the first to be put through his paces.

:02:21.:02:23.

Mr Sessions is regarded as staunchly conservative

:02:24.:02:24.

though he says he's been misjudged because he's from South Alabama.

:02:25.:02:27.

Throughout his career he's been accused of racism,

:02:28.:02:29.

but at the hearing he repeated his assertions

:02:30.:02:32.

that he doesn't harbour race-based discrimination.

:02:33.:02:38.

Mr Sessions also opposes amnesty for undocumented immigrants

:02:39.:02:41.

and was an early supporter of Donald Trump's call

:02:42.:02:43.

to build a wall along the border with Mexico.

:02:44.:02:45.

From the beginning, the hearing was interrupted several times

:02:46.:02:47.

Barbara Plett Usher is in Washington.

:02:48.:03:26.

Barbra, good to have you with us. When it began, those previous

:03:27.:03:33.

controversies followed Senator Sessions into the room. His

:03:34.:03:40.

ultraconservative positions have many people worried about whether

:03:41.:03:44.

he's going to protect gay rights, women's rights, minority rights. The

:03:45.:03:49.

leading Democratic Senate committee said it had received thousands of

:03:50.:03:54.

opposition letters. As you saw from the protesters there are, there is

:03:55.:04:02.

particular concern about his civil rights record and allegations of

:04:03.:04:06.

racism as well as allegations that he supported the Ku Kux Klan in the

:04:07.:04:12.

past, things he firmly denies. The complaints about the Klan case that

:04:13.:04:18.

I prosecuted and supported are false. And I do hope this hearing

:04:19.:04:24.

today will show that I conducted myself honourably and properly at

:04:25.:04:30.

that time and that I am the same person, perhaps wiser and maybe a

:04:31.:04:33.

little better, I hope so, today, than I was then, but I did not

:04:34.:04:43.

harbour the kind of animosities and raced -based discrimination ideas

:04:44.:04:47.

that I was accused of. I did not. He was hoping that his record might be

:04:48.:04:50.

improved somehow by this hearing. What would you say after watching

:04:51.:04:58.

this hearing take place? He was given plenty of a chance to defend

:04:59.:05:05.

his record as well as 20 challenges to explain the skin changes those.

:05:06.:05:10.

One of those was with regards to the issue of Muslims being banned from

:05:11.:05:13.

the country. Remember that Mr Trump during his campaign proposed having

:05:14.:05:18.

this temporarily ban on Muslims. He stepped back from that, later. When

:05:19.:05:23.

the Democrats try to propose the red legislation in Congress,

:05:24.:05:25.

specifically saying that no one should be barred for religious

:05:26.:05:29.

reasons, Mr Sessions voted against that. He was asked about that and he

:05:30.:05:33.

said he did not support banning Muslims as a religion or banning any

:05:34.:05:38.

group as a religion but he did want the freedom or the right to ban

:05:39.:05:43.

terrorists who might be inspired by their religion and he spelt that out

:05:44.:05:47.

fully in this exchange. Would you support a law that says you cannot

:05:48.:05:51.

come to America because you are a Muslim? No. Would you support a law

:05:52.:05:56.

that says that, if you are a Muslim, you say you're a Muslim, I'm going

:05:57.:06:01.

to ask what that means you, does that mean that I have to kill

:06:02.:06:06.

everybody that's different me, to say they cannot come? I heard that

:06:07.:06:11.

would be a pertinent decision. I hope that we can kill everybody was

:06:12.:06:15.

the come to the country who wants to kill people because of their

:06:16.:06:18.

religion but that is not what most people of the Muslim faith belief.

:06:19.:06:23.

But it can be the religion of that person. That's right. That is the

:06:24.:06:29.

point we are trying to make here. The quizzing and the tone of this

:06:30.:06:35.

hearing showed just how concerned minorities in particular are about

:06:36.:06:39.

Mr Sessions, the possibility of him being Attorney General and about the

:06:40.:06:43.

Trump presidency in general. The Democrats will use the file two days

:06:44.:06:47.

they have to continue exploring that. -- the full two days. Let's

:06:48.:07:02.

turn now to another story in the United States.

:07:03.:07:04.

As President Obama prepares to leave the White House,

:07:05.:07:07.

many are taking time to assess his time in office.

:07:08.:07:09.

His farewell address will come from Chicago later today.

:07:10.:07:11.

President Obama is expected to highlight his achievements

:07:12.:07:13.

including promoting America's place in the world.

:07:14.:07:15.

He may point to his successes - negotiations of a deal with Iran

:07:16.:07:18.

over its nuclear programme, for example,

:07:19.:07:20.

or the capture of Osama Bin Laden.

:07:21.:07:21.

But the conflict in Syria, the rise of so-called Islamic State,

:07:22.:07:24.

and deteriorating relations with Israel and Russia

:07:25.:07:26.

Our North America Editor Jon Sopel looks at

:07:27.:07:29.

President Obama's foreign policy legacy.

:07:30.:07:31.

There was always something upside down about Barack Obama receiving

:07:32.:07:34.

the Nobel Peace Prize before he had really done anything as president.

:07:35.:07:38.

When he came to office, one the greatest strategic threats

:07:39.:07:43.

was Iran, a resurgent power in the region.

:07:44.:07:45.

But more important than that was securing a multinational deal

:07:46.:07:49.

to curb the nuclear ambitions of Tehran.

:07:50.:07:51.

despite fierce opposition from the Israeli Prime Minister.

:07:52.:08:02.

When Benjamin Netanyahu came to address Congress two years ago,

:08:03.:08:05.

there was fury in the White House, they were angry that an invitation

:08:06.:08:08.

had been extended by Republican leaders

:08:09.:08:09.

and accepted without the president knowing.

:08:10.:08:11.

But very soon someone much more to the Israeli Prime Minister's

:08:12.:08:13.

liking will be occupying the White House and the quest

:08:14.:08:21.

-- question the world is asking, will the Iran nuclear deal survives

:08:22.:08:24.

Over here we have been told that no deal is better than a bad deal.

:08:25.:08:29.

His relationship with Netanyahu was one low point, culminating

:08:30.:08:43.

in the US refusing to veto a UN resolution critical of the Israeli

:08:44.:08:46.

The chemistry with the Russian leader Vladimir Putin

:08:47.:08:54.

Crimea, cyber espionage and Syria left them barely speaking.

:08:55.:08:58.

The pledge at the beginning of his presidency was all about disengaging

:08:59.:09:00.

from costly conflict and bringing the troops back home.

:09:01.:09:03.

We can say to those families who've lost loved ones to Al-Qaeda terror,

:09:04.:09:06.

But the optimism brought by the successful raid

:09:07.:09:20.

to kill Osama bin Laden in 2011 and the spread

:09:21.:09:22.

Would eventually be replaced by a middle east in flames.

:09:23.:09:26.

And the rise of so-called Islamic State, the fight against

:09:27.:09:28.

Arguably the low point for President Obama

:09:29.:09:31.

in the Middle East has been Syria, which has been a humanitarian

:09:32.:09:34.

catastrophe, sparking the worst refugee crisis since World War II.

:09:35.:09:42.

And the president's failure to act against President Assad

:09:43.:09:45.

in spite of much huffing and puffing,

:09:46.:09:47.

A red line for us is, we start seeing a whole

:09:48.:09:58.

of chemical weapons moving around before being utilised.

:09:59.:10:00.

I think it was a mistake not to enforce the red line.

:10:01.:10:10.

When the US is clearly saying there could be

:10:11.:10:13.

consequences for a certain action, it is important

:10:14.:10:15.

I also would not confuse that with crossing the chemical weapons

:10:16.:10:18.

red line with the notion that there was intervention

:10:19.:10:21.

Obama's policy toward Syria is much like the embassy here in Washington,

:10:22.:10:29.

an empty shell, newspapers piling on the doorstep, the windows barred.

:10:30.:10:32.

And in the talks to bring peace to the country,

:10:33.:10:34.

Barack Obama has flip-flopped over whether to take military action,

:10:35.:10:38.

too slow to react to the dangers of so-called Islamic State.

:10:39.:10:41.

It has been a period in which American influence

:10:42.:10:43.

From one empty embassy to another, influence has increased.

:10:44.:10:55.

that has had new life breathed into it,

:10:56.:10:57.

this is the Cuban Embassy in north-west Washington.

:10:58.:10:59.

For over 50 years it lay derelict, last legacy the Cold War.

:11:00.:11:11.

In the warmth of the Caribbean island, Barack Obama consigned

:11:12.:11:17.

the last piece of icy Cold War legacy to history.

:11:18.:11:19.

Cuba had brought the world to the edge of nuclear war.

:11:20.:11:22.

Now diplomatic relations are restored,

:11:23.:11:23.

He leaves office largely admired and popular around the world.

:11:24.:11:27.

Not least for his role in the global climate change deal.

:11:28.:11:30.

He tried to carve out a foreign policy

:11:31.:11:32.

that he saw as right for the times.

:11:33.:11:36.

But as the commander-in-chief was given the traditional

:11:37.:11:39.

sendoff, in his own way, was he as destructive

:11:40.:11:42.

to US power and influence as his predecessor, George W Bush?

:11:43.:11:54.

And what would the Nobel committee make of him, eight years on?

:11:55.:11:57.

Our Correspondent Gary O'Donoghue joins us now from Chicago.

:11:58.:12:03.

Good to have you with us. It looks incredibly cold well you are. Tell

:12:04.:12:10.

me about the mood in the run-up to this farewell speech. It is going to

:12:11.:12:19.

be a momentous occasion. It is an overused word, but it really is,

:12:20.:12:25.

because it will mark, in a sense, President Obama's last chance to sum

:12:26.:12:30.

up what he thinks he has achieved, to book end his presidency, do not

:12:31.:12:36.

just list his achievements as he sees it but do tried to weave

:12:37.:12:39.

together those achievements into some sort of idea of how America has

:12:40.:12:46.

improved over the last eight years, in his view, under his stewardship.

:12:47.:12:50.

There will be much about the economy and about jobs. A lot about criminal

:12:51.:12:56.

justice reform. Of course there will be talk about his signature policy

:12:57.:13:04.

on health care. And there may be an admission two about what he would

:13:05.:13:08.

have liked to have done but didn't get done such as comprehensive

:13:09.:13:14.

immigration reform and gun control. What will be interesting, I think,

:13:15.:13:19.

is the extent to which he sort of sounds a warning bell about the

:13:20.:13:24.

future, about the risks he would proceed to all that from the Trump

:13:25.:13:30.

presidency. I would be surprised if he did an all-out attack on Donald

:13:31.:13:34.

Trump. That wouldn't be very statesman-like or very much like

:13:35.:13:39.

Obama, to be honest. I wonder if he will try to work in America about

:13:40.:13:42.

the risks he sees going forward, because, of course, it is not just

:13:43.:13:49.

the consequences for those people out there, if 20 million people were

:13:50.:13:53.

to lose their health insurance, it is his legacy that is at stake. This

:13:54.:13:58.

is his last big platform to secure that legacy. Is it just support that

:13:59.:14:06.

you are seeing for Obama in his adopted hometown? There have been

:14:07.:14:12.

many disillusioned or disappointed Obama voters, too. Yes, there have.

:14:13.:14:18.

He leaves office with extraordinary approval ratings of 55-57%. That is

:14:19.:14:23.

pretty good for an outgoing president after eight years in

:14:24.:14:27.

power. Bill Clinton had something around that when he left. It is

:14:28.:14:30.

really uncommon for that sort of level. The audience here tonight

:14:31.:14:36.

will be interesting. Many of them will be from Chicago. And of course

:14:37.:14:40.

this city has been through some terrible times recently. Take this

:14:41.:14:45.

for a statistic. 762 people were murdered in this town last year.

:14:46.:14:50.

That is more than New York and Los Angeles put together. There are

:14:51.:14:55.

still problems in America. There are still problems in his back yard, his

:14:56.:15:00.

adopted town. People will feel that perhaps he could have done more to

:15:01.:15:08.

do something about that. You can understand why Chicago is known as

:15:09.:15:11.

the Windy city! Stay warm, thank you for coming on the programme today.

:15:12.:15:22.

Some estimates say 3.5 million people turned out

:15:23.:15:24.

in the streets for the funeral of one of the key figures

:15:25.:15:29.

in post-Revolution politics, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

:15:30.:15:30.

It was the biggest show of force by the supporters

:15:31.:15:33.

of the reform movement for many years.

:15:34.:15:35.

Initially criticised for his harsh rule, he became a key reformist.

:15:36.:15:37.

Mr Rafsanjani has been buried alongside the founder

:15:38.:15:39.

of the Islamic Republic - Ayatollah Khomeini.

:15:40.:15:48.

Prayers for one of the last major figures of the 1979 revolution,

:15:49.:15:52.

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, whose white cleric's turban

:15:53.:15:54.

They were led by Ayatollah Ali Khameini, who, despite

:15:55.:15:59.

their differences, has described Mr Rafsanjani

:16:00.:16:01.

At the Supreme Leader's side, the current moderate President,

:16:02.:16:13.

Hassan Rouhani, who has now lost a key backer

:16:14.:16:15.

Some estimates put the number of mourners paying

:16:16.:16:20.

as the cortege made its way to his burial place.

:16:21.:16:25.

The tussle between moderates and hardliners

:16:26.:16:26.

Some mourners held portraits of the former president.

:16:27.:16:37.

Others chanted the name of his even more reformist

:16:38.:16:39.

State television responded by turning up the background music

:16:40.:16:45.

In recent years, the media has been banned from publishing

:16:46.:16:56.

the name or images of Mr Khatami, who was not present at the funeral.

:16:57.:17:00.

He had called for supporters to come out in force

:17:01.:17:02.

to show their solidarity with the reform movement.

:17:03.:17:06.

Iran is holding three days of national mourning

:17:07.:17:08.

for the late Ayatollah Rafsanjani.

:17:09.:17:12.

Deep divisions over social and economic freedoms and

:17:13.:17:17.

further potential rapprochement with the West will remain.

:17:18.:17:19.

in a succession of militant attacks in Afghanistan.

:17:20.:17:31.

The Taliban said it was responsible for the twin bomb attacks

:17:32.:17:34.

There's also been an explosion in the centre of Kabul.

:17:35.:17:37.

in the compound of the governor of the southern province of Kandahar.

:17:38.:17:40.

Up to 12 people were killed in that incident.

:17:41.:17:44.

Football's governing body, Fifa, has approved plans to expand

:17:45.:17:46.

It'll open up the tournament to nations who've previously found

:17:47.:17:50.

it difficult to qualify and is set to boost

:17:51.:17:52.

the number of African and Asian countries taking part.

:17:53.:17:55.

The move will also generate millions more from advertising and TV rights.

:17:56.:17:58.

Our sports correspondent Richard Conway reports from Zurich.

:17:59.:18:05.

Fifa has finally cleared a path to a World Cup

:18:06.:18:10.

From 2026, 16 more countries will join

:18:11.:18:14.

Speaking to me today, the world governing body's president insisted,

:18:15.:18:20.

in the face of much criticism, it's time for the sport to look

:18:21.:18:23.

Football has become a truly global game because many more

:18:24.:18:29.

countries, many more teams, will have the chance to qualify,

:18:30.:18:32.

so they will invest in developing football.

:18:33.:18:36.

They will invest in developing elite football

:18:37.:18:38.

as well as grass-roots football.

:18:39.:18:42.

They will invest in their technical developments

:18:43.:18:44.

and this will make sure that the quality raises.

:18:45.:18:46.

The growth of the World Cup will bring in revenue.

:18:47.:18:49.

Fifa stand to make ?500 million profit in 2026,

:18:50.:18:52.

according to its own research.

:18:53.:19:01.

Gianni Infantino was elected on a pledge to deliver a bigger

:19:02.:19:07.

competition and insists it is not about cash or politics.

:19:08.:19:09.

It's not at all a money and power grab, it's the opposite.

:19:10.:19:12.

So the way we presented it was - OK - we present four formats,

:19:13.:19:18.

every one of the four formats has advantages in terms of

:19:19.:19:21.

the financial situation which means we are in a comfortable situation

:19:22.:19:24.

to be able to take a decision simply based on the sporting merit.

:19:25.:19:43.

Asia, where interest in football is booming,

:19:44.:19:44.

and Africa stand to benefit the most when the extra 16

:19:45.:19:47.

There will be more slots too for European nations.

:19:48.:19:50.

The Scottish FA welcomed today's decision, believing it will give

:19:51.:19:53.

them and others a better chance of qualifying.

:19:54.:19:54.

After a number of years when Fifa was a by-word for corruption,

:19:55.:19:57.

its new leadership is determined to assert itself.

:19:58.:19:59.

Gianni Infantino's task is now to convince his critics a reformed

:20:00.:20:02.

It was the scoop of the century - the news

:20:03.:20:13.

triggering the start of World War Two.

:20:14.:20:16.

Today, that British war correspondent who broke the story,

:20:17.:20:18.

As a rookie reporter in Poland in 1939,

:20:19.:20:21.

she spotted German forces gathering on the border.

:20:22.:20:26.

James Robbins looks back at her life and career.

:20:27.:20:35.

NEWS REEL: This is the national programme from London.

:20:36.:20:37.

Germany has invaded Poland and has bombed many towns.

:20:38.:20:39.

But three days earlier, Clare Hollingworth's greatest scoop

:20:40.:20:41.

had already appeared in the Daily Telegraph.

:20:42.:20:43.

Alone, inside Germany, she'd seen the Nazis

:20:44.:20:44.

Aged 27 and a journalist for less than a week,

:20:45.:20:50.

a woman in a man's world had beaten the lot of them.

:20:51.:20:55.

1939, I went out to Poland to become number two

:20:56.:21:00.

to Hugh Carleton Greene of BBC fame, and I got to Warsaw and he said,

:21:01.:21:09.

"One of us has got to go to the frontier."

:21:10.:21:13.

And I was on the German-Polish frontier

:21:14.:21:15.

when the German hordes, tanks, moved in.

:21:16.:21:17.

And Clare Hollingworth's scoops kept coming.

:21:18.:21:20.

In 1963, she uncovered Kim Philby's escape to Russia as an MI6 traitor.

:21:21.:21:25.

For weeks, the Guardian refused to publish, fearing a libel action.

:21:26.:21:29.

But above all, she was a war correspondent,

:21:30.:21:32.

across the Middle East and notably in Vietnam,

:21:33.:21:34.

revealing secret talks between Hanoi and Washington.

:21:35.:21:41.

I'm really passionately interested in war and if one

:21:42.:21:43.

# Happy birthday, dear Clare...# one can't help like being in it.

:21:44.:21:52.

Last year in Hong Kong, fellow journalists celebrated

:21:53.:21:55.

Clare's 105th birthday as even more extraordinary stories emerged

:21:56.:21:59.

of her role before World War II, helping refugees escape the Nazis.

:22:00.:22:03.

In danger herself so many times, Clare Hollingworth was witness

:22:04.:22:10.

to great events across more than a century.

:22:11.:22:18.

The writer and broadcaster Isabel Hilton new Claire Hollingworth. What

:22:19.:22:28.

are women. Perhaps we could start with her significance. She was

:22:29.:22:37.

remarkable. She was a woman and she got the biggest scoop of the

:22:38.:22:41.

century. She was the most tenacious reporter. She would never be noted

:22:42.:22:44.

for her fine writing but there was no one like Clare for getting the

:22:45.:22:52.

story. She was born in 1911. It was appealed that was difficult for

:22:53.:22:57.

women even in recent decades. Going back, she was 27 years of age when

:22:58.:23:03.

she broke that story. You would see that her father insisted on sending

:23:04.:23:07.

her to domestic science College which still makes me laugh, because

:23:08.:23:10.

anyone less inclined to do domestic science, I have yet to meet. She

:23:11.:23:17.

came from a well-to-do rural family who thought that girls ought to

:23:18.:23:21.

learn cooking and get married. But she went on to work with refugees,

:23:22.:23:26.

she signed so many visas for refugees in 1938 that there were

:23:27.:23:30.

complaints from the British government about the numbers

:23:31.:23:34.

arriving. She was wonderful. And she was fearless. She was remarkable.

:23:35.:23:42.

You met her in Hong Kong, Asia, China, big parts of her life. What

:23:43.:23:50.

was it that Rover, do you think? She was dedicated to the craft of

:23:51.:23:56.

journalism. -- that drove her. I met her in Beijing when I was a student

:23:57.:24:01.

there. At that time there were very few foreigners in Beijing. So when

:24:02.:24:06.

Clare saw a bunch of new Celsius to cultivate, which she did with style,

:24:07.:24:12.

Lord Hartwell would like you to have a decent lunch, my dear, she would

:24:13.:24:16.

say. She would grow as about what was going on in university. -- she

:24:17.:24:28.

would grill us. She said she felt uncomfortable if she did not write a

:24:29.:24:32.

story every day. And in China it was difficult. There were lots of places

:24:33.:24:37.

you couldn't go, and there was difficult, difficulties with access

:24:38.:24:43.

to sources. Thank you very much for coming in and talking about the

:24:44.:24:47.

memories that you have of Claire Hollingworth.

:24:48.:24:54.

Jeff Sessions, the man picked to be the next US Attorney General,

:24:55.:24:59.

has told his Senate confirmation hearing that he's no racist

:25:00.:25:01.

and has never supported the Ku Klux Klan.

:25:02.:25:04.

Jeff Sessions. There was a Democratic senator who expressed

:25:05.:25:15.

deep concern about the Alabama Republican's nomination. The

:25:16.:25:20.

Democrats do not have the power in the chamber to block his

:25:21.:25:24.

confirmation, but that does not put them off trying their best to bring

:25:25.:25:27.

up some of the issues that they feel should be front and centre when it

:25:28.:25:30.

comes to these confirmation hearings. You will see lots more

:25:31.:25:37.

coming up over the next few days, before the inauguration of President

:25:38.:25:39.

elect Donald Trump on January 20. Don't forget you can get

:25:40.:25:42.

in touch with me and some of the team on Twitter -

:25:43.:25:45.

I'm @BBCNuala. And you can see what we are

:25:46.:25:52.

working on via facebook. Lots there to look at about our

:25:53.:25:55.

programmes coming up

:25:56.:25:59.