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From here in the world's news room, we send our correspondents to bring
you the best stories from across the globe.
Owen Bennett-Jones finds the Pakistan army back in control
of the tribal area on the Afghan border, after a huge military
operation to clear out Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
Around one million people from north Waziristan fled
when the conflict was at its height, and the question now
Naomi Grimley meets the young Yazidis who escaped the so-called
Islamic State to find refuge in Germany.
Alastair Leithead reports from South Sudan on claims
of new atrocities by government forces and local militia.
Carrie Gracie investigates Beijing's new measures
The Chinese economy is still fuelled by coal.
Naomi Grimley meets the young Yazidis who escaped the so-called
The Chinese economy is still fuelled by coal.
And in the one party state there is little the public can do,
to force the politicians here to deliver air fit to breathe.
Fergus Walsh meets the researchers unlocking the science of thought.
The tribal areas on the Afghan-Pakistan border have
long been associated with militancy and lawlessness.
The ancient tribal customs, with their emphasis on both
revenge and hospitality, have been challenged in recent
years by violent Jihadis, imposing Sharia, not tribal law.
North Waziristan became home to Al-Qaeda, the Taliban,
and Jihadists from all over the world, but as Owen Bennett-Jones
reports, after a long and bloody military campaign,
the Pakistani army is now firmly in control.
For years now, these remote areas on the Afghan-Pakistan border have
In 2014, the Pakistan army launched a campaign
to win back this land, and today virtually all
The militants left behind this roadside bomb factory.
Capturing facilities like this has made a difference.
There used to be thousands of bomb attacks in Pakistan each year,
The army reckons its operations here are the most successful
anti-Jihadist campaign the world has yet seen.
So somewhere it was the IED that was a threat to you,
somewhere it was small ambush or different, so different incidents
happening in different areas when we were trying to get them.
Just like Aleppo and Mosul, the army caused massive destruction
When the battle was raging, the entire population left.
The effort is now on to get them back.
Around a million people from north Waziristan fled when the conflict
was at its height and the question now is will they come back?
So the army has built facilities like this school,
that can take 1,000 children - not open yet - but it is hoped this
will attract people to come back thinking there are ways they can
live here, and get their children educated.
There are few public schools in Pakistan
Local markets are also starting up again.
But everyone knows the future holds great uncertainties.
A few hours' drive away in the city of Peshawar,
traders say the number of bombs has gone down, but they
For example, with militants extorting money from them.
This gentleman by himself has received extortion letter.
If you want to see it I can show it to you.
From this shopkeeper, can he afford that?
This is the APS school, where 130 children were murdered
by the Pakistan Taliban just over two years ago.
The survivors say they are determined to resist the militants,
If you don't get over it, you don't get to live,
because you see, if people become stuck in that psychological
depression and that kind of thing, you cope with your study,
depression and that kind of thing, you cope with your studies,
you can't cope with the world, you can't see the beauty of life,
so you have to cope up, and all we did, we all did
bravely and we all did, we coped very brilliantly and now
There is a growing nationalism in Pakistan.
Some militant groups remain strong and haven't been
challenged by the state, but there is also a rejection
of those Jihadis who attack targets on Pakistani soil.
Owen Bennett Joan, BBC News, north Waziristan.
As fighters from the self-styled Islamic State are gradually being
driven out of their stronghold in Iraq, the scale of the atrocities is
being revealed against one ethnic group in particular. The Yazidi
people are ethnic Kurds, and the UN says they are the victims of a
genocidal campaign, thousands have been killed, thousands more women
and children are being held captive, many traded as sex slaves. Some have
imagined to escape and seek sanctuary in Germany. Naomi Grimley
has been to one refuge deep in a a forest from the south-west of the
country. A secret location in south-west Germany. It is a place of
exile. 80 Yazidi women and children now live here. They were violently %
cuted by so-called Islamic State and chased out of northern Iraq.
These two boys were captured by the extremists and sent to a military
training camp aged just 14 and 16. This is their story.
TRANSLATION: The training was about weapons, we learned how to load and
fire a weapon. We were training to be soldiers. We would do exercise,
crawling under barbed wire, things like that.
To learn how the fire a gun on human beings they took us to graves where
they had the dead bodies of Muslim traitors or those who took drug,
they said we had to fire on them to get used to it.
If we didn't do what we were told or broke the rules they would beat us
with a stick. Everything had to be like they wanted.
I had to pretend to be a Muslim to survive.
Their books were like magic, they change your mind and made you into
one of them. I bet not just me, even a man's mind would have changed.
After a year, a smuggler helped them escape the camp. It was dangerous.
But there was nothing left to be afraid of. We had seen death with
our own eye, we saw how they killed. When you lose everything, you have
nothing left. We had nothing to lose. This is mainly a community of
women and children. Most of the men are missing, presumed dead. The
women were originally brought to Germany for trauma counselling after
the mass rapes under Islamic State. South-west Germany has welcomed more
than 1,000 Yazidis in two years, and the man who runs the project says
several towns volunteered to give them shelter.
Of course it is hard, of course they have bad dreams, of course they are
struggling but they can start like, you know, just start a new future,
get into school, get an education, dream about falling in love and all
the things that are normal. All that may take time, but at least for now,
this refuge is far away from those religious zealots who are trying to
wipe them out. To South Sudan which according to
the UN is edging closer toe genocide. It accuses Government
forces and militia of carrying out ethnically motivated attacks on
civilian, while using the current Civil War as a smoke screen, but the
Government denies that the country is experiencing ethnic cleansing.
Alastair Leithead reports. The grief of a mother. The death of
a son. She travelled through the night, when she heard what happened.
Isaac's body was found dumped in the river, his ankles tied. A metal wire
tight round his neck. TRANSLATION: My son was fishing and
saw the body. I don't know who did it or why they did it. Does this
happen a lot? TRANSLATION: It happens.
Government forces are in charge of the town. The Civil War recently
spread to this part of the country where different ethnic groups
peacefully lived side by side. We are a short drive from the centre of
the town, but this is pretty much the limit of where the army forces
are prepared to go on foot. Because the rebels control areas just up the
road. Houses and buildings in this deserted neighbourhood have been
burned. The soldiers blame wild fires or accidents.
It is our mandate to make sure civilians are safe. It might be the
rule but it is not the reality, or at least not the reality we heard
from those who would talk. We are protecting their identities. This
man's sister was assaulted by three soldiers. Who raped her? The
soldier. Government soldier, yes. She is sure they are Government
soldiers? Yes. Is this happening a lot here? It is a lot. Another
witness described ten young men being dragged out of their family
homes, chained together, and then shot, one by one. This woman was
attacked in her house by soldiers in uniform. They started to beat me. He
beat me here. It was painful. It was going to beat me on my head. I put
my hands like that. Even though both sides in this war have been
implicated in atrocities, these allegations were all against
Government forces. There is no killing or raping said the senior
commander, anybody who does is arrested.
The only people we fight are the rebels he said. This is when the
killing occurs. The survivors claim civilians were killed by the army
but we continue kill our own in our own country. So there are no
renegade troops, no troops, not a single case? No.
But still people are leaving, in eight months 500,000 people have
fled the country, rather than live here under the army. Everywhere you
go in this area it is the same. Villages that have been abandoned.
People have closed up and taken what they can with them. Hundreds of
thousands of people from crossed into Uganda, overs in the bush
because of the fighting, everywhere, village after village.
And there is a deeply disturbing Ed nickelment underlying the deaths,
that people are being killed because of their ethnicity. That is why the
UN has warned this could end in genocide.
Alastair Leithead, BBC News, South Sudan.
The Netherlands is often described as the most liberal country in
Europe. But many are wondering if that reputation is changing. The
polls suggest in the general election on Wednesday many people
will vote for geert Willeder, who wants to pull the country out to EU
and ban immigration from Muslim countries may even win the largest
number of seats. So what happened to the supposedly tolerant easy going
Dutch? Gabriel great house has gone back. The Netherlands is having an
identity crisis. What does it mean to be Dutch? I don't remember people
agonising over this question in the past. They are now.
What are Dutch values? We are all equal. We are all the same. We are
very tolerant, and we drink and eat and play and dance together. So that
is the good thing about carnival. What about the rest of the time?
Well, it's a bit different. We're not so tolerant any more. Why not?
Some people are not so the same as other people. I think the whole
Islam thing makes it we are more aware of our values.
Geert Wilders, the Netherlands's answer to Donald Trump wants to ban
the Koran, close the mosques and the borders.
In defence of their tolerant way of life, many Dutch people are
apparently willing to vote for some pretty intolerant policies. --
policies. Growing up we were taught that tolerance was as much a part of
Dutch culture as eating mayonnaise with your chips. I used to live over
there, Number Ten, just the other side of the canal. Before I lived
there, some other people did, whose names are commemorated here in these
plaques, seven of them who were murdered by the Nazis during the
Second World War because they were Jewish. There are similar plaques
along the canal side. During the war one tenth of the population of this
city were deported to concentration camps.
The German occupation had a huge impact on how the Dutch see
themselves. December criminating against people
because of their religion, their culture or ethnic background, that
was something that other people did. Not the Dutch. I grew up in a time
when all of us in this country were still very much under the impression
that we live in the most liberal progressive country in the world. I
used to say this to people. I am from Amsterdam. I live in the best
country in the world, best city in the world. Anything goes and you are
free to be whoever you are. However when I look back I think there was a
lot going on under the surface that just wasn't discussed.
Beneath the surface, many people felt uncomfortable, with the effect
of immigration. To speak of that was once taboo. Not any more. Fuelled by
geefrt geert, the debate has focussed on Islam. -- Geert Wilders.
Sylvan that has set up a political party, trying to highlight what she
says is a hidden current of racism in Dutch society.
The reaction has not been good. Death threats is what I have
received for similarly voicing my opinion on this topic. That doesn't
sound like the most tolerant, the most progressive country on earth.
We used to take pride in saying we are so tolerant, that is our biggest
problem. We have been tolerating and tolerating means accepting something
that you really don't actually a I degree with, but you are just, you
know accepting. Perhaps the idea of the Netherlands
as free space was never anything more than an illusion. Now, in an
age of identity politics, the Dutch are asking themselves some
fundamental questions. What does liberalism mean? What are
the limits of tolerance? And does the Netherlands still want to be a
place that is open and inclusive? Gabriel gate house, BBC News.
To China where the Government has declared its aim of making the skies
blue again by tackling the country's air pollution crisis, the
authorities want to reduce reliance on coal, and invest billions in
renewable energy and they are targeting emissions from cars which
add to the smog hanging over major city, by encouraging the use of
greener vehicles. Carrie Gracie has taken to the streets of Beijing to
find out more. Everything in China is on a massive
scale. The problems and the solutions. Cars are to blame for
about a third of China's air pollution. So it is scrapping the
worst offenders. But this rich intellectual in the
wrecker's yard is a losing battle against 30 million new cars taking
to the roads this year. If these people want clean air, then
from transport to heating and lifestyle, they have to change their
behaviour. China has to kick its addiction to fossil fuels.
For this Beijing couple the morning commute is a his and hers divide. He
is part of the problem. And she is part of the solution.
Meet little blue. Harmful emission, zero. To beat the Petrolheads China
subsidises electric vehicles and makes them much easier to license.
On smogy days little blue doesn't face restrictions like other cars
and Kim is proud to her her bit for clean air.
TRANSLATION: We all have to live in the city and the pollution is ten
for health and Beijing's image, driving little blue I don't have to
feel guilty even on smogy days, I tell my friends they should get one
too. Gathering winter fuel. To beat the
smog, all the villages surround Beijing have banned the burning of
coal. And 70-year-old farmer is forced back to the old ways.
The fire heats their brick bed. The Government did give them an
electric heater, but on their pensions they can't afford to switch
it on much. Winters are sub-zero here. But he tells me he is more
worried about his electricity bill, than about the cold or the smog. He
is wearing thick layers of long johns.
Beijing can clean the air when it wants to, like now for the annual
session of its rubber-stamp Parliament but it can't do it for
long because despite the push for cleaner vehicles and heating, the
Chinese economy is still fuelled by coal. And in the one party state
there is little the public can do to force the politicians here to
deliver air fit to breathe. Carrie Gracie, BBC News, Beijing.
It is one of the most prestigious awards in the world of science, a
prize of almost one million, for cutting-edge research aimed at
understanding the brain. This year it has been bon by three British
based neuroscientists for their work on how the brain uses a system of
chemical rewards to help us make choice, they have been speaking to
Fergus Walsh. How do we motivate ourselves in life? Whether it is the
choices we make about the food we eat, cream cake, or fruit. To the
friends we make. Thanks Fergus. The pleasure of a hug or the goals
we set ourselves at work, to succeed or by a better car. What underpins
our decision making is a chemical in the brain called dopamine which is
released when there is a reward. This sense of reward which can
sometimes be equated with happiness, pleasure, or simply a desire to do
something has been crucial in human evolution. The three Nero scientists
who shared the prize given by a foundation in Denmark have spent 30
years studying the dopamine reward path Wray and say it underpins all
our choices. You look at a menu, so you have an interesting thing,
should you explore a new type of cuisine so you make a prediction of
what it might be like, you say maybe I will try it. If it is better that
than you expect you get a positive signal. Next time you have a higher
chance of choosing that food. If it is worse you won't choose it. There
is a dark side to the dopamine reward pathway. It can reinforce
poor decision making such as with drug addiction and lead to
compulsive behaviour. Parkinson's disease leads to the loss of
dopamine producing never cells. Drugs that boost the levels can
sometimes trigger addict shin behaviour. It can negative effects
leading to excess gambling, numerous pay enwhens when treated with drugs
have resorted to gambling, often secretive this is the result in the
tragedy of them losing their life savings. The three prize winners are
based in the UK, which has a track record of world leading brain
research. Their work will help in the development of treatments, for
patients with psychiatric illnesses like schizophrenia where the brain
reward system goes wrong. Fergus Walsh BBC News. That is all from
Reporter for this week, from me, Philippa Thomas. Goodbye.
Hello. Some of us managed to get some sunshine so far today. It has
been up to round 18 degrees across the south-east of the country but
overall a bit of cloud round across the