18/08/2011 World News Today


18/08/2011

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This is BBC World News Today with me, Zeinab Badawi. Renewed pressure

:00:10.:00:16.

on President Asaad of Syria. Britain, France and Germany back

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Washington's call for him to step down. For the sake of the Syrian

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people, the time has come for him to step aside and leave this

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transition to the Syrians themselves. Coordinated attacks on

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Israel's border with Egypt kill seven. Israel retaliates with

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deadly air-strikes on the Gaza Strip. Fear of a return to

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recession grips the financial markets once more, with sharp falls

:00:43.:00:46.

in Europe and the United States. Thousands of Catholic pilgrims

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welcome Pope Benedict to Madrid for World Youth Day, but the event also

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attracts protesters. And 20 years since the Moscow coup that ushered

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in the collapse of the Soviet Union, how much have the daily lives of

:01:00.:01:10.
:01:10.:01:20.

Welcome to the programme. World leaders united today in their

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condemnation of President Bashar Al Asaad of Syria and called on him to

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step down. President Obama accused him of allowing a vicious onslaught

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of his people. The UN believes that nearly 3,000 people have been

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killed in Syria in five months of protests. Also today, the UN Human

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Rights Commission gave a body of evidence of alleged repression by

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the Syrian authorities which it says could amount to crimes against

:01:43.:01:53.
:01:53.:01:55.

humanity. Jim Muir reports from neighbouring Lebanon. Five full

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months of bloodshed and the Americans have held back for

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calling for the President to go but they do not know what would come

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next but now at their patience has cracked and the call has come.

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people of Syria to serve the Government that respects their

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dignity, protects their rights and lives up to their aspirations.

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President Assad is standing in their way. For the sake of the

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Syrian people, the time has come for him to step aside and leave

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this transition to the Syrian people. Addressing his party

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faithful shortly before the announcement from Washington,

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President Assad said the country would stand firm, however much

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outside pressure would mount. Now the Americans are really trying to

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turn the screws. The steps at present a plan announced this

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morning will further tighten the circle of isolation around the

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regime. -- that President Obama. It immediately freezes all assets of

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the government that are subject to American jurisdiction and prohibits

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American citizens from engaging in any transactions with the

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government of Syria or investing in that country. These actions strike

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at the heart of the regime. American steps came as the UN

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Security Council was preparing to hear a damning human rights report

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on the Syrian regime's oppressive practices. The report includes

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evidence that suggests crimes against humanity have been

:03:34.:03:38.

committed in Syria. It recommends that the situation should be

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referred to the International Criminal Court. All this came,

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ironically, hours after President Assad said that all military and

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police action against civilians had ended. Tanks and troops have been

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pulled out of three trouble spots, including the port city of Latakia.

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But the regime has plenty of other instruments for ensuring control.

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The regime comforts itself by encouraging popular demonstrations

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are support like this one. But the call from Washington for President

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Assad to go will give fresh heart to protesters. The new sanctions

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could generate enough pressure to start producing cracks within the

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regime. But how long that might take is anybody's guess. Joining me

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from the UN headquarters in New York is Farhan Haq, deputy

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spokesperson for the UN Secretary General. President Assad apparently

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tells Bank Ki-Moon that all operations against civilians have

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been stopped, has Bank Ki-Moon been able to verify that? We have not

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and the Secretary-General has once again called for all violence and

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military operations and police operations to be halted and that

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the same time, what he is calling for is an independent investigation

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into the killings and violence and we have been trying to get a team

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for many months from Our Human Rights Office into Syria and we are

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urging the authorities to allow the team entry and the High

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Commissioner for Sherman writes for the year when it is going to be

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briefing the Security Council in the coming hours about a very

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serious, sombre report prepared by the team even without having gone

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into Syria. It is based on interviews they could get and on

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that basis, they are worried and concerned that crimes against

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humanity might have been committed in recent months. Talk us through

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the steps, we know they have talked about systematic attacks and abuses

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of civilians and they have this body of evidence. What happens

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then? When you say that this should be referred to the ICC? Could

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President Assad be referred to the ICC? The recommendation in the

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Human Rights Office report is for the Human Rights Council to urge

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the Security Council to consider a range of steps including referring

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the case of Syria to the International Criminal Court and

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the human rights High Commissioner will be presenting the report in

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the next few hours and then the Security Council membership can

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then evaluate whether they want to take up this recommendation. What

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is your guess? We know that Britain, France and the United States have

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called on the President to step down, what about Russia and China?

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Are they elected to create some kind of paralysis? -- are they

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likely? I do not speak for other countries? There have been

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divergent opinions on the Security Council, in fact the last action

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the Security Council took two weeks ago was a presidential statement

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concerning Syria which took many weeks of negotiation to craft. It

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is possible it will take some time and the secretary general

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understands that this might take some time but he does hope that the

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Security Council can continue to speak with one voice on Syria and

:07:22.:07:31.
:07:32.:07:32.

can push for an end to violence. Thank you. Rebels in Libya say

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Colonel Gaddafi is becoming increasingly isolated after forces

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took full control of two key towns in the capital. The rebels said

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they have captured captured Garyan, 80 kilometres to the south, Zawiya,

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50 kilometres to the west, and an oil refinery just outside of Zawiya.

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The advancing rebels are insisting they'll enter Tripoli by the end of

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the month. You will get more on this. Matthew Price is there. This

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is a blow to Colonel Gaddafi, it would seem. What response have we

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had from the Libyan government? about the same time that the BBC

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correspondent Rupert Wingfield- Hayes was being driven past the oil

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refinery and seeing that it was in rebel hands, I was at a press

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conference in Tripoli being held by the Libyan Prime Minister and he

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said that the oil refinery is firmly in government hands. I

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didn't know if that information was out of date or if he was giving us

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misinformation but it is clear that there is an increasing disconnect

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between what some of the things that the Libyan government says to

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us as journalists and some of the facts on the ground as reported by

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correspondence and reporters not just from the BBC but other

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organisations to be trust. So why are, the reporting from there is

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that there are still fighting going on and it sounds like skirmishes

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from the reports I have read but at the same time it is clear that at

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the moment, the rebels also have pretty much control of Zawiya and

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the control the coastal road all the way from triply all the way to

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Tunisia. -- Tripoli. The Prime Minister insisted that road was in

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full government control and that clearly is demonstrably not true. I

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suppose the answer to the question, how is the Government dealing with

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this, is that it might be in a sense of denial about some of the

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advances and there is a sense of confusion and one of the things I

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have picked up on from some government officials in the last

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couple of days is a sense of nervousness, and that has not been

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there before. Thank you very much. Matthew on the balance of power

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tipping away from Colonel Gaddafi. Now some of the other developments.

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Police in Pakistan's biggest city, Karachi, have blamed gang rivalry

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for the killing of at least 39 people since Wednesday. Many of the

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victims were shot in the head and appear to have been tortured. The

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violence escalated after gunmen shot dead a leader in the ruling

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Pakistan Peoples Party, Waja Karim Dad. The Indian anti-corruption

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campaigner Anna Hazare says he won't leave prison until Friday,

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despite reaching a deal with the authorities. He will start a 15-day

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hunger strike that has now been agreed by the authorities. His

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arrest sparked protests across the country. Here, police in Birmingham

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say about 20,000 people have turned out for the funerals of three men

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who were killed during disturbances in the city last week. Haroon Jahan

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and brothers Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir were hit by a car in the

:10:50.:11:00.
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Winson Green area of the city. The when's says the situation in East

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Africa is becoming desperate with more than 1000 Somalis pouring into

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Kenya every day. To escape the famine and violence. The UN

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recognises that more than 12 million people are in urgent need

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of aid as the famine has spread to the southern parts of the country,

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seen in the Red Ed area on the map. -- read earlier. They keep coming.

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Walking for miles, many of their loved ones dying on the way. This

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huge camp in northern Kenya is their only hope for survival. So

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crowded, an extension is now being opened. A mother tells her she

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walked for more than 100 miles. Her two youngest children did not make

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it. Five of them survived. Britain has pledged more than �100 million

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and has announced a massive vaccination programme against

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disease. But the warning is that unless other governments to more to

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help, up to 400,000 children could die. The decisions we take today,

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the extent to which the international community can stop

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that, will become clear in the months ahead. How many of those

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400,000 will die? We had the power to stop that. The decisions we make

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will determine the results. There are also new fears that the longer

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the crisis continues, the more risk of ethnic and tribal rivalries

:12:43.:12:53.
:12:53.:12:53.

breaking out in the camps. There will be issues of resources like

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water and basic amenities, so reports of internal fighting and

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altercations are there. Britain wants a long-term solution. Within

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its EoN programme, projects are there to hand out seeds for crops

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that can survive the current climate. And to keep cattle alive

:13:13.:13:23.
:13:23.:13:25.

so that when the famine ends, these people have some hope. I have been

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talking to John O'Shea from the Irish relief agency, and he told me

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that it's very difficult to assess the situation inside Somalia.

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Everybody connected with this is guessing because we're not there,

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nobody is inside the provinces in southern Somalia controlled by the

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terrorists. Everybody is pursuing the situation is ABC. The most

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educated guesswork suggests that there are 4 million people in this

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area with no access to food. There is a drought as well. There are no

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white people, no international aid, nobody getting in with meaningful

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amounts of food to keep these people live. Starving people can

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only last for so long. And the photographs and images we see on

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screens are from the refugee camps of Kenya and Ethiopia, were very

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brave people have managed to get out of their own country and have

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reached the relative safety of the refugee camps. However, there is no

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focus on the 4 million lives hanging by a very slender thread in

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the southern provinces. The British Government and the chief Cabinet

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ministers have said we are on the cusp of a disaster and we have the

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power to prevent that. Who should be doing more? And what should they

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do? It's a very interesting word, the power, I spoke to Andrew

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Mitchell, and I regret to say that I failed on this attempt to

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convince him that the British Government has to exert pressure on

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the supreme body in this area, the Security Council of the UN, they

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are or, in my way of thinking, the only body on the globe are supposed

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to be responsible for vulnerable populations. There are no more

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vulnerable at the moment than those 4 million people. For some reason,

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unknown to anybody, the Security Council has not even discussed the

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tragedy of Sonali. What should they do? Discuss and do what? If they

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discussed this they must come to the conclusion that they must send

:15:31.:15:35.

in the international peacekeepers who will provide a safe corridor

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through which the aid committees can then give out aid. But the

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worst affected people are in those areas controlled by the militants.

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And it will be very perilous? we allow tourists to set the agenda

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now. Is the era of Neville Chamberlain back with us? Are we

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afraid to face back these people? The Kenyans say the refugee camp

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expected to receive tens of thousands of refugees, at least the

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International Committee can get to them? They can, if the people

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inside Somalia can reach the border. We're asking people to walk for 30

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days without food and water. We're asking the impossible. Many

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thousands have died already, according to the UN themselves,

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29,000 people children under the age of five have died. This is high

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noon for the Security Council. Get off the pot. This is make a

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decision, do we care sufficiently about the lives of 4 million people

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or is what is going on in Syria and Libya of such importance that we

:16:41.:16:51.
:16:51.:16:52.

have to set aside the needs of 4 That was John O'Shea, earlier today,

:16:52.:16:56.

about the famine in East Africa. The border between Israel and Egypt

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has long been calm. Now there has been a rare co-ordinated strike

:17:00.:17:04.

inside southern Israel by militants. Seven people have been killed in a

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series of attacks in southern Israel close to the Egyptian border.

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Gunmen attacked a passenger bus. A military patrol and a private car

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on desert roads leading to the Red Sea resort of Eilat. Several of the

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attackers were later killed in a gun battle with Israeli troops.

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Israel has retaliated with air strikes on the Gaza Strip, where

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six Palestinians are thought to have died. Let's talk more about

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this, joining us from Jerusalem is Gil Hoffman, Chief political

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correspondent and analyst at the newspaper, the Jerusalem Post. Gil

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Hoffman, tell us how this has been viewed in Israel, because as we

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said it has been a very calm border. It is very demoralising and quite

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scary. For 30 years Israel had to worry about the border to the south,

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where we have problems. To the north, with Hezbollah, we have

:17:57.:18:01.

problems with Gaza but we have had problems with Iraq and Iran in the

:18:01.:18:06.

east but in the south, Egypt, it has been so quiet and calm, 30

:18:06.:18:10.

years of a cold peace and now the Israeli army has to be ready on

:18:10.:18:15.

that border as well. It is quite a large border. It is going to be a

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significant challenge and coming at a time when we have had a very

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quiet summer in Israel, it was really a big shock -- a big shock

:18:22.:18:26.

to the system. The Egyptian authorities that have given the

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Americans assurances they will monitor that border and ensure that

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there are no security breaches. By you assured by that? Well, the

:18:36.:18:39.

Israeli government and Netanyahu himself just give a press

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conference, said they are not holding Egyptians responsible, they

:18:41.:18:45.

are holding Hamas responsible. Hamas is in charge of everything

:18:45.:18:51.

that comes out of Gaza. Apparently the terrorists came out of Gaza and

:18:51.:18:54.

when the Prime Minister says they are going to be held responsible,

:18:54.:18:58.

that means there will be retaliation that could be quite

:18:58.:19:03.

significant. Do you suppose we're going to see us rail shift some of

:19:03.:19:08.

its security concerns from the North to the south and does it have

:19:08.:19:12.

the budget, the resources, to do that, because they have been cuts

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in government spending in Israel? Indeed, there have been cut in

:19:19.:19:21.

spending and yet the defence minister has been very clear that

:19:21.:19:26.

for the moment Mubarak -- from the moment Mubarak fell, Israel has to

:19:26.:19:29.

take into account there could be threats from the south. There have

:19:29.:19:34.

been warnings recently that is why there were additional forces ready

:19:34.:19:39.

there when the attack happened. Now this is going to change the has

:19:39.:19:44.

really Psyche, the Israeli spending, it changes everything. Now we know

:19:44.:19:51.

one of the results, the Arab Spring, there can be another another border

:19:51.:19:55.

where they could be problems. It is developing into a scary summer

:19:55.:19:59.

after the Arab Spring. Gil Hoffman, thank you.

:19:59.:20:02.

The financial markets have been rattled by the economic outlook.

:20:02.:20:06.

There was another day of steep falls on global markets because

:20:07.:20:10.

investors via another downturn in the world economy. The Dow Jones

:20:10.:20:15.

index in New York plunged more than 4% at one stage and there were

:20:15.:20:20.

similar falls in London, Paris and Frankfurt. Let's go to the New York

:20:20.:20:22.

Stock Exchange and our correspondent, Michelle Fleury.

:20:22.:20:27.

Just put these falls we have seen today and a new York -- and I know

:20:27.:20:30.

New York is a couple of hours before it closes, put it into

:20:30.:20:35.

context for it. I was talking to a trader earlier. He said the word in

:20:35.:20:39.

all of this is confident, or lack of it. For whatever reason

:20:39.:20:43.

confidence has led the flora -- has left the floor office trading floor

:20:43.:20:47.

and those around the world. The big concern was that growth will be

:20:47.:20:52.

slower in Europe, in the United States, and there is data out today

:20:52.:20:57.

hear that added fuel to those concerns. We saw weak housing data,

:20:57.:21:00.

a manufacturing report that indicated that confidence in that

:21:00.:21:05.

sector also seems to be dissipating and we are seeing as a result of

:21:05.:21:11.

that all sorts of share prices falling, the price of oil down

:21:11.:21:14.

almost $5 and when people are worried they start pulling their

:21:14.:21:17.

money out of what they perceive to be riskier assets and putting it

:21:17.:21:22.

into safer assets and that has been reflected with the price of gold up

:21:22.:21:26.

around $30 on the day. Another record for the price of gold.

:21:26.:21:28.

Michelle Fleury in New York, thank you.

:21:28.:21:32.

It is a sign of the times that a four-day visit to Catholic Spain by

:21:32.:21:36.

the Pope has been marked by protests. Some people are angry at

:21:36.:21:39.

the cost of the visit during a period of extreme belt-tightening

:21:39.:21:43.

in Spain as a result of austerity measures. Sarah Rainsford has this

:21:43.:21:48.

report from Madrid. As Pope Benedict's plane touched

:21:48.:21:55.

down in Madrid, a crowd was waiting to welcome him. Spain's royal

:21:55.:21:59.

family was there as well. This is a state visit as well as a pastoral

:21:59.:22:03.

one. But above all it is about connecting with young Catholics,

:22:03.:22:10.

insuring the Church has a future. TRANSLATION: I have come here to

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make thousands of young people from all over the world, Catholics

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committed to Christ, searching for the truth that will give real

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meaning to their existence. By come as the successor of Peter, to

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confirm the more in the face. people lining the Pope's route have

:22:26.:22:31.

come from more than 190 countries to be here. The fact the Pope chose

:22:31.:22:34.

Madrid to host this mass rally reflects his concern at the

:22:34.:22:38.

declining influence of the church here and Spain's rapid

:22:38.:22:46.

secularisation. This crowd say Spain is not secure enough. Their

:22:46.:22:50.

protest against the use of public funds for a papal visit defend --

:22:50.:22:53.

descended into fighting with police on Wednesday night. Fuelling their

:22:53.:22:57.

anger is the fact this lavish four- day event has been staged in the

:22:57.:23:04.

midst of the deepest economic crisis in decades. Today, it is

:23:04.:23:08.

backed a party mood, complete with party nuns. The only clouds on the

:23:08.:23:14.

streets are the pilgrims. -- crowds. It is blisteringly hot but these

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young Catholics have been on the streets under the sun for hours

:23:17.:23:20.

already. They have come to Madrid from all over the world and are

:23:20.:23:24.

anxious to get the best possible place for their first glimpse of

:23:24.:23:30.

Pope Benedict. Now the Pope has joined the pilgrims, this welcome

:23:30.:23:34.

ceremony is the first in a busy schedule of events. The climaxes a

:23:34.:23:42.

mass on Sunday, when more than one million people are expected.

:23:42.:23:47.

20 years ago this week the course of history was changed. Hardline

:23:47.:23:50.

Communists in Moscow launched a coup against the Soviet leader,

:23:50.:23:54.

Mikhail Gorbachev. The coup failed and within a few months to Soviet

:23:54.:23:59.

Union had collapsed. Our Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg

:23:59.:24:02.

reports on how Russia has changed since the demise of the Soviet

:24:02.:24:06.

empire. When I moved to Moscow 20 years ago

:24:06.:24:09.

this is the street where I lived and worked for stoppages called

:24:09.:24:15.

Novoslobodskaya Ulitsa. Back then it August 1991, the Soviet Union

:24:15.:24:20.

was tearing at the scenes, the economy was in ruins and here and

:24:20.:24:23.

all over Moscow, supermarket shelves were empty of people had to

:24:23.:24:30.

queue for hours just to buy bread, oranges or milk. Today,

:24:31.:24:35.

Novoslobodskaya Ulitsa looks very different. There are coffee shop --

:24:35.:24:40.

shops, sushi restaurants, shopping centres, it is unrecognisable. I am

:24:40.:24:43.

going to find out what people think about the immense changes which

:24:43.:24:49.

have taken place on the street and in their country. At the local

:24:50.:24:56.

health spa for hounds, Dynishka the Yorkie is enjoying a bobble massage.

:24:56.:25:01.

20 years ago Russians were struggling to survive. Today,

:25:01.:25:07.

customers here are spending $120 on canine coiffures. The designer

:25:07.:25:13.

dorgi dresses from Italy are pricier. -- Dr ICES. Now the salon

:25:13.:25:19.

plans to open a branch in London. TRANSLATION: Most of our clients

:25:19.:25:25.

are businessmen, their wives are businessmen, and politicians. More

:25:25.:25:29.

people can afford to bring their pets, so the economy is on the up

:25:29.:25:33.

the stock at the technological university where I used to teach,

:25:33.:25:36.

they are less upbeat. All the students I talked to say they plan

:25:37.:25:41.

to leave Russia. More than one million Russians have done just

:25:41.:25:46.

that in the last three years, seeing better prospects of broad.

:25:46.:25:51.

TRANSLATION: Moscow has become such an expensive city. I think if I go

:25:51.:25:54.

abroad and get a job financially I will be better off. Life will be

:25:54.:26:03.

more interesting away from Russia. One man who stay -- who is staying

:26:03.:26:07.

is Nikolai Swana Deeo. He has been cutting keys for 30 years. As his

:26:07.:26:12.

friend and electricity bills have increased, his income has plummeted.

:26:12.:26:16.

What he earns in a week is barely enough to feed his family. He

:26:16.:26:21.

relies on produce from his vegetable patch to survive.

:26:21.:26:27.

TRANSLATION: When the coup happened in 1991, I collected food and money

:26:27.:26:30.

and took it to the Democrats who were defending the Russian

:26:30.:26:36.

parliament. I regret that now. They should not have destroyed the whole

:26:36.:26:42.

Soviet system. Beauty parlours for Peps and broken dreams. It is like

:26:42.:26:49.

two different pressures on one street. -- Russias.

:26:49.:26:54.

How times have changed in Russia. Let's remind you of the main news

:26:54.:26:58.

story today. The United States, Britain, France and Germany have

:26:58.:27:02.

demanded that President Basharat last -- President Bashar al-Assad

:27:02.:27:05.

of Syria leave office following the violent suppression of street

:27:05.:27:08.

protests against his leadership. It is the first explicit call for --

:27:08.:27:13.

on the West and its allies for him to step down. Mr Obama has frozen

:27:13.:27:17.

all Syrian government assets in the United States and Bob -- and banned

:27:17.:27:20.

oil imports from Syria. That is it from the programme. Next, the

:27:20.:27:29.

weather. From me, Zeinab Badawi, Hello. We have had some very wet

:27:30.:27:33.

weather around today, affecting southern and south-eastern counties

:27:33.:27:36.

of England with localised flooding and heavy showers in the north-east

:27:36.:27:40.

through the night. Tomorrow, very different. More sunshine around and

:27:40.:27:45.

it stays dry. There is below that brought the rain today but through

:27:45.:27:48.

tomorrow, high pressure will build across the UK and that means it is

:27:48.:27:52.

set to be drier and brighter. Mist and fog in the South first thing. A

:27:52.:27:55.

lot of the showers clearing from the north-east. The next weather

:27:55.:27:59.

front will push in from the West introducing cloud and Pacha into

:27:59.:28:03.

Northern Ireland but elsewhere the weather is set fair for Friday and

:28:03.:28:06.

-- for Friday afternoon. The northern England and Midlands,

:28:06.:28:10.

sunny spells. For the southern counties of England, a very

:28:10.:28:14.

different looking day tomorrow. Drier, brighter, more sunshine.

:28:14.:28:19.

Feeling warmer. Highs in the late 20s. The weather is set fair across

:28:19.:28:23.

south-west England. Sunshine continues in the afternoon. After a

:28:23.:28:28.

sunny start in Wales, a little more cloud in the afternoon. It is the

:28:28.:28:30.

Northern Ireland where it will be a bright start but through the

:28:30.:28:33.

afternoon it turns increasingly cloudy with outbreaks of like brain

:28:33.:28:37.

forced -- like rain. Pacha in the Western Islands and for the far

:28:37.:28:42.

west of Scotland. Further East, brighter skies, 19 or 20 Celsius.

:28:42.:28:46.

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