31/10/2011 World News Today


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This is BBC World News today. 7 billion and counting, the Very


Special babies born on the day the UN marked a population milestone.


But how will the planet cope? kind of world has 7 million -- 7


billion people born into? The United Nations cultural agency,


UNESCO, approves Palestine as a member.


Another resignation at St Paul's Cathedral in London. This time the


Dean over the continuing anti- capitalist protests.


Two Russian oligarchs battle over Chelsea Football Club in the courts.


Also coming up: They have come a long way from being seen as


computer geek's Tories. But is the art establishment ready


to embrace video games as art? And the hidden treasures of Islamic


art get a new home at New York's Welcome. Today, 31st October, is


the date chosen by the United Nations to mark the arrival of the


world's 7 billionth occupant. Exactly who that is is something we


will never know for sure, but when the clock struck midnight there


were many new arrivals showered with celebration.


It is more about symbols than exact sums when it comes to global


population. The UN has declared that in each country one of baby


born on 31st October becomes the seven billionth person. There are


many tiny candidates. The Philippines contribution to the 7th


-- to the 7 billion is Danica Mae Camacho. Blissfully unaware of her


celebrity status. Born into a crowded public hospital in Manila,


she was greeted with a chocolate cake and speeches. Family planning


is a controversial issue in this Catholic country. Her mother has


decided to public -- critics who birth control.


A quarrel is brewing in the far east of Russia were local


politicians have dis -- declared another candidate as the first to


be borne up on Monday. Russia's regions are competing to show how


they are boosting the country's dwindling population.


India has the opposite problem. India struggles with it a skewed


sex ratio because of the cultural preference for boys. In the Uttar


Pradesh officials said they would be appointing seven Dales born on


Monday to symbolise the 7 billion. China is also dogged by a shortage


of goals. But the government deems it so draconian family planning


policy has paid dividends, helping to boost its economy. Its problem


is now not in Nong -- not enough young Chinese to support its


elderly population. There is also the urgent issue of


inequality. 20 -- plenty of food but 21 billion people who are


hungry. Lavish lifestyles for some and polys -- policy for others.


Children die every day from drinking dirty water.


So, 7 billion and counting and for many the key question, how to


manage the Earth's scarce resources so that babies born now have a


bright future? Let us speak to Simon Ross from


Population Matters how worried should we be? I think population is


really important, I think it does underpin diverse as see, climate


change, resource such as food and energy. It is something I think we


should be acting to address right now. It is the speed also in which


the population has doubled. Backing 80 No 5, it was just 1 billion.


Things have come on so fast. What is the model of where it will peak


he? The un projection is that it will peak at around 10 billion.


That is not certain and it depends on what we do now to spread family


planning and encourage people to have a smaller families. And in


terms of economic development, what are the fact is there? Presumably


for some countries it has fed that growth but in other countries it


will not. We are seeing a growing population and growing per capita


consumption in countries that are industrialising. That is what makes


it scary in terms of resources and the environment. We need to do more


than just wait. Does it drop other issues like it GM foods for


example? Given the fact that we know that -- what exists in terms


of population, is that a strong argument for GM? Growing


consumption, growing population pressures us down roads we might


not want to go down like a buyer feels, like nuclear, like GM foods,


which have negative side-effects that we would rather avoid. With


the more that we can do to redress population the less likely we need


to take those measures. Astonishing to think that in the Ice Age the


human population was nearly extinct, look at where we are now. Do you


think human ingenuity will save us and provide a solution to this


growing population? I think human ingenuity has done a lot and will


do a lot more. The real concern is that we cannot do without water and


we find it difficult to do without fossil fuels which will not last


for ever. The more we do to industrialised agriculture, the


more we despoil the soil and stare up problems for the future. I am


pessimistic that there will be another rabbit out of the hat that


means this will not be a problem. Let us have a look at some of the


avenues now: The interim government in Libya has appointed a new prime


minister. Libya's new transitional


authorities have asked NATO to keep a presence in the country.


The Greek prime minister, George Papandreou, says that Greece will


be holding a referendum next week. The German government has tried to


deflect responsibility for an accountancy blunder that appeared


to increase its debt by 55 billion euros.


A Russian maternity home has paid to families compensation of


$100,000 each for accidentally switching their daughters at birth


12 years ago. Their story has captivated Russia and made


headlines when the story came to light as the result of a paternity


dispute. The girls do not want to swap parents.


Unesco has voted in favour of membership from the Palestinians. A


move that boosts the Palestinian bid for recognition of statehood.


The vote caused the United States to announce they were cutting off


funding, including a payment of $60 million for next month for the


organisation. As they went around the table in


Paris today, it rapidly became clear who was going to win. The nos


vastly outnumbered by the Yes from everyone else.


Rudder it -- Russian Federation, yes. Then came the announcement.


Ladies and gentlemen, the general conference has voted to adopt the


draft resolution and admit Palestine as a member of UNESCO.


Followed by jubilation from the Palestinian delegation. After


decades of waiting, Palestine has formally been admitted to be a UN


body as a state. To back in Ramallah, the Palestinian


government was quick to claim victory. We believe that the


acceptance of Palestine in UNESCO and the positive and overwhelming


voting is an indicator to the growing international support to


the Palestinian requirement from the international community to be


recognised as a stake in the borders of 1967. A few kilometres


away in Jerusalem and the reaction was less enthusiastic. That will


not change the situation on the ground in any way and it will only


make it much more difficult, and indeed Trickey, to actually renew


constructive negotiation. Today's was a small but significant victory


in their battle for recognition. The countries that voted yesterday,


including France, Russia and China and, have all made a statement that


they support the Palestinian bid for UN recognition. Next come the


consequences. UNESCO protects hundreds of ancient and beautiful


places around the world, including the old city of Jerusalem. Its


world is funded in large part by American money, money that


Washington is now almost certain to withdraw.


It has been called the Battle of the oligarchs. A courtroom showdown


between two of the richest men in Britain. One is Roman Abramovich


the other is Boris Berezovsky. Roman Abramovich arrived at court


clicking remark -- relaxed and confident. He is the third richest


person in the UK with an estimated fortune of over �10 billion. He


bought Chelsea Football Club in 2003 and has the ear of the Russian


Prime Minister. Suing him is 65- year-old Boris Berezovsky. He is


worth �500 million and although he was politically powerful in the 90s,


he fell out with a Vladimir Teuton and some now lives in England in


exile. He is suing for breach of trust and contract. Roman


Abramovich denies the allegations and says the two men whenever


business partners but that he paid Boris Berezovsky as a sort of power


Roman Abramovich's riches means he leads a very lavish life himself.


This is a case about two men who got extremely rich after the


collapse of the Soviet Union and the power struggles in modern


Russia. Neither of the participants in this case is particularly


popular among the Russian public. Both represent the kind of Russia


many of us would rather not associate with. The secret,


security obsessed, obscenely wealthy. Roman Abramovich is


usually very private and publicity- shy. But hearing caught between his


cross-examinations and the publication of all his witness


statements in English and Russian light is being shared up on the man,


his money and the manner in which he does his business.


At least 12 people have been killed after unusually early snowstorms in


the north-east of America. More than 3 million homes have been left


without power. The worst storms stretch from Maryland to


Massachusetts. So it begins again. The winter


weather has come early to America's north-east. New Englanders are


digging themselves out and it is only Hallowe'en. Over the weekend


more than a third of its dense snow fell at, settling on trees that had


not lost their leaves and causing tremendous damage. This is day


three with no lights, we have seasoned -- senior citizens that


are suffering, children that are suffering. No heat, no food, no


power and it is only October. jet was stuck on the tarmac in


Connecticut for hours. The pilot pleaded for help. I have got a


diabetic on here with the issues. I have got to get some help. Power


lines he is still run above ground so when those branches come down,


so do your electricity cables. Nobody wants to pay to put the


cables underground. It has become a difficult political sell to say it


makes sense to spend more money today to get a good infrastructure


for decades into the future that will allow us both to get economic


benefits but also health, safety, better living standards. When


people talk about America's on reliable infrastructure, this is


the have this sort of thing they mean. Many Americans feel that


winter weather should not make them A building block computer-game is


the first winner to recognise the art of video games. One craft


created by Mojang a firm in Sweden, it allows users to construct


buildings from blocks in a limitless world. It has won the


first ever GameCity prize at the final of the GameCity festival in


Nottingham. One of Europe's biggest festivals. It has not been released


officially but in winning the award, Minecraft beat off stiff


competition from international gaming giants like Microsoft and


Nintendo. Judging panels said it was selected on its ability to


encourage gamers to become more creative. Let's discuss if video


games can be considered an art form. Ekow Eshun joins us. In what you


have seen, is this art? I would say that for me video-games, most of


video games do not reach the standard of art. My definition of


art would be work that sets a ha -- higher bar and ask questions about


the human condition, the deepest things that exist within us. Most


cold for forms, video-games, a Hollywood movies, books, TV shows


do not reach that bar. Many don't but some do but is it within video


gaming are to produce works of art? It is within video gaming to


produce that. I do not think they have yet and that is to say we are


in a middle of a generational shift. In these last 20 years we have had


sets of people growing up playing video games, as an integral part of


their life experience and their work and their enthusiasm for that


has influenced all sorts of things. If you look at movies, they are


influenced by video games. The next step is games that themselves reach


beyond some of the demarcations of the genre and ask the questions


about how we love. Is it something to do with the people designing


these games that perhaps they do not have a broad enough artistic


base to cross reference some of those things. If you take music or


literature where you can see that common thread dating back hundreds


of years. They probably take issue with that. It is a new form and so


it is finding its way. There are arguments to say that computer


games are like Architecture, that you as the character are involved


in this immerse it environment, you are the person finding their way


round and to some extent you are the one who makes the rules,


discovers... Are you excited by it? Absolutely. One of the fascinating


things is you can play a game for 50 hours, that is a different


experience to watching a film or reading a book. Somewhere along the


way we will get to a point where you will discover deep experiences


and truth that they come out of those games. Thank you very much


for coming in. Let's turn to St Paul's Cathedral


because the dean has resigned. The second prominent figure to be


brought down around the crisis of the anti-capitalist protest taking


place on the doorstep. The protests have prompted the cathedral to


close its doors for the first time since the Second World War.


Only hours from his magnate -- resignation, Graeme Knowles body


language betrayed the pressure he was under. Visibly uncomfortable as


he asked protesters to give St Paul's the space to pursue social


justice in its own way. I find it quite difficult that you see him --


Essien that I do not hold the same views as you because I do not use


the same methods of expressing my views as you. Today the news that


has shocked the whole church. A statement from the Dean read by a


colleague saying he was going with immediate effect. It has become


increasingly clear to me that as criticism of the cathedral has


mounted in the press, media and in public opinion, my position as Dean


of St Paul's was becoming untenable. Protesters said they had not wanted


to force the Dean out. In times where there are certain amounts of


pressure going around, I think in some cases a good show of honour to


resign. Very shocked. Everyone is really shocked. I am saddened he


has had to step down. What we want to do is get back to the issues


that is what he and the bishop said. On October 15th when protesters


were barred by police from the Stock Exchange, the cathedral


appeared to offer them Zack trip. A week into the occupation, the


cathedral suddenly closed citing health and safety concerned. On


27th October, Canon Charles Frazier resigned saying he could not


sanction the use of force to a bit the protesters. Today came the most


dramatic development of all, the Dean of England's principal


Cathedral forced out of office by a public protest. The Bishop of


London will take over the Dean's duties. He said the resignation was


tragic and saddened and shocked him. He made clear that the cathedral's


policy would not change. I am not taking a softer line at all. I


think as people were saying to me yesterday, the campsite has to


disappear at some point, scaled- down. The cathedral is very prudent


and sensible in exploring the legal territory. Graeme Knowles spoke of


facing insurmountable issues and there is no sign tonight that the


protesters will leave. The Dean's departure might do little to ease


St Paul's agony. There is no debate about one of the


finest collections of Islamic art in the world which has now been


given a new home at me York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Drawn


from the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and Asia the artifacts


devote the rich diversity of his love. The museum is hoping its new


galleries will help dispel stereotypes about Muslim culture in


We must recognise that we live in a nation where a widespread


consciousness about Islamic world really did not exist until 10 years


ago. And that awareness came at one of the darkest hours in American


A decade after New York was attacked by Muslim extremists, the


City's pre-eminent museum has unveiled a new gallery which traced


the full course of Islamic civilisation. We have one of the


biggest collections of Islamic art in the Western world, some 12,000


pieces. Are gonna waste and 1,400 years from the earliest origins of


Muslim culture, through the variations across the world. Most


of this collection was taken off display in 2003. Some in the Muslim


community suspected this was done in retaliation for the attacks of


9/11. Not so, says the Metropolitan Museum of Art, old galleries need


to be reconfigured and new ones painstakingly built. This is an


eight-year process. So many were involved. We had so many


Conservatives, architects, engineers, every kind of person you


can imagine right down to the people who were marbling pieces of


what last week. A team of Moroccan artisans was even brought to New


York to create an exquisite courtyard. It shows people that


artists of this scale are still alive, still working. Are did not


Apart from being a major addition to the map's permanent collection,


these new art galleries are part of a concerted effort in cultural


diplomacy. It is hoped the artistic riches on display might go some way


to improving the relations between the US and the Moslem world over


the past 10 years. It is our midst and took a decade and help people


with world culture. Showing things in a broader perspective. Sarah


Sayeed from the into a centre of New York says the opening of these


new galleries is a major breakthrough for Muslims in this


city. Having a gallery like this will really help to broaden and


deepen people's perceptions of who Muslims are. There is a real


opportunity here. It is wonderful that this gallery is opening at


A reminder of Alamein years: countries across the world have


been holding events to mark the birth of the seven billionth person


on the planet. The UN says all the children born on 31st October could


be considered the seven billionth baby. The Philippines was the first


country to declare such a baby, Danica May Camacho he was born in


the capital Manila. The US is stopping its financial


contributions to UNESCO after the Palestinians were admitted to the


organisation. The motion to admit the Palestinians was passed by a


majority despite strong opposition from the US and Israel. Next the


weather. But from me and the rest It has been another very mild day


across the country. A bit on the cloudy side. There were some rain


in the West. That will clear tonight and for many, tomorrow will


be a dry day. Tonight rain all courtesy of this weather front. It


will be heavy for a time but it is Clearing eastwards and we have a


window of dry weather following. It will stay cloudy tomorrow in the


south-east corner. Some showers in the north and west but in between


we have sunshine. Four North East England it will be dry and bright


with highs or 14 or 15 degrees. A bit overcast in parts of East


Anglia and south-east England. But sunny spells tomorrow for the south


coast and wards parts of Devon and Cornwall. The breeze coming in from


the south with temperatures of 14 and 15 degrees. Across Wales, the


cloud thick enough at times for one or two isolated showers but for


Northern Ireland, it will be a fine day. A big cooler with temperatures


of 12 Celsius. A scattering of showers across western Scotland.


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