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This is BBC World News Today with me Tim Willcox. The shame of the US
marines? Universal condemnation as a video apparently showing four of
them urinating on dead Taliban fighters is posted online. It is
absolutely inconsistent with American values, with the standards
of behaviour we expect from our military personnel.
The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson is charged by a Turkish court after
secretly filming orphanages there. The cost of Mexico's drugs war as
the death toll approaches 50,000, five years after the crackdown.
And the unassuming young acoustic singer who's topped the nominations
at this year's Brit awards. Find Hello and welcome. The Pentagon
says it's "deeply troubled" by a video apparently showing four
American marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.
NATO and the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, have also condemned
it, - President Karzai calling it inhuman. A spokesman for the
Taliban described the video as shameful, but said it would not
affect attempts to broker peace talks. Ian Pannell reports from
Washington. Cities too distasteful to show but
what appears to be happening in the video is a small group of US
Marines are urinating on the bodies of three dead Afghans. We do not
know whether the deal has come from or if it is authentic but the
indications are it is. The condemnation it has provoked has
been universal. It is absolutely inconsistent with American values,
the standards of behaviour that we expect from a military personnel
and the vast vast majority of our military personnel and Marines hold
themselves to. So this is not the first time US troops have been
accused of breaching the rules of war. A in the past its acted fast
to investigate and punish those responsible. Containing a damaged
its reputation is harder. This man said US troops have committed a
crime and should leave the country, the president demanded an
investigation. The biggest fear is this would damage the prospects of
peace talks with insurgents but the Taliban says the political process
is separate and still stands. It's more than 10 years since American
troops invaded, the mission has been longer and harder than many
expected. It is increasingly unpopular amongst Afghans who want
to know the latest allegations will be taken seriously. A US cruel
investigation has been launched into this disgraceful act. It will
be thorough and any individual whose involvement is confirmed will
be held fully accountable and punished accordingly. Whatever the
facts, it will harm America's reputation overseas but it's
unlikely to have an impact in the way past scandals have, US troops
have pulled out of Iraq, reduced numbers in Afghanistan and the
peace process with the Taliban is under way. Expect all sides to
limit the damage but don't expect any change in policy.
Ahmad Shuja is a director of the Foundation for Afghanistan, a
Washington and Kabul-based non- profit group dedicated to the
country's reconstruction. He also writes the Afghanistan Analysis
blog. It has not been confirmed, the
veracity of the video but if it is true what will the impact be?
think the impact of this on the talks with the Taliban and Afghan
government is not going to be extensive as the Taliban have
downplayed this. What it does is... It's the latest in a long string of
incidents involving US soldiers in Afghanistan so that is unfortunate
and will have PR damage consequences for the US involvement
in Afghanistan but it's important to understand that it will be taken
it more negatively in some parts of Afghanistan the others. Overall, it
is a huge PR disaster. We are looking at a backlash against
American troops perhaps on the ground rather than any lasting
impact or damage to the East peace talks which are about to start soon.
That's accurate to a degree but to expect because of these images
broadcast in the Afghan media as well to have large scale at
demonstrations by Afghans on the ground in Afghanistan and burning
American flags is too far-fetched. What it does is create more
negativity among the Afghans about the US presence on the ground.
President Obama's ambassador is due for talks with Hamid Karzai next
week, are looking at the best hope for peace now in Afghanistan after
10 years of war? I think now you have the strongest push from all
parties involved, especially the US and Taliban and Afghan government.
But the push is stronger than ever towards a negotiated settlement for
the peace in Afghanistan. One other points, the video about the
allegedly urination, there is a cognitive dissonance in Washington
about what the US wants its troops to do all things of its troops and
what these individuals have done. At many in the West are shocked but
what's important to understand is the shock in Afghanistan is not
about the actor but it involves an action urination and desecration of
corpses which are country more significant to Afghans than the act
itself. Thank you. A Turkish court has pressed charges against
Britain's Duchess of York for secretly filming orphanages in
Turkey. The court accused the former wife of Prince Andrew of
going "against the law in acquiring footage and violating privacy" of
five children. If convicted she faces a maximum term of 22 and a
half years in prison, Our Istanbul correspondent Jonathan Head joins
Just describe what this relates back to. Three years ago at the
Duchess of York one of the projects she took up was exposing conditions
children in some orphanages are kept in in Turkey and other
countries and she came with a TV crew and visited a number of
institutions were abandoned children and this institution she
went to with a TV crew and her daughter Eugenie is one where
abandoned children with severe mental disabilities are kept. She
posed as a donor and got in and secretly filmed the conditions that
children are captain. It is a cemetery, it was chaotic and some
children were tied down. It was very disturbing. When the programme
was broadcast the Turkish government has outraged lodging a
diplomatic protest and accusing her of smearing the country and try
deliberately to damage Turkey's prospects of joining the European
Union. Three years later, a prosecutor has torn up an
indictment against her and imposed these charges. It could result in a
heavy prison sentence and Turkey applies very tough sentences for
what are perceived to be minor issues in other countries. Is it
unusual for charges to be pressed so long after the event? No, it's
not. People have been jailed and is a big issue at the moment for many
years before they get to trial. The judicial system is very problematic.
I suspect the Duchess of York will fill grateful she is not in Turkey
and does not have to go through it. There is nothing exceptional about
that. There is an extradition at Deal between Turkey and Britain.
This would not be considered a crime so she will not be coming
back to face trial. Some other news: police in the UK are
investigating claims British intelligence was involved in the
cases of two men taken to Libya for interrogation. The Libyans are
threatening to sue the UK over their transfer to Libya and
subsequent torture. Charges have been ruled out in it to other cases
involving claims of British involvement in torture overseas.
Nigerian oil workers are threatening to shut down or
production. The union is demanding action. Israel's Supreme Court has
upheld a law banning Palestinians since marrying Israelis and getting
citizenship. The laws introduced nine years ago with lackeys citing
security concerns. A former county cricketer has become the first
English player to be convicted of spot fixing during a match in 2009.
Mervyn Westfield pleaded guilty to receiving a corrupt payment.
Mexican officials say nearly 13 thousand people were killed in
violence blamed on organised crime between January and September last
year. That takes the total number of drug related killings to more
than 47 thousand since President Felipe Calderon launched his
crackdown on drug traffickers in late 2006. With presidential
elections in July, violence is set to be a key issue for voters. Will
Grant reports from Mexico City. The statistics confirm what many
Mexicans suspect it for some time. For a 5th consecutive year, Mexico
has experienced a rise in drug- related murders. Almost 13,000
people killed in drug violence in the first nine months of last year.
But up 11.4% on the same period in 2010. Conflicts between the
country's powerful drug cartels battling for control of the
smuggling routes into the United States have seen many communities
caught up in the fighting and left thousands of Mexicans did. -- dead.
A small proportion of the murders are ever brought to trial and many
are not even investigated. While the numbers are large, the
government of the President has defended the military strategy. The
rise was the lowest since 2006, the government says and violence has
concentrated in eight states. Especially on the northern border.
Critics say it previously peaceful states and are being caught up in
the fighting searchers those in the east and west. There were some
individual improvements last year such as a job and violence in the
border city. However experts say it may be more to do with a single
cartel taking over control rather than any great success by the
military or police. Mexico's cartels are still extremely strong,
especially that one or by the world's most powerful drug baron.
His empire is weakened and he is fighting other drug gangs. For many
Mexicans, tired of the violence, this election year is a chance to
register their anger at the number of murders taking place every year.
The governing party is expected to lose the vote in July to the party
which run the country for more than 70 years. If that happens, these
numbers will have undoubtedly played a large part.
Let's speak to someone who has written extensively on the Mexican
drug war. An 11% rise, lower than it previously, not much to crow
about. It's nothing to be excited about all to brag about. One of the
things with the release of the numbers, there's been a lot of
scepticism over why the delay in releasing numbers. I believe from
my knowledge of Mexican officialdom that there wasn't really a sinister
reason for this but I think what they're trying to desperately do is
communicate what is happening, whether going up, down or what does
it mean, spinning it either way depend on how you interpret it. And
You spend some dangerous times they are researching the book. Tell us
more about his man. The USA he is the world's most powerful drug
trafficker. How smart is he? think the key is a calculating. In
my research, in the mountains, it is very hard to find him, but you
get a chance of the power that his name and the organisation wheels.
He has built up over the years by being a very calculating and
ruthless, when necessary, and of course this is the drug world and
you do not get ahead simply by caution and bribery. He has made
alliances with rival Corps tells, the right time, and has moved into
drug markets in the United States. -- cartels. He moved into Met
amphetamine long before his competitors. -- Met amphetamines.
So he is an innovator when it comes to drug trafficking? Is see seen as
a local folk hero? If so, what has he done for the community and why
is nobody turning men? In terms of the local folk, officials love to
say that when they are describing him. You could argue that about
drug traffickers, that is how they operate and that is how the Mafia
used to operate. You win the population over by constructing
schools and funding schools, giving to the church, the Catholic Church
is now coming out and admitting that in the past, money from
narcotics has come in. That is brave of them to do it. I respect
that. The money has come in where government money has not. Through
simple means, this drug dealer employs people where there is no
other employment. You win supporters that way. Thank you for
joining us, Malcolm Beith. Two years after the earthquake in
Haiti which killed 300,000 people and left 1.5 million homeless,
progress and rebuilding has been slow. 500,000 people are still
living in camps and there are very few signs of reconstruction. On
Wednesday, thousands took to the streets of Port-au-Prince to demand
new housing. Laura Trevelyan is there for us now.
Welcome to 80. -- Haiti. Coming up on the second anniversary of the
earthquake. Everything changed in just a few seconds. Ceremonies of
remembrance are being held throughout the country. In just 35
over bombing seconds, the earthquake destroyed lives, homes,
and the heart of Haiti's government. That night, Astral Jacques lost one
daughter and feared he would lose a second. The kid is dying in but she
is fighting. She is infected and there is no help. Her head was open.
Her body was crushed under the rubble. This is the spot where
Tully up almost died. Very little has changed. -- his daughter. She
has made a spectacular recovery. She has done well. Life is not as
great in Haiti, there are no jobs and I am frightened for them. But
she is fighting. Daily life is still a struggle. Half of the
rubble from the earthquake has been removed, but 500,000 people are
still living in tents. President Michel Martelly, the singer turned
leader, has promised change. were slow to move the people out of
the camps. Lately, we have been able to do it. That is a huge gap.
This park was a sea of tends immediately after the earthquake.
Now those families have moved out, and normal life is returning. For
Patients, it is a small sign of progress. -- the people of Haiti.
Jessica has been given a grant to move into this tiny apartment that
she shares with her five children. TRANSLATION: It is better than
living in a tent. But how will I pay the rent next year? As Haiti
prepares to mourn its stead, the ruins of the National Cathedral are
a place for reflection and remembrance. The monumental loss is
still so hard to bear. Yolette Etienne joins me now, their
director of the project for Oxfam. What was your experience of the
earthquake? Thank you for having made here today. Thank you for
coming. -- having me. I was at work at Oxfam. I was there with my staff,
and we had this painful experience. We lost many staff who had been
there for a long time. I live close to the office, and I helped
assessed after the death of one of my colleagues who had spent 15
years working with us. He was 40. And then I had to take care of my
staff, to see how they could get home. We already knew that we had
to be at the office tomorrow morning, because it was our mission.
As Oxfam, we are not only a humanitarian organisation, we are
also a redevelopment organisation, and we are supporting Haiti in
development. And as well as losing staff, what was the impact on your
family? Why I went home, my mother was in the garden. My house was
completely destroyed. But it was the same situation. I was part of a
collective drama. And you had this awful experience, you lost your
mother and colleagues, and you had to respond to this emergency. Two
years on, how much progress has been made in Haiti? Now, again, I
am mixing my personal motions and my responsibilities for the
organisation who should support the people of Haiti to overcome this
situation. If we look around us, we still see people intense, and
people struggling to overcome this situation. -- in tents. When you
say you need to move the on the poverty, do you mean creating jobs
so that Haiti can get lifted out of the situation? Exactly. That is
what people are asking for. It is also trying to support people to
live better. That should be the content. If we rebuild better, we
should take into account people living in the countryside,
supporting farmers and jobs and the young people, and women. Thank you
for joining us here. And for sharing your experience of the
earthquake. Thank you very much. The
nominations for the 2012 Brit Awards have just been revealed at a
special launch in London. The 20- year-old singer-songwriter Ed
Sheeran is leading the field, nominated in four categories. Let
us find out who else made the nominations with Gemma Cairney from
BBC Radio 1 extra. You have just hot-footed it back from the hotel!
I still have my a wristband. Sheeran is talking -- topping the
list. What is so special about him? I think it is quite extraordinary.
Nobody really knew who he was this time last year. He has stormed it,
he has worked as a toff, playing every festival and every tent. --
worked really hard. As his notoriety got bigger, he would be
booked in bigger tents, and I think he has really done well, he is
original and organic. And he is only 20. By no! He has had three
top fives already. It has happened out of nowhere. The album went
Brunner! He has got a really good mind and he collaborates with other
artists. He is great with a guitar, which is the most important thing.
Does he write his own material? He is the husband of the Brit
Awards. Best British male solo artist, best British breakthrough,
best British single and British album of the year. He is going to
win something. Jessie J. The wife of the Brit Awards for this year.
Again, she won the Critics' Choice last year. No one knew who she was.
There you are, talking to her. Amazing. She is looking absolutely
amazing tonight. She went on holiday with Ellie Goulding who won
the Critics' Choice the year before that. It is one big love-in over
there. She is up for three awards. British team a solo artist, British
breakthrough act, again, British single, Price Tag, which we all
remember, and those are the three. It doesn't quite spring to mind! At
Dell, I do know who she is. Jessie J is up ahead of her. Yes. She is
up for British single and album of the year for 21. But maybe Jessie J
is on the cusp of a breakthrough. It is all quite soulful, in terms
of the sound. Is that the trend this year. --? In the past, decades
ago, it was boy bands and it was quite manufactured. It was all
image and marketing. This seems much more serious than musical.
quite excited that everyone cares about real music again. Perhaps it
is less image based and more about the sound of someone's voice, going
back to the Critics' Choice thing, Ellie Goulding and Jessie J, this
year it was Emile Sande, and if you do not know her, you need to check
her out because she puts on a real performance. The whole room was
just still. She has sold. She has got the vibe. It really counts.
will see who is going to win next month. Gemma Cairney, thank you
very much. That is it. From all the very much. That is it. From all the
team here, go by. -- goodbye. For the moment, it is goodbye to spring
and hollow to winter. It will feel much more like January tomorrow
morning. Widespread frost starting the day. The reason for that, an
area of high pressure building across the UK, blocking mild
westerly winds. This is how we start the day. The blue it will
show where we have the frost. Pretty sharp across northern parts.
Cloudy skies across the north-west. Much of northern England across the
north-west, England and the south- east. Temperatures matching. Down
on recent days, but about right for this time of year. More cloud at
times across Cornwall and the north and east of Wales. The wind is
going to be very, very light tomorrow. That will help with the
field. Rather grey skies across Northern Ireland. It should be dry,