The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.
Browse content similar to 18/01/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
This is BBC World News today. Agencies admit thousands of lives
could have been saved in the Horn of Africa last year it early famine
warnings had been heeded. As fears grow of another food
crisis, this time in the west of the Continent, we ask have lessons
been learned? There is a shortage of grain, we are waiting for the
consequences of the shortage. The rescue operation on the Costa
Concordia is suspended as the ship shapes down the rocks. The
government says there is a risky could sink completely.
Hungary's Prime Minister faces his accusers in the European Parliament.
He says he will change legislation it branded undemocratic, but will
it be enough? I appeal to him to accept the principles of democracy
and freedom and implement them. Also coming up. Blacked out in
protest. Wikipedia shuts down its English-language website for 24
hours in protest a new anti-piracy proposals in the US.
Lights are set to switch off in this Somerset town, so people can
see the stars clearly. Hello and welcome. Aid workers in
East Africa were so slow to sound a warning over last year's Fanon,
that thousands of people died unnecessarily. That is the
conclusion of a report by two of the aid agencies, Oxfam and Save
the Children. They say agencies took more than six months to act on
information from satellites and eyewitnesses of the developing
crisis. The report comes as fears grow that the Sahel region of West
Africa could be facing a further food crisis. Our correspondent now
reports. The mothers are waiting when this health clinic opens,
almost all their children were being treated for severe
malnutrition. It is this child's third visit and she is showing
progress. Many more children are at risk of severe malnutrition in the
share at this time.. Her mother returns to a village nearby. The
last rain stopped early in many places, pests did much damage to
crops as well in this region, supposed to be one of the bread
baskets of the country. The what are seen as more precious than
usual. The hardest game has only 10% of the Food We need she says.
My husband went to Nigeria to work, but the money went quickly and he
has gone back. I have to fetch wood and water to sell them for
something for us to live on. There is great on sale in the market in
this town. The poor can ill-afford the rising price. Here, a scheme to
help the poorer buying food when it is still available. This is visited
today by the EU humanitarian aid conditioner. This is a typically
hard-pressed village, people are given cash to help them feed their
families, increasingly seen as the quickest way to state of
malnutrition. The commissioner said it was a race against time. We see
the hunger season coming much earlier, February or March, rather
than May or June. We see already the scale of the problem been
substantial. If we act swiftly and early and we target the most
vulnerable, we can prevent a catastrophe and we will. That
places even more importance on centres like this one, run by Save
the Children, which shows mothers how they can reduce the chances
that the children will become acutely malnourished and sick.
The search for survivors from the Costa Concordia has been suspended
after the ship has shifted, making it too dangerous for divers. The
Italian government says there is a risk that the ship could sink
completely because of rough seas and salvage teams have just days to
siphon off the ship's fuel. Italy's Prime Minister who is in London for
talks with David Cameron says everything has been done to limit
the environmental impact of the disaster. It is slow going inside
the ship. They are moving through the floating debris of a once a
luxury liner, a long corridors turned on their side. Specialist
divers here are searching for survivors, but they know they are
likely to only find the dead. This is how they have been entering the
ship, through the top deck, now on the waterline. At one point, the
glass door of the shop was a of me, with the contents inside all
pressing down. It could have shattered at any moment.
rescued was put on hold today, as the ship began to move slightly,
making it too dangerous to look for the missing. Among them, Russell
Rebello, a waiter on board. Today, his brother Kevin came to the
island and sold the wreck of the Costa Concordia for the first time.
Does he think his brother can possibly be alive? It is the 5th
day. Five days, but there have been miracles and people have come home
after many days. On the mainland, the captain's wife was mocked by
journalists. He is enemy Number One, criticised for abandoning ship. He
is reported as saying he slipped by mistake into a departing lifeboat.
Few here believe that and his lawyer says the captain, he is
under house arrest, is deeply shaken by what happened, but the
sister of another missing crew member has no sympathy. It is
outrageous they have come under house arrest. He is like a free man.
The search is taking too long. salvage operation is ready to go
just as soon as they get permission. Equipment and personnel have been
brought in. Everyone knows that removing the ship from its current
resting place is going to be a mammoth task. The long days are
taking their toll on rescuers. One collapsed exhausted today. A
satellite picked up his image of the ship, lying peacefully against
the island. Down on the shower, Kevin Rebello waits for his brother.
Hungary's Prime Minister says issues raised by the European
Commission cannot easily be resolved. A day after the European
Commission announced they are taking legal proceedings against
hungry for infringing the rights of data protection, the judiciary and
the central bank, he defended his country's position. In the debate
in the European Parliament the EU president appealed to the Prime
Minister to respect the principles of democracy. The on the legal
aspects, some concerns have been expressed regarding the quality of
democracy in Hungary, its political culture and the relations between
government and the position between the state and the civil society. I
strongly appeal to the Prime Minister up to respect the
principles of democracy and freedom and to implement them. He needs to
implement them in the practice and social life of his country. We are
talking about a restructuring of enormous scope, enormous importance
and we understand that there are debates in relation to that. Today,
I address the letter to the president of the commission and I
expressed an opinion in this letter and I said that the problems that
had been raised by the commission it could easily be resolved. They
could swiftly be resolved and remedy to. It looks on the face of
it as though he has backed down quite considerably, is that the
case? He has backed down, but he is putting a brave face on it and is
trying to maintain what he would call his own dignity. It is
interesting listening to the president of the commission talking
about not only the letter of the law and the European treaties, but
also about the spirit. The Prime Minister was quieter on the spirit,
and he is keen to point out that only the letter of three laws at
the 365 that he passed last year have actually been challenged.
it realistic to imagine that he could stage an enormous political
U-turn? No, be it is difficult to imagine that. He did not have to go
to Strasbourg, he invited himself and offered to go and face this
criticism that hungry has been under. It will be interesting to
see in the coming days or what happens next. We will see if they
have the man is to persuade the IMF, they have been looking for a lead
it into the EU and we will know that on Friday when the Minister in
charge of Hungary's undergoes Houston's with the IMF talks to the
European Commission. Then we will have a clearer idea of how credible
the commission finds the responses which the Prime Minister has given.
He suggested that he did not think that Hungary actually needed money
from the IMF, but that it was willing to talk to the IMF and that
it could do with some sort of security, what do you make of that?
Is it is the line and a consistent line from the government that it
prefers to borrow on the markets from the financial world, rather
than turning to the IMF, even though the IMF would offer that
money, the loner that Hungary wants a better interest rates than that
available on the market. The government is keen to show that it
can finance its debts from the market, but it does that not want
to face the difficulties of that. He wants to have this alone as the
safety net, not as some think the Government wants. Thank you.
And a jury in a police commissioner has been suspended for alleged
negligence after a suspected member of the Islamist sect Boko Haram
escaped in a shoot-out. Kabiru Sokoto was thought to have
masterminded the bombing of a Roman Catholic church on Christmas Day.
He was arrested on Saturday, but was freed a day later in an attack
by a Boko Haram gang. The Iranian Foreign Minister at the -- Ali
Akbar Salehi is in Turkey for talks on his country's nuclear programme
and has suggested a new round of international talks on the subject
could take place soon. He said the talks, which collapsed a year ago,
would probably be held in Istanbul. The British Prime Minister David
Cameron has accused Iran and its allies in the Lebanese Hezbollah
movement of helping Syria's government to suppress the uprising
there. Mr Cameron said evidence had emerged that Iran was supplying
arms to the Syrian security forces. He said Hezbollah was also
supporting the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.
The online Encyclopaedia Wikipedia has shut down its English-language
website in the 24 hour blackout. The action is a protest against a
proposed law in the United States aimed at stopping online piracy.
Other websites have also joined the temporary shutdown clot, including
word press. We have taken it for granted for so long now that any
end to the free flow of information on phones, tablets and PCS, seems
impossible. It has happened. One of the world's was popular websites
and cribs sheet for students everywhere has gone dark. Wikipedia
has blacked out it site in protest at the threat of legislation from
the US Congress. Two bills, one in the House of Representatives and
one in the Senate, would force search engines to delist websites
but hose a pirated material. Advertisers would be forced to cut
links with the pirates to. It isn't just Wikipedia, a clutch of
websites are making a stand a what they say is heavy-handed
legislation that will not work, but could damage the World Wide Web.
useful analogy might be that if you hear it there is this great
invention called the of Mobile, then two years later you find it is
being used by bank robbers, the answer isn't to band all to Mobiles,
the answer is to deal with that problem directly. So on people see
this as a clash between New Media and old, others as a battle between
the creators of content, the people to make films or write songs, and
those who aggregated, the big search engines like the local. The
defenders of the bill say it is simpler than that. They say that
piracy is threatening their intellectual property and with it
This bill has focused on websites that there up stealing from
American property and profiting from it.
It is an unprecedented protest. American lawmakers will not be able
to ignore it. For more than this, we can cross
over to the activist director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
It is an international digital right support group which opposed
is the proposed laws. Is this not as simple as saying that some
people believe that the internet should abide by-laws, and some
people believe that the internet should have its own laws? Nobody
here is debating whether or not, it was should apply to content on the
internet. The issue at play is that a lot that Congress is debating
right now, SOPA, and the protect i p act in the Senate, are overly
broad laws. Instead of merely taking down infringing Materials,
they would give unprecedented Materials to the executive branch
to force search engines to dump search queries and other such
measures. These are tools that we really don't ever want to use to
fight piracy, especially when many of the tools already available are
successfully fighting the so-called piracy problem. Some might say that
the measures are not successful which is why you have to go this
far. What is interesting about that is that the proposed legislation is
working to try and improve rights holders abilities to withhold
access to certain content online, but it has this collateral effect
which is that the tech industry, the internet industry which has
been in America and has been so wonderful to our economy, would be
endangered by this. It could scare off investors. It could make it so
that people who want to create new technologies might be worried about
legal liabilities. I am very concerned about just what would
happen if this legislation were to pass.
Let's return now to Niger and the concerns there about food shortages.
Our correspondent is in the capital of Niger. Over to you.
Great concerns here, largely because of the drought and the crop
pests that have affected the recent harvest, but also the rising food
prices. So much so was their concern that today, the EU
humanitarian aid commissioner, who has been visiting Niger, announced
a more than doubling of humanitarian aid to over 100
million euros. On top but that, a further 150 million euros will now
be invested in long-term food security and other measures to
build up people's resilience. I have with me the Unicef
representative in Niger. Also, the UN that humanitarian co-ordinator
at the moment. This idea of trying to do much more to integrate
emergency aid, as we have just heard it is being more than doubled,
with what you might call longer term eight, did try to address the
routinely chronic poverty in the country. Why might that approach
make a difference now? This is a lesson we have learned from the
2010 crisis. Nearly two years later, we are back in a crisis and I think
what we have seen today is climate change in action in this a have a.
It is not enough to deliver humanitarian assistance. We need to
be able to break the cycle of the current crisis, and to do so, we
need to tackle and that the same time, the immediate needs of the
population and the structural factors. For a long time now,
people have been trying to break that cycle. Most particularly,
since the 2005 famine here which killed so many people. Might there
be any hope now that there will be more success in achieving this?
political environment has drastically changed with the new
government. It is willing to tackle the situation openly which was not
the case before. There is strong partnership between American
agencies, UN agencies and the government here, and an
understanding that we cannot just looked towards treating severely
malnourished children but respond to the underlying causes of
malnutrition and therefore act to solve that. The context is
different but do you as confident as the EU aid commissioner that you
should be able to contain this particular crisis? Yes. In contrast
to 2010, this time the warning was early enough to be able to respond
before facing humanitarian catastrophe. Thank you very much
indeed. Obviously, we all have to see whether that actually happens.
In Russia, a group of celebrities, writers, TV presenters and even a
rock star have launched a Voters League. They say it is to ensure
future elections are fair. It is part of a string of new initiatives
made since the controversial elections in December. The
Government has ignored plans for the vote to be held again but has
already made some concessions to the protesters.
As Moscow emerged from its long winter break, the Kremlin wall had
been hoping that the protest movement for fair elections had
lost its momentum. In secret meetings, in ever-changing venues,
activists have been working hard to keep the fledge and movement alive.
At a press conference today, a group of Russian writers and
celebrities formally launched one of the initiatives - and newly-
created Voters League. This is a non-political organisation to help
people take part in fair elections. We want people to know that when
their vote goes in the ballot box, it will be counted.
Before the New Year, Moscow saw the three biggest protests of the
Vladimir Putin the ear. Tens of thousands took to the streets,
furious at what they believed where fixed parliamentary elections.
Protests inspired and gave hope to a new generation of activists.
Among them, this man, who is editorial director of one of
Russia's biggest media empires. It is the start of a huge social
discussion which was artificially frozen for many years. Now, it has
woken up and they think it will be hard to stop it. The internet is
still boiling with further evidence of alleged electoral fraud. This
was a raid on Monday by a parliamentary deputy and
journalists on what appears to be a room full of people falsifying a
list of supporters for a pro Kremlin candidate. The videos are
fuelling the anger of ordinary demonstrators like this internet
entrepreneur and part-time lecturer. She says her fury overcame her fear
of attending her first protest on the day after the elections. Now,
she has been to them all. I have never been to any protest meeting
before but I felt, and I called my parents, who said that I should not
call and they begged me not to go but I felt there was no way not to
stand up. In the weeks since the protests began, the Kremlin has
made several concessions, including the introduction of several
democratically elected governors and the regions. There is still a
huge gap between what the government is offering and the
truly fair elections the demonstrators want.
Millions of BBC viewers across the UK have been glued to it this
Stargazing Live programmes this week. One town has decided to get
involved in a very strong way. Tonight, Dulverton is switching off
all its lights to minimise light pollution and get a better view of
the sky. Good evening from Dulverton. About
2000 people live here and some of them have started coming down on to
the States this evening having switched off their lights at home.
They are massing on this date for this Stargazing Live event
organised by BBC. -- state. This is the high street here in Dulverton.
It is not a huge place but still certainly lots of light pollution.
In one hour, everyone was switched off their lights and the place will
be full of darkness and everyone can look to the skies and hopefully
see some stars. Dulverton at sunset. Tonight,
things in this part of Britain will look rather different. At a time
when light would normally be coming on, this evening, they will be
switched off. The aim is zero light pollution. This is so that the
skies are as clear as possible. will be really cool because we can
all look up into the sky and see things we have not seen before.
What will it be like? Ski area. you a bit nervous? -- scary. It
will certainly be a change because these pictures from Nasa show how
much like the is around the world at night, presenting us from
getting a clear view of the stars. -- preventing. This is Britain's
first darkness reserve. We take lighting for granted and turn
lights on and off without even thinking about it. We want to show
that even a small place like Dalton or Exmoor can make a big difference
to light pollution. It seems that everyone in is a rural community is
getting involved and later tonight, traffic will be banned and the
councils which of every state light. Despite appearances, the pub is
staying open. It will not be business as usual, however, with
serving in the dark presenting new challenges. There may be a bit of
spilt beer on the floor but hopefully not too much. It will be
worse than the kitchen, I think. After weeks of planning, tonight,
Dulverton get its moment in the spotlight. That is until the
spotlight is also switched off. There are some things you cannot
plan for and the British weather is certainly one of them. You can see
that it is there is Olli Rehn tonight and it is rather Rover cast,
so not the clear skies they were hoping for but they have the big
telescopes here and there are installing special BBC night-vision
cameras which good -- should give people the chance to see some stars.
Have you switch the lights off. Yes! We will be back in an hour.
reminder no other menus. Two major ad agencies have
criticised the delayed international response to the
drought in the Horn of Africa last year which led to thousands of
unnecessary deaths. The report by Oxfam and Save the children comes
as fear grows over another humanitarian food crisis in the
Sahel region in West Africa. That Hour week of temperature of ups and
downs continues today. Milder today but already called the there is
spreading south across the UK so tomorrow it will feel fresher than
it has done today. For the moment, the mild here or holds across other
areas. -- beer. A wet start in the south tomorrow with some sunshine
in northern areas. Rain, sleet and some health no coming tomorrow.
Across southern areas, after a wet start, change in the afternoon with
sunshine breaking through the cloud and a change of wind direction and
that cold area started to move in. Despite the sunshine, it will feel
fresher by the end of the afternoon as temperatures come back down
closer to average for this time of year. A few showers in the north
and those showers will move across Northern Ireland with rain, sleet
and perhaps some snow across higher ground. Showers continued to pack
into western Scotland. There will be some significant parts in high
areas of western Scotland. Some of those wintry showers continued on