18/01/2012 World News Today


18/01/2012

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This is BBC World News today. Agencies admit thousands of lives

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could have been saved in the Horn of Africa last year it early famine

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warnings had been heeded. As fears grow of another food

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crisis, this time in the west of the Continent, we ask have lessons

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been learned? There is a shortage of grain, we are waiting for the

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consequences of the shortage. The rescue operation on the Costa

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Concordia is suspended as the ship shapes down the rocks. The

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government says there is a risky could sink completely.

:00:48.:00:52.

Hungary's Prime Minister faces his accusers in the European Parliament.

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He says he will change legislation it branded undemocratic, but will

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it be enough? I appeal to him to accept the principles of democracy

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and freedom and implement them. Also coming up. Blacked out in

:01:07.:01:11.

protest. Wikipedia shuts down its English-language website for 24

:01:11.:01:16.

hours in protest a new anti-piracy proposals in the US.

:01:16.:01:21.

Lights are set to switch off in this Somerset town, so people can

:01:21.:01:31.
:01:31.:01:36.

see the stars clearly. Hello and welcome. Aid workers in

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East Africa were so slow to sound a warning over last year's Fanon,

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that thousands of people died unnecessarily. That is the

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conclusion of a report by two of the aid agencies, Oxfam and Save

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the Children. They say agencies took more than six months to act on

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information from satellites and eyewitnesses of the developing

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crisis. The report comes as fears grow that the Sahel region of West

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Africa could be facing a further food crisis. Our correspondent now

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reports. The mothers are waiting when this health clinic opens,

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almost all their children were being treated for severe

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malnutrition. It is this child's third visit and she is showing

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progress. Many more children are at risk of severe malnutrition in the

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share at this time.. Her mother returns to a village nearby. The

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last rain stopped early in many places, pests did much damage to

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crops as well in this region, supposed to be one of the bread

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baskets of the country. The what are seen as more precious than

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usual. The hardest game has only 10% of the Food We need she says.

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My husband went to Nigeria to work, but the money went quickly and he

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has gone back. I have to fetch wood and water to sell them for

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something for us to live on. There is great on sale in the market in

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this town. The poor can ill-afford the rising price. Here, a scheme to

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help the poorer buying food when it is still available. This is visited

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today by the EU humanitarian aid conditioner. This is a typically

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hard-pressed village, people are given cash to help them feed their

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families, increasingly seen as the quickest way to state of

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malnutrition. The commissioner said it was a race against time. We see

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the hunger season coming much earlier, February or March, rather

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than May or June. We see already the scale of the problem been

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substantial. If we act swiftly and early and we target the most

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vulnerable, we can prevent a catastrophe and we will. That

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places even more importance on centres like this one, run by Save

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the Children, which shows mothers how they can reduce the chances

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that the children will become acutely malnourished and sick.

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The search for survivors from the Costa Concordia has been suspended

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after the ship has shifted, making it too dangerous for divers. The

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Italian government says there is a risk that the ship could sink

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completely because of rough seas and salvage teams have just days to

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siphon off the ship's fuel. Italy's Prime Minister who is in London for

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talks with David Cameron says everything has been done to limit

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the environmental impact of the disaster. It is slow going inside

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the ship. They are moving through the floating debris of a once a

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luxury liner, a long corridors turned on their side. Specialist

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divers here are searching for survivors, but they know they are

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likely to only find the dead. This is how they have been entering the

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ship, through the top deck, now on the waterline. At one point, the

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glass door of the shop was a of me, with the contents inside all

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pressing down. It could have shattered at any moment.

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rescued was put on hold today, as the ship began to move slightly,

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making it too dangerous to look for the missing. Among them, Russell

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Rebello, a waiter on board. Today, his brother Kevin came to the

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island and sold the wreck of the Costa Concordia for the first time.

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Does he think his brother can possibly be alive? It is the 5th

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day. Five days, but there have been miracles and people have come home

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after many days. On the mainland, the captain's wife was mocked by

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journalists. He is enemy Number One, criticised for abandoning ship. He

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is reported as saying he slipped by mistake into a departing lifeboat.

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Few here believe that and his lawyer says the captain, he is

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under house arrest, is deeply shaken by what happened, but the

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sister of another missing crew member has no sympathy. It is

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outrageous they have come under house arrest. He is like a free man.

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The search is taking too long. salvage operation is ready to go

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just as soon as they get permission. Equipment and personnel have been

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brought in. Everyone knows that removing the ship from its current

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resting place is going to be a mammoth task. The long days are

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taking their toll on rescuers. One collapsed exhausted today. A

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satellite picked up his image of the ship, lying peacefully against

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the island. Down on the shower, Kevin Rebello waits for his brother.

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Hungary's Prime Minister says issues raised by the European

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Commission cannot easily be resolved. A day after the European

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Commission announced they are taking legal proceedings against

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hungry for infringing the rights of data protection, the judiciary and

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the central bank, he defended his country's position. In the debate

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in the European Parliament the EU president appealed to the Prime

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Minister to respect the principles of democracy. The on the legal

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aspects, some concerns have been expressed regarding the quality of

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democracy in Hungary, its political culture and the relations between

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government and the position between the state and the civil society. I

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strongly appeal to the Prime Minister up to respect the

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principles of democracy and freedom and to implement them. He needs to

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implement them in the practice and social life of his country. We are

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talking about a restructuring of enormous scope, enormous importance

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and we understand that there are debates in relation to that. Today,

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I address the letter to the president of the commission and I

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expressed an opinion in this letter and I said that the problems that

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had been raised by the commission it could easily be resolved. They

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:08:56.:08:57.

could swiftly be resolved and remedy to. It looks on the face of

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it as though he has backed down quite considerably, is that the

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case? He has backed down, but he is putting a brave face on it and is

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trying to maintain what he would call his own dignity. It is

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interesting listening to the president of the commission talking

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about not only the letter of the law and the European treaties, but

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also about the spirit. The Prime Minister was quieter on the spirit,

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and he is keen to point out that only the letter of three laws at

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the 365 that he passed last year have actually been challenged.

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it realistic to imagine that he could stage an enormous political

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U-turn? No, be it is difficult to imagine that. He did not have to go

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to Strasbourg, he invited himself and offered to go and face this

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criticism that hungry has been under. It will be interesting to

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see in the coming days or what happens next. We will see if they

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have the man is to persuade the IMF, they have been looking for a lead

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it into the EU and we will know that on Friday when the Minister in

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charge of Hungary's undergoes Houston's with the IMF talks to the

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European Commission. Then we will have a clearer idea of how credible

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the commission finds the responses which the Prime Minister has given.

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He suggested that he did not think that Hungary actually needed money

:10:31.:10:35.

from the IMF, but that it was willing to talk to the IMF and that

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it could do with some sort of security, what do you make of that?

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Is it is the line and a consistent line from the government that it

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prefers to borrow on the markets from the financial world, rather

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than turning to the IMF, even though the IMF would offer that

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money, the loner that Hungary wants a better interest rates than that

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available on the market. The government is keen to show that it

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can finance its debts from the market, but it does that not want

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to face the difficulties of that. He wants to have this alone as the

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safety net, not as some think the Government wants. Thank you.

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And a jury in a police commissioner has been suspended for alleged

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negligence after a suspected member of the Islamist sect Boko Haram

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escaped in a shoot-out. Kabiru Sokoto was thought to have

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masterminded the bombing of a Roman Catholic church on Christmas Day.

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He was arrested on Saturday, but was freed a day later in an attack

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by a Boko Haram gang. The Iranian Foreign Minister at the -- Ali

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Akbar Salehi is in Turkey for talks on his country's nuclear programme

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and has suggested a new round of international talks on the subject

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could take place soon. He said the talks, which collapsed a year ago,

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would probably be held in Istanbul. The British Prime Minister David

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Cameron has accused Iran and its allies in the Lebanese Hezbollah

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movement of helping Syria's government to suppress the uprising

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there. Mr Cameron said evidence had emerged that Iran was supplying

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arms to the Syrian security forces. He said Hezbollah was also

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supporting the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

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The online Encyclopaedia Wikipedia has shut down its English-language

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website in the 24 hour blackout. The action is a protest against a

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proposed law in the United States aimed at stopping online piracy.

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Other websites have also joined the temporary shutdown clot, including

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word press. We have taken it for granted for so long now that any

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end to the free flow of information on phones, tablets and PCS, seems

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impossible. It has happened. One of the world's was popular websites

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and cribs sheet for students everywhere has gone dark. Wikipedia

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has blacked out it site in protest at the threat of legislation from

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the US Congress. Two bills, one in the House of Representatives and

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one in the Senate, would force search engines to delist websites

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but hose a pirated material. Advertisers would be forced to cut

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links with the pirates to. It isn't just Wikipedia, a clutch of

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websites are making a stand a what they say is heavy-handed

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legislation that will not work, but could damage the World Wide Web.

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useful analogy might be that if you hear it there is this great

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invention called the of Mobile, then two years later you find it is

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being used by bank robbers, the answer isn't to band all to Mobiles,

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the answer is to deal with that problem directly. So on people see

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this as a clash between New Media and old, others as a battle between

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the creators of content, the people to make films or write songs, and

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those who aggregated, the big search engines like the local. The

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defenders of the bill say it is simpler than that. They say that

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piracy is threatening their intellectual property and with it

:14:19.:14:29.
:14:29.:14:33.

This bill has focused on websites that there up stealing from

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American property and profiting from it.

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It is an unprecedented protest. American lawmakers will not be able

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to ignore it. For more than this, we can cross

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over to the activist director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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It is an international digital right support group which opposed

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is the proposed laws. Is this not as simple as saying that some

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people believe that the internet should abide by-laws, and some

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people believe that the internet should have its own laws? Nobody

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here is debating whether or not, it was should apply to content on the

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internet. The issue at play is that a lot that Congress is debating

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right now, SOPA, and the protect i p act in the Senate, are overly

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broad laws. Instead of merely taking down infringing Materials,

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they would give unprecedented Materials to the executive branch

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to force search engines to dump search queries and other such

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measures. These are tools that we really don't ever want to use to

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fight piracy, especially when many of the tools already available are

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successfully fighting the so-called piracy problem. Some might say that

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the measures are not successful which is why you have to go this

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far. What is interesting about that is that the proposed legislation is

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working to try and improve rights holders abilities to withhold

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access to certain content online, but it has this collateral effect

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which is that the tech industry, the internet industry which has

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been in America and has been so wonderful to our economy, would be

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endangered by this. It could scare off investors. It could make it so

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that people who want to create new technologies might be worried about

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legal liabilities. I am very concerned about just what would

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happen if this legislation were to pass.

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Let's return now to Niger and the concerns there about food shortages.

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Our correspondent is in the capital of Niger. Over to you.

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Great concerns here, largely because of the drought and the crop

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pests that have affected the recent harvest, but also the rising food

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prices. So much so was their concern that today, the EU

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humanitarian aid commissioner, who has been visiting Niger, announced

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a more than doubling of humanitarian aid to over 100

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million euros. On top but that, a further 150 million euros will now

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be invested in long-term food security and other measures to

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build up people's resilience. I have with me the Unicef

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representative in Niger. Also, the UN that humanitarian co-ordinator

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at the moment. This idea of trying to do much more to integrate

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emergency aid, as we have just heard it is being more than doubled,

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with what you might call longer term eight, did try to address the

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routinely chronic poverty in the country. Why might that approach

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make a difference now? This is a lesson we have learned from the

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2010 crisis. Nearly two years later, we are back in a crisis and I think

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what we have seen today is climate change in action in this a have a.

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It is not enough to deliver humanitarian assistance. We need to

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be able to break the cycle of the current crisis, and to do so, we

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need to tackle and that the same time, the immediate needs of the

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population and the structural factors. For a long time now,

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people have been trying to break that cycle. Most particularly,

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since the 2005 famine here which killed so many people. Might there

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be any hope now that there will be more success in achieving this?

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political environment has drastically changed with the new

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government. It is willing to tackle the situation openly which was not

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the case before. There is strong partnership between American

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agencies, UN agencies and the government here, and an

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understanding that we cannot just looked towards treating severely

:19:22.:19:25.

malnourished children but respond to the underlying causes of

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malnutrition and therefore act to solve that. The context is

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different but do you as confident as the EU aid commissioner that you

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should be able to contain this particular crisis? Yes. In contrast

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to 2010, this time the warning was early enough to be able to respond

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before facing humanitarian catastrophe. Thank you very much

:19:50.:19:57.

indeed. Obviously, we all have to see whether that actually happens.

:19:57.:20:03.

In Russia, a group of celebrities, writers, TV presenters and even a

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rock star have launched a Voters League. They say it is to ensure

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future elections are fair. It is part of a string of new initiatives

:20:11.:20:14.

made since the controversial elections in December. The

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Government has ignored plans for the vote to be held again but has

:20:17.:20:22.

already made some concessions to the protesters.

:20:22.:20:26.

As Moscow emerged from its long winter break, the Kremlin wall had

:20:26.:20:30.

been hoping that the protest movement for fair elections had

:20:30.:20:35.

lost its momentum. In secret meetings, in ever-changing venues,

:20:35.:20:41.

activists have been working hard to keep the fledge and movement alive.

:20:41.:20:45.

At a press conference today, a group of Russian writers and

:20:45.:20:49.

celebrities formally launched one of the initiatives - and newly-

:20:49.:20:55.

created Voters League. This is a non-political organisation to help

:20:55.:21:00.

people take part in fair elections. We want people to know that when

:21:00.:21:05.

their vote goes in the ballot box, it will be counted.

:21:05.:21:09.

Before the New Year, Moscow saw the three biggest protests of the

:21:09.:21:12.

Vladimir Putin the ear. Tens of thousands took to the streets,

:21:12.:21:18.

furious at what they believed where fixed parliamentary elections.

:21:18.:21:22.

Protests inspired and gave hope to a new generation of activists.

:21:22.:21:27.

Among them, this man, who is editorial director of one of

:21:27.:21:34.

Russia's biggest media empires. It is the start of a huge social

:21:34.:21:41.

discussion which was artificially frozen for many years. Now, it has

:21:41.:21:50.

woken up and they think it will be hard to stop it. The internet is

:21:50.:21:55.

still boiling with further evidence of alleged electoral fraud. This

:21:55.:21:58.

was a raid on Monday by a parliamentary deputy and

:21:58.:22:03.

journalists on what appears to be a room full of people falsifying a

:22:03.:22:09.

list of supporters for a pro Kremlin candidate. The videos are

:22:09.:22:14.

fuelling the anger of ordinary demonstrators like this internet

:22:14.:22:18.

entrepreneur and part-time lecturer. She says her fury overcame her fear

:22:18.:22:21.

of attending her first protest on the day after the elections. Now,

:22:21.:22:27.

she has been to them all. I have never been to any protest meeting

:22:27.:22:36.

before but I felt, and I called my parents, who said that I should not

:22:36.:22:40.

call and they begged me not to go but I felt there was no way not to

:22:40.:22:44.

stand up. In the weeks since the protests began, the Kremlin has

:22:45.:22:49.

made several concessions, including the introduction of several

:22:49.:22:52.

democratically elected governors and the regions. There is still a

:22:52.:22:56.

huge gap between what the government is offering and the

:22:56.:23:02.

truly fair elections the demonstrators want.

:23:02.:23:07.

Millions of BBC viewers across the UK have been glued to it this

:23:07.:23:11.

Stargazing Live programmes this week. One town has decided to get

:23:11.:23:17.

involved in a very strong way. Tonight, Dulverton is switching off

:23:18.:23:20.

all its lights to minimise light pollution and get a better view of

:23:20.:23:28.

the sky. Good evening from Dulverton. About

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2000 people live here and some of them have started coming down on to

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the States this evening having switched off their lights at home.

:23:37.:23:40.

They are massing on this date for this Stargazing Live event

:23:40.:23:48.

organised by BBC. -- state. This is the high street here in Dulverton.

:23:48.:23:56.

It is not a huge place but still certainly lots of light pollution.

:23:56.:24:00.

In one hour, everyone was switched off their lights and the place will

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be full of darkness and everyone can look to the skies and hopefully

:24:04.:24:09.

see some stars. Dulverton at sunset. Tonight,

:24:09.:24:15.

things in this part of Britain will look rather different. At a time

:24:15.:24:20.

when light would normally be coming on, this evening, they will be

:24:20.:24:27.

switched off. The aim is zero light pollution. This is so that the

:24:27.:24:31.

skies are as clear as possible. will be really cool because we can

:24:31.:24:34.

all look up into the sky and see things we have not seen before.

:24:34.:24:44.
:24:44.:24:47.

What will it be like? Ski area. you a bit nervous? -- scary. It

:24:47.:24:51.

will certainly be a change because these pictures from Nasa show how

:24:51.:24:54.

much like the is around the world at night, presenting us from

:24:54.:25:04.
:25:04.:25:04.

getting a clear view of the stars. -- preventing. This is Britain's

:25:04.:25:10.

first darkness reserve. We take lighting for granted and turn

:25:10.:25:13.

lights on and off without even thinking about it. We want to show

:25:13.:25:17.

that even a small place like Dalton or Exmoor can make a big difference

:25:17.:25:22.

to light pollution. It seems that everyone in is a rural community is

:25:22.:25:26.

getting involved and later tonight, traffic will be banned and the

:25:26.:25:31.

councils which of every state light. Despite appearances, the pub is

:25:31.:25:36.

staying open. It will not be business as usual, however, with

:25:36.:25:41.

serving in the dark presenting new challenges. There may be a bit of

:25:41.:25:44.

spilt beer on the floor but hopefully not too much. It will be

:25:44.:25:53.

worse than the kitchen, I think. After weeks of planning, tonight,

:25:53.:25:56.

Dulverton get its moment in the spotlight. That is until the

:25:56.:26:04.

spotlight is also switched off. There are some things you cannot

:26:04.:26:09.

plan for and the British weather is certainly one of them. You can see

:26:09.:26:12.

that it is there is Olli Rehn tonight and it is rather Rover cast,

:26:12.:26:16.

so not the clear skies they were hoping for but they have the big

:26:16.:26:20.

telescopes here and there are installing special BBC night-vision

:26:20.:26:25.

cameras which good -- should give people the chance to see some stars.

:26:25.:26:31.

Have you switch the lights off. Yes! We will be back in an hour.

:26:31.:26:36.

reminder no other menus. Two major ad agencies have

:26:36.:26:38.

criticised the delayed international response to the

:26:38.:26:42.

drought in the Horn of Africa last year which led to thousands of

:26:42.:26:46.

unnecessary deaths. The report by Oxfam and Save the children comes

:26:46.:26:50.

as fear grows over another humanitarian food crisis in the

:26:50.:27:00.
:27:00.:27:03.

Sahel region in West Africa. That Hour week of temperature of ups and

:27:03.:27:07.

downs continues today. Milder today but already called the there is

:27:07.:27:09.

spreading south across the UK so tomorrow it will feel fresher than

:27:09.:27:15.

it has done today. For the moment, the mild here or holds across other

:27:15.:27:25.
:27:25.:27:27.

areas. -- beer. A wet start in the south tomorrow with some sunshine

:27:27.:27:34.

in northern areas. Rain, sleet and some health no coming tomorrow.

:27:34.:27:38.

Across southern areas, after a wet start, change in the afternoon with

:27:38.:27:43.

sunshine breaking through the cloud and a change of wind direction and

:27:43.:27:48.

that cold area started to move in. Despite the sunshine, it will feel

:27:48.:27:51.

fresher by the end of the afternoon as temperatures come back down

:27:51.:27:55.

closer to average for this time of year. A few showers in the north

:27:55.:27:59.

and those showers will move across Northern Ireland with rain, sleet

:27:59.:28:04.

and perhaps some snow across higher ground. Showers continued to pack

:28:04.:28:10.

into western Scotland. There will be some significant parts in high

:28:10.:28:15.

areas of western Scotland. Some of those wintry showers continued on

:28:15.:28:19.

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