06/02/2012 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today with me Zeinab Badawi. Syrian forces


launch their heaviest attack yet in Homs. We have a rare report from


our correspondent who's entered the city and witnessed the shelling


that's killing innocent civilians. We are hearing an impact every few


seconds, and in reply, you can also hear some Kalashnikov fire. It is a


pretty futile gesture. SCREENING. The pleas for outside help suffer a


setback after Russia and China block a UN resolution. Britain's


foreign secretary condemns their vetoes. These are the tears Arab


betrayal of the Syrian people and they have let down the Arab League


and have let down the people. Palestinian rivals Hamas and Fatah


agree to set up a joint interim government. Can it end the deadlock


between the two sides and what does it mean for the peace process?


Also coming up in the programme: An anniversary celebration fit for a


queen. 60 years to the day since she took the throne, Elizabeth II


renews her vow to serve her people. One of the world's most popular


writers - we ask why Charles Dickens remains such a superstar of


Welcome. The Syrian city of Homs has been at the epicentre of


opposition to President Bashar Al- Assad, so it is little surprise it


is under heavy attack from government forces. Hundreds of


shells and mortars have been fired into populated areas. Paul Wood has


managed to enter Homs and people they have told him it is the worst


bombardment they have experienced in the 11 month conflict. This


report contains very distressing images.


Daybreak in Homs. The artillery fire was just beginning. Dazed, he


steered gently to safety. In this part of the city, it is the worst


they have endured. God is great, he shouts, in defiance. The shelling


is constant and we can hear impact every few seconds. In reply, you


can hear a bit of Kalashnikov fire. It is a futile gesture. GUNFIRE.


Eyewitnesses say at clinic was hit and they filmed the injured been


moved. Over several days of this, most of the casualties have been


civilians. The houses do not have basements, so there is no where to


hide. Where is the Arab League, she shouts. This woman's son is badly


wounded. Give us guns, she screams! We cannot defend ourselves. In the


midst of all of this, most hide their faces, saying there is no


telling what the regime will do. They had their hopes in the UN, we


want is the Arab League to devour a situation to the UN so they could


help us, now they have abandoned us. He will help us now? This man died


attacking a government sniper position yesterday. The regime says


that the violence is caused by the fighters of the free Syrian army.


No, says the rebel commander here, everything that they do is to


defend people. The regime cannot get to us, so it retaliate against


civilians instead. There certainly paying the price. The shroud is for


a seven-year-old girl. They carefully write her name. Like all


of the dead here, she must be buried in darkness. It is too


dangerous in the daytime. There is no family, no prayers, little


dignity. They have to hurry, even now, they are attacked. There will


be many more such desperate and lonely burials.


United States has announced it has closed its embassy in Damascus and


in Britain, the foreign secretary said he would intensify efforts to


build an international coalition to ensure a peaceful solution to the


crisis. He strongly criticise Russia and China for their decision


to veto a UN Security Council decision on Syria. We regard this


as a grave error of judgment by China and Russia. There is no need


to mince words about this, Russia and China have twice vetoed


reasonable and necessary UN action by the Security Council. These are


betrayal of the Syrian people and and applying them they have let


down the Arab League and increase the likelihood of what they wish to


avoid in Syria, civil war. They are on the wrong side of Arab and


international opinion. The foreign secretary, William Hague, and we


hope to get reaction to the news from Syria and little later in the


programme, but first, some of the other news in brief and in the last


hour, it was announced that Romania's President has asked the


head of foreign intelligence to form a new government. This follows


the decision of the Emil Boc to resign as Prime Minister to date.


He said he wanted to defuse political and social tension after


weeks a protest against his centre- right government on his drastic


austerity measures. Much of Europe is still suffering


under freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall. The number of


people at dying has run into hundreds. In the Ukraine, the


thermometer has hit minus 33 degrees Celsius. More than 130


people have died in the Ukraine. The former First Minister of


Northern Ireland Reverend Ian Paisley has been admitted to


hospital. The 85-year-old was taken ill yesterday but his condition is


not yet known. He was the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party are


almost 40 years. A local military official in the


Philippines has more than 40 people were killed by an earthquake. The


6.7 magnitude quake shook a central province on Monday morning.


We can return to our main story, the events in Syria, we showed you


that report by Paul Wood from the opposition stronghold of Homs Verde


there is very heavy shelling. The residents have told us it is the


heaviest shelling they have experienced in 11 months of


conflict. We are joined by a Ausama Monajed, an adviser to be chairman


of the opposition National Council and he is joining us now, so the


fact that China and Russia have vetoed this resolution on Syria,


what is the impact of this going to be on the ground? People suggested


would be the fighting on both sides getting worse. It is indeed, it is


a very, sad day when Russia and China have decided to take sides


with a killing regime. They are committing atrocities against the


people. This is just leaving the population, the revolutionaries and


the opposition, it leads them to believe there is no hope in the


international community and the only way is to bring down this


regime by arming the opposition and fighting the regime's forces. We


have confirmed information and intelligence that the regime is


preparing for recorder needed a military attack on the city of Homs.


The reason why, it has become a symbol of the military uprising in


Syria and snout if they managed to crack it, it is going to have a


dramatic effect on the people. Those armed opposition groups, Euro


information is that they are going to step up their fight against the


police? Yes, the weaponry, the support and the logistical support


is now pouring into the country. Different groups are mushrooming


and also, all around the country. Unfortunately Russia and China,


their veto on the UN Security Council resolution put an end to


any diplomatic or political solution for the conflict in Syria,


and that is why everyone is getting ready for the big fight.


British foreign secretary and the Americans are trying to find a


coalition of the willing to still get a peaceful resolution, the


Russian foreign minister visits Damascus on Tuesday, is there a


possibility, yet, that a rabbit could be pulled out of the hat by


either party to find a negotiation between the two sides? The Russians


are not in favour of asking Bashar Al-Assad to step down or finding


any solution or reaching any solution read this regime is no


longer in power. This regime is securing lots of arms deals with


Russia and Russia, have they lost this current regime in this area,


there will be a dramatic impact on the influence in the Arab world and


in the region and they realise this. Unfortunately, they are taking the


wrong decision, the wrong historic decision by a signing with the


people. -- by not siding with the people. The attitude to what they


have done, it is not only disappointment but also anger. That


has made our work in the Syrian National Council very difficult in


finding any negotiations in the regime, and the only way forward


from that is the armed resistance. One file point, very quickly, the


longer this conflict goes on, the longer they do not find a solution


for this, the more dramatic and more problematic for every one it


would be to deal with the aftermath when Bashar Al-Assad collapses.


Thank you. Four months, but two main


Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have tried to forge a united


party. They now agree that the Fatah leader, President Abbas will


organise elections in the West Bank and Gaza. Fatah has control the


West Bank whereas Hamas was controlled Gaza since they fell out


in 2007. Meanwhile, Benjamin Netanyahu has said that President


Abbas would abandon the way of peace if he abandons the deal.


Mahmoud Abbas, the Fatah leader, the Palestinian President and now,


the Prime Minister also. After talks with Hamas chief hosted by a


Qatar, Mr Abbas decided to lead dementia and unity government for


the West Bank and Gaza. TRANSLATION: We did not sign this


agreement for the sake of signing. We want to implement what is


related to the elections, the Government, the internal


circulation and any aspect. And this with all the hurdles we have


been surrounded by. We are serious about mending the old wounds and


closing the chapters of division in order to achieve reconciliation on


the ground. Palestinians have been crying out for political


reconciliation four years. But the division between Fatah and Hamas


has been bitter and sometimes violent. One year after a mosque


macro won the elections in 2006, fierce fighting erupted. -- after


Hamas won the elections. Mr Abbas says he wants this to change, with


long overdue elections being held later this year. He is really have


fall-back choice as Prime Minister. The two sides failed to agree on


any alternative names. There remains the major differences in


policy between Fatah and her mosque macro, not least, had to deal with


Israel of which rejected the deal. -- and Hamas. Hamas strives to


destroy the state of Israel and is supported by Iran. I have said many


times in the past that the Palestinian Authority must decide


between a packed with Hamas and peace in Israel. Hamas and peace to


not go together. After decades of failed talks with Israel, President


Abbas is increasingly frustrated with US efforts to mediate and


Middle-East peace deal. For now, peace between Palestinians seems to


be his priority. We can get a response from Israel


on this, Danny Rubenstein is a political analyst and joins us from


to ruler than -- from Jerusalem. Why should Israel opposed this


unity government? From the Israeli point of view, Hamas is a terrorist


organisation as they had been from the outset. The problem is, how


mosque macro belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood, and this is a sort of


triumph from Morocco in the West. - - Hamas belongs. I do not think


that Israel have any choice. We do not deal with Hamas because it is a


terrorist organisation and we deal with Mahmoud Abbas, he is not only


the Prime Minister, he is the head of the PLO and from a formal point


of view, are negotiations is not with the Palestinian government, it


is with the PLO. We have to have an option to continue in negotiations


or what is left from the negotiations with the PLO and not


the Palestinian government. said Hamas is a terrorist


organisation and it is recognised by Israel and the European Union,


but the Muslim brother read in Egypt is not, even though they have


an alliance, I want to clarify that. How will Israel respond? In the


past it has without taxes from the Palestinian Authority if they do


not abandon this deal which it Israel will back off. They will


make a concession here. Israel will say, we continue with Mahmoud Abbas


because we know quite well that this reconciliation, up till now,


is more symbolic. It doesn't have any practical steps. They're still


in trouble and they're still, they cannot agree about the same


political issues. They cannot agree even about distribution the


newspaper from Gaza in the West Bank and from the West Bank in Gaza.


They didn't release prisoners. They didn't issue passports in Ramallah


for people in Gaza. From practical point of view, the unification or


the reconciliation doesn't work up till now. So, it can be... Does


that suit your purpose? No, I think that Israel will continue, there's


no negotiation any way. We can try to think about this and about that


and about this option or that option from practical point of view,


we don't have negotiation today with the not with Hamas, we don't


have negotiation with PLO. So it's not a practical question for us. We


can continue, Israel can continue and the government can continue


with its rejection of the Palestinian demand to freeze the


settlement activity and so on. Thanks very much indeed for joining


us live from Jerusalem. Now it's 60 years ago that Princess


Elizabeth became Queen of the United Kingdom and head of the


Commonwealth. She was visiting Kenya on February 6, 1952 when she


was told the news that her father George VI had died. To mark her


Diamond Jubilee events will be held. Today it was a quiet advise toit


Norfolk in the east of England. She has recommitted herself to


serve, renewing the pledges she made at the time of her accession.


In a Diamond Jubilee message the Queen says she's deeply moved by


the messages of support she received as she marks her 60th


anniversary of coming to the throne. At King's Lynn Town Hall, where


photographs of previous visits are on display, the mayor delivered a


loyal address and spoke for many. The 60 years Your Majesty has given


exemplary service to the people of this country and the Commonwealth.


60 years ago this morning, the nation had been stunned when the


BBC interrupted its programmes to announce the death of the Queen's


father King George VI. This is London. It was announced from


Sandringham at 10.45 today, February 6, 1952, that the king,


who retired to rest last night in his usual health, passed peacefully


away in his sleep earlier this morning. It's hard now fully to


appreciate the impact the death of Britain's wartime king had on the


country. Alisdair Donald Campbell was ten. He was at school. A


Frenchman, veteran of Word War I was taking a French class. Halfway


through that class, one of the other staff came in and whispered


something into the teacher's ear. Suddenly, we were conscious that


this grown man sitting in front of us was crying. For a child of our


generation and in the 1950s, you didn't often see grown men


especially in public expressing emotion of that kind. He recovered


himself. He slowly walked to the chalk board and wrote the words


"(in French) that's how I learned of his death. The new Queen


Elizabeth was in Kenya at the time of her father's death and just 25


years old. She returned to London to be greeted by Prime Minister


Winston Churchill and his Cabinet. At her accession Council she


pledged to continue the work of her beloved father and to serve Britain


and the other countries of which she is monarch. This morning on her


last few days in Norfolk, before returning to back ham Palace, she


was receiving the first of the thousands of greetings which will


convey the country's thanks for 60 years of service. Kate Williams is


a royal historian and she joins me now. Even those people who don't


count themselves as ardent royalists would have to accept the


Queen has done a good job. Yes, I think even those people who aren't


ar dents royalists, even republicans have o to say she was


thrust into the limelight at 25 and she has done an incredible job. 85


and still going strong. Britain collapsed yesterday, no flights,


the roads were barely running, the Queen was still on her walk about.


She's keeping going. Do you think she adapted to the -- with the


times. There were criticisms during the times of the death of Princess


Diana who epitomised a more modern touch of the Royal Family, more in


keeping with the times. You're absolutely right. Things have had


to change very much. So the Queen's always felt if you just carry on


with your routine, that's the way you'll get over the problems in


life. That wasn't what the nation or the world wanted when Diana died.


The coolness, the stiff upper lip was a disaster. The Queen had to


rethink a lot of her relationships with the public and the Palace PR


machine had to change. We wanted to see a different type of monarchy,


more in touch with us and much less flamboyant in spending. Her father


was very enthusiastic about the Commonwealth. He was regarded as


one of those people who was instrumental in expanding it to the


current 54 members today. Rumblings of republicanism in some countries,


how has she done there? The Queen has seen her self-as the Queen of


the Commonwealth. She's our greatest toured monarch. She has


toured all over the Commonwealth. It's very close to her heart. In


the Queen's speech at Christmas there's a lot about the


Commonwealth. Things are changing. We have seen big changes in Jamaica,


rumbles in Australia and I think we'll see big changes in Charles's


reign. At the moment it's co-heerd under the Queen. She creates such


affection in the people of the world.


Thank you. Now, the British author Charles


Dickens is one of the most popular writers in the history of


literature, a man described as the first great media celebrity. On


Tuesday ceremonies will be held to recognise his achievements. Robert


Hall has been finding out what it is about Charles Dickens' work that


keeps him alive in our imaginations for so long.


A Christmas Carol. A ghost story of Christmas. On a rainy night in the


Manchester suburbs, a familiar story is unfolding. Like so many


before them, The Chorlton Players are telling a seasonal tale from


another century. He's a natural story teller. He saw things that


other people hadn't seen yet. I suppose he was ahead of his time,


the poverty and the conditions and just told the story really well.


What I like is about the bankers being very rich, the poor being


very poor and I like that sort of parallel with today's society as


well. Charles Dickens book were drama tiesed almost as soon as he


finished them. Today's biographers agree that the journey from page to


stage made Dickens a Victorian superstar. What was that clanking


noise? One biographer has played his own part in bringing Dickens to


a wider audience. Whfrpblgts he was writing his books, he used to leap


up and look in the mirror and check the expression on his face and


report it and write it down. Because it was a performance for


him. He was being those characters in exactly the same as an actor


does. Charles Dickens didn't live to see his characters make it into


the movies. A season of screenings by the British Film Institute


includes the earliest version of A Christmas Carol made in 1901 and


Great Expectations completed eight years later. Charles Dickens' fame


was still spreading. He was a rock star. He was a rock star. He was


the most famous man in the world. He travelled the world. Crowds


flooded to him. He made millions of pounds in modern day money. He was


the first great media celebrity. The more you look at him, the more


you realise why he's still exciting and why people are still interested


in him. Interested and inspired. These are the children of


Manchester's All Saints Primary, tapping into Dickens for a sense of


history and a spur to their own imagination. When you read his


books you're like, say you stop at a certain part, you want to read


more and you don't want to stop. They're more dramatic and they have


twists in them. They're good, yeah really good. Another vote of


approval for a journalist, author aspiring actor and campaigner for


the disadvantaged. The road of discovery that Charles Dickens led


us down remains well travelled. Charles Dickens there still


enthralling people young and old. Now we have been getting reports


coming in while we've been on air of a series of blasts in northern


Nigeria. Witnesses say they took place at a marketplace in the city,


the base of the militant group there. There are reports gunmen


have attacked a police station also in the north. There at least 185


people were killed last month in that series of bomb attacks carried


out by the same group. Let's remind you of the top story: There has


been a another massive onslaught by the Syrian Army on Homs with shells


and mortars fired into populated areas through the day. They have


told our correspondent that it is the worst bombardment since the


uprising began almost a year ago. That is all from World News Today.


Hello there. More cold weather to come this week, as we look to


tomorrow's forecast. A chilly start, widespread frost and that brings


with it the risk of ice across many parts of the country. We're still


holding onto this area of high pressure. It's moving in once again


from northern Europe. Weather fronts are being kept out at the


west. That's giving a contrast in our weather, because certainly


through Monday it's not as cold in the west. We've had cloud. And


through Tuesday we keep cloudier skies. A bit of sunshine elsewhere,


after a rather slow start to the day in the east. We'll see brighter


weather for the afternoon, but temperatures still struggling, just


above freezing across East Anglia and the south-east corner. We'll


continue with our slow thaw of the lying snow. Out towards the west,


we see broken cloud aacross -- across Devon and Cornwall. We'll


see more sunshine too. West Wales with brighter skies. Through the


West Midlands we may see a bit of thicker cloud. Don't be surprised


if there's the odd spot of snow, just coming out of that thicker


cloud. For Northern Ireland it's cloudy for the afternoon,


temperatures at seven degrees. A foggy start to the day, but much of


that through the central low lands should clear. Yet again Scotland


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