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This is BBC World News Today with me, Tim Willcox. Two more western
journalists are killed in Syria. The American reporter Marie Colvin
and French photojournalist Remi Oshlik die after their building in
Homs is shelled by government forces. This is a sad reminder of
the risks journalists take to inform the world of what is
happening. As Syrian forces continue to kill
civilians with apparent impunity, what more should the international
community be doing? Nearly 50 people are killed in
Argentina after a rush-hour commuter train crashes into the
buffers in Buenos Aires. A militant group loses control of a
key town in Somalia. Also coming up in the programme. A
resignation and a pitch for his old job?
Kevin Rudd stands down as Australia's Foreign Minister, and
is widely expected to launch a leadership challenge against the
woman who ousted him as Prime Minister.
And spotting the warning signs of a heart attack. Are the usual
symptoms the same for women as well Hello and welcome. It has been
another desperate day in the Syrian city of Homs with two more Western
journalists and at least 20, potentially 80 others, killed in a
prolonged rocket and shell attack. Award-winning Marie Colvin, a
veteran American born war correspondent for the Sunday Times
newspaper, and French photo journalist Remi Oshlick were killed.
Two other journalists with them were injured. Their deaths
highlight once again the daily slaughter in Homs, with reports
that Syrian armed forces are operating a shoot-to-kill policy on
Today, shelling of Homs. It has been like this for every day for
almost three weeks. Syria's regime is trying to crush the revolution.
The district of Baba Amr is holding out, but only just. Houses have
been reduced to rubble. This one was the base of the few foreign
journalists here. Many people died when his building was hit. Among
them, Marie Colvin, one of the most respected foreign correspondents of
her generation. Before she was killed, she described an attack on
a city full of cold and hungry civilians. It's absolutely
sickening. Today, shelling started at 6:30am. I counted 14 shells,
hitting just a civilian area within 30 seconds. There is a small clinic,
you cannot even really call it a clinic, it is an apartment. I
watched a little baby died today. Absolutely horrific. A two-year-old,
they found the shrapnel had gone into his chest. The doctor just
said, I cannot do anything. His stomach kept heaving until he died.
That is happening over and over. No one here can understand how the
international community can let this happen. The French
photographer Remi Ochlik also died. And Rami al-Sayed. President
Sarkozy said the journalist's best shows that the Syrian regime should
go. William Hague said it was a terrible reminder of the suffering
of the Syrian people. But the bombardment of Homs is relentless.
The International Committee of the Red Cross has called for a
humanitarian ceasefire, all victims of this conflict. There is growing
international support for this demand. There are two fighters in
Homs. They have only Kalashnikovs against the military's artillery.
Western governments say they will not arm the rebels, though that may
change. Syria's border with Lebanon. A few refugees have made it out.
Many more can be expected, as the violence escalates. The
international community has often seemed paralysed over Syria. The
demand for a ceasefire may attract support, but even those nations
that -- may attract support, even from those nations that back Syria.
Today, Britain's Prime Minister led tributes to Marie Colvin, a
journalist who won numerous awards for her work. For two decades, she
reported from the world's most dangerous places. From Sierra Leone
to Chechnya, she drew attention to the plight of civilians caught in
conflict. Fergal Keane has this report.
Marie Colvin was a rare kind of correspondent. Brave under fire,
but defined above all by her humanity. Among those paying
tribute today was the prime minister. Members of the House will
have seen reports that the talented and respected foreign correspondent
of the Sunday Times, Marie Colvin, has been killed in Syria. This is a
sad reminder of the risks journalists take to win from the
world of what is happening, and the dreadful events in Syria. Our
thoughts should be with her family and friends. Marie Colvin was an
American who made her name working for the Sunday Times. A statement
Marie Colvin made a specialism of reporting in the Middle-East. She
covered most of the major conflicts of the last 30 years. She narrowly
escaped death in 2001 insure Lanka, where she was badly wounded. -- in
Sri Lanka. If you cover a war, you weigh up the risks. I lost my sight
in my left eye. Without taking that risk, there was no way to go.
to see. Jeremy Bowen. Mary Calvin. She was a Mollet small group last
year to interview Colonel Gaddafi. Her editor recalled a singularly
determined reporter. She believed she was a witness there to report
things, and she believed in getting into places where no other people
could go, and she would stay there and reported, and try and make a
difference. Tonight, candles were lit in her memory at St Bride's,
the journalist church in London. Her devotion to the human story of
war. Jean-Pierre Perrin is a journalist
with the French newspaper Liberation who spent five days with
Marie Colvin and left Homs on Sunday. He went to Beirut, from
where we can speak to him now. You both left initially, but Marie
Colvin went back. Did she know the danger she was putting herself in?
Of course she knew perfectly. It is not the most dangerous places in
the world. -- it is one of the most dangerous places in the world. At
one time, I felt really exhausted, and she gave me support. She told
me to do my best and go on. It was very hard. The thing how would like
to say also is, we had been told to leave immediately Homs. That was on
Friday or Saturday. We were told to look very quickly, in the night.
She was with May at the time. -- with me. She decided to come back.
Did you get the sense, and have you any proof, that Syrian forces are
targeting foreign media in Homs at the moment? What I can say is that
the centre has been targeted several times. We can see that very
easily. Part of the building has been already reached. The family
that was living at the top of the centre was obliged to leave the
building. This house has also been targeted by a new shell. It is a
very obvious thing. Thank you very much indeed.
From Cairo, we are joined by Robert Mahoney, deputy Director of
Committee to Protect Journalists. What does this tell you about the
risks to journalists it press centres are being deliberately
targeted? It is very disturbing if that is correct. We have seen
reports that the press centre abort deliberately targeted, although
there has been no evidence -- the press centre was deliberately
targeted. Going into a city like this was very dangerous. Marie was
very courageous. On the target in, some reports are suggesting that
Lebanese intelligence have intercepted radio comic -- radio
communication between Syrian troops, talking about all means necessary
to take out the international press. If that is the case, what should
the international community be doing? If that is the case,
journalists and civilians are protected under the Geneva
conventions under normal international law, and should not
be targeted. Therefore, that must be documented. If there is proof,
it is a war crime, and if it is proven to be a crime, those who
committed it must be held to account. Thank you very much.
Ed Vulliamy is a journalist at the Observer who knew Marie Colvin, and
he joins me now here in the studio. We all know the risks, and the
risks we are prepared to take. Is as something Marie Colvin knew?
This is a sickening sorrow. It is becoming horribly familiar. I knew
marine well. She was at the Sunday Times and I was at the Observer. I
think it was around the first time in Iraq, I met her in Iraq, and I
think there is an assumption that you can plan a wall, but there are
rules. They are as different from each other as can be. It reminds me
a little bit of the situation in Bosnia. Journalists were targeted
as well as civilians. Out their stories, his Homs to a dangerous
for the international media to cover at the moment? This is a
terrible dilemma. When people say, is it safe to go to Mexico to cover
the drug war, though, it is not. Is it safe to go to Homs? No,
absolutely not. The terrible dilemma is, their wrath financial
pressures on news organisations -- there are financial pressures. We
do need people with the experience, people who can look at these
conflicts through different lenses. We cannot plan that experience, as
we have found out today. And very briefly, lock will run out? Yes. It
is all the talk. Thank you very much.
Now a look at some of the day's other news.
Five people are known to have been killed and dozens wounded in
protests in Afghanistan over what NATO said was the inadvertent
burning of copies of the Koran by its troops. Protesters chanted
"death to America", smashed windows and burned tyres. US officials have
apologised for the incident at the Bagram military base. The judge in
the trial of the former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has said he
will deliver his verdict on June the 2nd. The former president,
along with other officials, is accused of being responsible for
the deaths of hundreds of protesters during the uprising last
year. Divers working on the wreck of the
cruise ship the Costa Concordia off the Italian coast have found eight
more bodies inside. Italian prosecutors say they have placed
another seven people under investigation, in addition to the
At least 49 people have been killed in a train accident in when his
diaries, hundreds more were injured. Latest reports say that the train
failed to stop at the barrier at the end of the platform. Dozens of
people remain trapped inside. Let's get the latest from a bonus arias.
What is the latest you're getting in terms of casualties and how many
people are trapped? All of the people who were trapped have been
taken to the safety and are in hospital now. It is believed 100
people could have been trapped. To get an idea of how difficult this
was, the roofs of the carriages had to be lived off -- lifted off and
people had to be taken out. They were crammed into each other as the
train hit the barriers. Most are in hospital, but there is be concerned
by that many of them will survive because they have critical injuries.
It was a packed train. Was it travelling fast? What sort of
safety record does a Argentina have? I have been speaking in the
last hour with safety experts and they say in general, the safety of
the rails is OK. Accidents can happen, but what they are concerned
about is the level of investment into the lines and carriages which
is something that is being looked out by the investigation being
carried out. The whole area where the accident occurred is been
cordoned off by the police. There is a judge in charge of the
investigation, trying to determine if the company did not have a set
the -- save the investments which led to this tragic accident. Thank
you very much. In Somalia, a major stronghold of
the Al-Shabaab militant group has fallen without a single shot being
fired to government control. They have said that they will start a
guerrilla war in response to its base there. The number of troops
will rise from 12,000 to just under 18,000. Somalia's Prime Minister is
in London for a major international conference been hosted by Britain
on Thursday. Our world affairs correspondent asked him whether Al-
Shabaab, which is linked to Al- Qaeda, had simply withdrawn.
They left the capital city when the Somali National Army... You mean
the Ethiopians? Yes, when they were closer to the city. They left
because they were unable to understand the military force that
was approaching the city. There has been some talk of possible
airstrikes against Al-Shabaab positions. Is there something you
would be in favour of? We favour a targeted air strike against Al-
Qaeda in Somalia, but we also would like to state that as a government,
the safety and the security of the lives and property of Somalis is
important for us. We did not welcome an air strike that could
kill innocent Somalis, but we favour targeted air strikes against
Al-Qaeda in Somalia. Are you not concerned about the possible
military escalation of that we could be moving towards? Of course
not, because Al-Qaeda in Somalia or refuse to to negotiate and sit down
with the Somalis, to have a dialogue in the peace process. We
believe that we cannot reach a peace through violence. At the same
time, we will not allow others to use violence. Therefore this
organisation has been wreaking havoc in Somalia, particularly in
the south. It has to be dealt with. It is an international menace and
it has to be addressed internationally and globally. That
is why Vinnie the international community to help us defeat this
menace. Australia's governing Labour party
is in turmoil after the resignation of Kevin Wright as foreign minister.
He stepped down because of attacked -- attacks on his integrity. --
Kevin it right. Julia Gillard ousted him as prime minister in
2010. The announcement came with some
unexpected drama. In the middle of the night, there was a news
conference where Kevin Rudd has been on a visit. I cannot continue
to serve as a foreign minister if I do not have Julia Gillard's support.
I therefore believe the only honourable thing and the only
honourable course of action this for me to resign.
The resignation was not a complete surprise. The speculation has been
fermenting for much of Australia's summer and has been just as stormy.
But why has he done it? Many say he is still angry with the Prime
Minister for taking his job in two -- in June 2010 and that he wants
it back. Others say he does not believe that Julia Gillard can win
the next there -- election for the government. Later, she get her
There is not much warmth between the Prime Minister and current
bride. Both have different personal styles and backgrounds. But what
this does not seem to be about is the policy differences.
Kevin Wright resigning it does not necessarily mean it Kevin Raad
challenging Julia Gillard. It -- if he does go for it, he has a lot of
calculations to make. Does he have the numbers, what would it give the
party unity, and what would Australians think of having him
back as prime minister? Australia counts in many foreign
arenas, from Afghanistan to the Pacific, from NATO to the World
Bank. Who leads its government matters. As former prime minister,
Kevin Rudd knows that. He now has to decide what he wants for himself,
his party and his country. We are promised an answer by Monday.
In China, Tibetans are today marking the start of their new year.
The did they -- the Tibetan government has told Tibetans in the
country to boycott celebrations in protest against a security
crackdown. These are the pictures that China
wants the world to see. Tibetans at a temple in Beijing marking the
start of any year. But away from the capital, there is a mood of
quiet of defiance and determination. Monks at this monastery in western
China say they will not be celebrating the year in protest
against the continuing crackdown. Holding a picture of the Dalai Lama,
this monk is fearful of government reprisals. He does not want to be
identified. TRANSLATION: We have no freedom, no religious freedom. We
do not even have freedom of speech. The pressure is too great. When we
protest, they opened fire. There is nothing we can do.
China has launched a massive crackdown against protesters. More
than 20 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in the last year.
Campaign groups say hundreds of people may have been detained.
China says it has tightened security as the unrest continues.
TRANSLATION: Under the circumstances, the local government
has tightened security measures in the Tibetan area to ensure social
stability. But China does not want the world
to see what is happening in its Tibetan communities. This should be
a time of celebration, but instead it is a sombre affair. Many
Tibetans fear of what the new year could bring.
Women are suffering from heart attack may not experience the same
classic chest pains that men do. That is according to a new study
carried out in the United States. Researchers suggest this could can
for a much higher death rate among * Women who sum up -- we suffer
from heart attacks as they may not be getting the right treatment.
When a heart attack strikes, time is vital. Delays can make the
difference between life and death. But for women, especially young
women, it could be more important. A woman under 55 here has a heart
attack is more likely to die compared to a man in the same age.
Part of the reason may lie in the different symptoms displayed by
women according to researchers in the United States. Looking at
hospital admissions, they found that there were none of the classic
chest pains associated with heart attack in a 42 % of women, compared
with 30 % of men. Death rates among women were higher, more than 14 %
are women died compared to just over 10 % of men. BT message of
this study is that while women, and especially young women, may not
have heart attacks very often, when they do, they may not present just
as we are taught in textbooks, which is chest pain. We have to be
alert and vigilant and open-minded. This study adds to previous
evidence that women sometimes do not have the same symptoms as men.
The British Heart Foundation has already warned women to be aware
that heart attacks can cause severe pain or nothing more than mild
discomfort or headiness, but is as those symptoms can be overlooked by
in experienced medical staff, particularly on a relatively rare
occasion when a heart attacks strike a young woman.
The headlines: It has been another desperate day in the serial. Two
more Western journalists and 20 other civilians, some reports
saying 80, have been killed in attacks. The award winning Marie
Colvin and a veteran journalist, and a French journalist, Remi
Oshlick, were killed. Two other journalists were injured in that
attack. At least 49 people have been killed
in a train accident in Argentina. Hundreds more have been injured.
Latest reports say the train came into a busy station, failed to stop
and hit a barrier at the end of the platform. The transport minister
said the train's brakes appeared -- appeared to have failed.
That is it. Next, the weather. Good After a wet and windy Wednesday, it
is all change for Thursday as it becomes about the temperatures. An
exceptionally mild day, but it will be fairly cloudy. Not a lot of
sunshine around. Through the forecast, our weather front, which
brought the rain on Wednesday, moves south. There is another one
moving into Scotland. Many places on Thursday will have a dry day.
You can see there will be a few holes in the cloud and it is where
we get the breaks that there will be some brightness and the
temperatures will respond. But even if you have got the cloud, it will
feel quite mild. A spring-like day if you are stepping out tomorrow,
breezy from the south-west, and a touch cooler around the coast. For
western areas, the cloud will be much thicker. We could even see
some mist around parts of Wales. 12 degrees on the coast, but East
Wales, a fairly high temperatures. The Northern Ireland, around 14
degrees, but more like 12 all but - - or 13. Through the Northern