22/02/2012 World News Today


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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


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