05/03/2012 World News Today


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This is World News Today. Inside Syria we have a special and


harrowing report based on eyewitness accounts from Homs. A


residents fleeing the city tell the BBC's reporter of atrocities


allegedly committed by government forces. We managed to cross the


checkpoint but two of my brothers were detained. I managed to save


one but they took one with them and killed him.


As the UN atomic watchdog warns of Iran's nuclear capabilities,


Israel's Prime Minister tells Barack Obama he will not hesitate


to defend his people. My supreme responsibility as Prime Minister or


Israel is to ensure that Israel remains the master of its fate.


Now Vladimir Putin is going back to where he thinks he belongs, the


Russian presidential office, how will he cope with a new and


emboldened protest movement? Also coming up in the programme,


the struggles in Somalia. We report from by dollar, the town that was a


key stronghold of the militant group. Now it has fallen to


Ethiopia and Somalia troops. And getting ready for a royal visit,


but are Jamaicans heading for a Welcome. People fleeing homes have


accused the Syrian security forces of committing atrocities in the


city. They talked of intimidation, disappearances, murder and other


crimes against humanity like cutting the throats of prisoners.


Troops and paramilitary took full control of the neighbourhood of


Homs over the weekend, which had been under bombardment for a month.


Our correspondent and cameraman send his exclusive report on the


outskirts. -- from the outskirts.


On a road out of Homs... Just part of the exodus from Baba Amr. They


endured weeks under bombardment and then fled, panicked, before troops


arrived. A TRANSLATION: We have no armed gangs!


We and our children are forced to free our homes under the cover of


darkness! People are terrified of what government forces will do now.


This group and walked for three days to avoid the soldiers. Here's


why. Whoever is taken at a checkpoint will be cured, he says.


-- will be killed. They took a husbands, they took them at the


checkpoint, he cries. Everyone shares the same fear - that there


has beens are not coming back. -- that their husbands are not


coming back. For now, they're on their own with nothing. It is


absolutely freezing here and these kids have got a night in a house


with no heat and no electricity, and more than that, they are


wondering what on earth has happened to their father. This


family say they witnessed a massacre. On Friday, troops took 36


men and boys from one district. They killed them all.


TRANSLATION: My son's throat was cut. He was 12. They butchered four


people. The soldiers were using knives and killing people like this.


The victim's hands were tied up. -- the victims' hands.


TRANSLATION: Will manage to cross the checkpoint but two of my


brothers were detained. I managed to save one but they took the other


and killed him. My father's life isn't worth more than that of the


young people we have lost. Can such horror stories be true? These men


defected from an elite army unit only last week. They told me that


civilians were targeted, prisoners killed. A lieutenant gave us the


orders, he says. We were told in this operation, should at anything


that moves. Civilian or military, you should at it. -- you should.


Orders were given to tell people we were about to execute. This is the


price of freedom you are fighting for. People killed for no reason


The people of Baba Amr say they are victims of a crime. The outside


world will want proof. Briefly, they defied the regime. Now, they


are scattered, their uprising crushed. There is international


outrage. But no agreement about how That special report there. Now


let's take a look at some of the other news. Iran has announced the


official results of its parliamentary election. Iran's


Interior Minister said that the turnout was 64%. Supporters of the


Supreme Leader have made significant gains from conservative


rivals who back the President. The vetting process and should


reformists were virtually absent from the ballot.


Authorities in Congo have appealed international help after a series


of explosions at an arms capital -- arms depot in the capital. As many


as 1,500 were injured and 150 killed. They are trying to find


survivors in collapsed buildings. The trial of the former Prime


Minister of Iceland has begun. He is accused of negligence in his


handling of the 2008 crisis which severely undermined the Icelandic


economy. He is the first leader to face criminal charges arising from


the financial turmoil. There was never any doubt that


Vladimir Putin would win Roger's presidential election. He told his


supporters he had won an open and on his battle. International


monitors said that while he was a clear winner, however, there were


irregularities. Official figures show him gaining 64% of the vote


bhangra, but one Russian monitoring organisation believe he won just


over 50%. This evening in Moscow, supporters and opposes held rallies.


Opposition groups asked -- are staging what they say will be the


first of many protests against his victory. In Moscow, police have


arrested a number of protesters. In an interesting move, the part --


the current President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered a review of


the case involving be oil tycoon. He was convicted in trials that he


says what punishment for political ambition. He was Russia's riches


man when he was arrested for tax evasion.


We are joined by a Russian journalist and former adviser to


Boris the odds in an Vladimir Putin. And also a member of the endowment


think-tank. Alexander, Vladimir Putin may have won but surely at a


cost to his legitimacy? I don't think it was at a cost because, to


be quite honest with you, I was expecting more problems. I was


expecting their position to come up with some specific facts about vote


rigging. At the moment, we don't really see any specifics of the


facts and 63% is 63%. You cannot read that. So it was by Russian


standards a small -- a smooth election. Good evening. Many say


that to focus on that count and the result is maybe not the right thing


to do. You should look at the race in the first place, and anybody who


was a truly credible opposition figure could not stand. You


basically have to get presidential approval? I think the result of the


elections is and was very expected. As we know, the provenance was that


Vladimir Putin would get something around 60% and he did it. Finally.


So we don't believe there is real opposition. The real opposition can


continue its struggle. And even more, sometimes it seems to me that


next week, next month, maybe we will observe a certain revenge of


Vladimir Putin because he was so disappointed with the mass protests


and manifestations, the mass media. So I think in large, in April, in


May, we will see very interesting situations and maybe a


confrontation between Vladimir Putin and his team and those who


are against him and it will be deeper than now. Breathing that is


right or will Vladimir Putin have to come to terms with the fact that


Russian society is changing? -- do you think that is right? I think


this election was the last Soviet- style election in the history of


Russia because we have come to a point when the new generation is


coming on, and I think we will see the disappearance of some of those


so-called candidates. And I think it is time for the opposition to


find a United figure. Somebody who could unite everybody. Somebody


like the Liberal candidate, but he could not stand? Well, he probably


would have received quite substantial votes, but I think he


is also part of the old system. Part of the old government...


might arise? A will not give names now but... For the former Prime


Minister? Christie and of his part of the old system. He is not


somebody new or somebody people would like to be associated with. I


think in the next few years, we are bound to see the emergence of new,


dynamic politicians. Let's see what our man in Washington has to say


about that. I rather agree. The problem is that Vladimir Putin and


his team, we have to understand that finally society in Russia has


drastically changed. If they don't understand that and if they will


not understand it, I am afraid that they will continue to carry out


their politics by the same methods. And it's very dangerous because it


could lead to some, I would say, not revolution but some deep


misunderstanding between the ruling elite and the rest of society. And


as far as a new government, I don't know, because in that election, we


observe the activity of many. But I don't know if they will be


successful. A very briefly, Alexander, do you think Vladimir


Putin realises things have changed? We have seen the review of this


case. What do you make of that? think he is gradually and slowly


realising things are changing. He is feeling uncomfortable about it


and is not really sure how he should handle the situation. And I


think he needs to change, otherwise he will not be able to continue.


Thank you to you both. It is a balancing act that is


likely to tax even President above's was careful speech writers.


How to respond Israel's concerns posed by Iran's nuclear weapons


without ratcheting up the pressure for military action. -- Barack


Obama. Both Israel and the US have accused Iran of trying to develop


nuclear weapons, something Tehran denies. However, the two differ


over how to respond. Binyamin Netanyahu says time is running out


a military action should be considered against nuclear sites.


Obama says that while all options remain on that have -- on the table,


a new type of diplomacy should be given a chance to work first.


regime has to make a decision to move in that direction, a decision


they have not made so far. And as I emphasised, even as we will


continue on the diplomatic front, we will continue to tighten


pressure when it comes to sanctions. I reserve mm-hm options. And my


policy here is not going to be one of containment. It is prevention of


a rank obtaining nuclear weapons, and as I indicated yesterday in my


speech, when I say all options are at the table, I mean it. For his


part, Binyamin Netanyahu reiterated his appreciation for US support but


stressed that his country's security comes first. Israel has


the sovereign right to make its own decisions. I believe that is why


you appreciate, Mr President, that Israel must reserve the right to


defend itself. And that is the very purpose of the Jewish state - to


restore to the Jewish people control over our destiny. And that


is why my supreme responsibility as Prime Minister of Israel is to


ensure that Israel remains the master of its fate. Joining us now


from Tel Aviv is the former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations,


who is a member of Binyamin Netanyahu's Pardew. When you hear


Binyamin Netanyahu speak like that,... I and sorry. Former


ambassador to the United States. Did I say United Nations?! Sorry!


It is OK! When you hear Binyamin Netanyahu speak like that, do you


get the impression he genuinely believes that Israel could take


some sort of action against Iran on its own even if America didn't back


it? And that is not the case, is Israel is not against sanctions.


The sanctions have worked up to a certain point. But sanctions cannot


really be effective unless there is the threat or risk of military


strike involved in that. Otherwise the Iranians will misread that


message. Listening to President Obama's forceful speech yesterday,


the Iranians, everything is in the eye or the year of the beholder,


they may have misunderstood the message and might have thought to


themselves, well, we can continue creating our nuclear option while


we are talking to the big powers, the members of the Security Council


and Germany and so on. I think President Obama tonight, before the


meeting, made an important addition when he said not just not


containment, but he said preventing. That means the United States is


determined to prevent the Iranians having a nuclear weapon. Some you


believe that Barack Obama is really singing to the same tune as


Binyamin Netanyahu when it comes to Iran? Both have the same interest.


Both have interests to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon. But for the


United States cities are very important strategic interest and


political interest. For Israel and some of our Arab neighbours, it is


an existential issues. Therefore, I think President Obama said in his


speech and Netanyahu reiterated that today, that Israel has the


right to defend itself by itself, should determine it is necessary.


Obviously we want to work in co- operation that the US and the rest


of the democratic society, but if this should not be given, and there


is a certain difference of opinion about the time element. How far are


the Iranians with creating a bomb? That is the problem. On that time


element, sanctions are getting tougher all the time against Iran,


give sanctions the time to work. Look at North Korea. Everybody


mentions that. North Korea was able to produce a bomb, they have a bomb


despite of sanctions. The Iranians are much stronger than the North


Koreans. The Iranian people are not at the point of stopping. They may


go about having a democratic, diplomatic talks and continue to do


what they wanted to in building the bomb. In recent months the Somali


militant group Al-Shabab has been severely weakened. As a sign of its


declining military strength, the Al-Shabab stronghold of Baidoa was


recently captured by Ethiopian troops fighting alongside the


Malian soldiers. A rare chance to go deep inside Somalia. A flight to


a town which until just a few days ago was a key Al-Shabab stronghold.


Landing at the airstrip it is immediately clear who controls


Baidoa now. Ethiopian soldiers with plenty of firepower. The visit was


organised by the Ethiopian army, keen to show that it is winning the


war against Al-Shabab. A look inside what was the Islamist


militant's based. On the walls are jihadist graffiti. The images of a


war that has drawn in foreign fighters from across the world. The


weaponry of the Al-Qaeda linked militants. Some of these were


captured, others were abandoned as the Ethiopian and Somali troops


advanced across the country. There was a very small and re ambush but


there was no such problem. A key ally of the West, this is


Ethiopia's second major military offensive in recent years to stop


the Islamists from controlling Somalia. About three years ago,


Somalis were celebrating on the streets of the Ethiopian army


pulled out. Those soldiers are now back. The challenge for Ethiopia is


to ensure this incursion is not as unpopular as the last one. It's not


seen as a foreign military invasion. On the streets many businesses have


stayed shut. Partly because the battle for Baidoa may not be over.


No one knows how long the Ethiopian civil state, so there's a fear that


Al-Shabab could return. In the presence of Ethiopian officials,


Somali elders said they were grateful for their help in tackling


the militants. Sheikh Amin chav do -- Sheikh Amin Abdou said the


fighters would be welcomed back home if they were to come in peace.


The ingredients of terror preferred these days by Al-Shabab. It has


promised blood shed in Baidoa. The militants are weakened but not


finished. Tomorrow in the United States it is the Super Tuesday


contest for the Republicans, when 10 states choose whom they want to


challenge Barack Obama for the presidency. We are looking at the


chances of the final candidates. Adam Brooks profiles Rick Santorum


in a moment. First, Steve Kingston reports on the front runner, Mitt


Romney. If you want to place a bet on who will challenge Barack Obama,


this is your man. Mitt Romney remains the likely nominee. But


he's a fraud front runner whose failed to inspire the Republican


base. In 1985, I helped found a company. At first we had 10


employees, today there are hundreds. His pitch is simple. That troubled


times call for a leader with a proven business record. ACPO for


America. His mission, to reap massive rewards... But his rivals


have sought to turn that record against him. Portraying him as a


heartless venture capitalist, more concerned about profits than people.


For tens of thousands of Americans... Today, Mitt Romney is


worth an estimated quarter of a billion dollars. Well that at times


has made him seem out of touch. 10,000 box. He drives a couple of


Cadillac, actually. On policy, health care is an achilles heel.


Because Mitt Romney's Massachusetts was the model for the Obama reforms


so detested by republicans. Others have made an issue of the


candidate's Mormon faith, which is viewed with suspicion by some


evangelical Christians. A strong Super Tuesday would make Mitt


Romney the nominee in all but name. But the internal fight has left him


bloodied. Restore America's greatness. Rick Santorum was a


senator from Pennsylvania. He lost back seat in a crushing defeat six


years ago. But now he is back and once the Republican nomination.


Wow! Ladies and gentlemen, I don't stand you to claim to be the


Conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. I stand here to be the


Conservative alternative to Barack Obama. He shocked the Republican


Party by winning races in two key states. That has made him a real


contender, although he has little money and less organisation. Strong


families, strong faith communities. He draws support from social and


religious Conservatives. He believes that Christianity should


have much more prominence in public life. I don't believe in an America


with a separation of church and state absolute. He is critical of


abortion and gay rights. His critics accuse him of imposing his


family values on everybody else. Earnestness and sleeveless sweaters


are his trademarks. But if you want a sense of how vicious this


presidential race is becoming, what Rick Santorum on President Obama's


desire to send more Americans to college. He wants everybody in


America to go to college. What a snob. Rick Santorum is now chief


challenger to Mitt Romney for the Republican ground. But he needs


convincing victories in Ohio and Tennessee to stay credible. The


Queen's grandson, Prince Harry, has been in the Bahamas as part of


eight official visit to the Caribbean. He spent much of his day


in the capital, Nassau, meeting school children. He went on to what


a celebration parade for young people. After the Bahamas, Prince


Harry will be heading for Jamaica. It's part of the celebration to


mark 60 years of the Queen's reign. But the Principles visit to Jamaica


comes at a time when Jamaicans are debated whether to declare a


republic. The gardens are getting a final manicure and the building a


new lick of paint for a very special guest. Workmen preparing


King's House, the official residence of the Queen's


representative in Jamaica - the Governor-General - ahead of Prince


Harry's visit. This is his first trip on behalf of his grandmother.


But he now finds himself in the middle of a debate about the future


of this island and the monarchy. It was here, less than two months ago,


backed the country's war in a new Prime Minister, who made


constitutional change a key policy for the government. We need to


complete the circle of independence. In this regard, we will therefore


initiate a process of our detachment from the monarchy.


Elizabeth II is also the Queen of Jamaica, and has often visited. But


ministers now want a change. It's only the full support of the


government and the opposition, the conversations have already begun


with both sides in favour. We have strong historical links, cultural


links, trade ties. British people must and take this as a slight.


It's not about that, it's just about a country coming of age and


wanting to have an indigenous head of state. The country will then


need to hold a referendum on replacing the Queen that could go


either way. Being a part of the Commonwealth, which includes being


a part of the United Kingdom as well, would be a very great thing


for Jamaica as well. We are never going to know how to actually do it


ourselves if we don't take that first step. With Jamaica battling


high unemployment and debt, some people here wonder whether it is a


priority. I don't know that he not thinking has been put into what


these costs are. The costs on not gigantic but they are heavy enough


to be compared with what could be done with that same sort of amount


of money if it were put into crime- fighting or health care.


process for Jamaica to become a republic could take less than Agger.


An official statement from Buckingham Palace said the issue is


entirely the matter of the Jamaican Our top story. In Syria, people


fleeing Homs have told our correspondent that the security


forces have committed atrocities they including summary executions.


That's all from the programme. Next, If you were lucky enough to have


sunshine today, tonight, with those clear skies, it's likely to turn


cold and frosty. A chilly start for most places first thing tomorrow.


Away from the far south-east and far north-west. For South Eastern


areas, still the legacy of bad weather front tomorrow clearing


away. But from the north-west the weather fronts push in through the


night, bringing a strengthening winds the Northern Ireland and


western Scotland. Rain later in the day with cloud rolling in as well.


For eastern areas it will be a bit cloudier, temperatures perhaps held


up overnight. But for much of northern England and the Midlands,


a cracking sunny start backstays throughout the day. For East Anglia


and the south-east, the wet weather will ease off. A fine start to the


day through south-west England and Wales. In the afternoon the winds


freshening a touch from the West, and little more cloud rolling in.


Nevertheless, still relatively mild. Into Northern Ireland, a cloudy


start for many. The winds will freshen and then the rain arrives


through the afternoon. Freshening winds also bring outbreaks of rain


to western Scotland but more eastern areas will stay dry for a


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