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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