08/03/2012 World News Today


08/03/2012

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This is BBC World News Today with me, Tim Willcox. Having retaken

:00:11.:00:14.

Homs, reports from Syria say the army is now focusing on rebels in

:00:14.:00:18.

the northwestern city of Idlib. The fear, that Idlib could be a new

:00:18.:00:21.

Baba Amr, where the UN's humanitarian chief talks of

:00:21.:00:28.

devastation. That part of Homs is completely destroyed and I'm

:00:28.:00:31.

concerned to know what has happened to the people who lived in that

:00:31.:00:37.

part of the city. A Special Forces rescue mission in Nigeria ends in

:00:38.:00:47.
:00:48.:00:48.

failure, with 2 hostages, an Italian and a Briton, killed.

:00:48.:00:51.

Heading our way. The largest solar storm in five years comes with

:00:51.:00:53.

warnings about threats to power supplies and navigation systems.

:00:53.:00:56.

Also coming up in the programme: living with the painful memories.

:00:56.:00:59.

As the first anniversary of the Japanese tsunami approaches, the

:00:59.:01:02.

families still trying to come to terms with the loss of their loved

:01:02.:01:07.

ones. And wowing the crowds after 60 years on the throne. The Queen's

:01:08.:01:17.
:01:18.:01:22.

Jubilee tour gets underway in Hello and welcome. Reports from

:01:22.:01:25.

Syria say government tanks and troop carriers are moving on the

:01:25.:01:28.

city and province of Idlib - home to many Free Syrian Army fighters

:01:28.:01:32.

and close to the border with Turkey. There've reportedly been government

:01:32.:01:38.

warnings to civilians to leave their lands and their homes.

:01:38.:01:41.

Meanwhile the UN's humanitarian chief, Valerie Amos, has been

:01:41.:01:44.

speaking about the devastation she saw during a short visit to the

:01:44.:01:47.

Syrian city of Homs and in particular the district of Baba Amr.

:01:47.:01:50.

In Cairo the UN and Arab League special envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan,

:01:51.:01:55.

says the conflict can only be resolved by a political settlement.

:01:55.:01:58.

The diplomatic pressure coincided with news of the defection of

:01:58.:02:03.

Syria's Deputy Oil Minister to the rebels. Jim Muir reports from

:02:03.:02:13.
:02:13.:02:20.

neighbouring Lebanon. The Valerie Amos said she was devastated by the

:02:20.:02:30.
:02:30.:02:42.

destruction she sobbed on her visit to Zawiya. -- Baba Amr. That part

:02:42.:02:47.

of Homs is completely destroyed by and I am concerned to know what has

:02:47.:02:55.

happened to dead people to live in that part of the city. The scale of

:02:55.:03:00.

the destruction impressed upon her. Much of the superficial damage has

:03:00.:03:04.

been cleared away but the underlying devastation cannot be

:03:04.:03:11.

disguised. In addition to the hundreds who died here under

:03:11.:03:17.

bombardment it is said that many more died during summary executions

:03:17.:03:26.

carried out last week. This man is the highest Government member so

:03:26.:03:34.

far to defect. He issued a four minute denunciation on YouTube.

:03:34.:03:42.

do not want to end mightier serving the crimes of this regime. I join

:03:42.:03:52.

the cause of justice knowing they will burn my house, terrorise my

:03:52.:03:56.

family and tell lies about me. The blood of the martyrs will not

:03:56.:04:01.

forgive those who continue as accomplices of the regime on the

:04:01.:04:07.

grounds that they are just employees of being orders. It is

:04:07.:04:12.

good news for the opposition. Its fighters have kept up harrying

:04:12.:04:19.

opposition forces. -- Government forces. The Government continues to

:04:19.:04:28.

use its heavy weapons against towns and villages. It is looking

:04:28.:04:34.

increasingly like civil war. That is what the special peace envoy

:04:34.:04:40.

wants to halt. Stopping off in Cairo he urged the opposition as

:04:40.:04:46.

well as the Syrian Government to co-operate for a balanced solution.

:04:46.:04:51.

His approach she believes is the only practical way. We have to be

:04:51.:04:55.

coldly realistic when we put proposals on the table to

:04:55.:05:02.

understand it can be carried through and will have the right

:05:02.:05:08.

results otherwise we raise false hopes and cause more problems.

:05:08.:05:13.

he cannot make a break through it is doubtful that anybody else can.

:05:13.:05:16.

Well, as reports from inside Syria say that army reinforcements have

:05:16.:05:18.

been sent to the northwestern province of Idlib, activists say

:05:18.:05:22.

they fear an assault similar to the one that devastated the Baba Amr

:05:22.:05:30.

neighbourhood of Homs. Nour lddin is a resident of Idlib, and we can

:05:30.:05:39.

speak to him via a webcam. What is happening around that City this

:05:39.:05:49.
:05:49.:06:04.

evening? The village where gunmen were born, where a young man was

:06:04.:06:11.

killed they went to his house and other houses in the village. There

:06:11.:06:21.
:06:21.:06:33.

was another one in the countryside. He died. That led to many people in

:06:33.:06:41.

their houses and at the market demonstrating. There is a very long

:06:41.:06:47.

delay on this site, just one last question if I may, have you seen a

:06:47.:06:51.

build up of army tanks and troop carriers and have there been

:06:51.:07:01.
:07:01.:07:11.

warnings to people to media before the army moved end? -- move end? --

:07:11.:07:21.
:07:21.:07:21.

move in? I am sorry, there were technical problems with that

:07:21.:07:29.

interview. The BBC's Lina Sinjab is in the Syrian capital Damascus.

:07:29.:07:38.

Strong words from the UN. His best having any impact at all on the

:07:38.:07:48.
:07:48.:07:56.

Zairean as authorities? Yes indeed. -- Syrian as authorities. Baroness

:07:56.:08:01.

Amos said she was waiting to hear what the Syrian as authorities have

:08:01.:08:11.
:08:11.:08:13.

to say before she takes any further action. The situation is ongoing

:08:13.:08:19.

despite the international condemnation. What about the

:08:20.:08:23.

defection of the Deputy Oil Minister, has there been any

:08:23.:08:29.

official recognition of that? has not been any statement yet from

:08:29.:08:36.

the Government about this defection. Anything which happened in the past

:08:36.:08:41.

was attributed to the Ministry of whom the Government considered

:08:41.:08:49.

traitors. There has not been any reaction from the Government about

:08:50.:08:56.

that so far. Thank you very much for joining us. A British and an

:08:56.:09:00.

Italian construction engineer have been killed in Nigeria during a

:09:00.:09:07.

failed attempt backed by special forces to rescue them. In a

:09:07.:09:13.

statement, just over an hour ago, David Cameron said Nigerian and

:09:13.:09:17.

British forces launched the rescue attempt after information that

:09:17.:09:22.

delights of the men were under increasing threat. We have a video

:09:22.:09:28.

of the men being held in captivity, it was uploaded to YouTube. David

:09:28.:09:34.

Cameron says early indications are that the men were murdered by their

:09:34.:09:38.

captors before they could be freed. It was only today that David

:09:38.:09:44.

Cameron authorised the rescue operation to go ahead. We are still

:09:44.:09:49.

waiting for many of the details to be confirmed. David Cameron gave

:09:49.:09:54.

this statement at Downing Street a short while ago. A British citizen

:09:54.:10:02.

was taken hostage in Nigeria by terrorists in May 2011. He was held

:10:02.:10:06.

left a colleague who was Italian. Since then we have been working

:10:07.:10:11.

with the Nigerian authorities to try to find them both and secured

:10:11.:10:15.

their release. The terrorists holding deep two hostages made very

:10:15.:10:20.

clear threats to take their lives including in a video which was

:10:20.:10:25.

posted on the internet. After months of not knowing where they

:10:25.:10:30.

were being held we received information about their location

:10:30.:10:35.

and a window of opportunity arose to secure their release. We were

:10:35.:10:44.

all sorts under the impression that their lives were in danger and

:10:44.:10:49.

their deaths were imminent. Today I authorised arrest you attempt to go

:10:49.:10:54.

ahead with our support but it is with great regret I have to say

:10:54.:10:59.

that both men have lost their lives. We are still awaiting confirmation

:10:59.:11:03.

of the details but the early indications are that both men were

:11:03.:11:09.

murdered by their captors before they could be rescued. Our security

:11:09.:11:13.

correspondent has been giving us a few more details about the

:11:13.:11:20.

operation and what we think went wrong. These two men were first

:11:20.:11:24.

kidnapped last here in the north- west of the country from a

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residential compound. There was a video a few months later and then

:11:29.:11:32.

today David Cameron made it clear there had been further concern

:11:33.:11:37.

about the threat to them and intelligence had come in a

:11:37.:11:42.

revealing their possible location. On that basis he said he had given

:11:42.:11:46.

the authorisation for an operation to go-ahead which we understand was

:11:46.:11:52.

Nigerian with operational support also from the UK. That in turn

:11:52.:11:56.

tragically has led to the death of the men tragically at the hands of

:11:56.:12:03.

their captors. Let's have a look at some of the other news now. The

:12:03.:12:07.

Greek Government says it is on its weight to a bond swap deal with

:12:07.:12:14.

investors which could help avoid their huge debts. More than 75 % of

:12:14.:12:20.

private creditors are said to have signed up. The three widows of

:12:20.:12:24.

Osama Bin Laden have been charged with illegally entering and living

:12:24.:12:34.
:12:34.:12:36.

in Pakistan. Lisa French President says he will abandon politics if he

:12:36.:12:43.

loses the forthcoming presidential election. Nicolas Sarkozy has been

:12:43.:12:47.

criticised for competing with the National Front for right wing bolts

:12:47.:12:54.

after seeing there were too many foreigners in France. -- right-wing

:12:54.:13:03.

votes. Scientists say charged solar particles are heading towards us at

:13:03.:13:09.

more than 16 kilometres per second. The solar storms do not directly

:13:09.:13:16.

harm people but can disrupt satellites and air travel. More

:13:16.:13:21.

from Our Science Correspondent now. A storm on the surface of our son.

:13:21.:13:27.

The most intense in five years. It was triggered by gigantic solar

:13:27.:13:32.

flares earlier this week. The continued activity could soon have

:13:32.:13:37.

an effect on Earth. US Government agencies are monitoring the

:13:37.:13:42.

situation closely. We are at least able to tell you that yes, this is

:13:42.:13:52.

coming towards us, be aware, keep watching, do not get hysterical.

:13:52.:14:00.

solar tsunami is coming our way! But hysterical they got. But how

:14:00.:14:06.

worried should we be? The sun is throwing out sheets of charged

:14:06.:14:11.

particles. It often does this but the difference is that this time

:14:11.:14:20.

these sheets maybe on a collision course with the Earth. We will be

:14:20.:14:30.
:14:30.:14:31.

protected by the Earth's magnetic field but there could be disruption

:14:31.:14:38.

to the planet's satellites which could affect computer and

:14:38.:14:43.

telecommunications systems. We are moving towards as solar maximum so

:14:43.:14:47.

we may expect these things to increase. We are already co-

:14:47.:14:53.

operating with the Americans on this. Our Prime Minister and Barack

:14:54.:15:02.

Obama signed an agreement last year. So far there are no signs of

:15:02.:15:12.

Let's talk to Ingo Mueller-Wodarg from Imperial College London. A

:15:12.:15:21.

solar tsunami, we heard. I think the worst is over, it has not hit

:15:21.:15:29.

us to Baddeley. It has fizzled by. The main problem is that the

:15:29.:15:37.

electromagnetic storm is a bubble of gas, high energy gas, hitting us

:15:37.:15:44.

in space. But we are well protected by our geomagnetic field and our

:15:44.:15:49.

atmosphere. It seems that the bubble did not hit us directly but

:15:49.:15:57.

hit us on the side. Probably the worst is over. These particles are

:15:57.:16:01.

moving at 4 million miles an hour. Will we be seeing more of these and

:16:01.:16:07.

how great is the potential threat? On ground the threat is minimal.

:16:07.:16:12.

These events have happened as long as life existed on Earth and before

:16:13.:16:20.

that. We are well protected by our magnetic field. However, what used

:16:21.:16:24.

to not be a big problem and is increasingly a problem because we

:16:24.:16:30.

rely on technology in space is that these events disrupt the magnetic

:16:30.:16:34.

fields in space and they can hit the communication between

:16:34.:16:39.

satellites which, in turn, affects signals which much of our lives

:16:39.:16:46.

depend on. And defence systems as well. Of course, and power grids.

:16:46.:16:51.

Events like this will continue to happen and they will get stronger

:16:51.:16:58.

now, with the solar cycle... Why is the sun sends -- sending off be

:16:58.:17:08.
:17:08.:17:09.

used massive storms? -- the be used massive. This summer is a ball of

:17:10.:17:14.

gas and the magnetic field rearranges itself. -- the sun is a

:17:14.:17:23.

bald gas. It throws off these big bubbles of gas, coronal mass

:17:23.:17:29.

ejection has, and it throws them into space and they are either hid

:17:29.:17:36.

us or they don't. -- coronal mass ejections. The event is completely

:17:36.:17:41.

normal and has not changed over hundreds of thousands of years.

:17:41.:17:47.

nothing to be worried about. have to be careful nowadays. The

:17:47.:17:52.

problem nowadays is that we rely on technology that is in space. We

:17:52.:17:58.

have to be absolutely careful. Sadly, the funding into this area

:17:58.:18:07.

has gone down dramatically. Ingo Mueller-Wodarg, thank you very much.

:18:07.:18:12.

This Sunday's Japan will be remembering victims of the

:18:12.:18:15.

earthquake and tsunami that hit the east coast a year ago. 16,000

:18:15.:18:19.

people were killed when towns and city in Iwate and Miyagi

:18:19.:18:26.

prefectures were devastated. Damian Grammaticas has been to Japan's

:18:26.:18:31.

East Coast to speak to one family caught up in the disaster.

:18:31.:18:35.

Shadows on the landscape are all that is left of this place. Avoid

:18:35.:18:40.

full of memories. For Tatsuya Suzuki it is the memory of the

:18:40.:18:45.

smile his wife gave him, right here in the two-storey house, as he left

:18:45.:18:51.

for work. I wish I could go back in time, he says, go back to that date.

:18:51.:18:56.

If only I could have saved him. He is burdened by guilt that he

:18:56.:19:02.

survived and Izumi did not. As the a tsunami swept into the area, he

:19:02.:19:06.

had managed to get their two children to safe place is. Seconds

:19:06.:19:15.

later Izumi was carried away by the wave. Today, Hikaru and her little

:19:15.:19:24.

brother Hibiki are laughing again. Sometimes they cry out in their

:19:24.:19:27.

sleep. I see the sadness and a struggle to know what to say. My

:19:27.:19:37.

heart aches. The tsunami killed 1,000 of the

:19:37.:19:42.

7,000 people here. One year on the, the government is burning what

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little remains of the area. They aim to build this town again, but

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higher. For hundreds of miles along the coast it is the same story,

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dozens of communities starting a new. The first priority is the

:19:59.:20:04.

unfinished task of accounting for everybody. More than 3,000 are

:20:04.:20:12.

still missing. At this school, 70 children were swept away. Four have

:20:12.:20:20.

not been found. Yasukichi Takayama's mother disappeared.

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Nothing moves on, he says. I have been following police teams like

:20:25.:20:32.

this all year. Hikaru and Hibiki used to be so

:20:32.:20:36.

inseparable from their mother. Hikaru is doing well at his new

:20:36.:20:40.

school but their father feels trapped by the past.

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TRANSLATION: Even though a year has gone by, nothing has really changed.

:20:44.:20:51.

Time has stopped for me. I am still grieving. His children never one to

:20:51.:20:55.

live here again but one day, he says, he will move back. This place

:20:55.:21:03.

still feels like home. In the immediate aftermath of the

:21:03.:21:06.

tsunami there were big fears that the radiation threat posed by the

:21:06.:21:13.

Fukushima nuclear plant but one year on those fears have largely

:21:13.:21:16.

diminished. Some experts believe that the radiation did not pose a

:21:16.:21:19.

long-term risk. One of those experts is Professor Richard

:21:19.:21:21.

Garfield from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. He

:21:21.:21:26.

joins us now from New York. I was there at the time and there was

:21:26.:21:31.

real fear that people even in Tokyo about what was happening. Were

:21:31.:21:37.

those fears are exaggerated completely? Not at all. We did not

:21:37.:21:42.

know how much radiation there would have been and if it had been like

:21:42.:21:46.

Chernobyl there would have been an enormous help effect. It did not

:21:46.:21:51.

turn out that way. These were much better designed, the radiation was

:21:51.:21:55.

contained for the most part and the radiation that did escape was not

:21:55.:22:01.

that harmful and did not reach population centres. It is

:22:01.:22:04.

interesting because, because of lack of knowledge in that sense of

:22:04.:22:10.

not really knowing what might happen, that drove, not hysteria,

:22:10.:22:15.

but real mental anxiety. Is that one of the longer-lasting effects

:22:15.:22:21.

of this disaster? Fear, confusion, lack of understanding of how much

:22:21.:22:29.

radiation there is. Any place there is a radiation escape, this is a

:22:29.:22:32.

man made situation and it is something people don't control

:22:32.:22:38.

themselves. One always has a perception of greater risk when

:22:38.:22:43.

those events are external and unnatural and imposed on one. At

:22:43.:22:47.

the Japanese government compounded by not giving good information.

:22:47.:22:50.

you think people will die as a result of what happened a year ago,

:22:50.:22:54.

but not because of radiation but maybe because of mental health

:22:54.:22:57.

problems and stress and other things impacting on the daily

:22:57.:23:04.

lives? It appears that it is other health affects the and radiation

:23:04.:23:09.

which will have a long-term impact. A third of a million people were

:23:09.:23:13.

displaced and some have health problems but can't be dealt with as

:23:13.:23:17.

effectively when they don't know the physicians who are taking care

:23:17.:23:22.

of them. There are so many people who have lost family members and to

:23:22.:23:25.

have long-term mental and social impacts or stop the father in the

:23:25.:23:31.

story said, my heart aches. Thank you very much, Professor Richard

:23:31.:23:35.

Garfield. A visit to one of Britain's most

:23:35.:23:39.

ethnically diverse cities, Leicester, has marked the beginning

:23:39.:23:44.

of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee tour. There were enthusiastic crowds as

:23:44.:23:47.

she travelled with the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duchess of

:23:47.:23:51.

Cambridge. This report contains flash photography.

:23:51.:23:56.

10 years ago the Golden Jubilee got off to a comparatively slow start.

:23:56.:24:02.

That was not the story today. The people of Leicester, a culturally

:24:02.:24:05.

diverse city in the heart of England, came out in their

:24:05.:24:09.

thousands to launch the Queen's died in Jubilee and to welcome her

:24:09.:24:19.

guest companion, the Duchess of Cambridge. -- diamond jubilee. It

:24:19.:24:22.

is the cultural diversity of Leicester which made it the place

:24:22.:24:26.

to start the tour. Few places better show the changes that have

:24:26.:24:30.

taken place over her rain. But Leicester could -- at Leicester

:24:30.:24:40.

Cathedral she attended a special service between various faith

:24:40.:24:44.

groups. Prayers were said for the six British soldiers killed in

:24:44.:24:48.

Afghanistan. We pray for those who died in

:24:48.:24:58.

Afghanistan yesterday from the Yorkshire and the Duke of -- and

:24:58.:25:04.

its the Duke of Lancaster's regiments. Outside the cathedral,

:25:05.:25:09.

the Queen and the Duchess said despite stood side by side to

:25:09.:25:13.

receive bouquets of flowers. The fact that the Queen invited the

:25:13.:25:17.

Duchess to join her is a public endorsement of her importance to

:25:17.:25:21.

the royal family. At times they worked as a team, the Queen taking

:25:21.:25:28.

one side of the crowd, the Duchess other -- the other. They went to a

:25:28.:25:30.

fashion show at De Montfort University. Their relationship

:25:30.:25:35.

seems to be an easy one, the younger one leaning across to chat.

:25:35.:25:39.

Them, in the city centre, the Queen hoping perhaps that the newcomer

:25:39.:25:43.

will absorb a few lessons. Bob there was something more to the

:25:43.:25:48.

Duchess's presence. It is a subtle signal that the Queen recognises

:25:48.:25:52.

the importance of bringing on somebody who will be so central to

:25:52.:25:57.

the monarchy of the future. At there was no doubt, though, who is

:25:57.:26:03.

still this court -- the star of the show. Not everybody is a monarch --

:26:03.:26:09.

monarchist but this monarch's popular as ever. She is the queen

:26:09.:26:12.

of our country and I am proud. Coming to Leicester was just

:26:12.:26:17.

fantastic. We could not have asked for much more. It was an awesome

:26:17.:26:22.

moment to celebrate it with her. The Palace's view - it was a

:26:22.:26:30.

welcome beyond their expectations. A reminder of our top news. Reports

:26:30.:26:33.

from serious say that government track -- tanks and troop carriers

:26:33.:26:41.

are moving on the province of Idlib, home to many Free Syrian Army

:26:41.:26:44.

fighters. There have been reports that they have been government

:26:44.:26:47.

warnings to civilians to leave their lands and their homes. That

:26:48.:26:57.
:26:58.:27:02.

is all from me. Next, but whether. Hello. After a very active first

:27:02.:27:08.

half of the week it is all change. The emphasis is on for dry weather.

:27:08.:27:13.

More cloud than today tomorrow but temperatures quite high. The breeze

:27:13.:27:18.

and things are settling down, this area of high pressure. -- the

:27:18.:27:26.

reason things. Plenty of dry weather to come. This week were the

:27:26.:27:31.

front of pushing across Scotland is an exception, outbreaks of rain

:27:31.:27:41.
:27:41.:27:41.

tomorrow. -- week weather front. Breezy, but 12, 13, possibly 14

:27:41.:27:50.

degrees. A strip of cloud across southern England, maybe a spot of

:27:50.:27:56.

rain. We will continue with thicker cloud into Wales, light rain or

:27:56.:27:59.

drizzle in the hills, also affecting parts of north-west

:27:59.:28:05.

England, and maybe brushing the north of Northern Ireland. The

:28:05.:28:10.

further south east you are, brighter skies into Belfast, for

:28:10.:28:16.

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