09/03/2012 World News Today


09/03/2012

The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


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This is BBC World News Today with me Zeinab Badawi. The shelling the

:00:22.:00:30.

in Homs goes on and Valerie Amos says she still does not know enough

:00:30.:00:35.

of what is going on in the country. We still need a more robust

:00:35.:00:38.

engagement that will enable us to have more information about what is

:00:38.:00:47.

happening. New pictures of the house where the British and Italian

:00:47.:00:50.

men held hostage in Nigeria died. Italy wants answers from Britain

:00:50.:00:52.

why they weren't told about the failed operation.

:00:52.:00:55.

13 million people in Africa's Sahel region could just be months away

:00:55.:00:58.

from a full blown food emergency. Also coming up in the programme:

:00:58.:01:00.

New research uncovers a controversial remedy. Could

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psychedelia's drug of choice, LSD, be a treatment for alcohol

:01:02.:01:10.

addiction? Hollywood's voiceover artistes.

:01:10.:01:14.

They sell us the promise of a great film, but do the voices have to be

:01:15.:01:24.
:01:25.:01:30.

Hello and welcome. The United Nations Humanitarian Envoy, Valerie

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Amos, who's just visited Syria, says the Syrian authorities have

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agreed to join UN agencies in making a limited assessment of the

:01:35.:01:42.

situation in the country. Speaking in Turkey, Baroness Amos repeated

:01:42.:01:52.
:01:52.:02:14.

her call for unhindered humanitarian access to Syria. This

:02:14.:02:24.
:02:24.:02:25.

a video claims to show shelling in Homs. A cameraman says that the

:02:25.:02:30.

minarets bore the brunt of the bombardment. We cannot verify these

:02:30.:02:40.
:02:40.:02:41.

pictures independently. These pictures from Damascus to show an

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anti-government demonstration. Here, protesters burn the pictures of

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President Assad's predecessor, his father. The UN's humanitarian chief,

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Valerie Amos, visited Syria earlier this week. She is now in Turkey and

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has called on the Syrian government to provide free access to those

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areas worst hit by fighting. government have agreed to a limited

:03:10.:03:16.

assessment exercise to be conducted by UN agencies and the Syrian

:03:16.:03:20.

authorities. This would give us some information about what is

:03:20.:03:26.

happening in the country. We continue to need a more robust

:03:26.:03:30.

engagement that would enable us to have more information about what is

:03:30.:03:36.

happening. What to do about Syria is a topic for the EU foreign

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ministers here it meeting for talks in Copenhagen. Ministers reject

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calls for foreign military action. The first goal is to stop violence.

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The second is to bring in humanitarian aid. And the third is

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a peaceful transition and this is what we want to reach. The UN's en

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voyage is due to arrive in Syria on Saturday. He has called for a

:04:07.:04:17.
:04:17.:04:24.

political settlement to the crisis. The UN humanitarian she has been

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talking on the telephone to the BBC after her visit. She told us that

:04:27.:04:35.

not enough aid is reaching the people. Homs itself, the part so

:04:35.:04:42.

visited, are extremely quiet, shops are not open. There are one or two

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neighbourhoods where shops are open and there are more people. There

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are estimates that only about 50 % of those who live in Homs are still

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there. The neighbourhood in Homs is completely devastated, destroyed.

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There is evidence of heavy artillery having been used. There

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is not a single building in the area that I visited that had not

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had any impact of this. You can see large holes, you can see evidence

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of tanks having rolled through the neighbourhood in for a march on the

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road. It is a terrible situation to see. I spoke to a couple of

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families who had basically gone back to get what they could from

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their homes, to salvage what they could. There are few men on the

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streets who said that people were very fearful and that people had

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fled to family and friends. We are trying to negotiate with the

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opposition to see some people who I understood had been displaced, but

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eventually we had to give that up. We were not able to negotiate to

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get into that the opposition held area to see them.

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The Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has expressed his anger

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with the UK. He said it is inexplicable that Britain had not

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informed Italy before it started a mission to free a British engineer

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and his Italian colleague held hostage in Nigeria. Both men died

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during the rescue attempt carried out on Thursday by British special

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forces and the Nigerian military. Here's our security correspondent

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Gordon Corera. The house in north-west Nigeria at

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the centre of yesterday's failed rescue attempt. Inside, evidence of

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a fierce gun battle. The battle ended with the news that the two

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hostages had died. Chris McManus and Franco Lamolinara had been held

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for 10 months by a violent Al-Qaeda linked itself. Italy's President

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today asked why his government had not been consulted before the raid.

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The behaviour of the British government in not informing Italy

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is inexplicable. A political and diplomatic clarification is

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necessary. Officials at the Foreign Office say the decision to send in

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troops had to be made fast. So fast that the Italians could only be

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told after it had been made. So why did it happen so quickly? The

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Nigerians confirmed the hostages location after arresting a suspect

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in the last few days. But there were concerns that the kidnappers

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were alerted to a possible rescue and the hostages in danger of being

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moved or killed. Under pressure the Prime Minister authorised the raid

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yesterday morning. And then he informed the Italians. The British

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Special Boat Service went in first in a daylight raid, killing one

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gunman as they entered. But they then found the hostages had already

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been murdered by the time they reach them. We had to make a

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decision very quickly and we had to go ahead with this operation with a

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very limited time. That constrained how much we were able to consult

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others. We were able to inform the Italian government as the operation

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got under way. Today, Chris McManus's former colleagues paid

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tribute to the 28-year-old from Oldham. My reaction was devastation,

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Chris was a very good individual and a great team player. We were

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distraught. Chris McManus's family said that they believed everything

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that could be done had been done. But at this box a diplomatic row.

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Now a look at some of the days other news.

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Afghan and US military officials have signed an agreement on

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transferring control of the US-run detention facility at Bagram

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airbase to the Afghan authorities. At a formal signing-over ceremony

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US officials agreed that the Afghan government would take charge of

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about 500 prisoners over the next 45 days and assume full control of

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the facility in six months. A US drone killed at least eight

:08:56.:09:06.
:09:06.:09:19.

militants in Pakistan. The latest job figures from the

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United States show that nearly a quarter of a million jobs were

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created last month. But the unemployment rate, which is based

:09:24.:09:26.

on a different survey, remains unchanged at 8.3%.

:09:26.:09:29.

Oxfam is warning the drought in the Sahel region of West Africa could

:09:29.:09:32.

turn into a humanitarian catastrophe if urgent action isn't

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taken. The aid agency says more than a million children are at risk

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of severe malnutrition in Chad, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania,

:09:40.:09:46.

Niger and northern Senegal. As many as 13 million people could

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be affected in the Sahel, the semi- arid area bordered by the Sahara

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desert in the North and the wetter regions of equatorial Africa to the

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south. The situation has been compounded in some areas by a

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refugee problem, recent fighting between Tuareg rebels and the army

:10:00.:10:03.

in northern Mali has caused more than 100,000 people to flee their

:10:03.:10:10.

homes. I've been talking to Penny Lawrence from Oxfam, who's in the

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capital of Mali, Bamako. She set out the main reasons why there is a

:10:14.:10:24.
:10:24.:10:28.

food crisis looming in this part of Africa: The rain fall has been very

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little and it was very little two years ago as well. People have not

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had a lot of time to recover from one drought. Food prices have

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increased greatly. In the north- west, food prices have doubled in

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their last six months. If you cannot grow enough food and you

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cannot buy it, you will have a real problem managing. When you have

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spoken to the authorities and all of these countries, do they say to

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you that they're in desperate need of help and they cannot manage?

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they do. They are doing everything they can that they are poor

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countries and poor governments. The international community also need

:11:10.:11:13.

to support them. It means governments giving money but it

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also means the public giving as well. We need to prevent this

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crisis turning into a terrible catastrophe. What are you looking

:11:24.:11:30.

for and what have you got? We are looking for �23 million to help the

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one million at most abjectly affected by this food crisis. At

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the moment, we have a significant gap on that. We are hoping that

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people will give generously. But it is not just these reasons you have

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set out. In Mali there is a conflict which means that people

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are fleeing their homes and they cannot plant any more. That is just

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up in the north. The food crisis affects a wide area. Yes, there is

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also a conflict. If you can imagine those people who have not any got a

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food crisis on their hands, but are also fleeing from fighting, too, it

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means that we need to double our efforts. We are working with some

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very brave local partners and we are able to get support to those

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people. What kind of time frame are you looking at? For the clock is

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ticking and we have two or three months in which to really make sure

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that we distribute food, distribute cash to help people over this

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difficult period otherwise we are facing a terrible catastrophe.

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The Greek finance minister Evangelos Venezelos has said it's a

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historic day for the Greeks. The deal reached with Greece's

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creditors today means the Greek debt mountain is reduced by more

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than 100 billion euros. But although this is the biggest ever

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restructuring of government debt, nothing much will change for

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ordinary Greeks. The country is still suffering from a lack of

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growth and productivity. Here's Mark Lowen in Athens.

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The last few months have been some of the darkest in Greek's modern

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history. The recession has deepened as has the despair and anger of the

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Greek people. Writing, poverty and loss of faith in leaders have

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:13:29.:13:30.

pushed this country to the brink. Now, a rare glint of hope. The deal

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:13:40.:13:40.

struck to less than Greece's burden. This agreement we have reached with

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the private sector is excellent. It is an historic day for Greece, for

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the Greek parliament, for the Greek people and for the national economy.

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This is the largest debt restructuring ever recorded. 107

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billion euros of debt will be written off as old bonds are

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exchanged for new. Over 80 % of bondholders have agreed to it.

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Securing the deal was essential for Greece to get its next bale-out,

:14:10.:14:20.

130 euros, that it needs within weeks to avoid bankruptcy. But the

:14:20.:14:24.

Greek crisis has not been resolved. The country just have an

:14:24.:14:29.

opportunity and it has got on the right path. Debt relief for the

:14:29.:14:34.

government, but among ordinary Greeks, few feel relieved.

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Austerity has pushed unemployment to record highs. With wages already

:14:40.:14:43.

slashed, some individual bondholders say they will not

:14:43.:14:53.
:14:53.:14:55.

The fundamental problems here are still remain, a lack of growth and

:14:55.:14:59.

productivity, and without solving them, this country will struggle to

:14:59.:15:03.

pull itself out of the worst recession since the Second World

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War. Once again, Greece has teetered towards the edge. Once

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again, it has been saved. But when will the next crisis moment come,

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and will this exotic country have the strength to keep fighting? --

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exhausted country. In Japan, 100,000 people are still not been

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able to return to the homes they fled after the disaster at

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Fukushima. Thousands more are afraid to return to areas that have

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seen radiation levels increase. The Government has begun an operation

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to try to decontaminate thousands of kilometres of land. We have been

:15:44.:15:49.

back to see how the fall-out has transformed two communities close

:15:49.:15:54.

to the planned. Absorbed by the trees, the radiation threat is all

:15:54.:16:04.

around us. Everyone had to evacuate. This is where nobody was. A year

:16:04.:16:10.

ago, this was home to thousands of people, 25 miles from the the Vichy

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much power plant. Today it is to radioactive to live here. -- of the

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Fukushima power plant. There are thousands of square miles of

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contaminated land all around here. No one knows whether it can be made

:16:31.:16:36.

for humans to live in again. This professor has tried to work out how

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to remove the radiation that the disaster spewed out. It carried

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over and career twice the size -- it carried over an area twice the

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size. The government say they will decontaminate everywhere, but I do

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not think they can do it. It will cost a colossal about.

:17:01.:17:06.

Fukushima's reactors are still fragile, so many were still too

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fearful to live in the shadow of the nuclear cloud. Just miles away,

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Minamisoma is in an exclusion zone. 25,000 people who fled last year

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from here have not returned. Across the town, the top five centimetres

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of soil is being removed. More radioactive particles keep falling

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from the trees. At this nursery school, they now take radiation

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readings every day, and then swap the playground Queen -- clean

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before the children can go out to play. They all wear masks. The

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school is one of the few places that has been completely

:17:52.:17:56.

decontaminated. A counter installed on the playground shows that

:17:56.:18:00.

radiation is a little above normal but within safe limits. They have

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cleaned up our nursery and playground, that is all. We cannot

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even take the children out of the front gate. Our life is limited to

:18:09.:18:14.

these tiny spaces. So even when levels are low, many parents will

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not bring their children back here. Living with radiation is a risk

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they do not want to take. A year on in priggish enough.

:18:27.:18:32.

Researchers in Norway have -- a year on in Fukushima. Researchers

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in a way have been studying result from a selection of trials

:18:36.:18:45.

undertaken in the 1960s regarding alcohol and other intoxicants.

:18:45.:18:52.

Without this man we may never have heard of LSD. In 1943, this Swiss

:18:52.:19:00.

scientist was working on a chemical, when he started feeling strange.

:19:00.:19:10.
:19:10.:19:13.

kind of dream world appeared. A feeling of being one with the world.

:19:13.:19:19.

A very strange experience. Saying, LSD had been bottled up, and had

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found its way -- is soon, LSD had been bottled up and given to

:19:25.:19:32.

patients. This hospital even had its own LSD block. The CIA were

:19:32.:19:35.

conducting their own experiment to see whether the drug could be used

:19:35.:19:42.

to control minds, or as a weapon to spray on enemy troops. The

:19:42.:19:51.

recreational use of LSD soon became apparent. In 1955 a British MP was

:19:51.:20:01.
:20:01.:20:02.

there and using the drug. -- was filmed at using the drug. The

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results were obvious, so much so that the film was not shown for

:20:07.:20:13.

another 30 years. Around the same time, a writer was beginning his

:20:13.:20:19.

experiments with LSD, culminating in his popular essays. It was not

:20:19.:20:24.

until the 1960s that LSD usage exploded, with a new generation

:20:24.:20:28.

looking to use the drug to free their minds and bodies. By this

:20:28.:20:33.

time, the negative affects had become apparent to many. The drug

:20:33.:20:39.

could cause extreme paranoia and leave its users exposed. They could

:20:39.:20:45.

also trigger a prolonged mental illness.

:20:45.:20:51.

We can speak to a professor who is also a psychiatrist who used to

:20:51.:20:56.

advise the Government on drugs policies. You have looked at this

:20:56.:21:04.

research. They apparently -- and apparently won a single dose up LSD

:21:04.:21:10.

can have an effect on alcoholics which can last month. Are you

:21:10.:21:19.

convinced? I think it is completely credible. We know that drugs like

:21:19.:21:24.

LSD induce very profound changes end in sight. Most of the great

:21:24.:21:32.

things we used to cure alcoholism are about changing inside. It is an

:21:32.:21:37.

understanding about life beyond alcohol. I think it is part of a

:21:37.:21:44.

psychotherapeutic intervention in a protective environment and that

:21:44.:21:49.

psychedelic drugs have quite a role in various therapies for various

:21:49.:21:57.

problems. We are beginning to do a research -- report on the effects

:21:57.:22:04.

on people with depression. How does this help combat alcoholism? We do

:22:04.:22:10.

not know exactly. The work on the projects stopped in the 1960s out

:22:10.:22:16.

of fear that young people were going to use it. We have not

:22:16.:22:26.
:22:26.:22:28.

actually put LSD through a modern brain or imaging techniques. We

:22:28.:22:32.

have seen that the chemicals and LSD switch off parts of the great -

:22:32.:22:37.

- brain that are overactive when people get locked into thinking

:22:37.:22:42.

repeatedly about the press of plot or craving alcohol. What the

:22:42.:22:51.

chemicals deal -- repeatedly about depressive thoughts or craving

:22:51.:22:57.

alcohol. But people could go from alcohol to LSD. But people do not

:22:57.:23:04.

get addicted to LSD. It is not addictive. Eight pre-tax against

:23:04.:23:14.
:23:14.:23:21.

addiction. -- eight pre-tax against addiction. Are you not worried

:23:21.:23:28.

about how harmful it can be? We can do a risk assessment. All I can say

:23:28.:23:33.

is that psychedelic drugs have a much greater role in the treatment

:23:33.:23:36.

of addiction is that we have allowed them to be tested for her.

:23:36.:23:41.

I think it is a disgrace that we have to wait 40 years to try this

:23:41.:23:45.

again. They could have revolutionised the treatment of

:23:46.:23:51.

disorders like alcoholism and save hundreds of thousands of lives. The

:23:51.:23:55.

reason we are not doing it is because we think that it will stop

:23:56.:24:01.

young people from doing it. Are you convinced or do you think there is

:24:01.:24:05.

more research to be done? We have to do this today. All of this

:24:05.:24:12.

research was done in the 1960s. We need to do trials now using the

:24:12.:24:18.

different side Alex in the proper way in a modern situation. --

:24:18.:24:24.

psychedelic us in the proper way. One of the last things in Hollywood

:24:24.:24:33.

that is a last fashion is was ever trailers. -- voice over trailers.

:24:33.:24:38.

Recently, a female voice over artists have been trying to get in

:24:38.:24:43.

to the act without much luck. We take a look inside the voice in the

:24:43.:24:51.

studio. In a world within our world, they created a world unlike any

:24:51.:25:01.

other world. But for these make believed Euros... -- make believe

:25:01.:25:06.

he rose... It is a male dominated field. They tend to go with man.

:25:06.:25:12.

There had been occasions where there have been women but it is

:25:13.:25:21.

rare. What is it about men? physicality of men's voices carry a

:25:21.:25:25.

presence, especially in a theatre where there are noises and special

:25:25.:25:35.
:25:35.:25:37.

effects. Welcome... To paradise. Tasia Valenza is one of the few

:25:37.:25:43.

people who have -- who has voiced a trailer. She believes that the male

:25:43.:25:48.

voices can sell a movie but thinks that male voices -- male voices

:25:48.:25:56.

might be better for specific kinds. It is a specific to a type of the

:25:56.:26:03.

genre. When it comes to chick flicks or her romantic comedies, I

:26:03.:26:09.

think women do it very well. Opinion appears split. I think

:26:09.:26:16.

women should do voice-overs. It would be quite appealing. I think

:26:16.:26:24.

guys do it better. By a lot of people would disagree. Oh, well.

:26:24.:26:29.

Science has been used to justify excluding women from the business.

:26:29.:26:34.

While men and women like listening to female voices, they trust a

:26:34.:26:40.

man's voice more. Many believe that women's voices can do the job.

:26:41.:26:45.

evolves. I think it is the next frontier and I think women have

:26:45.:26:53.

that at their door front. But it is still a man's will? Yes. Experience

:26:54.:26:58.

the adventure of a lifetime. change is likely to be incremental.

:26:58.:27:02.

In the meantime, we will have to deal with the rich baritones

:27:02.:27:11.

beckoning us to future attractions. That is all from the programme. Was

:27:11.:27:16.

that deep enough for you? Thank goodness there are women

:27:16.:27:23.

presenters! From myself and the rest of the team, enjoy your

:27:23.:27:28.

rest of the team, enjoy your weekend.

:27:28.:27:31.

High pressure is going to get us find whether this weekend and

:27:31.:27:36.

through much of next week as well. A cloudy day today it will

:27:36.:27:40.

gradually brighten up tomorrow. Here is the big picture going into

:27:40.:27:45.

the weekend. As you can see, it is still quite breezy across northern

:27:45.:27:50.

areas, but elsewhere, like winds, and the pressure is suckling things

:27:50.:27:56.

down. Sunday morning starts out bash progress Saturday morning

:27:56.:28:05.

The cloud will thin and break as it rolls over into the east of the

:28:05.:28:15.
:28:15.:28:17.

Pennines. The sun makes all up the difference. In London, we could see

:28:17.:28:23.

16 degrees. Into Wales, there will be some cloud and you might

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encounter some drizzle. North and east Wales will be getting some

:28:29.:28:34.

sunshine. Some brightness on the southeast of Northern Ireland.

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