14/03/2012 World News Today


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

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 14/03/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



This is BBC World News Today with Belgium's agony as a school skiing


trip in Switzerland ends in tragedy. In one of Europe's worst ever road


accidents, 22 children and six adults are killed after their bus


crashes in a tunnel as they head All the children have broken legs


and arms. Our teacher and monitor, they are dead.


Found guilty of raising an army of child soldiers and stealing their


childhood - Congolese warlord, Thomas Lubanga, now faces a life


behind bars. Also coming up in the programme:


Celebrating the rock solid, special David Cameron gets a warm and


lavish welcome from President Obama as Afghanistan dominates the agenda.


We will not give up on this mission because Afghanistan must never


again be a safe haven for Al-Qaeda to launch attacks against us.


And scientists say medical research in Britain is under threat after


ferry companies and airlines bow to pressure from animal rights groups


and stop importing animals destined Hello. Belgium is in mourning after


a coach crash in Switzerland left 28 people dead, 22 of them children.


They had started the journey home from a skiing trip when their bus


smashed into the wall of a tunnel at 9:15pm last night. It happened


at Sierre. Most of the dead and injured were flown to hospitals and


the families have an agonising wait to see if there children are alive


or dead. A day of an emotional pull trauma


for the families, I imagine. -- imaginable trauma.


It is ours since this tragedy happened and instead of what should


have been the end of a happy week with children returning home to


tell their families about a wonderful skiing holiday, their


parents are here at the spot where many of their children died, many


of them injured. Eight has been a traumatic day for the families, for


the rescue workers and this small They worked through the night


freeing the survivors in cramped, traumatic conditions. Embedded in


the tunnel wall, the coach, full of 11 and 12 year old children. Those


who could have clambered from the wreckage but there were many still


trapped. Over 200 emergency workers rushed to the scene. There were 12


ambulances and eight helicopters that ferried the injured to


hospital. When we saw the first patients coming out, it was the


first horrific moment for last. You could imagine how it would look


inside the tunnel. Be full horror was written in the wreckage they


removed this morning. So violent the impact that the front third of


the coach was torn apart. 28 people died, among them, 22 children and


both drivers. This is the opposite side of the tunnel that we drove


through today. The prosecutor has ruled out any suggestion that the


driver was bleeding but the coach appears to have hit the right hand


wall before colliding with a pilaf. It is unlikely driver fatigue Bobby


to blame Mrs that school party were over an hour into their return


journey. -- is to blame. An investigation is underway. The


victims were from Flanders. Cards and flowers are being laid. When


the school gates opened, parents were still learning of the accident


and while a number have confirmation their children had


survived, those had to assume the worst. We have children here at our


school and eight children, we don't know what is happening with them.


All of the children have broken legs and arms. Our teacher and


monitor, they are dead. families flew to Switzerland aboard


a specially chartered flight. The Belgian Prime Minister, who visited


the scene this afternoon, spoke of a national tragedy. Switzerland has


some of the strictest driving regulations in Europe and this is


their worst coach accident in 30 years. Tonight, 24 people remain in


hospital. Three of them young children, still in a coma. In


Belgium, a small community is grieving and their more -- nation


mourns with them. In this community here, Switzerland


is grieving and in morning to. This part of the world, every parent


knows you send your children off for a it school week every year.


They go and come back on coaches. Today, 22 children didn't come back.


All day long where I have been standing near the tunnel, families


have been coming, laying flowers, paying their respects in this


terrible tragedy. Have all the dead been identified?


Do all the parents know the worst or are able to have some relief?


The last we heard from the Swiss authorities is the process of


identification is still going on. One policeman pointing out that


your own kids don't always have their IED in their pockets. This


may take some time. -- IED. Everybody hopes everything can be


cleared up and they can get used as soon as possible. The last we heard


was that the process of identification was still going on.


Speed has been ruled out, hasn't it? This was at the start of the


journey so it seems unlikely that driver fatigue would be the cause


of this. The police have said publicly that


they don't think speed was a factor. There were two drivers on that bus.


Both were killed. The bus had just left the ski resort. They had


rested all day. Those children had gone skiing yesterday. They set off


in the early evening. The driver had been driving for about an hour


so driver fatigue is not possible. The police are looking at whether


the driver was taken suddenly ill. A heart attack or something or


vehicle Aref. The coach is not far from where I am standing in a


police hanger. It is being examined. Thank you very much.


Some breaking news now. United States military officials in


Afghanistan say an American soldier accused of killing 16 after gang


civilians has been flown out of the country. Officials say the legal


proceedings against him will be Other stories and staying in


Afghanistan, a member of the Nato- led forces has been injured in an


incident with a vehicle at an airbase in southern Afghanistan.


The vehicle was driven on to the runway of Camp Bastion before it


burst into flames. The driver has been arrested.


Syrian troops are reported to have attacked the city of Deraa.


Intensified assaults come a day before the anniversary of the


uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.


A small Tsunami hit Japan's north- eastern coastline after a strong


earthquake rocked the region. The quake struck off the island of


Hokkaido. It happened a year on from one of the worst Tsunami as in


which thousands died. Burma's media has made an election


broadcast. Aung San Suu Kyi called for media freedom and independent


judiciary. He started off as a Congolese Trade


and tribal chiefs and went on to command an RB of constricted child


soldiers in a bloody jungle war. Thomas Lange could spend the best


of his days behind bars. The criminal court has found him guilty


of forcing children as young as 11 to fight and commit atrocities. As


well as being the ICC's first verdict, it is the first


international trial focusing on the use of child soldiers.


Thomas Lubanga was brought to court in the Hague this morning to


receive the judgment. Six years after being transferred from...


This was the first trial and the only one that so far that has been


-- that has dealt with the issue of child soldiers. It is alleged that


he had used children under the age of 15 during the conflict in need


DRC a decade ago. The chamber has reached his decision unanimously.


The chamber concludes that the prosecution has proved beyond


reasonable doubt that Mr Thomas Lubanga is guilty of the crimes of


conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 years into the


F B L c and using them to participate actively in hostilities


within the meaning of articles 82 p, Severn and 25. From early September


2000 and so -- To 1002 to 13th August 2003.


It has been widely established that tells orders were an integral part


of the war. A conflict in which an estimated 4 million people died.


The prosecution have wanted him convicted in order to send a strong


message that there will be no impunity for those who recruit


children to fight. Today's verdict sets a stage for Prevention of


future crimes. It ensures full protection of children and for


countries to take steps to demobilise and reintegrate. Thomas


Lubanga will be sentenced later. It marks a coming of age for the ICC


and there are high expectations of what it can achieve.


With me is have a temper. How important is the verdict? -- Vava


Tampa. This is a man who is responsible for thousands of crimes


against humanity and using thousands of children as soldiers


through a period of five years. Even this case didn't run smoothly


despite the fact that he had been put into custody by the Congolese


authorities while so many others are still at large. It is a small


fish in a deep-sea. He was armed and trained by the Ugandans before


he became trained by the Rwandan us. Despite he his -- despite the fact


that he is brought to justice, we need to see his command and others


brought to justice. Who is protecting those people now? The


campaign has had huge coverage. Who else is at large and who is


protecting them? There is one man who is shielded by the president of


Rwanda. The second is a man who is incredibly relevant to this case


because he helped Thomas Lubang Go and they were in charge of the same


army that killed thousands of people. What is happening in terms


of the rehabilitation of those children who had their child would


rob from them? Those that have survived and committed or trust is,


how successful has the programme been in bringing them back and


rehabilitating them back into society? Unicef has done an amazing


job in helping out. You need to recognise that this is an


incredibly massive issue. It has a population of 60 million and half


of those are under the age of 16. You have millions who are under 16


and have no access to education. Why is this such an African problem


because it all stems from poverty? Congolese is a specific case. We


have had complete -- conflict since 1988. Over 5.4 million people have


died and you have a situation where the national institution doesn't


function. The President doesn't want to bring anyone to justice


because all of the top officials appointed in the army since he


became president for all wanted for Including the President of Sudan as


well? Absolutely. The ICC was the only way we could get justice.


Tampa, thank you. Kindred spirits and a rock-solid


alliance - that's how the leaders of the United States and Britain


described the relationship between their two countries today. The


sentiments were matched by the lavishness of the ceremony as


President Obama welcomed David Cameron to the White House with a


marching band and a 19-gun salute. But the serious part of the visit


came when the men sat down to talks, with recent events in Afghanistan


at the top of the agenda. Let's talk to the BBC's Katty Kay,


who's in Washington. Looking extremely glamorous, are you


dressed up for tonight's gala dinner? No, Tim, I put this on just


for you. But I have just come from a state lunch hosted by the Vice-


President for the Prime Minister and Samantha Cameron. There's a


state dinner this evening, a big black tie affair, with some 400


people at the White House. The President himself will be hosting.


I've been lucky enough to get an invite to that. It is a day of


festivities. My understanding from talks with the White House is this


is their opportunity to reciprocate for the visit that the Obamas had


on their state visit last year, when they were received by the


Queen, as well as by the British Government. They wanted to pay back


in kind, so they'velogical gone all out during the course of David


Cameron's visit here to Washington. It was interesting watching the


press conference today in the rose garden. In terms of substantive


issues and any new developments, for example on Afghanistan, there


was very little. There isn't very much news made. Part of this visit


is the Pomp and Circumstance and the pay-back for the visit the


Obamas had in London. I sat next to a White House official and he said


America want to reassure Britain that they really do appreciate


Britain's leadership on a number of issues: Afghanistan, Libya, Syria,


that the White House cares about. So this is a relationship where


there is not a huge amount of difference and not a huge amount of


news being made during this trip. Perhaps some shifting on the


timetable of bringing troops out of Afghanistan. But it is President


Obama's chance to say that the relationship is strong and not only


do we understand that the relationship is special and


sometimes White House officials will roll their eye as bit at that,


at British sensitivities over that, but on a range of issues they do


appreciate the Prime Minister's leadership. President Obama in


particular spoke quite often didn't he about the G20 in Chicago in May


as if that was the time when we were going to hear much more detail


about things. On this issue of austerity, I have had White House


officials say to me in the past, talking about Britain's economic


plan, how is that austerity things working out for you over there? And


suggesting that the White House feels that under President Obama


America has taken a much better path, not cutting too rapidly, and


they do see a difference between themselves and the economic


policies of Great Britain. But I think this is not the occasion when


you are going to hear differences. Clearly this is the occasion when


they are going to be stressing similarities. Will it be


interesting to see whether in Chicago we have much more substance


on the specifics of austerity. for the dinner tonight Richard


Branson, you, Downton Abbey... That's all the Americans are


turning up for. At one point at lunch today Lord Grantham was there


and the Americans were flocking to see him. For more interested in


meeting him than in meeting the British Prime Minister.


Bonneville goes from strength to strength. Have fun.


Some leading scientists are warning that medical research is under


threat as pressure from campaigners reduces the number of animals being


brought into the UK for testing. It's emerged that all ferry


companies and all but two airlines have stopped importing animals


destined for laboratories where researchers are testing new drugs


or medical techniques. Our science editor, David Shukman, reports. Up


and down the country animals are used to research new drugs and


treatments everything from cancer to Parkinson's. Most animals are


bred here but some are imported because they have particular


genetic traits. But campaigners have targeted the airlines that


bring them in. And most have caved in to pressure. Scientists are


worried they are not getting the animals they need. This is vital


research for the UK population, and actually for the world population,


so it is important that we solve this issue to convince the


transport companies that it is a good thing to transport animals for


research. The latest figures show that more than 3 million animals


are used in scientific research every year. Of those just over


26,000 came from outside the UK. But campaigners say that's cruel


and should stop. We have asked our supporters to say peacefully and


politely to the transport companies that they would prefer to travel


with airlines and with shipping companies that do not cause


suffering to animals. One by one the ferry companies have also


refused to carry animals for research. So the Government is now


trying to get these imports restarted. What I'm proposing is a


code of practice on the quality and standards for the transport ation


of animals, so everybody can be confident that once again we've got


the best standards in the world. And then try to get the transport


companies as a whole to agree that they will all of them be willing to


transport animals under those controlled conditions, so it is not


a matter of individual companies being singled out. Britain is a


major centre for this kind of work, but research on animals has long


been a highly sensitive issue. It's a test of will and of public


opinion. Alistair Currie is a spokesperson


for PETA - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals - and


Professor Robin Lovell-Badge is a geneticist at the National


Institute for Medical Research. Jeopardising essential medical


research which may lead to real help for people with Alzheimer's


and other serious illnesses? don't see it that way. We think we


are better off as scientist looking away from using animals. Animal


research isn't delivering. 90% of drugs that pass animal trials fail


when they come into trials with human beings. That's a massive


failure rate. Over the last decade or so we've seen animal experiments


going up but productivity going down in terms of new drugs.


this is highly regulated isn't it? In terms of animal husbandry and


vets on site, these animals are really being cared for as well as


think possibly can? Well, I don't think the issue of being cared for


makes a difference if you are talking about a mouse being


genetically engineered for research into concerns or a mime ate from


Vietnam which is given treatment which may give it seizures. Most


mice are kept in shoe boxes effectively within this country.


There is animal suffering throughout the whole chain. Robin


Lovell-Badge, couldn't computer modelling do this without the, I


presume you accept there is suffering for the animals?


Basically no, it can't. Living beings are very complicated and


sophisticated things. There are attempts to model aspects of how a


particular organ works or a particular tissue developments and


functions but these models are naive and they don't work well


enough when you are trying to understand how the whole organism


works, the physiology of an animal. What do you say to the argument


that it is cheaper to use mice, that they are easily bought and


they can be discarded quickly rather than developing computer


programmes perhaps which would be more sophisticated. Animal research


is very expensive. I would disagreement we don't do animal


research lightly. It is carefully reviewed, judged by ethical review


processes, and the Home Office. We don't do it unless it is necessary.


What about the point of suffering though, which PETA would say that


animals are suffering as a result of this. Did you accept there is


sumping felt by animals? certain types of experiment yes,


but it is a question of balance, so if the research is particularly


critical, we will accept some level of suffering. But against we try to


keep it to a minimum always. Alistair Currie m people would say


that you are a minority tolding these views and by your slightly


intimidating campaigns against these travel companies you are


holding up what the majority want to continue? I don't think the


evidence really supports that. is the evidence? Polls tend to come


and go on this, but the most recent definitive poll said about 33% of


people did not support animal experimentation. That's substantial


minority. But it's a minority. Rather more than voted for the


Conservative Party in the last election for instance. These are


people whose voices should be recognised. People feel an


instinctive disquiet and revulsion towards animal experiments. The


support of those people who do offer support is based on the asuch


thags the animals are well looked after and there is no alternative.


Neither of those things is true. Come back on those points professor.


First of all I disagree about the survey. It depends how you ask the


questions. If you ask is it acceptable to use animals in


research for important medical reasons? The vast majority will say


yes. OK. The animals are looked after extremely well. They are


looked after well in animal facilities the UK which are very


tightly regulated. Transport which is the issue which came up today,


again animals transported to the UK are looked after very carefully.


The transport companies are regulated. And, the reason why


animals are brought into this country and also exported from this


country, it is not just a one-way traffic, is because these are the


best animal models for studying human conditions that people want


to acquire. And so if you stop that transport you stop the best animal


models being used. I'm afraid we are out of time. But Professor


Robin Lovell-Badge and Alistair Currie, thank you.


A reminder of our main news: Swiss police say a bus loaded with school


children that crashed on Tuesday night, killing 28 people, slammed


into a tunnel wall head-on. The bus was taking the children home to


Belgium after a skiing holiday. 22 children and six adults were killed.


That is our sad main headline today. From me Tim Willcox and the team in


Hello there. We did eventually see sunshine across the country.


Tomorrow, a slight change in that we are steadily losing our area of


high pressure, allowing weather front into the north and the west.


With a bit more of a breeze I think we will see more sunshine fro early


on in the day. As a result some higher temperatures. It will feel


warm. The exception is towards the north and west, where we still have


thicker cloud, some patchy rain in western Scotland and parts of


Northern Ireland. By 3 o'clock in the afternoon we've got sunshine


through north-east England. Temperatures at around 13-14


degrees. This breeze from the South West, that's helping to lift the


temperatures to the South East. We could see a 17 or 18 somewhere.


Feeling spring-like. But always thicker cloud across the west of


the country. Temperatures here more like 10 or 11. It should be dry


throughout the day. Wales seeing the best of the breaks


in the east, but for west Wales it is a cloudy and cool afternoon.


Northern Ireland starting to see patchy light rain and drizzle in


the afternoon. Heaviest in the north-west corner. Wetter weather


moving into western Scotland. But for eastern Scotland Thursday


Download Subtitles