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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