14/03/2012 World News Today


14/03/2012

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

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

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

:00:18.:00:28.
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crashes in a tunnel as they head All the children have broken legs

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

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

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

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behind bars. Also coming up in the programme:

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

:00:54.:01:01.

lavish welcome from President Obama as Afghanistan dominates the agenda.

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

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

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And scientists say medical research in Britain is under threat after

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ferry companies and airlines bow to pressure from animal rights groups

:01:16.:01:26.
:01:26.:01:36.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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or dead. A day of an emotional pull trauma

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

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

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

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tell their families about a wonderful skiing holiday, their

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

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

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:02:55.:02:57.

the rescue workers and this small They worked through the night

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freeing the survivors in cramped, traumatic conditions. Embedded in

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

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

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

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ambulances and eight helicopters that ferried the injured to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:04:20.:04:30.
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journey. -- is to blame. An investigation is underway. The

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

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

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and while a number have confirmation their children had

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

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

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

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monitor, they are dead. families flew to Switzerland aboard

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

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

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some of the strictest driving regulations in Europe and this is

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

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

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

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mourns with them. In this community here, Switzerland

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

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

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

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

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

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terrible tragedy. Have all the dead been identified?

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

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

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identification is still going on. One policeman pointing out that

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

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

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

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was that the process of identification was still going on.

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

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

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of this. The police have said publicly that

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Some breaking news now. United States military officials in

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Afghanistan say an American soldier accused of killing 16 after gang

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

:08:25.:08:35.
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proceedings against him will be Other stories and staying in

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

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incident with a vehicle at an airbase in southern Afghanistan.

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

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burst into flames. The driver has been arrested.

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

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Intensified assaults come a day before the anniversary of the

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uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

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

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

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

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

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

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judiciary. He started off as a Congolese Trade

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

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

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

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

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

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international trial focusing on the use of child soldiers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The chamber concludes that the prosecution has proved beyond

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

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

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

:11:18.:11:28.
:11:28.:11:31.

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

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

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

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

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

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message that there will be no impunity for those who recruit

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

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future crimes. It ensures full protection of children and for

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countries to take steps to demobilise and reintegrate. Thomas

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

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and there are high expectations of what it can achieve.

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

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

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against humanity and using thousands of children as soldiers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:13:51.:14:01.
:14:01.:14:06.

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

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

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

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of the rehabilitation of those children who had their child would

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

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how successful has the programme been in bringing them back and

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rehabilitating them back into society? Unicef has done an amazing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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described the relationship between their two countries today. The

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sentiments were matched by the lavishness of the ceremony as

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President Obama welcomed David Cameron to the White House with a

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:17:07.:17:10.

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

:17:10.:17:16.

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

:17:16.:17:22.

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

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

:17:27.:17:32.

America want to reassure Britain that they really do appreciate

:17:32.:17:37.

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

:17:37.:17:39.

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

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

:17:44.:17:48.

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

:17:48.:17:51.

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

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

:17:56.:17:59.

do we understand that the relationship is special and

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

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

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appreciate the Prime Minister's leadership. President Obama in

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

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

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

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

:18:29.:18:33.

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

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suggesting that the White House feels that under President Obama

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

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they do see a difference between themselves and the economic

:18:44.:18:48.

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

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

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they are going to be stressing similarities. Will it be

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interesting to see whether in Chicago we have much more substance

:18:57.:19:05.

on the specifics of austerity. for the dinner tonight Richard

:19:05.:19:08.

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

:19:09.:19:14.

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

:19:14.:19:19.

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

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meeting him than in meeting the British Prime Minister.

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Bonneville goes from strength to strength. Have fun.

:19:28.:19:30.

Some leading scientists are warning that medical research is under

:19:30.:19:33.

threat as pressure from campaigners reduces the number of animals being

:19:33.:19:36.

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

:19:36.:19:38.

companies and all but two airlines have stopped importing animals

:19:38.:19:41.

destined for laboratories where researchers are testing new drugs

:19:41.:19:46.

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

:19:46.:19:50.

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

:19:50.:19:53.

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

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bred here but some are imported because they have particular

:19:58.:20:00.

genetic traits. But campaigners have targeted the airlines that

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

:20:05.:20:10.

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

:20:10.:20:16.

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

:20:16.:20:22.

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

:20:22.:20:25.

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

:20:25.:20:30.

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

:20:30.:20:33.

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

:20:33.:20:39.

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

:20:39.:20:44.

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

:20:44.:20:48.

politely to the transport companies that they would prefer to travel

:20:48.:20:52.

with airlines and with shipping companies that do not cause

:20:52.:20:56.

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

:20:56.:21:00.

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

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

:21:05.:21:10.

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

:21:10.:21:13.

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

:21:13.:21:16.

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

:21:16.:21:22.

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

:21:22.:21:25.

transport animals under those controlled conditions, so it is not

:21:25.:21:27.

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

:21:27.:21:31.

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

:21:31.:21:34.

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

:21:34.:21:39.

opinion. Alistair Currie is a spokesperson

:21:39.:21:42.

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

:21:42.:21:44.

Professor Robin Lovell-Badge is a geneticist at the National

:21:44.:21:54.
:21:54.:21:55.

Institute for Medical Research. Jeopardising essential medical

:21:55.:21:59.

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

:21:59.:22:04.

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

:22:04.:22:08.

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

:22:08.:22:12.

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

:22:12.:22:16.

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

:22:16.:22:20.

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

:22:21.:22:24.

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

:22:24.:22:29.

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

:22:29.:22:33.

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

:22:33.:22:37.

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

:22:37.:22:44.

makes a difference if you are talking about a mouse being

:22:44.:22:51.

genetically engineered for research into concerns or a mime ate from

:22:51.:22:56.

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

:22:56.:23:01.

mice are kept in shoe boxes effectively within this country.

:23:01.:23:06.

There is animal suffering throughout the whole chain. Robin

:23:06.:23:09.

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

:23:09.:23:13.

presume you accept there is suffering for the animals?

:23:13.:23:18.

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

:23:18.:23:24.

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

:23:24.:23:28.

particular organ works or a particular tissue developments and

:23:28.:23:32.

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

:23:32.:23:35.

enough when you are trying to understand how the whole organism

:23:35.:23:40.

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

:23:40.:23:43.

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

:23:43.:23:46.

they can be discarded quickly rather than developing computer

:23:46.:23:51.

programmes perhaps which would be more sophisticated. Animal research

:23:51.:23:56.

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

:23:56.:24:00.

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

:24:00.:24:03.

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

:24:04.:24:09.

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

:24:09.:24:12.

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

:24:12.:24:17.

sumping felt by animals? certain types of experiment yes,

:24:17.:24:22.

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

:24:22.:24:30.

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

:24:30.:24:34.

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

:24:35.:24:42.

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

:24:42.:24:44.

intimidating campaigns against these travel companies you are

:24:44.:24:49.

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

:24:49.:24:53.

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

:24:53.:24:59.

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

:24:59.:25:03.

people did not support animal experimentation. That's substantial

:25:03.:25:07.

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

:25:07.:25:10.

Conservative Party in the last election for instance. These are

:25:10.:25:16.

people whose voices should be recognised. People feel an

:25:16.:25:19.

instinctive disquiet and revulsion towards animal experiments. The

:25:19.:25:24.

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

:25:24.:25:27.

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

:25:27.:25:31.

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

:25:31.:25:36.

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

:25:36.:25:40.

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

:25:40.:25:44.

research for important medical reasons? The vast majority will say

:25:44.:25:49.

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

:25:49.:25:55.

looked after well in animal facilities the UK which are very

:25:55.:25:59.

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

:25:59.:26:03.

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

:26:03.:26:08.

The transport companies are regulated. And, the reason why

:26:08.:26:12.

animals are brought into this country and also exported from this

:26:12.:26:16.

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

:26:16.:26:20.

best animal models for studying human conditions that people want

:26:20.:26:24.

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

:26:24.:26:33.

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

:26:33.:26:35.

Robin Lovell-Badge and Alistair Currie, thank you.

:26:35.:26:38.

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

:26:38.:26:41.

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

:26:41.:26:44.

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

:26:44.:26:48.

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

:26:48.:26:52.

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

:26:52.:27:02.
:27:02.:27:03.

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

:27:03.:27:07.

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

:27:07.:27:10.

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

:27:10.:27:16.

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

:27:16.:27:19.

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

:27:19.:27:23.

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

:27:23.:27:27.

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

:27:27.:27:30.

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

:27:30.:27:34.

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

:27:34.:27:37.

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

:27:37.:27:42.

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

:27:42.:27:46.

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

:27:46.:27:51.

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

:27:51.:27:54.

throughout the day. Wales seeing the best of the breaks

:27:54.:28:00.

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

:28:00.:28:03.

Northern Ireland starting to see patchy light rain and drizzle in

:28:04.:28:07.

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

:28:07.:28:10.

moving into western Scotland. But for eastern Scotland Thursday

:28:10.:28:13.

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