16/03/2012 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today was me, Zeinab Badawi. The special envoy to


Syria, Kofi Annan, speaks publicly after his visit to Damascus and


calls for unity from the United Nations. Mr Annan was briefing the


Security Council following his talks with President Assad. He


urged against any action that could escalate the conflict. Concern


goads be on Syria itself because the crisis can have a serious


impact for the whole region if it is not handled effectively. Flags


fly at half-mast and church bells ring in Belgium on an official day


of mourning for the bus crash victims. The Afghan President


accuses the United States of not co-operating with the investigation


into the killing of 16 Afghans by an American soldier. Also coming up


in this programme, swapping Anglicanism for academia. After a


decade as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams is


stepping down at the end of the year to take up a post at Cambridge


University. And the Little Master finally reaches that big milestone.


Tendulkar hits his 100 international century amidst scenes


Hello and welcome. The special envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, has


said the priority on Syria is to get humanitarian aid into the


country. And you UN team is due to arrive in Syria this weekend to


discuss practical steps for a monitoring mission in the country.


He was speaking after breaking the United Nations Security Council and


Mr Annan also said it was important to establish democracy in the


country but he said Syria must be handled very carefully, since any


miss steps would have a severe impact in the region. From


neighbouring Lebanon, Jon Donnison has the support.


In the northern city of Idlib, opposition protests early this


morning. This, in a place where the government was believed to have


regained full control. They are calling for immediate foreign


military intervention. And in the capital, Damascus, more


demonstrations. They chant, Assad is a God's enemy. We support the


city of Idlib. They have made placards sake, we call on Russia


and China to get Assad out of the intensive care room so that he can


die in peace -- behind made placards. Later, after Friday


prayers, the numbers grew. In this town video posted by opposition


activists showed thousands of people marching and then apparently


government troops opening fire. Meanwhile in New York Kofi Annan,


the international envoy to Syria, briefed the UN Security Council on


his progress in pursuing the peace plan. I discussed with the council


proposals I made to the Syrian government that was aimed to number


one, stop the violence, accelerate humanitarian assistance and


establish credibility and confidence for the political


process when it is initiated. I will be sending a team in this


weekend to pursue the discussions and the proposals we left on the


table and at the appropriate time, when I'd been sufficient progress


has been made to, I shall be prepared to go back to the region.


In my discussions... He spoke of getting strong support and despite


differences of opinion from Russia and China he said he hoped the


council would soon speak with one voice. He warned of a serious


impact on the region if the crisis was not handled carefully. But he


offered no immediate solutions. And on the ground there is no end to


the violence in sight and political talks seem equally far off. Much of


the Syrian army's focus this week has been on the southern town of


Deraa. And opposition activists say these pictures show security forces


opening fire on protesters in Syria's second city, Aleppo,


yesterday. The UN will send a humanitarian mission to Syria over


the weekend but it can only get fade-in if it is safe to do so. --


it can only get aid in if it is safe to do so. To discuss this be


joined by ambassador Nancy Toad -- Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, who


served as the US representative to the United Nations under President


Clinton. The Kofi Annan show, the only one in town, you reckon?


Unfortunately I think he is on his own in terms of Russia and China


but he does have the moral support of the United States. This is the


most distinguished diplomat we could possibly cent, the most


accomplished negotiator. If anyone Cup -- if anyone can pull a rabbit


out of a hat it will be Kofi Annan. But I am afraid the conditions are


not yet sufficient for the Syrians to agree to any real dialogue. More


has to be on the table. You talk about the road blocks, from Russia


and China, but there has been a softening in the Russian's position,


saying we're not just historic allies of Syria all the time. Do


you see room for manoeuvre? I don't see any real change in the


Russians' actions. They are still equating the protesters to


protesters, they are still sending arms to the Syrian government, the


regime that has killed over 8,000 people. What is going on is the


world is not ready to intervene seriously in this conflict. The


Russians are successfully dividing the Security Council. It is up to


the Arabs to step up to the plate and put troops on the ground to


stop the killing. Qatar is talking about it, Turkey is talking about a


buffer zone. It is the region that will bear the brunt of this and it


is the region that needs to step up. I think the Arabs should move


forward. That would give the tipping point to Kofi Annan to


finally get this regime to recognise the game is up. When you


have the French Foreign Minister saying that the arming of any of


the factions in Syria would lead us of all war, do you think, don't you


agree with that? The introduction of arms would create greater


conflict not only in the country but the region? That is already


happening. They are in a civil war and the region is arming the


opposition. We don't know how much but it is happening and you have a


civil war. This has been going on for a year. I don't know how much


longer the international community can decide when it is ready to act,


the time is now to act, give Kofi Annan the force to back the post of


diplomacy. This regime is living in fantasy land. Look at the e-mails


they are sending about shopping at the same time they are slaughtering


8,000 of their peoples. Arming the opposition is a cop-out. It will


not happen fast enough, we don't know who they are, there are bad


consequences. This is a very tricky situation. Doing half measures will


not stop it will only get worse, it is time to put the troops into the


ground, protect the people and give Kofi Annan some quivers, some


arrows in his quiver. It sounds briefly as though you were


suggesting the path of diplomacy and to negotiations is a waste of


time? Not at all but it does at times, I have said through the


genocide in Rwanda, Srebrenica, Darfur, until the international


community steps up to the plate it will not get a deal. What is


happening here is Assad has basically been saying I am not


going to negotiate, have any dialogue well there are terrorists


operating. These are not terrorists, the opposition who want democracy.


The international community and Arabs need to step-up, p to fund


stand up to Assad. He will then back down and you have the


conditions. Kofi Annan is doing everything he can, getting a


ceasefire, getting monitors on the ground. If anyone can do it, he can,


he is the best diplomat the world can offer but right now this regime


is not negotiating. Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, sent to the


joining us from Washington. Belgium has held a day of national


mourning to remember the victims of the bus crash in Switzerland


earlier this week. 28 people, most of them children, died when the bus


taking them home from a skiing holiday hit the wall of the tunnel.


Flags were flown at half mast and church bells rang as Belgium


observed a minute's's silence for the victims. Chris Morris has the


story. At 11 o'clock in the morning a


minute's silence to remember those who died. At this school in


Heverlee, to which seven children and two adults never returned,


pupils gathered in the playground. Many of them too young to


understand. Across the country flags were at half mast. In


government buildings, in railway stations, even in local factories,


people stopped for a moment of contemplation. From another school


in Lommel near the Dutch border, 15 pupils died. All of them are only


about 12 years old. They run no words for it, there is only silence.


-- There are no words forehead. We can hope that parents and


grandparents become better after some time but I think it will last


20 years. In Heverlee balloons were released in that act of remembrance.


And on the school gates a list of names of those who died, among them


Sebastian Bowles, an 11-year-old boy was a British father and a


Belgian mother. And still people are looking for answers. Why did


the bus crash in Switzerland? So there is -- so far there is nothing


to suggest the driver was suddenly taken ill. The investigation


continues. More people will be leaving their own personal tributes


here over the next few days and soon we will have a series of


heartbreaking funerals. It is the loss of so many young children, who


should have their whole lives ahead of them, which is making this


tragedy so difficult to accept. And now those who died have been


brought back home. Coffins emerging from military aircraft, one by one.


Hard for everyone to take. A sombre ceremony as Belgium searches for


some way to bring some comfort to the bereaved.


A day of national mourning in Belgium. Now let's take a look at


some of the other main news in brief. The United States has


denounced the plan by North Korea to launch a long-range rocket to


put a satellite in orbit. It said the move was a threat to regional


security and was inconsistent with North Korea's recent agreement to


suspend missile and nuclear tests in return for food aid. North Korea


says the launch next month is part of its space programme to mark the


centenary of its creation as a nation.


In China, millions of microblog users, but his websites where


people post their thoughts in just a few lines of text, are facing new


rules from today. It is an attempt by the authorities to try to


prevent the spread of what they call unfounded rumours. Users of


the sites in the capital Beijing now have to register with their


real identities in order to post online. A Turkish military


helicopter has crashed into a house on the outskirts of the Afghan


capital Kabul, killing 16 people. 12 of the dead were Turkish


soldiers on board the aircraft. The other four where Afghan civilians.


The Turkish government says it appears the helicopter crashed


while trying to make an emergency landing.


The President of Afghanistan had -- Hamid Karzai, has accused the


United States of not co-operating with the investigation into the


killing of 16 Afghan villagers by an American soldier last Sunday.


The President was speaking after meeting victims'' relatives. Some


of whom said that more than one killer was involved. The soldiers


suspected of carrying out the attack was flown out of Afghanistan


on Wednesday and is being transferred to a military prison in


the United States -- soldier. Lyse Doucet has sent this report from


Afghanistan. Tribal elders in villagers came


from Kandahar in the south to talk to the President. Hamid Karzai


called them to the Palace to help him understand what happened when


16 Afghans were killed in the early hours of Sunday morning. The


Afghans at this table spoke with anger and emotion. He describes how


his love of people died in one house alone. -- Hull 11 people died.


President Karzai listened and took notes. When he rose to Levi called


out to question. Do you accept the official American


Account but only one American soldier was involved in these


killings? The story of the village elders is entirely different. They


believe it is not possible for one person to do that. In his family,


in four rooms, people were killed, children and women were killed, and


they were all brought together in one room and put on fire. That one


man cannot do. And the army chief has just reported, I don't know if


you heard his report, that the after an investigation team did not


receive the corporation that they expected from the United States.


There for these are all questions that will be raising and raising


very loudly and raising very clearly. What do you do next, sir?


It is by all means the end of the rope. The end of the road? The end


of the rope. Nobody can afford such luxuries any more, if you can call


it a luxury. Does that mean your relationship with your United


States is at the end of the road? This form of activity, this


behaviour, cannot be tolerated. It is passed, past, passed the time.


But you cannot fight the Taleban on your rain, with your own forces?


That is a different question, right now we are addressing this issue


and we will look it up in an extremely diligent and forceful way.


Thank you. The US has been trying to contain the damage from this


latest violence but the President's condemnation strains an already


troubled relationship at a very The leader of the worldwide


Anglican Communion, Rowan Williams, has announced that he is to resign


at the end of the year. Dr Williams, who as Archbishop of Canterbury, is


also the spiritual leader of the Church of England, has been in


office for 10 years. He will take up an academic post as Master of


Magdalene College, Cambridge University. Our religious affairs


correspondent Robert Pigott has Even as he demanded to be let into


Canterbury Cathedral for his enthronement, Rowan Williams was a


reluctant leader of the Church. This is why the Christian will


engage with passion in the world of society and politics. Out of a real


hunger and thirst to see God's image, but destiny of human beings


to become got's sons and daughters. Dr Williams said he wanted to


capture the imagination of the public for Christianity. Let us


greet our newly enthroned Archbishop with quake that mess.


From the start, he had to contend that divisions in the Church of


England and the worldwide Anglican Communion about homosexuality.


is unfortunate that he came to the Archbishop at a time when the


communion was being driven apart by issues of human sexuality. I think


what he has tried to do is to hold the Church together, whatever his


own personal views. The ordination of the Bishop of New Hampshire


threatened the communion that disintegration, a crisis which Dr


Williams has had to manage for a decade. He has had to deal with the


tension. He is not only working in this country, with Western liberal


people, but internationally as well. He has had to keep a communion --


minion together of American liberals and African Conservatives.


Anglicans reveal the charismatic archbishop, but many resent the


Liberal the interpretation of the Bible the EC in the West. It was Dr


Williams' it greatest achievement that he -- he held the community --


the Communion together. It became clear he would not stay much longer.


I did not particularly want to be President of the next conference, I


have done that. The next one will be in 20 team. Between now and


then,... I can understand why after a long time in that very important


job, he wants to move on. I pay tribute to the service he has given


to the country and the church. He leaves the Church still in grave


danger of division. Anglicans know he will be very hard to replace.


Joining us now to talk some more about this is Ruth Gledhill, the


religious affairs correspondent from the Times newspaper. Ruth, is


Dr Rowan Williams going to go down as one of the great Archbishops of


Canterbury? I think he well, in history. But there will always be


talk about the issues he has had to face. Issues unlike any other


Archbishop in modern times. Because he has had to cope with


unprecedented division and schisms in the church. Different parts of


the Church in different parts of the world changed, according to


their secular context. The Anglican Communion has many different


promise since -- provinces. Some are Conservatives and others are


very liberal. There has been very far from a meeting of minds, there


have been fractures and splits and Rowan Williams has been trying to


manage them as well as keep things together on the home front. It has


been an almost impossible job. His successor will need to have for a


constitution of an ox and the skin of a rhinoceros. Do you think he


just got fed up managing all these divisions? In his statement, he's


certainly indicated the degree of weariness. He talked about crisis


management and how he found it rather enervating. But he also


talked about the good things that have happened and the achievements


he felt he had managed. Many achievements on the international


front, is remarkable visit to Zimbabwe, the way he called Robert


Mugabe to account. He has had a big effect in the Sudan and other parts


of the world. For Christians are really suffering and other faiths


are suffering due to war and poverty. He has had a strong impact


in preaching the Christian gospel at a time of economic difficulties.


He has been taking the Government to task over Iraq, for example.


clearly, you have given us some long list. In terms of who will


succeed him, Archbishop cent Gamu it -- John Sentamu of York, is the


money going on him? He is the strong favourite. He has expressed


some surprise that there should be the case but I took -- I think the


public would love him. The Bishop of Bradford is also in the frame.


He is very bright and very politically able. He would


certainly be a man able perhaps to manage the Church politically and


are more adept way than the very spiritually inclined Rowan Williams.


There are other bishops such as Graham James, the Bishop of


Worcester, so I think there are few people, there are quite a few


potential candidates and it will be interesting, and interesting six


months as the Church decides which one of these it wants to be the


next Archbishop. Ruth, thank you so much.


The Oscar-winning American actor George Clooney has been arrested


following a protest outside the Sudanese embassy in Washington. He


was among demonstrators protesting about a blockade that is preventing


food and aid getting to more than a quarter of a million people. He was


arrested for defying a police order to leave the grounds of the embassy,


but has now been released. Paul Adams reports.


Amid the sort of publicity few can muster, George Clooney pleading his


case, standing outside the Sudanese mission with some simple the month.


We need a humanitarian aid to be allowed into the Sudan before it


becomes the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Immediately.


The second thing we are here to ask, it is very simple, is for the


Government in Khartoum to stop randomly killing its own innocent


men, women and children. He has spent much of the week in


Washington, including an appearance on Capitol Hill, arguing for action


to stop Sudanese attacks. We found children filled with shrapnel. He


is just back from the border region and a secret trip into the affected


area. This club was shown to senators. George Clooney has


political cloud and access, among the guests at the White is for once


the's state banquet in order of David Cameron. You will be arrested.


Today's outcome was never in doubt. George Clooney and his father and a


dozen other activists, deliberately defying the police, knowing well


what would follow. Mr Clooney shows no sign of giving up. The arrest


and the least of George Clooney. -- and released.


For more than a year now, India has been holding its breath, but today,


Sachin Tendulkar allowed his nation a collective sigh of relief. The


Indian batsman and the country's undisputed hero made his 100th


international century against Bangladesh in Dhaka. It made him


the first to do so and sparked scenes of jubilation at home as


well as tributes from around the globe.


The magic moment, surging to do car getting his century against


Bangladesh. It has been a while coming. The immediate reaction was


one of relief. Already, there is an outpouring of praise, acknowledging


the monumental achievement. It is an amazing achievement, without


precedent and very unlikely to be achieved again. It just shows a


rare combination of amazing skill, huge application, a great drive and


desire, but also being able to keep a calm head when there is huge


expectation. For more than two decades, he has entertained cricket


lovers around the world. But in India, where the game is religion,


he is the undisputed God. For his fans, this latest record


underscores his greatness. I cannot think that anything could be better.


Finally, he did it. Everyone was relieved. It is a proud moment for


the nation. It this adulation that has made him one of India's biggest


stars, endorsing everything from beverages to banks. It has also


made him one of the world's richest sportsman. At the age of 38, there


are almost no Matins left for him to scale. He has got his 100th


century. He does appear as if his glorious career is nearing its end.


Until this moment, everyone will savour every moment.


A reminder of our main news: The UN and Arab League envoy on


Syria, Kofi Annan, says he is sending a delegation to Damascus


next week to discuss setting up a new monitoring mission there. After


a briefing the UN Security Council on his recent talks with President


Assad, Mr Annan warned that the situation in Syria needed to be


handled very carefully. That is all for now, from me and


It will be a mixed bag in the UK this weekend, some frost in the


North, some rain to come, we are seeing that moving southwards


tonight following a scattering of showers. The rain is set to weaken


as it crosses England and Wales but it will be five to 10 mm across


southern and eastern areas. Behind that, the shores will follow. A


cold and frosty start in the North. We will have this rain affecting


southern and eastern parts of England. Behind it, heavy showers


with a lot of cloud keeping things cool in the North East of England.


That rain can be seen across parts of East Anglia. Some uncertainty


still on its exact position. Stay tuned to the forecast if you have


plans. These showers across the south-west of England and Wales


could be accompanied by some gusty winds. The risk of hail and thunder,


and over the hills, the risk of sleet and snow. For Northern


Ireland, it looks brighter, some sunshine but also some showers or


stop that wintry next in Scotland over the hills. Unsettled for the


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