16/03/2012 World News Today


16/03/2012

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

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

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

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Security Council following his talks with President Assad. He

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urged against any action that could escalate the conflict. Concern

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

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

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

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of mourning for the bus crash victims. The Afghan President

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

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

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in this programme, swapping Anglicanism for academia. After a

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decade as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams is

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

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

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Tendulkar hits his 100 international century amidst scenes

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

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

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

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discuss practical steps for a monitoring mission in the country.

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He was speaking after breaking the United Nations Security Council and

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

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

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

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neighbouring Lebanon, Jon Donnison has the support.

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In the northern city of Idlib, opposition protests early this

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

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regained full control. They are calling for immediate foreign

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military intervention. And in the capital, Damascus, more

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

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

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

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

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

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activists showed thousands of people marching and then apparently

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

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

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

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

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one, stop the violence, accelerate humanitarian assistance and

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establish credibility and confidence for the political

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Deraa. And opposition activists say these pictures show security forces

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

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

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

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

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

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served as the US representative to the United Nations under President

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

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

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

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most distinguished diplomat we could possibly cent, the most

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Russians' actions. They are still equating the protesters to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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agree with that? The introduction of arms would create greater

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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genocide in Rwanda, Srebrenica, Darfur, until the international

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

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happening here is Assad has basically been saying I am not

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going to negotiate, have any dialogue well there are terrorists

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

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

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

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

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

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

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is not negotiating. Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, sent to the

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

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mourning to remember the victims of the bus crash in Switzerland

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

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

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

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

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story. At 11 o'clock in the morning a

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

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

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

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

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

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people stopped for a moment of contemplation. From another school

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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to suggest the driver was suddenly taken ill. The investigation

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continues. More people will be leaving their own personal tributes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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some way to bring some comfort to the bereaved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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centenary of its creation as a nation.

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

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

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

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

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

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real identities in order to post online. A Turkish military

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

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

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

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The Turkish government says it appears the helicopter crashed

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while trying to make an emergency landing.

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

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

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

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

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

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suspected of carrying out the attack was flown out of Afghanistan

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on Wednesday and is being transferred to a military prison in

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

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Afghanistan. Tribal elders in villagers came

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

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

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

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

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

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

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out to question. Do you accept the official American

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Account but only one American soldier was involved in these

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

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

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

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

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

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

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receive the corporation that they expected from the United States.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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latest violence but the President's condemnation strains an already

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troubled relationship at a very The leader of the worldwide

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

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

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

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

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Magdalene College, Cambridge University. Our religious affairs

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:16:19.:16:23.

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

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Canterbury Cathedral for his enthronement, Rowan Williams was a

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

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

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

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

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capture the imagination of the public for Christianity. Let us

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greet our newly enthroned Archbishop with quake that mess.

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

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England and the worldwide Anglican Communion about homosexuality.

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

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

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

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

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threatened the communion that disintegration, a crisis which Dr

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

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

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

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minion together of American liberals and African Conservatives.

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Anglicans reveal the charismatic archbishop, but many resent the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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religious affairs correspondent from the Times newspaper. Ruth, is

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

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

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

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

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unprecedented division and schisms in the church. Different parts of

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

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their secular context. The Anglican Communion has many different

:19:33.:19:38.

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

:19:38.:19:43.

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

:19:44.:19:47.

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

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

:19:51.:19:57.

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

:19:57.:20:00.

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

:20:00.:20:07.

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

:20:07.:20:15.

certainly indicated the degree of weariness. He talked about crisis

:20:15.:20:18.

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

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talked about the good things that have happened and the achievements

:20:22.:20:26.

he felt he had managed. Many achievements on the international

:20:26.:20:32.

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

:20:32.:20:36.

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

:20:36.:20:41.

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

:20:41.:20:46.

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

:20:46.:20:52.

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

:20:52.:20:58.

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

:20:58.:21:05.

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

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

:21:11.:21:16.

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

:21:16.:21:20.

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

:21:20.:21:25.

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

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He is very bright and very politically able. He would

:21:30.:21:33.

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

:21:33.:21:39.

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

:21:39.:21:45.

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

:21:45.:21:52.

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

:21:52.:21:57.

potential candidates and it will be interesting, and interesting six

:21:57.:22:00.

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

:22:00.:22:04.

next Archbishop. Ruth, thank you so much.

:22:04.:22:06.

The Oscar-winning American actor George Clooney has been arrested

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following a protest outside the Sudanese embassy in Washington. He

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was among demonstrators protesting about a blockade that is preventing

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

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

:22:26.:22:36.
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but has now been released. Paul Adams reports.

:22:36.:22:42.

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

:22:42.:22:47.

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

:22:47.:22:52.

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

:22:52.:22:56.

becomes the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Immediately.

:22:56.:23:01.

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

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Government in Khartoum to stop randomly killing its own innocent

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

:23:09.:23:14.

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

:23:14.:23:21.

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

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

:23:27.:23:34.

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

:23:34.:23:39.

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

:23:39.:23:46.

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

:23:46.:23:51.

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

:23:51.:23:55.

dozen other activists, deliberately defying the police, knowing well

:23:55.:24:05.
:24:05.:24:06.

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

:24:06.:24:11.

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

:24:11.:24:15.

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

:24:15.:24:18.

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

:24:18.:24:20.

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

:24:20.:24:22.

international century against Bangladesh in Dhaka. It made him

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

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well as tributes from around the globe.

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

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

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

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the monumental achievement. It is an amazing achievement, without

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:25:44.:25:54.
:25:54.:25:56.

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

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

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

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

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

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Until this moment, everyone will savour every moment.

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

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

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

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

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

:26:45.:26:52.

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

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:27:02.:27:02.

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

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

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

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

:27:15.:27:21.

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

:27:21.:27:25.

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

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

:27:29.:27:33.

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

:27:33.:27:39.

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

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

:27:44.:27:48.

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

:27:48.:27:53.

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

:27:53.:28:00.

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

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

:28:06.:28:09.

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

:28:09.:28:14.

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