01/08/2013 World News Today


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in prison plus 1,000 years for the man who abducted three young women


in Ohio. Ariel Castro apologises to his victims. He pleaded to have


brought -- several hundred kinds including kidnap, rape and


aggravated murder. I am not a monster, I am a normal person will


stop I am just sick. Edward Snowden slips out of Moscow airport after


being granted asylum in Russia. Also coming up: Robert Mugabe's


challenger for President. Morgan Tsvangarai called Zimbabwe's


election a huge farce amid claims of vote rigging. Uruguay is set to


become the first country in the world to legalise marijuana. Will it


reduce drug-trafficking or simply create a nation of drug users?


A US judge has given a sentence of life imprisonment without the


possibility of parole to Ariel Castro, the man who has admitted


holding three women captive in his house in the city of Cleveland for


almost a decade. The court heard he has put his victims through a life


of hell. He had pleaded guilty to more than 900 cans including


kidnapping, rape and the aggravated murder of an unborn child. As he


addressed the court, he apologised for his actions.


I am truly sorry to the family, to Michelle and Amanda. You guys know


what went on in that film. I ask God to forgive me. I asked my family and


I apologise to my family also for putting them through all of this. I


want to apologise to the state of a high old, the city of Cleveland. I


just want to apologise to everyone who were touched by the events but I


do also want to let you know that there was harmony in that home.


There was harmony at home, I was a good person. I never had a record


and I hope that people find it in their hearts to forgive me.


One of the women abducted by Ariel Castro gave a moving account of her


ordeal in court. I would like to tell you what those 11 years were


like for me. I mist my son every day. I wondered if I was ever going


to see him again. He was only 2.5 years old. I look inside my heart


and I see my son. I cried every night, I was so alone. I worried


about what would happen to me and the other girls every day. The day


is never got shorter. The days turned into nights and night turned


into days. The years turned into an eternity. I knew nobody cared about


me. He told me that my family didn't care. Chris Smith was the most


traumatic day because I never got to spend with my son. -- Christmas.


Nobody should ever have to go through what I went through, not


even my worst enemy. My team-mate never let me fall and I never let


her fall. She nursed me back to health when I was dying from his


abuse. My friendship with her was the only thing that was good out of


this situation. We said some day we would make it out alive, and we did.


Our correspondent joins us now from Washington. It is all very


distressing when you listen to what Michelle Knight was saying in court


and we also heard from Ariel Castro. The judge gave a very direct


consideration and give his sentence, so tell us what the judge


said? The judge was very unmoved by Ariel Castro 's please. He made a


long speech in which he apologised to his victims but blamed everybody


else for his predicament and said, I am not a violent man, I am just


sick. The judge had very little patience for that. He thoroughly


went through each kind and explained to him what he was a sex offender.


He gave him 1,000 years plus life, no possibility of parole and now


contact with the daughter he fathered. When Michelle Knight gave


that moving account, what was the demeanour of Ariel Castro as he


heard one of his victims speak? Ariel Castro was instructed not to


look at her. His demeanour throughout the entire sentencing


hearing was one that was almost aloof. He was kicking his feet, he


was fidgeting in his seat and when he had to talk, he seemed


non-apologetic at all. When this name to Amanda Berry, he didn't


necessarily make a scene but he later implied that because nobody


mist her, it was not a real problem that he took in the first place.


There was a real lack of connection between the crimes he committed and


his apparent remorse. 5.5 weeks in transit and Edward


Snowden has finally been allowed to leave Moscow airport. He was given


one-year asylum in the country and is currently in a secret location.


He thanked the Russians for granting him asylum and criticised the USA


for not respecting domestic or international law. He is wanted in


the US for leaking classified information about US surveillance


programmes. We will look at what the indications are for US and Russia


relations. Edward Snowden has been stuck in the


transit zone of this Moscow airport for 5.5 weeks, having arrived here


from Hong Kong in June. Camera crews and photographers have been


desperately trying to get a games of the former intelligence contract.


Today, he left the airport and detected. He has been granted


temporary asylum in Russia. His lawyer showed the relevant documents


to journalists and gave his thoughts on what would happen now. As for his


place of residence, he can choose that himself, he can stay in a hotel


or flat. Given he is the most wanted person on, we will have to look at


security arrangements. The US has charged him with leaking security


details and the affair has caused diplomatic ructions around the


world, upsetting the United States has allies and a traditional


enemies. Since then, he has received offers of asylum from Venezuela,


Nicaragua and Bolivia. He says he wants to visit those countries but


his US passport has been revoked, making travel to Latin America


impossible. His father, in an interview broadcast on Russian TV


yesterday, said he would advise his son to stay put. I feel Russia has


the strength and resolve and conviction to protect my son, to


keep him out of the reach of those who would wish harm. That is why I


would stay in Russia and that is what I hope he will do. This latest


move by Russia both can -- make more diplomatic tensions. The Prime


Minister -- the President may even my cot meetings with President Putin


in September. What are the implications for US and Russia


relations? Andrew Kurchins is director and senior fellow at the


Russia and Eurasia Programme at the CSIS, the Centre for Strategic and


International Studies. Is he big enough to be a big problem between


the US and Russia? It is big enough to be a considerable problem between


the two countries and even the fact that the President Obama


administration is considering cancelling the meeting in Saint


Petersburg next month is significant. I think it is


worthwhile looking at the options that Edward Snowden had coming out


of the transit zone. One option was that he would be extradited directly


by the Russians to the United States. Frankie, I don't think


anybody considered that a realistic option and if we turned the tables


and imagined if the Russian equivalent had arrived with a


treasure trove of secrets and intelligence, it is unlikely that he


would be extradited back to the Russian Federation. Another scenario


would have Edward Snowden going to a third country. That is a worse


option than the one we have now. Why? If he goes to a third country,


the current -- likelihood that this information will be disseminated


further and wider is all the greater. It leaves us with the may


be best case realistic option that was available for Edward Snowden in


terms of the United States. The upside right now is that US


authorities and citizens including his family have the opportunity to


talk directly with him. He will have the chance to get a clear


understanding of what he would face if he were to return to the United


States. How worried you think the US is that he might make more


revelations about US surveillance programmes and would it be in the


Russians interests to have him say more? I think it is a legitimate


concern upon the US authorities that Edward Snowden could make further


revelation that could be damaging to US security interests. I don't think


President Putin wants Edward Snowden to disseminate the information any


further to other countries, that devalues the information the


Russians and Chinese have already gleaned from Edward Snowden. There


may be information that would be embarrassing to the Russian


Federation if Edward Snowden were to reveal it. To some extent, it may


sound unconventional but there is some shared common interest between


the United States and the Russians that Edward Snowden be kept under


tight wraps and I think we can assume that a trader of state


secrets is not the kind of person that President Putin looks upon with


fondness. Do you think in a few months time, he will slip out of


Russia and everyone will forget about him briefly? Slip quietly?


Probably not. If he makes the decision that he can return to the


United States. It is a long shot but not beyond the realm of possibility


and the Russians would be likely to him go. A court hearing in Italy has


upheld. Mr Silvio Berlusconi faces has arrested instead of going to


jail. Let us remind ourselves of the case. Silvio Berlusconi was


convicted in October 2012 of tax fraud, reading to his firm. He was


given a four-year sentence, reduced to one year. In May 24 team, an


appeals court reinstated the original four-year sentence. Today's


outcome is the result of his final appeal against that conviction. Let


us get more on this from our correspondent in Rome. Is this what


everybody was expecting? A day of rising tension as you can imagine,


half of Italy transfixed out this court case. Silvio Berlusconi has


been the most influential politician in this country for the better part


of 20 years. Prime Minister three times and yet, as you say, the


appeal Court judges have upheld the verdict against him. They decided he


was indeed will of systematic tax evasion and that he should serve a


prison sentence. It is not quite as dramatic as it sounds because as you


said, the system here is lenient on men in their 70s like Mr Berlusconi.


He is much more likely to injure some humiliation like house arrest


or committee service but make no mistake, this has been a devastating


verdict for him. There is no appeal from here, this will be permanently


part of his record and he will certainly see this as one of the


darkest days in his extraordinary political career. It has come to an


end, it would seem. Is that going to cause problems for Italy


politically? He is of course a very influential figure? It is very


important to say that there was another punishment that could have


been handed down to him here this evening. There was in that court


verdict, a measure to bar him from public office but that has not been


enforced. The appeal Court judges were not happy with that aspect of


the verdict and they say that it will now have two go back to the


lower court to be re-examined so effectively, he is not being barred


from public office. If he had been, there would have been political


ructions. You would have expected him to fight that verdict in every


way that he could and he could have challenged it in the highest house


of the Italian parliament but as I say, that barred from public office


is not been in force to stop it would have to be re-examined.


you for bringing those that. To Zimbabwe now. President Robert


Mugabe's ZANU-PF party says it has won the hotly contested presidential


election, even though votes are still being counted. One independent


group of election observers says voting was seriously compromised


because of 2 million people may have been unable to vote in areas where


support for Robert Mugabe's rival Morgan Tsvangirai is strong.


President Robert Mugabe's supporters are strong. This has been a huge


force. It has been marred by legal violations which affect the


legitimacy of this outcome. This is what he's complaining about. Footage


allegedly showing supporters of Robert Mugabe being brought in to


vote illegally. Based on the empirical reports from observers,


the credibility of the 2013 elections seriously compromised by a


systematic effort to disenfranchise up to 1 million voters. Five years


ago, Zimbabwe's election ended in chaos. A power-sharing government


followed. President Robert Mugabe always kept a tight grip on security


forces. With the economy stabilised, his campaign to seize control of


businesses was popular. Today, Robert Mugabe and his party could be


heading for a landslide, stolen or otherwise. Simba and Saint Barbie"


neighbours seem unlikely to challenge the result - - Zimbabwe's


neighbours seem unlikely to challenge the result.


Do you think these allegations about vote rigging will be enough to


invalidate the election poster Mark I don't think so. - - do you think


these allegations about vote rigging will be enough to invalidate the


elections? I do not think so. I think these allegations should be


investigated, but at the end of the day, if the election is ratified, I


think that will very much be it. We might have two parallel track. Going


forward, you will probably find a new government will be put into


place fairly soon. If more than strangler I - - if Morgan Tsvangirai


says these elections are a bit of faith farce, it will be a come-down


for him to say, all right. I think it is a friend scenario here. - - I


think it is a different scenario here. If the election is ratified,


the MDC may contested, but there will be a another government. If it


is a ZANU-PF, there will not be that much pressure to include MDC


members. I think the pressure will be more on the MDC. If the group of


southern African nations say these elections were fed by and large - -


fair by and large, what positions is up at the international community


in? It puts the cat among the pigeons in the international


community. They either go along with the African poster if - -


perspective, or the international community say they do not see the


elections as being credible. Then we would be back to the disconnect,


like before 2008. We have had more than a decade of that. Is it your


guess that the MDC will contest the result? It is hard to say. I imagine


they will. I think it will be important for the electoral


commission to take the challenges seriously. I do not hit changing


actual outcome. Thank you very much.


And Uruguay is on course to become the first country in the world to


legalise marijuana. A bill has been approved by the lower house of


parliament and is expected to be passed by the Senate. It means


Uruguay will have stage when authorities regulating the


production, distribution and sale of marijuana. President Josey Mojica's


government backs the law, and says it will undermine the legal drug


market by taking a profit from the dealers. What does this mean for


Latin America? Will other countries follow and how will Washington


respond? Peter Hakim is Emeritus President of the Inter-American


Dialogue, a US centre for policy analysis on the Americas. He joins


me from Washington. Are you require a kind of experiment for the rest of


Latin America? ? - - are Uruguay kind of experiment? The US started


the experimentation when the states of Washington and Colorado legalise


the recreational use of marijuana. There are still a lot of questions.


Some will be answered by Uruguay. Other countries are clearly


interested in finding new ways of eating drug addiction, and criminal


violence - - new ways of beating drug addiction and criminal


violence. It is not marijuana people are worried about, really. It is


more heroin and cocaine and harder drugs, isn't it? Oh, absolutely.


There is a question about whether marijuana is a significant factor in


violence. Prohibition against marijuana have caused a lot of grief


for young people, people who are courts and in trouble with the law.


Prisons are filled up in the United States by people who have been


involved with drugs. It is an immense cost. Maybe Uruguay will


provide the beginning of the different approach to drugs, an


approach that legalises but at the same time helps health services and


community services. Overall, the objective in some ways is to not


simply eliminate the drug, but to eliminate the primary violence


associated. You think the United States and Latin America CI two I on


this issue - - do you think the United States and Latin America see


I to I on this? It is not working for Latin America. You see crime and


violence at high levels. The United States seems to have it struck Rob


under control - - the United States seems to have it drug problem under


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