09/08/2013 World News Today


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United States and Russia put on a brave face while the relationship


grows frosty. John Kerry sets down with his Russian counterpart and


says ties have been complicated. There is no secret we have


experienced challenging moments. Gunman opened fire on a mosque in


Pakistan and a credible threat shuts the US consulate in Lahore.


Oprah Winfrey says she was racially discriminated against while trying


to buy a handbag in Switzerland. Miss Iceland's crown is up for grabs


and thousands have applied, but many think there's an ugly sides to the


beauty pageant. Good evening. Russia and United


States are trying to the parent relationship that has become very


frosty. The US Secretary of State says the relations have been by what


he called challenging moments. John Kerry and his Russian counterpart


Sergey Lavrov have been meeting in Washington just days after President


Obama called off a meeting with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.


Central to the debate is Edward Snowden, given refuge by Russia but


the Americans want him back. The relationship was already on


Rockingham Road over Syria. -- rocky ground. We have had some challenging


moments and not just over the Edward Snowden case. We will discuss the


difference to do -- differences today, but this meeting goes above


and beyond the collisions and disagreements. We must prevent the


stabilisation of the global situation and the proliferation of


mass destruction. We must ensure a peaceful settlement of crises in the


global community and resist forceful solutions. We have seen examples in


the past that we have seen they are not working. Let's talk to our


correspondence lives now from Washington. These people -- these


two countries hardly agree on anything? The agony for example that


a political solution is needed in Syria, but they do not agree at all


on how to get there and what a political transition might look


like. On the issue of Edward Snowden in particular, there is a lot of


tension between the US and Russia, but it is important to point out


that this case was really the catalyst for the crisis between


Russia and the US, which led to the cancellation of the summit. The


countries have been far apart on many issues over the last two years


and Syria is one of those issues and Syria is one of those issues in


particular which has maybe divide grow day by day. They are very much


at odds and, in essence, fighting a proxy war in Syria with the US


supporting the levels and Russia behind the President Assad. It is a


throwback to the Cold War days. The US is engaged in this dynamic as


well as Russia. Have we any idea what President Obama is going to


say? President Obama is going to give a press conference in about an


hour and he will be asking for measures to add transparency to


America's surveillance programme. He may be asked about the cancellation


of his summit with President Putin and we will see what -- we will see


what he has to say about that. Thank you. Some off today's other


news. Turkey is advising its national is to leave Lebanon on


after two pilots were abducted in what appears to be a revenge


kidnapping. They were snatched from a shuttle bus near Beirut


International airport. This is the highway that connects


the airport to the capital city year. The pilots were on board a bus


belonging to a hotel here and they were only if you meters away from an


army checkpoint when they were attacked. A previously unknown group


has claimed responsibility and is demanding the release of nine


Lebanese pilgrims kidnapped in Syria last year by a group claiming to


belong to the Syrian opposition. This incident is an embarrassment


for 11 on because this highway is meant to be heavily guarded. Another


worrying indication that they are unable to control the ongoing


violence directly linked to the violence in Syria.


For the second time in two days, militants have targeted the


Pakistani city of Quetta. Gunman opened fire outside a mosque killing


20 people. -- there was also a credible threat to the US


consulate. All US personnel have been evacuated


from their embassy following a credible threat. With the diplomats


now out of the building, no date has been set for their retirement. US


officials declined to elaborate on the net but the country's


relationship with Pakistan is now very fraught. With US drone attacks


continuing to infuriate many Pakistanis, including government


politicians. Visiting last week, the US Secretary of State John Kerry


said the attacks would stop soon but State Department officials refused


to endorse that phrase. The US says several militant groups exist posing


a threat to the citizens. More often, Pakistanis are hit by


extremists and promises by the new Prime Minister to name their men


have so far come to nothing. In the western city of Quetta, four


unidentified men shot dead nine others. On Thursday, there people


were killed by a suicide bomber in the same city. With so many attacks


around the country, the capital remains in a state of high alert but


Britain is not advising its citizens to avoid Pakistan as America are.


They are merely warning people to avoid visiting certain places. A


fugitive mafia boss found hiding in a London suburb has been remanded in


custody. " and facing deportation, and then


casually dressed, he has escaped justice for a year of living quietly


in this house under the name of Mark Skinner. Neighbours say he was a


quiet man and security conscious. He always seemed quiet and friendly.


Thinking now, when he moved them, he built up the bushes at the front of


the garden. Domenico Rancadore, a former teacher, was reputedly known


as the Professor. He was cleared of mafia allegations at the end of a


three-year trial in 1993, after which he moved to the UK, but he was


convicted in his absence in a second trial. He was wanted by the Italian


authorities ever since. It was very hard for the Italian authorities to


seek extradition from England. Italian prosecutors say the Cosa


Nostra is one of the most powerful mafia organisations in Sicily. The


official RS warrant contains defects and is today another one was the


lovebirds. With his wife and daughter looking on anxiously,


Domenico Rancadore refused to give his asset to being extradited.


Despite being told that he had no travel documents and was prepared to


be put under a strict curfew, Beale was the night and he was remanded in


custody. -- bail was denied. The Italian authorities are now a


step closer to bringing one of the most wanted to justice. 218-year-old


British girls entered in an acid attack in Zanzibar have arrived


home. Katie Gee and Kirstie Trup were working as volunteer teachers.


Zanzibar police have offered a reward of $6,000 leading to


information -- for information leading to arrests.


A top economic official in China has been expelled from the Communist


Party for alleged corruption. Liu Tienan accepted huge bribes when he


was one of the country's top economic officials. The case is


being seen as a rare victory for public efforts to expose official


corruption. More than 1500 people have been


forced to flee their homes as wildfires continue to spread across


Southern California. They have spread over the desert range of


about 145 kilometres from Los Angeles. Six people have been


injured since the fire started on Wednesday.


In Egypt, pro-Mohamed Morsi demonstrators have again turned out


to demonstrate in the tens of thousands. The military have banned


such gatherings threatening to forcefully remove them. The head of


the Coptic Orthodox Church is so worried about attacks that he has


publicly suspended weekly meetings. There has been a heightening of


tension between groups since the president was ousted from power.


These attacks against the Christian population are not unprecedented but


there is concern the tensions and escalating? This has been escalating


over the course of the year with several attacks in April and it


again began to increase after July three when President Mohamed Morsi


was posted. There was some groups thinking that the Christians


colluded to have him taken out of power. It is. Several Coptic


Christians within Egypt have been killed since July and there are


things like graffiti on the walls and an atmosphere of fear for the


Coptic Christians, who are a minority here and around 10% of the


population. The Coptic Pope said he would no longer be giving his weekly


sermon here out of worries about wider safety for Christians in


Egypt. The pro Mohamed Morsi is demonstrators are out once again in


protest against his posting. ousting. They have been at the


camps, and the number one camp outside of Cairo was around 8000


people. It is not the scale of the demonstrations but what might happen


next. The government may engage its security forces at sometime after


Eid, and people here think it's good, bad -- think it could come


soon. If people are made to be scapegoats it will raise pensions


and the spectre of more sectarian violence here then Egypt.


Zimbabwe's opposition movement for Democratic change has launched a


legal challenge against last week's presidential election.


The election was won by Robert Mugabe by an overwhelming margin.


They say this legal challenge is on 15 grounds and they are alleging


massive fraud, intimidation and bravery, with many items from food


to Cech and were given to every village leader in order to persuade


people to vote. They say 1.2 million people were disenfranchised, 900,000


current away from polling stations and 300,000 call were asked into


being assessed and voters. They were helped into the voting booth and


influenced in their choice. The appeal has been lodged in the


international court, where there are nine judges, many of whom are


supporters of Robert Mugabe, so they have made this appeal public and


have bowed to produce some of the items they say were given as bribes.


-- vowed. Robert Mugabe and his party said it was a fair and square


refectory but the opposition have said they are determined to appeal.


Russia is being asked how it will implement a law banning homosexual


propaganda. An online petition is gaining ground in opposition to the


law. Thousands of people are calling for aid boycott of the Winter


Olympics in Sochi. We understand the law, we are


prepared to abide by the Olympic charter and it is very clear. Sport


is a human right and it should be available to all regardless of


race, sex and sexual orientation. To discuss this I am joined by gay


rights campaigner Peter Tatchell. Jacques Rogge making a point that


they think this is about translation rather than being a fundamental


issue. The first thing to say is that I find Jacques Rogge's


statement hard to take seriously. Last summer the Russian government


announced it was banning the hosting of a gay pride march at the Sochi


Olympics. They said a gay pride house was banned. Jacques Rogge and


the Olympic Committee did and said nothing. So if they are now claiming


to be opposed to discrimination, why did they allow the Russians to ban


the pride house in the first place? There was a pride house in the


London Olympics for example? Yes, and in other previous games, so the


Russians are taking a hard line stand that they discriminate against


gay competitors and athletes. This gay pride house in Sochi was for


athletes and spectators and they have said it will not be happening.


What do you make of this petition to boycott the games? Do you think this


would benefit the games? In my heart I support a boycott. I think any


country that discriminate against anybody is not fit to host the


Olympics but I am mindful that Russian gay competitors say they


believe a ban could be counter-productive, that it would be


used against them, they would get all of the vilification and it could


intensify the homophobic persecution they are suffering. Whatever the


final decision, one thing that is important is that those who do go to


the games where rainbow T-shirts, hats, scarves on a wave rainbow


flags during the competition, and I know that already people are talking


about plans for massive gay rights protests in the city of Sochi during


the Winter Olympics. That will be a test of how sincere the Russians


are. I do not believe they are because I have experienced them


myself, I participated in a lawful gay rights protest in Moscow in 2007


and I was almost eaten unconscious why neo-Nazis in the full view of


the city police and the riot officers. They allowed me to be


beaten and when I was almost unconscious they dragged in and


arrested me and allowed my assailants to walk free. Russia is


not a safe place for gay people, it is not a country governed by the


rule of law. These attacks on gay rights are part of a broader attack


on the civil rights of all Russian people. The Russians say they will


respect the participants of the games. Are you not in the position


of now politicising what essentially should be something about sport?


have not done anything, it is the Russians, by their discrimination. I


don't believe for one minute there see rinses. A young gay man the


other day held up a sign saying, homosexual is normal. He has been


arrested under the anti-gay law and faces prosecution. Other people held


up signs saying, I support gay equality, and they get arrested. Any


attempt by any gay or straight person to say that they support gay


equality in a public place, they will get immediately arrested and


probably beaten up. That is the state of dire homophobic cross --


persecution in Russia. It is not just gay people, lawyers, fume and


right defenders, journalists are also being targeted. -- human rights


defenders. The Russian people need to stand together and say they


reject tyranny, that gay people and all Russians have the right to


freedom of expression guaranteed under the Russian constitution.


Peter, thank you so much for describing your experiences.


When one of the world's richest women goes shopping you would think


she would be able to fight -- to buy anything she wanted but when Oprah


Winfrey was in zero she expressed interest in the 35 that -- 30 $5,000


handbag only to be told by a shop assistant that it was too expensive


for her. -- 3500 a la handbag. -- $35,000 handbag.


Oprah Winfrey was in town for Tina Turner's wedding and she wanted to


buy a handbag to take to the big day.


She refused to get it and she started the show me these are the


little bags and I said, one more time, I tried to say, I really do


just want to see that one. She said, I don't want to hurt your feelings.


I said, thank you so much, you are probably right, I can't afford it.


Why would she do that? Today the shop owner told the BBC this was not


racism and she has a message for Oprah Winfrey. I would take you in


my arms and kiss you and apologise and tell you, really, it was a


misunderstanding and please forgive me and give Switzerland the chance.


Oprah Winfrey has a personal estimated wealth of $2.8 billion.


Her talk show ended in 2011 but her TV network and her $77 million last


year. She could have bought the entire shop, not just the bag she


had her eye on. But her story, already being dubbed handbag gate in


the Swiss media, comes at a bad time. Immigration is a hot potato,


new rules are being introduced for asylum seekers which human rights


activists say are close to apartheid. They are banned from


using public swimming pools in zero. Switzerland has a tradition of


welcoming immigrants but 25% of its 8 million people are now foreign and


discrimination is becoming a problem. The debate over immigration


and discrimination in Switzerland will continue. Meanwhile, one


embarrassed shop owner in is your it is hoping that Oprah Winfrey might


just pop by for a hug. When the new head of the Miss


Iceland beauty pageant attempted to deflect criticism by saying there is


no Miss Iceland stereotype, he could not have imagined the response. 1300


people including an 80-year-old pensioner, feminists and even some


men have entered the contest. The winner will compete in Miss world


next year. They say it is to prove a point, to make fun of the pageant


that is becoming increasingly unpopular in the Nordic country.


Joining us is a member of the Social Democratic Alliance who signed up to


compete. Why have you done that? started as a spontaneous personal


thing but I did not imagine the political impact. My political views


are shared by a lot of people, both men and women and all ages, and I am


sending the message to teenagers and young women that they should not


allow society to judge them by their looks but by their capabilities.


When we look at previous Miss worlds and Miss Icelands, how do you


think that would make them feel, when you give this impression that


you don't agree with what they have one? -- one. Won. These conditions


have become absurd and this is a mainstream opinion in Iceland and I


was glad to get support from one of the former competitors in Miss


Iceland, advising young women not to come -- to compete. Many of them


found it humiliating and many of them agree with all of these people


who are signing up to the protest. We should also remember that most


contests are being held because somebody is gaining by objectifying


women and thereby these humanising them. In many countries people do


not agree with that. -- dehumanising.


Thank you very much. From all of us a cool start to the weekend. Most


places will have a few showers and there will be a cool breeze by


Sunday. The isobars are fairly well spaced. This weather front brought


the rain last night. There are weather fronts waiting to bring some


showery rain later on in the weekend. The showers will scatter on


Saturday, a few more by the afternoon, particularly in Scotland


and across northern England. Some perhaps affecting the test match in


Chester-le-Street. In the southern half of the country showers will be


few and far between. Places generally cooler than on Friday but


temperatures getting into the low 20s. Clouding over a cross


south-west England and southern Wales. -- across. Some sunshine in


Northern Ireland between the showers and temperatures in the high teens.


A mixture of sunshine and showers across most of Scotland,


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