29/10/2013 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today. America's spy chiefs in the


spotlight. US Congressmen demand answers over allegations they spied


on friendly nations. Nothing that has been released has shown that we


are trying to do something illegal. Or unprofessional. When we find a


mistake, a compliance issue, we reported.


-- we report it. Polio is back in Syria. The United


Nations confirms ten cases among children, and warns the outbreak


could spread. The desperate attempt to flee after


months under siege, we have an exclusive report from inside Syria.


Also coming up: Was this a political attack on China? Police say they are


searching for two suspects, after a car crashed into a crowd in


Tiananmen Square. And connecting two continents, a new


underwater rail tunnel linking Europe to Asia is open for business,


150 years after it was first proposed.


Hello, welcome to the programme In the past hour, US intelligence


chiefs have faced Congress to answer questions on allegations of mass


surveillance and spying on foreign leaders. At the hearing, the US


National Intelligence Director began by defending the way his staff


operate, and expects more damaging leaks and allegations to come.


The unauthorised disclosure of the details of these programmes has been


extremely damaging. These exclude -- these disclosures of ripping our


ability to conduct intelligence and keep the country safe. We cannot


raise or make up for the damage we know has already been done and we


anticipate more as we continue our assessment, and a small revelations


emerge. The head of the NSA went on to say


he will continue to take what he calls public beatings if it can


better safeguard the US against possible terrorist attacks.


It is much more important for this country that we defend this nation


and take the beatings than it is to give up a programme that would


result in this nation being attacked. We would rather be here in


front of you today telling you why we defended these programmes than


having given them up and have our nation or our allies be attacked and


people killed. The interesting part is that we have shown we can do


both. Defend the country and protect our civil butties and privacy.


Johnny Dymond joins us now in Washington. US intelligence chiefs


defending their record, no laws were broken, they say. No laws were


broken and the characterisation of their agencies, they say, deemed as


incompetent, inaccurate and misleading, sometimes all three


They are pushing back against these stories and disclosures. This is an


attempt to restore the image of the agencies which have been badly


battered over the last few weeks, but there is also substance. The


director of national intelligence was asked about finding out about


the intentions of foreign leaders and if that was important, he said


that was what he went in 1963. Do our allies do that to us? He was


asked. Absolutely, he said. Confirming that everybody listens


into everybody else. We played that clip of General Alexander talking


about him preferring to take a beating and keep the policy -- and


keep the policy going, he is not taking a beating from Congress.


Are you surprised at that? It had felt in the past couple of days that


the atmosphere was changing in Congress from one of defensiveness


of the intelligence agencies to one saying, this is not on.


I am a bit surprised. Things are changing, as more junior members of


the committee pitch in. I thought it would be tougher. The meat of this


will not be in the committee itself but in the legislation Congress is


bringing forward. It looks clear legislation restricting the powers


of the NSA will come forward and may pass through Congress.


Thank you for joining us in Washington.


Constanze Stelzenmueller is Senior Transatlantic Fellow with the German


Marshall Fund. She joins me now from Brussels. In Germany, this NSA


affair is dominating the your airwaves. It is the talk of the town


and in political circles. Not a day goes by it is not at the


top of the news, on the radio, in the newspapers, and you go to dinner


parties, particularly in parties with Americans and diplomats, and


everybody talks about it. It is embarrassing, the German


chancellor was seen as being a friend of President Obama, he was


visiting in the summer and they were standing side-by-side in Berlin and


her phone was tapped for ten years. Apart from expressions of public


outrage, what can Germany and Europe realistically expect from the US and


its intelligence agencies now? The joke was in that speech which I


attended in June, President Obama promised America would listen more


to its allies. I do not think that was what was understood by his


listeners and the Chancellor. Jokes aside, there are several problems.


There is a breach of trust. You can save the Chancellor should not have


been using an unencrypted phone I gather they converse. On another


level, there is an unspoken rule leaders do not listen to each other,


they talk on the phone and talk directly, they do not have each


other tapped. There is a bigger problem. The American intelligence


agencies clearly do not have enough supervision and control, that needs


to change, that is a policy problem. Beyond that, there is clearly a


phenomenon that everybody and probably European countries to a


degree seduced by the technology. -- seduced. There is a risk agencies


will do what they can if they are not stopped. And in increasingly


chaotic politics, in a world of crisis management, it is difficult


for leaders and for political setups to stop that. We need to figure that


out. Very briefly, could you tell others


realistically again, what can European leaders expect from the


United States? There is a question about what President Obama knew or


did not know about the tapping, but countries will look after their own


interests. And when it comes to technology, America can do this


better than most. The Americans and the British have


an agreement to not tap each other, I hope that is respected, you never


know. The Germans have been asking for a similar agreement for years


and have not got it, they are asking more firmly for that now and that


will be a place to start. If the President does not know what his


agencies are doing, I suggest he should start finding out.


Thank you for joining us. In Syria, thousands of civilians


have been fleeing a suburb of the capital, Damascus, which had been


under siege by government forces for months. Opposition fighters say the


government tried to starve the people there into submission. Our


chief international correspondent, Lyse Doucet, has sent this exclusive


report from Moadamiyeh. A tide of people took to this road


today, fleeing homes where they have lived under siege for nine months.


Some now too weak to walk. They are all exhausted by their ordeal.


Syrian troops sealed off Moadamiyeh Web rebel fighters had taken


control, telling them, surrender or starve -- were rebel fighters.


Civilians paid the price. Thank God we are out. Look, my body


is shaking, there was no food, we had to eat grass, they would not let


others eat. These are the last of the civilians


trapped inside Moadamiyeh since March. Only a couple of thousand


could escape and nothing was getting in, no medical supplies of food One


Syrian said you could not even get a piece of bad inside Moadamiyeh. Less


than -- a piece of red. Less than ten miles away, children


died from starvation. Residents sent out messages begging the world to


help, aid agencies asked for urgent access. The government finally


agreed. Civilians could leave, they say this is the enemy.


They are terrorists. Now we take civilians to safe places. Then those


people are not their responsibility.


Women, children leak less children, the elderly, were taken to a


Shelter, men were separated from their families to be questioned


about their involvement. In the home they left behind, the


battle will now intensify. Syria's civil war has of course had


a calamitous affect on the people of Syria. All too often, the victims


are children. Today, the United Nations has confirmed ten cases of


polio in the North of the country. It is a disease eradicated in Syria


14 years ago. But polio is highly infectious. Refugees fleeing the


violence of Syria's civil war typically live in cramped,


overcrowded and unhygienic conditions. Aid agencies are warning


of a potential polio epidemic. Polio is a highly infectious


disease, mainly affecting children under five years old.


According to the World Health Organisation, only three countries,


Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan, remain polio-endemic.


Before the Syrian war began in 011, 95% of children were vaccinated


against polio. Now, half a million children have not been immunised.


There is no cure for polio, it can only be prevented.


With me is Francesco Chicchi. He is the Senior Health Adviser and polio


specialist with Save the Children. This is very worrying for Syria and


the region, how come polio has come back? Since the outbreak of the


conflict, you have a large group of newborn children in Syria who have


not received routine vaccines including polio. Much of what


happened was fairly predict the ball, it reached a tipping point


where conditions are now favourable for the transmission of this disease


because of the low number of children vaccinated. And there is a


lot of movement, people internally displaced and leaving Syria to these


overcrowded refugee camps. We are hearing of ten confirmed cases


today, what numbers are we expecting or fearing? Exactly, cases that are


clinically visible only a small minority of the people affected by


the disease and a number of people will not have symptoms at will be


carrying the disease. The fact there is so much displacement in Syria and


outside doubles the threat in many ways occurs -- because we hope very


much what we are seeing is isolated, at the danger is it spread


across Syria -- but the danger. That is why humanitarian groups are


saying there has to be a cease-fire so that younger children can be


immunised against polio as they were before the outbreak. You have


managed that in other complex, in Sudan, in Afghanistan, how realistic


is this this might happen now in Syria? There is a very strong


precedent and that is why we have put this forward. You have in


countries such as Afghanistan, conditions were just as difficult,


where the so-called days of tranquillity were respected. In the


case of Afghanistan, ten years ago, this enabled the vaccination of


about 6 million children in about two weeks. So there is a precedent


and we should try it in this case. When we talk about an immunisation


cease-fire, it sounds very clinical, but we are talking about chaotic


conditions on the ground that change from day to day and as far as


immunisations are concerned, they need to be refrigerated to be


effective when they are given to the children, how is practically


possible for aid agencies? It is going to be very, very


difficult. We have vaccinated many thousands of children inside Syria,


and it is going to be very challenging. It has limited


conditions. I would not see that as the bottleneck. The main bottleneck


is to monetary and access. We spoke about the difficulties of providing


these immunisations, what is the likelihood, if we don't? Is that


doesn't happen in Syria? -- if that doesn't happen? If we do not carry


out a vaccination campaign, the outbreak might spread within Syria


and potentially outside Syria. Thank you.


Unconfirmed reports in China suggest a car crash and an explosion in the


heart of Beijing yesterday may have been a suicide attack. Five people


died when an SUV drove past security barriers and crashed into


pedestrians at Tiananmen Square That is a sensitive location because


it was the focus of pro-democracy protests in 1989.


First came the fiery crash, in the heart of one of the most politically


sensitive places in China. Next to and square, and just the country's


iconic portrait of its founder. Next, the questions? Who was


responsible? It has been said that the incident seemed to be a planned


suicide attack. The people inside the SUV have not been identified,


says the same source. But outside Beijing, vehicles are being stopped


at a check point. A notice related to city hotels indicate police


looking for two male suspects in connection with the episode on


Monday. The attacks come from counties like this one, for they


have witnessed clashes between ethnic minorities and security


sources. They believe that the Chinese authorities suppressed their


culture and customs. In Beijing several people hurt by the speeding


SUV are receiving treatment at a local hospital. TRANSLATION: I


thought if the car would hit us we would die White there, this man


explained. But it hit a marble railing and it did not hit us. The


car seems to appear, nobody noticed it. It suddenly came towards us I


just moved to the side and the car rushed past.


Chinese censors have been hard at work, wiping messages from Internet


forums that start any meaningful discussion about the incident on


Monday. As they scramble to connect the dots and figure out what Willie


happened in Tiananmen Square, they are not turning to the public for


help. -- what really happened. Two Kenyan soldiers have been sacked


and jailed for looting during the terror attacks on the Westgate


shopping centre last month. CCTV footage seems to show the soldiers


carrying shopping bags out of the shopping centre. A third soldier


also from the specialist combat unit is under further investigation.


A Bolshoi ballet dancer has pleaded not guilty in court in Moscow over


involvement in a shocking acid attack on the troupe's artistic


director Sergei Filin. Pavel Dmitrichenko stands accused of


masterminding the assault in January. The incident exposed bitter


behind the scenes rivalries at one of Russia's greatest cultural


institutions. There have been violent scenes in


Brazil's largest city, Sao Paulo, for the second night running. The


violence was in the north of the city and followed an incident at the


weekend when a teenager was shot dead by police in the north of the


city. In Moldovan dancer on the bridge of the ill-fated Costa


Concordia with the captain has admitted that she was his lover


Domnica Cemortan testified she was in a romantic relationship with the


captain and was with him when the cruise ship ran aground last year


killing more than 30 people. The captain faces multiple charges of


manslaughter and abandoning ship and denies responsibility but faces up


to 20 years in prison if convicted. A couple have been arrested in


south-west France after car mechanics and a malnourished baby


girl in the boot of the car. Staff at the carriage in the Dordogne said


they heard the moaning from the back of the vehicle which the mother


brought in for repairs. The child is thought to have been 15 months.


It is a case that officials say defies the imagination.


A garage owner detected an unpleasant smell. He looked in the


boot and there in appalling physical condition lay a one-year-old girl.


She was completely naked. On this side, there was an unbearable smell.


She was in a garbage bag in the boot of the car. Her mother had kept


secret her existence from her birth. Even the father claims that


have known. Neither her size nor her weight corresponds to her age, and


there are some psychological retardation is with medical patterns


that do not qualify with her age. The neighbours say they are


astounded. I have never seen a crib or knew about the baby or knew that


the mother was pregnant, we only saw the other children playing outside.


The child is responding to treatment in hospital. The couple have been


charged with harming the child. It is thought the mother had some deep


psychological disturbance. When the child was found in the car,


according to the mechanic, the mother was completely unfazed.


Now, a tale of a boat, bridge and a tunnel, but what is extraordinary


about this underwater tunnel in Istanbul is that it is the first to


link two continence. It was conceived in Turkey more than


150 years ago, but the new rail link under the Bosporus River was finally


inaugurated today. Actual construction took a while as well,


it started back in 2004. In total, it is 1.4 kilometres in length


underwater which makes it such an immense project. It was dog 60


metres below. It cost $4 billion to build. As you can see, the


ribbon-cutting ceremony wasn't exactly the smoothest. The Turkish


Prime Minister was among those to speak and he said that the tunnel


would bring people together and was an achievement for all of mankind,


presumably including our correspondent James Reynolds, who


was one of the first people to make the journey under the tunnel.


For decades, there has been three basic ways to get from one side of


Istanbul to the other. You could take a ferry boat like


this or you could drive across using one of the bridges. The hardest of


all chose to swim across and now, there is a fourth way to get from


one side of the other. Use the new underwater tunnel. We are in the


station and we are now on the way down towards the trains. We will be


among the first people to take the train from the Asian sides to the


European side. We are now on the train and it is making its way onto


the Bosporus River from Asia to Europe. We are one of the first


people to do this journey. The train is absolutely packed with people


wanting to be among the first. If you look at the map, it doesn't have


many stops, but it does have this patch of blue in the middle, that is


the Bosporus River. You can see underneath the tunnel that crosses


underneath. Some people here in Istanbul say they do not want beyond


this train, they are worried that it may not be able to withstand


flooding or earthquakes, but the government says nobody has anything


to worry about. This is safe, and people here seem reasonably


comfortable. That was James Reynolds reporting. A


British man has been charged with hacking into US military and


government computer systems. Carlos Burle -- Lauri Love is accused of


hacking into NASA databases from his home in Stradishall.


When the storm hit the UK yesterday, it reached gusts of up to 99 mph. It


caused major problems in Germany, and in Amsterdam, a woman was


crushed on the canal. The storm, done with the UK, moved


on to ravage Western Europe. It powered into the Danish coast and


closed the road link to Sweden. The winds here were up to 120 mph. They


ripped apart the metal scaffolding on this loading in Copenhagen. -


building. The winds sliced to Brussels. They sliced through


Amsterdam, where along the canal, it was the trees being uprooted by the


wind. A woman died when one of the trees fell on her. I cross the


Netherlands, it is estimated repairs will cost some ?70 million. There is


damage across large parts of Europe. In northern France, transport was


hit hard. Train services at airports experienced huge delays. Things are


beginning to return to normal as the wind dies down. Today, it is pretty


much the car much of the storm, but it was a big weather event. The


winds recorded from France to Scandinavia were among the strongest


winds in the last decade. In Germany, several people died, one


man and this tree fell on his car, but across Europe, most countries


were well-prepared. Warnings had been issued, and while the Keira


continues, many will feel it could have been a lot worse.


The force of the storm that swept across northern Europe ripped up


huge waves which may have helped one surfer set a world record in


Portugal. Take a look at this. This is


Brazilian surfer, Carlos Burle, who is riding what is believed to be the


biggest waves ever conquered. The exact size of these waves is yet to


be determined. But there are reports that the swells could have been 30


metres high, which would equal the world record, and making that he'd


even more remarkable, just moments before mastering is waves, he


rescued a fellow surfer who had been knocked unconscious by a giant wave.


What a day for him. The main news now, American


intelligence chiefs have started giving evidence at a congressional


hearing at guessing -- addressing snooping on foreign leaders.


That is that from us here and the rest of the team, next up, the


weather, from us, goodbye. A very unsettled outlook with more


wind and rain for all of us this week and into the weekend. The next


weather system coming off the Atlantic will bring rain in the next


few days. A cold, clear night with a touch of Frost particularly in the


suburbs and rural areas and in parts of the south of the UK. Wind and


rain coming into Northern Ireland and in too much of Scotland, Wales


and West in England during the day. Further east, we keep the brightness


with some cold weather and damages then recovering to 14 degrees read


the breeze will freshen up. -- temperatures then recovering. Some


cloud and rain coming into the south-west and with a strengthening


wind, not that comfortable. 14 degrees. Similar for Wales with


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