06/11/2013 World News Today


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This is BBC new -- World News Today. Evidence emerges that Yassir Arafat


may have died from polonium poisoning. Forensic tests on the


bones of the former Palestinian leader said polonium Lemuel 's -


polonium levels were many times higher than normal.


Coming up, the bad black -- the backlash from Edward Snowden's


spying revelations. And a new look for shop mannequins. A British


retailer is to showcase larger sizes. Is it a publicity stunt or


will they sell more clothes? Hello and welcome. Forensic tests on


the body of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat are reported to


show unexpectedly high levels of radioactive polonium according to a


team of Swiss experts. Mr Arafat died nine years ago but his body was


exhumed last year amid claims he had been poisoned. His widow says he was


the victim of a political assassination. We can go to the West


Bank and speak to our correspondent. What more can you tell us about the


report? This is a long report and I haven't had the chance to read all


of it yet. It comes from the University Centre of legal


medicine, a highly respected forensic medical institution. They


have been looking into the possible causes of his death. A dose they


were given belongings from the late Palestinian leader by his widow in


conjunction with the news channel, Al-Jazeera, which was conducting an


investigation as part of a documentary. They found traces of


polonium and radioactive elements at that stage. Last year we saw


dramatic action here where the remains of Yasser Arafat's worth


exhumed and 20 samples were given to the team of scientists from


sweetness -- Switzerland to conduct tests. There were samples given to


French and Russian scientists as well. These are the Swiss findings


and they suggest that 18 times the normal levels of radioactive


polonium in his remains were found. They support the idea that the late


Palestinian leader was poisoned There are caveats when you read this


report. The evidence has deteriorated. It was eight years


before it all started. There is a variation on the samples and the


results are not as accurate as they would have liked. This is an


impaired -- an important and sensitive story in the middle east.


It is. If you talk to Palestinians, many remember those days. It was in


2004 in October that Yassir Arafat fell mysteriously ill. His compound


had been under attack. Part of it have been destroyed and then the


news came that he had some kind of flu but his condition rapidly


deteriorated. Egyptian and Tunisian doctors were unable to find the


cause. There were these scenes when he was flown out by helicopter and


taken to Paris where he finally died on the 11th of November. They are


looking at how he may have died and who may have killed him, if that is


indeed what happened. Also it is important to mention that Israel has


come out strongly denying it had any involvement in Yassir Arafat's


death. Thank you. Let us now bring you some reaction out of Israel It


is a story that is moving. An Israeli Foreign Ministry


spokesperson has told the BBC that this is more soap opera than


science. He says the two investigative teams were


commissioned by interested parties as to what happened. They never


bothered to look for traces of radioactivity. He says the other


huge hole in their theory is the outs -- absence of access to the


French hospital where Yassir Arafat died and access to his files. There


will be much more on this story that that is where we are at the moment


with the report. To Russia now where the artistic


director of the Bolshoi Ballet has been describing the moment he had


acid thrown in his face earlier this year. An attack which nearly blinded


him. A former top dancer at the Bolshoi has been tried of that


assault along with two other men in a case that has revealed a bitter


infighting at the world famous ballet company.


He had been badly burnt and nearly blinded. This was the Bolshoi


Ballet's artistic director and someone had thrown sulphuric acid it


into his face. Now he had the chance to face his assailants. From the


crush of TV cameras outside the court room, you could tell the drama


inside would be as gripping as anything you had ever seen on the


stage of the Bolshoi. That is because among those on trial here is


one of the ballet troupe 's own dancers. Pavel Dmitrichenko is


accused of organising the attack. He said he had seething resentment to


his boss. He was described as a talented dancer who he had promoted


but would turn against him. He angrily rejected click games by the


dancer. He had taken bribes and had intimate relations with some of the


ballet rage -- but -- ballerinas. The Bolshoi Ballet has always been


one of the jewels in Russia's cultural crown. This court case is a


huge embarrassment. It shines a spotlight on a murky backstage world


of job -- jealousy, rivalry and revenge. That's comes as no surprise


to those who know the Bolshoi Ballet well. There is so much jealousy


inside the theatres but not in such a big thing like the Bolshoi. It is


something huge and what we see now is criminal is. Geller macro Sergei


Filin has had operations to save his site. He spoke of the excruciating


pain he felt after the attack and said he would never forgive those


who have carried it out. In the first big round of US


elections since President Obama was returned to the White House, New


York has elected its first democratic mayor for 30 -- 20 years.


The proceeds Michael Bloomberg who is stepping down after three terms.


In New Jersey, there has been a significant vote with a straight


talking moderate Republican, Chris Christie, re-elected as state


governor. That makes him a front runner to be the Republican


candidate for the next elections in 2016.


In Virginia, Terry McAuliffe has beaten off his conservative rival to


become governor. It has been -- he has been a close eye -- ally of


Hillary Clinton. Here in the UK, the three heads of


the intelligent ache -- agencies are here to talk about their work in


public for the first time tomorrow. The chiefs of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ were


expected to face tough questions at Westminster over the extent of


internets of -- surveillance. There have been questions raised in


Germany, spec and the Netherlands. This is an issue that is not going


away. -- Spain. You have received accolades for the


way you have tried to use technology. I have always seen you


as an evangelist for the Internet. We are looking at a real backlash


against the Internet -- against the internets, against spying. Our


information networks are like nuclear power. We see the technology


is taking on the values and intentions of the users. It is the


same way in which the internets can create value and be used extensively


for surveillance. What do you think when you see Angela Merkel voicing


her outrage and distaste? She came from a state where surveillance is


chilling. If somebody hacks my phone, I will get really mad. Europe


as to be viewed within its full context. I worked for Hillary


Clinton for many years and had to tussle more than once with the


surveillance firms that worked in and around Munich for selling


sophisticated surveillance gear The French have been very angry about


reports. They get the crown jewel themselves further and proficiency


in this area. Let's be honest, a lot of different countries are doing


this. When we have these revelations like from Edwin Snowden, is your


reaction to -- Edward Snowden, Israel -- is your reaction that you


knew this all in -- all along? The questions are reasonable. They are


valid. Shouldn't people like you raise questions thinking that the


public should know more about what is happening in terms of their


communications being monitored? Philip -- Hillary Clinton showed


real leadership. We need to have a global dialogue about the balance


between privacy -- privacy and security. Security without freedom


is oppressive. Freedom without security is fragile. We need to


figure out how we can reconcile the -- these two things. Do you detect a


different reaction on both sides of the Atlantic? In the states, is that


sends of security Paramount? It has shifted. There are responses to the


attack that were warranted after 9/11. The US is in a state of


perpetual war. We have to keep our country safe. The response from


everyday Americans was as loud as it was from people in Europe and so


what I think a conclusion is that have to have an executive


oversight, judicial oversight and more congressional oversight over


these programmes. The technologies are not going away. Twitter is about


to go public, to sell shirts -- shares. This is the next big thing.


Doesn't that lead to concerns about monetising content? You are a


commodity more than a citizen, aren't you? I believe these


companies ought to have the right to build business models -- around


personal data, around communications and other such things. This is and


should have the freedom to say that they don't want it. Bureaucrats in


Brussels, Washington, London, say they need to regulate this so the


people who use the platforms have fair shake, it is controversial I


can't let you leave without asking you about Hillary Clinton. You know


her so well. I know you think she would make a good President. The


question is it whether she wants to go through that back in 2016. She


hasn't made a decision yet. I am very biased. I have an


11-year-olds, an eight-year-old daughter and a six-year-old son I


would love them to grow up in a country with Hillary Clinton as


President and I would not like them to grow up in a country with one of


these crazy right wing people. Run, Hillary, run.


The former boyfriend of Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito, has been giving


evidence in an Italian court at a retrial hearing. The 29-year-old is


back in court for the appeal trial in Florence, which sees the former


lovers accused of killing British student, Meredith Kerchner in Italy


six years ago. But Amanda Knox has refused to leave her home city of


Seattle. Alan Johnston reports. In this seemingly endless case, yet


another day in court. And an important one. Amanda Knox could not


be compelled to attend and she has stayed at home in America, but her


co-accused, her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, was present to


give dramatic testimony. The prosecution said he and Amanda Knox


were involved in forcing Amanda Kirchner into sexual acts that


spiralled out of control, a game that ended in a brutal murder. But


he insisted it wasn't true, and he is not a merciless killer.


TRANSLATION: there is no sense in thinking I had any interest in


committing an atrocious act on a 20-year-old girl. This has no


foundation in reality. This has been going on for too many years. My life


has changed completely. It is more than six years since Meredith


Kercher was murdered. Her promising life cut short at the age of just


21. All this time, her family have you forced to wait and says, for


some sense that justice has been done. And while they wait, Amanda


Knox is defending herself in the court of public opinion. Appearing


on television in America and elsewhere, denying any involvement


in the killing. Her lawyers say her case has received a boost today


There has been a new examination of this knife. The defence will claim


the latest DNA tests supports that this is not the murder weapon, and


it cannot link Amanda Knox to the killing. But the prosecution will


bitterly contested that argument and the court room wrangling will go on


into the New Year. When you look in shop windows at the


mannequins used to model clothes, they're usually conventionally


pretty and relatively thin. Today the British clothing chain


Debenhams has said it's going to introduce larger mannequins. It says


British high street fashion has been showcased for too long on dummies


that are three sizes too small, and it hopes women will be more likely


to buy clothes that will look good on them. The standard dress size for


British mannequins on the high Street is an eight or ten. A far cry


from the average which is more likely to be 16. Debenhams has


decided to make body image is more realistic by becoming the first


retailer to bring in a size 16 manikin for their clothes.


Beautiful, famous and slim. Driven by the fashion industry and


celebrity culture, pressure on women to be thin, many argue, is at and at


worst, potentially dangerous. One High St retailer has decided to


act. Debenhams has launched a new size 16 manikin to appear alongside


its standard size ten. The retailer says it has a moral obligation to


reflect the clothes size of its shoppers, but it makes commercial


sense with similar strategies producing huge amounts of positive


publicity. It is important to be as inclusive as we can. We started this


activity four years ago when principles launched a model that was


in a wheelchair. And also swimwear shops and lingerie. Not all our


customers are a size eight and five at ten tall. That is the theory in


the boardroom, but what do shoppers thing? It is clear, we are not all


size eight and ten. I would not even dare to see if there is anything in


my size, because it intimidates me. You get a more realistic view of


what it will look like. Debenhams is trying to seize the moral high


ground when it comes to female body image. But with more serious issues


worth addressing, like equal pay, forced marriage or even Twitter


abuse, is this debate about mannequins simply an unhelpful


distraction? Presenting realistic female body images to consumers


says the government, is important. Today it came out in favour of the


size 16 manikin. A range of issues affect women. This is an important


one, particularly when you look at the rising rates of eating disorders


and the impact this lack of body confidence can have. But it is not


the only issue. It is one of many things we're working on in


government. The debate on how close are presented mannequins is likely


to continue as the average British woman now wears a size 16. So far,


no other retailers have plans to follow Debenhams.


With me is Amber Jane Butchart, fashion historian and associate


lecturer at the London College of Fashion. Is this something to be


applauded, this note of realism Definitely. Debenhams have been


Trailblazers on the high Street in this regard. They stopped


airbrushing in their editorial campaigns. All these initiatives are


great, and I hope it will signal a brighter, more diverse future for


the British high street. I suppose what will matter and whether


Debenhams sees its clothes sales going up. It does have two have


profit out of this manoeuvre? That is true. But a study has been


published in Cambridge which found if women are looking at fashion


images on a wider range of models, models they perceive to be more like


themselves, not some unattainable ideal, they are more likely to buy


clothing from these images. When you are looking at Vogue or any of the


other magazines, they are still skinny models. They are


aspirational. So when you say you see something closer to you in the


store, you want it to be more like you? I think so, yes. There is a


lack of diversity across a number of areas. I was at a conference last


week at the London College of fashion which celebrated ageing


which is something the fashion industry ignores, largely. Ethnicity


is always an issue during the international collections this


season. High-profile models sent an open letter to the people who run


fashion week saying, these catwalks are largely white, there is not


enough diversity across a number of different areas. Is Debenhams being


a trailblazer or has this been tried in other markets, in other


countries? There is a particular department store in Sweden that has


used a range of different mannequins for about ten years. This kind of


circulated online a few months ago, some images from 2010. They were


using a variety of size ten, size 16 models, similar to the Debenhams's


sizes. It got a range of reactions. People were saying it was promoting


obesity, which is a crazy idea. It was missing the point. To say


someone is the average size is promoting obesity, it shows a lack


of awareness. We are talking about women, women's images and


mannequins. Do men not have the problem with that image? It is


predominantly a female issue. But body issues among men are growing as


well. It is becoming more and more something that men will think about.


They are all tall, slim mannequins in the windows of men's stores as


well? Yes, you get things on the physique you have the dedicated your


entire life to getting. That is equally not a normal body shape It


is something that if it reaches the same proportions, will have to be


addressed in the fashion industry as well.


Thanks for coming to talk this through.


Now a look at some of the other news.


The levels of gases in the atmosphere that drive global warming


have increased to a record high That's according to the latest data


from the World Meteorological Organization. It says atmospheric


CO2 grew more rapidly last year than its average rise over the past


decade. And concentrations of both methane and nitrous oxide also broke


previous records. A series of small explosions outside


the regional Communist Party headquarters in Taiyuan in Shanxi


province in northern China have killed at least one person and


injured several others. No explanation has been given for the


incident, but tensions in China are high after a car ran into a crowd in


Tiananmen Square in Beijing last week. The government called that


incident a terrorist attack. The Colombian government and the


leftist Farc rebels have announced an agreement on the conditions and


guarantees for the Marxist guerrillas participation in formal


politics after their eventual demobilisation. The announcement was


made in the Cuban capital, Havana, where the two parties have been


holding peace talks since November 2012.


When Captain Cook first sailed to the Pacific he brought back sketches


of some of the unusual creatures he'd seen on his voyage. These were


later turned into paintings, giving the British public their first ever


glimpse of the Kangaroo and the dingo. The works, which were first


shown at the Royal Academy back in 1773, have now been saved for the


nation thanks to generous donation. Our Arts Editor Will Gompertz


reports. A kangaroo looking back. The dingo


walking in the Australian landscape. Two animals previously


unfamiliar to those living in the UK, including George Stubbs, the


celebrated artist who painted them. He worked from skins and information


brought back by Captain Cook. There were collected by the scientist


Sergio is a ranks. George Stubbs, was a very good anatomist, was


presented with this drying, shrivelled skin of a kangaroo. He


could not make head nor tail of it. He's sown it up, moistened it so it


was viable. Blew it up and saw it really did have these small arms and


this huge tail and these whopping, great legs. They were in a private


collection, but now have been acquired by the National Maritime


Museum in London, much to the annoyance of the National Gallery of


Australia. The kangaroo on Australia's earliest coat of arms


was based on George Stubbs's image. The National Maritime Museum raise


the ?5.5 million needed to buy them. It will put them on public display


along with the rest of the collection relating to Captain


Cook's great voyages. That is all now, next we have a weather update.


Thanks for watching. It has been a dull and damp day


across England and Wales. Heavy pulses of rain for Wales and the


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