15/11/2013 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today with me, Zeinab Badawi. The official


death toll for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines is


now more than 3500 and is expected to rise even more.


Desperate survivors, especially in the worst affected areas, wait for


relief. The logistical help from foreign donors is crucial to the aid


effort. A lots of houses, if not completely


destroyed, all very damaged. It is pretty bad. The roads are getting


better, but there is a lot of debris.


Also, one of the most controversial policies of recent times, China's


one-child policy, is relaxed as part of a series of economic and social


reforms. Also coming up: David Cameron breaks


away from the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka to meet Tamil leaders and


victims of the country's civil war, as the controversy mounts over Sri


Lanka's hosting of the event. From childhood friends to political


rivals - we look at the story behind the frontrunners for this weekend's


presidential election in Chile. It may be a week since Typhoon


Haiyan struck the central Philippines and the storm has long


subsided, but the number of people killed is rising. The official death


toll is now more than 3,500 and the UN says the final figure could be


much higher. Many more have suffered the effects of the devastation.


The number of people affected has risen to 11.8 million. At least


673,000 have been displaced and the typhoon has caused widespread damage


to agriculture and infrastructure, with most buildings, homes and farms


flattened in the worst hit areas. Aid is now beginning to arrive in


some of the worst-hit cities, including Tacloban, from where


Jeremy Cooke sent this report. The waters are calm in Tacloban to


date. The children play in peace. But, the reality. Their homes


destroyed by the giant waves that struck here a week ago. Their love


-- young lives changed forever. This girl was badly injured as she swung


for her life, the gash in her head now becoming infected.


She lives in a ruined hospital while her parents wait for someone to


help. She is badly hurt, he says. The


doctors say that she really needs to be transferred to another hospital,


but they don't have the facilities to treat her here.


Amid the ruins and the chaos and the confusion, tens of thousands of


children in this one city are homeless. Their schools, if they


still stand, become shelters. Classrooms and corridors packed to


capacity. Infant babies, who somehow survived the disaster, entire


families with no other place to go. In an upstairs dormitory, teenagers


reflect on how totally, utterly life has changed.


Everything was normal. It was a sunny day. We thought that the storm


wasn't true. But, looking at the school now and seeing how the storm


happened, how it hit our school, it's like it's never go to be the


same. The children and their families here


could consider themselves to be the lucky ones. They have survived and


they have found themselves a place of safety. The future is still


uncertain, but at least they are live. So far, the international aid


hasn't got this far. But the teachers, like this lady,


are organising for when it does. Everyone, they say, will get their


fair share. The requirements are basic.


The needs of the people of food and medicine. And the inspiration to


move on. Inspiration, yes, but practical help


needed as well. There is hunger here, but -- no starvation. They


need help, but the children are holding on, despite so much


destruction and tragedy. The US military is leading the


effort to deliver aid from overseas. A thousand more American troops are


expected to arrive in the next few days and helicopters from a US


aircraft carrier have been transporting supplies to a number of


areas. Wherever the aid comes from, it remains desperately needed.


Rajini Vaidyanathan went to see one distribution programme in action.


This air base near Manila has become a nerve centre for the US


military's relief effort to the Philippines. This aircraft arrived


earlier this week from Japan. It is used to survey damage on the ground


and helped what Nate relief operations. We were the first


journalists on-board to see it work in the aftermath of the typhoon.


in the aftermath of the typhoon We are going down to conduct


disaster relief. What are we likely to see? It


depends on the area, but many houses, if not destroyed, are very


damaged. It is pretty bad. The roads are


getting better, but there is not a lot of debris. -- there is a lot of


debris. The planes are in the air for hours at a time, taking hours of


video from the worst affected areas. This play might not be carrying any


age, but it is crucial when it comes to humanitarian relief efforts.


The camera 's hair are recording the devastation below in a way that she


could not see down on the ground. It is able to work out the best basis


for aircraft to land in a motor areas, to ensure that those who need


the aid the most competitive -- the most can get it quickly. It is from


the air that you get a sense of what Typhoon Haiyan has left behind.


Under the clear skies, villagers that look like they have been


trampled on. Trees light on their side like matchsticks. Picked up on


the cameras, a one word message from the ground.


Help. As soon as we see that, we can send the quart nuts and have people


there immediately. When you first see someone, how do


you feel? It makes you feel bad, but it is why


you are there. -- we can send the location.


A view minutes later, the cameras pick up an image of rows and rows of


graves. It is too late for them, but graves. It is too late for them but


the crews are determined to reach other people as quickly as possible.


One of the most eye-catching and controversial social policies


introduced by any government in the last century is to be relaxed. China


has unveiled a series of reforms today which include a loosening of


its one-child policy. It's also ending forced labour camps and is


further boosting the role of the private sector in the economy. The


one-child policy began in 1979 to curb rapid population growth. But


human rights campaigners say it has led to forced abortions and female


infanticide, that's resulted in a gender imbalance. By 2020, experts


reckon 24 million Chinese men won't be able to find a Chinese wife.


The country's population is also ageing rapidly. 110 million people


are estimated to be over 65. And the burden of looking after them is


falling on fewer and fewer young people. From Beijing, Martin


Patience reports. It is the world's most famous family


planning law, but now the one child policy is being relaxed. That could


only show a baby bonanza. An official estimate predicts a million


extra births a year. Many couples in cities will be allowed to have an


extra child. Most of the public seemed to be in favour.


This woman says she is trying for her first baby, but she wants to


have to, so they can talk to each other.


But this man says the new policy is wrong. There are too many people in


China already. Fearing a population explosion,


China's leader introduced family planning laws 30 years ago. They


have also -- often been brutally enforced, with forced abortions in


hospitals. But the policy means that the population is rapidly ageing. In


1980, there were around 50 million people over 65.


By 2010, it had doubled, to more than 100 million. And, in the next


20 years, it will be more than 200 million.


China may have the world's because population, but it needs more


babies. The number of workers here is shrinking, and the costs of


supporting the elderly are rising. The big concern for the country s


The big concern for the country's leaders is that China will become


old before it gets rich. We will talk about this some more.


Dr Cheng Li is a renowned expert on China studies at the Brookings


Institution in Washington and he joins us now.


So, give us your thoughts. Is this real change in China or is it a


cosmetic change? No, it is a real change. It is very


much expected, because the one child policy was severely implemented in


the 1980s and 1990s and in the past decade, it has become looser.


Because of free migration and people able to have more children. And


also, in the urban area, because of the rise of the middle class, they


are not concerned about the penalty of having more than one child. Sadat


is providing an environment for a policy change. So people are wanting


a complete abolition of the one child policy, rather than this. Some


families can afford to have more than one child.


But health and education are expensive for other people?


Yes, the middle-class in China, like in Europe and elsewhere. If you ask


them to have more than one child, many people do not want. But now


they have more freedom to choose and the policy will become relaxed. This


is important politically and also democratically. And especially


economically, because China needs labourers.


Yes, let's look at the labour camps, or what is known as education


through labour. There have been many people inside China campaigning for


its abolition. Is this a good thing, or will the government find an


alternative method to try to take care of people it is have done


something wrong? It is a wonderful improvement. This


is the legacy of the cultural Revolution, the legacy of the soffit


system, which did not rely on the legal system, but put people in the


labour camp. -- Soviet system. But this is a major improvement on human


rights and a major improvement of going to the legal process, rather


than going to the government. Local government had lots of authority to


arrest people without legal procedure. And is this China moving


towards a real free-market economy? The most important news. I think


people in China will pay less attention to the one child policy or


the labour camps, but the opening up of the Chinese economy to make the


middle-class expands, and to have more investment opportunity to


consume more, this is a very important development. It is another


turning point after 1978, when China started the reform. This is the


Chinese government's a second version of opening up. So I think


this, potentially, will be very important that the Chinese


government and will help the global economy.


Thank you for giving us your interpretation of the new economic


and social reforms in China. It's not often that a meeting of


Commonwealth heads of government gets so much attention, but that is


because it is being held in Sri Lanka and three countries are


boycotting the summit which began today. The Canadian, Indian, and


Mauritian Prime Ministers are staying away in protest at


allegations of human rights abuses by the Sri Lankan government. The


Sri Lankan authorities deny the claims, which include the deaths of


thousands of civilians at the end of the war against Tamil Tiger


separatists as well as allegations of torture and abduction. James


Robbins reports. of torture and abduction. James


Robbins they called them the disappeared. Fathers, sons, husbands


who surrendered at the end of Sri Lanka's Civil War and have not been


seen since. UN says that only in Iraq are the more who have simply


vanished without trace. Today, police stopped their relatives


handing in their photos, letters and petitions to the first world leader


ever to visit their part of this troubled island. But David Cameron


could not see them. He claims this visit to a region which once dreamt


of forming its own country will shine spotlight on the abuses of the


past as well as the present. There to greet him, protesters, there are


signs written in perfect English. They were supporters of this man.


The president who welcomed more than 50 leaders to the summit. At his


side, Prince Charles. Whilst the leaders talked, David Cameron


visited the mean newspaper in the north, its presses smashed and


burnt. Who did it? The government said one journalist. And here is


why. On the walls of the newspaper office, pictures of the six


journalists killed in recent years. Everywhere we went, a reminder of


home the president exerts control. A Tamil leader told the Prime Minister


there are still 120,000 security forces in this region, four years


after the war ended. The Prime Minister's last visit was to offer


-- to what the government calls a welfare centre, a refugee centre to


you and me. The Prime Minister has said he is shining a spotlight on


the abuses of human rights in Sri Lanka. But now that prove more


powerful than the legitimacy which this country's president believes he


is secured by cheering the Commonwealth summit? -- chairing.


David Cameron was clearly moved by what he had seen and he insists that


two-day's visit will make a difference. You said you would shine


a spotlight on human rights abuses, do you fear that are bigger


spotlight is being shone on the president who is saying he is


legitimate? After this terrible war ended, what we needed from the Sri


Lankan government was more magnanimity, bringing the country


together. Here we are in a village of basically refugees inside their


own country. They have been here for 20 years or more. They have had


children here. They want to go home. I think that is a very powerful


message. This is a day that David Cameron will never forget. But the


leader of this country is counting on the fact that others will forget


and move on. With me is Richard Bourne, a senior


fellow of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies here in London,


who has been involved in Commonwealth activities for more


than 30 years. Do you think the Commonwealth heads


of government meeting should have gone ahead in Sri Lanka? No, it was


a great mistake. If you think about it, after the Nigerian civil war, it


was over 30 years before there was a Nigerian summit. It was plainly far


too soon. Just had to settle. These human rights allegations, very


serious, should have dealt with. There should have been a process of


reconciliation which has hardly begun. Why do you think it has


happened then? As I understand it, in 2009, there was a suggestion it


should be held in 2011 in Sri Lanka. But the then British Prime


Minister, Gordon Brown, persuaded his ministers and others to delay


this and the Australians hosted it. I think what was very unfortunate


was that the Sri Lankans was left with the expectation of holding it


now. And it has the chairmanship of the Commonwealth now? Yes, but this


is fairly meaningless. But it is symbolic. This was only invented in


1999, so it is a fairly recent innovation and the so-called element


to persons group -- eminent persons group who were tasked with


modernising the Commonwealth think it should be abolished. There have


been three Australian Prime Minister 's .Mac but could there be a move to


strip Sri Lanka of this? I know that other countries have been pressing


for this. I red of an MP in New Zealand asking for this. -- I heard


of an MP in New Zealand. The fact that the Sri Lankan government


denies these allegations, saying they have their own justice system,


but the Commonwealth is based on shared values, and if there has-been


shared values, and if there has been devaluation, should there be a


stronger response? Yes. This has been proposed. But leaders have


decided not to go ahead with proposals. It would have provided a


more objective approach. At the moment, they are very dependent on


what the secretary general does or does not want to do and he is


concerned with politics. In this case, the Indian Prime Minister is


not in Sri Lanka. It sounds very intricate. Thank you.


Now a look at some of the day's other news.


Gunmen have opened fire on a protest against armed militias in the Libyan


capital Tripoli, killing at least 13 people and wounding dozens more. The


protesters were demanding that a militia from Misrata leave the city.


There have been increasing demonstrations demanding that the


militias disband or join the army, in line with an end-of-year deadline


set by the interim government. Albania has rejected a US request to


host the destruction of Syria's stockpile of almost 1,000 tonnes of


chemical weapons. Protesters have been demonstrating in Albania for


days to voice their opposition to the plan. Albania's prime minister


said it was impossible for his country to get involved in the


operation. People in chilly go to the polls


this weekend to choose a new President and the two main


contenders are women who are childhood friends - the former


president Michelle Bachelet and Evelyn Matthei. Dr Bachelet is the


candidate for a centre-left coalition of parties and has a


healthy lead in the opinion polls. She was president between 2006 and


2010. She's the daughter of a high-ranking air force officer who


died while a prisoner of the military junta led by General


Augusto Pinochet. Dr Bachelet was herself tortured and spent some


years in exile. Meanwhile, Evelyn Matthei is the conservative Alianza


party candidate. She's also the daughter of a high-ranking air force


officer and the two families were friends until her father was


promoted as head of the air force under General Pinochet. Seven others


candidates are also standing. If nobody gets more than 50% in the


first round, there will be a run-off. Gideon Long joins us from


Santiago. First of all, it is extraordinary


that you have these two women, childhood friends, very different


histories and backgrounds as the main contenders? Yes, an


extraordinary story. They met each other over 50 years ago. They grew


up on this year for space in the North of chilly. Their fathers were


close friends until the military coup. Dr Bachelet's father was


tortured and died in custody. Meanwhile, Evelyn Matthei's father


went on to ban the Armed Forces. Meanwhile, Evelyn Matthei's father


went on to ban the Armed Forces An incredible personal story behind


these elections. How far are these backgrounds relevant to electors? It


has not been a huge issue during the election campaign, in part because


the two women have tried to play down their past. They think it is


more important to concentrate on the issues of the future. But I do


wonder if Evelyn Matthei's background has not played against


her slightly. Many years ago, she voted for another eight years of


rule by military junta. Dr Bachelet is overwhelming favourite to win


this election. Education is her number one aim. It has been a huge


issue here over the last few years. She was the education for all


students. She will pay for that through tax reforms. She wants to


these tax reform -- she wants to raise corporation taxes.


Thank you. That is all from this programme.


From the, and the rest of the team, good night.


Good evening. The weekend is pretty much upon us. Tomorrow looks like


being a cloud of fear for many areas with the brain across northern and


western parts. High pressure will keep it fairly settled a cross their


south. The wind is ever present as well. Watch out for the density of


this for all the way from the West Country to the wash. The far South


East keeping the best of the sunshine. Generally speaking, and a


lot of cloud around. The best of the sunshine there. Not doing very much


for the temperatures have ever. In the West, the cloud is thickening


up. Then maybe the odd spot


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