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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