26/11/2013 World News Today


26/11/2013

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This is BBC World News Today, with me Kasia Madera. Will the United

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Kingdom be divided? Scottish MPs lay down the case for independence.

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A blueprint is released explaining just how it would work, ahead of a

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referendum next year. Opponents say the document is a work of fiction.

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France scrambles troops towards the Central African Republic, amid

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intensifying violence, and fears the country will implode.

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Also coming up: Lebanon's liberal reputation under

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threat. We uncover evidence of police intimidation towards gay

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people. And until recently, no-one knew this

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John Constable oil painting even existed. Just where did museum staff

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find it? Hello and welcome. The great debate

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about the future of Great Britain is heating up. A blueprint for Scottish

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independence has been released, detailing just how Scotland would

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operate outside the United Kingdom. The plan would see it collect its

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own taxes but keep the pound sterling and stay in the European

:01:19.:01:28.

Union. Scotland joined England to form the

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kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. Since 1999, it has had its own

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devolved parliament, which allows it to make laws in a limited capacity.

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The Scottish National Party is pushing for independence and

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outlined today why Scots should make the move. There will be a referendum

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next September. For nationalists, the campaign has

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moved into an ambitious new phase. The most significant milestone to

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date on the long march to independence and the first detailed

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account of the character, shape and spirit of the new nation they hope

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will soon be born. An independent Scotland could have the eighth

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highest economic output and the 10th highest national income per head of

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population in the whole of the developed world.

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So what would an independent Scotland look like? It would be a

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kingdom with the Queen as head of state. It would join NATO but demand

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the removal of submarine-born Trident missiles within four years.

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It would keep the pound as part of a sterling zone with the rest of the

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UK. This is not a final blueprint for independence. It is simply the

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Scottish Government's starting point for an 18 month period of

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negotiations after a yes vote. It rests on a lot of assumptions. It

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assumes, for example, that the EU will accept Scotland as a

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continuing, rather than as a new, member. NATO will accept a

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nuclear-free Scotland without Trident. But the UK government will

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agree to share the pound was an independent Scotland in a currency

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union. -- that the UK government. What is the UK government refused to

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share the pound? Then an independent Scotland, Alex Salmond told me, my

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refused to share but's National Debtline these things follow as

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night follows day. Scotland have indicated they willingness in this

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document to accept the financing of some of the massive obligations and

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liabilities that have been built up Alistair da and George Osbourne.

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That is predicated on the share of assets. You have to share both sides

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of the balance sheet. -- Alistair Darling. This is a country of two

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national identities interwoven. Many here are genuinely torn. Opponents

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of independence say Alex Salmond's blueprint is mere wishful thinking.

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He has nothing new to say. He simply repeats the assertions and claims he

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has been making for years. He says there will be a currency union but

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ignores the fact there would have to be a negotiation and any

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negotiation, you do not get everything you want. It takes two to

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reach an agreement. The same with Europe. The idea that 27 European

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countries will roll over and give him everything he wants is nonsense.

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There is a danger in this line of attack. For pro-independence

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campaigners see this as a battle between the somewhat promise of a

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new start and the fearful caution of the status quo. Might that yet swing

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it? Joining me from

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Our correspondent joins us now from Edinburgh. Is this a blueprint or

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wish list? That is precisely what will be debated from now until

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referendum day. Some people believe that today we would see almost the

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birth of a new nation, that we would see the excitement, if you like, as

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the parents of that new nation, the Scottish First Minister and Nicola

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Sturgeon, really revealed what it was all about. It was actually a

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much more low-key event. It felt like to business executives trying

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to reassure at the launch of some exercise in corporate rebranding. I

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think there is a good reason for that. The opinion polls still show

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that many Scots are sceptical about the case for an entirely new

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country. Therefore, a great big document was produced today which in

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one sense said that a great deal would change if this country became

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independent and yet rather a lot would not change. It would carry on

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having the Queen as its head of state, it would continue to have the

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pound is currency, it would try to join the EU and join NATO, just like

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the UK. Things like pensions, a cause of such concern, would be

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played broadly as they are now. -- paid. At the same ten, the

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prospective authors, if you give Scotland the power to make its own

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decisions and choices, if, for example, this country could stop

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spending money on nuclear weapons and choose to spend it on public

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services instead, there are a whole series of goodies laid out before

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the electorate. You could have more childcare, you could have fairer

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taxes, you could have a series of changes designed to make this more

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appealing to that broad mass of Scots who are not yet convinced for

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an independent Scotland but are not entirely persuaded against it thank

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you very much. Nick Robinson there from Edinburgh. We are going to stay

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in Edinburgh because we are joined by David Torrance. David, I know

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that one of the books that you have written is a biography of Alex

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Salmond. You think he has made the case? Not quite. He has certainly

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made more of a case on perhaps he had before. The document he unsealed

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this morning with Nicola Sturgeon is certainly competence. It is slickly

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produced and he can now say, one of people questions at him, but it is

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in this document, look under this section. -- that he unveiled this

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morning. Of course, the White Paper does not, and could not, and is

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unequivocally that there is more information available Mozilla was

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before this morning. One criticism was that Alex Salmond

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has made lots of assumptions, that he assumes that Scotland will keep

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the pound, that Scotland will stay in the EU. This is not a given.

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There are lots of different factors in this. No. And there is very

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little in the White Paper that could be asserted as an unequivocal fact

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for all those reasons. It is dependent on a yes vote and of

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course the opinion polls show that is unlikely. At least for the time

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being. It is also predicated on the negotiations that would follow a yes

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vote, going relatively well and the SNP heading up those negotiations,

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getting everything he wanted on currency, defence and so on. It is

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also predicated, certainly on the longer term, the aspirational

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elements are predicated on the simply being in government in and

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dependent Scotland not just for a term but probably for quite a long

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time. -- on the SNP being in government.

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What about the basics, this question of child care, something that lots

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of people would be very pleased to hear about. Apparently this could be

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done now. Why not do it now? Nicola Sturgeon was asked that question

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this morning and said, not unreasonably, you need full control

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of the economic levers in order to push through something on that

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scale. That is half true. Much of it could be implemented at the moment.

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But the presence of policy commitments like that childcare

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proposal did jar slightly, not just because much of it is already

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devolved but also because it seemed a little prosaic. Childcare is very

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important but a very prosaic way to see this is the compelling case for

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the independence of a nation. Do you think that the economy, how well off

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people feel that they are, is that going to be the driving force behind

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this? Anecdotally and in terms of opinion polls, that seems to be the

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dominant issue. Every see people questioned about independence, that

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is what they say. How can we afford it? Would be better off? Or would be

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worse off? Economic 's dominated this. It is all predicated on an

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independent Scotland performing economically very well and its

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citizens be better off than they are now. David, at the moment, opinion

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polls suggesting that a round 63% of people who vote would vote to stay

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within the UK. What is your, if we are going to take a bit on this,

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what do you think is going to happen? I think the opinion polls

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will not change very much, not as a result of this white paper.

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Certainly not until next summer, when things really kick off. Most

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people expect there to be some narrowing in the polls. I think that

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is almost inevitable. As many have said, many experts on referendums

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and elections, in order to stand any chance of winning a referendum like

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this, the side proposing a change, in this case the pro-independence

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camp, needs to enter with a pretty commanding lead of around ten

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points. They are nowhere near that at the moment. Perhaps the White

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Paper will help them turn that around. There is little indication

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as yet. David, good to talk to you. To other news now. The French

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government is scrambling an additional 1,000 soldiers to the

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Central African Republic. They will be part of an African Union led

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force that is trying to bring stability to a country that is, in

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the words of the UN, descending into complete chaos. 10% of the

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population have fled their homes and one million people need urgent food

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aid. The current crisis began when rebels ousted the President in

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March. Damian Zane reports. There is a desperate situation in

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parts of the Central African Republic, with little sign of things

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getting better. Tens of thousands have sought refuge in this compound

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at a Catholic mission. The aid agency MSF says more security is

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needed. Right now, we have hundreds of thousands of people estimated, up

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to 400,000 people, that have been reading out in the bush for the past

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couple of weeks, completely on their own, without access to clean

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drinking water, a difficult time for them to reach the sectors. It is a

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difficult situation for them right now. On Monday night, the UN tried

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to address that situation and the ambassador from the Central African

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Republic echo the warnings of other diplomats. TRANSLATION: The report

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of the secretary general latest development on the positions adopted

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by the French and Americans, will bring about genocide of nothing is

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not understand. We need free, transparent credible elections

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within two months but it has been threatened within the great

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instability. The president has been unable to

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control his former rebel allies. The mainly Muslim and -- Muslim militias

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and Christian militias have been attacking each other's communities.

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There has also been a rise in sexual violence, torture and summary

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executions. Without stability and an end to the law and looting, little

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progress can be made. The forces need help. The plan is to bolster

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their numbers and give it UN backing. Concerns remain about what

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will happen to the people while they wait for more soldiers to arrive.

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We're also joined by the BBC's David Chazan in Paris. David, these 1000

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French troops, do we know where they're going be deployed? We do not

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know exactly where but the main idea is for them to restore security in

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the capital and also on the main roads leading to neighbouring Chad

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and Cameron saw that supplies can be brought in because the aid agencies

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are saying there is a severe hunger problem developing. In terms of

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France sending troops there, the French minister was saying that if

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France does not do it, nobody else will. Is that your understanding? I

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think Franz's uniquely placed among the Western powers to do this, not

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only is it a former colonial powers or has a good sense of what the

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country is like but it also has thousands of soldiers already in

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place in the neighbouring countries. Places like Cameroon and

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the Ivory Coast. It has a lot of soldiers also on a ship in the Gulf

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of Guinea. So France can get these troops into position very rapidly.

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France is warning, and the UN as well, that the country is on the

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verge of genocide. Do people back in Paris, back in France, today support

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this move? This is the second time that France is sending forces into a

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former French colony. -- do they support this move? That is right.

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France sent thousands of troops to Mali in January in a move that has

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been seen as largely successful. A lot of people feel that France will

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also be successful in restoring order in the Central African

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Republic. But there have already been some criticism from the

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centre-right, the UN party, which is asking why the governing Socialists

:15:23.:15:28.

are making big cuts in the defence budget but sending troops into

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another African country. Some people here in France will be wondering why

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the Government has decided to do this at a time when the economy is

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struggling and unemployment is rising and there are cuts that the

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two be made across the. Having said that, there are a lot of people who

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will welcome this intervention. -- there are cuts that need to be

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made. We think this is France restoring its historic role.

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President Putin has hit back at criticism from the EU which has

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accused Russia of putting political and economic pressure on Ukraine not

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to sign a trade agreement. He said it should end what he called its

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sharp words about Ukraine's apparent turn towards Russia. Big crowds

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continue to demonstrate against Kiev's decision. Our correspondent

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Steve Rosenberg reports on how Ukraine has been torn between East

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and West. At the Kiev Opera, it is a story of

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love and bitter rivalry. Two suitors, one fair maiden. It is just

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like the story of Ukraine. Two world powers, the European Union

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and Russia, have been competing for closer ties with Kiev. At who Ian

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Bryce? Ukraine has had a big decision to make. On the one hand,

:16:57.:17:01.

should it an historic trade agreement with the European Union

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that would turn this country very much towards Europe? Or should it

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look East and join Russia's economic bloc? The pressure on Ukraine to

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decide one way or the other has become huge. That includes economic

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pressure. Early this year, Russia banned imports from Ukraine's

:17:22.:17:25.

largest confectioner. And it imposed trade restrictions on the Ukrainian

:17:26.:17:31.

companies, a strong hint that Kiev should think twice before distancing

:17:32.:17:36.

itself from Moscow. The whole world clearly understands that the real

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reason for these problems is it as a form of pressure on Ukraine because

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of the necessity to make a strategic decision about our future

:17:50.:17:54.

development. But that pressure has had an effect. Last week, Ukraine's

:17:55.:17:58.

government announced it had put on hold the association agreement with

:17:59.:18:02.

the EU. It would concentrate instead on repairing economic ties with

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Moscow. TRANSLATION: Over the last year,

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trade between Russia and Ukraine fell by 25%. That is a huge blow to

:18:13.:18:21.

our economy. We spoke to officials months ago on how they would

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compensate a but all we got were compensations that Ukraine would

:18:25.:18:29.

profit medium to long-term. The decision by the government has

:18:30.:18:32.

sparked anger on the streets. In Kiev, pro-EU protesters have clashed

:18:33.:18:37.

with riot police. They accused the authorities of dragging Ukraine back

:18:38.:18:40.

to the soviet union. And they demanded the release from Trail of

:18:41.:18:48.

-- the release from jail of their former opposition leader. If they

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are not willing to embrace European standards and values than they are

:18:59.:19:02.

not willing to play by the rules of the European Union. These protesters

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say they will stay on the streets until the Ukraine government chooses

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a different path, one that will lead to Europe.

:19:10.:19:13.

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

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Demonstrators in Thailand's capital Bangkok are continuing to target

:19:16.:19:17.

government ministries, occupying some and surrounding others, in a

:19:18.:19:20.

protest against the administration of Prime Minister Yingluck

:19:21.:19:23.

Shinawatra. An arrest warrant has been issued for one of the protest

:19:24.:19:26.

leaders in connection with the occupation. Meanwhile, the Thai

:19:27.:19:29.

Parliament is debating a no-confidence motion against Ms

:19:30.:19:31.

Yingluck. The protesters say they aim to paralyse the government in a

:19:32.:19:35.

bid to force the Prime Minister to step down.

:19:36.:19:38.

Here in the UK, a police officer is to be charged with misconduct in

:19:39.:19:41.

public office. The officer is accused of falsely claiming to have

:19:42.:19:44.

witnessed a foul- mouthed confrontation between a senior

:19:45.:19:47.

member of the Government, Andrew Mitchell, and Downing Street police.

:19:48.:19:50.

Mr Mitchell, who was alleged to have called police "plebs", resigned over

:19:51.:19:55.

the affair. In total, eight police officers are facing disciplinary

:19:56.:20:05.

proceedings. Lebanon, with its vibrant nightlife,

:20:06.:20:09.

is often seen as one of the more liberal countries of the Middle

:20:10.:20:13.

East. It has a reputation as being relatively tolerant of gay people in

:20:14.:20:16.

a predominantly conservative region. But campaigners say they're

:20:17.:20:18.

increasingly concerned that that is changing. Human Rights Watch says it

:20:19.:20:22.

has evidence that homosexual men are being subjected to abuse by police,

:20:23.:20:23.

as Sima Kotecha reports from Beirut. Beirut comes alive under darkness.

:20:24.:20:37.

It's liberal and modern, lined with bars and clubs, and it is where

:20:38.:20:42.

masculinity matches stereotypes. But this city has an underground gay

:20:43.:20:45.

scene that is private yet very much alive. Lebanon became the first Arab

:20:46.:20:51.

country to declassify homosexuality as a disease but it still has

:20:52.:20:56.

legislation which could be used to criminalise homosexuals. Beirut is

:20:57.:21:01.

often thought of as a safe haven for gay people across the Arab world. In

:21:02.:21:06.

some countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia, being homosexual can lead to

:21:07.:21:11.

the death penalty. But recently, much has happened here that has

:21:12.:21:15.

revealed cracks in this city's liberal facade. There have been

:21:16.:21:22.

claims here that police have been subjecting gay people to intrusive

:21:23.:21:27.

anal testing. This man, who doesn't want to show his face, says he was

:21:28.:21:31.

arrested for being gay. He claims doctors conducted an intimate

:21:32.:21:35.

inspection on him to find out if he had had homosexual sex. It was

:21:36.:21:40.

really demeaning. It made me feel like I don't have body rights. Eye

:21:41.:21:46.

was repressed for a long time. I was very resentful and just alone. Human

:21:47.:21:51.

Rights Watch says even though the government has condemned and banned

:21:52.:21:54.

this kind of testing, it is still going on. Human Rights Watch is very

:21:55.:21:59.

concerned about the problem of abuse and ill-treatment against gays and

:22:00.:22:04.

lesbians, bisexual people, transgender people in Lebanon. The

:22:05.:22:06.

way they are treated by wider society but also the abuse, the

:22:07.:22:10.

torture and ill-treatment they are subjected to and kept in cells and

:22:11.:22:14.

attention. We have documented very serious patterns of abuse and that

:22:15.:22:20.

needs to end. But some people here insist that homosexuality is wrong.

:22:21.:22:26.

It is male and female and this is the normal life. Male and female,

:22:27.:22:30.

not male and male or female and female. Being in jail is not enough.

:22:31.:22:36.

They should tell them they are doing the wrong thing and they should stop

:22:37.:22:42.

all of this... Erm... This mistake. It is a mistake, after all. These

:22:43.:22:47.

sorts of views are in line with the religious teachings of Islam but

:22:48.:22:50.

there is an argument here that people should move with the times.

:22:51.:22:56.

Recently we reported on a huge haul of Nazi-looted art which contained

:22:57.:22:59.

hundreds of previously unknown works by masters. Well, now we can tell

:23:00.:23:05.

you about another discovery. This oil sketch by John Constable has

:23:06.:23:08.

been uncovered by staff at London's Victoria Albert Museum. They

:23:09.:23:13.

didn't find it in some long-lost private collection, but hidden

:23:14.:23:15.

inside another of his works that belongs to the museum.

:23:16.:23:20.

With me is Estelle Lovatt, who's an art critic here in London. Thank you

:23:21.:23:30.

very much for coming to speak to us. It is an incredible story, the

:23:31.:23:35.

fact that this lovely oil sketch was actually not this covered for so

:23:36.:23:39.

many years but was inside a different painting. Can you tell us

:23:40.:23:44.

about how it was found? Yes, his daughter left the V most of his

:23:45.:23:49.

works, over 600 of them, and the conservation Department there had

:23:50.:23:52.

removed the backing and they were going to put the painting to be

:23:53.:23:58.

included in an exhibition, and they found it behind the lining, so this

:23:59.:24:02.

is an extraordinary find. They did see through an X-ray there was

:24:03.:24:05.

something there but they were not sure what it was, but to find a

:24:06.:24:10.

sketch like this. The best thing about Constable was his sky

:24:11.:24:14.

sketches. He is more of a skyscape used than a landscape is. And it is

:24:15.:24:22.

so beautiful. They have this lovely white quality called Constable

:24:23.:24:28.

snows. And we in this country never really appreciated his landscapes.

:24:29.:24:36.

They were not considered high enough or fine enough to be considered fine

:24:37.:24:40.

art. So he had to exhibit in France. And for the French to tell us, you

:24:41.:24:47.

have a great painter on your hands! And he was a great impressionist

:24:48.:24:52.

because he painted an open air. So this is an extraordinary find and

:24:53.:24:55.

I'm hoping it will rekindle our love of Constable. It is just remarkable

:24:56.:25:00.

that for so many years nobody knew it existed, but he was known very

:25:01.:25:05.

well for reusing his canvases or painting on the other side, so maybe

:25:06.:25:09.

it is not that unusual to find a Constable like this? There are lots

:25:10.:25:14.

of things to consider. He was quite a mean man, he had seven children to

:25:15.:25:18.

bring up, he didn't have much of an income from his very wealthy family

:25:19.:25:23.

because they disapproved firstly of his being a painter and then they

:25:24.:25:26.

thought his wife was too young to marry, so they kept his money

:25:27.:25:31.

limited. But also, he never sold that much. He was a contemporary of

:25:32.:25:37.

Turner's. And then he turned his hand to portraits but they were

:25:38.:25:40.

awful. So he never really made a living as and artist. But he made a

:25:41.:25:48.

good living giving lectures on how to paint beautiful clouds. And we

:25:49.:25:53.

believe these clouds are in North London, Hampstead. You are

:25:54.:25:59.

absolutely right, yes. And he took his wife there because she was very

:26:00.:26:08.

ill. And being 400 feet above the city, he thought this was the

:26:09.:26:13.

cleanest air in London. And this is going to be at the VNA, so we can

:26:14.:26:20.

all enjoy it? Absolutely. He is an artist who can work very small or

:26:21.:26:26.

very big. Thank you for talking us through this remarkable find. A John

:26:27.:26:29.

Constable that has been found hidden within another of his paintings. A

:26:30.:26:34.

remarkable story. Thank you. From all of us here, thank you for

:26:35.:26:38.

watching the programme. Don't forget, you can catch up as there is

:26:39.:26:42.

much more on our website and you can also follow me on Twitter. From all

:26:43.:26:47.

of us on the team, thank you for watching. Good night.

:26:48.:26:56.

Good evening. I think we should be virtually frost free tonight as we

:26:57.:27:02.

have cloudy skies and milder air spreading across the UK around this

:27:03.:27:07.

big area of high pressure. A warm front is pushing southwards

:27:08.:27:10.

introducing milder air at least for a time. But producing outbreaks of

:27:11.:27:15.

rain as well. Fairly light and patchy, mind you, but it will stay

:27:16.:27:22.

dull, damp and misty around the south of the UK. Temperatures will

:27:23.:27:28.

pick up to ten or 11 degrees with some sunshine over the Pennines but

:27:29.:27:31.

across the South,

:27:32.:27:32.

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