04/12/2013 World News Today


04/12/2013

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This is BBC World News Today, with me, Philippa Thomas. A bold message

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from America's Joe Biden to China, on its own soil. Challenge the

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government, challenge your teachers, challenge religious leaders.

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The US vice-president is there to help ease regional tensions - but

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how would THAT advice to China's people go down with the Beijing

:00:30.:00:32.

authorities? Assassination in Lebanon - A senior Hezbollah

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commander is shot dead outside his home.

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Israel denies involvement. Who else could have been behind the attack?

:00:38.:00:43.

Also coming up: Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson tells a court that

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she's taken cocaine, but she denies being an addict.

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And extraordinary images of abandoned glory - how two

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photographers, who call themselves urban explorers, capture images by

:00:52.:00:53.

trespass. Hello and welcome.

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The US Vice-President Joe Biden has begun a trip to China by encouraging

:01:13.:01:15.

people to "challenge the government". He told an audience in

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Beijing that children in America are rewarded, not punished, for

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challenging the status quo. Interesting remarks at a time when

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Mr Biden is attempting to smooth tensions between China and its

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neighbours over Beijing's newly declared air defence zone over the

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East China Sea. Our Beijing correspondent Damian Grammaticus has

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this special report on what is at stake.

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In Asia, a rising China is asserting itself. And America is responding.

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Red lines are being tested by Beijing. In some have suggested the

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US weekend economic Lee is in decline. -- weekend. America remains

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the sole superpower. Joe Biden's first stop was to meet the many

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Chinese hoping to get US frees us. Challenge the government, challenge

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your teachers, challenge religious leaders. Letting China's altering

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the status quo in Asia is not something America will let happen.

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You are candid and construct of, developing this new relationship,

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both qualities are sorely needed. China's leaders in bold by economic

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strength at adopting and more nationalistic tone. This is the

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issue they have chosen, these islands controlled by Japan and

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claimed by China. For months, China has been sending ships to probe

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Japan's resolve, flexing the new naval forces it is building. The

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islands lie far to the south-west of Japan. For decades it has had an ear

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defence own covering the area. In the last week China announced its

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own is own overlapping Japan's. Ignoring China's move, America said

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-- sent unarmed bombers through the zone. Unwilling to lose face, China

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responded by scrambling fighters. The risk of a midair collision

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rising. America is concerned about growing pattern of behaviour by

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China which is stirring up tensions in Asia. One small incident over

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these disputed islands could trigger a far wider crisis drawing in chain

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on the one side and America on the other. -- China. China says other

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nations have their defence also it should have one as well.

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Why has China decided to take this action now? TRANSLATION: It is a

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zone for protection. Japan is the one that is Bass -- dispatched

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planes and ships. That is jewel Biden's problem. -- Joe Biden's.

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What is happened is warning, disputes over in Ireland you have

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never heard of could lead America, Japan and China into a difficult

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situation. A Hezbollah commander has been killed outside his home in

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Lebanon. The group said Hassan al-Lakkis was

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assassinated as he returned from work late last night. The Islamist

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group blamed Israel, which says it wasn't involved. Our correspondent

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in Beirut Jim Muir sent this report from the scene of the killing.

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Celebrated in death, virtually unknown publicly through this life.

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The funeral of Hassan al-Lakkis drew a huge crowd of supporters. He has

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been a major threat to -- person in the campaign. He had been with the

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movement from the beginning and was with -- one of the leaders. This is

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where he died, a very ordinary, quiet residential area. He was

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getting out of his car in the night when he was shot at close range in

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the head. Hezbollah immediately accused Israel of carrying out the

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killing, something the Israelis immediately denied. In past cases

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where Israel is believed to have carried out assassinations like

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this, their policy has been to say nothing at all, and there have been

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plenty of cases like that. Israel has never denied it had a hand in

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this man's assassination. He was killed by a car bomb explosion in

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2008. Some reports said Hassan al-Lakkis worked with them. The

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Israelis also admit the Hannah -- Helen Garner -- helicopter gunships

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also killed as man. His successor very rarely appears in public for

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that reason. In recent months he has admitted his fighters are actively

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engaged in now or in Syria, alongside regime forces battling

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rebels Sony --. Israeli leaders are putting the death of Hassan

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al-Lakkis in that context, while Hezbollah, Syria and Iran insisted

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it was Israel. The full truth may never be known. For Hezbollah,

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Hassan al-Lakkis is yet another martyr, a man who already give one

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of his own sons who died in the war with Israel in 2006.

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Should you as a member of the public get more advice about the pitfalls

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of chatting about criminal cases on social media?

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Yes according to the British government's chief legal adviser,

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the Attorney General Dominic Grieve. He's said today that blogs and sites

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like Twitter and Facebook allow casual comments to be seen by

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thousands of people, with the risk that trials can be prejudiced. So

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his department is to start publishing advice, not just to

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journalists covering the cases, but also to the general public.

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With me is the media lawyer Dan Hyde. First, do you think the

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Department is ahead of other countries and Jude restriction in

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giving this advice? It is a unique approach. -- Jude restriction. --

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jurisdiction. Twitter is getting popular, cases of prejudice at as

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well? I think there is a couple of reasons. It it is laudable, it is

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trying to inform people so that rather than typing something out,

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they have some idea that they may be stepping over the line and could be

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having an impact. If the content is unlawful, there could be

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consequences. Twitter is seen as something as a stream or Facebook

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like other social media sites. If you treat or publish something that

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seriously peeps or -- impedes or affects a trial, you are caught by

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that. From that perspective it has to be a good thing. My concern would

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be two things, one will it make a massive difference? If something

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is... If someone is charged with contempt and they go to court, if

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they plead ignorance, they may be told this information is readily

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available, you could have got it from the Twitter feeds. I wonder. We

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will see what impact it has. But it is done with the best of intentions,

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let's say. Well-meaning, innovative but we will wait and see. The

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celebrity chef Nigella Lawson has admitted in court that she has taken

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cocaine, but denied being an addict. She said it happened during very

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difficult times, when her first husband was dying, and when - as she

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describes it - she was under great pressure from her second husband,

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the multi-millionaire art collector Charles Saatchi. Nigella Lawson was

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giving evidence in the fraud trial of two of her personal assistants.

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Sangita Myska reports. Nigella Lawson today looked

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confident as she walked past a frenzied media scrum. She was at

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court to face tough questions about the breakdown of her marriage to

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Charles Saatchi and he claims that she was a habitual drug user. She

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told the court... She also talked about smoking

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cannabis during her marriage to Mr Saatchi.

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Nigella Lawson and ex-husband Charles Saatchi, a multimillionaire

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at collector, were often photographed it in public. Then in

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the summer, these photographs were published in which Mr Saatchi had us

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and around Miss Lawson's neck. The couple divorced shortly afterwards.

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In court, Miss Lawson alleged Mr Saatchi had threatened her by

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saying, if you don't come back to me and clear my name, I will destroy

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you buy, she said, spreading false allegations of drug use. She

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finished by saying... Nigella Lawson is one of Britain's

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most celebrated television looks. Today she is giving evidence in the

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trial of two of the couple's former personal assistant is, Elizabeth and

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Francesca Grillo at accused of dishonestly spending over half ?1

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million on a company credit card. It was here that at the family home

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that Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi formed a close relationship

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with the Grillo sisters. The women were in charge of household duties,

:12:16.:12:20.

including organising the laundry and looking after the children. It is

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here that the claim that they came to a tacit understanding with

:12:26.:12:27.

Nigella Lawson that they could spend thousands of pounds on the company

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credit card if they did not reveal her alleged use of class a and Class

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B drugs to Mr Saatchi. The jury heard that Miss Lawson gave the

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Grillos thousands of pounds worth of guests and I felt let down by

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Elizabeth Avenue. I love her. My children love her. She came to me at

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a difficult time, she was a rock full top I would have done anything

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for her. She earlier told the court that she felt it was her that was

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now on trial when the world's media. Her former personal assistant is

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denied the charges. Moving onto the central African

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republic. The violence gripping the Central African Republic is getting

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worse. Fighters from the mainly-Muslim Seleka group are being

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blamed for a series of attacks on the Christian majority. The

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sectarian and sexual violence gripping the Central African

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Republic is now the worst it's ever been. Fighters from the

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mainly-Muslim Seleka group are being blamed for a series of attacks on

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the Christian majority. French and US officials have warned that a

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genocide could be in the making. Since the rebels overthrew the

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president in March around 400,000 people have fled their homes in

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fear. Our Africa Correspondent Andrew Harding has been to meet some

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of them. The silence is hunting. The eerie sense of a nation in hiding.

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Finally we spot three nervous ghostlike figures. On the right,

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this boy said we thought you were the rebels. He says his family of

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six kids and the rest of the village are hiding out here in the villages,

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too scared to come out towards the road. We are going to see them now.

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As word spreads, others cautiously approach us. Months of conflict in

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the Central African Republic have forced perhaps 400,000 people to run

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for their lives. They are stranded, increasingly desperate and far from

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help. Disease killed this woman's youngest daughter last week. We live

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like animals here, says the local teacher, no clean water, no food.

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Back on the road, and far to the south, we run into the team-macro

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rebels. -- Seleka. They are mostly Muslim, some foreign. They are

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rebellion has collapsed into a murderous free for all. Now, it

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seems, no one is in charge. And the violence is surging.

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Suddenly, we stumble across the latest bloodshed.

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They bring out their dead. Seleka fighters attacked a few hours ago a

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young Christian farmer, one of five killed here, religion now fuelling

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the violence. The international community, the French, must protect

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us, he says. The Muslims are terrorising us.

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And now the Christians are hitting back. Nearby, we meet members of

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self defence militia. The weapons are home made. The desire for

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vengeance, growing. These groups have already carried out brutal

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reprise all is against Muslims. -- reprisals. In the middle of the

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mayhem, streetsmart children find sanctuary in a church compound in

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this town. He ran from his village when the Seleka came last month and

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left him as an orphan. 40,000 people have now joined him

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here. He fights back the tears. They killed my father, he says, and

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took his body. I don't know what will happen to me now.

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It is fear that is trapping tens of thousands of people in this one

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spot, and that is not going to change until people are sure it is

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safe to go home. But French and African forces are poised to arrive

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here in the next week or so, and things could change, could improve

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quite quickly. What can they protect everyone? And for how long? This is

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a chronically unstable nation. All trust, absent, the only currency

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that counts is fear. And things have never been this bad. Andrew

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Harding, BBC News in the Central African Republic.

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

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suggests up to 30,000 Eritreans have been ten -- kidnapped and tortured

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in the signing -- Sinai Desert. The report, compiled by a team of

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academics and activists from Sweden and the Netherlands accuses senior

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military officers of kidnapping people and selling them to human

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traffickers. The ailing former South African President North and Mandela

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is continuing to put up a courageous fight, according to one of his

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daughters. She said her father remained strong.

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He has been receiving medical care at home since been discharged from

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hospital in September. Ukraine's three previous post Soviet

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residents have issued a statement giving support to anti-government

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protesters on the freezing streets of Kiev now for the 14th night on a

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roll. Tens of thousands have suffered -- surrendered government

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buildings in the capital angry at the government's decision not to

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sign an association deal with the EU. In what is thought to be a legal

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first, a US animal rights group is calling on you -- New York court to

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recognise a chimpanzee as a legal person.

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It wants a chimp named Tommy to be granted what is known as legal

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personhood, so that he can be entitled to what is entitled as the

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-- described as the fundamental right of bodily liberty. With me is

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the founder and chairman of The Ape Alliance, an international coalition

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working for the welfare of apes. Ian Redmond, would you say you

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recognise this description of chimpanzees as people, as beings

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that you could regard as friends? Definitely, yes. Anyone who has had

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the good fortune to get to know great apes will see there is no

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question of it. They have the cognitive capacity to know who they

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themselves are. Give a chimpanzee and within a short time you will

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have self-directed behaviour, looking to see parts of their face

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they don't normally see. -- give a chimpanzee a mirror. I think there

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is a selective advantage in being able to understand your position in

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society, and it strikes me that our laws developed in countries where

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there are not great apes. We have exported those laws to countries

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where there are, but if you look at tradition in African countries come

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in Rwanda where I spent a lot of time, they have a word for wildlife,

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a word for people and a word for gorillas. Gorillas are not

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categorised amongst wildlife. They are seen as other tribes?

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Almost as another tribe. The translation of orangutan is

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usually translated as man of the forest but it is actually person of

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the forest. What would it mean to give this status to them?

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At the moment they have the same legal standing as a check, or any

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object, you can buy them or own them do not whatever you like with them,

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apart from cruelty. But cruelty laws do not keep them

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from being kept on their own like Tommy is in inadequate enclosures

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and without the company of other chimpanzees. I would say, yes, open

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-- we cannot see open all the cages, but care for them as you would any

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other being with special care. What is your answer to churches who say

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thinking of giving them this legal distinction somehow produces the

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link between man and God. If you believe that God created

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everything, then he created chimpanzees.

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I don't think God would approve of us torturing them or treating them

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in this terrible way. Respecting them, their intelligence and social

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complexity, I think it is difficult to do that and not give them legal

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standing other than an object. They are not objects, they are persons,

:21:58.:22:05.

non-human beings. We are not asking for human rights, but recognising

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that beings who may not be human have many of the criteria we think

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are important and deserve our respect. Why not have legislation

:22:12.:22:15.

that makes that more likely to follow?

:22:16.:22:21.

Ian Redmond of The Ape Alliance, thank you for speaking us.

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-- to us. When we think of photographs, they are not usually

:22:27.:22:30.

images of buildings abandoned, unloved and decaying, but two

:22:31.:22:34.

photographers who call themselves urban explorers are fascinated by

:22:35.:22:39.

what we tend to pass by. Daniel Marbaix and Danny Barter have

:22:40.:22:42.

published a book, States of Decay, based on their travels of the US,

:22:43.:22:45.

and they have often roamed the UK and Europe often getting arrested

:22:46.:22:49.

for trespassing. I have brought them together in one of the BBC's big

:22:50.:22:54.

screens asking Danny to guide us through one of the images. Tell us

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where you are. This is an underground of it Dorian

:22:59.:23:01.

Reservoir in London. It has featured in some quite

:23:02.:23:05.

prominent TV shows and films, but people will be able to figure that

:23:06.:23:10.

out. It is a beautiful piece of Victorian architecture I painted

:23:11.:23:17.

with light. You have had to like it and I again I suppose you were not

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intending to be there. No, we were not intending to be

:23:21.:23:23.

there. There were a few of us and it

:23:24.:23:26.

involves putting on your wellingtons and going underground until you find

:23:27.:23:32.

something you want to see. Daniel, this was an old manor house

:23:33.:23:36.

in the UK and you are looking at decay, crumbling before us. What

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keeps you going into these kinds of situations? Weekend of do it for the

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thrill of it, really. We almost started doing it for fun,

:23:46.:23:50.

really. You start one building, and then you go repeatedly and meet

:23:51.:23:53.

other people and meet up with them and going to other places. You call

:23:54.:23:57.

yourselves urban explorers. What do you mean?

:23:58.:24:04.

It basically means you are exploring the environment available to you, so

:24:05.:24:07.

it may be the rooftops of the cities, it may be sewers, it may be

:24:08.:24:11.

abandoned buildings. This is an image that you took Danny in

:24:12.:24:15.

Pennsylvania. These are workers who is from a call

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break that had been sitting there for about 40 years.

:24:21.:24:24.

You can find the documentation talking about their daily routine.

:24:25.:24:35.

Four. -- coal-breakers. There is an element of looking into

:24:36.:24:38.

the past and it is interactive and of the things that have been left

:24:39.:24:41.

behind, the small stories kept within these places.

:24:42.:24:47.

Tell me, Dan, about the differences between shooting in the US and in

:24:48.:24:51.

Europe. Certainly regarding the law it is different, isn't it?

:24:52.:24:56.

Yes, in the majority of Europe, trespassing is a civil offence so

:24:57.:24:59.

the older -- one of the building would have to press charges. The

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buildings are abandoned so there is no one to do that, whereas in

:25:04.:25:07.

America it is a criminal offence, so you can get time in county jail,

:25:08.:25:10.

fairly significant time, and deported. It is obviously important

:25:11.:25:15.

to you to get these images. Here we are looking at an American

:25:16.:25:19.

church, a flag, an altar, but you can see the decay. This was the

:25:20.:25:25.

cover of the same book and it is a little bit of a metaphor on American

:25:26.:25:29.

society and the place religion has come to having it, opposed to them

:25:30.:25:35.

as an industrial powerhouse, I suppose.

:25:36.:25:37.

It has a lot of stories to tell, some of those should be left to

:25:38.:25:41.

other people to figure out. This final image says, I had to leave my

:25:42.:25:46.

mark somewhere. This is really poignant, but also

:25:47.:25:50.

what you are doing, I guess. Yes, I saw it and it kind of made me smile.

:25:51.:25:55.

It was never intended to go into the book but it came out nicely with the

:25:56.:25:59.

decay around it. And is your work all about getting

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people to look again at what they have left behind? It is just showing

:26:03.:26:06.

the beautiful buildings that have been left to crumble, cause of

:26:07.:26:09.

money, generally. It is more expensive to refurbish

:26:10.:26:14.

the building than to knock it down and build a new one. Daniel Marbaix

:26:15.:26:18.

and Danny Barter speaking to me earlier.

:26:19.:26:22.

Just a reminder of the main news. US Vice President Joe burden is on a

:26:23.:26:26.

visit to Beijing hoping to ease tensions over China's controversial

:26:27.:26:32.

ear space identification zone. It has heightened tensions between

:26:33.:26:36.

the US and Japan over who owns a group of islands in the East China

:26:37.:26:40.

Sea. Thank you for being with us on World News Today.

:26:41.:26:54.

Good evening. It is that time of the year when we get occasionally

:26:55.:27:02.

battered by big storms and there is one heading our way tomorrow. The

:27:03.:27:08.

main problem will be the strength of the wind, pointing the Met Office

:27:09.:27:09.

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