13/12/2013 World News Today


The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 13/12/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



This is BBC World News Today. Hundreds of thousands of Syrian


refugees are left exposed and at harm from a harsh Middle East


winter. Amnesty criticises Europe's attempt to help the needy as


pitiful. We have a special report from one refugee camp in bitterly


cold Lebanon. The world's big powers have not been able to stop the war


in Syria, perhaps that is not so surprising, but surely sorting out


this problem should be much easier. 100,000 people pay their respects to


Nelson Mandela as he lies in state but now his body is removed from


public view, thousands who had missed out are disappointed.


Concerns about stability in North Korea after the country's second


most powerful figure is executed. If you can read any of these works, you


will know it is Esperanto. We speak to a fluent Esperanto speaker who


looks after an impressive collection of its literature.


The suffering for Syrian refugees fleeing violence has been bad


enough, now nature has heaped even more misery on them. Hundreds of


thousands of Syrian refugees are facing an exceptionally harsh winter


storm and freezing temperatures in the Middle East with no more than


flimsy tents for shelter. Human rights organisation Amnesty


International says Europe should hang its head in shame for failing


to provide a safe haven. There are 6.5 million people displaced inside


Syria. This is how the numbers of refugees stacks up. According to the


UN Refugee Agency, 838,000 have fled to nearby Lebanon, living either in


tented camps, unused buildings or with friends and family. More than


560,000 Syrians are believed to be in Jordan. 540,000 have sought


refuge in neighbouring Turkey. In Iraq, more than 200,000. Our Middle


East editor Jeremy Bowen is in Lebanon where he spent the day with


refugees in the Bekaa Valley. No working taps, Noel Wells, only


snow. And then here collect it to melt it into water. However bad it


gets here, their families still have to drink. An extended family of 20


live here in a refugee settlement in the Northern Bekaa Valley. They have


a small still but they do not have much would so they were bringing


pieces of a plastic rug. The area around the store is quite warm but


the fumes of burning plastic hang heavy in the air. This is no place


to be a child. It is a much worst -- much worse place to be a baby. Two


sisters in law and spend their days goes to the small stove with their


newborn sons, around one-month-old. The babies have the cold. Their


mothers are trying to breast-feed but it is hard because they are


undernourished, living each day on one bowl of lentil soup. They mix


some baby formula with the melted snow water. This baby was born


without a hand and his mother says he was delivered by a midwife and


has never been seen by a doctor. She has been told an operation could


help them. He could probably have an operation but I don't have any money


to take him. The family seem to share a lot of love but they are


close to destitute. Because of the cold and lack of water, this is all


that a bucket of melted snow mix. They have not watched for around two


weeks. Most refugees in the Bekaa Valley live in informal settlements


as the government does not allow the huge cans that have been built in


Jordan. Aid is haphazard. In all the settlements there are children who


have no shoes or a winter clothes. They often smiled but they look


cold, undernourished and on the edge of the list. The world big powers


have not been able to stop the War in Syria and perhaps that is not


surprising but surely sorting out this problem should be much easier.


What it needs most is a mixture of political will and money. The fact


that these people are still living like this in the third year of this


crisis suggests there is not enough of either. Big sums of money have


been donated to help refugees but very little has reached here. These


are resilient people and local aid workers say the camp is no better


and no worse than others in the area. The humanitarian crisis caused


by the Syrian war is growing and eventually. A bitter day was


becoming another freezing night. The body of Nelson Mandela is no


longer lying in state. Officials say an estimated 100,000 mourners filed


past his body in the capital, Pretoria, the very place he was


sworn in as Africa's first black President in 1994. Not everyone was


able to view his body, many were turned away. Final preparations are


now being made in his home village of Qunu for his funeral on Sunday.


Huge disappointment for those who did not manage to see Nelson Mandela


lying in state? That is right. Night has fallen here and you can see the


Union Buildings floodlit behind me. This very imposing centre of


government for South Africa and it was here during the day but tens of


thousands of ordinary South Africans queued for the third day of this


lying in state which is now over, and many thousands had to go home


disappointed because they simply would not have reached it before


because of the day. Most of the day was very dignified. Singing ebbing


way to silence as people approached the point where they could look for


the last time into the face of Nelson Mandela but that those denied


the opportunity, there was of course frustration and sometimes anger.


On the last day of lying in state, the patience of some was beginning


to wear thin. They feared they would never get to pay their respects to


their dead leader. A policeman called for calm. Then a gap was


forced. The younger swept through. It was a brief moment of drama,


could be contained by police. There were no serious injuries but all of


this indicative of the powerful feelings evoked by the death of


Nelson Mandela. APN that here transcends all divides. We wanted to


maybe push inside so that we could be able to go and pay our last


respects to him. A government minister acknowledged many would not


get through. If the numbers are too big, there is nothing we can do


about it. We do not have to apologise because that is the way


the situation is. 500 miles to the south of his birthplace, the


military practice their flyover Sunday's funeral. Preparations here


are gathering pace. This is the convoy that will carry the body to


its final resting place. Away from the formality of the state occasion,


these ANC members remembering a man who was to them not a global icon


but a local hero. There are small impromptu celebrations of Nelson


Mandela's live in place across South Africa. Here in his home region, the


sense of anticipation ahead of Sunday's funeral is particularly


intense. This is one of the poorest parts of South Africa, the place of


deep anger over government corruption, the failure to deliver


on the promises of liberation. For people like this widowed mother of


five children, Nelson Mandela is exempt from limb. Do you feel proud


that he came from here, from this place? I am proud, so proud, she


tells me. As the day ended, Nelson Mandela was leaving Pretoria.


Tomorrow, the man who led South Africa to freedom will make the last


journey to the place of his birth. Tomorrow, Saturday, but very


poignant journey for Nelson Mandela's body will begin here in


Pretoria when he is taken to be put on board that aircraft to take him


from the airbase down to the Eastern Cape, all the way his grandson will


be talking to the body of Nelson Mandela, telling him, according to


tribal custom, exactly what is happening. He will be telling his


grandfather, we are now going on a flight down to the Eastern Cape to


begin your journey home to your homeland in Qunu for the


preparations for the funeral on Sunday.


There is international concern tonight about the stability of the


secretive state of North Korea after the execution of the regime's second


most powerful figures Jang Song Thaek. He was the uncle by marriage


of the country's leader Kim Jong Un. It's reported he was shot by machine


gun after being found guilty of treason. South Korea says it is in a


heightened state of readiness. This is the man who sought to bring


down the North Korean regime, the once powerful uncle of the country


's young ruler reinvented as a criminal and a coup leader. Facing


this military court before his execution. His crimes of plotting to


seize power, the most serious of North Korea could muster. His old


influence and proximity to the North Korean ruling dynasty only


underlines the message delivered with his death that no wonder, not


even family, is immune. The state news agency described him as worse


than a dog and a traitor to the nation for all ages. Who was the


dead man? Jang Song Thaek was powerfully placed in North Korea's


ruling grip. He was married for decades to the sister of the former


ruler. He died two years ago, passing control to his young son. He


is now a broadly purging all opposition. News of the execution


told of a man responsible for all North Korea's ills, its corruption


and economic failure. A despicable reformer, too close to China and a


warning to all those who hoped for change. Just over 100 miles away


here in the South Korean capital there is worry about what North


Korea will look like without its elder statesman. Jang Sun Tech was


seen as being too close to its leader to colour but there is a new


generation of rising and it has just proved it will do whatever it takes


to stay in power. He has to realise that once a terrorist stops, he has


to bring home the goods. If people don't have jobs or security, who


else has he to blame? Jang Sun Tech has already been edited out of


official documentary is all stop his story rewritten by the countries


powerful propaganda machine but many believe that story reveals far more


about the fears and floors eating away at the heart of the regime.


Tomorrow Egyptian authorities will announce the date of the referendum


on the new constitution and after that they will be a period of 30 to


90 days for either parliamentary or presidential elections to be held.


Ever since the removable of Mohammed Mercy in July there have been a


string of car bombs and attacks. Before we came on air, I spoke to an


adviser to Egypt's interim President and I put it to him that a


democratically elected President had been replaced by a military backed


one. That is not a precise reading of what happens on the 30th of June.


That was a fully fledged revolution by people who were against the


fascism represented by the Muslim Brotherhood that came into power


probably through the ballot boxes but intended to rule Egypt by


confiscating the whole democratic process and that was very clear on


November 2012 when we had the constitutional declaration of the


Muslim brotherhood. You felt that justified the actions of the


military in Egypt to intervene and remove those people from power? What


has happened is that we had an impeachment process of a President


in a very nonconventional way in a popular way that people came out


onto the streets, asking this President to leave office and to


have an early presidential election. I will not get into the


figures with you because opponents say the figures were much smaller


but even though we thought there was popular support for his removal,


there is popular support in the country for him and the Muslim


brotherhood movement. Can you afford to write them out of the script?


this is not a precise estimate of their presence in Egypt's. They are


one factor of the society and we would not say it goes beyond 5


million of the population. That is a lot, can you ignore that? It is


actually the other way round, we want them to not ignore the other 85


million. They are the ones who are not including the Egyptian people.


What they call anti-government demonstrations, we know they are


anti-future demonstrations. The Egyptian people has tried to set


clear road map to the future which is very democratic and having a


constitutional start and having that in the way that the Muslim


Brotherhood has tried to deprive the Egyptian people from having the


dream of the Democratic progressives and state. Do you accent you have a


PR problem. Look at the demonstrations we saw in support of


Mohammed Morsi and in Alexandria we saw women as young as 15 given heavy


prison sentences. They have now been allowed to leave prison but they say


they were not doing anything wrong. That is not good for you. Let us


agree that we have a propaganda machine that is taking typical


events that could happen here in London, it happened here at the


University of London. We have someone who wrote in chalk on the


floor of that university and she was prosecuted for vandalism. If that is


the same case that we have young ladies as long as -- as young as


this land is -- as young as this youngster at the adversity of London


doing vandalism and destroying private property and when they were


prosecuted through a legal system that is exactly the same rationale


that this young lady at the University of London has been


prosecuted, we cannot say that it is an act of tyranny versus attack act


of the rule of law and in both cases it was the rule of law. In Egypt's


you now how to ask for three days notice if you want to carry out a


protest against the government and you might not be given the


commission. The demonstration law here in the UK asks you for six days


for permission which is pretty much the case. In some cases you would


not get permission in the UK. Are we comparing like with like? You have


got hundreds of supporters and leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in


detention and you have human rights organisations say they have been


arrested... More precisely we have leaders of that organisation


instigating violence and acting violently and it is very clear and


it has been declared by the public prosecutors. That was the adviser to


Adly Mansour talking to me just before we came on air. Violent


protests have erupted in Bangladesh after the execution of the Islamist


opposition leader Abdul Kader Mullah on Thursday. At least three people


were killed when demonstrators clashed with police and set fire to


houses, shops and vehicles. Abdul Kader Mullah was hanged on Thursday,


for war crimes committed during Bangladesh's war of independence


from Pakistan in 1971. Despite the violence crowds also took to the


streets of Dhaka, to express their support for the execution. Here's


Andrew North in the capital Dhaka. Bangladesh on the edge. Islamist


protesters on the streets of the capital. The police retaliate with


massive force, wildly firing handguns and rubber pellets as they


try to regain control. The Islamist came and they had sticks and


petrol, this man said. They pulled me out of my car and burned it, look


that is my car. Police water cannons were used to put out the fires of


the demonstrators had already disappeared. Pop-up protests like


this are a hallmark tactic. It is just after Friday prayers and


already the kind of trouble that many feared has begun. Two cars have


been set alight here and the police and the fire brigade are trying to


put them out. Extra riot police are being brought in now. There is a


sense that this could start to spread across the city. Clashes have


already spread outside the capital. Several deaths and injuries have


been reported. The violence was sparked by the execution of an


Islamist leader, Abdul Kader Mullah. He was convicted for atrocities


during the war of independence but during a much criticised trial the


Islamist are calling for a strike this weekend. Bangladesh is braced


for more violence and there are increasing doubts that elections


promised for next month will happen on time.


American media outlets are reporting that a former FBI agent who was


believed to have been held in Iran for the last six years was working


for the CIA on an unapproved mission. The US National Robert


Leveson went missing during a business trip to Iran in 2007. The


associated press foundation suggest that a team of analysts from the CIA


with no authority to run spy operations paid him to gather


intelligence for them. He has been missing for six years. The CIA has


no comment on any claimed links between him and the American


government but the report suggests that the CIA paid his family $2.5


million to avoid a public lawsuit and disciplined ten veteran


analysts. In 2010 his family was sent a video of him looking frail


and asking the United States government for help. I have been


held here for three and a half years. I am not in very good health.


I am running very quickly out of diabetes medicine.


Within the last our reporters have questions the White House official


spokesman about this case and the spokesman stressed that he was not


working for the US government at the time that it disappeared. Robert


Leveson was not a US employee when he went missing in Iran. There is an


ongoing investigation into his disappearance so I will not comment


further about what he may or may not be doing in Iran. I will not fact


check every reference made in the story that you speak of and we feel


it was highly irresponsible to publish it and we urge the outlet is


not to publish out of concerns for Robert Leveson's safety. I will also


not say anything that will further harm our efforts to bring him home


safe, which has been our goal for the years he has been missing. Since


he disappeared the US government has vigorously pursued and continues to


pursue all investigative leads, as we would with any American citizen


missing or detained overseas. We continue to be focused on doing


everything we can to bring Bob home safely to his family and this


remains a top priority of the US government.


If I said to you saluton, it's estimated that up to two million


people around the world would know what I was saying. It means hello in


Esperanto. It sounds a little like Spanish perhaps a touch like German,


but it was the brainchild of a Polish linguist, Ludwig Zamenhof,


who designed Esperanto in the 1870s to be a neutral, international


language. This Sunday is Esperanto Book Day.


So we are joined here to talk about Esperanto by Olga Kerziouk who is


Curator for the Esperanto collections at the British library


here in London. Hello. Cannes one. Oh, Cannes one, I


can say that much! Why did you decide to learn this. I was born in


the Ukraine and when I was 15 years old I got very interested in a book


about a traveller who was blind and he travelled the world and I was


absolutely excited about this and that is how I learnt about


Esperanto. How easy is it to learn? It is very easy but you still need


to put some effort, as with every language. One of the reasons that it


is easy is that the words are similar if they denote the same


thing. Let us look at this one word. They are all similar whether they


mean cottage or house or mansion. It is very easy to learn because


grammar is very easy. You learn the roots of words and you learn the


system of prefixes and suffixes. How widespread is it? We think only 2


million speak it globally. It is difficult to say because you cannot


say, people started and then stop and then continue and we only know


about people who are members of these international associations for


Esperanto. Be honest, how many people have you sat down and gone to


a restaurant or a club or something and started chatting to someone in


Esperanto? Yes, well, some people have a star and you can see that


they speak Esperanto. It was very popular in previous decades. I used


to have a green star. You are not wearing it now! Yes, I forgot. It


used to be more popular than now. I wanted to put it to you that


basically English is Esperanto, it is the language of aviation and


business, do you need Esperanto? Yes we need it because it is beautiful


and easy and not everybody can spend years and years learning English.


People do other jobs in their life and it is also if you care about


linguistic justice. What is Esperanto Book Day? We don't have


much time. The man who created Esperanto was the first poet and the


first translator. So you have lots of books in the British library that


have been translated into Esperanto? Yes, this book was originally


written in Esperanto. It is translated into English from


Esperanto. And just say happy birthday in Esperanto. Hello.


Saluton. the rain is really swamping Scotland


through the afternoon. That rain is on the move ended the evening it


will push to the south and east and eventually clear the south-east by


dawn on Sunday. A reasonable start for many but there is another area


of rain are pushing up. It could bring it gusts up into the far north


of Scotland.


Download Subtitles