03/01/2014 World News Today


03/01/2014

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This is BBC World News Today with me, Zeinab Badawi. White-out in

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north-eastern America. A state of emergency is declared in New York

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and New Jersey, as temperatures plunge below minus 30 degrees

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Celsius. They've fled the violence in South Sudan, now they await word

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of a ceasefire deal. Direct talks between the feuding factions is set

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to start on Saturday in Ethiopia. Also coming up: A monumental drugs

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raid in China. Dozens of villagers are arrested, accused of producing

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one third of China's entire supply of crystal meth. And the new film on

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slavery in America's South. Could artist-come movie director Steve

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McQueen become the first person ever to win a Turner Prize and an Oscar?

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Hello and welcome. A giant winter storm is causing chaos in

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north-eastern areas of the United States. More than half a metre of

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snow has fallen in many parts, but what's biting is the cold.

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Temperatures have plummeted to minus 25 degrees Celsius. At least nine

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deaths have been blamed on the storms so far. Flights have been

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cancelled A state of emergency is in force in New York and New Jersey,

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with authorities urging residents to stay in their homes. . If you do not

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need to travel today, please stay home. I say again, if you do not

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need to travel today, please stay home. If you do have to travel, take

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mass transit. Yes, there will be some delays, but it will be safe and

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it will help us to get the city 100% back in full running order. Just

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before we came on air I spoke to Marci Gonzalez from ABC News. She is

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in the coastal town of Cohasset just outside Boston, Massachusetts. Well,

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we had quite a bit of snowfall. There is frozen water here, this is

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a vast improvement to what we saw earlier. This morning it was

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completely frozen. But at high tide the water rose up and spilled into

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some of the neighbourhoods. Creating more of a mess for people to clean

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up. Tell me, what is the weather forecast? Well now the concern is

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that the temperatures are dropping even more. So that is the concern.

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There is not more snow in the forecast tonight, but people are

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being advised to stay indoors, because it is so cold. What is the

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state of preparedness that you have there, are the authorities taking

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this into their stride, they must have a well practiced drill one

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would imagine? Yes, this region is very used to snow storms and

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blizzards. People know thousand prepare. But what was different was

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we experienced such low temperatures, combined with so much

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snow. So that is why people were advised to stay indoors and off the

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roads until they were cleared. Thank you. The winter storm hitting the

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north-west was caused by extreme temperatures. There's cold air

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pushing in from the north, and this is clashing with warmer temperatures

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in the south. The extreme weather pattern has also spawned a powerful

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jet stream which spans the Atlantic. That's pushed a secondary storm into

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the UK. High tides and strong winds have brought flooding to Wales,

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Scotland and western England and more flooding is expected at high

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tide in the coming hours. Emergency services have urged the public to

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stay away from coastal areas. Jon Kay has the latest. Cornwall's early

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morning wake up call. This was New Quay at high tide. The morning's

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high tide came and went quickly. But it certainly left its mark. Around

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south-west England, coastal communities were flooded like here

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in Looe. It was a similar story in Perrin Port. Three days ago they

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were celebrating the new year in this pub, now they wish 2014 had

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stayed away. The dangers of the tide are all too evident. This young

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family were drenched by a sudden wave. In Wales, Aberystwyth has been

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battered by the Irish Sea. And this coastal road partially collapsed.

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Here more than four people had to be rescued from a flooded farm. Parts

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of Scotland have also taken a pasting. This was North Ayrshire and

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County Down at midday, was no time to take a snapshot. In Cornwall,

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with another tidal surging approaching, the people here came on

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to the beach. 100 volunteers filling bags with sand. This morning it was

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lashing up well over the wall and went into the car park. There is a

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sense of anticipation of what is going to happen. We are doing all we

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can. It could be anyone of us and any help we will give. How many bags

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have you done? I have done about ten. But together, they did

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hundreds. Tonight they will find out if that is enough. To other news now

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and direct talks aimed at ending weeks of violence in South Sudan are

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due to begin in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Saturday.

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Delegations from the warring parties have been holding preliminary talks

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with East African mediators but on the ground the violence is still

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terrorising communities from rival groups leading to tens of thousands

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being displaced as they flee quite literally for their lives. South

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Sudan's government says its soldiers are trying to recapture the key

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cities of Bor and Bentiu. While rebel forces say they are advancing

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on the capital, Juba. Alistair Leithead is in South Sudan. Those

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who ran from violence now must wait for help. Across the Nile, they fled

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the fighting, cramming into these boats. They have no food, clean

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water, or shelter. But at least now they're safe. They're almost all

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from the Dinka tribe. Fearing ethnic violence they had suffered once

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before in Bor, the town now controlled by rebel forces, and then

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Nuer, tribal militia. The human effects of a tribal row that sparked

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tribal violence. Some aid has reached the camp. Food and some oil

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for 30,000 people from the Red Cross. A drop in the ocean, but

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much, much more is on the way. We are giving the people what they

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need, when they are displaced. For them it was spontaneous. Some of

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them are displaced several times, so in the process they have lost their

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food, so they come here and you come at look at them, you can see their

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needs are huge. Well over 200,000 people have been displaced by the

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fighting. Thousands sought refuge in UN compounds. This one in the

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capital Juba. Those trapped in towns held by the rebels are scared of

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what will happen when the army tries to retake them. Many believe more

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fighting is imminent. It's hard to know the full extent of crisis.

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There are still great unknowns. There are parts of country in unity

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and in the upper Nile state, where there has been considerable fighting

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in the past couple of weeks. And increasingly we are trying to move

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around by air and we will try also by road to reach as many people and

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as many sites as possible to get a clearer picture of what is

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happening. That's led the US Embassy here to evacuate more staff, because

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of deteriorating security. Delegates have finally started to arrive for

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peace talks in Ethiopia, but those representing the former vice-

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president, who is accused of starting the crisis by trying to

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snatch power, have a list of seven things to agree on and a ceasefire

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is last on the list. Without any progress to bring peace back to

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South Sudan, it seems likely for now that these people won't be able to

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return to their homes across the river in Bor. They still have no

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clean water, they have little food, it is a major humanitarian crisis.

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The BBC's Emmanuel Igunza is in Addis Ababa following developments

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and he joins us now. Yes, good news is that news coming is the talks,

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the face to face talks, will start tomorrow morning after what they

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have called the prepare trimeetings between the two parties. Those talks

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are expected to start afresh on Saturday. That is tomorrow. Today,

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due to the sensitivity of the talks, the press were asked to stay out of

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the talks and it was only the delegates who were meeting

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separately with the two mediators who were appointed by the African

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Union. We have heard they have not had contact, but just having initial

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meetings with the mediators, preparing for the talks that will

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start on Saturday. Thank you. In China police in the southern

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province of Guangdong say they've smashed a massive drugs ring

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conducted at dawn by 3,000 armed policemen with sniffer dogs. They've

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arrested almost 200 people and confiscated nearly three tonnes of

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crystal meth. Officials say that more than a third of China's entire

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supply of crystal meth comes from this one village and that 20% of all

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of its residents were involved in its production. From Hong Kong,

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Juliana Liu reports. 3,000 heavily armed police officers swept into

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this province in Guangdong at dawn. Their mission was to eliminate what

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they call the region's number one drug village. And that is what the

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village has become known for. Methamphetamine, a highly addictive

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stimulant, commonly called crystal meth. It is easy and cheap to create

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with the right tools. Police say more than one third of China's total

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crystal meth supply comes from this one village. Known as ice in China,

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this drug has become an incredibly lucrative source of income for

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villagers officials say. TRANSLATION: 20% of the households

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in the village were directly involved or had a stake in drug

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production. Drug production was run by families, brothers, sisters,

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relatives and friends and had been industrialised in the village. Worse

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still, they were under the protection of local officials, local

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and village cadres and local police. Officers involved in the raid were

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recruited from outside the village and the area. Local media said it

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was to avoid the possibility of tipping off villagers. The raid was

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part of Operation Thunder, an antidrug crackdown launched in July.

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In addition to crystal meth, officers also seized 260 kilograms

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of ketamine powder and raw materials for making drugs. Officials are now

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hailing what they call one of China's biggest drug busts. But with

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drug use on the rise, they say much more work is ahead. Steve Tsang is

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Director of the China Policy Institute at Nottingham University

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in Central England. So presumably the extent of this operation would

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suggest this kind of drug activity in the village was known to the

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authorities beforehand. Why is it only now that the action has been

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taken? I think this has something to do with the fact that China's new

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leader has made a clear attempt to deal with this. We have a situation

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where the local party chief was very much behind this particular

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organised criminal activity. Therefore, he has to be taken down.

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How much is a crackdown on the use of drugs and how much is it a

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crackdown on institutional corruption? I think it is both. Both

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problems are serious in China in terms of the drug problem that is a

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social problem like anywhere else. In terms of the problems of

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corruption, it is also a matter of discipline of the party. The -- the

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leader wants to do this in a disciplined way and deal with

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corruption. The line isn't great, but I want to ask you one question.

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How extensive is the use of drugs, crystal meth in particular and how

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important is it to the global market of the drug. Drugs are now a serious

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problem in the cities and in the coastal provinces. In terms of

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China's link to the outside world in the drug trade, the drug trade in

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China is handled by organised crime gangs. And China's organised crime

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gangs have an international reach and in that sense it is part of the

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international network for drugs. Thank you. Today is Michael

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Schumacher's 45th birthday but he has sadly not able to celebrate it.

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Friends and family have gathered outside the hospital. He is being

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treated there after a skiing accident on Sunday. He has been any

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medical lab and juiced, -- medically induced coma and is described as

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being any critical condition. It was billed as a silent and

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dignified show of support for Michael Schumacher and Ferrari fans

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travelled from all over Europe to mark his 45th birthday.

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He stands at the top of the team's list of greats. The greater sin

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poured out. We hope that he come back with us.

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Excuse me. Michael Schumacher is not just if

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Formula 1 driver. He is an excellent person.

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For now, Michael Schumacher remains in a medically injured, following

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the skiing accident which has left him fighting for his life. The rally

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fans hold Michael Schumacher in the highest of regards following the

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five world titles he delivered for him. To them, he is less of a former

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driver and more of a part of their family.

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Now but they would be complete without presents and members of the

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four rally fan club left gifts at the hospital door. -- the Friday

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family. After falling in Meribel - up the

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French Alps, Michael Schumacher is still under hour buy hour

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neurological assessment. Those enjoying a winter break on the

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slopes says the accident has given everyone a reminder on the

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importance of safety. We went in the morning after words

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and they have completely sold out of helmets. We have been checking our

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sizes. They are completely cleared out of stock.

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Michael Schumacher may have been a divisive figure on the track,

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winning as many enemies as friends at his win at all costs attitude.

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But the world of Formula 1 is united behind has never before.

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Let's take a look at some of the other news stories. Two protesters

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have been killed in Egypt between classes between the security forces

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and the middle brotherhood. One was in south-west of Cairo and other

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near this is Canal. Fighting is continuing between Iraqi

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forces and militants for control of two cities in the province of Anbar.

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The number of refugees fleeing from Iraq has increased significantly.

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The Italian Navy has rescued more than 1000 migrants of the coastal

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Lampedusa. A boat was told to Sicily. The rescued migrants were

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mainly from Pakistan, Egypt, Tunisia and Iraq.

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The number of overweight and obese adults in developing countries has

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reached almost 1 billion. Researchers based in the UK say that

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governments around the world are being too timid in their approach to

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dealing with bad diets and that taxes on fatty foods and drinks

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should be considered. The overseas development Institute,

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a think tank, says that in 1881 in five people were overweight or

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obese. Perhaps most alarming is that in

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countries like Mexico and Egypt, the numbers have almost quadrupled.

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Eating to excess. Chances are many of us overdid it over the festive

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period but there are fresh concerns about our globally expanding

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waistlines. Researchers say it is politically alarming in the

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developing world where people are choosing to spend their increasingly

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disposable income on fatty and sugary foods. The future did report

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analysed existing data on global obesity rates.

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In developing countries like Egypt and Mexico, numbers almost

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quadrupled from 250 million to 904 million.

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The explosion of overweight and obese people in the developing world

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is largely down to the emerging economies. Those that have gone

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through a transition from low income to middle income economies in the

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last generation. That has produced a large class of middle-class people

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who have more disposable income and increasingly sedentary lifestyles.

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These fatty foods are causing the problem. This class of colour has

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more than 13 these bins of sugar. Get rid of this regularly and your

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risk of heart disease, strokes, certain types of cancer and diabetes

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increases. It is putting a strain on health services around the world.

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Denmark has banned trans fats which are used to extend the life of foods

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but have no nutritional value. TRANSLATION: I've never worried

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about my weight because I have always enjoyed eating porridge like

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this. I never enjoyed fatty foods, I like vegetables and fruit.

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TRANSLATION: Koreans prefer fruit and vegetables and tend to eat less

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in general. We are quite weight conscious.

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Much of the food and extend a street isn't keen on taxes on fatty foods

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and thinks the only thing that will get lighter are people 's wallets.

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The United Nations Refugee Agency says that more than 900,000 people

:22:54.:22:56.

have now been displaced by fighting in the Central African Republic,

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almost one fifth of the population. They also say that refugees are

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spilling over borders into the Democratic Republic of Congo and

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Chad and that they are struggling to help people. That figure includes

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almost half of the entire population of the capital city. There has been

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no letup in violence despite the presence of French troops. The

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agency says that the violence has reached a precious new low with at

:23:29.:23:33.

least 16 new children being killed in December.

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The new film 12 Years A Slave is being tapped for success in this

:23:39.:23:43.

year 's awards season. It is based on the true story of Solomon North

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up, the black musician who was kidnapped and sold into slavery --

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Solomon Northup. We met the director. America, 1841.

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I was born a free man, left with my family in New York to the day I was

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deceived, kidnapped. You are nothing but a Georgia run

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away. Bill-mac has been widely plays

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buyers and sentimental and intends portrayal of the pitiless brutality

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of the slave trade. I felt in the more physically

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uncomfortable scenes that I had a moored deeper connection to Solomon

:24:39.:24:46.

and what he went through. Certainly on the plantations you

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have a real sense that you're dancing with ghosts and everything

:24:52.:24:54.

is still very much alive and present right in the soil.

:24:55.:25:00.

This is an American story told by a British director who feels that

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Hollywood has overlooked the subject.

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Slavery lasted 400 years. There is more movies made about Spartacus

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than about slavery. I wanted to address that subject.

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And yet, oddly in the last 24 amongst, seen lots of movies

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tackling this. Why suddenly is there this engagement with the subject

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which has been had broadly ignored? Nobody can underestimate the

:25:33.:25:36.

influence of President Barack Obama. I think people possibly felt

:25:37.:25:47.

that they had the authority or the possibility of making that kind of

:25:48.:25:50.

story and of course the financiers thought, yes, we could make money

:25:51.:25:57.

out of this. Brad Pitt said it took an Englishman

:25:58.:26:04.

to tell the story. I am an Englishman for sure but I am

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part of that narrative, I'm part of that diaspora. My parents came from

:26:09.:26:14.

the West Indies and the only difference between me and an

:26:15.:26:17.

African-American is that their boat went right and my boat went left.

:26:18.:26:23.

The movie is tipped to do well in the Oscar season. The director Steve

:26:24.:26:28.

McQueen could become the first person ever to win the Turner Prize

:26:29.:26:31.

and an Oscar. Let's remind you of our main story,

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a huge winter storm which has had the West Coast of the United States.

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If team centimetres of snow has fallen and 4000 flights have been

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cancelled. That is all from us. More on the

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weather coming next. Goodbye.

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