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This is BBC World News Today with me, Zeinab Badawi. White-out in
north-eastern America. A state of emergency is declared in New York
and New Jersey, as temperatures plunge below minus 30 degrees
Celsius. They've fled the violence in South Sudan, now they await word
of a ceasefire deal. Direct talks between the feuding factions is set
to start on Saturday in Ethiopia. Also coming up: A monumental drugs
raid in China. Dozens of villagers are arrested, accused of producing
one third of China's entire supply of crystal meth. And the new film on
slavery in America's South. Could artist-come movie director Steve
McQueen become the first person ever to win a Turner Prize and an Oscar?
Hello and welcome. A giant winter storm is causing chaos in
north-eastern areas of the United States. More than half a metre of
snow has fallen in many parts, but what's biting is the cold.
Temperatures have plummeted to minus 25 degrees Celsius. At least nine
deaths have been blamed on the storms so far. Flights have been
cancelled A state of emergency is in force in New York and New Jersey,
with authorities urging residents to stay in their homes. . If you do not
need to travel today, please stay home. I say again, if you do not
need to travel today, please stay home. If you do have to travel, take
mass transit. Yes, there will be some delays, but it will be safe and
it will help us to get the city 100% back in full running order. Just
before we came on air I spoke to Marci Gonzalez from ABC News. She is
in the coastal town of Cohasset just outside Boston, Massachusetts. Well,
we had quite a bit of snowfall. There is frozen water here, this is
a vast improvement to what we saw earlier. This morning it was
completely frozen. But at high tide the water rose up and spilled into
some of the neighbourhoods. Creating more of a mess for people to clean
up. Tell me, what is the weather forecast? Well now the concern is
that the temperatures are dropping even more. So that is the concern.
There is not more snow in the forecast tonight, but people are
being advised to stay indoors, because it is so cold. What is the
state of preparedness that you have there, are the authorities taking
this into their stride, they must have a well practiced drill one
would imagine? Yes, this region is very used to snow storms and
blizzards. People know thousand prepare. But what was different was
we experienced such low temperatures, combined with so much
snow. So that is why people were advised to stay indoors and off the
roads until they were cleared. Thank you. The winter storm hitting the
north-west was caused by extreme temperatures. There's cold air
pushing in from the north, and this is clashing with warmer temperatures
in the south. The extreme weather pattern has also spawned a powerful
jet stream which spans the Atlantic. That's pushed a secondary storm into
the UK. High tides and strong winds have brought flooding to Wales,
Scotland and western England and more flooding is expected at high
tide in the coming hours. Emergency services have urged the public to
stay away from coastal areas. Jon Kay has the latest. Cornwall's early
morning wake up call. This was New Quay at high tide. The morning's
high tide came and went quickly. But it certainly left its mark. Around
south-west England, coastal communities were flooded like here
in Looe. It was a similar story in Perrin Port. Three days ago they
were celebrating the new year in this pub, now they wish 2014 had
stayed away. The dangers of the tide are all too evident. This young
family were drenched by a sudden wave. In Wales, Aberystwyth has been
battered by the Irish Sea. And this coastal road partially collapsed.
Here more than four people had to be rescued from a flooded farm. Parts
of Scotland have also taken a pasting. This was North Ayrshire and
County Down at midday, was no time to take a snapshot. In Cornwall,
with another tidal surging approaching, the people here came on
to the beach. 100 volunteers filling bags with sand. This morning it was
lashing up well over the wall and went into the car park. There is a
sense of anticipation of what is going to happen. We are doing all we
can. It could be anyone of us and any help we will give. How many bags
have you done? I have done about ten. But together, they did
hundreds. Tonight they will find out if that is enough. To other news now
and direct talks aimed at ending weeks of violence in South Sudan are
due to begin in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Saturday.
Delegations from the warring parties have been holding preliminary talks
with East African mediators but on the ground the violence is still
terrorising communities from rival groups leading to tens of thousands
being displaced as they flee quite literally for their lives. South
Sudan's government says its soldiers are trying to recapture the key
cities of Bor and Bentiu. While rebel forces say they are advancing
on the capital, Juba. Alistair Leithead is in South Sudan. Those
who ran from violence now must wait for help. Across the Nile, they fled
the fighting, cramming into these boats. They have no food, clean
water, or shelter. But at least now they're safe. They're almost all
from the Dinka tribe. Fearing ethnic violence they had suffered once
before in Bor, the town now controlled by rebel forces, and then
Nuer, tribal militia. The human effects of a tribal row that sparked
tribal violence. Some aid has reached the camp. Food and some oil
for 30,000 people from the Red Cross. A drop in the ocean, but
much, much more is on the way. We are giving the people what they
need, when they are displaced. For them it was spontaneous. Some of
them are displaced several times, so in the process they have lost their
food, so they come here and you come at look at them, you can see their
needs are huge. Well over 200,000 people have been displaced by the
fighting. Thousands sought refuge in UN compounds. This one in the
capital Juba. Those trapped in towns held by the rebels are scared of
what will happen when the army tries to retake them. Many believe more
fighting is imminent. It's hard to know the full extent of crisis.
There are still great unknowns. There are parts of country in unity
and in the upper Nile state, where there has been considerable fighting
in the past couple of weeks. And increasingly we are trying to move
around by air and we will try also by road to reach as many people and
as many sites as possible to get a clearer picture of what is
happening. That's led the US Embassy here to evacuate more staff, because
of deteriorating security. Delegates have finally started to arrive for
peace talks in Ethiopia, but those representing the former vice-
president, who is accused of starting the crisis by trying to
snatch power, have a list of seven things to agree on and a ceasefire
is last on the list. Without any progress to bring peace back to
South Sudan, it seems likely for now that these people won't be able to
return to their homes across the river in Bor. They still have no
clean water, they have little food, it is a major humanitarian crisis.
The BBC's Emmanuel Igunza is in Addis Ababa following developments
and he joins us now. Yes, good news is that news coming is the talks,
the face to face talks, will start tomorrow morning after what they
have called the prepare trimeetings between the two parties. Those talks
are expected to start afresh on Saturday. That is tomorrow. Today,
due to the sensitivity of the talks, the press were asked to stay out of
the talks and it was only the delegates who were meeting
separately with the two mediators who were appointed by the African
Union. We have heard they have not had contact, but just having initial
meetings with the mediators, preparing for the talks that will
start on Saturday. Thank you. In China police in the southern
province of Guangdong say they've smashed a massive drugs ring
conducted at dawn by 3,000 armed policemen with sniffer dogs. They've
arrested almost 200 people and confiscated nearly three tonnes of
crystal meth. Officials say that more than a third of China's entire
supply of crystal meth comes from this one village and that 20% of all
of its residents were involved in its production. From Hong Kong,
Juliana Liu reports. 3,000 heavily armed police officers swept into
this province in Guangdong at dawn. Their mission was to eliminate what
they call the region's number one drug village. And that is what the
village has become known for. Methamphetamine, a highly addictive
stimulant, commonly called crystal meth. It is easy and cheap to create
with the right tools. Police say more than one third of China's total
crystal meth supply comes from this one village. Known as ice in China,
this drug has become an incredibly lucrative source of income for
villagers officials say. TRANSLATION: 20% of the households
in the village were directly involved or had a stake in drug
production. Drug production was run by families, brothers, sisters,
relatives and friends and had been industrialised in the village. Worse
still, they were under the protection of local officials, local
and village cadres and local police. Officers involved in the raid were
recruited from outside the village and the area. Local media said it
was to avoid the possibility of tipping off villagers. The raid was
part of Operation Thunder, an antidrug crackdown launched in July.
In addition to crystal meth, officers also seized 260 kilograms
of ketamine powder and raw materials for making drugs. Officials are now
hailing what they call one of China's biggest drug busts. But with
drug use on the rise, they say much more work is ahead. Steve Tsang is
Director of the China Policy Institute at Nottingham University
in Central England. So presumably the extent of this operation would
suggest this kind of drug activity in the village was known to the
authorities beforehand. Why is it only now that the action has been
taken? I think this has something to do with the fact that China's new
leader has made a clear attempt to deal with this. We have a situation
where the local party chief was very much behind this particular
organised criminal activity. Therefore, he has to be taken down.
How much is a crackdown on the use of drugs and how much is it a
crackdown on institutional corruption? I think it is both. Both
problems are serious in China in terms of the drug problem that is a
social problem like anywhere else. In terms of the problems of
corruption, it is also a matter of discipline of the party. The -- the
leader wants to do this in a disciplined way and deal with
corruption. The line isn't great, but I want to ask you one question.
How extensive is the use of drugs, crystal meth in particular and how
important is it to the global market of the drug. Drugs are now a serious
problem in the cities and in the coastal provinces. In terms of
China's link to the outside world in the drug trade, the drug trade in
China is handled by organised crime gangs. And China's organised crime
gangs have an international reach and in that sense it is part of the
international network for drugs. Thank you. Today is Michael
Schumacher's 45th birthday but he has sadly not able to celebrate it.
Friends and family have gathered outside the hospital. He is being
treated there after a skiing accident on Sunday. He has been any
medical lab and juiced, -- medically induced coma and is described as
being any critical condition. It was billed as a silent and
dignified show of support for Michael Schumacher and Ferrari fans
travelled from all over Europe to mark his 45th birthday.
He stands at the top of the team's list of greats. The greater sin
poured out. We hope that he come back with us.
Excuse me. Michael Schumacher is not just if
Formula 1 driver. He is an excellent person.
For now, Michael Schumacher remains in a medically injured, following
the skiing accident which has left him fighting for his life. The rally
fans hold Michael Schumacher in the highest of regards following the
five world titles he delivered for him. To them, he is less of a former
driver and more of a part of their family.
Now but they would be complete without presents and members of the
four rally fan club left gifts at the hospital door. -- the Friday
family. After falling in Meribel - up the
French Alps, Michael Schumacher is still under hour buy hour
neurological assessment. Those enjoying a winter break on the
slopes says the accident has given everyone a reminder on the
importance of safety. We went in the morning after words
and they have completely sold out of helmets. We have been checking our
sizes. They are completely cleared out of stock.
Michael Schumacher may have been a divisive figure on the track,
winning as many enemies as friends at his win at all costs attitude.
But the world of Formula 1 is united behind has never before.
Let's take a look at some of the other news stories. Two protesters
have been killed in Egypt between classes between the security forces
and the middle brotherhood. One was in south-west of Cairo and other
near this is Canal. Fighting is continuing between Iraqi
forces and militants for control of two cities in the province of Anbar.
The number of refugees fleeing from Iraq has increased significantly.
The Italian Navy has rescued more than 1000 migrants of the coastal
Lampedusa. A boat was told to Sicily. The rescued migrants were
mainly from Pakistan, Egypt, Tunisia and Iraq.
The number of overweight and obese adults in developing countries has
reached almost 1 billion. Researchers based in the UK say that
governments around the world are being too timid in their approach to
dealing with bad diets and that taxes on fatty foods and drinks
should be considered. The overseas development Institute,
a think tank, says that in 1881 in five people were overweight or
obese. Perhaps most alarming is that in
countries like Mexico and Egypt, the numbers have almost quadrupled.
Eating to excess. Chances are many of us overdid it over the festive
period but there are fresh concerns about our globally expanding
waistlines. Researchers say it is politically alarming in the
developing world where people are choosing to spend their increasingly
disposable income on fatty and sugary foods. The future did report
analysed existing data on global obesity rates.
In developing countries like Egypt and Mexico, numbers almost
quadrupled from 250 million to 904 million.
The explosion of overweight and obese people in the developing world
is largely down to the emerging economies. Those that have gone
through a transition from low income to middle income economies in the
last generation. That has produced a large class of middle-class people
who have more disposable income and increasingly sedentary lifestyles.
These fatty foods are causing the problem. This class of colour has
more than 13 these bins of sugar. Get rid of this regularly and your
risk of heart disease, strokes, certain types of cancer and diabetes
increases. It is putting a strain on health services around the world.
Denmark has banned trans fats which are used to extend the life of foods
but have no nutritional value. TRANSLATION: I've never worried
about my weight because I have always enjoyed eating porridge like
this. I never enjoyed fatty foods, I like vegetables and fruit.
TRANSLATION: Koreans prefer fruit and vegetables and tend to eat less
in general. We are quite weight conscious.
Much of the food and extend a street isn't keen on taxes on fatty foods
and thinks the only thing that will get lighter are people 's wallets.
The United Nations Refugee Agency says that more than 900,000 people
have now been displaced by fighting in the Central African Republic,
almost one fifth of the population. They also say that refugees are
spilling over borders into the Democratic Republic of Congo and
Chad and that they are struggling to help people. That figure includes
almost half of the entire population of the capital city. There has been
no letup in violence despite the presence of French troops. The
agency says that the violence has reached a precious new low with at
least 16 new children being killed in December.
The new film 12 Years A Slave is being tapped for success in this
year 's awards season. It is based on the true story of Solomon North
up, the black musician who was kidnapped and sold into slavery --
Solomon Northup. We met the director. America, 1841.
I was born a free man, left with my family in New York to the day I was
deceived, kidnapped. You are nothing but a Georgia run
away. Bill-mac has been widely plays
buyers and sentimental and intends portrayal of the pitiless brutality
of the slave trade. I felt in the more physically
uncomfortable scenes that I had a moored deeper connection to Solomon
and what he went through. Certainly on the plantations you
have a real sense that you're dancing with ghosts and everything
is still very much alive and present right in the soil.
This is an American story told by a British director who feels that
Hollywood has overlooked the subject.
Slavery lasted 400 years. There is more movies made about Spartacus
than about slavery. I wanted to address that subject.
And yet, oddly in the last 24 amongst, seen lots of movies
tackling this. Why suddenly is there this engagement with the subject
which has been had broadly ignored? Nobody can underestimate the
influence of President Barack Obama. I think people possibly felt
that they had the authority or the possibility of making that kind of
story and of course the financiers thought, yes, we could make money
out of this. Brad Pitt said it took an Englishman
to tell the story. I am an Englishman for sure but I am
part of that narrative, I'm part of that diaspora. My parents came from
the West Indies and the only difference between me and an
African-American is that their boat went right and my boat went left.
The movie is tipped to do well in the Oscar season. The director Steve
McQueen could become the first person ever to win the Turner Prize
and an Oscar. Let's remind you of our main story,
a huge winter storm which has had the West Coast of the United States.
If team centimetres of snow has fallen and 4000 flights have been
cancelled. That is all from us. More on the
weather coming next. Goodbye.