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This is BBC World News Today with me Zeinab Badawi.
In South Sudan, thousands of civilians flee a key town as
government troops prepare to attack rebel soldiers in control of the
area. Many are crowding into the UN
compound in Bentiu in the oil-rich Unity State.
We look at the balance of power between government and rebel forces.
Create traffic mayhem to punish a political rival. New Jersey's
Governor Chris Christie says sorry for the actions last year of his
deputy chief of staff. IM embarrassed and humiliated by the
conduct of some of the people on my team.
And the reality behind the headlines of the young binge drinkers. Why the
rise of the young non-drinkers is making them seem pretty sober
compared to older people. And find out about the latest rising music
star in our list of movers and shakers, the ones to watch in 2014.
Hello and welcome. There doesn't seem to be much unity in Unity State
these days in South Sudan. Its capital Bentiu is the latest battle
ground in the vicious struggle for power between President Salva Kiir
and his rival, the former deputy president Riek Machar. Now
government troops are advancing towards Bentiu whilst the rebels
seem to have withdrawn from the front line, apparently destroying
ammunition they can't take with them. In a moment we'll be assessing
the balance of military strength on the ground between the two warring
sides with a former adviser on African affairs to the National
Security Council in the US. First, this report.
People in South Sudan know when trouble is coming. They have been
running from war for decades. This dusty town is the capital of a state
rich in oil and rebel held, but even the soldiers who have switched sides
know that the wind is changing. Thousands fled here to the safety of
the UN compound, where the town fell two weeks ago, when which tribe you
were from suddenly became a question of life or death. They come in our
home in the night. When we replied to the questions, they started
shooting. They have food and clean water, but supplies are short. It is
no place for a baby to be born. I am worried about fighting and I am
worried about staying here. How long will we stay here? And the fighting
is humming to Bentiu again. The front line suddenly shifted. We
thought the battle had begun all stop but this was the rebels,
destroying ammunition they could not retreat with. More people in need of
help. But with food running low here, the UN decided to take a risk.
A mission in the town, to fetch supplies from a warehouse, as
civilians continue to flee. This is a compound in the centre of Bentiu.
They came here to pick up food to take to the camp before fighting
started. Overnight, more than 1000 people came into this compound to
try and get shelter for the -- from the fighting, and now they have
become the priority. The UN is going to take these people and get them
out, hopefully before the fighting starts. With gunfire already heard
nearby, they have to move fast. There is never enough time when an
opportunity like this comes long, and they took what they could and
will return for the rest. They reached the camp safely, but a
mission for food brought only more people. The historical rift between
tribes has been reopened by this crisis. While talks about peace
going nowhere, the fear is that more fighting will come.
Cameron Hudson until recently advised the National Security
Council on Africa. He's now Policy Director at the Centre for the
Prevention of Genocide in Washington.
He joins us now. First of all, give us a brief overview of the relative
strength of the two warring factions, President Kiir and Riek
Machar. It is interesting, because we are seeing the forces of Riek
Machar being the forces of the government as well, forces that left
the government and align themselves with Riek Machar, so it is really
two parts of the same Army. Riek Machar has been augmented by rebel
forces of his ethnic group. There has been some forced conscription
and soldier virtue -- recruitment of children that we have heard about.
One side probably contains more heavy artillery will stop the
government -- artillery. The government probably has more
artillery and can reinforce their positions, whereas the rebels
cannot. The order of battle is roughly equivalent, which is why we
have seen certain key cities change hands in the course of the fighting
over the last three weeks. What about the discipline? You say Riek
Machar has got people from the Army, but can it operate as a disciplined
side? He has shown that he can and he has shown that he can take
territory and hold it, which suggests he has a certain degree of
command and control over those troops right now. I think the answer
is, yes, he can do that, but for how long? He has a difficult time
sustaining himself. It is not clear that he is getting outside support.
President Bashir came down this weekend I just support to Kiir, not
the rebels. If Riek Machar is cut off from outside assistance, there
is only so long his forces will be able to sustain this onslaught. A
characteristic of the conflict in South Sudan, and also other parts of
Africa that we have seen, is that civilians are terrorized as part of
the conflict. The competing ethnic groups. How far does that worry
you? It is terribly concerning. We have seen some reporting of gross
human rights abuses and allegations of crime against humanity and war
crimes being committed by both sides. One of the problems that the
international community faces right now is that we have a graduated 78
workers that would normally be able to bear witness to these kinds of
crimes. -- evacuated aid workers. We do not have a sense of what is going
on in these key cities where fighting is occurring. I think it
will be after the fact, when others are able to access these areas, that
we are really going to find out the true scale and scope of the
conflict. Do you think this battle can be won on the battlefield? You
feel too much blood has passed? I think that there will be a
negotiated solution at some point. The battlefield fighting going on
right now is, I think, a demonstration of a posturing that is
going on at peace talks that are happening right now. I think it will
take several more weeks of fighting. Unfortunately, the
international community has been weighing very heavily on both sides
to engage more heavily in the peace talks. There has been a loss of
posturing. Leaders right now are choosing to fight rather than talk.
-- a lot of posturing. That won't happen until there is a decisive
shift of the military balance on the ground. I do not see that happening
in the immediate future. Thank you so much for joining us.
A senior Pakistani police official has been killed in a Taliban suicide
attempt in Karachi. He was well-known for campaigning against
Taliban militants and had survived several previous attempts on his
life. A car carrying explosives smashed into his convoy.
Two media's Islamist Prime Minister has announced he is stepping down to
hand over power to a caretaker administration. The interim
government will lead the country into fresh elections. His
resignation as part of a deal with the opposition to the country's
transition democracy back on track. A tycoon who is accused of
multibillion-dollar fraud is facing extradition from France, but it is
not yet clear where he will be sent. He is wanted by Patrick Stamm,
Russia and Ukraine and allegations that the stroll up to $6 billion
from his former bank, which operated in all three countries. -- that he
stole. For him at 75 years, a German war
planes layette the bottom of the sea of the south coast of England. --
late at. It is believed that the last remaining Dornier aircraft is
being restored. It looks like a crumpled wreck, but
gradually, every part of the last remaining Dornier bomber is being
brought back to life. The engine is beginning to look recognisable
again. The barnacles and seaweed washed away by citric acid, simple
lemon juice. Cleaning the aircraft is a labour-intensive job. The wreck
had been covered in tonnes of sand and Marine debris. It will be at
least two years before the craft can begin to be rebuilt. We put the
subject at that onto the metal. The problem is, it is like cement left
by the life, and that is stopping the liquid getting to the metal
surface. We are trying to mechanically remove it with a tool
that is softer than metal. It was lifted out of the English channel
six months ago, virtually intact. The winds were later removed for the
journey by road to the RAF Museum's conservation centre of top it is
thought the plane was shot down in 1940, when it went to hit the water
and it tipped onto its back before sinking on the Goodwin Sands of the
Kent coast. Two of the crew survived, to others died. The
Dornier 17 attacked British cities in the Battle of Britain. They went
out of service in the mid-1940s, and it was thought that none had
survived. The Dornier was nicknamed the flying principal -- Flying
Pencil, and when you are crunching inside it, you can see why. There
would have been four crew members crammed inside this narrow space.
Eventually, it will be rebuilt here inside the Museum's workshop, but
there is plenty of work ahead, and funding to be found, before the
plane will be ready to go on show at the RAF Museum in London.
As far as political embarrassments go, this must rank as one of the
more serious and improbable. The Governor Chris Christie has been
involved in a scandal involving traffic. Mr Christie said emails and
texts revealed that his deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, had ordered
lane closures on the George Washington bridge between New Jersey
and New York causing severe tailbacks. Mr Christie said he felt
embarrassed and humiliated. All of the people who were affected
by this conduct deserved this apology. I need to apologise to them
for my failure as the governor of this state to understand the true
nature of this problem. I now understand the true nature of the
problem, and I have taken the following action as a result. This
morning, I have terminated the employment of Bridget Kelly,
effective immediately. I have terminated her employment because
she lied to me. That was Governor Chris Christie. Chris Christie is
one of the leading lights in the Republican camp. The heavy weight,
tough talking Republican governor burst onto the national scene in
2009. He unseated Democrat incumbent Jon Corzine in the deeply democratic
state of New Jersey. He was urged to enter the Republican race for
presidential candidate ahead of the 2012 election, but declined. It's
expected he may run for presidential candidate in 2016, but what will be
the impact of this scandal? Beth McLeod is in Washington. How
damaging is this to his to hopes for 2016? He did say that the buck
stopped with him. He apologised to the people of New Jersey for what
happened, but he maintained that he did not know anything about it. He
said he has taken strong action by finding one of his key aides,
Bridget Kelly. In terms of whether it affects him, it is difficult to
say. There are questions over how much... He is renowned for running a
pretty tight ship, for micromanaging. There are questions
over how much he knew. If he did not know anything, questions remain
about what sort of political culture he is presiding over and those
questions could come back to haunt him. He has always presented self as
a bipartisan candidate, the guy who appeals to everybody. Yes, and at a
time of huge partisan bickering in Washington, that is seen as
something which could be very appealing to voters. He won the
governorship in the democratic state of New Jersey. The fact that he was
seen to strip to the -- to a political vendetta will not go in
his favour. We've heard lots of reports about
binge-drinkers here in the UK. Well, now let us tell you about the rise
of the young non-drinkers. In fact, the number of young people who drink
has been on the decline for years. And drug-use figures are also going
down. We will be discussing this in a moment as well as looking at the
picture in Europe. First, BBC Asian Network presenter and non-drinker
Yasser Ranjha has been looking at the reasons behind the drop in
alcohol consumption. These are the images we are used to
seeing when it comes to young British drinkers. Statistics show a
growing group of young people are not drinking at all. In 2001, 20 6%
of young people said they had drunk in the last week. In 2011, that had
gone down to just 12%. There has also been a big reduction and the
number of them that have ever drunk. Ethnicity is also a factor in this.
There is a growing group of young people that do not drink for
cultural or religious reasons. Also, as a result of this trend, alcohol
free bar as are springing up across the UK. These young people are all
non-drinkers. They told me five. It is against my religion and I think
it is wrong in society. I am confident as a person so I do not
rely on alcohol. You do not need to be out of your mind to enjoy
yourself. We do things that do not involve alcohol. Nowadays, people go
out to hang out rather than to get drunk. It is the perception of a
previous generation. These statistics do not mean we could do
away with the generation of booze Britain. Every week, I am surrounded
by heavy drinking when I am working as a DJ.
With me is Andrew Brown. He's director of programmes with a
charity called Mentor which tries to protect young people from alcohol
and drugs. This is good news, but we cannot
afford to be complacent? Not at all. It is genuinely good news that young
people are drinking less. But if we look at Europe, a recent report from
the world health organisation found that we were amongst the top ten
countries in the OECD in terms of early drunkenness and we still drink
a huge amount. Children are drinking far too much. There is still a kind
of hard-core of young people who are still drinking a great deal?
Exactly. An average 15 -year-old, if they are drinking, they are likely
to drinking about a bottle of wine a week which is a huge amount. There
are figures for liver cirrhosis in young people and they seem to have
gone up by great deal. Yes, liver specialists I have spoken to are
really worried about young people's drinking. They do not necessarily
get to see the better news like this. Are there any other factors
involved? We know that price, availability and the marketing of it
makes a difference. For me, the things that seem to be changing our
parental involvement in young people's lives, we have seen bigger
increases in retailers being careful about who they sell alcohol to and
also the way that police deal with young drinkers.
We have been looking at alcohol figures, but this also says that
drug use has also gone down. Your charity tries to dissuade young
people from taking drugs and drinking. We are working in Scotland
with young prisoners, looking at how alcohol has affected their lives. We
work with them around what they will do when they are released and how
alcohol might affect their behaviour and make sure they are prepared for
that. We have done some work in London recently around the links
between young people and crime and alcohol.
And drugs, quite different, they are criminal act if you take illegal
drugs. Yes, although that does not seem to be the reason why people are
not taking drugs. I do not think they consider the law when making
those decisions. Other stuff must be going on. And it seems to be going
on across Western Europe as well as drug and alcohol use is broadly down
across Europe. Some exceptions, in France, it seems daunting by young
people is going up. But broadly speaking, a more optimistic
picture. And people like you setting a good example. I many teenagers do
you have? Just one at the minute. Thank you.
Now for more on our series of emerging artists from our Sound of
2014 new music list. The list of rising stars to watch in the year
ahead was compiled using tips from more than 170 music critics, DJs and
bloggers. This year's second place goes to 19-year-old singer
songwriter Ella Eyre. The Londoner is already known on the music scene
for her collaborations with Rudimental and Wiz Khalifa. She
released her EP Deeper at the end of 2013. BBC News caught up with her at
London Zoo to talk about music, nominations and lions.
It's quite -- It's nice to be here. Now I can
appreciate them. Me and a friend of mine, we used to come here a lot, it
was our favourite place. My mum always used to compare me to
a lion. I like to think of a lion as my
alter ego because when you think about lions, you think about
loyalty, fierceness, passion and pride. I guess that's how I would
like my music to be related to. In a way, my music is quite honest.
Everything I write about is personal experiences. It can be brutal. It's
passionate as well. And vulnerable as well. I wouldn't describe my
music as being in one particular genre. The best part about writing
and about experimental music is you can take influences from a lot of
places. I think it's soul based, but it's got influences of pop, R and
Motown. But it's quite loud and beefy.
I'm going to call that lion Eddie because it reminds me of my cat.
There's one that looks at me, like, what do you want? Everyone is quite
chilled out, like I do this for a living, it's cool.
I was actually a swimmer, a competitive swimmer, until I was 11.
Then I got into drama and singing happened naturally after that. But I
did not start taking it seriously till I was 16.
Performing is the best part of what I do. It's the part where I get to
be intimate with the audience and interact with them. I enjoy the
writing because it's a personal thing, like a counselling session.
I'm not very good at talking to people about my problems, so it is
easier to write them down. It's a scary industry. It's not something
you can get used to. I'm just learning about it now, in terms of
twitter and the things you can say without being screamed at by fans.
It's important to remember that if you do do well, you are a role model
for people. The American Jazz musician Herbie
Hancock has been named as a Professor of Poetry at Harvard
University. The position, which is awarded each year, will involve
delivering six lectures on the ethics of jazz. Among his topics,
the wisdom of Miles Davis. He says he wants to share his understanding
of the essential values in jazz and the values of Buddhism.
Cuba's former president, Fidel Castro, has appeared in public for
the first time in nine months. He attended the opening of an arts
studio on Wednesday night. That is all from the programme. Good night.