22/01/2014 World News Today


22/01/2014

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This is BBC World News Today with me, Philippa Thomas. Petrol bombs,

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rubber bullets and now deaths in the streets of Ukraine's capital Kiev.

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Two people have died from bullet wounds in the escalating violence,

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the first fatality is it since the political crisis started in

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November. Together at last - Syria's

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government and opposition join the international peace conference in

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Switzerland. But Syria insists President Assad must stay despite

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this warning from Washington. You cannot restore Syria, you cannot

:00:35.:00:38.

save the Syrian people, so long as Bashar Al Assad is in power. The

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kind of provocative statements, repetitive statements, old

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language, based on hatred towards the Syrian government. Why are we

:01:01.:01:08.

being moved on? Also coming up: The perils of reporting China. Our

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correspondent is moved on while covering the trial of a prominent

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human rights lawyer. And how to get information to the

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world's most isolated nation. We'll talk to the human rights group using

:01:19.:01:22.

weather balloons to reach the people of North Korea.

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Hello and welcome. At least two protestors have died from bullet

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wounds in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, the first fatalities since

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Ukraine was gripped by political crisis in November, on the day that

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a new law restricting demonstrations came into force. Anti-government

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protestors have been throwing petrol bombs and stones. The police have

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responded with rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas. This report

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from our correspondent, Daniel Sandford, in Kiev.

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As night fell, violent demonstrators were stoking the fires on the

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barricades in Kiev. This was the day when new anti-protest laws were

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introduced in Ukraine, but they were not designed to deal with this kind

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of chaos. This evening, this central kiosk where is like a vision of

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hell, with black tyres burning and to testers throwing stones and

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firing fireworks, straight into the lines of riot police. The violence

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started at breakfast time, police had tried to clear the barricades,

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this was the protesters' response. The riot officers they were

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attacking had been deployed it to defend the Ukrainian parliament

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which passed the hated new laws. The Prime Minister made this statement,

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which only stoked their anger. TRANSLATION: The cynicism of the

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terrorists has reached the stage where they are throwing Molotov

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cocktails at people. It all began in December as

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demonstrators in favour of joining the European union. --

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demonstrations. Has ended with officers firing plastic bullets on

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the crowd and today they please confirmed for the first time that

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some protesters had died. In hospital, I found this man, a

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retired military man from crime who lost his eye in the fighting on

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Monday. It was his birthday full. -- it was his birthday. I was near the

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barricade when the riot police hit my head. I took the bullet out

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myself with my hand and then I was taken away by ambulance which

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brought me to hospital. I had surgery straightaway and my eye was

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removed. Below Parliament, police made several attempts to clear the

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crowd. This resulted in further injuries. The violence is still

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really can find it to one street. -- of violence is confined. There are

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laurels in the fighting when peaceful protesters went up to the

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front line to sing the national anthem before chaos started again.

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The BBC's Duncan Crawford is monitoring events on the ground.

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What is it like there tonight? We have seen clashes going back and

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forth over the course of the day, and owned a ten minute walk from

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where I am at the moment. In the road leading up to parliament which

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has been the focus of these clashes between riot police and the

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protesters, we seen the riot police using stun grenades, firing plastic

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bullets into the crowd. The protesters were throwing rocks. And

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they were also throwing Molotov cocktails back at them. The

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opposition leaders have been holding talks today with President

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Yanukovych. They expect more than -- they have spent more than three

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hours in talks. Earlier on, they came to the stage behind me, at the

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Independents were all stop many hundreds of people are still

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listening to protest leaders speaking. The tally click all, the

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former world heavyweight boxing champion, now a leading opposition

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figure, he heads up a party. -- Vitali Klitschko. He told the

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protesters that if the government does not a concession, tomorrow we

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go on the attack. Very strong words indeed. Another opposition figure

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told the crowd that, I am going forward, even if I get a bullet in

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the head. So a really tense situation here tonight. The rhetoric

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has it really wrapped up and the possibility for more violence is

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very real tonight. -- really ramped up. The Ukrainian Prime Minister has

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told us that a lot of what we are seeing are the extremists and

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radicals of the far right and most of the country is functioning as

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normal. Yes, the Prime Minister told the BBC that the country is

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functioning as normal. He is correct in that. If you go outside of the

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protest area here in the centre of Kiev, if you are not in those mean

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streets read the classes are taking place, people are going about their

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business as normal. -- those streets where the classes that are taking

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place. This is a serious situation. The opposition want to see the end

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of these anti-protest laws that were brought into force today. They want

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to see the Parliament resign and they would like to see snap

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presidential election is called. So far, President Yanukovych has not

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showed any sign that he is going to budge even one little bit. Thank you

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very much. For the first time, the Syrian

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regime and the official opposition have been brought to the same table

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- as peace talks begin in Montreux in Switzerland. The UN Secretary

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General Ban Ki-moon has hailed that fact in itself as an historic step.

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But the talks - supposedly about forming a transitional government to

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replace the Assad regime - have opened with angry speeches,

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including a declaration from the Syrian Foreign Minister that

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President Assad will not go. Our Middle East correspondent, Paul

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Wood, is in Montreux. War criminal to some, a saviour to

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his supporters in Montreux today. The fate of President Assad is the

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main issue of this conference. These are not yet direct talks between

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regime and opposition but at least they are in the same room will stop

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Syria's Foreign Minister had this to say about the regime's opponents.

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The media lured these people, these terrorists, by claiming they are

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moderate but they know full well they are extremists. And they are

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terrorists. The UN Secretary General accused him of using inflammatory

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language. You are seeing I live in New York, I live in Syria, I have

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the right to give the Syrian version here in this forum. Of course. I

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never objected to that. We have to have some constructive and

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harmonious dialogue. Please refrain from any inflammatory remarks... An

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team and is usually quite mild-mannered but these are

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intractable issues. -- Ban Ki-moon is usually quite mild-mannered. The

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opposition insist that President Assad cannot be part of a

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transitional government. Other victims in Syria are just too low

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one man to remain on his throne. No phone has the value of one single

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innocent life. There is no way, no way possible in the imagination that

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the man who has led the brutal response to his own people could

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read in the government. One man and those who have supported him can no

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longer hold an entire nation and a region hostage. No-one should have

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worried that the diplomatic niceties would obscure the real issues here.

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One side thinks these discussion should be all about regime change.

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The other side believes the talks should be about anything but the

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transition of power. And at the end of a first day of meetings, the two

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sides seem as far apart as ever. The latest fighting. Perhaps 130,000

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people have died in Syria, President Assad has clung onto power. But he

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cannot win an outright victory. Neither can the rebels. The hope of

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this conflict lies in both sides recognising that fact. And beginning

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a dialogue. In the last hour, Syria's ambassador

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to the UN, Bashar Jafaari, spoke to reporters from Montreux. He objected

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to Iran being excluded from the talks, and said in order for Syria

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to engage, there needs to be a difference in the way the Syrian

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government was addressed. The statements and the speeches of

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most of those who took the floor today in the meeting and, as you

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know, the 40 delegations took the floor, did not encourage the

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national political buyer logs. It was a kind of provocative statement,

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a repetitive statement, old language, based on hatred towards

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the Syrian government and based on a kind of blind provocation which is

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counter-productive, fruitless and unsuccessful. Not positive at all.

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Let's talk to our chief international correspondent, Lyse

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Doucet, is in Montreux. The real talks will get under way on Friday.

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How do you assess the situation now? It is as Ban Ki-moon said in his

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press conference, he said it is not easy for two sides to sit down after

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so much death and destruction. When you talk about the pain and the

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sacrifices that Syrians have made, every Syrian at that table today

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would have lost somebody in this war. They would have been looking at

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the other side of the table and blaming them for the hardship of

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their own family and friends and neighbourhoods, which lie in ruins.

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The accused each other of having blood on their hands. And being

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responsible for war crimes. It would have been naive to expect anything

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else, but John Kerry also called it difficult, the beginning of a

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difficult and complicated process. The real test comes on Friday, the

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UN envoy has admitted, that it will not be in agreement -- it is not in

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agreement that the two sides will sit in the same room and discuss the

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details. I think we should have no illusions, this is going to take a

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very, very long time and if there is a lesson from the Northern Ireland

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peace process, two sides on the sit down to negotiate when they

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understood there is no military solution. There are powerful

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commanders who are not at this meeting and they are fighting as we

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speak. It seems as though the future of President Assad is a red line for

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both sides. Indeed. That is a good way to put it. Neither of them wants

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to cross it. Bashar Jaafari, the UN ambassador of Syria, is still

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talking, still defending President Bashar al-Assad's right to stay in

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power. But of course, for the opposition, they simply cannot

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countenance a process which does not state explicitly that President

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Hassan must go. And even Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General

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made it clear that the document which underpins this whole process,

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called Geneva one, that was signed up to in May of 2000, June of 2012,

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explicitly state that there must be a transitional governing body, all

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of whose members are there by mutual consent. And if that is the

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criteria, there is no way that President Assad would pass that test

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so it is about transition, so one way or another, that has to be on

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the table or else there will be no one at the table. Thank you very

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much. Much has also been said in Switzerland about the urgency of

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getting humanitarian aid into Syria. Joining me from Westminster

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is the British Conservative MP who has been urging an agreement over a

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safe corridors to do just that. Thank you for being with us. We are

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hearing a lot of political rhetoric, a lot of it is angry. You think

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there is any potential in these talks to get at least local

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agreements at that age? Yes, I think the most important thing about this

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is that a process has finally started. -- about aid. You cannot

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resolve conflict with people sitting around and talking. Other side have

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a lot to get off their chest which is why there is all this hyperbole

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that we are hearing today. At the end of the day, it is about

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protecting the Syrian people. And we have 9 million displaced people

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internally and 2.4 million people as refugees in the surrounding

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countries. I think it is absolutely paramount to try and create some

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form of safety corridor. If all sides care about the Syrian people,

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they should at least come up with some sort of solution to give safe

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passage to the majority of people in Syria by giving them some area where

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they can be safe in their own country. If we do not do that, the

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pressure on neighbouring Lebanon, I met with the ambassador today and

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she said 25% of their country today are Syrian refugees. In Jordan, they

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are under the same pressures. In Iraq and Turkey as well. If this

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goes on, for much longer, the social pressures in the neighbouring

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countries could be potentially explosive. You know quite well the

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way that President Assad's mind operates, you have met many times

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leading up to 2011, for him, it seems to be, stick it out until the

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end, he does not want to go. Yes, he is obviously regime change and

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protecting the regime has been his red line. But actually, those that

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surround him, he is disposable at the end of the day, if the cost

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becomes too high. If there is a risk to their own future, he would be

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disposable, you will be disposable to the Russians, disposable even to

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the Iranians. The question is, how much pain and pressure are they

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willing to withstand to keep him. How much blood has to be let between

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now and the eventual time in which he will go, because surely he will

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go. He has no future in Syria at all. A final thought about what can

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be done now in practical terms? You spoke about getting conditions

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sorted out on the ground to allow some humanitarian aid in, there are

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many splinters and factions with the militia, does that but aid workers

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at risk? There are two factions, there are the forces of Bashar

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al-Assad and the Free Syrian Army better represented right 150,000

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people. The fly in the ointment, if you will, is a group representing

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about 15,000 people in the East End in the north, and that is where the

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pressure is from. But where the majority control is, between

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President Assad and the Free Syrian Army, I believe that there is space

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enough to create safe stones and safe corridors. Thank you. The trial

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of a prominent Chinese human rights campaigner has begun in Beijing.

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Shoo Ju-yoong is the founder of a group demanding government

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transparency and full disclosure of the assets of Chinese leaders. He's

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accused of gathering people to disturb public order. And in a sign

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of how sensitive trials of this type can be, our correspondent Martin

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Patience was jostled away from the court by the security forces.

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Street after street, block after block, a huge security presence. It

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felt like a military operation. The police filmed everyone's moves. At

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this is what justice looks like in China. Why are we being moved on?

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The courtroom is just down the road, but as you can see, the police here

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are pushing us our way. What is clear is that China does not want

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any coverage of this trial. This is the man in the dock, Shoo Ju-yoong,

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filmed here in prison. He liked the new so-called citizens movement

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which called for government officials to publicly declare their

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assets. The group staged anti-corruption protests. Their

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message was resonating with the public, but there are methods,

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trying to organise an independent movement, have now landed them in

:18:52.:18:56.

court. His lawyer says that the trial is a sham and he is not being

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allowed to call witnesses. A handful of supporters gathered outside the

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court. Transparency is all part of the National anti-corruption

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campaign, said this woman. Our leaders must declare their wealth.

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The president decides what is disclosed, he wants to avoid

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damaging revelations. Today, details emerged of secret offshore accounts

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held by some of the Chinese elite. Among those named, his own

:19:28.:19:32.

brother-in-law. Unsurprisingly, the reports were blocked here. China's

:19:33.:19:38.

leaders say they are serious about tackling corruption, but as today's

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trial shows, they will do it on their own terms.

:19:43.:19:48.

Now a look at some of the days other news.

:19:49.:19:53.

Russian police are hunting for a woman they fear may be planning a

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suicide bomb attack in Sochi during the Winter Olympics. The woman,

:19:58.:20:00.

named as Ruzanna Ibragimova from Dagestan in the North Caucasus is

:20:01.:20:03.

believed to be the widow of an Islamist militant. Wanted posters

:20:04.:20:06.

have been distributed throughout the town.

:20:07.:20:09.

The police in Italy have made ninety arrests in a major anti-Mafia

:20:10.:20:11.

operation. Assets were seized in raids in Rome, Naples and Florence.

:20:12.:20:15.

The operation centred around the Contini clan, part of the Camorra

:20:16.:20:19.

crime network based in Naples. Bars and pizzerias run by the family in

:20:20.:20:23.

the centre of Rome were searched by the police. One was a popular

:20:24.:20:27.

restaurant close to Parliament. The controversial comedian Dieudonne

:20:28.:20:30.

has been taken into custody in France. He's been called a pedlar of

:20:31.:20:34.

hate by the government for sketches regarded as anti-Semitic. Earlier

:20:35.:20:37.

today he allegedly assaulted a bailiff who attempted to collect

:20:38.:20:40.

fines for offences including racial discrimination and hate speech.

:20:41.:20:46.

The passengers rescued from a Russian research ship that became

:20:47.:20:49.

trapped in thick Antarctic pack ice last month are finally back ashore

:20:50.:20:53.

in Australia. More than 50 scientists and tourists had to be

:20:54.:20:56.

airlifted from the Akademik Shokalsky onto another vessel after

:20:57.:21:08.

several failed rescue attempts. As the sun rose over Tasmania, so

:21:09.:21:12.

too did the spirits of those that had been stranded in the Antarctic

:21:13.:21:17.

ice will stop finally, after many weeks at sea, they sailed into

:21:18.:21:19.

Hobart on an Australian supply ship. The Akademik Shokalsky was

:21:20.:21:26.

stuck for ten days and several rescue attempts failed before

:21:27.:21:31.

finally help arrived. This has been a complex and controversial rescue.

:21:32.:21:35.

There are no questions about whether the Russian research ship should

:21:36.:21:38.

have been in such dangerous Antarctic waters in the first place

:21:39.:21:44.

and who will pay for this very expensive international rescue, as

:21:45.:21:46.

the ordeal for the passengers finally comes to an end. The leaders

:21:47.:21:51.

of the expedition have defended their actions insisting they were

:21:52.:21:56.

simply the victims of a freak event. The fundamental problem was the fact

:21:57.:22:02.

that there was a massive upheaval, movement of the ice from another

:22:03.:22:06.

part of Antarctica into that area. We had not seen that in any of the

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satellite imagery before and it caught us. We were unfortunately in

:22:11.:22:15.

the wrong place at the wrong time. Australian authorities have said the

:22:16.:22:19.

rescue mission has disrupted other valuable projects in the Antarctic

:22:20.:22:23.

because their main supply ship was needed to bring members of the

:22:24.:22:27.

stranded expedition safely back to dry land.

:22:28.:22:33.

How do you get information to the people of the world's most repressed

:22:34.:22:36.

regime North Korea? It has no Internet. No dissident voices.

:22:37.:22:40.

Virtually no alternative sources of information to the authoritarian

:22:41.:22:44.

government of Kim Jong-un. Well one answer is to send in weather

:22:45.:22:47.

balloons carrying rather unusual cargo.

:22:48.:22:51.

Here with me is Thor Halvorssen, the president of the New York-based

:22:52.:22:54.

Human Rights Foundation who was in South Korea a week ago to help

:22:55.:23:02.

launch the balloons. Tell us first what you were sending over the

:23:03.:23:07.

border? Well, the balloons themselves, each of them have a

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bundle, the bundles weigh about eight kilos and it ranges from

:23:12.:23:15.

leaflets, they are waterproof leaflets is, they have slogans that

:23:16.:23:19.

are in favour of democracy and information that they would not

:23:20.:23:23.

otherwise come across, as well as transistor radios, USB keys

:23:24.:23:28.

containing information, education and in some cases, just dollar

:23:29.:23:34.

bills. Who is with you? You have got human rights activist sending over

:23:35.:23:37.

the weather balloons, do you also have defectors from North Korea? The

:23:38.:23:42.

main people pushing this had been defectors who themselves received a

:23:43.:23:48.

balloon like this, material from a balloon like this, and that is why

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they decided to defect. You know that it works. Yes, it is mostly

:23:52.:24:00.

anecdotal, but we are in a push to dramatically increase the technical

:24:01.:24:05.

capabilities of this, so that we can both track them using GPS and really

:24:06.:24:10.

help these defector group is with some good technology and linking

:24:11.:24:14.

them with people, peer-to-peer networks, people that can help them

:24:15.:24:19.

with this. Why would the police so keen to stop you? There was a lot of

:24:20.:24:31.

police in June, but lastly, there was no police, the Chief police came

:24:32.:24:34.

to let me know everything would be, but the last time, the North Korean

:24:35.:24:39.

government sent out a press release to say they would bomb the side, and

:24:40.:24:43.

this is the usual rhetoric by that government, but then there was one

:24:44.:24:47.

from the Ministry of Defence of North Korea saying they were dead

:24:48.:24:49.

serious about arming this site, so in many ways, this is an example of

:24:50.:24:53.

the South Korean government spending to the will of the North. You can

:24:54.:24:59.

see why the North Korean government is sending tee threatened by you

:25:00.:25:03.

sending in this information, but are you endangering these people who are

:25:04.:25:11.

likely to be, if they are found with this information or transistor

:25:12.:25:16.

radios, they could be, or worse. Whether it is North Korea, Cuba,

:25:17.:25:21.

dictatorships anywhere, the people living in it, they have many times

:25:22.:25:25.

had so many things done to them. They suffered so much that and act

:25:26.:25:31.

like reading a brochure or watching some entertainment from the South,

:25:32.:25:36.

is a tiny Revolution, but it is something that they do, very

:25:37.:25:41.

knowingly, of what they are doing. Just the very act of finding

:25:42.:25:45.

something, picking it up and is looking, they are conscious. They

:25:46.:25:50.

are meant to hand it over to the police, they're not meant to look,

:25:51.:25:54.

but a lot of the time, they look at it and then they handed her over. It

:25:55.:25:59.

is reaching the population, it is reaching the military. The number of

:26:00.:26:02.

defectors that I have met who were active soldiers when they

:26:03.:26:07.

defected... You are reaching into the establishment? Absolutely,

:26:08.:26:13.

definitely, and many people who have never heard of anything happening

:26:14.:26:17.

elsewhere, they are learning. It is not just propaganda, we send in

:26:18.:26:21.

entertainment, things like TV shows that reveal that there is a world

:26:22.:26:26.

out there and everything on it, and everything they are taught to

:26:27.:26:29.

believe is not true. Thank you very much for coming in to talk to us

:26:30.:26:34.

about this. This is BBC world News, thank you very much for being with

:26:35.:26:35.

us. That is all from me. Good evening, most of us have had

:26:36.:27:01.

some very decent weather in the last couple of hours. Tonight, some heavy

:27:02.:27:05.

rain on the way. If you live

:27:06.:27:06.

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