07/03/2014 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today with me, Zeinab Badawi. Russia ratchets


up the pressure on Ukraine and warns Kiev it will cut off its gas soon if


it doesn't pay its bills. In Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, riot


police regain control of the government headquarters from


pro-Russia protestors. Meanwhile, in the Russia Black Sea


resort of Sochi, the Paralympic Games open. President Putin says he


hopes the games will bring down the temperature on the Ukraine crisis.


Also coming up, Congolese warlord Germain Katanga is found guilty of


crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court.


And trenches where First World War's soldiers were trained for battle are


discovered in a British field. Hello and welcome. Russia's


President Vladimir Putin has given a statement saying he hopes some


common ground can be found with western powers over Ukraine, and


that the crisis won't lead to a new Cold War. But in a new chapter in


the gas wars between Ukraine and Russia, Moscow's state-run oil and


gas giant Gazprom is threatening to cut off Ukraine's gas. And tensions


remain on the ground. A 40-strong team from the OSCE, the Organisation


for Security and Co-operation was prevented from going into Crimea for


the second day running to monitor what is going on there. Well, my


colleague, Ben Brown is in Crimea in the town of Sevastapol and he joins


us now live. The OSCE monitoring mission denied again? They have been


turned away twice in the two base, a slap in the face for the OSCE and


for the international community as well, and another sign of a Russian


defiance. It has been another day of interesting and fast-moving


developments. Ukraine's new prime minister has said that no one in the


civilised world will recognise the referendum that will take place here


in nine days' time. That is not how many ethnic Russians see it and they


are delighted to have a vote for their future. The question will be


whether to join a past Ukraine or whether they are part of Russia, and


many we have been speaking to have said they will vote overwhelmingly


to be part of Russia. The delegation from the Crimean parliament went to


the Russian parliament today and got a standing ovation.


It is another Sochi Olympics but the Crimea is already casting a shadow.


The Ukrainian team at the opening ceremony was represented by a single


flag bearer. The other participants refused to take part in the parade.


The head of Ukraine's Paralympic team warned Russia not to escalate


the conflict. If we see any steps that are escalating the conflict, or


maybe, my God, somebody will be killed, we will leave these games.


It is absolute, no other way. These are no games. America has said six


F-16 fighter jets from Suffolk to the Baltics to boost air patrols, a


show of strength on Russia's doorstep. Part of the West's


response to Russian actions in the Ukraine. Western leaders have


accused Russia of invading the Crimea. The Kremlin's response is


that sanctions will have you just as much as they an so far Moscow is


refusing to back down. Quite the opposite. In Moscow today, there was


a warm welcome and strong political support for this delegation of


pro-Moscow Crimean MPs. The head of Russia's upper house said that if


the Crimea aborted to break away from Ukraine and join Russia,


Russia's parliament would support that. To show that the Russian


people would as well, the seasoning the Kremlin organised a rally near


red Square. Everyone we spoke to was excited at the thought the Crimea


would become part of their country again. Historically it was always


our land. We want to be together again. What's more, criticism from


Kiev and threats of sanctions just seemed to fuel the patriotism.


This battle between Ukraine and Russia is not just about Crimea but


about several different cities that have large Russian populations, such


as Donetsk, and many people there that are part of the Russian


community say they want a referendum on whether or not to be part of


Russia. At the government headquarters, the


shift change brings relief. The riot police face a long and cold they,


but Ukraine's government has its building back. In the centre of


town, pro-Russian demonstrators now meet under their most familiar


symbols. Ukraine's new authorities are fighting back. They have banned


large-scale demonstrations and are trying to consign demonstrators to


small spaces, and they are also going after the leader of the


pro-Russian movement. He is a businessman and called himself the


people's governor. His virtual regime lasted less than a week. Here


is the moment it ended. The police came for him as he prepared to speak


to the BBC. I will charge you were attempting to the zest, the


investigator warns a supporter. -- attempting to retest. It is a


setback top by officers in balaclavas on the stairs. These are


uncertain times. The city's new, real governor is leading the


crackdown. Kiev is appointing oligarchs to control its regions. It


is under complete control. The authorities control the situation.


Our best people are on it. Right now in Donetsk, there are no commuters


-- more commuters than protesters. The bus here is full. As the protest


is representative of the majority of people here? I do not think so.


First of all, during 20 years of independence, people did not stop


loving Russia but we still feel that we are independent and there is a


generation of young people who were born understanding themselves as


citizens of Ukraine. Getting to work may be more important than breaking


away. Uncertain times in Donetsk and


certainly here in the Crimea. We have been up the road this afternoon


we are one of the Ukrainian military bases, effectively under siege from


Russian forces, has a naval signals intelligence base and they were


unidentified Russian troops around the base, also some Russian Cossacks


as well, but they would not say exactly who they were. They were


laying siege and we managed to get inside the base and speak to the


commander who said that these Russians had arrived several days


ago and asked the Ukrainians to effectively surrender their weapons


and put them into a locked store room, and the Ukrainians have


refused and have still said they will only take orders from the


Ukrainian high command, not from the Russians. That stand-off continues


at that pace and many other bases around the Crimea. Still a very


tense time in the run-up to this crucial referendum. Let's discuss


all this is a bit more. And now I'm joined from Washington by David


Kramer, he's a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for


European and Eurasian Affairs, where he focused on US foreign policy in


Ukraine and Russia from 2005 to 2008. He is now president of Freedom


House. You have been a bit critical of Barack Obama's policy towards


this whole business, why do you say he has not been strong enough? He


has significantly improved his position in the last 48 hours. Last


weekend, the administration was too small to understand and realise the


magnitude of the problem with Russian forces invading the Ukraine.


The president issued a statement and the various statements were too mild


and to temperate and it needed to be forceful right from the beginning.


John Kerry has led that approach since including the announcement


that the US was moving ahead with the imposition of sanctions, and I


do think there will need to be some movement of US military ships to the


Black Sea to demonstrate to Russia that the United States is very


serious. You want him to go farther than he is indicating because the


movement of melodic trips is not something that the White House has


said explicitly they wish to do? -- military ships. I am not talking


about American forces on the ground but the deployment of ships to the


Black Sea which was done in 2008 with the Russian invasion of Georgia


and the provision of humanitarian assistance provided back then. The


same unfortunately is going to have to be done. How do you think that


will go down with the American people? It would seem the


President's more cautious approach chimes well with them? It is a


matter of leadership and of the president explaining what is at


stake, a country of 46 million people that straddles Europe and


Russia. Even if no one has been killed, thank goodness, we are one


drunken soldier away from firing a gun and causing a conflagration. The


US has an interest and the Europeans have a major interest as well.


Someone like Henry Kissinger writing in the Washington Post, you cannot


see Ukraine is just another foreign country from Russia's point of view.


Moreover he adds that he would not want to have Ukraine becoming a


showdown between Russia and USA. In 1991 Ukraine became an independent


country and it is not a satellite of Russia and Russia should not have


veto authority over its membership of the European Union or membership


in NATO. I do not think the United States and Russia should be deciding


Ukraine's future and ruling out its membership of organisations. I am


not saying they should join NATO right away but it is not helpful for


Henry Kissinger or others to be speaking about what Ukraine could be


doing down the road, closing down options is not what we should be up


to. You want the United States to work closely with its European


allies and you know the Europeans are much more cautious because they


have more substantial and deep economic and financial ties. Almost


ten times the amount of trade with Europe and Russia compared to the


United States and Russia. No question about it, that is a factor,


and the US leadership are working very closely with European allies.


Germany are critical and the UK as well, and I think with the issue of


US determination and leadership Europe will also come around.


In South Africa, the court in the trial of the athlete Oscar Pistorius


has heard him described as an angry person by a former girlfriend. She


also said that he always carried a firearm when they were dating. It is


the fifth day of Oscar Pistorius' trial on the charge of murdering his


girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year.


In court today, Oscar Pistorius character came under fire again from


a former girlfriend. The witness, asked not to be filmed, cried


frequently and described an incident in 2012, reconstructed here when her


then boyfriend, Oscar Pistorius, fired his pistol through the sunroof


after being pulled over for speeding. He was angry at the police


after being stopped. Thereafter, when they wanted to fire a shot,


they found it funny. They fired a shot and then they laughed. But will


not help Oscar Pistorius. It is suggested he fired a shot on the


night his girlfriend died. His girlfriend said he got angry with a


lot of people. My sister, my best friend and another friend of ours.


His name? His best friend, Alex. Samantha Taylor betrayed Oscar


Pistorius as a man with a violent temper, who kept a pistol with him


at all times. She was asked specifically about matters relating


to the night Reeva Steenkamp was killed, where Oscar Pistorius slept


in bed and what he sounded like when he screamed. If he screams and is


anxious, he sounds like a woman? That is not true, he sounds like a


man. Again, this is important because Oscar Pistorius defends


argues he sounds like a woman when he screams but neighbours were


mistaken when they thought it was his girlfriend 's grilling. When you


heard him screaming, it was out of anger but not in a situation where


he received his life to be threatened? No, my lady. Oscar


Pistorius appeared to show no emotion as his former girlfriend


stepped down and left the courtroom. Now a look at some of the day's


other news. New allegations have surfaced in France accusing the


former President Nicolas Sarkozy of attempting to tamper with the


judicial system. The left-leaning newspaper Le Monde says Mr Sarkozy's


phone has been tapped for the past year by investigators looking into


alleged illegal funding of his presidential campaign. It says that


a senior prosecutor in the country's highest court was feeding Mr Sarkozy


confidential information about investigations affecting him and


that Mr Sarkozy tried to reward the prosecutor with an official post in


Monaco for his retirement. Mr Sarkozy denies the allegations and


his lawyer says the phone taps were illegal.


Saudi Arabia has designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist


organisation. An Interior Ministry statement also designated two


jihadist groups fighting on the rebel side in Syria, the Nusra Front


and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant as terrorist groups. The


statement gave Saudis fighting in Syria 15 days to return. The Muslim


Brotherhood is already banned in Saudi Arabia.


A Californian man who gambled away $500,000 in a single session at a


casino in Las Vegas is suing the club's owners for failing to stop


him. Mark Johnson played for 17 straight hours. He says he was


served free drinks and loaned hundreds of thousands of dollars by


the casino. Gaming regulations in Nevada prohibit casinos from


allowing visibly drunk guests continuing to gamble.


The International Criminal Court, the ICC, has convicted a Congolese


warlord of war crimes and crimes against unity. Germain Katanga was


found guilty of being an accessory to crimes, including murder and


pillage, during an attack on a village in the east of the


Democratic Republic of Congo in 2003.


This was Germain Katanga's moment of judgement. This is what the former


warlord had left behind in 11 years ago. His militia rampaged through


the village. It was in the early hours of the morning and families


were shot as they slept. Some were cut up with machetes in what


prosecutors said was an effort to save alerts. More than 200 people


were killed. Germain Katanga's trial has been going on since 2009. His


co-accused has already been acquitted. The former man's lawyer


organised the attack was legitimately targeting a rival army.


The judges noted that most of the village had been wiped out. The


prosecution argued that many of the women were raped or kept as sex


slaves but they failed to provide sufficient evidence to convince the


judge it was Germain Katanga's fault. So he was acquitted of all


sexual crimes and cleared of using child soldiers will stop despite


this, the prosecutor told us the verdict was a victory for justice.


We hope Germain Katanga's conviction today will bring a measure of


closure for victims. The victims of this brutal attack in the village.


The memory of those who died and also the memory of those who


survived, by bringing to account those responsible for mass crimes,


we hope to prevent other crimes and save others from the same fate.


Germain Katanga was driven from court through his electric wire


coated gates. It could be weeks now before judges here at the ICC decide


how long the man who was once known to his supporters as the lion should


be locked up behind bars. But the sides are expected to appeal.


To another country where there are worries about human rights abuses,


South Sudan. The African Union has established a commission of enquiry


into human rights abuses inside South Sudan where government troops


and rebels loyal to the former vice President, Riek Machar, are


fighting. The five-member commission will be headed by the Nigerian


former President, Olusegun Obasanjo. Thousands of people have been killed


and hundreds of thousands displaced in the conflict since December. The


BBC's former Sudan correspondent James Copnall has just written a


book called A Poisonous Thorn In Our Hearts, about the background to


their secession of South Sudan from Sudan in 2011. He joins me now. For


people like you looking at what was going on in South Sudan, the signs


were there that explain the subsequent violence that erupted?


Yes, nothing was inevitable but definitely, the dangers were always


there. This was an incredibly underdeveloped area that had faced


decades of civil war. That had an impact on the mentality of people


and their opportunities. It also create a political class that where


rebel leaders and they suffered through the years of separation what


is called the liberation curse. The qualities to achieve freedom are not


best suited for conventional government so what happened was a


failure in government and power struggles in the one party that had


any power. Both sides, forces loyal to the former President probably


responsible for the atrocities? Yes, and that is what the commission will


look into. Supporters are accused of a lot of abuses at the start of the


conflict and supporters of Riek Machar are accused of fighting later


in the conflict. One of the five member team recently wrote an


article saying that court cannot solve problems like this, a judicial


approach punishing people for these kinds of situations is not the right


way to go to end a crisis like that. Give us an update on where the


talks are on Ethiopia? The fighting has not stopped, there is a pause in


the talks right now. Monitoring groups are coming in to monitor the


cease-fire. The fighting has to stop before any serious talking can


begin. You have written this book which looks both at South Sudan and


Sudan after the two countries split. Give us a brief outline about the


key message? Essentially these are completed at countries with


contributed conflicts but in the 30 year time after separation, the


Capitals did everything they could to bring down the leadership in the


other state. That relationship has got that are subsequently and that


has brought benefits for both states but particularly the elites in both


states. Both countries can only really be prosperous if they have a


good relationship but that future will only come if there is


substantial improvement in the way both leaderships govern their own


countries. This year marks the centenary of the


outbreak of the First World War. A set of trenches used as a practice


battlefield for soldiers heading to the front line in the war have been


discovered overgrown and forgotten in a British coastal town. The two


ditches facing each other on England's south coast were once


fully stocked with weapons and barbed wire. Now the trenches are


being used to reveal how the First World War transformed Britain,


physically as well as socially. Nowadays we call it pre-deployment


training. Final rehearsals for the task ahead in an environment that is


designed to be as realistic as possible. A century ago, another


army was preparing for service overseas. This aerial photo of army


land near Gosport should numerous traces of its use as a training area


but an observant conservation officer noticed something else. The


distinct shape up to trench systems identical scene to those in France


and Belgium. This is a 1951 aerial photograph that the regional


archaeologist was examining and as he was looking at it, he suddenly


realised there was an absolutely typical first old war trench system


and when he came and looked at the site, he realised this is almost


certainly training trenches. This training area was intended to give


soldiers an idea of what they would face on the battlefield. Reality, of


course, was rather different. War games on the coast of Hampshire


would soon be a distant memory as recruits faced the mud and the


bloodshed. A reminder of our main news: Russian


parliamentarians have given a standing ovation to a delegation of


politicians from Crimea, promising support if they wanted to become


part of Russia. The region, currently occupied by Russian


troops, is due to hold a referendum on whether to join Russia or remain


part of Ukraine. That's all from the programme. The weather is next.


part of Ukraine. That's all from the programme. The weather is next.


Saturday is set to get off to a gloomy


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