12/03/2014 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today. Diplomatic manoeuvres on the crisis


in Ukraine are speeding up. As we go on air, President Obama is due to


meet the interim Ukrainian prime minister at the White House. Arseniy


Yatsenyuk was welcomed by the US Secretary of State John Kerry, who


earlier urged Russia to respect the people of Ukraine in its approach to


the Crimean region. We will do what we have to do, if Russia cannot find


a way to make the right choices. Two people die and many more are


injured after an explosion caused by a gas leak causes two buildings to


collapse in New York City. Also coming up. The search for Flight


MH370 goes on and widens, five days after it disappeared. Its last radio


message: OK. Roger that. Boosting British mathematics the


Chinese way. We look at a move to bring teachers from Shanghai into


the UK's classrooms. Hello.


The Ukrainian interim prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, has


arrived in Washington for talks with President Obama, and vice president


Joe Biden. He was welcomed by US Secretary of State, John Kerry. The


meeting comes just a few days before the referendum on the independence


of Crimea, scheduled for Sunday. Earlier, Mr Kerry announced he's


travelling to London, to meet his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov,


on Friday in a last-minute bid to avert a new crisis in Ukraine.


We will do what we have to do, if Russia cannot find the way to make


the right choices. Our job is to try to present them with a series of


options that are appropriate in order to try to respect the people


of Ukraine, international law, and the interests of all concerned. John


Carey saying they will do what they have to do. Our correspondent is


monitoring events. This is a high-profile meeting for the interim


Ukrainian Prime Minister. That is right. A real show of support and


solidarity from the White House and the meeting is going on right now.


Just half an hour, it is due to wrap up in 15 minutes and we have been


told the president will give a short statement outlining what was


discussed. Broadly, the White House said the meeting is about finding a


peaceful resolution to the ongoing military intervention and to


preserve the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Realistically, what can


the White House do? It is interesting because options are


limited. We have spoken about before that military options have been


ruled out. I was at the White House briefing. The press secretary talked


about some of the options the president has. We know that these


bands have been put in place the prominent Russians that the White


House believes might be undermining the Ukraine sovereignty -- visa


bans. He signed an order that would freeze the assets of Russians who


might be believed to be involved in undermining Ukraine sovereignty.


When he was asked who was on the list, the press secretary said they


were working on it. Some people say the longer that is left, the more


time these Russians who might be targeted with have to move assets


somewhere else. The White House said it has options and if Russia does


not escalate, it could broaden the scope of what it does. We will


continue to monitor that. The meeting is expected to finish in 15


minutes. Across the Crimean peninsula there are military bases


that remain under the control of Ukrainian forces, in spite of


relentless provocation from Russian soldiers and the civil defence units


that support them. But what happens if Crimea does vote to become part


of Russia on Sunday? What then for the soldiers who stand in the way of


the new pro-Russian authority? There is a danger the tense stand-offs may


escalate into open conflict. Our world affairs correspondent


Christian Fraser has been investigating.


A sprawling ammunition dump, chiselled into the rock of the


Inkerman Valley. Of all the tense stand-off 's we have witnessed, this


might prove the most dangerous. Marshalling the entrance, volunteers


of the civil defence force who tried to stop us filming. More than once,


the Russians have tried to seize control. Our secret recording shows


the Ukrainian commander is under mounting pressure.


Ten days ago, another Ukrainian commander exercised his frustration,


marching his men to the gates of the Sebastopol and bass. The closest we


have come to conflict. Since then the aircraft on the runway have been


disabled. The foxholes they dig our surely a gesture of defiance rather


than a meaningful deterrent. The Russians call every day, says the


kernel. They have given up trying to turn me. What happens after the


referendum and anticipated secession of Crimea worries every Ukrainian


soldier. After that service men would be


marooned outside the borders of their country. What we do not know


is what the conflicting orders of Kiev are likely to be. The new head


of the national-security counselling Kiev refuses to be drawn. We will


let you know what will happen after the 16th, he says, I can tell you


the spirits of the soldiers remain high.


Maybe, but they stand in the face of overwhelming support here from


Russia and today the Kremlin standard-bearers arrived in the


shape of these men. Welcome home to Russia, he said. The result of the


referendum hardly in doubt. And now the United States. An


explosion which destroyed two five-storey buildings in New York


was caused by a gas leak, according to the city's Mayor. Two women were


killed and a number of people are still unaccounted for, following the


blast in East Harlem. A search operation is now under way. Nick


Bryant is live at the scene. It seems calm now, but it was not


earlier today. It was a chaotic scene when I


arrived shortly after the explosions. 9:31am was the first


call to the emergency services. They were on the scene quickly. They


found a rising plume of smoke, a site that evokes fears for the


people of Manhattan. On this occasion, it was a gas explosion


that caused it. Before the explosion a local utility company had been


contacted by people locally who smelt gas. Indeed a team from Con


Edison were on their way into the buildings when the explosion


happened. The mayor of New York was very much


reiterating that there is no link to terrorism, or, crying.


The FBI -- or to crime. The FBI ruled out any link with terror or


crime early on. The suspicion strongly in the early hours was that


it was a gas explosion, partly because of local people who said


they smelt a stronger odour of gas. It happened after many of those


people living in those buildings had gone to work. It avoided the peak of


the rush-hour, which is significant. The buildings are


opposite a raised railway line. There were a couple of trade is


pretty close with people posting photographs showing the early


minutes of the explosion. Fortunately, they were not passing


by when it went off. More than a dozen people are not accounted for.


The hope is they are at work and cannot be contacted. The worry is


that some might be in the rubble. It has been difficult to search because


it was difficult to put out the intense blaze.


27,000 nautical square miles of sea, 39 aircraft and 42 ships to cover


it. That's the scale of the search for Malaysia flight MH370 as we


approach five days since its disappearance. 239 people were on


board the plane. Their families still have virtually no clues as to


its whereabouts. The search itself, now supported by 12 countries, is


focused on two areas - the South China Sea and the Malacca Straits.


This is the route the plane is known to have taken before contact was


broken according to civil aviation authorities. But at a press


briefing, Malaysia revealed that military radar had tracked an


unidentified object, which could have been the missing aircraft, into


the Strait of Malacca on the opposite side of the country.


Is it really possible for so many planes and ships to find no trace of


a 200 tonne airliner after five days of searching? It is if they are


looking in the wrong place. They assumed it came down in the South


China Sea, close to its last contact. Now the Malaysia and


authorities think it might be hundreds of miles west of its flight


path. At the press briefings, officials struggled to explain why


they seem to know so little. When we look at the recording, it proves


that there is a possibility that this aircraft made a turn back. But


we are not sure if it is the same aircraft. There were on -- there was


an uproar of questions. It was almost an hour into its journey when


edge traffic control bid the pilot farewell. His last words were, all


right, Roger that, suggesting nothing was wrong. But Malaysia and


military radar records show and on identified object flying an hour


later over the Andaman Sea. That is all they have two go on. Two of


those on Ward were Rodney and Mary Burroughs. His parents were about to


visit them in China to celebrate Mary's birthday. There is no news.


It has just disappeared off the face of the year. If we could just find


wreckage or something, it would be a help, probably. What we have learned


almost five days after the flight vanished must be of concern to


millions of passengers passing through airports in the region, that


the authorities know almost nothing about what happened to the aircraft


and, in their search for it, they are just guessing. We have more on


the search on the website. Now some of the day's other news. Palestinian


militants in the Gaza Strip have fired rockets at southern Israel


according to Israeli officials. They say eight rockets hit suburban areas


and others were intercepted by the missile defence system. It is the


heaviest barrage since the November 2012 conflict in Gaza ended. Turkish


police have fired water cannon and tear gas in Istanbul and Ankara


during protests triggered by the funeral of a teenage boy. Berkin


Elvan, 15, spent nine months in a coma after being hit by a tear gas


canister as he went to buy bread in June last year. Tens of thousands of


mourners chanted anti-government slogans as his coffin was carried


through the streets of Istanbul. Former Formula 1 driver Michael


Schumacher is said to be showing small, encouraging signs following


his skiing accident. He's been in a medically induced coma since


sustaining head injuries in the French Alps two months ago. His


family say he still faces a long fight to recovery. But they remain


confident he will pull through. There've been dramatic scenes at the


Oscar Pistorius murder trial. A forensics expert has been


re-enacting how the Olympian broke down the toilet door with a cricket


bat after he'd shot his girlfriend. The athlete denies murdering Reeva


Steenkamp and says he fired through the door thinking she was an


intruder. From Pretoria, Andrew Harding reports.


The crime scene came to court today in the form of a door, the one that


Oscar Pistorius shot through, and the white walls behind it


representing the toilet where Reeva Steenkamp was killed. A forensics


expert reveals the cricket bat Oscar Pistorius used to smash the door


down. At issue today were the marks left by the cricket bat. There were


at least two on the door, one here, one and a half metres above the


floor with Oscar Pistorius apparently standing to one side.


Another hit lower down. The experts said it suggested the athlete was on


his stumps, and therefore lying when he claimed he was wearing his


respected legs. The defence said it was just guesswork and asked the


expert to act it out again. Are you losing your balance? He conceded it


might be hard to balance on stumps and swing the cricket bat. The


defence team said they did their own tests that proved the athlete was


telling the truth about standing on his prostatic legs. The test showed


he had not just hit the door but kicked it, leaving traces of his


sock trapped in the wood. But the police investigating Reeva


Steenkamp's death, it has not been a great day. Their expert admitted the


door had later been removed from the crime scene, trampled on and a chunk


had gone missing. Oscar Pistorius seem relaxed, smiling when a witness


appeared to stumble. It has been a dramatic and you might say


theatrical day. The prosecution is still struggling to prove that Oscar


Pistorius' version of what happened is a lie.


For the first time ever ground-breaking 3D printing has been


used to reconstruct a person's face, which had been crushed in a serious


motorbike accident. Every stage of the operation was planned and


executed using 3D printed parts. Our Wales Correspondent, Howel Griffith


was given exclusive access to see the procedure carried out at


Swansea's Morriston Hospital. Come and have a seat, Stephen. Nice


to see you. His body filled with plates and screws, Stephen has


learned to hide his injuries since his accident 18 months ago. Despite


wearing a crash helmet, he remembers little of the impact which left him


on a life-support machine, and left his skull crushed out of shape. I


shouldn't really be wearing glasses, I wear them to disguise my cheek and


my eye, because with them off, obviously, you can see my cheek is


out there. My eyelid is sunk, my nose is still bent. Surgeons are


going to rebuild Stephen's face, as instead of using traditional


techniques, the parts they need for the operation have been printed.


Using scans of Stephen's skull, the team first changed its shape on a


computer, and then layer by layer, printed the models, plates and


implants for use in surgery. It means every part is designed to fit


precisely, removing any guesswork from the surgery. The team are now


working with custom printed cutting guides designed to perfectly fit


Stephen's face. They will help restore a natural symmetry. Working


on historic injuries makes that a challenge, but the printed parts are


making a difference. Without the guide, it is up to our free hand


decision-making on the operating table, which could be good, could be


not good. With this, if it fits together OK, means it is exactly


perfect. Two weeks later, time to see the results. The difference


between the two sides is now one millimetre... There is still some


swelling, but the scan shows symmetry has been restored. For


Stephen, it feels transporting. I am glad they have developed that


technology, that they are able to do something like that. It is like


changing and has changed my life. Stephen's place in history has


already been marked by this exhibit in the Science Museum. The future of


3-D printing could see words -- working organs printed within the


next decade. For Stephen, the technology has already delivered a


huge step forward in his recovery. A group of Maths teachers from


Shanghai are coming to England to help improve standards. It's part of


an exchange that give teachers here the chance to improve their methods.


Last year, the UK came 26th for Maths in an international league


table. Graham Satchell reports. 14 squares, that gave me 196. In


this primary School, years six are learning about the areas of


triangles and having a visit from England's Education Minister. In


international league tables, the UK has fallen behind in Maths,


particularly to countries in the Far East. From next autumn, 60 Maths


teachers from China will be in English schools, teaching and


sharing their expertise. Children in Shanghai by the age of 15 or three


years ahead of our children. We want to improve our teaching even


further, to learn from the best in the world, who embed really high


quality practice in our school. She so for herself specialist Maths


teachers at work. Critics say that the Chinese hothouse their


children, putting pressure on them to succeed. Teaching unions have


questioned the way international league table data is gathered and


whether Chinese teachers are best for children here. There are things


that might lead to children feeling unhappy, and that is something we


would not want to bring in. But certainly, I think what is called


for is a bit of humanity, -- humility, that we can learn from


other countries. The government says it is determined to improve the


standard of Maths. Going Chinese might be part of the answer.


With me is Jerry Glazier who's on the National Executive of the


National Union Of Teachers in the UK. Also here is Andreas Schleicher.


He's Deputy Director for Education and Skills with the OECD - the


Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Thank


you for coming in. I want to ask you, to begin with, Andreas


Schleicher, why is China so good when it comes to Maths? They have


become really good at teaching mathematics, they are focused on


deep conceptual understanding, they do not spend too much on simpler


processes and procedures. They share their practice throughout the


system. Every teacher does quite well on it. Jerry Glazier, is that


where we are going wrong, that we don't share our information? I don't


believe that is the case. It is important we have a rigorous


mathematics curriculum, teachers were properly trained. But there is


not any significant evidence that mathematics teaching in this country


is in the doldrums. The 2012 report was very, the entry about Maths


development and Maths in our schools. Andreas Schleicher, the


figures. Necessarily show that, do they? There is a performance gap.


There is a lot the world can learn. We can do this in any other field as


well, medicine or science. Sharing expertise, experience, it is a great


way of investing in the professionalisation of the


workforce, to have these exchanges. Jerry Glazier, would you welcome


them? There is concern about overlaying a template from one


culture to another. There is concern about the education culture in some


of the Asian countries. The demands placed upon children by their


parents and by society are enormous. It is important we have a balance.


We are talking about primary age children being subjected to these


changes. That is very important. Andreas Schleicher, that is


something we hear about, that children in other countries are


hothouse. It is very strict, the discipline, when it comes to


education. That is true. And I think the focus on mathematics teaching,


how teachers of their own professional standards, every


teacher knows how to do this, I think that is a lot that we can


learn in western nations. Without necessarily adopting every part of


the culture, high expectations, pressure from parents. But I think


the focus on Maths teaching, there is a lot we can learn. Maths is


something we are struggling with somewhat in this country. We are


struggling with having an adequate supply of well-qualified Maths


teachers. The government needs to address that to ensure that we do


have Maths teachers, that the profession is genuinely valued and


lauded, not attacked by government. We need to have teachers


across-the-board. When we have a full supply, proper training,


in-service training, we can keep on top of issues in a constructive way.


It is not helpful to simply think you can take an overlay, someone


else's mathematics solutions, and think they will work in this


country. Just getting the expertise from these teachers from Shanghai,


there are going to be ideas of how to teach, what they specifically do.


Surely that is beneficial? They may well be. I am not clear, but the way


in which mass is being taught in this country is wrong, -- that the


way in which mathematics in this country is being taught is wrong. We


need to be cautious about finding simple solutions. It is a good


story, but will it fundamentally make the difference? I think the way


the difference will be made in this country is to have a well valued,


fully formed teaching profession. So we're not having a shortage of


teachers. Andreas Schleicher, that is a good point, isn't it? We may


simply need more teachers. Absolutely, to have inspiration from


other approaches around the world. We will not do this in any other


field, and I believe there is a lot we can learn to build that kind of


profession, attract the best qualified people and the most


challenging crass rooms. -- classrooms. Looking at it doesn't


mean that you have to cut and paste it. It is a matter of looking at


different approaches and learning from them. Jerry Glazier, I was


reading about the process used in Shanghai, that's teachers share


their information. They are all encouraged to look into their


methods. Also this idea that you don't necessarily, you are not good


at bad Maths, you learn it. It is about being taught and doing the


hard work. In this country, there is a tendency of, you are either good


or bad? I don't think that's true, teachers want to enable students to


get the best out of education. For some children, accessing mathematics


can be complicated and difficult for them. You need to have a variety of


techniques to ensure they are engaged. We need Julian gauged


students on a curriculum that is relevant and provides them with


opportunities for the future. We are not in the education business to


produce people who are going to provide simply to the economic


benefit of the country. Jerry Glazier and Andreas Schleicher,


thank you for a much. We have to leave it there, we're out of time.


If you want more information on that story, it is on our website. From me


and the team on World News Today, thanks very much for watching.


Hello there. At a fine day for many areas overnight that fog will become


extensive and dense. Particularly across England and Wales. Tomorrow


will start on a foggy note for many areas, causing problems to


transport. High pressure is the reason for the Fog development


overnight, very light winds, it becomes stagnant. A


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