18/03/2014 World News Today


The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 18/03/2014. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



This is BBC World News Today with me, Philippa Thomas. President Putin


redraws the map, signing a bill to take Crimea from Ukraine back into


the hands of Russia. TRANSLATION: In the hearts and minds of our people,


Crimea has always been part of Russia.


In Red Square, thousands of Russians celebrate an historic day - as the


US vice-president declares the move to be "nothing more than a land


grab". As the search area for the missing


Malaysia Airlines plane widens, relatives of Chinese passengers


threaten a hunger strike, desperate for more accurate information.


It's called Operation Punch - but is the police crackdown on gangs in the


capital of Congo, Kinshasa, going too far?


And how safe is it to trade breast milk online - with more women


turning to the internet to sell their excess supplies?


Hello and welcome. Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, has


signed a treaty paving the way for Crimea to become part of Russia -


again. He won a standing ovation in the Russian Parliament, where he


declared that in the hearts and minds of the people, Crimea had


always been Russian. Although he said he had no plans to annex more


of Ukraine, he did describe Russia and Ukraine as "one nation" and


warned Western powers their sanctions would have no effect. From


Moscow, here's Daniel Sandford. In the imperial splendour, a defiant


President Putin entrance to a fanfare. Today, in the Kremlin, the


historic seat of power, he was expanding Russia's borders for the


first time in 70 years, welcoming back the former jewel in the crown


of the Russian Empire. TRANSLATION: In the hearts and minds


of our people, Crimea has always been an inalienable part of Russia.


This is an unshakeable conviction, transferred from generation to


generation, unshaken by time and by circumstance. Time and again, the


audience of MPs rose to applaud him. He accused the West of acting


irresponsibly, aggressively and the critically in Ukraine, but promised


he was not interested in annexing any more to a tree. TRANSLATION: I


want you to hear me, dear friends. Don't trust those who frighten you


about Russia, those who say that Crimea will be followed by other


regions. We don't want Ukraine to be split. Then, he signed a treaty with


the new Crimea leadership beginning the process of joining the strategic


peninsula to the Russian Federation. It could all be over by the end of


this week. The Russian national anthem brought to a close a ceremony


that went ahead despite the intense objections of Ukraine, American


accusations of a land grab and what is sure to be a period of


international isolation. And as the crowd on Red Square


shouted, Russia, Russia, President Putin told them that Crimea had


returned to its home port. The annexation of Crimea has moved with


breathtaking speed, three weeks, from start to finish. The world has


condemned it, but many Russians see it as an end to a historic mistake,


an end to a quarter of a century of decline. But as Ukrainian troops


massed on the border with Crimea, there are reports of a Ukrainian


soldier being shot dead in his base in the peninsula, which brought this


warning from the Prime Minister. TRANSLATION: Now, the conflict is


shifting from a political to a military phase. Russian soldiers


have started shooting at Ukrainian servicemen. But in Russia, the


annexation of Crimea is being hailed as a triumph. They know there will


be a price, but they have calculated it is a price worth paying.


Ukraine says that pro-Russian gunmen have today invaded one of its


military bases in Crimea, killing one serviceman and badly injuring


another. We'll have more on that later in the programme. But let's


bring you more now on President's Putin's intentions. A short time


ago, in an exclusive interview with the BBC's Hardtalk, his spokesman


Dmitry Peskov called for better protection for Russian speakers


living in the east of Ukraine. First of all, we do expect some measures


from those people who call themselves the Ukrainian government.


And we do expect the Western community to be begging those people


to take effective measures in order to protect those people living in


the Eastern regions of Ukraine. Because at the same time, we are


hearing reports about clashes in Kharkiv, an Eastern city of


Ukraine, and so, there are clashes and sounds of gunfire, and also,


some reports about one or two people being wounded. Those clashes between


military government, extremists, coming from Western regions. So, we


do expect the Ukrainian government to protect the Russian population,


otherwise Russia simply cannot stay without reaction. We will have to


react. We will have two protect Russians, and also Ukrainians,


living there. To discuss President Putin's


strategy, and international reaction, we're joined from


Washington by Cliff Kupchan, head of the Russia and Eurasia Team at the


consulting firm Eurasia Group. Thank you for being with us. Mr Putin


today looked pretty triumphant - do you think he is likely to stop here


or does he have ambitions to go further? This, for President Putin,


is it out Ukraine, it is not about Crimea. -- is about Ukraine. He will


insist upon Ukraine adopting a neutralised status, he will insist


upon the decentralisation of Ukraine, so that Ukraine -- so that


Russia can, as his spokesman said, protect the lives of ethnic Russians


in a decentralised Ukraine. Now, I do not think he is going to get a


decentralised Ukraine. On Thursday, the European Union will enter into


an agreement which will draw it ever closer to Ukraine. So, this is about


Ukraine. So, for those who might say, well, Crimea can be made out to


be a special case, perhaps Mr Putin will stop there, and perhaps he


would not have the support of the Russian publics to go any further,


that is too much wishful thinking for an easy life? Well, I am scared


that we are going to fall into the same Putin trap that we fell into


about 2.5 weeks ago. In my view, the US Government and the policy


community in the West thought that Putin would never use force to get


Crimea. Well, he did. I have met with this man many times. The roomy


ferocious in many senses, he is very bright, but he wants what he wants.


It is very clear that it does not want Ukraine to go into another


sphere of influence. It would be very dangerous to think that now


that he has got Crimea, he is fed, and it is over. That is just wrong.


So what in your view is the best way for Washington and the West to


approach Mr Putin now? Well, so far, I think we are doing pretty well. It


is not obvious to me that all that President Putin is doing what I


would call a rational cost benefit analysis of his game. I think he


wants influence over Ukraine. Whether that means the shedding of


blood or whether it means economic pain on Russia, he is willing to


absorb it. Over time, as the West makes clear that if he goes further,


he could be vulnerable to Iran-like sanctions, or even the annexation of


Ukraine, many of his closest associates could come under


sanction, as well as Russian companies. I think that would be a


significant push back and could deter him from further action. We


have heard very strong words from John Kerry, the Secretary of State,


over the last couple of weeks, and today from Vice President Joe Biden


is there a danger, though, in the level of their rhetoric, if they


cannot really follow through? There is always a danger of miscalculation


and action and we action, but look, what is the US supposed to do?


Russia just dismembered a nation state. Strong push back and


deterrent is what we need to do, in my view. And I do not think there is


nothing we can do. The US has tremendous financial diplomacy at


its disposal. The United States just took Iran off-line, its economy


contracted by 6%. Mr Putin had better read up on what US financial


sanctions can do if they are in plummeted. So, I do think the United


States is headed down the right path and I do think there is a great deal


we can do if this gets worse. Thank you very much.


11 days on, 239 people missing, and still we're all searching for clues


about Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Some of the relatives of


Chinese passengers are so angry at the lack of accurate information


that they're threatening a hunger strike. Meanwhile, the search has


expanded to cover a huge area of nearly 2.25 million square miles.


Malaysia's Transport Minister says all 26 countries along the search


zones need to co-operate closely if the search is to succeed. But as our


correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes discovered today, politics is


already getting in the way. Somewhere over the Indian Ocean, an


American search plane has just spotted an oil slick on the surface


of the water. The pilot sweeps loafer another pass. In the back,


the crewmember drops a sonar device which can detect a plane's emergency


transmitter deep beneath the water. In the hunt for Malaysia Airlines MH


370, planes like this can make a huge difference. The Malaysian


government today said the search area is now as big as Australia, and


it needs more help. The search area is now 2.24 million square nautical


miles. This is an enormous search area. It is something which Malaysia


cannot possibly search on its own. And therefore, we are pleased that


so many countries have come forward to offer assistance and support in


the search and rescue operation. But at this air base near Kuala Lumpur


today, much of that international support was sitting on the ground,


unable to fly. We were supposed to take off more than 7.5 hours ago, in


one of these Japanese search aircraft. By now we should have been


well out over the Indian Ocean, south of Java, flying a grid search


pattern, hunting for signs of Flight MH370. We are obviously not. That is


because we have been waiting here all day for the Indonesian


government to give permission for these foreign military aircraft to


overfly their territory. International politics could now be


the biggest obstacle to finding Flight MH370. The northern search


area straddles Burma, India, China and Pakistan. None of these


countries are likely to allow military overflights. Time to find


the Malaysian aircraft is rapidly ticking away. The plane's so-called


black box flight recorders will continue to put out a signal for


just 30 days. In 11 of those days are already gone. The search has


hardly got off the ground. Now a look at some of the day's


other news: On the 12th day of the trial of Oscar Pistorius in


Pretoria, the court was shown photographs of the bloody scene at


the athlete's home, and a police ballistics expert described how he


tried to reconstruct the angle of the gunfire on the night Pistorius


killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.


He denies her murder. New information on human rights


violations in Syria suggests civilians are increasingly being


targeted by both sides. United Nations investigators say they have


evidence that jihadist rebel groups have carried out mass executions of


civilian detainees. And they say government forces have increased the


use of barrel bombs, which the UN says are designed to spread terror


among the population. And the Rolling Stones have


cancelled the rest of their tour in Australia and New Zealand following


the death of Mick Jagger's partner L'Wren Scott. The US fashion


designer was found dead in her New York apartment on Monday - she'd


apparently committed suicide. In Kinshasa, the capital of the


Democratic Republic of Congo, the police are going after the city's


dangerous street gangs. The authorities say the operation has


already proved successful because many of the young men who used to


kill, loot, and rape are nowhere to be seen. But human rights groups


claim hundreds of young men have been arbitrarily executed by


policemen. The BBC's Maud Jullien sent us this report from Kinshasa.


It is place although that this was once a dangerous part of kin


Chasseur. For years residents were afraid to carry money or phones in


their pockets after dark, women worth afraid of getting rate. --


where afraid. TRANSLATION:. It was very difficult here at first, they


would through broken bottles and often we had to close shop and go


home. But in the past few months, life has become easier. Behind this


change operation is this man. This footage from local television shows


how the police target street gangs. Human rights organisations are


accusing policeman being behind the disappearance of over 100 young men.


I am standing on a football field where I am told a young man was


killed is. Apparently there was a police truck right here and the


young man was standing right next to that pull over there. He was shot


three times in the skull and I am told executions like these were not


rear during this operation. -- not rare. All his father has this


photograph of him which was taken after he had died. His father did


not want to be identified. He said his son was killed by policeman. We


did not know where our son was taken. We know he was killed by a


policeman who took issue with them for personal reasons. The Congolese


government has hailed the operation as a success and has decided to


continue with that. The head of the country's police admits there was


some abuse by his staff but he said there were no murders and that all


those responsible have been taken to court. Some policemen have been


sentenced to death, they are in prison for life for acts committed


in this operation. We cannot tolerate criminals within the police


service who remain. The operation may have helped clear the streets of


gangs, but it's brittle excesses have left heartbreak for many


families. Let's go back to top story, today


President Putin noted that no shots had been fired over the annexation


of Crimea. But within hours it seemed that shots had been fired to


deadly effect. The BBC's Ben Brown is at the base in Simferopol. What


do we know happened there? We do not know anything for at salute these --


for absolute certainty. The Ukrainian government has said this.


Let me run you through what they are saying, they are saying this base


behind me, not a high-profile military base, there were -- was


some sort of assault on the base by men in masks. We think perhaps


pro-Russian volunteers rather than conventional Russian army to its,


but we do not know that for sure. But one Ukrainian army officer


killed. He was shot dead. Another officer wounded in the neck and


arm. He was a captain. Another Ukrainian army officer or soldier at


least also wounded. He was attacked, said by the Ukrainian government, by


Iron Dome is. And the other troops there, they had their weapons and


their IDs, they were concentrated and taken away. -- confiscated.


People have seen that Crimea will be Russian again. You can sum up the


mood there. The mood here is, I think amongst


the Russian people here, it is very jubilant. There were not well


jubilation is here today. There were celebrations after the referendum.


People sang and danced and wave their flags. There is real concern


now, they will feel that they are in a foreign country, they are in


Russia effectively now, and they are nervous. Some have been packing up


and leaving Crimea altogether. Thank you very much.


A referendum on Scotland's independence from the United Kingdom


is now exactly six months away, and both the Independence and the


"Better Together" campaigers know that large numbers are still


undecided. On the 18th of September, they'll be


asked the "Yes/No" question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"


Well, following What Scotland Thinks is John Curtice, Professor of


Politics at the University of Strathclyde, who joins me now from


Glasgow. How would you say that opinion is


divided right now? The truth is that the opinion polls show that the no


side, those people who want to stay inside United Kingdom, are head. But


they also suggest that there is no narrow lead before Christmas. If you


take the average of the opinion polls, once you take out the


dominoes and undecided, we're looking at a figure of around 58%


for the no side, do the same calculations for the second half of


last year, you were looking at 61% no, 39% yes. The yes side have made


and bands of around two to three points. It is giving them some hope


but -- that the opinion polls have started to move in their direction.


And in six months they could close the 8-point gap that stands between


them and the magic 50% figure. How much is this about where Scots will


be better off, outside or within the United Kingdom? Undoubtedly this is


a central issue in the campaign. It is the basics and the framework on


which people are looking at the campaign. It is about how Scottish


or British you feel. If you feel more Scottish, you feel more


sympathetic to the referendum. Given that many people in Scotland feel a


mix of Scottish and British, they are having to resolve the choice


between -- put in front of them. Out of all the consequences, the one


that seems to matter most to voters is whether or not they think


independence will be good for the country's economy and or bad. The


problem the yes side face is that although they may have some progress


and have persuaded some people in Scotland that independence would be


a good idea, there are still more people has a mystic about the


consequences of independence than optimistic. Certainly they will have


to change those numbers around if Scotland is going to vote in favour


of independence. -- optimistic. We have a referendum on whether a part


of a country should leave not. It is all being done by agreement. Spain


in particular is rather nervous about this because it faces its own


issues, particularly in Catalonia where there is a majority in the


Parliament of holding a referendum. In Spain, the view of the central


government is -- in Madrid, no individual party can hold a


referendum on leaving the country, therefore Madrid and Barcelona are


at logger heads. But here the process has been agreed. Thank you.


Breast milk is often called liquid gold because of its unmatched health


benefits for babies. But it's becoming gold in another sense as


well - as a growing number of women use the internet to sell their


excess milk. The demand is there, not just from mothers who can't


supply their own babies, but from fathers too. From New York, Nada


Tawfik reports. This couple raising their


seven-month-old son on one income. With times tough and expensive


growing, she found a creative way to earn extra money. Staying at home


takes away income from our home. I racked my brain for all the things I


could do from home and I stumbled on selling my breastmilk. So I figured


why not. This is the stash I have been building. At $2 an ounce, her


breastmilk gets the family an extra $100 a week. Money she says that she


can spend on groceries or meals. Her ad on this website is one of


hundreds from others who see an opportunity where there is demand.


And not just from women. Partners Mark and brain connected with women


on line Udine to their breast milk. Their twins were felt -- fed with


that milk from the day there were born. There was an appealing option


to be able to do this. It was something we never thought we were


able to do, having the boys. In the United States, 80% of pregnant women


come into hospital saying they will nurse their babies. That is proof


that baby -- people recognise the benefits of breastmilk. But when


that milk is obtained over the Internet, officials risk that the --


won the risks might outweigh the benefits. This woman says it is a


growing trend in period should be aware of potential risks. It can


contain viruses, such as aids or hypertensives -- hepatitis. You do


not know of this milk is drugs and, medications that the woman is taking


or illicit drugs in it. There is no way to know these things. Baby keys


losses mother's milk and she hopes that by selling online any -- many


other babies will benefit from it too. -- baby 's lives.


We've now found out who scooped one of Britain's biggest lottery


jackpots. A car mechanic from South London, Neil Trotter, who's 41, won


almost ?108 million in Friday's Euromillions draw. He now plans to


give up his job and focus on his passion for car racing. He said


today he's going to need a lot of garage space - as he's planning to


buy a fleet of supercars. Let's remind you of main headline.


Ukraine's defence ministry says one of its soldiers has been killed and


another injured in a raid on a military base in Crimea. You're


watching World News Today, thank you for being with us.


Mild-to-moderate, and staying pretty breezy. For most places it will be a


fine day tomorrow. Hazy sunshine developing,


Download Subtitles