27/03/2014 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today with me, Kasia Madera. Two of the world's


most influential men leaders meet in Rome. Contentious issues like


abortion were discussed when President Obama met Pope Francis -


but their first meeting began with smiles and warm handshakes.


Like people around the world I have been incredibly moved by his passion


and message of inclusion. As the UN votes to declare Russia's


annexation of Crimea illegal, a prominent Ukraine opposition leader


says she'll run for president. Also coming up: First Twitter, now


Youtube. Internet users in Turkey face another site ban. What's behind


the Turkish governments latest attempt to restrict new media?


It's official - the World Health Organisation declares its South East


Asia region Polio-free, after no new cases were recorded in India In the


past three years. Hello and welcome. Pope Francis has


held his first ever meeting with President Obama. Their talks, at the


Vatican, began with the US president describing himself as a great


admirer of the Pope. After the meeting the Vatican confirmed that


the issues raised included abortion and birth control. The BBC's Katty


Kay in Rome. She is monitoring the historic meeting. Lots bringing


these men together, but also a lot to divide them.


Yes, welcome to a wet and rainy Vatican Square, but I must say it


has not dampened the spirits of White House officials, glad that the


meeting went on for one hour, feeling that there was more that


united the men. Resident Obama made a point of saying that he and the


Pope had not dwell on the social issues including contraception and


abortion that divides them, the president and the White House keen


to stress that it had been a successful meeting focusing on


poverty, income inequality, and conflict around the world.


The coming of the president. The American superpower engaging with


the very different world of the Vatican. A place of time honoured


tradition, centuries of faith and belief. Moving to the slow rhythm of


ritual, the president came looking for an ally. He likes the Pope's


style and says he is a man the world should listen to. He has praised the


Pope's amendment to the struggle against global poverty. President


Obama said that is his fight also and he is waging it back home in


America. He hopes he can build an alliance based on a common concern


for the plight of the poor. The smiles seemed promising. President


Obama talked of his admiration for his host and thanked him for his


audience. Then the men were left to discuss the affairs of a troubled


world around them. Later, more tradition. An exchange of gifts.


Nothing was said to the cameras about how the discussion had gone.


After the president left, the Vatican made no mention of any


emerging partnership between them in a war on poverty, it is said the


talks focused more on tension between American Catholics and the


White House. President Obama may not have got as much as he wanted out of


his visit to the Vatican. Are they now divided or United? I am


joined by the offer of a new book, the Vatican according to Francis.


Much has been made over whether this was a construct of discussion


focusing on the things that united them, or whether it was the social


issues that divide them. What do you think?


They both have much in common but this discussion was influenced by


the American conference of Bishops. There is a scepticism on the part of


Democrats towards American Catholic ships. -- Bishops. The holy see used


the visit to redefine Pope Francis, perceived as a liberal in Western


media. They are saying, on these issues, we are still there, Pope


Francis is a Pope, not a liberal Pope.


I spoke to a Vatican official who reiterated that, saying that they


could not let resident away without raising social issues. But from the


point of view of the White House, they were thrilled. If only for the


photo opportunity. The length of the conversation means that they must


have had something to say to each other. But I also think that the


influence of American bishops is still very strong. This Pope had a


need to demonstrate a personal understanding, but the holy see as


such, they had to underline the differences. Not a disconnection,


just a different role between the holy see officially, and the


personal relationship between the Pope and the president.


You have written a book about this Pope. Watching his body language,


did you read anything into it? He seemed less enthusiastic, even


personally, than the president. We must consider that the president


needed this visit more than the Pope. And this Pope is Latin


American. He has a different approach to the United States. He


views the USA is a country that is the heartland of capitalism. And he


has criticised the excesses of capitalism. For this reason, and the


fact that President Obama reflects a Democratic administration, perhaps


this Pope was more cautious. Thank you for joining us in a


beautiful Saint Peters Square. A day of historic visit.


A stunning location indeed. Moving on, Russia's annexation of Ukraine's


Crimea region has been described as illegal in a resolution passed in


the last few hours by the United Nations General Assembly in New


York. Ukraine's Foreign Minister described Russia's action as the


most flagrant violation of international law since the UN was


founded. But the Russian ambassador called for respect for the voluntary


choice of the overwhelming majority in Crimea. 100 nations voted for the


resolution, with 11 against and 58 abstentions. In Ukraine, an


opposition leader and former Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, has


announced she will run for president in the election in May. She was


released from jail after President Viktor Yanukovich fled Kiev. She had


been imprisoned in 2011 for alleged corruption, linked to a gas deal she


brokered with Russia. David Stern is in Kiev. I want to talk about the


United Nations vote, and also Yulia Tymoshenko in a moment. But first of


all, you have some breaking news for us?


Yes, I am just above the central square in Kiev, a large crowd had


just marched from the square on the parliament. They are very aggressive


and angry and are demanding the resignation of the Interior


Minister. They are angry over the killing of a far right activists


earlier this week. They are now outside the parliament, I was just


over there, they are shouting, shame, alt with the gang. -- out.


That was a slogan of the revolution, now it is being directed


at parliamentarians. Very emotional and aggressive crowd.


What did they make of this is UN vote, this non-binding vote?


They see it more as a symbolic thing. It is non-binding. Although


it was a strong vote with 100 members out of 193 voting for this,


Ukrainian officials say this is another vote of confidence, of


support, but the question is, what will anything do to de-escalate the


tension? The government is looking toward the West, looking to


sanctions, but there is a great deal of worry that Russia could exercise


what it considers a right to intervene militarily in the eastern


part of the country. Thank you very much.


Now a look at some of the days other news. 90 people are still missing


after a massive mudslide in Washington state on Saturday. The


official death toll is 16 - a further eight bodies have been


located but not recovered. Search crews are using dogs, bulldozers and


their bare hands to clear the mud at the scene, 90 kilometres northeast


of Seattle. After five days, rescuers say there's little hope of


finding anyone else alive. The world's longest serving prisoner


on death row has walked free from prison after having his conviction


for murder overturned by a court in Japan. Iwao Hakamada - a former


boxer - was sentenced to death in 1968. He'd been found guilty of


murdering his boss, his wife and family. He'll now face a re-trial.


Ed Miliband has led the tributes at the funeral of veteran Labour


politician, Tony Benn. He died earlier this month at the age of 88.


Turkey has blocked access to the video-sharing website YouTube - and


that's just a day after a Turkish court suspended a ban on Twitter


that had been supported by the Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The


action against Youtube was taken after an audio recording was posted


which was said to be of ministers discussing military operations in


Syria. I am joined by the Opinion Editor with the English language


Hurriyet Daily News, via webcam from Istanbul. What now? What is wrong


with you Tube, put it into context for us?


The Prime Minister had already talked about taking action against


the website a couple of days ago, because after all, the audio


recordings are targeting the Prime Minister and his environment,


accusing them of bribery and corruption, they were on Youtube. So


already, it was on the so-called hit list of the Prime Minister. But what


triggered the bank today was a leakage of an audio recording. --


ban. It was a recording of a very sensitive meeting between the


foreign minister, his advisers, military representatives, and the


chief of intelligence, talking about possible action against Syria. This


is a very serious national security breach. That is why the government


has taken the action of attempting to curb the website to prevent it


spreading out. When we saw Twitter being banned,


the Turkish people went around the back door, so to speak. What


reaction to this? A similar reaction. But I must say,


the fact that very sensitive information was leaked as sent a


shock wave throughout the country. People are also reflecting on how


such an important meeting, because at the end of the day the Foreign


Ministry has confirmed it is authentic, so people are shocked


that it could happen, that such an important meeting was able to be


listened to and then diffused via the Internet. Obviously people try


back or strategies -- back door, the same thing will happen here. But


there is a serious threat to national security. The government is


targeting the wrong address. It should be thinking about measures in


order to prevent such listening taking place. I'm so sorry to


interrupt you, but we have to leave it there. That was Barcin Yinanc.


Moving on. Still no debris has been found from


flight MH370 in the southern Indian ocean. Satellite pictures from


Thailand apparently show 300 objects in the search area. If debris is


found, sonar equipment will be used to search the sea bed. Our transport


correspondent Richard Westcott reports.


You couldn't pick a harder place to find a missing aircraft. Remote, two


miles deep and with some of the worst weather in the world. But for


all the ships, satellite and spotter planes, there is only one way to


find things under the water. Sonar. Researchers at the University of


Southampton showed me how it started. They call this piece of


equipment the fish. It is the same sort of piece of equipment they will


be using to find the aircraft. It sends sound waves down to the sea


bed, listens to the Echo and a map. Scanning the bottom, line by line,


the picture builds. But it is slow work, and we had good weather. In


the open ocean, weather is as much as 20 metres, waves of as much as 20


metres. You have to lower the fish down to just above the sea bed, and


that can take a couple of hours of feeding cable out. It is dangerous


and slow. They used the same technique a few years ago to locate


a French airliner that had crashed into the Atlantic. It took some two


years to find most of that aircraft, and they were lucky, because it came


to rest on a rare, flat part of an underwater mountain range. The


search for flight MH370 will be even harder. Is it easy to get confused,


for a rock to look like a piece of aircraft?


Very easy, and we don't know what the sea bed is like in a particular


area. They could get lucky and pick up something on day one. They could


be out there for ten years. If they are fortunate, they will stumble


across a large piece of wreckage. It could look like this. Those two long


ridges are the power cable to the Isle of Wight. The green blob over


here is a 100 foot long shipwreck. They still don't know for sure


whether Malaysia airline ended up. In an hour, we mapped barely one


square mile of the sea bed. The search area for the missing plane


spans tens of thousands of square miles.


Here in Britain, a number of MPs from the Conservtive party are


urging the Government to consider following Germany in considering


proposals to send home out-of-work migrants from other European Union


countries. The German government has welcomed a report proposing new


welfare limits for EU migrants. Among the recommendations, EU


migrants would be removed from the country if they failed to find work


within three to six months. Immigrants currently account for 15%


of those who claim welfare benefits in Germany. That's 1.2 million


people, of whom 290,000 are citizens of other EU countries. With me is


Imke Henkel. She's the London correspondent for the German weekly


news magazine Focus. These are just proposals, not law. Exactly. They


will not appear before the summer, possibly. But the coalition is


interested in Nice? Definitely. It is quite a number, and it is a topic


in Germany as well as it is in Britain, and there has been a spell


at the beginning of the year between the two coalition partners, we have


two Conservative Party is, and there is always a wrangle between them,


and there has been from the Bavarian party, quite pronounced, a Pellinen


it, populist move against immigrants. Do you think it is


interesting that the coalition in our country, the Conservative part,


is also interested? I had a laugh when I read it. MPs saying how


important is David Cameron's influence is. But it is certainly a


coalition that, if Britain moves and Germany moves, becomes more


decisive, it is politically skilful. There have been a few British


proposals around the beginning of the year, and there was an outcry


about how xenophobic and anti-European David Cameron was. But


he wasn't saying much different from watch Angela Merkel was saying. And


she now very much more adeptly does a very technical report, looks into


the conditions, basically says, EU law already says that you are


allowed to stay for three months, and the freedom of movement only


applies for people in work. As a job-seeker, you can stay another six


months. In general, it is within the already given boundaries, and this


report just looks at, maybe we can tweak it a bit more. It is a good


point that you make, it is not that easy to get benefits within the U.


Imke, we have to leave it there. Thank you very much.


Now, what happened at the end of the Sri Lankan civil war will now be


investigated by the United Nations. The UN Human Rights Council voted


for an inquiry into alleged war crimes committed during that time.


The resolution calls for an investigation into alleged abuses


committed by both the Sri Lankan state and Tamil rebels, during their


25-year conflict. Our diplomatic correspondent James Robbins reports.


Five years ago, the long civil war in Sri Lanka was brought to a bloody


end. Both sides are accused of war crimes, but it is the conduct of


government forces in the final assault which has been the subject


of global controversy ever since. Pressure for a full investigation,


allegations they deliberately shelled civilians, used rape and


torture as weapons of war, has now resulted in a UN vote to open an


international investigation. TRANSLATION: The result of the vote


is as follows. 23 member states voted for the


resolution, 12 against, and 12 abstained, including India, which


many had expected to support an investigation.


The draft resolution is thereby adopted.


In northern Sri Lanka, many will be delighted by newsmen -- news that


the UN will now look into this. We are only interested in the welfare


of the country, the people of the country. So this investigation


should be allowed. If you have nothing to hide, why don't you allow


this investigation? They can do that.


Sri Lanka's government stands accused of abusing the law, ignoring


unexplained disappearances of dissenters and move into greater


authoritarianism. But a senior minister told the BBC that the Tamil


Tigers remain a threat, and Sri Lanka's sovereignty could be


violated. We are not in agreement with any investigation into our


internal matters. We have our legal system. We have able people, very


eminent people with the knowledge of international law and human rights.


So the test now is this. We'll Sri Lanka's president


cooperate in anyway with the UN enquiry? Last year chairing a


Commonwealth summit in Colombo, he rejected all of the pressure for


full investigation of the past. He shows no sign of any change of


heart. 80% of the world is now free of


polio after no new cases were recorded in India in the past three


years. The World Health Organisation has declared that the deadly virus


has been stamped out of its entire South East Asia region, which


includes India but not other neighbouring countries. The


announcement is being seen as a major milestone in the fight against


polio. The BBC's global health correpondent Tulip Mazumdar reports.


Many thought it couldn't be done. Immunising all of India's 170


million children. But the country hasn't had a new polio case in three


years, which means the WHO can now declare the whole of its Southeast


Asian region free of this deadly virus. Countries like Britain have


been polio free for decades, but the WHO says this announcement brings


the goal of a polio free world much closer. However, major challenges


remain. Polio remains endemic in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.


In a scanner stand and Nigeria, cases of strop substantially, -- in


Afghanistan and Nigeria, cases have dropped substantively. But in


Pakistan, polio is on the rise, with new infections increasing from 58 in


2012 to 93 last year. And here's why. Militants in the country have


killed dozens of polio workers in the last couple of years, believing


programmes are cover-up for Western espionage or a plot to harm Muslim


children. There have been outbreaks in countries such as Syria and the


Horn of Africa where immunisation campaigns have been disrupted by


conflict. Globally, cases actually rose by more than one third between


2012 and 2013. But with most of the world is now officially polio free,


there is greater optimism that the goal of wiping this virus off the


face of the planet by 2018 is achievable. Tulip Mazumdar, BBC


News. A reminder of our main news: Pope


Francis has held his first ever meeting with President Obama. Their


talks began with the US president describing himself as a great


admirer of the Pope. Well, that's all from the programme.


Next, the weather. But for now from me and the rest of the team,


goodbye. Hello. Whether changes are on the


way for most of the UK. It is going to warm up. Some hail, sleet and


snow is still around at the moment. Going through Friday, we have this


week whether France still producing outbreaks


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