10/04/2014 World News Today


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


Is help coming at last for the desperate, terrified and starving


civilians trapped by the inter-communal violence in the


Central African Republic? The United Nations Security Council votes


unanimously to send nearly 12,000 troops to the country to help


protect civilians and stop the mass violence.


The chief prosecutor in the Oscar Pistorius trial says the South


African athlete's version of events surrounding his girlfriend's killing


is improbable and a lie. You see, again, Mr Pistorius, it is the


strangest day-to-day. You just don't take responsibility to anything. You


are a liar. Also coming up. The third day of the


biggest electoral exercise in the world. India's general elections and


why the ruling Congress Party may be losing its lustre with voters.


And posting so-called selfies and other photos on the internet.


Everyone's at it, but is it good for us? Research says it may be


damaging, especially to young women. Hello and welcome. As the American


ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said today, 20 years ago the world


said never again after the Rwanda genocide. As the 20th anniversary of


that genocide is being marked this week, the UN Security Council has


voted unanimously to send a new peacekeeping force of nearly 12,000


troops to the Central African Republic. Thousands have died in the


conflict between Christian militias and Muslim rebels since last year.


The UN says about 1.3 million people, a quarter of the population,


are desperately in need of aid and protection from marauding militias.


Around 5,000 African Union soldiers are in the Central African Republic.


There are also 2,000 French troops in the country. And 500 EU troops


started arriving in the CAR this week. All these forces currently in


place will remain to support the new UN mission. Paul Woods reports.


A city clinging continuously to normal life, but this and the rest


of the country remain in the grip of violence and turmoil. Thousands


killed, quarter of the population in desperate need of help. France


already has 2000 peacekeepers here in its former Connelly. Working


alongside 5000 African union troops. -- former colony. Now the UN has


unanimously approved a new ocean, 12,000 police to take over from the


African union, the French will stay on. We are engaging a long-term


endeavour, to rebuild the central African state, rebuild prisons, the


police and an administration. The challenges are enormous. That is why


we are very happy that the members of the security council adopted that


solution. We think the UN is the only partner in the world who can


help us. Top is handled this crisis. The killings began a year


ago when Muslim rebels seized power. After months of violence against


Christians, it is now Muslim civilians who are the targets. Tens


of thousands have been forced to flee. The violence began in late


2012, with growing attacks perpetrated by Muslim and Christian


militias, has brought the central African republic to the edge of


disaster. The African union troops have done heroic work and sacrifices


have saved lives, but aren't old horrors continue throughout the


countryside. The new resolution authorises the UN to protect


civilians and investigate both sides. It sets a deadline for free


and fair elections by February next year.


Joining us now from the UN in New York is the BBC's Nada Tawfik. So


time is of the essence for the Central African Republic. Give us an


idea of the timeline for this new UN force, when it might be deployed.


The civilian component of the peacekeeping operation will start


immediately, but what's really needed, the military component,


those 10,000 military officers and the 1800 police forces, are not


going to get into the country until September 15. That is because the UN


have to build from the ground up its forces. The 5000 a year troops that


are currently in the Central African Republic, many of them will be under


the UN command. But the UN will have to go to other African and Asian


countries to try and make up the rest of that 12,000 strong force for


the Central African Republic. So this will take time. But groups here


in the Security Council, the secretary general, everyone realises


that there is a real risk of ethnic and religious cleansing. There is a


real effort to get these peacekeepers by September 15 ready


to start their strong mandate to protect civilians, monitor human


rights violations and leave the country going into a political


transition process. Thank you very much.


The UN force will be going by September. The South African athlete


Oscar Pistorius, who is standing trial for the murder of his


girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, has faced tough questioning from the


prosecution for a second day. He denied accusations by the


prosecution that he bullied Reeva and that he was self obsessed. Mr


Pistorius denies intentionally killing the twenty-nine year-old


model. First our correspondent Andrew Harding reports.


This was not a good day in court for Oscar Pistorius. His character and


credibility coming under withering attack. First target, his selfish


behaviour towards Reeva Steenkamp, as shown in text messages. I had to


go to training, I had to go to lunch. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel


suggesting the story is, as usual not shown on camera in court, cared


only about one person. Your life is about you, what is important to


Oscar. Then to the athlete's reckless attitude to guns, and an


incident at this restaurant, where he fired a friend's pistol by


mistake. The prosecutor said Oscar Pistorius must be lying when he


suggested he had not actually pulled the trigger. I must accept that it


is your version, the government off by itself or study gave you a gun


and it went off by it self. I do not recall how the firearm went off, my


finger was not on the trigger. Note yesterday, in fact, Oscar Pistorius


became increasingly assertive, but refusing to look at the prosecutor


and directing all his answers to the judge. But Gerrie Nel was making


headway, suggesting a pattern of Oscar Pistorius backing response


validity for his actions. You see, again, it is the strangest day. You


don't take response booty for anything, you don't do anything


wrong. You are lying. -- responsibility. He said that was the


same on the night that Reeva Steenkamp died. I went out onto the


balcony, I shouted for help, the fan might have been in the way. It never


happened. You see because, Mr Pistorius, your version is alive.


Oscar Pistorius strongly denied that but alone on the stand it has been a


bruising day for him. The killing of Reeva Steenkamp and


the case of Anni Dewani, the young British bride whose husband may yet


stand trial for her murder three years ago, have both been used by


women in South Africa to speak out about the high rates of domestic


violence in the country. Joining me now from Pretoria is Rachel Jewkes,


of the South African Medical Research Council. Why are women


campaigners using the Oscar Pistorius trial, Reeva Steenkamp and


the case of Anni Dewani, to highlight their campaigns? Nobody


has been found guilty, the husband and the partner, so why are they


using this? Well, over 1000 women are killed by their partners in


South Africa every year. And there's a desperate feeling that the


government is doing far too little in order to mobilise the


population, and mobilise its resources to address our problem of


gender-based violence effectively. And in that context, these women who


are part of these, the victims in these very high profile trial cases,


become named and known figures. For these large numbers of otherwise


unknown women. And so they provide a way of mobilising and galvanising


interest and action and putting the spotlight on the government, and the


campaign and the efforts to advocate for really effective action to


prevent gender-based violence. But by using the pictures, both of Reeva


Steenkamp and Anni Dewani, in their campaigns as we have seen, injuring


the Oscar Pistorius trial particularly, photographs of Reeva


Steenkamp being held up, isn't this seen as influencing the trial in


some way? Does it not matter in South Africa because there are no


juries? We have professional charges, and the judges are trained


not to follow what happens in the media. And in civil society. Around


the cases that they are judging. And so we trust our judges to be able to


reach an impartial judgement based on what goes on in the courtroom. It


is as straightforward as that. You are talking about violence against


women that they are trying to highlight, how far does gun culture


in South Africa make the matter worse? Just talking away from the


Oscar Pistorius situation, just in general terms. Well, when we look at


all murders of women, we find that 17%, nearly one in five, are as a


result of a gunshot. And the proportion is the same whether women


are shot by a partner or by a non-partner. The big thing about


guns is that they are incredibly lethal. So if somebody points a gun


and fired it, the chance of a person dying from that injury is very much


higher than with other forms of injury. And that's why we see it as


so incredibly important to campaign against gun ownership in South


Africa, and to ensure that we can eradicate at least a proportion of


violence which is associated with handguns. Thank you very much


joining us. It's the biggest voting event in the


world and most polling stations have closed on day three of India's


general elections. In some constituencies voting was extended


by an hour to deal with the demand. On day three, more than 110 million


people were eligible to vote. Voters had to choose 91 members of


parliament across 11 states including the densely populated


northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Many areas reported high voter


turnout. It was as high as 65% in some states. One of those with


high-voter turnout was the capital Delhi, where a new anti-corruption


party is making a strong challenge to the two main parties, the


governing Congress and the Hindu nationalist BJP. Today's voting saw


leaders of both those parties vying for seats. So, who is appealing to


the electorate? Andrew North reports from a polling station in Delhi.


The quiet dignity of democracy in action. From here in north Delhi, to


southern India, millions of voters are going to the polls. Many


bringing their families as the voting means a public holiday.


Before casting their ballots, everyone has their finger marked


with ink to prevent fraud. This electrician came to vote early,


bringing his six-month-old grandson to the polling station. Like many


other Muslims living in this part of Delhi, he said he was staying loyal


to the ruling Congress party. I have always voted for the Congress and


the Gandhi family. Inflation is an issue for us, but it is not the


fault of the Congress party. But others said it was time for a change


and were backing the petition BJP candidate. Narendra Modi has clean


politics. People say he is against Muslims, but I think he should get a


chance. We should see how he performs. As well as in Delhi,


voters are casting ballots in nearly a fifth of India's Parliament treat


seats in this latest round of voting. But it will be another month


before the world's biggest election is over. There has been a steady


flow of voters arriving at this polling station in the old city.


This is the biggest day so far in India's marathon elections. Voters


have been saying issues like corruption and inflation are


deciding their vote, but others are also talking about old loyalties. We


will know the result in the middle of May. With me is Rahul Roy


Chaudhury, senior fellow for South Asia at the International Institute


for Strategic Studies. First of all, opinion polls seem to suggest that


the Congress party is not doing very well, but its appeal is often


underestimated, is in the pre-election opinion polls? Yes, but


at the same time opinion polls get it wrong quite often. The Congress


party appeals to a wide range of the electorate in India, huge number of


people, but one of the key problems this time is that it has been


governing the country for the last ten years and there have been


several own goals for the Congress, including widespread allegations of


corruption, a sense that the leadership has not been decisive


enough, that leadership has been divided in the country. The head of


the Congress party and the Prime Minister. This time, I think it


might be difficult for the Congress to return to government. How big an


issue is corruption for the electorate and will the new


anti-corruption Patsy Kane traction for this? -- anti-corruption party


keen traction. We have seen challenging in the daily province,


challenging the government and getting power for 49 days in Delhi.


But we should not overestimate its influence throughout the country.


Today ironically we are seeing a presidential style of elections in


the largest Parliamentary democracy in the world. The focus is on the


two leading contenders for Prime Minister, not necessarily their


parties. One party is unlikely to have the importance nationally. So


you have Rahul Gandhi, and Narendra Modi for the BGP -- BGP. How can


Rahul Gandhi appealed to the youthful? There will be 100 million


new voters from the last election. There is a tremendous appeal that


Rahul Gandhi could hold for Indian use, but unfortunately he has not


capitalised on that. There was a horrific incidents of Crete in Delhi


when you go and we never saw Rahul Gandhi coming out onto the streets


of Delhi to empathise... He has had a low profile? He has had a low


profile. He is 43 years old. His main rival is 63. It is a 23 year


gap. He does have an advantage in that he is talking about decisive


leadership. He is talking about change and governance. Areas in


which the youth of India are very keen, to move forward and get jobs,


and modern India, a strong India. There is an appeal that he is


putting to the use even though he is older than Rahul Gandhi. Thank you


very much indeed. Now a look at some of the days other


news. Russia's President Vladimir Putin


has written to several European leaders to warn them their supply of


gas from Russia could be affected by Ukraine's energy debts. Many East


European states import most of their gas from Russia via pipelines


through Ukraine. And West Germany, Italy and Austria are high users of


Russian gas. Meanwhile NATO has released


satellite images and maps of what it says is the Russian military


build-up on Ukraine's eastern frontier. They were taken as


recently as the beginning of April and show sophisticated warplanes,


helicopters as well as an airborne early warning aircraft and a number


of military deployments on the ground. A NATO official said the


force was at high readiness and could move quickly.


Five members of Russia's parliament have called for the former


president, Mikhail Gorbachev, to be prosecuted over the collapse of the


Soviet Union. The deputies say he allowed the Communist state to


disintegrate in 1991 despite a referendum vote to preserve its


unity. Mr Gorbachev dismissed the move as a total absurdity that was


driven by a hunger for publicity. As we alluded to earlier, it is 20


years since the start of the genocide in Rwanda. The impact of


that tragedy are still being felt in the neighbouring Democratic Republic


of Congo. That's because Hutus, many of whom were behind the violence,


fled Rwanda and ended up there. Some are refugees. But others are accused


of taking part in the killing as members of the FDLR Hutu militia.


Now UN and Congolese forces are preparing to move against FDLR bases


inside the Democratic Republic of Congo. The BBC's Maud Jullien has


travelled to meet the FDLR's president, in a remote village


there. SIINGING.


These Rwandan refugees have been living here in the DR Congo for the


last 20 years. We want help from the international community, our


children are sick and do not go to school, they sing. They may be


desperate for a better living conditions but they are trapped,


unable, they say, to go home. TRANSLATION: We are afraid to go


home because in Rwanda there is no security for us. They live under the


control of Hutu militia, the FDLR, who they say is protecting them but


many of the group's members are accused of taking part in the


genocide against the Tutsis in 1984. -- 1004, They fled to Congo after


the massacres and then regrouped into trying to topple the Rwandan


government. I'll --1994. The Congolese and Rwandan armies have


attacked the group many times, forcing them to move further and


further into the bush. I'm talking with the president of the FDLR and


his security guards. We are being escorted to a safe place. They have


walkie-talkies. They ask for IDs. They are very cautious. Major


General Byiringiro says they have dropped their weapons and they want


to negotiate with Rwanda. Major General Victor Byiringiro says he


wants the country to become a "true democracy" and for the FDLR to be


recognised as an opposition party. TRANSLATION: We hope that President


Kagame will hear reasons for negotiation, we beg him to speak


like a president and stop threatening his population. But the


president will not speak to a group he accuses of committing genocide. I


asked what his response was to that. TRANSLATION: This genocide is not my


concern, to look into who committed the genocide is not my concern. It


is my concern to lead a peaceful political struggle to change Rwanda.


But their struggle has been far from peaceful. The rebels have been


accused of recruiting child soldiers, rape. And systematic


quitting. This woman lives in this hut because the rebels burned her


house down. One night I slept in this forest, in the pouring rain. I


could not lie to fire because of the rebels, these don't everything. They


stole everything from me. I did not even have a piece of clothing to


cover my body. UN peacekeepers in the DR Congo do not believe the


group has disarmed.They say they will go after them in the next few


months. But they are also worried about the hundreds of civilians who


live with them, who they fear could end up being used as human shields.


The craze for selfies - photos you take of yourself - usually on a


mobile phone has become so prevalent that it was the Oxford English


dictionary's word of the year in 2013. You want to do a selfie! And


we know that President Obama and many other politicians as well as


celebrities are not above being in selfies. But could the selfie, along


with other photos that people post on the internet, be damaging to our


psychological and emotional health? A new survey suggests sPending lots


of time on the internet looking at pictures of friends could make women


in particular insecure about their body image. The lead author on the


study is Petya Eckler from the University of Strathclyde in


Scotland. She joins me from our studio in Glasgow. What did you


find, in what way was the health of women being damaged psychologically


and emotionally? Hello. We studied University women in the United


States first of all. We found that there was a clear linear


relationship between the time they spent on Facebook and how they felt


about their bodies. The more tiny spent on Facebook, the poor body


image they had and the more the compared themselves to the bodies of


their friends. Why is comparing themselves to their friends more


damaging than looking at celebrity pictures for instance? We are


speculating at this point because we did not ask them that but we think


this is more damaging, because you know these people. These are people


you are similar to. Celebrities are distant and aloof. This connection


to your friends makes it more relevant to you. Another factor


rethink make these photos more damaging than photos in magazines is


because you know photographs in the traditional media are often photo


shopped. The altered. This is not necessarily the case for Facebook


photographs. -- they are altered. A lot of women try to present their


best self online, not their real self. Women often try to look the


best possible way online and that is not something we take into account


when we look at those pictures. We're not just talking about


selfies, which tend to be about the fees generally. You're talking about


photographs in general. Why is this a problem about women rather than


men? -- about the fees generally. -- the face. We're not talking just


about winning. But young women at university are more inclined to post


photographs. They are more inclined to share photographs and post


photographs than men. The more photographs online, the more


conditions for comparison. The conclusion is therefore do not post


as many photographs of yourself, ladies, on the internets! Thank you


very much. A reminder of our main news...


The UN Security Council has voted to send almost 12,000 peacekeepers to


the Central African Republic. The country's foreign minister said the


UN had laid the foundation for a way out of the crisis, while the French


ambassador to the UN called the resolution a key turning point.


That's it from this edition of the programme. Goodbye.


programme. Hello there. Thursday turned out to


be a decent day for many parts of the British


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