11/04/2014 World News Today


11/04/2014

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

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his strongest language yet to condemn child sexual abuse by

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Catholic priests and asks for forgiveness. The Pope apologises for

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the evil damage done to children by priests and says there will be

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sanctions. If the Vatican at last answering criticisms that it has

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done too little too late? TRANSLATION: We will not take one

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step backward with regard to how we deal with this problem and the

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sanctions that must be imposed. On the contrary, we have to be even

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stronger. In South Africa Oscar Pistorius is

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accused of repeatedly lying about what happened the night he killed

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his girlfriend. We have the latest on the third day of his questioning

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by the prosecution. Your version never happened and you

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have to keep up with an untruth. On the road back to Afghanistan - an

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exclusive report on a young girl who was wounded by a stray grenade and

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heads home after getting treatment in the United States.

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And should more of us follow the example of French technology workers

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who have won the right not to be contacted by e-mail or phone by

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their bosses for 11 hours a day? Hello and welcome. The child sexual

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abuse scandal in the Catholic Church has been a stain on the reputation

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of the Church for some time now. Today, Pope Francis moved to try to

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address the criticisms. He has asked for personal forgiveness for the

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evil committed by Roman Catholic priests who have abused children.

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The Pope said the Church was conscious of the personal and moral

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damage done, and said that those responsible must face sanctions.

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However, he did not spell out just what those sanctions would be. We'll

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be discussing whether his comments today go far enough. First, our Rome

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correspondent Alan Johnston reports. The Pope was meeting a delegation

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from the French Catholic Children's Organisation. Speaking off the cuff,

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she turned to the issue of clerical child abuse and couched what he had

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to say in quite personal terms. He said he felt compelled to take

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responsibility for all the evil that some priests have committed. He said

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he was asking for forgiveness for the damage caused by men of the

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Church. TRANSLATION: We will not take one

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step backward with regard to how we deal with this problem and the

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sanctions that must be imposed. On the contrary, we have to be even

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stronger, because you cannot interfere with children.

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This new papacy is being widely seen as hugely successful in many ways.

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With its down-to-earth style and strong focus on the poor and

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marginalised, Francis has won admirers from far beyond the

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traditional confines of Catholicism. But there has been some scathing

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criticism of his approach to the child abuse scandal. Some argue that

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he has not made the issue enough of a priority. But in these latest

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remarks, Francis seemed to very publicly commit himself personally

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to addressing the problem. And they're his strongest comments on

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the matter so far. But for many victims of abuse, words will not be

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sufficient. They are demanding much more action in the drive to root out

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the sex crimes of the clergy. With me is Peter Saunders, the Chief

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Executive and founder of the National Association of People

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Abused in Childhood. And Fiona O'Reilly of Catholic Voices, a group

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formed to give a Catholic perspective in the media. Fiona,

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Pope Francis' works today, those works go further than any other

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Pope? Benedict recognised that these were

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awful crimes for which there can be no excuse. What is encouraging with

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Pope Francis is that he is mentioning the need for sanctions.

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Nobody is saying enough has been done, more still must be done, but

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this is a Pope who gets it. I could not agree more. The Pope has

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mentioned sanctions and we await to see what he means by that. He talks

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about not going backwards and I think that is significant. There are

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millions of survivors of abuse around the world. Abused at the

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hands of clergy of the nominations, not just Catholic. But I do think

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that Pope Francis is the man who appears to get it. I am hopeful.

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But it is a watch and wait scenario and some organisations have said

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that they need to know what the sanctions are. They say that unless

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priests accused of abusing children are handed over to settle criminal

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authorities, that that is what they want. There is no suggestion that

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this is the kind of sanction the Pope is talking about, is the?

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He made it very clear to all of the churches that they were compelled to

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comply with local civil law and criminal law. In this country, an

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abuser would be guilty of a criminal offence. In some countries, child

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abuse is not actually an offence. What Pope Benedict did and what Pope

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Francis is now building upon, is deconstructed the local bishop'

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conferences to safeguard and bring to justice and bring healing to

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victims. That is the reason I am here. I was also a victim of abuse

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by priests as a child. There are many others. My concern is support

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for the victims. There is a great deal more the Church can do. It has

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a history of cover-ups. In many institutions, we are here at the

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BBC, which now has many questions to answer over the Jimmy Savile

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scandal. Your emphasis is on going for. But

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also, acknowledging the pain carried by survivors. They have had bad

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experiences. I have generally had good experiences in my dealings with

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the Church and the charity I work for. But there are many survivors

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have had the worst closed in the face. I hope Pope Francis will

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ensure this does not happen. So, acknowledgement of what has

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happened and prevention and protection. Yes. We have good child

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protection laws in this country. It is care for victims in the past that

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is the acid test. Other parts of the world need to deal with this also.

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The vast majority of them will be supportive of what Pope Francis is

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saying. Fiona, you implied that the fault is

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not exactly with the Vatican but in countries with it is not a robust

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enough judicial system to deal with child sex abuse. There was a report

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by the UN recently which was damning of the Vatican and said that even

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today, it is more concerned about protecting its own reputation rather

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than protecting children. That there are still cases of abusing clerics

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who are simply moved around from one Diocese to the other.

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That still needs to be fully tackled. The real opportunity with

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the UN report was that it ignored the good work that has been done. It

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should have partnered with the Vatican to help them. Just to

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dismiss it on the basis of factual inaccuracies... To come back to an

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earlier point, one of the things implicit in comments was that the

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church needs to respond. Part of the response must be informed by what is

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helpful for victims. It is encouraging that the papal

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commission has Cardinals on it, like Sean O'Malley from Boston, but also

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Maria Collins, a survivor of sexual abuse he was treated disgracefully

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by the Church. She is any good position to help the Move for from

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this. I would have liked to have seen a few more survivors of abuse

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on that commission that the Vatican set up. Many of us who have worked

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with survivors, whether with clerical abuse or other forms of

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abuse, have been disappointed. Very quickly, you said you are

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hopeful those sanctions will be robust. What kind of sanctions do

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you think Pope Francis should be dropped about? I hope he looks

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carefully at the United Nations papers and the criticisms. I hope he

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actively encourages bishops around the world, where they do have

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information about this, to work with civil authorities to protect

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children. Whatever it takes. That is what I hope he means by sanctions.

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Thank you very much. The South African athlete, Oscar

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Pistorius, has faced a third day of intense cross-examination at his

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trial in Pretoria. The chief prosecutor, Gerrie Nel, accused him

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of repeatedly lying in his testimony, giving his version of

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events on the night he killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, last

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year. Arriving for another challenging

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morning in court, Oscar Pistorius repeatedly accused of lying about

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how and why he shot Reeva Steenkamp. As usual, no video images of the

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athlete were allowed. The prosecutor asked him why he did not talk to his

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girlfriend and check where she was, the moment he felt they were both in

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danger. When you heard the noise, you never

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discussed it with her. I did not.

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I asked whether you said that. Why not?

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At one point, emotions got the better of him.

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This is a person I cared about! Pistorius then argued that it was

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instinct that prompted him to rush from the bedroom to the bathroom on

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his stumps. I am not sure why I did it.

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I find your instincts strange. The prosecutor was unconvinced,

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insisting a reasonable man would have behaved differently and that

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Reeva Steenkamp would have surely shouted out from the bathroom.

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Did she scream while you shot her four times?

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No. Are you sure? Did Reeva Steenkamp

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scream after the first shot? The trial has been adjourned until

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Monday. Our correspondent Milton Nkosi has

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been following the case in Pretoria. It would seem that the focus this

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week has been as much on Gerrie Nel, the chief prosecutor, as it has

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been on Oscar Pistorius. Yes, that is correct. When this

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trial began, the man of the moment was Oscar Pistorius's own defence

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counsel, Barry Roux. He was the man on all the television channels and

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in the newspapers. Now the tables have turned. The NL, really

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prosecutor, -- Gerrie Nel, the lead prosecutor is in the forefront now.

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Look at this newspaper headline. The times: And now the Bild newspaper.

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This says "in the terrier's jaws" . The Star: Gerrie Nel is on the front

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page there also. Gerrie Nel is known as the pill terrier for his

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relentless style of cross-examination. He once kept a

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witness for two weeks on the witness stand. He also successfully

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prosecuted the former South African Police Service and. That was for

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corruption. On Monday, Oscar Pistorius will return to the witness

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stand for more tough questioning from Gerrie Nel.

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Thank you very much. Now a looked at some of the day's

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other news. A cyclone with winds of up to 230

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kmph has hit coastal areas of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

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Residents and tourists had been fleeing the area as Tropical Cyclone

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Ita drew nearer. The storm has already claimed the lives of twenty

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three people when it barrelled over the Solomon Islands late last week.

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The UN's refugee agency is helping Italy with refugees. The agency

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wants the EU to help the process and arrivals, presiding -- providing

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reception facilities. Many have been rescued in the past days.

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The Japanese Government has approved an energy plan that backs the use of

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nuclear power, despite public anxiety after the Fukushima

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disaster. The plan reverses an earlier decision to phase out

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nuclear power by a previous Government.

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Several private newspapers in Myanmar - also known as Burma - have

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printed black front pages in protest at the recent arrests and sentencing

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of journalists. The move follows the conviction on Monday of a journalist

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for the Democratic Voice of Burma. Zaw Pe was handed a one year prison

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term for trespassing and disturbing a civil servant while doing a story

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on education last year. In Ukraine, the interim Prime Minister is

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meeting regional leaders in the east of the country on a mission to

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defuse tensions and end the stand-off with pro-Russian

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protesters. He is in Donetsk where pro-Russian activists hold a

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government building. He arrived in eastern Ukraine amidst

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a growing local crisis. Here is the focal point. The regional

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administration building for Donetsk, which pro-Russian protesters have

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occupied, declaring a People's Republic. You can see around me,

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protesters, they have also occupied a building in another eastern

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Ukrainian city. It seems quiet right now but there is an undercurrent of

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tension. The interim Prime Minister met with regional political and

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business leaders who gave him an earful. They demanded more money

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from Kiev, regional autonomy, and equal status for the Russian

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language. The key question was, what will Kiev do about pro-Russian

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activists. The interim Prime Minister insisted they will not use

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violence. We have made an offer. They are to leave the premises of

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the state administration. Disarm. And we, the state of Ukraine, can

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guarantee them that they will not be detained or arrested.

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As you can see, these barricades are extensive. The protest is tell us

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that they do not trust the new Ukrainian government in Kiev. The

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question is, if talks fail and the stand-off continues, could this

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eventually turn violent? The White House has said that the

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United States will not be as UAVs to the man nominated by Iran to be its

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next ambassador to the United Nations will stop -- issue a Visa.

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He is linked to the group that's bombed the US embassy in 1979. --

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that stormed. The White House has said today that

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it will not grant a visa. It follows a week of concern from US officials

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who say they have been talking to Iran to make it clear they were

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unhappy with the choice nominee. What that effectively means, if the

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Visa has not granted, is that it is a message from the US to Iran that

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you need to choose somebody else. The misgivings are over his alleged

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involvement in the Iran hostage crisis. He was a member of the

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student group which stormed the embassy and help Americans hostage.

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But he has maintained that his role was merely as a translator and the

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ghost later, a peripheral role. The US say it does not affect ongoing

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talks between the two countries over a nuclear enrichment programme. But

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they do say it is a separate issue and talks will not be affected.

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Thank you very much. Violence in Afghanistan has not only claimed

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many lives it has also left many maimed for life. One young girl that

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we were wounded by a stray grenade has returned home after treatment in

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the USA. Seven-year-old Shabibi took the full force of a blast in a

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region where villagers are constantly caught in the crossfire.

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I first came across Shabibi just days after her tiny body was

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shattered by a grenade in one of the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan.

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Every day, children like her live in fear for their lives. She was one of

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the fortunate few. Flown to America after a nurse raised the alarm, she

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was treated for her injuries and has even been to school. But her family

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were left behind, thousands of miles away. Today, I met her and her

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guardian as she returned to Afghanistan. A country with an

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uncertain future. With elections just last weekend security is tight.

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She seemed fascinated by the streets of Kabul. Taliban, she says,

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pointing to the men with guns. In fact, they are police. Finally, the

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moment her father arrives. At first, Shabibi seems overwhelmed. Then the

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intimacy returns after many months apart. I laughed and I cried when I

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saw her. I feel deeply indebted to the people who helped. I am bursting

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with happiness. I feel it in my heart, I cannot stop smiling.

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She shows off what little English she has. I want to see my brother,

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sister, and mother, she tells me, and teach them to write. In a

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country dominated by images of war, this is a father is relief that his

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daughter has survived. Most of us with mobile phones and

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laptops are connected to the Internet during all of our waking

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hours. An agreement between technology workers in France and

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their bosses means there will now be entitled to at least 11 hours away

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from work e-mails and phone calls. The idea is to create and Greece. --

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create boundaries of how much they can be contacted outside of working

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hours. It has prompted a debate about work -life balance in an age

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of connectivity. I am joined by the founder of Idler the magazine, set

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up to promote alternatives to the work ethic, freedom, and the fine

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art of doing nothing! It is a lovely dream.

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Do we all need to follow the example of these French technology workers?

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They are sending out a positive message. Perhaps pitted against the

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more extreme work ethic that you see in the United States. If you read

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interviews with the Google CEOs and suchlike of this world, for them, it

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is a status thing to be constantly connected. In the office at 7am, if

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I needed whilst asleep, my blackberry is next to me, I think it

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is an arid vision. But it is a globalised world. You

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might be running a big empire with working hours elsewhere in the

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world. In the news business, how business, something is always

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happening. But you need your rest, your sleep!

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I was just reading today that Charles Darwin had a period set

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aside each day for idleness. For playing backgammon with his wife. He

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was not switched on 24-7. On an individual level, everybody must

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learn how to switch off. And learned that it is OK to do so.

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Does it not necessarily matter when you switch off? For example, if you

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are a working mother with small children, often you want to work

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late at night or early morning when they are asleep, so what do you make

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of that kind of ring, -- thing, not everybody has the same working

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pattern? The flexible arrangement works very well. Switch off in the

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afternoon, working the evening. People have different work rhythms.

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I did awake until 1pm then fall asleep till about 5pm. A nice life

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you have. Can I join you? Please do! I might catch up in the evening.

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I look for distractions whilst writing, check my e-mails, get

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active people efficiently, but they do practice what I preach. This

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message, can resonate? There is so much unemployment. Careers,

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competition, coming out of a recession, a tough job market.

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People want to be connected all the time and impress their bosses and

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employees. But there is also the fact that you can share the work

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around. Employ more people during a shorter working week. That has been

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trialled in Sweden. City workers will be given a 30 hour week on the

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same pay. Because they say the 40 hour work is unproductive, half the

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time you're not really working. There is a funny link between

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idleness and efficiency. You can work fewer hours and be more

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efficient, lots of studies back that up.

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I don't take a leaf out of your book, but I am not going to sleep

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just yet. A reminder of your main news. Pope Francis says he will take

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personal responsibility for the abuses of priests, asking victims to

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It looks as though the weekend will be half

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