14/04/2014 World News Today


14/04/2014

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


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This is BBC World News Today with me, Philippa Thomas. Pro-Russian

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demonstrations spread in East Ukraine, as governments in Europe

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and the US urge restraint. As protestors ransack another police

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station, Britain blames Moscow for orchestrating the violence. There is

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very little doubt, there cannot be any real doubt, that this is

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something which has been planned and brought about by Russia. Oscar

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Pistorius is accused of concocting his evidence after another day of

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dramatic exchanges at his murder trial. In the Nigerian capital,

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leaving at least 70 people dead. And has Banksy been at it again? The

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Graffiti Guru is believed to be behind this piece of street art,

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satirising British spies. Hello and welcome. Militants now occupy

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government buildings in at least ten cities in eastern Ukraine. The

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deadline at which the Ukraine government in Kiev said it would

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launch a "large scale anti terrorist operation" against them, came and

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went today. Far from backing down, it seems the protests have

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intensified. Russian media say President Putin has received

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requests for help and intervention from several parts of eastern

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Ukraine. In the latest development, the rebels have seized another

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police station, in Horlivka, near Donetsk. Daniel Sandford reports on

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the day's events. SHOUTING. A moment of extreme attention today as the

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morning shoppers emerged from their homes. Gunmen suddenly took up

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defensive positions. There was a rumour that government forces were

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about to attack this rebellious town in Eastern Ukraine. In the end, the

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attack never came. Despite the threat of what the Kiev government

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called an anti-terrorist operation, the people here have remained

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resolutely in place and the barricades are still standing. I

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asked the men manning the defences if they were worried about a

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possible attack. TRANSLATION: Of course we are worried. Although here

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it is peaceful, we stand up for our principles. Then, as we went through

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the checkpoints, the news that pro-Russian militia were storming

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another police headquarters. This was the scene at the police station,

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where activists smashed windows, threw rocks and quickly took over

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the building, placing a Russian flag outside. The chief of police ended

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up in hospital with a broken skull. Even on the day that the Kiev

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government had threatened to start attacking those in the East taking

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over police stations, they have taken another one. Inside, we found

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some people still at their desks, now apparently loyal to the new

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power in town. Then these pictures emerged in which a man who claims to

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be a Lieutenant Colonel in the Russian Army addresses some of the

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police in the road. The same man can also be seen on mobile phone footage

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addressing the crowd outside the building, after the takeover. This

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is fuelling concerns that Russia is fuelling these protests. We found

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many people with genuine grievances against the Ukrainian government.

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TRANSLATION: All the 23 years that Ukraine has been in charge here,

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they have been stealing. It was all further evidence that Kiev is

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struggling to control the rebellious East although the number of people

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actively supporting the uprising is still quite small. James Reynolds is

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in Donetsk. Are you finding that the number of protesters is relatively

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small, although they are obviously making a big show of it? We are

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finding, when we look at the occupations of those buildings in

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ten cities, they are not mass occupations in terms of hundreds of

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thousands of people. They looked to be occupations by certain groups of

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people. Here in Donetsk, the traffic is normal, people are going about

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their business, there is a Ukrainian flag on a nearby building. There is

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also a Russian flag. There are localised pockets of trouble, but

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the government in Kiev, any localised problems, are still big

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political problems. The occupation of one police station will be too

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much for Kiev. Other protesters feeling fairly confident tonight, in

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that the big operation threatened by Kiev did not happen? I am sure they

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will be. You will have seen that they were not particularly worried

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when that deadline came along. They either thought it would not happen

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or thought they would survive it. They have done so. They will not be

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particularly worried by any more deadlines or ultimatums in the next

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few days, it should the authorities decide to issue any more. Russia is

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still playing at the strongman. There have been fairly aggressive

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tactics from a Russian fighter jet over the weekend. This happened on

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Saturday in their Black Seed. A Russian jet flew about 900 metres by

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several times by a US destroyer for about 90 minutes US called the

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action provocative. The jet appeared to be unarmed, but it indicates the

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kind of tensions there are at the moment between the United States and

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States and Russia and this is a sum -- symbolic act. Thank you. With me

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is Robin Niblett. He's Director of the think-tank The Royal Institute

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of International Affairs, also known as Chatham House. What do you make

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of the way the Russians are playing this? Is there an appetite for war?

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I think they would like to avoid that, as would all sides. There is a

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clear determination not to allow the elections to proceed in Ukraine in

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May as planned. There is a clear determination to want to make sure

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that the idea of a federal Ukraine, a Russian concept of a federal

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Ukraine, in which Ukrainian provinces would be able to determine

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their own external relations. A group of small parts of the East

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cannot be integrated into Ukraine in the way the government would want.

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Why is so determined not to have the elections go ahead? Ultimately, if

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the election takes place, it will become clear how many citizens in

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the East really want to join Russia in the way that Crimea did. There is

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far more ambivalent amongst the populations in the east than one

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might think, certainly by Russian leaders. We are in a situation by

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having troops on the border and the example of Crimea and having other

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groups in there, moving the situation forward, we have an

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impression of an East which wants to detach itself, even though most

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analysts do not believe that. There is some breaking news that the White

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House has said that President Obama is to contact President Putin,

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making clear that the US is not considering legal aid for Ukraine.

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Is this positive? President Putin will have to determine how he has

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handled himself. Ultimately, the decisions that will be made, will be

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determined by how Russia handles this. There is no circumstance under

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which western troops would get involved in Ukraine. There is not a

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military option on the western side. The strength is economic, Russia's

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economy is in a weak position, but the issue of sanctions, very

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gradually held and held in reserve in key is something more extreme is

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done, but in the meantime, trade agreements with Ukraine, financial

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aid, opening up markets in the EU to products from Ukraine, that is

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detaching that part of the Ukraine which wants to be part of the EU.

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Thank you. The South African athlete Oscar Pistorius, has been accused in

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court of "concocting his evidence" about the night he shot dead his

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girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. It's been suggested she wanted to leave

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after a row. He insists he woke up and thought there was an intruder in

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the house. Our correspondent Andrew Harding reports from Pretoria. Back

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in court and some well-wishers waiting for Oscar Pistorius. He

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strode aside the balloons, the hug was harder to escape. In court,

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there was no hint of sympathy from Gerrie Nel, a prosecutor dubbed the

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Pit bull. Your version is so a probable that it cannot be

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reasonable. The focus again today, the circumstances of Reeva

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Steenkamp's death, the prosecutor looking for holes in the story of

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Oscar Pistorius, insisting the couple had a fight. I am saying that

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she wanted to leave and that you were not sleeping. You were both

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awake. That is not correct. It is untrue. There was an argument. Then

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Oscar Pistorius was asked again about his movement from the bedroom

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to the bathroom, where he says he feared intruders had broken in. I

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screamed, I shouted get out of my house! Get out of my house! But

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Gerrie Nel was sceptical. He got a policeman to sit in the toilet

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cubicle, reconstructed in court, to show where Reeva Steenkamp might

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have been. Under relentless pressure, Oscar Pistorius struggled

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badly, sometimes evasive, sometimes changing his evidence as the

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prosecutor kept asking how it was possible he had fired four times

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without checking who was on the other side. You fired at Reeva. The

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other versions are not true. You fired at her. Why are you getting

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emotional? I did not fire at Reeva! This was a tough day for the athlete

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who was not shown on the cameras, as usual. His evidence has been shown

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to be incomplete and at times inconsistent. Here is some of our

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other new. In other news... The trial has begun in Libya of Saif

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al-Islam, the son of the deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. He

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faces charges of corruption and war crimes. A number of former senior

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officials are also being tried, including Colonel Gaddafi's former

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spy chief and former Prime Minister. Police investigating a tip-off

:12:25.0:05:29

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