16/04/2014 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today with me, Philippa Thomas. The struggle


for control of eastern Ukraine intensifies, focussed on the armed


separatists whom Moscow calls protestors and Kiev calls


terrorists. Are events beginning to spin out of control? Today,


Ukrainian military vehicles have been seized by pro-Russian militia,


and the head of NATO has warned that he's stepping up deployments. We


will have more planes in the air, more ships on the water and more


readiness on the land. A frantic search effort in the seas


off South Korea, with around 300 still missing after a ferry being


used for a school trip goes down. And coming up: A special report on


the lengths African migrants will go to, to jump a Spanish wall. Angry


and desperate to enter a tiny piece of Europe they can see down below.


And how much of a style statement do beards make? They've been getting


more and more popular but a new study says they may be falling out


of fashion. Hello and welcome. A day before top


level talks on Ukraine, military activity in the east has stepped up


again from both Ukrainian government troops and pro Russian forces. The


defence ministry in Kiev says six Ukrainian armoured personnel


carriers have been seized in the town of Kramatorsk. And pro-Russian


protestors demanding greater regional autonomy still occupy many


official buildings. The escalating crisis led the head of NATO, Anders


Fogh Rasmussen, to announce a state of greater military readiness. Today


we agreed on a package of further military measures to reinforce our


collective defence and demonstrate the strength of allied solidarity.


So what does this mean for those NATO members affected, especially


those which existed for decades behind the Iron Curtain? Mr


Rasmussen says the alliance will now reinforce its eastern borders. He


said allied ships will deploy to the Baltic Sea, the Eastern


Mediterranean and elsewhere, as needed. And the air-policing and


surveillance sorties which already happen over the Baltic region, will


be stepped up. Since first light armed vehicles


loyal to the government in Kiev have been manoeuvring through eastern


Ukraine. But time and again they were foiled by rebellious


villagers. These vehicles tried to get to a local airfields but were


stopped by people who were upset by what had been branded an


anti-terrorism operation. Do I look bigger terrorist? This man said. I


have just been planting onions. The villagers were passed by attack


helicopters. And even fighter jets. But in the end the soldiers had to


give up. And so blockaded by the villagers the armoured personnel


carriers are having to turn round and find another way through what is


becoming increasingly hostile territory. In some places there were


scuffles and even the occasional gunshot. It was largely peaceful.


These are found themselves blocked in and were forced to surrender.


They vehicles now under a Russian flag were driven in triumph to an


anti-government stronghold. The captured armoured personnel carriers


are now on display as trophies in the centre of the most rebellious


town in Ukraine. Around the corner we found one of the captors who


described the surrender. TRANSLATION: It was peaceful without


any shooting. Now they will have a food and wash because they were


angry and dirty. 20 yards away in the Park we found this woman playing


with her son. After weeks of being bombarded by Russian propaganda,


many people there their own troops. TRANSLATION: I am worried about the


helicopters flying overhead. I am worried the Kiev government send


them against peaceful citizens. As government troops reinforce the


airfield NATO said it was strengthening its forces in eastern


Europe well the Ukrainian Promina state claimed Russia was erecting a


new bill wall. Tomorrow's talks in Geneva take laced with relations


between Russia and the West at their worst since the end of the Cold War.


So what is the nature of the threat on the ground? Let's go to the scene


now in Donetsk and talk to the BBC's David Stern. The tensions and the


setbacks in the villages and towns, we've heard about that, but we've


also had some develop once here. Some gunmen have taken over the maze


building today. It is just down the road from here, about a colour


matter. I went there and saw they were men in scheme asks, well


armed, who had taken over the city administration building. They are


occupying it but they are still allowing business to go on there.


They say they will remain there until the government accepts they


demand that there be a referendum for political status whether or not


to grant more autonomy or independence to the eastern regions.


The question is now, what will be the government 's next action? The


soldiers are very uncomfortable with their role in moving against


civilians and nobody quite knows what the government 's decision will


be tomorrow. More importantly, nobody knows what their reaction


will be in the rest of the Ukraine. Joining me from Washington is a


former US Ambassador to NATO, Kurt Volker. He's now Executive Director


of the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona


State University. What you think Russia is doing here? They are


laying the groundwork for doing what they did in Crimea. The armed groups


are Russian Special Forces. We have seen the propaganda and how it is


influencing the views of the local population and their intention is to


either create a situation where they can force a referendum or if not


with Ukrainian armed forces trying to fight that at the special


operatives will create disorder and conflict which would justify a


Russian troop intervention. Either way, I think Russia is playing a


very hard game to break away this territory from the rest of you the


Ukraine. What if anything can be done to stop that sequence of events


unfolding? I am pleased to see the steps by NATO today that a


reinforcing security allies but of course that applies only to those


allies and we need to be doing more with respect to the Ukraine as well.


We could be providing some arms and I think we should be providing


advisors and trainers because it is a very difficult operation


tactically for the Ukrainians to re-establish control without


escalating the -- violence. I do think we also need to put immediate


sanctions on Russia to get them to want to negotiate a way out. Right


now, they do not take what has been put in place in the form of


sanctions very seriously. But aren't they are genuine Russian interests


at stake here especially when you look at what is happening in the


west of Ukraine and Kiev? Russia is not losing the Ukraine because


Ukraine is an independent country. The people they ought to be left in


peace. Russia is playing an active role here. I am not sure what


legitimate interest Russia has over the affairs of its neighbours. This


is something for the Ukrainians themselves to work out but they are


not being given a chance to do that. Thank you for your time.


Now to the latest news about the ferry which has sunk off South Korea


while carrying many teenage students on a school trip. Four people have


been confirmed dead, a number that's expected to rise. Almost 300 are


still missing. The country's Prime Minister urged those involved in the


search not to give up. But as he visited some of the families, he was


heckled and shouted at by relatives understandably desperate to hear


from the rescue mission which is going on through the night. The


boat, the "Sewol", was travelling from Incheon to Jeju island, a


popular tourist destination. It ran into trouble about 20 kilometres


from Byungpoong island. Survivors say they heard a loud 'thud' just


before the ferry began to tip on its side. Lucy Williamson reports.


12 miles off the South Korean coast the first glimpse of this disaster.


A ferry full of schoolchildren slowly sinking in the sea. By the


time rescue boats arrived several floors were already underwater. One


by one they climbed out of cabin windows, each rescue a small victory


against the rising sea. Down below others waited in the water for


rescue. They jumped into the sea to survive. They were the lucky ones.


The speed and scale of this disaster was no match for rescuers. Hundreds


of passengers were still trapped inside when the ship began to sink.


An hour later, only this remained. Dry land brought comfort for


survivors and the first stories of what had happened. The


schoolchildren said they did exactly as they were told. The announcement


told us we should stay still but this -- ship was sinking -- was


sinking. This video apparently filmed by a survivor shows the


passenger in life jackets waiting patiently on board. For those now


reunited with their families, the horror of what might have been is


already fading. For others, it is the hope that is ebbing away.


Tonight this list of survivors is what divides families. Hundreds of


parents have been scanning these boards searching for their


children's names. Most of them are not here. Here in the town 's


gymnasium, people are still waiting. Family say they want more


information and fewer mistakes. TRANSLATION: Nobody is organising


the information being given to us and not knowing what's happening is


increasing the pain of the families. Tonight, divers have been searching


the ghostly corridors of the -- of the sunken ship. Until they find the


missing children flew in the town will sleep.


Now a look at some of the day's other news.


A robotic mini-submarine, which is helping with the search for the


missing Malaysian airliner in the Indian Ocean, has been forced to


resurface for a second time. Australian officials coordinating


the search haven't said why its mission was cut short, but they do


expect to redeploy it. Flight MH370 vanished from radar screens on March


the 8th, with 239 people onboard. Britain's biggest provider of food


banks says an alarming number of people are now receiving emergency


help. The Trussell Trust, a Christian organisation, said more


than 900,000 people received a free food parcel, containing three days


supply of food, in the 12 months to March, compared with 350,000 the


year before. Clashes have again broken out near


the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. It's believed that the violence


started after the compound was opened to Jewish visitors.


Palestinian protesters began throwing stones, and the police


responded by firing stun grenades and rubber bullets. 30 protesters


are said to have been injured. On Monday, several people were arrested


following similar clashes. Spain says it needs more help from


the European Union to control one of Europe's most southern borders. In


recent weeks, hundreds of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa have scaled


the border fence separating Morocco from the neighbouring Spanish


enclave territory of Melilla. Thousands more migrants live in the


hills near Melilla, from where our Spain correspondent Tom Burridge


reports. A home in a wood. In the mountains of North Africa. They


wait. Hungry and desperate to enter a tiny piece of Europe which they


can see down below. This man has been living in a forest for years.


11 of you living here. He travelled from Cameroon but now he is trapped,


an illegal immigrant in Morocco hiding from the police. I am a


prisoner because I can't go in the street, I can't walk in the street.


I am a prisoner. That is why I decided to come in a forest. There


are thousands living here. An unwelcome community within touching


distance of their ultimate goal, Europe. The mountains is hell. This


is what stands in their way. On this side of the border, a fence which


stretches for 11.5 km, we are in Spain. On the other side is Morocco,


Africa. The tallest of the three fences is eight metres high but the


migrants have developed techniques which have proved effective. In


recent weeks, hundreds at a time have scaled the fence, filmed by the


police who call it a human avalanche. Spain is spending more on


policing its border but the Spanish government's representative says the


European Union needs to take action to help the country control one of


Europe's both southern borders. For those that cross, there is


little work but there is somewhere to sleep. This is the overcrowded


immigration centre. They dream of life in Britain but the authorities


plan to send most back to the country where their journey began.


It manages tens of thousands of crossings from Morocco every day. It


is now calling on its European partners for help. They want to stop


those on the mountain who are planning their illegal attempt


toenter Europe and Spain. John Springford joins me. A massive


issue. What can be done? The EU can supply


more funds to help with investment in terms of the board protection for


a lot of these countries which face very large numbers of immigrants


coming. That is probably the main thing that the EU can do to help.


That just means build taller walls. It doesn't say anything about the


numbers who wants to get to Europe. Stronger protection is the one thing


that will come out of it. The EU can do more in terms of development aid


in a lot of these regions to help prevent the flows from coming in the


first place, given the fact that they are pretty poor places. They


are struggling with high unemployment and there is a lot of


push factors which are driving a lot of these people into the EU. When


they come through, not just Spain but Italy in particular, what are


the main issues that are created? What issues do governments have to


tackle the most? The biggest problem is people don't have the papers that


they need in order to be able to work. They are driven into the


underground economy and there is a lot of crime. They can quite often


end up in prostitution. It is a big problem. Also governments to receive


the tax money which they would if they were proper, irregular


migrants. Where do you stand on recognising this situation and


legalising them so you can get tax revenue from them? We are quite a


long way away from this. Some others are likely to do this. Some have


done amnesties in the past. In Britain where we are the land of the


go home fan, it seems unlikely that this is going to happen. -- go home


fan. You don't have people involved in so much crime and prostitution


and also it means if these people can move into jobs, you can generate


quite a lot of tax revenue from them as well. I am sure we will hear more


about this in the run-up to the elections.


Controversial surveillance programme targeting Muslim communities has


been abandoned by the New York police Department. The programme


involved a special police unit used to monitor everyday activities. Nick


Bryant has more on that secret operation. The secretive 's wired


and sent plain offices -- plainclothed officers in to


eavesdrop on Muslim communities. They wanted to know where they ate,


where they were shipped, where they shop and played cricket. The New


York Police Department believe it would help them identify what they


called hotspots of radicalisation. The secret programme never lead to


any terror related prosecutions. Some law enforcement officials even


thought it was counter-productive because it bred so much mistrust


within Muslim communities. The disbandment of the unit has been


welcomed by those community groups and also by civil liberties groups


who always believed it could -- it curtailed freedoms. The New York


Police Department have to mend some relations and this all came in after


the September 11 attacks. Let's get more now from Linda Sarsour who is


the Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York.


This is an attempt to repair damage done. What kind of damage has been


done? The intelligence division created psychological warfare in the


American Muslim community. It creates paranoia and missed/--


mistrust within our own community and the closing of the unit is the


first step in mending the relationships between the American


Muslim community and the NYPD. It will take many years to roll back


the trauma because of these discriminatory police practices.


What can be done to bring trust? They need to bring substantial


change within the New York Police Department. They need to amend their


guidelines to create mechanisms so that the public understand when an


informant or undercover goes to an open investigation into a mosque. We


need to understand why it happens, what the steps we are taking and


what type of suspicious activity was gathered for them to open that


investigation. If the community understands the process and it


becomes more transparent, that will put us on a path to building or


rebuilding that relationship. Sometimes these operations do have


to happen, there is a process of radicalisation of a few and security


still matters. Absolutely. We are not an anti-law force meant


committee. We have to counter-terrorism. Faith is not a


predicate to crime or terrorism and that is the point we are making. We


want the NYPD to keep us solve but uphold our civil freedoms. Is this


part of a cultural shift another management of New York City, the new


mayor has changed Western Mark I hope so. -- the new mayor has


changed? They are bringing their harshest critics to the table. I


welcome more meaningful change in the New York Police Department.


Thank you. The end of the beard is nigh - not


according to fashion stylists, but to evolutionary biologists.


Australian scientists have found that as facial hair grows more


common it gets less attractive and the clean shaven look becomes more


desirable to potential mates. To find out if they're right, we sent


our science reporter James Morgan to one of the beard capitals of


Britain. A wave of beards has swept across


the manly chins of Britain but according to a study published


today, these hairy humans could be doomed by evolution. Scientists have


found the more beards there are, the less attractive baby, and that is


because in evolution, traits which are rare or noble such as


clean-shaven nurse in this area of London can become sexually


attractive to potential mates. To see if the tide is really turning,


we came to Shoreditch in east London, home of the hipster, to ask


the female of the species. The amount of beards needs to go. It is


like tatties, they become common. IMA -- I am not a big fan of beards


as they hide the face. When they share -- shave their face, are they


going to be ugly? Could barbers like this become an endangered species? I


get people who want their partners to grow beards. Maybe we will see a


decline. Gent's barbers like this may go out of business but the peak


beard in a row of fashion isn't going to go away any time soon. I


don't want to lose my beard. Let us remind you of the menus. In


UK and, -- Ukraine, the head of NATO has warned that he is stepping up


deployment of ships, warplanes and troops in eastern Europe. You can


get in touch with me as some of the team on Twitter. Thanks very much


for being with us. The Easter weekend weather will get


off to a fine start. Before then, tomorrow, there is a bit of a blip.


It will bring cloud to weather has been plenty sunshine today.


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