16/04/2014 World News Today


16/04/2014

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

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for control of eastern Ukraine intensifies, focussed on the armed

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separatists whom Moscow calls protestors and Kiev calls

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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of fashion. Hello and welcome. A day before top

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

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

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defence ministry in Kiev says six Ukrainian armoured personnel

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

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protestors demanding greater regional autonomy still occupy many

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

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

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

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collective defence and demonstrate the strength of allied solidarity.

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

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those which existed for decades behind the Iron Curtain? Mr

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

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

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

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surveillance sorties which already happen over the Baltic region, will

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be stepped up. Since first light armed vehicles

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loyal to the government in Kiev have been manoeuvring through eastern

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Ukraine. But time and again they were foiled by rebellious

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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becoming increasingly hostile territory. In some places there were

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

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

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

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anti-government stronghold. The captured armoured personnel carriers

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

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

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described the surrender. TRANSLATION: It was peaceful without

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

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

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

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

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helicopters flying overhead. I am worried the Kiev government send

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them against peaceful citizens. As government troops reinforce the

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airfield NATO said it was strengthening its forces in eastern

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Europe well the Ukrainian Promina state claimed Russia was erecting a

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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They say they will remain there until the government accepts they

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

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to grant more autonomy or independence to the eastern regions.

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

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soldiers are very uncomfortable with their role in moving against

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

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be tomorrow. More importantly, nobody knows what their reaction

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

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

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of the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona

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

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

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

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

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

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with Ukrainian armed forces trying to fight that at the special

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operatives will create disorder and conflict which would justify a

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

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

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

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

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reinforcing security allies but of course that applies only to those

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

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

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advisors and trainers because it is a very difficult operation

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tactically for the Ukrainians to re-establish control without

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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heckled and shouted at by relatives understandably desperate to hear

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

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

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popular tourist destination. It ran into trouble about 20 kilometres

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

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

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

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

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time rescue boats arrived several floors were already underwater. One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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survivors and the first stories of what had happened. The

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

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

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sinking. This video apparently filmed by a survivor shows the

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

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

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

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

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parents have been scanning these boards searching for their

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

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

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information and fewer mistakes. TRANSLATION: Nobody is organising

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

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

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

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missing children flew in the town will sleep.

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

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

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

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resurface for a second time. Australian officials coordinating

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

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

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

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banks says an alarming number of people are now receiving emergency

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

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

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

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year before. Clashes have again broken out near

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

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started after the compound was opened to Jewish visitors.

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Palestinian protesters began throwing stones, and the police

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responded by firing stun grenades and rubber bullets. 30 protesters

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

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following similar clashes. Spain says it needs more help from

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

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

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the border fence separating Morocco from the neighbouring Spanish

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enclave territory of Melilla. Thousands more migrants live in the

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hills near Melilla, from where our Spain correspondent Tom Burridge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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are thousands living here. An unwelcome community within touching

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

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

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

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

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migrants have developed techniques which have proved effective. In

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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those on the mountain who are planning their illegal attempt

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

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issue. What can be done? The EU can supply

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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are struggling with high unemployment and there is a lot of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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migrants. Where do you stand on recognising this situation and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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about this in the run-up to the elections.

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Controversial surveillance programme targeting Muslim communities has

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been abandoned by the New York police Department. The programme

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

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

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and sent plain offices -- plainclothed officers in to

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

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

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York Police Department believe it would help them identify what they

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called hotspots of radicalisation. The secret programme never lead to

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any terror related prosecutions. Some law enforcement officials even

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

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within Muslim communities. The disbandment of the unit has been

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welcomed by those community groups and also by civil liberties groups

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

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

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

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

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

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done? The intelligence division created psychological warfare in the

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

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

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first step in mending the relationships between the American

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

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the trauma because of these discriminatory police practices.

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

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

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guidelines to create mechanisms so that the public understand when an

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

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

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

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investigation. If the community understands the process and it

:22:43.:22:46.

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

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rebuilding that relationship. Sometimes these operations do have

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

:22:57.:23:03.

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

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

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

:23:21.:23:27.

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

:23:28.:23:32.

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

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

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

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welcome more meaningful change in the New York Police Department.

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

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according to fashion stylists, but to evolutionary biologists.

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Australian scientists have found that as facial hair grows more

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

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

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

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Britain. A wave of beards has swept across

:24:27.:24:38.

the manly chins of Britain but according to a study published

:24:39.:24:43.

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

:24:44.:24:46.

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

:24:47.:24:51.

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

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

:24:57.:25:01.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:25:46.:25:53.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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for being with us. The Easter weekend weather will get

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

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

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