23/04/2014 World News Today


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


Could there be a new unity government for the Palestinian


people? Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas agree a deal, after


a bitter seven year rift, and Israel responds by cancelling planned peace


negotiations. US President Obama kicks off his


Asia Tour in Tokyo seeking to reassure allies over their


territorial disputes with China. Also coming up: As the Ukraine


crisis prompts the deployment of US troops in Poland - Russia warns


washington over its support for the government in Kiev.


And... Brave New World, Come What May, Good Riddance - how our


everyday language still channels Shakespeare 450 years after he was


born. Hello and welcome. It was at this


joint news conference that once rival Palestinian factions, Fatah


and Hamas, announced the signing of an historic reconciliation deal. It


comes after almost seven years of schism between the two factions -


these pictures from 2007 of the military takeover by Hamas of the


Gaza strip. Under the deal a unity government should be formed within


five weeks. And that would be followed by elections in six months.


It is not clear yet what will happen to Hamas's army and its weapons.


Israel has already criticised the deal. Its prime minister Benjamin


Netanyahu says the Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas has chosen to


talk peace with Hamas rather than with Israel. Yolande Knell reports.


Ordinary Palestinians have long hoped for an end to the damaging


split between the political leaders. Again the culture unity as a


delegation arrived at the Gazza 's strip for talks. Reconciliation


deals have been made before. But they were not implemented. Now these


officials say they will be and that the rift between Fatah, the faction


of the Alastair nearing a slim -- it is bit to tell the diaspora about


the end of division. Israel's reaction is more negative.


This announcement was made as peace talks with the Palestinians are


close to Stalin. The meeting between negotiators was cancelled and Mr


Abbasi was criticised. Instead of moving into peace with us, they want


to move into peace with Hamas. He has to choose. You can have one but


not the other. I hope he juices peace. So far he has not. Back in


2007 in Gazza, it was this fierce fighting that enabled a mask to get


control of the Palestinian territory. -- enabled Hamas. It left


the Palestinian authority dominated by Fatah, in part control of the


West Bank. They will no agree a new unity government within five weeks


and plan for new elections in the six months to follow. But with the


failure of previous efforts and Escher from Israel, the EEC Hamas as


a terrorist group, there is caution and scepticism. We have an


independent member of the Palestinian legislative Council who


helped to negotiate today's agreement. Thank you for joining us


today. Tell us more about how you got this deal together. I think we


managed to put this deal together because all the parties have


realised that all acetone -- Palestinian situation is at risk. It


has become clear that Israel has no intention of achieving peace. He


prepares to keep occupation and that is why be found it's our obligation


to find a way to change the situation by unifying the


Palestinians. For many years, we Palestinians were divided. We said


we cannot make peace with the leader who does not represent all


Palestinians. Now we have agreements with the governments. Mr Netanyahu


has now said that either you are with us or Hamas. It will give us a


much better chance for peace now because any agreement would now


become part of what every Palestinian rights. It will open the


road to get back what we have lost which is our democracy. Our right to


have a legislative Council and Parliament, our right to have free


and democratic elections, and our rights to have a Blu-ray list exist


rather than 1-party rule in the West Bank and another 1-party rule in the


Gaza Strip. The Israelis say that how can we be expected to negotiate


with the party, Hamas, that denies our very existence. I think that


Israel, first of all Israel does not have to negotiate with Hamas. They


have to negotiate with Mr Bass. Israel for a very long time had said


that Mr Ambassador is the preferred president for them. -- negotiator


with them. They did not deliver peace there. For many years, 421


years, we have had negotiations. Instead of achieving peace, have


achieved only more settlements. It is very clear today that Mr


Netanyahu's claim when he claims that he says it is a choice between


peace and Hamas. It is a choice between peace or settlements, peace


or continuation of the longest occupation in modern history. This


agreement brings better conditions for a possibility of a lasting


peace. With democracy we have better chances. As I have always said, the


best chance of having a lasting peace is the one that comes into


democracy. It may be today we have paved the road for bringing a new


model for the Arab world. A model of participation, Pluto arises from --


pluralise Asian, where people can participate in democratic elections.


-- pluralise Asian. What makes you confident this time that it will


work? There are many different reasons why this is different. First


of all we are not talking about an implementation of an agreement that


was concluded before. The fact that we managed to reach this new deal


and 22 hours of talks was a great achievement. Nobody expected that.


In my opinion, there is a strong well -- will to implement what was


agreed on. Both parties realised today that the Palestinian public is


very big. They are going to play a very high price if they proceed with


this division. -- P. There is a high price politically for that. Everyone


realises that their hopes of having an agreement with Israel without


changing the balance of power is useless. Israel has rejected


practically every possibility. They have made life horrible by their


rejection and extreme actions. Now everybody realises that we cannot


achieve ongoing freedom unless reunify. The most important one is


the fact that both Fatah and Hamas realised today, they have been


fighting over another ready without authority. And as it is still under


occupation in Gaza. Before we fight for a Nokia vision under authority,


we have to fight this and the -- free Arab country. -- free our


country. Thank you very much. President Obama has begun his tour


of East Asia with a state visit to Japan, the first by any US president


in 18 years. And he's already assured Tokyo that


the US will oppose any attempt by Beijing to undermine Japan's control


over disputed islands in the East China Seas. Mr Obama will also visit


South Korea, the Philippines and Malaysia although he won't be going


to the country which is likely to dominate the agenda throughout,


China. From Tokyo, Rupert Wingfield-Hayes sent us this report,


which does contain flash photography.


It's been 18 years since a US President walked off Air Force One


on a state visit to Japan. In that time, the whole map of Asia has been


transformed by the rise of China. Out in the Sea of Japan, the US


Seventh Fleet, still the most powerful navy in Asia. Huge assault


carriers like the USS Bonhomme Richard, still guarantee Japan's


security. The US Navy has nine of of these monsters and another ten even


larger super carriers. No other navy in the world has anything like this.


American Navy power is still supreme for now. But just a few hundred


miles over there, is China. This Chinese boat is deep inside Japanese


waters and refusing to stop. China is becoming much more aggressive in


asserting claims to Japanese controlled islands in the East China


Sea. Japan is worried America may be going soft. There was a real


possibility that the Americans might be entangled into an actual combat,


simply because of this confrontation between China and Japan and about a


certain few islands. And the Americans backed off. It's not about


the size of the military capabilities which in the men's, of


course. -- immense. It is the will of the Americans. America has 27,000


Marines based in Japan. Their commander tells me they have both


the will and the means. The message is that the US sticks by its allies.


I landed on this beach 30 years ago as a young lieutenant. So this shows


our staying power, the stregth of these alliances. It's exactly what


Japan wants to hear, but they want to hear that now from the US


commander-in-chief himself. James Schoff is a senior associate


in the Asia Programme at The Carnegie Endowment for International


Peace. He joins me from Washington. Thank you for being with us.


Briefly, if you can, president -- President Obama is trying to tread


the line between Japan and China as these disputes go over these


islands. It is a discussion he will have to have when he is in Japan. He


wants to make progress on the rebalanced Asia policy which is


supposed to be more than just visiting countries more often and


attending more meetings and building up of military capability in the


region. It is about strengthening alliances to do more in the region,


to expand trade, and to deal with regional crises in Asia, but to help


out with things like Ukraine and Syria. The conversation he has to


have is dealing with this reassurance question, the bilateral


need that Japan has too feel that the United States is there and ready


and willing to support it in this low-level confrontation that it is


having with China over the islands and this I is China Sea. How


dangerous do you judge that situation to be? I do not think the


probability of confrontation is high. I think it is relatively low.


That said, China's policy is to continue to send ships into the


territorial waters around the islands to try and assert its own


administrative control of those islands. It went on almost a hundred


times last year. That compared to only two or three times a couple of


years ago. So this is bringing Japanese and Chinese ships and


planes into close proximity with the potential for an accident. In that


case, if it clears up, the US as opposed to help back-up Japan and


support it. The question is how would it do that? Would it bring


ships up into the region or send planes into the area? Would it


simply provides some reconnaissance support and political support? The


US and Japan need to figure out or come to zombies agreement about how


they would deal that. -- come to some basic agreement. To go back to


the big picture, President Obama has made great play of becoming the


Pacific president. How successful do you think he has been in that role?


The policy has come under a lot of criticism. Some say it as big, or


that his focus on domestic issues Dai Lewis and tension and resources


to the rebalanced. -- Daewoo 's. He is beginning to have some success.


The US is ready to play a large role in Asia. It is going to take time.


Part of it is setting expectations properly. It is not an immediate


expansion in Asia. I think it is reassurance, but it is also trying


to build these partnerships that can build institutions and capacities in


Asia so it can come together and deal more effectively with the


challenges they face. Thank you. Rescue teams in South Korea are


continuing to recover bodies from the submerged hull of the passenger


ferry that capsized and sank last week. The official number of dead is


now more than 150. Officials say they'll begin efforts to lift the


vessel's hull on Thursday. A first contingent of US troops as arrived


in Poland as Washington tries to reassure its NATO allies in the


region following Roger's annexation of Crimea. More than 100 soldiers


touched down in the west of the country. More are expected to


follow. Tensions between Ukraine and Russia have ratcheted back up.


Moscow is warning it will retaliate if the influence -- the interests of


Russian speaking people there are threatened. Natalia Antelava is in


eastern Ukraine and she has been gauging the mood among soldiers


stationed there from Ukraine. We are driving along the Russian -


Ukrainian border. Kiev has sent Ukrainian troops here. I hope we can


find some Ukrainian soldiers and ask them what they think. Here it is,


the evidence that Ukraine is building up troops on the border. We


are 30 kilometres away from Russia. These soldiers have been here for


almost two months. They now have plans to bring more troops in.


This car has just pulled. Are volunteers from Lugansk. It is a


city that is predominantly pro-Russian.


So you do not want Vladimir Putin to protect you? No!


He says they just got a green light from Kiev to set up this self


defence Force in Lugansk. Volunteer brigades, basically. Not


volunteers, sorry. They are apparently going to be paid. At a


time when politicians say they have agreed groups here, we are learning


that new armed groups are being created. Taking the food to the


soldiers. Natalia Antelava. A look at some of


the day's the news. The Turkish Prime Minister has offered the


country's first ever formal condolences to Armenians for mass


killings during the First World War. Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the


statement on the eve of the anniversary of the start of the mass


deportation of Armenians in 1915. Armenians have long said that up to


1.5 million people were killed by the Ottoman Turks in what they


consider to be genocide. Turkey disputes this.


Mountain guide organisations in Nepal have denied that sherpas on


Mount Everest have gone on strike. They had threatened a boycott unless


they got more compensation, following the avalanche which killed


16 sherpas five days ago. Nepal's tourism minister is expected to hold


talks with sherpa spokesmen on Thursday. The brother of the Duchess


of Cornwall has died after sustaining a serious head injury in


a fall in New York. He was 62 and the chairman of the wildlife group,


the elephant family. Former prime ministers Tony Blair has said


radical Islam in the Middle East is the biggest threat to global


security. -- former Prime Minister. Carnage in Syria, conflict in Egypt,


instability in Libya. The Middle East, says Tony Blair, is too


important for the West to give up on. Many still blame him and George


Bush for the problems in the region. Today he called on Western leaders


to engage more with the Arab world. The greatest security threat we face


is Islamist extremism. It originates in the ideas created in the Middle


East. It has been exported around the world. Into Africa, the Far


East, Central Asia. Even back into our own countries. It is in the


Middle East where the future of the relationship between politics and


religion, politics and Islam, will be determined.


Yet the baggage of Tony Blair's decision to join the Iraq invasion


continues to haunt him. Many will not want to hear from a man they


consider a war criminal, who has grown rich since leaving office. But


he is controversially an international envoy to the Middle


East. Governments do listen to him. On Syria, he said the West should


have imposed no-fly zone is two years ago. On Egypt, he says the


West should support its military-backed government. He


called on Western leaders to fight Islamic extremism.


Even if we have to have a very tough set of actions and dialogue on an


issue like Ukraine, on this issue we should be prepared to cooperate.


This is an issue where we have one common purpose and one common


interest. Tony Blair's many detractors have


been quick to dismiss his words, often without listening to them. The


only thing they can agree on is that the Middle East matters. But for


them he will always be the wrong messenger. Some breaking news on the


mass -Fatah unity deal. The US State Department has said it is


disappointed by the announcement, which could seriously complicate


peace matters. That is what we are hearing from the US State Department


now. It is difficult for Israel, it says, to negotiate with a government


that does not believe in its right to exist. That in relation to the


Palestinian internal pull -- piste. An international survey released to


mark 450 years since William Shakespeare was born, has found that


the playwright is regarded as the UK's greatest cultural icon - and


this is part of the reason why. Look at these phrases, reminding us how


much Shakespeare's language still inspires our words today. In the


survey, 5,000 young adults were asked to name the person they


associated with contemporary UK arts and culture. And from India to


Brazil, to Germany to China, the bard beat them all. With me is


Patrick Spottiswoode, director of Globe Education at Shakespeare's


Globe Theatre in London. I bet you are not surprised by


this? Probably more popular now than he has ever been. He has been


translated into 90 languages. He has been translated into Esperanto and


Klingon. His work continues to excite and amaze and amuse. The


phrases we have picked out here. I was surprised by some money


apparently modern phrases that are his? If you are ever lonely, it is


down to Shakespeare. If I get tongue tied during this interview, it is


down to Shakespeare. Shakespeare was the first person to describe


audiences as groundlings. Tonight we will have more than a thousand


groundlings watching a production of Hamlet. It is your job to captivate


new generations, who encourages teenagers and young people around


the world why Shakespeare is still relevant? Yes, we do -- we do that


through play. He is a great psychologist, great writer. If you


engaged with his words playfully, they do seem relevant. Do you


sometimes have breakthrough moments. --? You may realise that people are


there because they are brought along and then you see them get it. Yes, I


have a wonderful episode last year when young boy was leaving the


theatre saying that he didn't like Shakespeare, but he knew he was


wrong. He met Shakespeare through play and not in a textbook. We talk


about Shakespeare a lot. Does that push out though the opportunity to


look at other playwrights whom iron is -- may inspire us? I think we are


that assessed. With good reason. It is a healthy obsession to have. He


doesn't push out other authors. It is up to educators to share other


authors. Just think how many other art forms Shakespeare has inspired.


Ballet, film, poetry. Even his words or his story -- stories continue to


inspire it around the world in many languages and many more to come.


Thank you so much. Thank you for being with us. Good night.


Hello again. Some rain around at the moment. As that clears to the east,


it will turn a misty and


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