29/04/2014 World News Today


29/04/2014

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.

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The Russian flag flies over and other city in Ukraine. Pro-Russian

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activists storm buildings in the city of Luhansk.

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The worst he's ever seen - preparations for the 2016 Rio

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Olympics are hammered by the IOC's Vice President.

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Our Middle East Editor asks what remains of the peace initiative now

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the US deadline for talks between Israel and the Palestinians has

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passed without agreement. Perhaps the time has come to accept

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that the two state solution is not going to happen.

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Inside Tutankhamun's tomb or is it? A replica is revealed in Egypt and

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we'll tell you why. Hello and welcome. Another day,

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another opportunity for pro-Russian activists to flex their muscles in

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eastern Ukraine. Today they've stormed several official buildings

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in the city of Luhansk. They seized the regional government's

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headquarters and the prosecutor's office. Armed men later attacked the

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main police station. Ukraine's acting President has criticised

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local police for what he calls their inaction and criminal treachery. Our

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correspondent has just sent us this report.

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With each day the city of here that seems to lose more and more control

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in eastern Ukraine. This is Luhansk. Pro-Russian activists smashed their

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way into the regional administration building. The windows are broken and

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the crowd climbs in. They've made no secret of their political

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sympathies. These sub fought Moscow. They reject the Ukrainian government

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which they see as illegitimate. They are demanding a referendum on

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breaking away from the city of Kiev. It was not long before this office

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had a new receptionist. The intruders are determined to stay

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here. The police did nothing to stop this. They left the building without

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fighting back. Four days pro-Russian groups, some of them heavily armed,

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have been seizing government buildings and police stations across

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the region. The West has accused Russia of stoking separatists

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centred -- sentiment here. Today the EU announced new sanctions against

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Moscow. These are banned some asset freezes against 15 individuals. They

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include the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak. It also

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includes the head of military intelligence and the chief of the

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General staff of the Russian armed forces. Tonight in Luhansk, the

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crowd moved on to police headquarters to try and take over

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here as well. They are seeking complete control over this town and

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for now, it seems that Kiev is powerless to stop them.

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The US Secretary of State John Kerry has spoken in the last few minutes

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about what is happening. He said events there were a wake-up call for

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NATO and Russia is playing by a different set of rules.

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Most importantly, it together we must make it clear to the Kremlin

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that NATO territory is not intended to be violated. We will defend every

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single bit of that. The NATO treaty must mean something. Our allies on

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the front line need and deserve no less.

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Let's get the latest on the situation in eastern Ukraine with

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Sarah Rainsford who is in Donetsk. We have just heard from our

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correspondent that the Ukrainian authorities appear to be powerless.

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They do not seem to have control. That is absolutely correct. We have

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seen the takeover of several key buildings and official holdings.

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First of all, the administrative headquarters were taken over without

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any resistance. Then the prosecutors office was overrun by a crowd of

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pro-Russian activists. Then the police headquarters was taken over

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by as well. A large crowd shouted at officials inside. Troops inside were

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ordered to come out. People inside -- in charge of the storming of the

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building had in trying to negotiate a handover of weapons. There is a

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large crowd outside and it has been reported that some shots were fired.

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We understand that some stun grenades were thrown as well but as

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far as we know no one has been reported as hurt. The key buildings

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have fallen to pro-Russian separatist groups. These are

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dramatic moments. Is it possible to say how much support these groups

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have in the city? Are they getting hundreds and thousands of people

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watching them? Not in those numbers, but there is a sizeable crowd here

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nonetheless. There have been big crowds at a number of events.

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Certainly, there is a lot of support and anger in Kiev. We had spoken to

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a number of people today. They say they do not feel represented by Kiev

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but they do not necessarily support the armed takeover of holdings. A

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lot of people are extremely unhappy with the situation here but they are

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not supporting armed action and they are extremely worried about it. That

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is the main concern from some people we have spoken to. They do not want

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to see significant balance. That is the last thing that they want. --

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significant violence. Some people even support becoming a part of

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Russia but there is no great support in this Russia -- this region for

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the violence that has been exhibited. We can go to Libya now.

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There have been reports that gun had stormed the parliament in Surrey --

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the parliament in Tripoli. Our correspondent joins us. What can you

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tell us? We know that gunman forced their way into the parliament in

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Tripoli. -- several gunman. Pictures have just come into worse. Witnesses

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have told us that a lot of shots were fired but these were fired in

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the air. When the shots were fired, most of those inside left the

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building. We understand that there is no one inside the building at the

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moment. It is not entirely clear whether the gunman have still left.

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This episode the back of a special session to date which was intended

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to put in a new Prime Minister for the country. They were in the middle

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of voting and it is understood the voting was in deadlock. A number of

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matters are being discussed on how to move forward and actually select

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a Prime Minister between the top two candidates that were it to date. --

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that were picked today. Thank you. ?NEWLINE The International Olympic

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Committee Vice President says that preparations for the 2016 Rio

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Olympics are the "worst" he's ever seen. John Coates described the

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situation as "critical", and warned that there is no plan B to find

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another host city. 18 of the federations said they were not

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ready. This is in the case of some of the Olympic Parks. Construction

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has not even commenced in some areas. Water quality is a

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significant concern for the watersports events. There is little

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progress in those areas. The Olympic village seems to be on track. A lot

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of the connect ding is significantly delayed. -- connecting areas.

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Let's go now to the BBC's Katy Watson who is in Sao Paulo. The

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organisers have responded and said the time has now has to win the

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general discussion about progress contributes to the progress of the

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games. They also go on to say that the Olympic Games will be delivered

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within the agreed time frame. That is a defiant statement. But it is

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having to accept outside help now. The IOC are sending in experts to

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help them. That is correct. It is an unprecedented step. The more

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pressing issue, and it is a battle on several fronts, is the issue of

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the World Cup which is just under a month away. Brazil is really

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suffering from seeing protests in Rio. There are headlines coming out

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every day about infrastructure projects. That is the most pressing

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battle. Perhaps when the World Cup has finished, then the issue of the

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Olympics will come to the forefront. For now, the World Cup is more

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pressing. Thank you. A US deadline on peace talks between

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Israel and the Palestinians has passed without any agreement being

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reached. Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu suspended the talks last

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week, after his Palestinian talks partner Fatah agreed a unity deal

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with the more militant Hamas. Talks have been happening, on and off, for

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more than 20 years. The negotiations have failed, time and again. Our

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Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen is in Jerusalem, wondering if the two

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state solution just isn't going to happen. Jerusalem has been fought

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over since people settled here more than 6000 years ago.

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For more than 20 years off and on Palestinians and Israelis have

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negotiated peace. Hope has given way to despair and then cynicism. Now it

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is hard to find Palestinians or Israelis who care much about the

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latest negotiating failure. There have been too many of them. The last

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round of peace talks collapsed with Palestinians and Israelis blaming

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each other and President Obama blaming both of them. Since the

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peace process started more than 20 years ago it has been about trying

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to create a Palestinian state alongside Israel so they divide the

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land that they fought over. More than two decades on peace seems as

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far away as ever. Perhaps the time has come to accept that the two

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state solution is not going to happen. Israel has occupied the West

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bank including East Jerusalem since the 1967 war. After Jerusalem, the

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most contested city is Hebron, the burial city of the Prophet Abraham.

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Behind heavy security a small number of Jewish settlers live right next

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to more than 150,000 Palestinians. This man's father led the first

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Jewish settlers back to Hebron in 1967. He believes God wants Jews to

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live in Hebron and is raising seven children here.

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Talks are at best an irritant. I do not think talks will go anywhere.

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For close to 20 years the state of Israel has been giving and giving. I

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do not believe in it. I think the reality for Jews in Hebron is like

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the reality for Israel in the Middle East. The Arabs would be more

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comfortable if we did not exist. Palestinians and Israelis say they

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want peace but when you cross the line from one side to another you

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realise that their views of what peace should look like very

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different. And in the absence of peace mutual hatred is never far

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below the surface and is boiling up again. This house in Jerusalem was

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bulldozed last summer after the Israeli authorities said it was

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built illegally. For a while its Palestinian owner lived with his

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family in this cave. He stayed on to protest. Now he has been served

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papers saying that the lean-to he built must be demolished.

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TRANSLATION: The negotiations are a big illusion. They didn't achieve

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anything and they won't because the Israelis are using the negotiations

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as a cover to establish more settlements and to confiscate more

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land from Palestinians. The negotiations are a waste of time.

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They don't want any Arabs or Muslims here. Peace talks started because

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two peoples went to war over the same piece of land. They have helped

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manage the conflict but not stop it. Tension is rising. Another perfect

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sunset over the holy city cannot disguise a stormy future.

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In Washington is Aaron David Miller. He's advised both Republican and

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Democratic Secretaries of State and is now with the Middle East

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Programme at the Wilson Centre. Do you think these talks can be

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revived? Maybe. But revival is one thing. Continuation of the peace

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process is one thing. Reaching a conflict ending agreement which

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addresses the underlying concerns and requirements of both sides is

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another. The process is failing, not for any magical reason, but because

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neither Netanyahu or managed a bass -- mannered a bass -- the

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Palestinian president are willing to talk. If neither side truly owns it

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then the process cannot have traction. There is really

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Palestinian peace process suffers from many things. When you strip it

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all away, it suffers from one fundamental problem. Neither side,

:17:21.:17:27.

and I include the Americans, are prepared to pay the price of what it

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will cost to produce a conflict ending agreement. John Kerry has

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tried to get the Israelis and Palestinians to take ownership. He

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has made it his mission and it has failed. What does he do now? I

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worked for some secretaries of State, some of whom succeeded and

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some didn't. John Kerry is to be given great credit for his

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relentlessness and pursuit of this process but it is not the John Kerry

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Administration. This is the president Obama administration. It

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seems that the President has come to a different conclusion. He is more

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focused on his legacy with the middle class than the Middle East.

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On this point, I think he is right. F Netanyahu and Abbas aren't

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prepared to make these decisions, why would any president wants to

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risk what remains of a second term to spend the political capital and

:18:45.:18:49.

time required when in fact there is insufficient ownership? I am not one

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of those who argue that somehow we can create that ownership. We

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cannot. Every breakthrough in this region since the early 70s was

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driven by pain and gain which appeared in a localised form. Once

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it did appear, the US, whether it was Henry Kissinger, Jimmy Carter,

:19:15.:19:21.

George Bush, were able to take advantage of those openings.

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Ownership is local and unless we are similarly to that fact we will

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continue to pursue a process that is in essence a key to an empty room.

:19:32.:19:46.

As divers continue to recover bodies from the sunken South Korean ferry,

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President Park Geun-Hye has apologised for failing to prevent

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the disaster that has left more than 300 people dead or missing. At a

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memorial for the 250 schoolchildren who were on board, she apologised

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for the slow response to the tragedy. The BBC's Emily Buchanan

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has more. The vast new memorial brings home

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the sheer scale of the disaster. Hundreds of young faces stare out

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from it. For their families, their grief was overwhelming. TRANSLATION:

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I was crying so much I couldn't even look at the faces of the children.

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It hurt so much. South Korea's president came to pay her respects.

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Her government is under enormous pressure over the slow response and

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lax regulation of the shipping industry. She has promised a new

:20:32.:20:36.

department to deal with major catastrophes. TRANSLATION: I should

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apologise for being unable to prevent the accident and for the

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insufficiency in taking initial action. I wonder if this apology

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will be able to comfort those hurt and ease their pain, as it breaks my

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heart. What made the ferry capsize is still not clear but gaping

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failures in the rescue operation have provoked outrage. Many of the

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teenagers on board were told to stay seated while members of the crew

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scrambled to safety. There are still dozens of bodies missing and the

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grim search for them goes on. Divers have been hampered by strong

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currents. Most of the dead and missing are children from one high

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school. A whole community has been devastated. The emotional and

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political fallout has only just begun.

:21:34.:22:01.

We have breaking news. The NBA has banned Donald Sterling for life. He

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has been fined $2.5 million and banned from games and associating

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with players because he is alleged to have made racist comments. That

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is breaking news out of the United States of America. The NBA has

:22:20.:22:31.

banned Donald Sterling for life. There's been another spike in

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violence in Syria, where mortar attacks in the capital Damascus have

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killed at least 14 people and wounded more than 80. Most of the

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casualties are students of a college hit by two of the shells. These

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pictures show the aftermath of that attack, which Syria's government is

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blaming on rebel fighters. In a separate incident, officials say a

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car bomb in the city of Homs has killed at least 37 and wounded more

:22:53.:22:58.

than 80. A replica of one of the world's most

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famous antiquities - the tomb of Tutankhamun - is to be unveiled near

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the site of the original in Egypt. It's been commissioned to save the

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real tomb from the wear and tear that tourists inflict. But will they

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be happy with a copy? Rajan Datar reports.

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The Valley of the Kings in Luxor contains some of the most famous and

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most visited ancient burial chambers in the world. But the most

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celebrated is the tomb of the boy king Tutankhamun, discovered by a

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team led by the British archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922.

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For more than 3000 years, this tomb survived intact in almost pristine

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condition. But after only nine decades of tourism, with up to 1000

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visitors every day, the conditions deteriorated rapidly. And the main

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reason for that was this. Human breath. Since the tomb was opened

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up, the constant changes of humidity, moisture levels and

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airborne pollutants which come in with people have an effect on it.

:23:58.:24:05.

Previous restoration attempts have added to the problem so it was

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agreed a replica would be created with the long-term aim of severely

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restricting public access to the original. Laser scanners and 3-D

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printing were used to make the copy. The backdrop to all this has been

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the continuing political crisis in Egypt over the past three years.

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Tourism in many areas of the country has collapsed. Luxor town centre is

:24:29.:24:31.

deserted and local traders are desperate. As you see yourself,

:24:32.:24:37.

temples empty, market empty, most of the place empty, every part is

:24:38.:24:44.

empty. We need tourism more than anything else. Replacing Luxor's

:24:45.:24:48.

star attraction Tutankhamun's tomb with a facsimile may well be seen as

:24:49.:24:52.

commercial suicide for a town already on its knees. Initial

:24:53.:24:57.

reaction was rather sceptical from a guide there. It will be negative for

:24:58.:25:02.

tourism because I'm sure that every country could have replicas of other

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tombs back home. One in Japan, one in America. There is no need to come

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anymore to see the tomb. The public will be given, for a period of time

:25:12.:25:15.

at least, a chance to see both the original and the facsimile and judge

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for themselves. The Travel Show was allowed a sneak preview and we took

:25:20.:25:24.

an Egyptologist as well. Well, I'm sorry but I have to say it's

:25:25.:25:32.

marvellous. This is just the start of a reappraisal of many of the

:25:33.:25:35.

world's ailing antiquities. It looks like tourists may now have to get

:25:36.:25:46.

used to visiting replicas instead. Let me just remind you of our

:25:47.:25:54.

breaking news. The NBA has banned Donald Sterling for life. He is the

:25:55.:26:02.

owner of the LA Clippers. He is alleged to have made racist remarks.

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He was fined $2.5 million and banned for life and even from associating

:26:10.:26:16.

with players. Pro-Russian protesters have stormed

:26:17.:26:29.

various buildings in Luhansk. John Kerry has blamed Russia.

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The IOC has said the preparations for the Olympics are the worst it

:26:43.:26:43.

has ever seen. Good evening. It looks as though

:26:44.:27:06.

Wednesday. Tough with grey skies. There will be dense fog

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