12/05/2014 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today with me, Kasia Madera.


Our top story - the first glimpse of Nigeria's abducted schoolgirls.


A video which appears to show more than 100 of them is released


Their leader says they will only be released


The polls close in the world's biggest democracy.


So is Narendra Modi about to become India's next Prime Minister ?


Also coming up, Ukraine's separatist leaders reach out to Russia.


But the government in Kiev calls their controversial


Hello and welcome. The militant Islamist group Boko Haram has


released a new video which it says shows some of the more than 200


girls who were kidnapped from their school in Nigeria four weeks ago.


In the recording, the group's leader says the girls would not be freed


until its members had been released from prison.


The girls were taken from their school in Chibok in the North


Eastern state of Borno on the 14th of April.


Our World Affairs Editor John Simpson sent this report from nearby


136 girls, most Christian until a month ago, obediently chanting the


first part of the Koran dressed in Islamic headscarves.


If you look closely, not all of them are chancing. It is the first


sighting of them, yet more than half of the girls are not here, maybe


because they refused to convert or because of some other reason, we


don't know. One of the girls is led to the front and told to give a


Muslim name rather than her Christian one. She is clearly


frightened. In the video, Boko Haram's leader,


said to be Frank Bryant, clever and mocking, launches into a harangue.


-- said to be flamboyant. Translation-macro These girls, we


have liberated them. They have become Muslims, they are staying


with us. This man is desperate for news of


the girls. He has made the dangerous journey from Chibok, where they were


kidnapped. No fewer than six of his relatives were taken but he can't


spot in the video. This must be pretty shocking for you


to see this. It is one of the most shocking moments I have ever found


myself in. This is in human, it is not correct, it is unfair, there is


no need for them to impose on them the Islamic religion. Everybody has


the right to choose what religion to follow.


Politicians here are furious with the federal government. They say


that although Nigeria has one of Africa's biggest army is nothing


serious is being done to get the girls back.


They tell you they are doing their best but we as parents would only


say the government have done very well if the girls are back safe and


healthy. No politician travels anywhere here


without a heavily armed escort. This is a silent and frightened city. The


fact is, Boko Haram has the upper hand in Borno State as a whole and


its influence of power even here in the capital city is certainly


present. It looks as though the government down in Abuja simply does


not care about any of this, any more than it has put any effort at all


into searching for the missing girls. The question is, when Boko


Haram suggest a swap, those Christian girls who have refused to


convert in exchange for guerrillas captured by the government, could


this be the beginning of negotiation or is it just talk?


With me is the freelance journalist and academic Lizz Pearson, who's


written about Boko Haram and the abduction of women. And also with us


Zero Mackay look, this video appears to be genuine. Describe what we see.


The Boko Haram leader made it clear that the reason he decided to


release this video is because of the international outrage about the


kidnapping of these girls. It is genuine as far as we understand and


in this video he made it clear that he is ready, if the Nigerian


government is willing, to release Boko Haram prisoners, he is ready to


release the girls who have not converted to Islam. For those who,


he says, have decided to convert, they have now become their sisters


so he is not going to release them even if the government is releasing


Boko Haram prisoners. This video does not show all of the girls, we


believe it is just over a hundred of the over 200 kidnapped, and it seems


they are in the process of being converted to Islam. Yes, we count


about 130 girls in living the O. We had them reciting the first verse of


the Koran. -- 130 girls in the video. It is clear that the Koran is


trying to either force them or convince them to convert to Islam,


that is why we saw them wearing hijab, the full Islamic dress for


women, so I think Boko Haram is trying to force or convince those


girls to convert to Islam, while others who have not converted are


not in the video. The scale of what happened in Chibok is unprecedented


but Boko Haram have four main kidnapping schoolgirls, kidnapping


women. -- have form in kidnapping. Yes, this dates to 2011, 2012, when


the Nigerian police began to arrest wives and members of Boko Haram. The


leader says, you take are women, we will take your women, and he


threatens retaliation. -- you take our women. He wants to use them as


bartering chips to force the release of these women and other militants


who have been arrested. The conditions in which these women are


kept, how are they being treated? We have seen in other cases where women


have been released by have been unharmed, they were not badly


treated or injured, but we know that the Koran is also abducted women as


they flee. -- Boko Haram. They are forcing girls to convert if they are


Christian to Islam, they are raping them, forcing them into marriage,


using them to entice soldiers into positions where they can be


targeting. The women are not always well treated. -- they can be


targeted. The Nigerian government is saying it is reviewing all of its


options. It isn't -- under incredible treasure to do something.


-- it is under. We have the interior minister saying he finds it absurd


to talk to the organisation. What we understand is that minute -- the


Nigerian government in the past tried to reach out to Boko Haram,


they looked into ways of finding how to reach out to them, a report was


submitted and it suggested the government should set up another


committee that would work underground to reach out to


officials of Boko Haram but what we don't know now is whether the


government is doing something underground to reach out to them. I


think everything is possible at the moment. It seems the Nigerian


government's initial attempts to scare off Boko Haram by abducting


their wives has completely backfired. Yes, the strategy has


worked to some degree in the past, but the long-term security of women


living in these affected areas of Nigeria has to be a priority,


because they have been vulnerable, they have not been protected, and


this can't go on. We are out of time but thank you both very much for


coming in to speak to us. We will keep you updated when we hear no. --


here more. Polls have closed in the final day


of India's six-week long voting process, with exit polls indicating


a victory for the opposition party BJP. Surveys also suggest the worst


ever performance by the governing Congress Party, but it's important


to remember that polls have been wrong in the past. Official results


are due out on Friday. Many key Election Commission figures show


that it was the highest ever turnout at 66%. Which means that just short


of 550 million Indians voted in these landmark elections. It's worth


remembering that a party or coalition needs a minimum of 272


seats to form a majority government. So, what do we know so


far from today's exit polls? Well, my colleague Sanjoy Majumder is in


Delhi. It is important to stress that the


exit polls have been wrong before. That is right. Many people in India


don't take these polls seriously because they have been so inaccurate


in the past. In the last two elections they got it completely


wrong and they have often overestimated the BJP's performance.


Nevertheless, in the last few hours we have seen several exit polls


pointing to a dramatic victory for the BJP, suggesting that they will


cross the magic figure -- magic figure of 272, one poll suggesting


it will fall slightly short. It points to a massive defeat for the


Congress Party. We will have to wait until Friday to see how these


numbers stack up but one person who will be very pleased if it turns out


how it is being projected is the BJP leader, Modi. Many people believe he


is poised to take over the reins of the world's largest democracy. He


was in one of the country's most holy cities, from where my colleague


sent this report. The longest election in Indian


history is finally over and the organisers say it has set an even


more important record for turnout. I am happy to inform you that the


National voter turnout in this election is 66.38%, the highest ever


in the history of Indian national elections.


This is the man now being tipped to become in the's next prime minister


Modi the Hindu nationalist BJP. He is promising stronger leadership and


faster growth. Exit polls put him ahead of his rivals but the actual


results will not be counted until Friday. There was a record turnout


in this holy city where he was running. Voters came early and in


large numbers to beat the heat. Today even the city's holy men


shared the same goal, to cast their vote.


In villages and homes everybody has to come out and vote to make India


stronger. By running in Varanasi, Mr Modi was


hoping for a personal mandate in the spiritual capital of the Hindu


religion. He has faced significant opposition, especially from


minorities who fear he hopes to turn India away from its secular


traditions but his vow to get the economy back on track seems to have


struck a chord with millions of voters. Exit polls have often been


wrong but record turnouts in elections usually mean big change


and the BGP says that Modi is on course to be India's next prime


minister. -- the BJP. We heard him say that it was the


economy that really hurt -- struck a chord with voters. If you look at


what voters have been saying throughout this election, it does


not matter which part of the country you go to, largely the concerns are


the same, the state of the economy, the cost of living, rising prices. A


third of the voters is under the age of 30, so jobs are the big issue,


and many look to Mr Modi's record in Gujarat, his home state, where he


has managed to make the state a magnet for foreign investment,


infrastructure is significantly better than other parts of the


country, so many people hope he can bring that kind of administrative


skill to Delhi and do what he did to Gujarat for the rest of India. Thank


you very much. You can expect full results on Friday, we will bring


that to you. Now a look at some


of the day's other news. The Taliban have launched their


summer offensive in Afghanistan Several locations across


the country have been attacked. Two rockets hit


Kabul International Airport There was also an attack on the US


airbase in Bagram And at a courthouse in Jalalabad


in the east of the country, The World Health Organisation says


alcohol abuse kills more than three million people every year


and it's called on governments to do The WHO says


the excessive consumption of alcohol is linked to more than 200 diseases,


and also leads to deaths through Europeans are the heaviest drinkers,


but the UN body also says nearly half of all adults worldwide have


never touched alcohol. Australian scientists say


strengthening winds in the Southern Ocean are


the reason why temperatures in Antarctica are not rising


as much as in other continents. The researchers from the


Australian National University say high levels of greenhouse gases have


triggered the strongest storms in 1,000 years and these are


trapping cold air over Antarctica. Pro-Russian militants


in eastern Ukraine have said they want to become part of the


Russian Federation following The government in Kiev has denounced


the polls as illegal and EU foreign ministers have expanded sanctions


imposed as a result of Russia's Sarah Rainsford reports


from Donetsk. The morning after the rabble


referendum. Slaviansk is astral cold. There were clashes overnight


with troops on the outskirts. Now, it is calm. Across the region,


activists have been collating the results of the vote. As expected,


they declared a landslide victory for self-rule, claiming a record


turnout. But this was no ordinary ballot. Held alongside the armed men


now in control here. The rebels say this region has now spoken, and its


destiny is decided. But away from the barricade, I found opinion


deeply divided, even among Russian speakers. TRANSLATION: There are


lots of nationalities in this region, not just brushing. Why


should they become Russian citizens, just because some people speak


Russian? They want to live in Ukraine. Slavic people should be


together. I want to join Russia. After what has happened here, this


country can no longer be united. On the streets here, life looks pretty


normal. People are going about their business. But just a few metres away


at City Hall, there are still pro-Russian rebels in control. There


are armed men on checkpoints right around the city. And Russia, which


has called on the rebels to postpone their referendum, now says that


people here have spoken and there will must be respected. TRANSLATION:


We respect the will of the population of the Donetsk and


Luhansk regions. We hope that article in the mentation of the


outcome of the referendums will proceed along civilised lines


without further outbreaks of violence, and through dialogue.


International leaders have condemned the vote as a farce. These


referendums have zero credibility in the eyes of the world. They are


illegal by anybody's standards. They don't meet any standard, not a


single one, of objectivity, transparency, fairness. But events


are moving very fast. In bold and buy their votes, the rebels are


talking of a parallel government, even a military one. Stepping back


is becoming increasingly difficult. A migrant boat believed to be


carrying around 200 people has sunk south of


the Sicilian island of Lampedusa. The Sicilian Navy says vessels from


the Mare Nostrum task force, set up after hundreds of people drowned in


migrant boat disasters last year, Yet another tragedy in what is a


very tragic set of historical situations with Lampedusa. And


Italian navy ship gave quite a detailed account of what has been


going on here. It seems this has been happening in an area very far


south of Lampedusa, in fact, only about 45 miles from the Libyan


coast. It seems that around late morning local time, a couple of tug


boats working in the Libyan oil field noticed that there was a


migrant vessel in trouble, and it was taking in water, and as those


tug boats reported this to the Italian Navy, I saw that the boat


actually sank, and it seems that passengers were plunged into the


water. The tug boats did heroic work, it seems, picking up survivors


from the sea and picking up some of the dad that we have heard about, at


least 17 picked up so far. # the debt. The Italian Navy and Coast


Guard raced to the scene, and they are on station at the moment.


Apologies for the loss of sound. We appear to be having technical


difficulties with our line, but just to let you know, at least 14 people


have drowned following the sinking of a boat carrying migrants from


Libya to Italy, the second such incident in one week. We will keep


you updated when we get more details.


The murder trial of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has heard


a psychiatrist explain that an untreated anxiety order could


have influenced his behaviour the night he shot


Merryll Vorster was called as a defence witness and said


Oscar Pistorius suffered from a life-long anxiety order


because of his amputated legs and his mother's early death.


He denies intentionally killing Ms Steenkamp.


She said that his actions and should be seen in that context. Here is our


correspondent with more. Today Wednesday 30 of the murder trial


here in Pretoria. The court heard from a defence witness, who has a


Ph.D. In forensic psychiatry. She told the court that when Oscar


Pistorius was a young child, at the tender age of 11, when he had his


legs amputated, he may have experienced that as a traumatic


assault. She also said he may have grown up being told he must be like


other kids, but he knew there was something wrong with him, he was a


double-amputee. She also explained that when she interviewed him, she


had diagnosed him with a condition called generalised anxiety


disorder. The prosecution pounced on that, saying that if he had


generalised anxiety disorder, could that be equal to a mental illness?


He is now putting in an application to the courts for him to go for an


evaluation. His "true and fearsome friend" -


that's how internationally acclaimed photographer


Stephen Dupont describes the Pacific For more than a decade, he has been


taking portraits of the country's tribal traditions and capturing


images that outsiders seldom see. Recently Dupont's diaries


and pictures were published, Papua New Guinea is known as the


land of the unexpected. You really feel like you are stepping back in


time, in a way. You can be in the Highlanders and feel like there is


first contact, it is that promotes and way off the beaten track. What


is so fascinating about Papua New Guinea and the clash of


modernisation of the West against the Stone Age, any sense, and that


is what I have been drawn to the photographer, to covering society


and looking at that clash of cultures. August 20 three, 2011.


This is the heart and soul of TNG, along with the islands missing out


on this would be like going to Brazzaville and not going up the


Congo river. Ever since I picked up a camera, essentially, I wrote


diaries. The diaries progressed in a way from handwritten diaries two


more like art books, so I am now sketching, putting into things and


making collages, and they become very much a part of my entire body


of work. September 15, 2011. Heard of Paradise Hotel. Room 212. Every


town in Papua New Guinea feels like a border town. They all seem to have


this frontier feeling, transit places. People coming and going. An


edgy kind of vibe life to it. The whole gang thing is quite new. It is


not something that has been around for some time. It is something that


grew out of urbanisation and 80% unemployment. I don't know anywhere


in the world that has that kind of figure for unemployment. The


conditions of that society, the poverty, the unemployment, has


forced these people into crime, think. From here, we took the river.


The water is so dark and chocolatey collard, it is almost black,


reflecting the sky and clouds and the approaching foothills of the


Highland mountains. The tribal gatherings in the


Highlands are essentially cultural festivals. Thousands of different


tribes coming together from all over to compete for fame and glory. It is


Stone Age would start. It is wild. Dash-macro Woodstock. I feel


grateful more than anything that I allowed to go and capture these


moments, because you don't take pictures, you are given pictures. It


is a gift. The acclaimed photographers Steven


Dupont sharing some of his remarkable photos from Papua New


Guinea. We have lots more as always on our website, but from me and the


team, thanks very much for watching, and you can follow me on Twitter.


For now, goodbye. Parts of the UK have been dealing


with some intense thundery downpours again today, with showers in the




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