19/05/2014 World News Today


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Catastrophic floods across the Balkans begin to recede,


but officials say dangers remain. Thousands of homes have been


destroyed and about 1 million people lack drinking water in the worst


floods for 100 years. The Kremlin orders troops near Ukraine's border


to return home but NATO claims there's no sign yet of a withdrawl.


The US charges five Chinese army officers with hacking into American


companies to gain trade and economic secrets. Beijing demands Washington


withdraw the allegations saying they could damage relations.


And is this the man to turn around Manchester United's fortunes? Fans


across the world will be hoping so. Dutchman Louis van Gaal is made


international aid operation is going on in Bosnia and Serbia, after the


worst flooding there since records began. The River Sava which you can


see here flows from Croatia, through Bosnia Herzegovina and into Serbia.


It burst its banks after the equivalent of three months rain fell


in just three days. Helicopters sent by the EU, the United States and


Russia have been evacuating the area. 35 people have been killed and


tens of thousands have been forced to leave their homes. Waters are now


beginning to recede but the dangers remain. Officials say there is a


threat of landslides as well as difficulties caused by unexploded


Our Balkans correspondent Guy Delauney has more.


The Western Balkans under water. These are the region has seen in


living memory. It has forced tens of thousands of people from their


homes. Three months of rain fell in just three days last week, and this


is the result. International aid is coming in for people without power


and freshwater. My house has been flooded up to the roof. We will


really need help. In Serbia, at least the floodwater has been


receding, as fears of a reserve -- are per search ease. Many people are


still cut off, and food and water supplies are scarce. Just like the


rest of the town, this hotel is underwater. A boat is really the


only sensible way to get around this town now. There are some people who


still remained. These rescue workers are bringing and emergency supplies


for them and for the hundreds upon hundreds of people who are trying to


help the situation here. Agriculture has been hit badly. Officials say it


might take five years to recover. Livestock have been left to fend for


themselves, and for the many uninsured farmers, it is a disaster.


The aid effort flies a multitude of flags. There are rescue helicopters


from the United States and Russia as well as the European Union. The


sandbags remain in place, with concerns that river levels might


rise later in the week. At least the rain has stopped, but there will be


fresh challenges once the water recedes.


The latest on the floods. President Putin has said he's


ordered troops currently stationed near Russia's border with eastern


Ukraine to withdraw to Earlier this year Russia seized


control of Crimea in southern Ukraine which emboldened


pro-Russian separatists movement


on Russia's border with Ukraine. So far, we have not been any


withdrawal. At all. I strongly regret that, because a with drawl of


Russian troops would be in importance contribution to the


escalating the crisis. There is no reason whatsoever why the Russians


should have massive military forces at that scale along Ukrainian


borders. That was the NATO Secretary General.


Joining me from Moscow is Dimitry Babich, political analyst


If this withdrawal fact or fiction? Very few people in Moscow, at least


not amongst those I interviewed, they believe these trips can be


used. The operation on the Ukrainian side of the border continues, and I


would like to note that the statement was made in the context of


him saying that he was happy about the context between the authorities


in Kiev and the separatists in the east of Ukraine, so I'd think both


of these statements are sort of peaceful movements by Putin. He


wants a settlement, not an escalation of the conflict. So,


these round table talks that have been held with all of the various


groups in the Ukraine, a product from the separatists to the


government they have got blood from the separatists to the


government they have got on their hands, are you now saying that


Moscow's understanding is that Kiev is now speaking to the pro-Russian


separatists who wants to join Moscow? I do not think Putin was


referring to the round table, because not a single representative


of these self proclaimed republics at this round table... I think that


Putin would not like a war next to his border. Right now, hostilities


are claiming dozens of lives every day, and everyone understands that


every shot fired makes a future United Ukraine a more and more


distant reality. I have my own experience in Chechnya, where people


who had been little oil Soviets -- pro-Loyalist of its citizens when it


started alienated themselves from Russia. We are talking about years


of side of months. In a number of months, people can be alienated from


Kiev. You are talking about those regions in eastern Ukraine that held


those referendums to break away from Kiev. Tell us then, briefly, in your


view, this announcement by Putin, whether he has with drawn are not,


is this a clear sign that Russia is moving to the escalate the tensions,


to defuse the crisis in Ukraine? Putin several times that that he


moved the troops away, that he was not going to use the troops in the


east of Ukraine. I think we can believe him on that, because he


understands that the consequences this time are going to be serious.


The main problem is that the process has got out of control. Neither


Russia nor it Kiev, unless Kiev starts negotiations with the


separatists in the East, can stop the violence. Thank you very much


for joining us. A new source of tensions has


emerged between the US and China. Washington has filed criminal


charges against five Chinese military officials whom it accuses


of hacking into the computers Beijing has reacted angrily


and asked the US to withdraw the allegations, but the US Attorney


General Eric Holder has said the This administration will not


tolerate actions by any nation that seeks to illegally sabotaged


American companies and undermine the integrity of competition in the


operation of the free market. This case should serve as a wake-up call


to the seriousness of the ongoing cyber threats. These criminal


charges represent a step forward in addressing that threat.


That was Eric holder there. We have heard claims before but this


is a bit different. The US has been talking about


economic cyber espionage for a few years, saying there were lots of


secrets. They started to point the finger at China, but we have never


had erect indictment of named individuals. And the FBI website


there is a section called cyber most wanted, and you can find five


Chinese people on that list. You can see why this is an escalation by the


US in terms of something it has been talking about for a long time, its


concern about cyber economic espionage. And Beijing have reacted


angrily. They have suspended cooperation in certain areas. They


say they are the victims of packing and not the perpetrator is in


certain areas. They say they are the victims of packing and not the


perpetrators and victims and of the perpetrators. No courtesy of Edward


Snowden. We know that America itself is not above going above this


espionage. The US was trying to build pressure on China last year


and then came along Edward Snowden, who revealed that the US was


entering into Chinese companies, and that really threw the American


campaign. The Americans claim that what they do is different. They say


China carries out commercial espionage and gives the secrets to


Chinese companies to help them economically. America claims it does


not do that, but it might not hack into other companies, but that


might... Some people might dispute that.


But we found that her wet hacking going on by the Americans. Do people


accept that claim from the US? A lot of people want except that. That is


the American claim that they have made consistently, and that is why


they say what China does is different, and now, after a year on


the back foot, they are trying to once again present this case with


China Tuesday, we may do traditional espionage, but we don't want you


doing this commercial espionage. How do you think this will unravel? The


Chinese are not likely to submit these officials for trial. There is


no chance of these people being suddenly put on a plane and sent to


America. It is a symbolic step but it raises the temperature. How will


China respond? What America wants is for China Tuesday, we do not want


this pressure, we will stand back from some of this more aggressive


commercial espionage, the Americans as they are happening and scare them


off, but will be Chinese retaliate in some other way? It is possible.


There are risks to this strategy. Thank you. More fighting has been


reported in the city between rival militia. Troops at an Air Force base


in the eastern city are reported to have joined forces with a rogue


general who the government accuses of trying to mount a coup. Partial


results from last month's elections in Iraq show the coalition of the


Prime Minister is the biggest winner. Although he is unlikely to


win an outright majority, he is likely to remain as Prime Minister


for a third term. The defence in the trial of the former Bosnian Serb


army chief on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity has a


bend in The Hague. He faces a total of 11 charges, the most serious of


which is his alleged involvement in a massacre of more than 7000 Muslim


men and boys in 1995. His defence argues that he was simply a soldier


following orders. For many of the survivors, his face is synonymous


with their severing. The prosecution used this but age of the general on


the battlefield during their case. Here he is, just before the


slaughter started. His defence will argue that paramilitary groups were


responsible for the massacre, that he had no idea that these atrocities


among the worst since the Second World War, were being committed, and


that all commands even by this self-proclaimed patriot for purely


designed to defend his people. The first defence witness was an


assisting commander in Mladic's Army. He served in Sarajevo during


the three year siege, in which approximately 12,000 people were


killed, most of them Muslim. General Mladic's forces are confused --


accused of shelling and sniping, designed to kill and spread terror


amongst civilians. The first witnesses evidence relates to the


use of snipers. He denied they had access to site -- rifles with


optical sight. He also told the court they were under orders only to


open fire in the event of an enemy attack. According to the


prosecution, Mladic was part of a targeted campaign designed to


ethnically cleanse parts of Bosnia and turn them into an ethnically


your republic. The defence has been given the same amount of time as the


prosecution to present their side of the case, and that is 207 hours,


which means, in theory, this high-profile trial could go on for


at least another two years. For those whose relatives lie here,


justice can only be served if Mladic stays alive for long enough to faith


his final legal judgment. Across Syria,


it's difficult to imagine that despite the horrors of the war,


normal human activity carries on. For instance students have begun


sitting their public exams. Thousands


of schools have been destroyed and millions of children displaced


during the bloody conflict. So it is extremely tough for some


children to even get to school. Our Chief International


Correspondent Lyse Doucet got rare access to the besieged Palestinian


camp of Yarmouk, on the edge of Damascus, and reports


on the students' hazardous journey Yarmouk -


the refugee camp for Palestinians that is now a symbol for suffering.


It has been besieged by government forces for nearly and torn by the


fight against rebels. On this day and there's a moment of


calm and an agreement to let students out. The skills across


Syria face final tests. We heard gunfire just before their journey


started. Students trying to fit that smacks it there is 's may seem


simple thing but here in Yarmouk, it took days of negotiations for a


cease-fire. In the last visit to Yarmouk, we saw how desperate


conditions are. Thousands of families trapped inside, depending


on food aid, but only getting a quarter of what they need to


survive, because the situation is so volatile. No wonder there is such


relief when the students finally emerge. This man has not seen his


daughter for ten months. He tells me, my happiness is so big. I can


spread it around the world. You seem very happy. Thank you. Bosses


organised by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees take students


away. They call the parents they left behind, and try to remember the


streets that they have not seen for months. -- buses. When they arrive


at the schools, that now serve as shelters, there are more tearful


reunions. It is not to get the permission or not to have the


permission, to have a small movement of people in and out, so that we


feel that we have the choice to move. Exams are not the only thing


on the minds of students who have escaped from a living hell. We have


to eat food that no one can eat, grass, spices. Life is difficult


inside. You cannot understand it until you live here. I was outside


the house when I came home. I found that a rocket landed and my mother


and two sisters were killed, my other two sisters injured. Every day


we went to school. We put all hands on our hearts, because so many


people had died, but we insisted we had to go to school. Of course we


were scared but we had to continue. If we lose our future, no one can


help us. It is straight to revision for their exams. They know how much


they matter. But when they are over, it is back to Yarmouk, well their


lives, and their future, is not in their hands. The challenges for


children in Syria. Louis van Gaal has been named


as manager of Manchester United. The Dutchman has signed a three-year


contract to succeed David Moyes, who left the club last month after


a difficult ten months in the job. The footballer Ryan Giggs has been


announced as his assistant, thereby ending his long playing


career with the club. But all eyes will be


on Louis van Gaal, to see if he can turn around the club after


their worst season in many years. Let's get more on this


from our Sports team. Louis van Gaal says this will be a


fantastic challenge. He will have to put in a good performance. He said


he was offered the job back in 2002 when Sir Alex Ferguson was going to


stand down from the position. He went on for another 11 years after


that. Better late than never, many would say, but he takes over as the


Manchester United manager. He has managed iPAQs and Barcelona and


Bayern Munich in the past. We must put this in perspective. 62 years of


age. He has Ryan Giggs in place as his assistant. Is this a long-term


plan? Will he be there for three years and then hand his place over?


He has been in charge at the Netherlands when they have failed to


qualify for the World Cup finals. They were beaten in Brazil. And he


was sacked by Barcelona in his second spell at the club after


leaving them in mid-season only three points above the relegation


zone. He is known for nurturing young players and bringing them


through, as he did at IMAX when he won the Champions League and league


title double back in 1995, it is going to be a tough test for him,


but it is one that he will look forward to. He has a very tough,


strict style of management. His nickname is the iron tulip. That


gives away what he wants to do with his players. He is strong and is


open. He expects the same from his players. It will be interesting to


see if Manchester United can return to Europe because the are in Europe


next season, for the first time in 25 years.


Earlier we brought you the latest on the crisis in Ukraine. Well,


one Ukrainian singer and composer, Marianna Sadovska,


has been bringing her musical reflection on the situation to


She has brought her Chernobyl Harvest to the


Barbican Centre, in a concert with the American Kronos Quartet.


Alexander Kan, the BBC Russian Service's Cultural Editor,


went along to hear the music and to speak to her.


Chernobyl harvest is a haunting requiem for the Soviet nuclear


disaster in Ukraine, in 1986 from Marianni Sadovska. The composition


uses traditional songs. The area is full of polluted by the disaster.


The invention of Marianni Sadovska was not only to remind people of


Chernobyl but also of Ukraine's national and cultural identity. We


are not Russian, our language is not a Russian dialect. We have a


generation who grew up with does not know what Chernobyl was. This is to


be the voice of that generation. Today, Ukraine is going through a


different national crisis. With the country being literally torn apart,


and standing on the brink of civil war, Marianni Sadovska believes that


music can become a weapon in this struggle. My culture in this moment


is at war, and under occupation. It is not easy, I must say, because I


have a voice, all my friends and family know that we have to sing, we


have to be heard, throughout Europe. By commissioning the piece


long before the current crisis, David Harrington, a musician, not


politician, was first and foremost enchanted by the voice of Marianni


Sadovska and of the Ukrainian ethnic songs. I do not think that Chernobyl


harvest is going to solve all the problems that exist right now in


Ukraine and Russia. I am not sure of that, but it is definitely moving


things in a positive direction. Marianni Sadovska's Chernobyl


harvest was given its premiere last July in a different year. But


today, the piece has acquired a much more powerful set of political


connotations. Officials and volunteers are working


feverishly to contain the floods across the Balkans,


with emergency teams being called Serbia and Bosnia are struggling


with the worst flooding in At least 35 people have died


in five days of flooding caused Entire towns and villages are under


water, thousands of hills have


crumpled into landslides and tens of thousands have been


forced to flee their homes. That's it from me and the team.


Again, the, night offers a mixture of weather across the British Isles,


mild in all areas but some thunderstorm activity. Tomorrow,


some of us seeing quite a bit of warm sunshine. Others, some heavy


downpours. It


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