20/05/2014 World News Today


20/05/2014

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. Two big

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explosions have hit the central Nigerian city of Jos. The bombs,

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concealed in a lorry and a minibus, hit a busy marketplace. Up to 46

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people are reported dead. The Thai Army has imposed martial law after

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months of political tension. It insists this is not a coup. As the

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first person in the UK is convicted of terrorist offences in relation to

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the war in Syria, police warn that anyone travelling to "fight jihad"

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there is "highly likely" to be arrested on their return. And as

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rock-and-roll turns 60, we will look at the song that started it all.

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Hello and welcome. Two large explosions have struck a city in the

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centre of Nigeria. The blasts hit a crowded marketplace in Jos, a city

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that has been at the centre of ethnic and religious clashes for

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years. These are some of the latest images the BBC is getting showing

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the devastation in the city which lies between the country's mainly

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Muslim north and mainly Christian south. Police are telling the BBC

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that at least 46 people have died, many more are injured. It isn't

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known who is responsible. Suspicions are likely to turn to Boko Haram who

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carried out a spate of recent bombings in Nigeria. We can get the

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latest for you from our correspondent Will Ross in the

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Nigerian capital, Abuja, what are you hearing? Police are saying that

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46 people were killed in the two bombs. They were close together

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these two bomb-blasts. One close to a market, where there were many

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stalls set up on a busy road. The second one, a few minutes later,

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right outside the hospital where some of the victims were already

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being taken. It seems the two blasts were aimed at causing a maximum

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number of casualties, just as the attacks, the recent attacks on

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Abuja, people will remember those attacks were on a very busy bus

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park. Scenes of chaos in the area of course because it was so busy at the

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time. Large crowds gathering and the emergency services struggling to get

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crowds away and then get people to the hospitals. Already, religious

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leaders in the area are appealing for calm and for people not to carry

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out any kind of revenge attacks. Will Ross, in Abuja, thank you very

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much. With me here is Peter Okwoche from the BBC's focus on Africa

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programme. Peter, you are are from Jos originally. What are you

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hearing? The details are quite sketchy. This only just happened.

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What we do know about this market, where these explosions took place,

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the biggest market in the city. A market where I shopped a few times

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during my university years. There is a car park next to it, a bus park

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term news next to it. Whoever planned this attack, if indeed it

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was an attack, must have picked that spot because they knew at this time

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of the day, that particular time of the day, there would be a lot of

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people there. It's practically in the centre of Jos. Maximum impact?

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Maximum impact. That is what I believe they have been aiming for.

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We are not quite sure if it was an attack. Jos, there have been

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tensions and attacks there too? Jos lies on the faultline of the

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Christian south and the Muslim north. And Jos has really beautiful

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climate. A place where a lot of people from all parts of the country

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migrated to in the 60s and 70s. That is how my parents end up there. I

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was born there. There have been tensions with the people of the area

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and settlers from the north of the country, who they claim came to take

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the land away from them and spoil their crops, and stuff like that. In

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the past there have been ethnic tensions as well as religious

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tensions. We are seeing what could potentially be attacks by Boko

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Haram, which have happened in the past before. The finger of suspicion

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has been pointed to them first given what happened in the last few weeks?

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Absolutely. I think so. Simply because these explosions, these

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bombs were actually placed in buses. That is the modus operandi of Boko

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Haram. We have seen that in the Federal territory in recent weeks.

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That is how they carry out their own attacks. We will hear eventually

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that these attacks were carried out by Boko Haram. The point they are

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making is, we are not just about the north-east, we may have a stronghold

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there, but we can terrorise across the area? Nobody quite believed when

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they hit Abuja on 14th May and did it a couple of days later. They are

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telling people, we are coming for you. They have sent letters, as far

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as we know, to other state capitals further south telling them that - we

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can reach you if we want to. Peter Okwoche thank you for coming into

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the studio. To Thailand, where the caretaker Prime Minister is pleading

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with the Army to act peacefully and within the constitution following

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its imposition of martial law. He has been calling for fresh elections

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in August. The Army says has been calling for fresh elections

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country split by deep political divisions, it's taken control to

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ensure law and order, including control of many radio

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ensure law and order, including stations. It has also blocked many

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roads around the capital, Bangkok, in order to control the streets. The

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more on the latest dramatic turn of events, this report from the BBC's

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Jonah Fisher. After seven months of demonstrations on the streets of the

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Thai capital, the army decided it had seen enough. In the early hours

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of this morning, troops moved in. Blocking Bangkok's streets,

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surrounding protest sites and occupying television stations. Army

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commander Prayuth Chan-Ocha declared martial law had been introduced to

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prevent bloodshed and restore stability, he said. He stopped short

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of stability, he said. He stopped short

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is now firmly in charge stability, he said. He stopped short

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status of the elected government vague. It's not clear what forced

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the army's hands, as the protests dragged on, they have become

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Evermore violent and unpredictable. This week the leader of the

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anti-government movement, called for a final battle in what has become a

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desperate attempt to seize powers. Many of his supporters are wealthy

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residents. They see politics as being hopelessly corrupted by the

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former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra. Two weeks ago the courts

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forced Thaksin Shinawatra's sister to step down. More will depend on

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how the government supporters respond to the army's move. There is

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an almost eerie calm here. Many of the soldiers have returned to

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barracks, on the surface, at least, this is a very discreet form of

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martial law. Having decided to step in, the onus is now very much on the

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Thai military to try and broker some sort of way out of Thailand's

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political crisis. The other news: Bosnian officials say more than a

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quarter of the population has been left without clean water after

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severe flooding across many parts of former Yugoslavia. The rain has

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stopped. There are fears that dead livestock could pose a health hazard

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as the weather warms up. More than half a million people have been

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forced out of their homes across the region. The United States says the

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CIA ended the use of vaccine programmes in it is spying

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operations in Pakistan in August because of concern for the safety of

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health workers. Genetic material obtained through a fake door-to-door

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vaccination campaign reportedly helped the CIA track down Osama bin

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Laden. Pakistan is now in the grip of a polio crisis partly because

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health workers and vaccine programmes have been killed by the

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Pakistani Taliban. A freight train has crashed into a passenger train

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just outside Moscow, killing at least six people and injuring

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dozens. According to officials, carriages on the goods train

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derailed and hit the passenger train on its way to Chisinau in Moldova.

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The cause of the crash has not yet been established. Traffic on the

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line, which also serves Kiev an Ukraine, has also been suspended. A

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31-year-old man has become the first person in the UK to be convicted of

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terrorist offences in connection with the conflict of Syria. Father

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of two, Mashudur Choudhury, was convicted of engaging in conduct in

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preparation for terrorist acts after travelling to Syria to attend a

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terrorist training camp. With me now is Jonathan Russell from the

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counter-extremism think-tank, The Quilliam Foundation. Tell me

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something about how counter-extremism think-tank, The

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Quilliam Foundation. Tell the case against Choudhury was developed? Is

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was develop It ed through his social media activity. This is interesting

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to us. Not only because it's the first conviction of a Britton for

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terrorism-related activity in relation to the Syria conflict, also

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because we see again the use of the internet and the use of social media

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in his radicalisation. -- Briton. Is that a common theme? Certainly. We

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released a report about countering extremism online. Looking at the

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state of extremism and the best ways to counter it. We see actually

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online is simply a continuation of offline these days. Therefore,

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radicalisation does not solely happen online, we can pick up

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certain signals from online behaviour and, crucially, we can use

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the internet to spread counter speech and spread counter narratives

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to combat extremism and terrorism-related offences. How can

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you spread that? Say the Home Office or police departments may want to

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get out the message that, you know, if you go to Syria and come back

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after fighting, we will arrest you. They are not credible with the kind

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of young men who will go out to fight? Of course. That is why there

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needs to be a combination of efforts. This conviction acts as a

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stick, if you like, to act as a disincentive for people to go and

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fight. The legal precedent, of course, to convict people who fight

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alongside terrorist groups in countries like Syria has existed

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since the 2000 and the 2006 Terrorism Act. But the efforts must

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also be added to with preventative measures. What we are suggesting is

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online preventative measures. We get a combination of public sector,

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private-sector and third sector initiatives together to improve

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effectiveness with these counter marrives. How much effective use of

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social ya media do you see from Muslim elders, from those within the

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community who might get listened to, it's those voices you need online

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with a different narrative, doesn't it? Occasionally. We see a change,

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in fact, perhaps 20 years ago the elders in the communities might have

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been useful to this. We see that as a cause of the problem, rather than

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a solution. We see now that third generation are the ones who are

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disenfranchised with their fathers or grandfathers who perhaps are in

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control of the mosques and who are the so-called community leaders.

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They want to surge ahead themselves and create their own political

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consciousness and solve their own identity crisis. Onto their ground?

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We have to engage with young British Muslims. The overwhelming majority

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going to fight in Syria are young British, 18-25-year-olds, who care

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about this crisis, as much as I do. Jonathan Russell, we have to leave

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it there. Thank you for coming in to talk us through that. The search has

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resumed for four British sailors who have been missing in the Atlantic

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since Friday. The US Coastguard confirmed it began searching again

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after an online petition gathered 200,000 signatures. The yacht,

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Cheeky Rafiki, was sailing back from a regret a in the Caribbean. They

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got into difficulty 1,000 miles off Cape Cod. Dame Ellen MacArthur, who

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twice broke the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the

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globe, told the BBC she backed the families' push for a renewed search.

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Obviously, in looking for the boat itself, they would have been looking

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for the life raft. There is a slim chance they would have missed it.

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There is a chance. I think that is what so many people have come

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together behind, that little chance. If there is a hope, if will is a

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chance, we should take that and see if we can find them one more time.

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The United Nations Refugee Agency says at least 10,000 people have

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been displaced from their homes in Ukraine since the crisis there

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started. Most of them are ethnic Tatars who left Crimea. In the east

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meanwhile, pro-Kiev drivers have been honking their horns today in

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support of UEFA Cup unity calls from the powerful Ukrainian business

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tycoon, Rinat Akhmetov. This is a new, very noisy strategy by those

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who are against what is happening here in eastern Ukraine at the

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moment. They are angry at the political separatismle they

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moment. They are angry at the angry at the attempts to succeed

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from Ukraine. They are angry at the groups roaming through the streets

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of this region. This whole thing had been planned to be a peaceful rally

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in this city, a couple of hours drive from here in Donetsk. Tens of

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thousands planning to take part. It had to be called

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thousands planning to take part. It march. Now we had a call by a big

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steel company, the largest march. Now we had a call by a big

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Donetsk, every day at 12 noon people should come out in their cars, sound

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their horns and show their dissatisfaction with what is

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happening. These are people who are determined to take part in the

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Presidential election this determined to take part in the

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Determined to be part of a united Ukraine, the other side as to what

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we have seen up until now from those Ukraine, the other side as to what

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proseparatist groups. They are determined to have their voices

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the Russian president Vladimir Putin has been meeting his Chinese

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President Putin told Chinese state media that expanding cooperation

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with China is his country's diplomatic priority.

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He described China as a reliable friend and Russia's

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It's believed the two countries could sign a major gas deal,

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although Mr Putin's spokesman says they've yet to agree a price.

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The summit is meant to be all about improving security and stability

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across the whole of Asia but it is one relationship in particular that

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is attracting key attention. With the Russian president feeling the

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cold shoulder of Western diplomacy, makes his arrival here in Shanghai

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be a chance to seek the shelter of China's Warman brace? On the eve of

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the summit, President Putin was quoted as saying...

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This is a summit in which the body language and presentation matter. In

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fact, China is investing a great deal NX system S, pretty much

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shutting down Shanghai, ordering schools and businesses home for the

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day. But despite the sense of warm ties, you can be sure that behind

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the scenes some of the old tensions will be lurking. The Russia-China

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relationship may not be as warm as it seems. With its European gas

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market suddenly under threat over the problems of Ukraine there is

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talk that Moscow is ready to sign an agreement to pump huge quantities of

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gas to China. It was all smiles today as they signed a number of

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trade pacts at no sign yet of that gas deal. Some suggest that behind

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the scenes, Beijing is using Moscow's desperation for upmarket to

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drive a hard price. Amidst the tight security, efforts to strengthen

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regionwide security which may be harder than the public

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pronouncements suggest. As Russia builds up its ties in

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the East, there's been an obvious cooling of relations with the West -

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notably over Ukraine - that has left many European countries very

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anxious to end their reliance One much touted option is fracking -

:18:27.:18:28.

the controversial process of fracturing rock under high

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pressure to release oil and gas But opposition throughout

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Europe is fierce. A survey released here in the UK

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today found support So let's bring you some of the facts

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of fracking with independent scientist Professor Richard Davies

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of Durham University, who joins us Thank you for being with us. From

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your research, why do people tend to be concerned about fracking?

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Lots of people have seen evocative images of people lighting gas as it

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comes out of taps in the United States. It is important to add that

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they could like this gas before racking even started. But that sort

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of imagery travels around really quickly and gets people concerned

:19:26.:19:30.

that racking his cause in water contamination. Also, as we know in

:19:31.:19:35.

the UK, there had been an earthquake in the UK of 2.3 magnitude that was

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caused by fracking and that obviously gets people concerned.

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When you think about the UK as a pretty friendly island. When he

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compared it to the United States were fracking takes place but a

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completely different scale. That's right but there are parts of

:19:56.:20:01.

the United States that are similar to the United Kingdom. But we have

:20:02.:20:09.

quite a compact island and the widespread open places the US has an

:20:10.:20:13.

necessarily available here. You have travelled around Eastern

:20:14.:20:18.

Europe. Where have you seen potential for fracking and concerned

:20:19.:20:25.

for the public? Bulgaria and Ukraine may be

:20:26.:20:35.

appropriate. Romania is barely on -- very early on in the process and

:20:36.:20:41.

Ukraine are also looking at it. How important is it as a source?

:20:42.:20:51.

It could be important but it is incredibly important also to say

:20:52.:20:58.

that many more wells would needs to be drilled. There are rocks under

:20:59.:21:04.

ground that are theoretical. These volumes of gas people talk about our

:21:05.:21:11.

theoretical and until some in producers economically and with

:21:12.:21:15.

permission of society, those numbers should be treated with caution.

:21:16.:21:22.

How close are we to fracking being a significant source of energy in the

:21:23.:21:24.

UK? It has been a slow process in the

:21:25.:21:29.

UK. There are two wells in the last three years which is not a quick

:21:30.:21:35.

development. It may take 20, up to 40 wells to see whether the rocks

:21:36.:21:41.

really are appropriate and that they are maybe we will see more activity.

:21:42.:21:46.

Rock Around the Clock, widely considered to be the song

:21:47.:22:03.

that brough rock n' roll into the mainstream, turns 60 today.

:22:04.:22:06.

To celebrate, the BBC has produced this cover version to

:22:07.:22:08.

With me is the Radio 2 and 6 Music journalist and presenter Matt

:22:09.:22:15.

Everitt who plays drums on latest version of Rock Around The Clock.

:22:16.:22:24.

Yes, that's me playing the drums. It is like being asked to paint the

:22:25.:22:36.

Mona Lisa again. It sounds all right, I think.

:22:37.:22:40.

It is a very good thing to bring into the programme and it is

:22:41.:22:43.

something that keeps coming back into public consciousness.

:22:44.:22:48.

There is an enormously important song. It was the first rock 'n' roll

:22:49.:22:56.

song to enter public consciousness. It inspired countless generations of

:22:57.:23:02.

musicians, Elvis, Led Zeppelin, they all heard Rock Around The Clock. It

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doesn't sound like anything else, even to this day. It has a swing to

:23:13.:23:20.

it. It hasn't aged at all. Bill Haley is not your most likely

:23:21.:23:27.

trailblazer. That's right. He didn't have the

:23:28.:23:33.

songwriting skills of Buddy Holly or craziness of Little Richard. He was

:23:34.:23:42.

quite chubby looking but there is something about the track and it was

:23:43.:23:49.

captured in just two takes. It was the other side of the desk.

:23:50.:23:57.

It wasn't even going to be be a side and it wasn't until it was used in a

:23:58.:24:02.

film that it became the soundtrack to teenage rebellion.

:24:03.:24:16.

Seeing it as an anthem, I do have to think about the kind of yours it

:24:17.:24:24.

came after -- years. There had been other rock 'n'

:24:25.:24:32.

came after -- years. singles at nothing like this. It's

:24:33.:24:38.

just a ridiculously energetic song. The guitar solo especially is just

:24:39.:24:45.

off the hook. He can hear traces of that in Jimi Hendrix and

:24:46.:24:52.

off the hook. He can hear traces of capture some of the energy and some

:24:53.:24:57.

of the virtuosity. Even though it was just knocked out which is why it

:24:58.:24:59.

sounds so great. And British listeners can hear that

:25:00.:25:10.

documentary on BBC Radio York two. Yes and the effects are still being

:25:11.:25:12.

heard to this day. Yes and the effects are still being

:25:13.:25:16.

I like that John Lennon said this is the moment it all started.

:25:17.:25:21.

Yes, the Beatles talk very much about being inspired by that song.

:25:22.:25:26.

But you could say the same of Dave Gilmour from Pink Floyd. It is far

:25:27.:25:30.

reaching in so many ways and doesn't matter that Bill Haley didn't write

:25:31.:25:35.

it himself or had a few hits after that. That's where it all started

:25:36.:25:41.

and where rock 'n' roll inspired everybody to become a musician and

:25:42.:25:47.

try to create that garage sounding racket and energetic sound.

:25:48.:25:51.

Hopefully we have done it justice, I hope we have. It was good to hear

:25:52.:25:53.

from you and speak to you. Police in Nigeria say

:25:54.:25:59.

at least 46 people have been killed in two explosions in

:26:00.:26:04.

the central Nigerian city of Jos. A journalist counted

:26:05.:26:11.

at least 38 bodies at It is not known who's responsible

:26:12.:26:13.

for the blasts but the Islamist militant group Boko Haram has

:26:14.:26:33.

carried out a spate It has been another day of contrasts

:26:34.:27:02.

across the British Isles and looks like it will be something similar

:27:03.:27:04.

across the course of

:27:05.:27:05.

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