06/06/2014 World News Today


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The sacrifice of the service men and women are remembered in the 70th


anniversary of the D-Day landings. World leaders and


anniversary of the D-Day landings. point in the


anniversary of the D-Day landings. marks the beginning of the end of


Hitler. You that whenever the world make you cynical, don't doubt that


courage and goodness is possible. On the sidelines of this commemoration,


present-day troubles are confronted with the leaders of Russia and


Ukraine meeting. There's been a bomb attack


on the convoy of the Afghan presidential frontrunner,


Abdullah Abdullah, in Kabul. Six people are reported to have been


killed There have been clashes


in the Golden Temple in Amritsar in northern India, the holiest


shrine of the Sikh religion. Several people were injured


as rival factions fought with June the sick, 1944, the beaches of


Normandy were the scene of much bloodshed. -- six.


It was when Allied forces began landing in Normandy in northern


France in what was the largest amphibious invasion in history. It


was a gamble, but it turned the tide of the Second World War. World


leaders and veterans are being -- have been paying tribute to service


men and women and the sacrifices they made.


The winner the D-Day beaches. -- dawn.


Where some of those who survived and grew old remembered the many who did


not. At the Commonwealth war cemetery


other graves of more than 4000 young men, mostly British, who died on


D-Day or in the weeks of fighting that followed. As the Queen arrived


to lead the tribute of Britain and the Commonwealth, aircraft from the


Second World War through past overhead. Wreaths were laid at the


stone of remembrance. We Shell not grow old as those that are left grow


old. We will remember them. The veterans had been seated amongst


the headstones upon which the inscriptions which have lost none of


their emotional impact with the passing of the years. They are the


tribute of families, mothers, wives, the men who gave their lives


so that a continent might be free. After the service, the Queen joined


the veterans, she mingled and chatted, a monarch from the same


wartime generation sharing memories with those who have fought in the


name of her father. -- had thought. At Omaha Beach lies the huge


military Cemetery of the United States of America. There are nearly


10,000 graves here, a reminder of the ferocious resistance the


Americans faced at Omaha Beach and of a time when the New World


sacrificed so much blood for the old. President Obama said that what


the Allied troops had achieved on what he called this tiny sliver of


sand and determine the course of history. Whenever the world makes


you cynical, whenever you doubt that courage and goodness is possible,


think of these men along with all of our veterans. If you can stand,


please do, if you cannot, please raise your hand, these men waged war


so that we might know peace. They sacrificed so that we might be free.


We are grateful to them. On Sword Beach, the heads of state


and heads of Government assembled for the official commemoration.


Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel was greeted with warm applause and


then a reminder of today's diplomatic difficulties. Over


lunch, Russia's Putin and Obama had their first face-to-face discussion


about Ukraine as they watched the men -- and events on Sword Beach,


they were cut up side-by-side on screens.


Then something else unexpected, a video and dramatic re-enactment of


the Second World War compete with explicit reference of the natty


brutality and the Holocaust. This is one anniversary where even the most


sensitive issues are being dealt with openly. -- Nazi brutality.


Above all, this day has been for the veterans, many frail now, it is time


to pass the stories of what they did to new generations. So this


afternoon Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge joined a group


of the dish veterans at a key party. -- British veterans. In the centre


of the town of Arromanches, all soldiers paraded for a future king.


It was a chance for them to remember so many friends who never made it


home. It was a chance for us to express


our gratitude for so much sacrifice. The Soviet Union under Stalin played


a key role in defeating the Nazis. It provided an opportunity for


President Putin to hold direct talks with a newly elected Ukrainian


president Petro Poroshenko. That meeting was facilitated by the


German chancellor. The Kremlin says the Russian and Ukrainian leaders


called for a swift and of the bloodshed and military actions in


eastern Ukraine. D-Day was the beginning of the end


of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. The defeat of Germany resulted in


the spirit of the country into East and West. 70 years on, how is the


battle remembered in present-day Germany? Stephen Evans have -- has


been speaking to one German soldier about being on the other side of the


D-Day landings. He was the first German soldier to


face the D-Day invasion. He was at the bridge when the first airborne


British troops landed in gliders. Pegasus Bridge was crucial, Allied


planners wanted it captured to stop German reinforcements arriving when


the landings happened. He was on guard. TRANSLATION: I was the first


to notice when the gliders and troops landed. I fired a flare. This


was how the invasion started. It was all I did. D-Day was the big step in


the defeat of Nazi Germany. If you want to know how total that defeat


was, coming here to the Nazi nerve centre, Hitler's bunker, flattened


today. Nothing more than a car park. At the time, Berliners read about


D-Day, Hitler slept late, but that was not in the papers and then


welcomed the invasion because it's brought the enemy closer. Today,


D-Day is not marked much in Germany. According to the military's chief


historian. It never had the same significance


which it had in Britain or the US or even in France. Because it did


indeed remind us not only of a defeat, but of war crimes. There is


a footnote. The captured German soldier is grateful to


a footnote. The captured German and Canadians for his time in a


prisoner of war camp. He was taught English and entertained, he said it


was like a holiday camp. As those ceremonies were taking


place, many of those taking part said how much they hoped that the


Second World War would never be forgotten by their children and


grandchildren. We have been finding out what the pupils of one school in


Staffordshire made of D-Day. In the heart of Staffordshire, among


the trees, 300 miles from the Normandy beaches, a service of


commemoration. Some came to the national memorial to remember, some


to learn of the sacrifice of a number generation. That sacrifice is


something pupils of this school were discussing today. I want to talk


about why it is still important today. White is still important to


remember the veterans who fought. It is extraordinary to think that the


youngest known British casualty of the Second World War was a boil on a


Merchant Navy ship who was 14 years old, the same age as some of its


class. -- a boy on a. Today's society would not have that


courage, because people think of teenagers as being on the racks box,


but they went out. -- X box. If someone said there is a war going


on, can you come and help? I would just be thinking, what is going on?


But they did not have much detail and they just went and did what they


had to do and hats off to them, they get it. -- hatss off to them.


Whatever the doubts of their own generation's courage, these


youngsters are proof that the sacrifice made by so many 70 years


ago will be remembered. I have been joined here in the


studio to With me is Thomas Kielinger ,


the London correspondent And joining us from the BBC's studio


in Oxford is Gary Sheffield, a professor of war studies


from Wolverhampton University. we now know that D-Day was a turning


point in the Second World War, but actually it was a bit of a gamble


and a costly endeavour in both lives and money.


Yes, it was. It was certainly not a given that D-Day would succeed.


Anything as risky as that, a huge amphibious operation with supporting


aircraft, things could have gone wrong. In the end, I think it was a


measure of luck, superiority in terms of material, and the sheer


courage of the people involved which made sure that D-Day was successful.


Thomas, we look back at it as a success. But you don't look at it in


the same way in Germany. It is something that Germans wants to


forget as they were fighting on the wrong side, as it were? Absolutely.


But don't forget that we have been going through World War I recently,


there have been new books on who was guilty for the start of the war on


Germany has been, to some extent, not only the only force that started


it. We haven't quite got and onto the Second World War. That'll come


in September when the 75 year anniversary comes. Altogether,


Germany is not too happy looking back at war events. We didn't cover


ourselves in glory, to put it mildly, and we were the vanquished.


Although our soldiers fought and it is generally recognised with great


valour, they spent all their virtues on the wrong side and the wrong


course, which is a terrible heritage. Professor Sheffield, it


helps shape the modern day as we know it, World War II, and even in a


country like Britain, it ushered in the world Betamax welfare state, so


it had a massive impact. -- ushered in the welfare state. But the


younger population as a whole are aware of what World War II means, do


you think? I would like to pick up on what you think? I would like to


pick up on what your other contributors said. The idea that


Germany was not responsible for the outbreak of the First World War is


certainly true, Austria Hungary was to a great extent, but the idea that


Germany was not the primary mover in the First World War is something I


would slightly disagree with. We can't go down that line too much.


But we need to see the two world wars as effectively a single


conflict with a 20 year truce. I am not telling a story on what to


think, but at the end of World War I the conditions in Germany gave rise


to fascism because of the way that Germany was dealt with after the


First World War, treated very differently after the end of the


Second World War, lots of money going into West Germany, in


particular. At the end of the Second World War, Germany was treated far


more harshly. The Nazi state was completely destroyed and two more


states built on the remains. The end of the First World War, there is


absolutely no reason why the Treaty of Versailles couldn't have been


made to stick. Let's bring this a bit more towards today. The point I


was making, after World War II, a lot of money of course went into


Germany, which was devastated and so on, but it is what West Germany


built its subsequent economic miracle success on. This is the


point that we like to look at with a certain amount of pride, Angela


Merkel and the group session of world leaders reminds us of the way


we have come since 1945 and how we have rebuilt our country with due


process and liberty and justice for all, which has become a recognised


and valued member, Germany, in the community of nations. Because your


institutions were all reformed after the Second World War, land reform,


trade unions and that sort of thing. Yes, we called it re-education but


it was really reinvigoration of the idea of Western liberty that really


rescued Germany and put it on the path to recovery. That picture of


world leaders now, with Germany stood on the other side of that, is


a very reassuring sort of re-imagination for the modern day.


That is the aspect we rather like about this commemoration. The war


itself does not fill us with any pride, obviously, and we try not to


think about that too much. Professor Sheffield, your reflection on the


commemorations in Normandy, what is your take on that? I think it is a


very timely reminder of the sheer sacrifice made by men and women to


liberate Europe, and also, I think it is worth bearing in mind what


that impact has on the world today. I absolutely agree, Germany has been


rebuilt into a new model, and of course, it is now firmly locked into


the European community of nations. But it is easy for us to reflect on


what might have been. Personally, I actually think that if D-Day had


failed, Germany would still have been defeated, but pretty much


solely by the soviet union. Moving away from Germany, the


commemorations, you think they are striking the right chord? In your


view, what are we remembering 70 years later, this tremendous


sacrifice by service men and women? I think we are remembering the way


in which Europe was diverted from a very dark path indeed into something


which, for all the faults of the world since 1945, has been much


better. We should actually remember those men and women who made that


happen. Thomas, yes. The commemoration of the heroism and the


courage to land in the face of machine gun fire from on high is


absolutely almost unconscionable. It is very hard to imagine how a modern


generation would deal with it. Although I think that the parallels


would be quite wrong, you cannot compare then and now. If there were


a situation which could ask for the ultimate sacrifice, the modern


generation would also find in themselves the courage and virtue to


apply themselves and commit themselves if it is worth fighting.


But those were horrible days, and only a huge effort and sacrifice,


through heroism and dedication, made this possible. We can only bow our


heads before them. Thomas, I want to ask you, because I asked Professor


Sheffield about the younger generation. Out of younger


generation of Germans see this? Popular culture has kept the


nastiness, the evil of the Nazis very much alive, through films we


have of the Second World War and so on. Do they feel in some way that


that has led to a kind of current demonisation of Germans today? Not


really, but the thing is, we are very much aware of the past. It has


been expunged from our system, as it were. Germany has very valiantly


looked it in the face and read itself of it, but it is still with


us. On certain days, when we commemorate what was done by Hitler


to the Jews and two other minorities in Germany and so on. That casts a


shadow over the attempt of young generations to rebuild a natural,


unselfconscious patriotism, which is still very difficult to rebuild in


Germany because of the weight of the past and what went RIA in our


history. We are a country of disk annuity, and while we have rebuilt


the country, we cannot escape the horror of what happened in our name.


Thomas Kielinger and Gary Sheffield, thank you very much indeed.


In other news, the frontrunner in Afghanistan's presidential election,


Abdullah Abdullah, has survived a bomb attack in trouble. Six people


are reported killed and more than a dozen injured. Mr Abdullah said two


explosions struck his convoy as it was leading a campaign event in the


capital. Our reporter has this. The attack happened as Doctor


Abdullah left an election rally. A suicide attacker drove his vehicle,


packed with explosives, at the armoured convoy belonging to Doctor


Abdullah and his presidential running mate. The blast was so


powerful it destroyed vehicles, and shattered windows in nearby shops


and houses. Ambulances rushed the injured to hospital. Most of those


killed were civilians. A police man and one of Doctor Abdullah's


bodyguards were also among the casualties. TRANSLATION: The convoy


of Doctor Abdullah Abdullah and his deputy was attacked by a suicide


bomber. Fortunately, they were not harmed. Despite the attack, Doctor


Abdullah has continued with a full schedule of election rallies across


Coble. -- Campbell. There have been violent clashes at


the Golden Temple in Amritsar in northern India, the holiest shrine


of the Sikh religion. Several people were injured as rival factions


fought with ceremonial swords. This comes on the 30th anniversary of the


storming of the temple by the Indian army, as Andrew North reports.


Seeks fighting each other inside their holiest place, the Golden


Temple. Swords and polls meant for ceremony became weapons once more.


They had gathered to mark the 30th anniversary of an Indian army


assault on separatist Sikhs who took control of the complex, but today's


mourners ended up battling each other over competing visions of


their future. The violence was triggered by a group calling for


independence for Sikhs, who were prevented from talking. It was that


independence for Sikhs, who were demand that underpinned the turmoil


30 years ago, leading to some of India's worst violence since


independence. India's then Prime Minister in direct and he was


assassinated in revenge for ordering the attack on the Golden Temple. But


thousands of Sikhs were in turn massacred, with members of Mrs


Gandhi's Congress party widely accused of complicity. This latest


clash is a sign that winds of 30 years ago have still not healed.


And now, some of the day's the news in brief. Thousands of mourners had


gathered in the northern Nigerian city of Khan over the funeral of the


in ear who died earlier today. The 83-year-old ruler was an outspoken


critic of the militant group Boko Haram, and one of Nigeria's most


prominent and revered Muslim leaders.


prominent and revered Muslim The head of the International


Monetary Fund has said she is not a candidate for the presidency of the


European Union. Christine Lagard says she intends to complete her


term at the IMF. Her comments come amid divisions over who should get


the commission post. Police in Canada have arrested a man


suspected of shooting dead three police officers and wounding three


others in the city of Monkton. Officers say he was arrested without


incident, unarmed, but with weapons nearby. During the manhunt, police


warned residents to stay Upper Street.


From the church choir to international pop stardom, a none


has won Italy's version of the TV talent contest the voice.


For the 25-year-old, she has won a record contract with Universal Moral


Trouble After Becoming A Global Internet Sensation. The Sicilian


Racks Up Thousands Of Use Youtube She Stunned The Judges With Their


Version Of The Alicia Keys Song No one. She has thanked God for his


victory, saying she entered the contest after following Pope


Francis' appeal to bring the church closed to ordinary people. I think


she has certainly done that! Now, to the Ely is a palace in Paris, and


that is at the scene we are waiting for the Queen. She will arrive there


for a dinner marking those commemorations of the D-Day


landings. That should be happening quite soon. We will bring you more


on that. I wonder if that is a car bearing a significant person.


Anyway, that is the scene live at the Ely say Palace in Paris, on the


day that the world paid tribute to the men and women who took part in


one of the greatest events in modern times.


Once again, dramatic changes afoot across the next few hours, with a


combination of moisture from the Atlantic, humid air piling in from


the near continent where the two come together. That is where we are


likely to see some really heavy thundery downpours of


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