11/06/2014 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today, with me, Philippa Thomas.


The Islamist march through Iraq gathers pace - a day after its


second biggest city fell, violence edges closer to the capital Baghdad.


And raised the stakes in Mosul by seizing the Turkish consulate there.


Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are fleeling their homes -


the Iraqi Prime Minister has urged civilians to fight back.


We have declared a state of high alert.


Lessons of history - will the Georgian enclave of South Ossetia be


next to go the way of Crimea and join the Russian Federation?


We'll speak to Georgia's Prime Minister - Irakli


With the World Cup almost upon us, we'll go to the city that stages


Brazil take on Croatia in just over 24 hours time. The Brazilian


president says the country is ready. And taxi drivers across some


of Europe's biggest cities strike in protest at the smartphone app


they say steals their fares. In only 24 hours,


Iraq has undergone violent change. One key city was taken over


by Islamists on Tuesday. Today, armed radicals have swept


through one town after another. With


the Islamists' black flag flying across swathes of the country,


it looks as if the Baghdad-based Let's just take you through


this fast developing story. Latest pictures


from the road towards Tikrit suggest more heavy fighting as the Islamic


militants of ISIS overwhelm Iraqi Reports suggest the Sunni fighters


have taken Tikrit, Now they apparently control another


city soon after seizing Mosul. Iraq's second city Mosul


is still emptying out. These are some


of the half a million people who have fled across the Tigris River to


escape fighting on the other side. Thousands of families are fleeing


and seeking refuge elsewhere. They have two options, really,


either to find family members who live in the countryside or to try


and survive in the wilderness. Mosul has fallen,


a disaster for Iraq's government, but also for the wider world, too,


as Islamist extremists take more It is humiliating for Iraq's Prime


Minister vowing to fight back. We're not going to allow this to


carry on, regardless of the price. We are getting ready, we are


organising, we are restructuring the armed units that we cleanse Ninevah


province from these terrorists. They are Sunni Muslim jihadist


group, an offshoot of Al Qaeda, formed a year ago and pledged to


create an Islamic state across Iraq, They're are now in control of


significant parts of Syria, where Westerners, including some British


Muslims, are fighting with them. It is all helping to increase ISIS's


power in Iraq, too. Now they have Mosul


and appear to have taken the city This is their leader -


Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi - seen as a brilliant commander and tactician,


battle-hardened since joining the Some blame the American-led


invasion for all this. Others say it as Iraq's failed


political system which cannot stop the daily bloodshed,


but increasingly it is Islamist In the last half hour, Turkey has


called for an emergency NATO meeting It comes


as ISIS militants have taken dozens of Turkish nationals hostage,


including the Consul-General and some children, in their takeover


of Turkey's embassy in Mosul. James Reynolds is in Istanbul


and joins me now. What more do we know about who has


been taken? 49 people in its diplomatic compound were seized,


abducted. Those 49 includes diplomats and family members, that


may be women and children as well. The consul general was amongst those


seized. I think we losing the sound they from James. We will have to try


and get back on that. Sorry about that.


During talks brokered by the European Union today,


Russia and Ukraine failed to reach agreement over the price of gas.


The Russian gas giant Gazprom has threatened to cut off supplies if


Kiev fails to pay what's demanded. It's just one example


of the continuing tension between the two, but while global attention


is focussed on Ukraine, Russia also has a tense relationship with other


former Soviet Republics - notably Georgia, with whom it fought a brief


war in 2008 over the disputed territory of South Ossetia.


Since then, Russia has been supporting that breakaway


region with money and arms. And last week the de-facto president


hinted South Ossetia might ask to join the Russian Federation.


Could it go the way of Ukraine's Crimea?


Rayhan Demytrie reports. This is the administrative boundary


line between Georgia and its The sign over their reads,


the republic of South Ossetia. This is the demarcation of what


the South Ossetians and their allies, Russia, that are patrolling


this area, call the state border. But is of course,


not recognised by Georgia, because Georgia and the international


committee believe that this And on the Georgian side it is


the EU monitoring mission that has been patrolling


since the 2008 ceasefire agreement. With me here is one of the EU


monitors here, Marek. Marek, what sort


of problems do people face here? People go to areas close to


the borderline to proceed with their work,


but more and more they are being Russia's annexation of Crimea has


fuelled speculation about whether post-Soviet breakaway regions such


as South Ossetia might follow suit. In fact, south Ossetians held


parliamentary elections last Sunday and it looks like the party that won


the majority of seats was saying in its pre-election campaign that


it wants to hold a referendum This is the village of Terra Vanni


that was built by the Georgian There are rows and rows


of identical cottages that house some of the thousands of people who


were displaced by this conflict. She is here with her mother


and children. Her house is now


in the territory which is under You were not able to take part


in the Sunday elections in The elections were held without our


participation and we do not expect With no solution to the conflict


in sight, and with politicians back in South Ossetia raising the


prospect of joining Russia, there is very little hope for people here of


ever returning back to their homes. The Prime Minister of Georgia,


Irakli Garibashvili is with me now. Welcome to World News Today. South


the Sethi, is it your fear that it could go the way of Crimea and be


absorbed? -- South Ossetia. When we describe the situation in South


Ossetia with crime union -- with Crimea, I think it is a mistake.


Russia has recognised these de facto states. Since then there has been


these problems. These two territorial his -- territories have


been part of Georgia. According to my knowledge, Russia is not


interested in annex and these two de facto territories. Let's look at


Russia's interests. There has been a warning from the foreign minister


that if you sign the European Association, which you intend to do


later this month, it has serious consequences. When we came into


power after the elections in 2012, we changed our attitude to Russia.


We made a number of constructive steps. We appointed a special envoy,


a representative for Russian nations. We made a lot of progress I


would say in terms of trade, communication. Just recently they


opened a market for agricultural products. I think we have proved


that we would like to have a normalised relationship with them. A


month ago, the official person, we had a statement that Russia does not


intend to interfere with Georgia's European agreement. Do you think you


can succeed where Ukraine failed in signing a European succession


agreement? Georgia is unique. We are moving towards the European Union,


we made this clear in November that this process became irreversible. At


the same time we are trying to normalise the relationship with


Russia. I think we are creating an interesting precedent in the


region. On the one hand we would like to become of the European Union


and we will sign the agreement in this June, on the 27th of June. At


the same time we are normalising our relationship with Russia. We have


found the perfect balance, I think. You might be suggesting -- setting


is precedent for other states. We are confident. What about Georgia


and NATO? That was one of the problems that led to the war a few


years ago. Would that be a step too far? We made it clear that Georgia


is keen to become a member of the European union and NATO, this is an


irreversible process. We understand it takes time. But Georgia made a


tremendous effort. They have made progress. We had fear and proper


Parliamentary representations. Last year we had unprecedented free and


fair presidential elections. As far as I know, Georgia remains the


largest nonmember NATO states in Afghanistan. We are committed to


stay there after 2014. At a point where the US has made it clear to


states such as Poland and the Baltic republics that it has its interests


at heart. It does not want to see any further Russian expansionism. Do


you feel you are close to Washington? Georgia and the US


administration? I had a successful trip in Washington several months


ago. I had a meeting with the president and the vice president. We


have excellent relationships with the United States. United States are


our main partner, our strategic partner to keep strong ties with the


United States. Our aspiration to be a part of the European Union does


not conflict with them. Peaceful and street -- a peaceful and stable


Georgia means a peaceful and stable Georgia because Georgia is unique


and has a strategic location. Everybody should be entrusted and


having accessibility in that region. Prime Minister, thank you for coming


in and speaking with us. Now a look at some


of the day?s other news. The European Commission has opened


investigations into decisions by three countries, on how much tax is


paid by the multinational companies The Commission says it's important


that large multinationals pay their fair share at a time


of tight public budgets. It's part of


a wider push to stop multinationals The US Secretary of Defense,


Chuck Hagel, has told lawmakers that last month's prisoner swap with


the Taliban may have been the last and best chance to secure the


release of sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. Mr Hagel became the first official


to testify publicly Republicans


and some Democrats have criticized the administration for not informing


Congress in advance of the swap. Police in the northern Indian state


of Uttar Pradesh say a woman's body was found hanging from a tree in a


village in the district of Bahraich. An autopsy has failed to establish


whether she had been raped - authorities are going to conduct


more tests. Rescue workers in Germany say


an injured explorer trapped in the country's deepest cave is able


to walk, and could be brought to The 52-year-old man is stuck nearly


four miles from the entrance. He was hit by falling rocks


on Sunday. It's just one day to go


before the start of the World Cup's By hosting such


a popular international event, the country wanted the tournament


to show off its potential. But so far it's tended to be poor


planning and protest marches which Brazil's president Dilma Rousseff


has insisted her country is ready. She's said the pessimists


and critics Let's hear from our man


at the scene - Dilma Rousseff, the Brazilian


president, was insistent the World Cup will leave a good legacy behind


for Brazil and the people of Brazil and its economy.


But it has been marked. All types of protest have been going on. Some


have taken to the streets and ugly clashes with police, others have


done it through the internet and others still have picked up cans of


spray paint. It sometimes feels that every square


centimetre of every wall in Some of it, it has to be said,


better than others. What I want to show you know is this


picture, an image created by Paolo, It has gone viral, it has gone


around the world, and it is being seen as one of the most important


comments on the World Cup. What did you want this


picture to convey? I was trying to show some other


points of view of the Brazilian The football is presumably


representing food and you can't It is about what is a priority and


what people must be concerned about. Do you think Brazil would be better


off not having the World Cup? I guess the advantage we have


in the World Cup is that all the world is looking at us


and it is also an opportunity to show a little more about


our reality and forget this also. If you have been watching you will


know that Paolo has been doing part two. It looks fantastic and I can


see which you have done. He has got angry and he has put his knife and


fork through the football. Yes, he is revolted with the situation. That


is the finished work, part two. Thank you for doing it. It has been


great having you with us, really good fun. I want to talk to an


entrepreneur in Sao Paulo. Thank you for being with us. How do you see


the World Cup? Do you think it is great for Brazil or do you


understand the concerns of the protesters? It is a great


opportunity for Brazil to show what they are capable of doing. They have


big ambitions and they are doing a lot of upgrades to the structure.


Not all the upgrades are complete but overall it has potential for


Brazilian business and foreign business, to Brazil in years to


come. I know you do a lot of foreign businesses coming to Brazil. Have


they been impressed by what they have seen or have they been alarmed?


They are concerned with things being at last minute but there are its


focus on infrastructure and there has been an increase in skills and


knowledge from the workforce, which is relevant for the years to come.


In general they are interested in Brazil and see the opportunities.


After the World Cup we should not be counting the time away, then it is


the Olympic Games. Do you think Brazil will be a different place on


the world map as a result of hosting these events? It is going to be a


different place. As to global ambition, I am not sure. There is a


lot to be done in Brazil and a lot of infrastructure that needs to be


created that is necessary for the next 5100 years. Businesses doing


work in Brazil there is a a huge difference. If you bring foreign


investors to the contrary, what would you show them? What would you


say, this is proof that Brazil is a different country from it was? You


would show them the new railway systems, the new electricity grid,


the new airports. The general upgrade has been enormous. There


have been more than 100 projects across the country on


infrastructure. Are those infrastructure projects working and


making the difference? A lot of them have just finished or will be


finished in the next couple of years, so there is still a lot to


see. The airports are definitely working and you can see the increase


in these security and the stable electricity supply. Have you managed


to get tickets for the World Cup? I have not, unfortunately. I was


hoping you would say yes and you would sell me some! I have a


colleague with a ticket for Nigeria against Bosnia and that is the


closest I can get. Lovely to meet you. Thank you for being with us. We


will be live throughout the day tomorrow when the noise will be


intense as Brazil get ready to take on Croatia in the opening match of


the 2014 World Cup. The day is finally going to arrive.


Traffic in several major European cities was disrupted today as taxi


drivers protested against the use of mobile apps to book rides.


They say apps like Uber are affecting their


Here in London, black cab drivers gridlocked part of the city by


Berlin, Rome and Milan were among cities affected.


These are French taxi drivers protesting in Paris,


including Orly airport, and several motorways.


The action has coincided with a major train strike


against proposed reforms for the French rail industry,


making the disruption particularly severe.


Simon Calder is a presenter on the Travel Show on BBC World News.


If we start in London, the black cab is an iconic site in London and they


have been protesting today. It's history passing them by? Quite


possibly. I was meeting the drivers today. The whole of the city centre


was gridlocked for a couple of hours and you had a very annoyed driver of


the other London icon, the double-decker bus, fed up that you


could not get anywhere from Buckingham Palace to the City


because of the traffic. The problem is that the black lab in London, the


yellow cab in New York, is an icon but also an extremely useful form of


transport - OnDemand transport - and in the 20th century that was great


but now many of us have a smartphone and an app to summon a car to where


we need at a price lower than what you would pay. That is the issue,


especially here. Yellow cards in New York, not as expensive as a black


habit in London, which you could say is for the wealthy. -- a black cab.


Or a distress purchase for people. Black taxi drivers say, you should


see the training we have to go through. They have the knowledge.


Within a six mile, ten kilometre radius of the centre of London they


have to know the fastest point to get from every single street to


another in the area. Drivers of other vehicles will say, well, wake


up, we are in the 21st-century and you can have satellite navigation to


wherever you need to go. It is not just the London Black cabbies. In


Madrid the taxi drivers were out in force. We also saw it in Berlin and


other cities. There have been protests in the US as well. They


say, we are safer, if you summon someone by smartphone who knows what


you will get. There is definitely a place for people who want to ensure


maximum security when they are travelling. There is nothing like


just stepping out of your studio and flagging down a black cab. Of course


I will be getting onto my bicycle because it is a lot cheaper and more


environmentally friendly! There will always be a place for that service


but I fear there will not be a need for so many drivers and that is


where they were protesting. A lot of people will say this is the best


publicity that these various apps have. They said today that since


Uber launched in Britain it is the day when it has been downloaded most


times. I expressed to taxi drivers this was the best publicity the app


could have and it would annoy motorists from Madrid to London


because they simply can't get around. We shall see how it


develops. We have talked about the unstoppable march of technology


before and I fear we will again. Thank you for joining us and talking


about the black cabs and the future of the industry.


Reports from Iraq say that jihadists have seized their second city


A convoy of ISIS fighters is reported to have


taken control of the city of Tikrit, the administrative capital


of Salaheddine province and the birthplace of Saddam Hussein.


ISIS, a breakaway faction of Al-Qaeda,


which is also fighting in Syria, is reported to have freed hundreds


of prisoners after it took control of the northern city of Mosul,


It feels like summer is getting into its stride.


Plenty of warm sunshine to come tomorrow. Not so good if you are a


hay fever sufferer because pollen levels are high across many areas.


High pressure has got it settled at the moment. No pressure trying to


push in. These low France will just brush across the far north-west so




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