17/06/2014 World News Today


17/06/2014

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.

:00:00.:00:00.

More clashes on the road to Baghdad between Iraqi government forces

:00:07.:00:09.

and the militant fighters sweeping south.

:00:10.:00:12.

As the two sides clash, fears grow that Iraq could split apart.

:00:13.:00:16.

We'll get the latest live in the next few minutes.

:00:17.:00:19.

The British Foreign Secretary says he'll re-open Britain's embassy

:00:20.:00:22.

in the Iranian capital, Tehran, three years after suspending full

:00:23.:00:26.

A major pipeline in Ukraine carrying gas from Russia to the rest

:00:27.:00:32.

of Europe has been hit by a blast, though the cause is not yet clear.

:00:33.:00:37.

We are live in Brazil. I am Ben Brown reporting live from Rio where

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the excitement is building because, coming up, it is Brazil against

:00:55.:00:55.

Mexico. We start with

:00:56.:01:05.

the unfolding crisis in Iraq. People in the capital, Baghdad,

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are stockpiling food and water as militant Islamists forces move

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closer. Members of the Sunni Islamist group

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ISIS have got as far as Baqubah, that's a city of nearly half

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a million people, less than 60 ISIS fighters and other armed groups

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are understood to have attacked some of the suburbs overnight

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before being pushed back by government forces, forcing many

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people to flee their homes. From Baghdad,

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Jonathan Beale reports. Iraqi forces are taking

:01:38.:01:41.

the fight to the Sunni extremists. In Kirkuk,

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they were using tanks to target ISIS fighters but even heavy armour can't

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hold the violence spreading through We travelled out of Baghdad north

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towards the city of the Baqubah, the new front line for the ISIS

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jihadists, and just 60km away. This is one of the main routes

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into Baghdad, and, behind me, about 30 kilometres in the distance,

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is the city of the Baqubah and we are told that ISIS forces have

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already entered parts of the city. Of course,

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if they take by Baqubah then it is We went as far

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as we were told it was safe to go to He told me it was going to be a

:02:20.:02:27.

bloody fight between Sunni and Shia. And he warned it would soon

:02:28.:02:41.

be happening in Baghdad, too. Now back home with his family,

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he is a policeman injured while Thankful that,

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unlike some of his comrades, TRANSLATION: They shot at a convoy

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of civilians. One of them shot at the tyres

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of a bus and killed everyone in it. The bus was carrying 24 men

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and they killed them all. Ibrahim doesn't believe that ISAs

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are strong enough to take Baghdad but, today,

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another bomb went off in the city Even if ISIS have not yet reached

:03:20.:03:21.

the city, there are signs that their Let's go live to the BBC's Jim Muir

:03:22.:03:28.

in Irbil. We are hearing that the Iraqi Prime

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Minister is having something of a shake-up of security. That's right.

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He has fired some of the top army commanders, including the commander

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of the third division. And various others, who are deemed to have

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fallen short. When Mosul fell on Tuesday, he said there is a

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conspiracy, and these officers, some of the ordinary men we have talked

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about here who had deserted or fled, they said that officers

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betrayed them, they disappeared before the battle began. So there

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was obviously a command failure, and he was holding people to account.

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Just on the level of trying to deal with this crisis, I understand both

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-- also there is a political meeting in Baghdad involving a Shi'ite Prime

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Minister, along with Kurdish and also some Sunni representatives, so

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they are probably trying to thrash some way of getting out of this

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crisis, try to find some common ground. I know you've been talking

:04:59.:05:02.

to the Kurdish leader in Iraqi who might feel that the state cannot

:05:03.:05:08.

hold together. That's right. The Kurds feel that Iraqi is

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incompatible, there is no point in return -- there is a point of no

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return. The rebels have moved rapidly through Sunni territory.

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What the Prime Minister here in Iraqi Kurdistan was suggesting is

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that maybe the Kurds should -- the Sunnis should take the same route

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the Kurds have taken and have fun autonomous, self ruling region

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within Iraq, and the burden would be on the thumb to control and isolate

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and eliminate the terrorists, the hardliners of ISIS. He thinks that

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is the only formula for a stable future, and that they have to reach

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a new coexistence formula. You have been reporting on this crisis since

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the ISIS fighters went into Mosul, what are we hearing out of that city

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about the way that people have been treated there? Frankly, you get

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conflicting accounts, but most people regard it as stable. We

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haven't heard a lot of reports of fighting or trouble there. It is

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quite difficult because there is a lot of propaganda involved. Some of

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the government side are saying that is a reign of terror and so on, but

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most people seem to be going about their business. Some of the refugees

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that flooded out of their last week have gone back. But I think it will

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be awhile before we have a comp offensive picture of life because

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people too nervous to go there. It is definitely still a danger zone.

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Understood. Thank you for bringing us the latest.

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Well, here in the UK, the government has announced that it's re-opening

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the British embassy in Iran as part of its response to the upsurge

:07:05.:07:07.

There've also been calls for Washington to hold formal talks

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with Tehran, as they have a mutual interest in stalling

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Here's our Political Editor Nick Robinson.

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What a difference three years can make. This was the British Embassy

:07:26.:07:33.

in 2011. A mob ransacked offices, smashed pictures of the Queen and

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John to death to England. The building has been closed ever since,

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but that is about to change, along with this country's troubled

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relationship with Iran. It is right to rebuild that relationship. We

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have been doing that anyway, irrespective of what is happening in

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a rock. But what is happening in a a rock. But what is happening in

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rock has convinced the West to improve relations with Iran. These

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are pictures of ISIS, which is now fighting 40 miles from Baghdad. This

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is the most serious threat to Britain's security that there is

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today. The number of foreign fighters in that area, the number of

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foreign fighters including those from the UK who could try to return

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to the UK, this is a real threat to our country. And this is the man

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that written and the United States had they can do business with. Once

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a student in Glasgow, used his Twitter account to show he is a

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different sort of Iranian leader, a man who watches his team play in the

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World Cup. This morning in America, people are

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watching the news and they're having to think the unthinkable. The

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history of the rift between the US and Iran dates all the way back to

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the Islamic Revolution 35 years ago. And the capture of 52 American

:09:07.:09:14.

hostages, only freed after 444 days. Even without all that history,

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there'd be problems, not least this, Iran's nuclear programme. They say

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it is peaceful but others aren't so sure. And doubts have been seen in

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the Commons. Is it not necessary to reassure our closest allies in the

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Middle East that there are very severe limits for the foreseeable

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future as to the kind of relationship we can have with Iran?

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Is not going to be the kind of relationship is the West had with

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the Soviet Union? On the streets of the Iranians capital, the embassy

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stands empty, waiting for diplomats to return. Students aren't

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protesting today. This one says good relations with the people and

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countries of the world can have a great, positive effect on the

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advancement of our country. You know the old saying dash my NME's enemy

:10:12.:10:19.

is my friend. A cliche because it is proved true. Today, Iran didn't

:10:20.:10:24.

become a friend of Britain's. She became a little less of an enemy.

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Russian media is reporting that a Russian state TV journalist has

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been killed in a mortar attack near a village outside

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Igor Kornelyuk died in hospital after the attack

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near Metalist, while a colleague, sound engineer Anton Voloshin,

:10:42.:10:44.

And we don't know what happened to the cameraman

:10:45.:10:46.

This comes as an explosion hit a pipeline carrying Russian natural

:10:47.:10:52.

gas across Ukraine to Europe in what the Ukrainian interior minister says

:10:53.:10:55.

What are you seeing there? A further militarisation of this contact --

:10:56.:11:19.

conflict. It is noticeable how much more military the checkpoints are,

:11:20.:11:25.

no men with sticks any more, all of these men with guns on both sides.

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We came through Ukrainian military checkpoints within anti-aircraft gun

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mounted on the checkpoint. Has been fighting here in Donetsk, and also

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particularly down in Luhansk. The army are trying to push through and

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get stranglehold around the areas held by the rebels and also to seal

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off the border between Luhansk and Russia to try to stop this revolt

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spreading. They are having some success, at their rock continuing

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casualties, including that Russian TV correspondent today. His sound

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man is missing and possibly believed dead, and just another couple of

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examples of the death toll this conflict is taking. Whilst this is

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happening in the east, we're getting reports about this pipeline

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explosion, we're not quite clear why. Well, it is not clear why, and

:12:20.:12:27.

there is one theory from the Ministry of interior that it was an

:12:28.:12:31.

act of sabotage, or what they call an act of terrorism. There might

:12:32.:12:35.

have been some explosions just before the gas pipeline exploded

:12:36.:12:40.

itself, but either way, there was a huge flames shooting into the sky

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from the pipeline and it took a couple of hours for them to put it

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out. The pipeline is disabled, but there is a parallel spare, and the

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gas has been diverted around the damage. And, so, the gas flow into

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Europe does continue. There is no gas currently being supplied to

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Ukraine from Russia after talks broke down, but the gas flow through

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to Europe will continue. You've been going back and forth to Donetsk and

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around the region. Are people so scared that they are hiding? Or is

:13:15.:13:20.

there a sense of people trying to get out, refugees? Well, I think

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both. I spent quite a bit of time today with some people who have come

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out of Sloviansk. That is where some of the most heavy fighting has been

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seen. They have fled. They have described witty bad scenes of

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shelling. The food is running out in the shops, the water is running

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out, the electricity is running out. They also say that more than half of

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the population is still there in the city. They are hunkering down

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because although there is regular shelling, it tends to be targeted at

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certain points in the city, and some people are feeling it is safer to

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stay at home and protect their property rather than risk crossing

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the checkpoints and coming out in the city, and some people are

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feeling it is safer to stay at home and protect their property rather

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than risk crossing the checkpoints and coming out into safer parts of

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the country. Also, they are so held in in Sloviansk, they don't know

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what is going on in the rest of Ukraine, which is much more peaceful

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than the city where they are living. Thank you very much.

:14:20.:14:27.

Some other stories making the news this hour.

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Renewed anti-Muslim violence has flared in southern Sri Lanka

:14:30.:14:31.

in the worst outbreak of sectarian unrest for years.

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Four people have died in the attacks, which have been blamed

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A security guard was the latest victim.

:14:37.:14:39.

And three Muslims died after a Buddhist rally on Sunday.

:14:40.:14:50.

There are reports in Pakistani that scholars have issued a decree which

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says that polio vaccines can be used. They said the vaccine was

:15:01.:15:04.

effective and didn't contain any harmful ingredients. Seven people

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have been killed in clashes between Pakistani police and supporters of a

:15:13.:15:17.

scholar. Police fired shots and tear gas to disperse protesters. The

:15:18.:15:26.

scholar is based in Canada but plans to return to Pakistan next week to

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lead a crusade against corrupt politicians.

:15:30.:15:31.

The French President Francois Hollande,

:15:32.:15:32.

has condemned a savage attack on a Roma teenager in a Paris suburb.

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The 16-year-old boy is in a critical condition after he was beaten by a

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mob from a local housing estate, who suspected he was behind a burglary.

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The President said it was an 'unspeakable

:15:43.:15:44.

The families of asylum seekers from Iraq and Iran,

:15:45.:15:52.

who drowned trying to reach Australia, are suing the Australian

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50 people died in 2010, when their flimsy boat crashed into

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rocks off the remote Australian outpost of Christmas Island.

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Australia has called the claim shameful and offensive.

:16:07.:16:10.

Art experts have found a hidden painting beneath one

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of Pablo Picasso's early masterpieces, The Blue Room.

:16:13.:16:15.

It's long been suspected there was something under the surface

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But it wasn't until recently that improved infra-red imagery revealed

:16:18.:16:24.

a portrait of a bearded, bow-tied man - leaving art-lovers with the

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The United States has captured one of the 2012 leaders. The suspect was

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apprehended on Sunday and is currently being held outside Libya.

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We can find out more from Washington while we can go to David Willis. A

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little bit more about the man and how they seized him. Ahmed Abu

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Qatada was captured in Libya over the last couple of days and has been

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held outside of the country and will be brought here to Washington, DC

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where he will face charges that will include murder. The President and

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several other key senior parts of the administration have all issued

:17:29.:17:38.

statements hailing the capture. The irony is he was apprehended not far

:17:39.:17:46.

from the scene of the attack and the British Consulate in Benghazi. There

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is more than a dozen people who were implicated in that attack who are

:17:52.:17:56.

still at large. The President said all efforts will be made to bring

:17:57.:18:00.

them all to justice and that it was an important role and thing for the

:18:01.:18:07.

administration to do. This incident has dogged President Obama's second

:18:08.:18:14.

term in office. There have been accusations that the administration

:18:15.:18:19.

was negligent in terms of providing protection for those in the

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consulate at the time. Interesting he is not apparently being taken to

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Guantanamo Bay. It is part of an effort to try terror suspects on

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American soil. A lot of surprise raised about that and they are

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saying he will be brought here to Washington, DC where charges were

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laid on Sunday against him. Charges include murder. Three charges are

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standing against him but it is expected that that charge sheet will

:18:56.:19:20.

grow. It is of course the World Cup and if you are thinking about

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getting to the tournament, there are a number of different ways to go.

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But four Englishmen decided to get there, from Argentina, on foot.

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They walked 1966 kilometres, significant because it was in 1966

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Here's the story of the footsore football fans.

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My name is Adam Burns and I'm from Newmarket, Suffolk in England.

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We also wanted to help the people of Bahir and the charity

:19:48.:19:54.

which is very close to our hearts, the J de V Arts Care Trust.

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So we set out to walk 1966 kilometres from Mendoza

:19:58.:20:01.

in Argentina, to Porto Alegre in Brazil.

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The last time England won the World Cup was 1966.

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It a very iconic number for England fans.

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Part of me didn't really know what to expect.

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It was my first time in South America.

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The reality was that it was really, really gruelling.

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We walked three days through a desert in Argentina.

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35 degrees heat, no shade, with the biggest mosquitoes I'd ever seen.

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And we had to sleep in abandoned train stations, we've been charged

:20:30.:20:32.

We went over cobbles and sleepers with our golf carts

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for about five kilometres and then realised this was ridiculous.

:20:40.:20:43.

We were walking through a field, a farmer's field, really thick,

:20:44.:20:48.

Me and Dave tried to lift the fence up and put our golf carts under.

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We both got electrocuted and then nearly vomited.

:20:56.:20:57.

So, when we were walking through a Uruguayan quite town,

:20:58.:20:59.

what we thought was a stray dog began following us.

:21:00.:21:02.

It wasn't until three days before we finish the walk that we

:21:03.:21:09.

found out that, actually, Jefferson wasn't a stray dog.

:21:10.:21:12.

We got a message from a guy called Nacho, a Uruguayan

:21:13.:21:14.

guy, whose friend spotted Jefferson in a local newspaper.

:21:15.:21:18.

We told Nacho our plan to finish the walk in Porto Alegre,

:21:19.:21:23.

Walt Disney couldn't have written a more perfect end to the story.

:21:24.:21:33.

It was definitely a journey that's taught me

:21:34.:21:35.

No doubt those fans will be looking forward to the England game in Sao

:21:36.:21:44.

But first, it's Brazil that's taking on Mexico in just under an hour's

:21:45.:21:48.

time and Ben Brown is in Rio as the whole country gears up for their

:21:49.:21:52.

The atmosphere is fantastic here in Rio de Janeiro. We have those

:21:53.:22:08.

protests in the run-up to the tournament and we still have

:22:09.:22:12.

sporadic protests but Brazilians are getting into the spirit of this

:22:13.:22:16.

tournament and getting behind their team. Their team are playing Mexico

:22:17.:22:33.

shortly. This is the scene. It is absolutely packed. Lots of the

:22:34.:22:39.

yellow jerseys of Brazil in there. It will be a great game. We have had

:22:40.:22:46.

one game that was a 3-goal thriller. So many games have produced three

:22:47.:22:53.

goals and it was Belgium to, Algeria, one. Algeria went ahead

:22:54.:23:01.

with a penalty. That was their first goal in a World Cup 28 years.

:23:02.:23:06.

Belgium, who are the dark horses this team -- this World Cup, they

:23:07.:23:21.

equalised with a header. Belgium beat Nigeria.

:23:22.:23:26.

There is something for England fans to look forward to, we think.

:23:27.:23:35.

You are being optimistic. England lost in the Amazonian raise --

:23:36.:23:41.

rainforest to Italy. Disappointment for that. A lot of plaudits for

:23:42.:23:44.

England and a lot of people saying they did really well. Plaudits, but

:23:45.:23:52.

no points. They are back in Rio de Janeiro and have been training again

:23:53.:23:55.

today. Tomorrow, they will set off for Sao Paulo. The next game is

:23:56.:24:04.

against Uruguay and Luis Suarez will be playing if he is fit. England

:24:05.:24:12.

have got it all to do. They have to win against Uruguay and then against

:24:13.:24:18.

Costa Rica. A lot of talk about Wayne Rooney. Is he on form? Was he

:24:19.:24:24.

played out of position against Italy? Many think he is more

:24:25.:24:28.

effective behind the striker in the number ten position. We will wait

:24:29.:24:36.

and see but a crucial match for England. There was a lot of talk

:24:37.:24:43.

about the stadium is not being ready. From what you have seen so

:24:44.:24:48.

far, has it gone relatively smoothly?

:24:49.:24:54.

I think it has. There has been a few problems. At one stadium, the pitch

:24:55.:25:05.

was immaculate but there were pictures emerging of one game there

:25:06.:25:11.

where people were going in on a wobbly walkway into this should --

:25:12.:25:16.

stadium. It looked unsafe. Then there was the pitch for Italy

:25:17.:25:24.

against England. It was burnt out as they used too much fertiliser on it.

:25:25.:25:30.

It will not be perfect in every stadium and it is a thrilling

:25:31.:25:36.

tournament so far. Lots of goals. I can hear the music behind you.

:25:37.:25:41.

Thank you for bringing us up to date. We woke up you you up-to-date

:25:42.:25:50.

on another of our stories. In Kenya, 12 women were abducted on the latest

:25:51.:25:59.

attack on the east coast. The Kenyan President has said the attacks of

:26:00.:26:02.

the work of local political leaders and he is insisting this can't have

:26:03.:26:06.

been the Somali Islamist group, Al-Shabab. Political networks have

:26:07.:26:15.

been blamed. Opposition politicians are saying he is not in touch with

:26:16.:26:25.

reality. In Iraq, the militant defences have reached a city 40

:26:26.:26:33.

miles from Baghdad. Armed groups are understood to have attacked suburbs

:26:34.:26:38.

before being driven back. In the lap -- in this last half-hour, the Iraqi

:26:39.:26:41.

Prime Minister has dismissed several of his senior force commanders.

:26:42.:26:46.

Thanks for being with us. It was the warmest day of the year

:26:47.:27:02.

so far in Scotland with temperatures reaching 25 Celsius. We have humid

:27:03.:27:06.

sunshine across Scotland and Northern Ireland. England and Wales

:27:07.:27:14.

will turn cloudier. We have the risk

:27:15.:27:15.

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