04/08/2014 World News Today


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A day of commemoration as people across Europe mark 100 years since


In Belgium, where the first troops were killed, both royals and world


leaders remembered those lost, and reflected on their legacy.


Former adversaries have worked together for three generations to


spread democracy, prosperity and the rule of law.


As Europe reflects on its bloody past we'll look


at the legacy of the conflict still being felt across the Middle East.


There is a new conflict which is still deadly. There is a situation


that Europe must face. As a pause in the fighting ends


Israel vows it?s to continue its military campaign in Gaza


until their security is assured. And rescuers check rabble after a


deadly earthquake. -- rescuers check rubble.


Today marks 100 years since Britain and its Empire entered the


On this day in 1914, German troops invaded Belgium in order to attack


France and Britain responded by declaring war on Germany.


In Belgium, where the invasion by German troops brought Britain into


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were joined by Belgium's king


and queen and also the presidents of Germany and France.


Thousands of balloons were released over the memorial at the site


Our royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell reports


It was a summer much like today, said the minister of Glasgow


It was 100 years ago today, the day Britain went to war.


From every continent the leaders of countries


which had once been part of the British Empire and which are now


linked by the Commonwealth came to remember and to pay their respects.


Most of the fighting, most of the casualties occurred


Belgium was the first point of impact, invaded by German forces


To the city of Liege, stoutly defended


by Belgian forces in 1914, came many of Europe's present day leaders.


He was thankful for the invitation, he said, and there was contrition


for Germany's completely unjustifiable invasion of Belgium,


as he put it, and for the conduct of German troops.


President Hollande of France spoke about present-day wars and what he


Prince William said recent events in Ukraine showed that instability


But he said something better was possible.


The fact that the presidents of Germany


and Austria are here today and that other nations, then enemies,


are here too, bears testimony to the power of reconciliation.


Balloons were released as a symbol of unity and peace.


In Glasgow the Prince of Wales laid a wreath


in tribute to all those from Britain and the Commonwealth who gave


And in Folkestone, from where hundreds of thousands of


soldiers embarked for the Western Front, Prince Harry opened a


Tonight Britain's attention will centre on Westminster Abbey with


a vigil which will be shared across the country as lights are dimmed.


A moment of reflection inspired by a remark by the Foreign Secretary


of Britain a century ago, that the lamps were going out all


It is the solemn commemoration of a catastrophic moment,


represented at the Tower of London by nearly 1 million ceramic poppies


placed there to signify the bloodshed and the sacrifice of war.


16 million people died in that war. Hundreds of thousands were British


troops. Historians have been able to identify the first British soldier


to die. He was Private John Parr. At this cemetery David McCarthy


and his daughter have reached Around them the men of the Middlesex


Regiment lost in fighting at Mons. Ahead, the last resting place


of David's great uncle. This is a very special day


when the whole nation is remembering So that does really add to


the emotion of the moment. Many of the 90 families attending


tonight's ceremony are here Amongst them the descendants


of Corporal Walter Last. He was only a baby


when his father was killed. It is very important


for us to come and pay This evening Europe will remember


in particular Private John Parr, 17 years old,


and the first British soldier to be I heard from Berlin to say that


my son was shot down at Mons... His great-niece has a copy


of the letter in which Tonight it will be shared with


a global audience. I have a photograph of the family


wedding, of me holding the hand So I like to think that I am


now taking her by the hand As dusk falls on a day


of remembrance the most powerful message still


comes from those who were there. As soon as you get over the top fear


has left you and it is terror. I was tired of seeing infantry


sinking back in that morass, I was tired of all the carnage,


of all the sacrifice just to gain These soldiers stabbed each other,


strangled each other, What was it that we who have nothing


against them personally fought with Where better to reflect


on the futility of conflict and We the Duke and Duchess of the ant


David Cameron who will be taking part in a major service of


remembrance. -- the Duke and Duchess of York.


We will be asking is its shadow still felt today.


An eight-year-old girl was killed in an air strike


on a refugee camp in Gaza just minutes into a unilateral pause


in Israel's military operations, according to Palestinian officials.


The Israeli army says it's looking into the incident.


The seven-hour truce by the Israeli army came into effect in parts


of Gaza this morning, but it didn't apply in the southern town of Rafah.


So far over 1,800 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed


Orla Guerin sent this report from Gaza City.


You may find some of the images distressing.


Fresh casualties arrive on the day of an Israeli cease-fire. Survivors


told as missiles at their homes. An attack that came about warning. This


was the latest innocent victim. They should fight soldiers, not the


children. Casualties are still arriving at the hospital. It is


chaotic. There is not room for all the people that are arriving. They


say that this attack happened after the humanitarian cease-fire was


supposed to have begun. He is grandmother said, we will


stand firm and have more children to fight Israel.


Some took advantage of the Seas fire to salvage what they could from


their homes. Then this front line area there was heavy fighting.


This was my house. This was where I built my dreams. My memories.


This is the ruins of the house where he lived with his wife, children and


extended family. He says he will bring his infant son and daughter


back year to live in a tent and they will teach them about the Israelis.


They have two learn how to live with those people. How can we live


together? They destroyed the house. His losses include family farmland


and as plastics factory. This man of books is now left with sadness and


heat. International pressure has been


mounting on Israel over President Hollande of France


described yesterday's air strike near a UN-run school as


a violation of international law. In Jerusalem,


an Israeli died when a mechanical pressure these pictures show the


first attack in Jerusalem. Police officers rushed towards him. The


police fire at the driver, a Palestinian, and they kill him.


Afterwards a crowd gathers. I think we should be able to live in peace.


We should stop the radicals from escalating things. This is the most


significant attack on Israelis in Jerusalem. We will not be deterred


from developing the city of Jerusalem. Terrorists will


understand that does not pay. We will go back to our life and move


on. Then we get word of another attack.


Now there is a sense of fear and uncertainty in Jerusalem. In the


space of a few hours there have been two separate attacks at the heart of


the city. The attacks put pressure on the Prime Minister of Israel. He


insists that Israel's offensive will continue until quiet is restored for


a lengthy period. Now a look at some


of the days other news. A ferry carrying


around 200 passengers has capsized Police say about 100 people have


so far been rescued but two bodies The boat sank around 30 kilometres


south of the capital, Dhaka. Many


of the passengers were coming back A British warship that evacuated 110


citizens from Libya has arrived Over the last few days,


226 South Koreans, Indians, Filipinos and Bangladeshis have


also landed in Valletta. More than 200 people have died


in violence between rival militia groups


in Libya over the past two weeks. Thousands


of people are fleeing a border town in eastern Lebanon on the third day


of fighting between Lebanese troops Clashes broke out in Arsal


after soldiers detained a suspected member of the Syrian


Islamist group, Al Nusra Front. An Australian couple has denied


abandoning a child with town syndrome born to a woman in


Thailand. The couple said that they had returned to Australia with his


healthy twin sister. The case has led to an online campaign which has


raised almost $200,000 for the medical treatment of the child.


A rescue operation is underway in China


after a strong earthquake struck a remote area of Yunnan province,


in the south west of the country, killing at least 400 people.


President Xi Jinping has called for "all-out efforts" to find


survivors as he dispatched thousands of troops to the disaster region.


From Shanghai, our correspondent John Sudworth gave us this update


This morning, help finally arrived at the epicentre of the earthquake.


Bad visibility and weather conditions have for almost 20 hours


stopped the military helicopters from landing. Once airborne, the


extent of the lethal destruction was clearly visible in this remote


mountainous region. Surveillance camera footage showed the moment it


struck at 4:30pm in the afternoon on Sunday. When many people would have


been at home. Those that could went to the safety of the outdoors. On


the first tremor, everything shook, seven or eight times, this man said.


Our house collapsed almost as soon as we got out. Thousands of rescue


workers, soldiers and medical staff have been drafted in but progress on


the ground is being badly hampered by disrupted communications and


blocked roads. Offers of help if needed have come from Washington and


the United Nations. But it is access which is the problem. At this stage


China appears to have all the manpower needed. The authorities are


sending large quantities of bedding and medical supplies. Compare to the


2008 earthquake in the neighbouring province which claimed almost 70,000


lives, this disaster is smaller in scale at relative comparisons are


meaningless for the hundreds of families that have lost loved ones


and the many thousands made homeless. The Chinese premier as


flown in to personally oversee the rescue operation. From the air, the


real vulnerability is clear. Older buildings are lying collapsed in


between new multistorey buildings left standing. The South West is one


of the most earthquake prone regions and also one of the poorest. It is


that combination leading to such a large loss of life.


Earlier we saw how European leaders are marking 100 years


since the start of World War One at ceremonies in Belgium.


The commemorations are taking place amid a backdrop of ongoing conflicts


While the Great War may have officially


ended in 1918, today's events have prompted leaders including


French President Francois Hollande to draw parallels between the Great


TRANSLATION: We should not look at what has happened in the borders of


Europe. Close by their is a new conflict which is still deadly. On


the other side of the Mediterranean there is a situation Europe must


face. You should not believe that these situations are only for the


countries involved. Terrorism, violence, all of this can spread. We


must act. To discuss this further I'm joined


by Dr Paul Salem, Vice President for Policy and Research at The Middle


East Institute in Washington D.C and here with me in the studio again


is historian Lynelle Howson from the Thank you both for joining us on


this historic and significant day. Let me start by talking to you. You


have been across these events today on the BBC already. World War I was


described as the war to end all wars. At looking at what we have


been looking at today, Gaza, Libya, Lebanon, it was not at all. Why not?


I think that is something said about the First World War very


retrospectively indeed. You can only make the decisions you make at the


time with what you have. The First World War suffers from being in the


shadow of the Second World War. It makes us more critical in what they


might have done differently, but how were they to know? It's changes how


we look at it because of experience, knowledge and understanding of the


Second World War and what happened after that, the Cold War and the


events of today in places like Gaza. Do you think there is a shadow from


World War I cast over the Middle East conflict? I do think there is


because one of the things the First World War did was redraw the map in


many parts of the world. And certainly the Middle East is one of


those parts. Dr Paul Salem, do you think the world War contributed to


the chaos, the carnage that we are seeing in the Middle East? Certainly


it was one of the major factors. It was not the singular, the only


event. There was already a Western effort into a declining Muslim world


and a declining Ottoman Empire. World War I was a defining moment in


the Middle East breaking that empire which had loosely governed the


region for almost half a millennium. And there was a very uncertain 20th


century. Part of the troubles in the Middle East is that it was very


suddenly falling and borders were drawn by the French and the British


in World War I. It included a promise for the Israeli and Jewish


homeland and Palestine and Israel. It brought with it an additional


bunch of challenges. The Middle East in addition to those international


challenges has been for the past century trying to deal with the


challenges of moving towards a modern state, modern economy and


society. The last of those attempts was three years ago in the Arab up


risings. Sadly they have come to nothing in most of those countries.


It is a very complex mix of challenges and difficulties. Part of


it is related to World War I but I would not take all of the causality


into that. You were talking about borders. We have got this Jewish


diplomat, Mark Sykes and a French diplomat, and between them they


can't up the map of the Middle East. -- British diplomat. It was known as


the famous line and it was imposed boundaries and they might not have


had those boundaries quite as to linear weighted in the past. They


were drawn across sectarian divisions but they did not reflect


divisions. And people of different faiths in different countries and


sectarian divisions continued. How much of a factor is that particular


episode in the fighting that we are seeing in the Middle East today? I


am less of an expert in this matter than your other guest! I know you


have written about this, Dr Paul Salem. Let me say a couple of


things. The drawing of those borders first of all, it had an impact on


part of the Middle East which is what we call the Lebanon, Palestine,


Syria, Israel, Iraq but not the other parts including Egypt and


North Africa, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and so on. It impacted part of that


region. The region it impacted before World War I was all part of a


directly governed group of provinces. They were governed by


Turkey 's forces. Turkish Empire. There was not rising encouraged by


the British against Turkish rule. The borders that were drawn were


somewhat arbitrary. Secondly, they included in each nation state, a new


nation state, different communities. But under the Ottoman Empire, all of


these areas were multi-sector Aryan. They generally lived together. --


multi sectarian. There was a large uproar in the region, especially


because of the British. They had promised a unified Arab state based


into mass goods, including Iraqi and much of the area with British


support under Arab unified rule. The British made concession to the


French allies and gave half of it to France and the agreement caused a


great anti-Western reaction in the Arab world. I am just going to jump


in there. We have talked about the conflict in Syria and Iraq in recent


months. And pace militant group issued a video saying that by moving


across from Syria into Iraqi words destroying that agreement you talked


about. They certainly believed that the shadow of World War I was


looming large. Just to finish with you, Lynelle Howson, what has the


world learned from World War I? They have learned that unfortunately


violence can achieve some goals and also that the hats they are very


short-term. And at a very high cost. And -- and also maybe. There were


many people that went into the war and attempted to use it for positive


regress as well. Not everybody was satisfied at the end of that and I


think that would be true of any armed conflict anywhere. Dr Paul


Salem and Lynelle Howson, thank you very much for joining us.


And if you are watching us in the UK you can tune


into special coverage of World War One commemorations on BBC2.


For viewers around the globe, stay with us here on here


BBC World, we'll cross live the commemorative ceremony in Mons,


If you enjoy day fine Monday there will be some spells of warm sunshine


at times this week but that is not the whole story. There will be some


wet weather on cheese day and into Wednesday and Friday


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