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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