07/08/2014 World News Today


07/08/2014

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This is BBC World News Today with me, Kasia Madera.

:00:00.:00:00.

International concern over Christians in Iraq forced to flee

:00:07.:00:10.

their homes by advancing militants from the Islamic State group.

:00:11.:00:15.

An emergency meeting is called at the United Nations,

:00:16.:00:17.

The US is reportedly considering emergency air relief,

:00:18.:00:24.

In the trial of Oscar Pistorius, the prosecution says there can be no

:00:25.:00:29.

verdict other than murder, as both sides present closing statements.

:00:30.:00:37.

The accused was more concerned with fending for his life than

:00:38.:00:40.

entrusting the court with a truthful account that fateful morning.

:00:41.:00:47.

Russia imposes a ban on food from Europe and the US in reaction

:00:48.:00:51.

to sanctions it's received over its policy on Ukraine.

:00:52.:00:55.

And do we really spend more time on our digital devices than we

:00:56.:00:59.

Reports from the United States say President Obama is

:01:00.:01:22.

considering airstrikes in northern Iraq and airdrops of food and

:01:23.:01:25.

medicine, as thousands of members of religious minorities try to escape

:01:26.:01:30.

It's understood tens of thousands of Christians have been forced to

:01:31.:01:37.

flee their homes as militants from the Islamic State - formerly known

:01:38.:01:42.

The militants captured Mosul in June.

:01:43.:01:48.

But they have now taken over Iraq's largest Christian town of Qaraqosh,

:01:49.:01:53.

as well as surrounding towns of Tall Kayf, Bartella and Karamlish.

:01:54.:01:57.

All those are on the way to Irbil, the Kurdish region's capital.

:01:58.:02:02.

There's been no official confirmation of airstrikes

:02:03.:02:04.

from the White House, but it is emphasising that any military action

:02:05.:02:08.

For more on this, let's speak to the BBC's Tom

:02:09.:02:14.

To the White House is suggesting. At the moment, there is a difference

:02:15.:02:31.

between what officials are saying publicly and what they appear to be

:02:32.:02:35.

saying privately. I figure could collusion we can draw is that

:02:36.:02:39.

President Obama is perhaps mulling over the options available. -- I

:02:40.:02:45.

think the conclusion. There was a press briefing from Josh earnest in

:02:46.:02:52.

the last few minutes. The White House believes that the persecution

:02:53.:02:57.

of ethnic minorities in the part of ironic you talked about is barbaric.

:02:58.:03:04.

-- Graca. When it comes to the discussion of intervention and the

:03:05.:03:08.

decision made on those grounds, it is on a case-by-case basis. He also

:03:09.:03:13.

repeated a number of times during the briefing that there are no

:03:14.:03:22.

American military solutions to the problem in Iraq. Here is more of

:03:23.:03:25.

what the spokesman had to say. Witham the stakes are very high. We

:03:26.:03:30.

are seeing innocent populations being persecuted because of their

:03:31.:03:37.

ethnic or religious identity. The situation is disturbing, and we are

:03:38.:03:41.

following it closely. It is important for everyone to

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understand, and the president has made it clear, there are no American

:03:44.:03:47.

military solutions to the problems in Iraq. We cannot solve these

:03:48.:03:52.

problems for them. They can only be solved with Iraqi political

:03:53.:03:57.

solutions. You heard there that the key thing which the White House

:03:58.:04:03.

spokesmen were stressing was that if there is going to be any action

:04:04.:04:08.

taken on the part of the United States, it would have to be tied to

:04:09.:04:13.

Iraqi political reform, a process which is obviously ongoing. Thank

:04:14.:04:17.

you very much. Meanwhile, fears remain

:04:18.:04:20.

for thousands of people from Iraq's Yazidi minority who have fled into

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the mountains of northern Iraq. With me now is Dr Marzio Babille,

:04:23.:04:25.

the official UNICEF representative Tell us what is the situation? I

:04:26.:04:45.

believe some of them have been rescued from that mountain range. We

:04:46.:04:53.

have two conditions on the ground. The first indicates that more than

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10,000 UCDs have been rescued from the mountain range. They are on the

:04:58.:05:13.

move to be safe in the northern province. -- Yazidi. They will join

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180,000 Yazidi community members who are already safe and actually

:05:22.:05:27.

protected in locations being assisted by United Nations

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agencies, including Unicef and the local government. Unfortunately, we

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have more than 25,000 children stuck in the mountain range together with

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their families. We are deeply disturbed, concerned and outraged by

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the fact there is no third or access to water in these mountains, and

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they are being chased by the Islamic State, who were persecuting them

:06:06.:06:09.

after the fall of the city. A desperate plight. Talk to us about

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the situation for the Christians in Qaraqosh, so I know Unicef has been

:06:17.:06:23.

working with them as well. Qaraqosh and the other cities are on claims

:06:24.:06:34.

for Christians in this country. They have been clashes between the forces

:06:35.:06:39.

protecting them any Islamic State military push. These generate waves

:06:40.:06:47.

of displacement in different directions. Unicef and other

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agencies are currently rescuing more than 7000 individuals in the

:06:54.:07:01.

Christian quarter, providing water, food and shelter. The Christians are

:07:02.:07:07.

moving and are on the move since the last month. Unfortunately, the

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sudden changes of the situation on the ground have pushed dramatically

:07:19.:07:25.

boost numbers. In particular, we have to consider the region nine

:07:26.:07:32.

colleges from Rose all Unicef visited providing water and hygiene

:07:33.:07:43.

kits. -- Rose all. -- Mosul. Your work is endless and tireless, but

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for the time being, we wish you the best of luck because we are out of

:07:48.:07:49.

time. There is lots more on our website

:07:50.:08:02.

about the conditions in northern Iraq.

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Oscar Pistorius has been called a "deceitful witness" who'd fallen

:08:08.:08:09.

into telling a ''snowball of lies'' during the prosecution's closing

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Pistorius is accused of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp,

:08:12.:08:15.

He maintains he mistook her for an intruder.

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From Pretoria, our Africa correspondent,

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Brisk and focused, Oscar Pistorius striding back

:08:21.:08:27.

into court this morning to hear the prosecution sum up the case

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For the first time, Barry Steenkamp, father of Reeva Steenkamp, was also

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Ill-health has kept him away from this murder trial until today.

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In court, prosecutor Gerrie Nel went on the attack, dismissing the

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My lady, it is so improbable it can never be reasonably possibly be true

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and is a clear indication of his deceitfulness.

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The focus today unsurprisingly was the shooting itself,

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the four bullets Pistorius fired through the toilet door,

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Nel said the athlete had given conflicting

:09:08.:09:11.

But the prosecution's main point was this -

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that Pistorius must have known he would kill someone.

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If you fire four shots into a small cubicle with a high-powered firearm,

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with that ammunition, you foresee the possibility you will kill

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somebody, and you continued doing it.

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From the prosecutor here today, two key claims.

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One, that Pistorius has repeatedly proved himself to be

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The other that even if the judge finds that he's telling the truth,

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the fact that he went to that toilet door and fired four times

:09:46.:09:49.

Pistorius's defence will argue that the prosecution are

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Their presentation will begin in earnest tomorrow.

:09:56.:10:02.

Now to Russia, where President Putin has imposed an almost total ban

:10:03.:10:14.

on food imports from countries that have introduced sanctions on Moscow

:10:15.:10:17.

All food imported from the United States into Russia will be banned.

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There'll also be a ban on imports of meat, fish, fruit and vegetables,

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and dairy products from the European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway.

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These measures will hit Russians the hardest because they rely on cheap

:10:34.:10:36.

imports, and on farmers in the West for whom Russia is a big market.

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Moscow is by far the biggest buyer of European fruit and vegetables.

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It is also the second-biggest importer of US poultry.

:10:46.:10:50.

The Russian prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, also said Russia is

:10:51.:10:52.

considering banning Western airlines from flying over its airspace

:10:53.:10:57.

Our Moscow correspondent, Steve Rosenberg,

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looks what impact the food bans will have on supermarket shelves.

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In recent years, Russian consumers have gotten used

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to their supermarket shelves being full of imported products.

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In fact, in big cities like Moscow, it is estimated that more than 60%

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So, for example, in this supermarket, they've got baked beans

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nectarines from Greece, tomatoes from Holland, and bacon from Spain.

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because today, the Russian government imposed a ban

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on future imports of beef, pork and poultry, fruit and vegetables,

:11:43.:11:47.

cheese, dairy products, and fish from those countries which have

:11:48.:11:50.

That means from the European Union, the United States, Canada,

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So very soon, all of this will disappear.

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But the Russian authorities are confident that the supermarket

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They are already searching for alternative supplies

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from other parts of the world, like South America,

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and they are encouraging domestic manufacturers to boost production.

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They say that these measures will hurt exporters much more than

:12:19.:12:21.

But what do the shoppers think about that?

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TRANSLATION: If we don't get fish from Norway,

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we will produce our own in the Far East.

:12:30.:12:33.

TRANSLATION: Russia is doing everything right.

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It needs to develop its own agricultural industry.

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But for Russia, there could be a price to pay.

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The European Union has already denounced this embargo

:12:45.:12:47.

as politically motivated, and said it was prepared to take

:12:48.:12:50.

further action against Moscow if necessary.

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economist talks and trade policy expert. She was a financial

:12:59.:13:07.

advisor to of the US president George W Bush He in his first term.

:13:08.:13:15.

Dear noted today touring to be impacted much on this then? It was

:13:16.:13:27.

about $1.3 billion versus 15 billion for Europe, so a big difference. So

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Europe will be hit hardest. Talk is through the figures. It is a divide

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and rule strategy. The Russians understand they may get a better

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outcome if they hit America's partners instead of the US directly.

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It is easier to hit the partners. That is why this a line then maybe

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important, because that will be most costly to the Europeans, not

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Americans. The Ukrainian airlines have already been banned from

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flying, but it is the other international airlines that is of

:13:59.:14:04.

great concern. Exactly. If they banned major European airlines, US

:14:05.:14:08.

airlines, obviously the Europeans get hit harder. The key issue to

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understand that this food then is it is part of something happening

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against a greater context. So for example, the Pentagon is reporting

:14:17.:14:21.

there have been 14 incursions by Russian military aircraft into US

:14:22.:14:25.

airspace in the last month or so. They feel those are not training

:14:26.:14:31.

runs, they are designed to heighten the level of deployment on the US

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side, which is costly. The US is accusing Russia of having violated

:14:36.:14:38.

one of the nuclear test ban treaties, which the deny. There are

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many aspects of this argument. Fittest is one aspect. At the

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moment, it seems this is something the Russians can actually use and

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the way they are protecting themselves. Again, the question is,

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will work in interest? They may not need the food from abroad, although

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I have my doubts about that, and I don't keep their will be able to

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replace the fruit from Asia so easily, but all of the productivity

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of the farmland in Russia is basically coming from Western money

:15:14.:15:18.

being invested in the development of agriculture, so if they cut off food

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exports, they also cut off the capital that wants to invest.

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French cheeses? Indeed. There's a question of how much does it hurt

:15:35.:15:38.

the Russian public, and it may hurt them more than anybody in West. OK,

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for the time being, thank you very much for speaking to us.

:15:44.:15:46.

In further news about Russia, NATO's Secretary General has had

:15:47.:15:49.

talks in Ukraine and has promised Kiev the support

:15:50.:15:51.

of the alliance in the face of what he called Russian aggression.

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He called on Moscow to stop supporting

:15:55.:15:55.

separatists, pull back its 20,000 troops from Ukraine's border and as

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Instead of de-escalating the conflict, Russia continues to

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Russia's support to the separatists continues.

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It has intensified in scale and sophistication.

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The downing of MH17 shows the tragic consequences

:16:32.:16:35.

Well, let's keep the focus on Russia because the fugitive former US

:16:36.:16:46.

intelligence contractor Edward Snowden has been granted

:16:47.:16:50.

a three-year residence permit in Russia.

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He's been living there for the past year and his temporary

:16:53.:16:54.

The whistle-blower faces espionage charges in the United States.

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But Moscow says it will not extradite him.

:17:01.:17:04.

Two top Khmer Rouge leaders have been jailed for life

:17:05.:17:06.

after being convicted of war crimes by a UN backed court in Cambodia.

:17:07.:17:11.

Nooun Chee-uh and Kew Sampawn both denied charges

:17:12.:17:14.

relating to the deaths of 1.7 million people in the 1970s.

:17:15.:17:20.

They will now undergo a second trial on genocide charges.

:17:21.:17:25.

One of China's most famous dissidents, the human rights lawyer,

:17:26.:17:28.

Gow Juh-Shung, has been released after a lengthy jail sentence.

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He's been in and out of prison since 2005.

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He was jailed for inciting state subversion,

:17:37.:17:38.

that's a charge often levied against critics of China's government.

:17:39.:17:49.

Egyptian mediators are continuing their efforts to extend

:17:50.:17:51.

a truce between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza, on the

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Indirect talks are taking place in Cairo.

:17:54.:17:57.

Israel has said it is prepared to continue the truce.

:17:58.:17:59.

The Palestinians are pressing for an end to the blockade of Gaza.

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Israel wants Hamas and other militant groups to give up

:18:04.:18:05.

Palestinians in Gaza have been stocking up on food, uncertain

:18:06.:18:09.

Reclaiming their own streets, government security forces in Gaza.

:18:10.:18:21.

Before the ceasefire, they were in hiding.

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Even now, they aren't venturing too far.

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Like everyone here, they are waiting to see

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Even if it is, for many, like seven-year-old Maha,

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An Israeli shell claimed seven relatives including her mother.

:18:38.:18:54.

For two weeks, doctors here has been trying to send

:18:55.:18:58.

Her aunt says she's a great student who loves to sing

:18:59.:19:03.

She's always been very active, she tells us.

:19:04.:19:11.

A short distance away, the green flags of Hamas were back on view.

:19:12.:19:20.

Front and centre on stage, four-year-old Ahmed.

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This was its first public event since fighting began.

:19:24.:19:35.

This local businessman gave an impassioned endorsement

:19:36.:19:38.

She gave up her position for the sake of our children, he said.

:19:39.:19:48.

Supporters are continuing to arrive for this rally.

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In recent weeks, in the eyes of people here,

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Its fighters have inflicted heavy losses on the Israeli Ministry

:19:59.:20:04.

but if Hamas can't achieve political concessions,

:20:05.:20:08.

Hamas negotiators in Cairo want Israel to lift

:20:09.:20:14.

Israel wants an end to attacks by Hamas.

:20:15.:20:21.

Many here expect the talks to end and fighting to resume.

:20:22.:20:33.

We spend more time on our smartphones, tablets and other

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That's according to research from the broadcast watchdog, OFCOM.

:20:39.:20:44.

And unsurprisingly, it's the younger generation who are leading the way,

:20:45.:20:47.

with six-year-olds apparently showing the same understanding

:20:48.:20:49.

As our technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones explains,

:20:50.:20:56.

digital devices are now dominating our lives as never before.

:20:57.:21:04.

These teenagers are on a summer school course

:21:05.:21:08.

But today's report says in general it's 14 and 15-year-olds who are the

:21:09.:21:13.

They are growing up with smart phones and tablets and teaching

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My mum, I have to help her with a lot of stuff because she can't

:21:21.:21:26.

Honestly, I think I spend most time on Instagram on my phone or tablets.

:21:27.:21:35.

I'm spending less time watching TV nowadays.

:21:36.:21:39.

This research shows we are all spending more time than ever

:21:40.:21:42.

That's longer than we spend sleeping.

:21:43.:21:48.

OFCOM says because we often multitasking,

:21:49.:21:56.

we are, in fact, communicating for more than 11 hours a day.

:21:57.:21:59.

Behind this is the spread of mobile devices.

:22:00.:22:01.

Smartphones are now owned by 61% of the UK population, though they

:22:02.:22:04.

And as for tablets, they are in 44% of homes and that figure has

:22:05.:22:09.

Well, TV still retains its attraction, viewing has slipped

:22:10.:22:14.

below four hours a day for the first time in quite a while.

:22:15.:22:18.

It seems in a mobile world people are finding

:22:19.:22:20.

Older people may sometimes struggle to keep up but many, like this

:22:21.:22:26.

Silver Surfers group in Manchester, getting to grips with technology.

:22:27.:22:31.

The figures show one in five people over 65 now owns a tablet computer.

:22:32.:22:37.

I bought the tablet with the intention

:22:38.:22:38.

of getting to know what's happening in the world, as you might say.

:22:39.:22:43.

The grandkids are coming in and telling you this is what you

:22:44.:22:46.

do, that's what you do, so I want to do it myself, you know.

:22:47.:22:52.

But it's these youngsters who are the trendsetters, watching less TV,

:22:53.:22:54.

listening to less radios, spending more time with their phones.

:22:55.:22:58.

If you want to know what the future looks like ask a teenager.

:22:59.:23:05.

With me now is Dr Ellen Helsper, Associate Professor at the

:23:06.:23:07.

London School of Economics who specialises in digital technologies

:23:08.:23:10.

When we look at the figures, the eight hours and 41 minutes we are

:23:11.:23:22.

knocking around online, on computer screens, on tablets, it includes

:23:23.:23:28.

work as well, so it's not that bad? No, when we are awake, we are

:23:29.:23:32.

connected to television, digital devices. We are living in a digital

:23:33.:23:39.

world and it's been so for a while, but now we are living in a digital

:23:40.:23:45.

world and it's been so for a while, but now shopping, to friends and

:23:46.:23:52.

family, trying to find information. It's not surprising we are spending

:23:53.:23:58.

eight hours more, almost nine hours a day, connected to some kind of

:23:59.:24:02.

device. Some people are spending more than that because they are

:24:03.:24:05.

doing two things at the same time. How does that work? The age of

:24:06.:24:11.

multitasking. Even at work you may be answering your mobile phone,

:24:12.:24:15.

while you're looking at your computer screen. At home, you could

:24:16.:24:18.

be friends and also watching television. It is not a new

:24:19.:24:22.

phenomenon. We always used to do other things when we were watching

:24:23.:24:27.

television, writing a letter were watching television, writing a

:24:28.:24:29.

letter was listening to the radio, things like that, multitasking. We

:24:30.:24:34.

are quite good at it, but it's difficult. It seems teenagers are

:24:35.:24:41.

the best at it? Yes, this is the interesting thing in this report.

:24:42.:24:45.

They asked a lot of young people, old people, how confident they were

:24:46.:24:48.

and how much they thought they knew about different technologies and

:24:49.:24:51.

this is where the young people said, I feel very confident, and

:24:52.:24:57.

comfortable. The research we have been doing shows all so that the

:24:58.:25:00.

counter side to that, actually, there's a lot of difference between

:25:01.:25:03.

young people and that's something we need to keep in mind, there's a lot

:25:04.:25:07.

of young people who do need help, who are not as savvy, who don't feel

:25:08.:25:15.

comfortable maybe and the idea all the young people know might go

:25:16.:25:20.

against us as adults being there for them when they do need help. When

:25:21.:25:26.

communication between parents and teachers and young people, we don't

:25:27.:25:30.

want to disempower them to feel like they can't talk to each other. A lot

:25:31.:25:34.

of young people do need help because it is a complex world. Our whole

:25:35.:25:40.

lives are online. There is the bullying aspect of it as well and

:25:41.:25:43.

the fact people are not getting out and getting physical. This could

:25:44.:25:47.

become an addiction like sugar or alcohol. Yes, there are differences

:25:48.:25:52.

in June young people, the other thing the report showed, in all age

:25:53.:25:58.

groups, men and boys are more confident about their skills than

:25:59.:26:03.

women. Even if they might not actually know that much more. I have

:26:04.:26:07.

more confidence and we see a lot of differences for example between

:26:08.:26:11.

people with higher educational levels and people who might not have

:26:12.:26:16.

that much experience with formal education. There's a lot of

:26:17.:26:18.

differences between people and we need to keep that in mind, to keep

:26:19.:26:22.

the conversation going, so everybody can benefit from technology and not

:26:23.:26:27.

just the few who are really integrated and love it and talk to

:26:28.:26:33.

other people about it. And who financially have the money. Thank

:26:34.:26:37.

you so much for talking to us. Six-year-olds have the same and the

:26:38.:26:41.

standings is 45 euros, certainly in my household.

:26:42.:26:47.

But for now from me and the rest of the team goodbye.

:26:48.:26:56.

Hello there. There are some serious weather on its way for the weekend.

:26:57.:27:02.

Through tomorrow, some nasty conditions. Heavy rain developing up

:27:03.:27:05.

and

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