12/08/2014 World News Today


12/08/2014

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, Kasia Madera.

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Vital supplies including food and water are air-dropped to

:00:09.:00:10.

Yazidis stranded on a mountain in northern Iraq - but thousands

:00:11.:00:13.

The move comes as President Obama offers his support to the nations

:00:14.:00:21.

new leader, but will these pledges and foreign aid be enough for the

:00:22.:00:24.

Described as a lightning storm of comic genius - he was loved

:00:25.:00:40.

Actor Robin Williams dies in California at the age of 63.

:00:41.:00:43.

World health officials give the go-ahead for the use of experimental

:00:44.:00:48.

drugs in an effort to battle the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

:00:49.:00:51.

They were the women who worked the land during the two world wars,

:00:52.:00:54.

now the land girls are being remembered through art.

:00:55.:01:10.

The crisis in Iraq continues in what?s now being called

:01:11.:01:18.

Tens of thousands of people, mainly minority Yazidis are still

:01:19.:01:24.

trapped on Mount Sinjar by Islamic State militants.

:01:25.:01:28.

Helicopters are continuing to drop much needed supplies -

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those stranded are so desperate to be rescued, they've clung to

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British jets have dropped a second round of aid.

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So far they have delivered more than 15,000 litres of water.

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The US says its troops have dropped 85,000 meals.

:01:45.:01:52.

As fierce fighting continues on the ground, some Yazidis have managed

:01:53.:01:54.

to flee Mount Sinjar, and cross into Syria and Iraqi Kurdistan.

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At last, the men and women from the mountain reach sanctuary of a sort.

:01:58.:02:08.

Yazidi families are streaming over the borders with other

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Carrying their children and little else,

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The memory of the day that fighters from the Islamic state attacked

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their villages is hard to bear, even though this woman and her six

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We have tried for 15 years to make a home for us and the minute ISIS

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comes and destroys everything, they killed my sister.

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And we left them because we could not help them.

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They are running from ISIS and they are in the mountains now.

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For the youngest, finally a chance to sleep without fear.

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And for the oldest, simple relief at this chance to sit

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Somehow, these families have survived not only the massacre

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by Islamist militants but the next enemies waiting

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The families here came down from the mountain and they have walked

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for days to get here through Syria and out to the relative safety of

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Kurdistan , and as last, they are able to get food and water after

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days without, but the aid agencies say that while they are doing their

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For now, they are handing out the basics while well-wishers

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from local towns have brought clean clothes and food.

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This man and his family of nine have walked

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They have just heard that there are vehicles ahead

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which can take them to a derelict loading in the nearest town.

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Others have no idea of where they are going next.

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All they know is that they cannot go back.

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The village is now dominated by the Islamic State ,

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Their fate at the mercy of the shifting realities

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Aid missions to reach those still trapped

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Just a short time ago we had reports that an aid helicopter crashed

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The commander of the helicopter has been killed.

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One of two New York Times journalists on board was injured.

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As was Iraqi member of Parliament Vian Dakhil, who I interviewed here

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She spoke about the suffering of the Yazidis and the kidnapping

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She was the one who made an emotional appeal to the

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Let's cross to California for the latest information on the death of

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Robin Williams. I have prepared statements, and I ask that you hold

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questions until the end of this statement. My last name is spelt

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BOYD. On August the 11th, Marin County communications received a 911

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telephone call that a male adult was not breathing. The caller was

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distraught, and indicated at that time that it was an apparent suicide

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due to a hanging, and rigor mortis had set in. The Sheriff's Office

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were dispatched to the incidents with emergency personnel arriving on

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scene at 12pm. The male subjects was pronounced deceased just afterwards,

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and has been identified as Robin Williams, a 63-year-old resident.

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Preliminary information developed during the investigation has

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revealed that Mr Williams had been seeking treatment for depression. He

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was last seen alive by his wife at approximately 10:30pm on August the

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10th, when she retired for the evening in a room in the home. It is

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unknown at this time when Mr Williams retired for the evening to

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his bedroom. At approximately 10:30am, on August the 11th, Mr

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Williams's wife left the home, believing he was still asleep. The

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personal assistant became concerned at 11:45am when he failed to respond

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to knocks on his bedroom door. At that time, the personal assistant

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was able to gain access to the bedroom and found him clothed, in a

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seated position, unresponsive, with a belt secured around his neck and

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the other end wedged between a closet door and a frame. His right

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shoulder was touching the door, with his body perpendicular to the door

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and slightly suspended. Mr Williams was cool to the touch with rigor

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mortis present in his body. The inside of his left wrist had some

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cuts, and a pocket knife with a blade was located in proximity to Mr

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Williams. The knife was examined and a dry read material was identified

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on the blade of the knife. It is unknown if the material is his lad

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but scientific testing will be done. -- his blood. He was transported

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from the scene to the morgue by the coroner, pending a forensic

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examination which was conducted this morning prior to this press

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conference. The forensic examination did not reveal any injuries

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indicating Mr Williams had been in a struggle or a physical altercation

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prior to him being located. The preliminary results of the

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investigation revealed supporting physical signs that Mr Williams died

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due to asphyxia because of hanging. Toxicology tests will be done to

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determine if he had any chemicals in his system at the time of death.

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Toxicology results will be available... Excuse me, will not be

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available for two to six weeks while testing is being performed. Please

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note that this is an active investigation into the circumstances

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surrounding his death. Work is not complete at this time. Final cause

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and manner of his death will not be certified until the conclusion of

:10:03.:10:05.

the investigation which is several weeks away. When the investigation

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is concluded and the final results are available, a press conference

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will be scheduled at that time. Additionally, I have received

:10:17.:10:20.

numerous requests for copies of 911 and this batch recordings. Please

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note that each request will be handled in accordance with public

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record guidelines and responses will be provided within ten days. Media

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enquiries should be directed to me. This should be done on e-mail. I

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will respond to these enquiries, time permitting, as I receive them.

:10:56.:10:59.

Please keep in mind that the coroner is also investigating active cases

:11:00.:11:03.

from other residents in this community. That includes my written

:11:04.:11:09.

statement at this time and I will open up to take a few questions,

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understanding that this is an active investigation and some information

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will be withheld until the final press conference in several weeks.

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Do you have a timeline about when this incident took place? Rigor

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mortis is a sign that will be evaluated to try and correlate a

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time period that the death may have occurred. Understand that there is

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no perfect environments when you are talking about the perfect

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environments so we will use known facts to surmise when the death

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occurred. That was in attendance Keith Boyd, speaking from outside

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the Sheriff Office. He is giving Saddam details about the death of

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Robin Williams -- sad details. One of the main points he made was that

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this was death by asphyxiation. He attached a belt around his neck and

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that help was attached to a door. The full investigation will not be

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confirmed until they get the toxicology results in around six

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weeks' time, and that is when we expect another press conference to

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give more details. There was one question from one of the

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journalist, asking about rigor mortis and whether a timeline had

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been apparent. The wife of Robin Williams had gone to bed without

:12:54.:12:56.

seeing Robin Williams that evening, and then she had not seen him the

:12:57.:13:01.

next morning, believing that he was still asleep. It was the actor's

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assistant who had tried to wake him, knocked on the door, and got

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concerned when he did not answer. She got access to the actor's room.

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Some very unpleasant details. There was information about some cut to

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the actor's left wrist, and there was a pocket knife, and a dry

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substance which could have been blood. It is unknown whether that is

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his life. Doctor Joseph Cohen, who studied the body afterwards, was

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giving details that there was some cuts to the rest. -- wrist. Very sad

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details of somebody who was revered in the acting world. Let's focus on

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some of the happier aspects of his life because we are joined by Chris

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Hewett from Empire magazine. Some sad details there. It goes to show

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how low Robin Williams was feeling at the time. It is a complete

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shock, a huge loss to the comedy world and acting world. It came out

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of nowhere. It is extraordinary. This is a man who was one of the

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funniest people of his generation, if not the funniest. I was thinking

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about how inspirational he was two other mediums. Twitter was filled up

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with the likes of Billy Crystal and Steve Martin. Other comedians as

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well have paid tribute. I was thinking about how influential he

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has been, and I think he was one of a kind. Even Monty Python, that was

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influential. Robin Williams was a motormouth, he had incredible

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energy, he could do impressions. His mind works faster than anybody's

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else. It is amazing. He was very influential, even in animations,

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like Aladdin. What he did in that movie was astonishing. He was a

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brilliant actor in his own right. He was nominated for four Academy

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Awards. He was phenomenal. He had a depth and shade as well. Real

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sensitivity and the real soul as well. We saw that through many

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films, for example, dead poets Society. Yes, an amazing film which

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will definitely tug at the heartstrings. And also he injected

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it with humour. We had the serious and comedic side. We're seeing

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images from good morning Vietnam. Amazing. And so good in family films

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as well. He voiced performances as well, for example in the Happy Feet

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movies. Not to forget his stand-up. He was brilliant. Of course. Along

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with television programmes. Thank you very much for sharing some of

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the happier memories of Robin Williams, who has died, by taking

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his own life in what we have just heard was by hanging at his home.

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Some of the difficult details we heard from the press conference. We

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will continue to monitor that and we expect lots of reaction on that. But

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we will return now to our main story. The plight of the disease.

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Tens of thousands are still trapped on Mount Sinjar. -- the plight of

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the Yazidi people. These are difficult circumstances for these

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people. We had a helicopter crashed just today. It contained a New York

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journalist and a prominent Yazidi MP. Yes. It highlights the

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difficulties faced by those trapped on the mountain and those trying to

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deliver aid. And to the Yazidi people in particular. What is

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happening in terms of fighting on the ground? What is happening in

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terms of the Islamic State forces moving back in response to air

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raids? What we have seen is that the fighting has moved to other parts of

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the country. Of course, control has been regained of two towns which

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were lost previously to Islamic State. They were aided by American

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intervention. The American army is acting almost like an error force.

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It is giving air cover to Kurdish fighters to allow them to catch

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their breath. But fighting is also happening in other parts of Iraq,

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between the Islamic State fighters and the Iraqi army. Thank you for

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that. United Nations medical experts have

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cleared the use of experimental drugs on Ebola victims. The World

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Health Organisation said it was ethical - given the scale of the

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outbreak - to give patients drugs which have not yet been widely

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tested on humans. So far the disease has been confirmed in Guinea,

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Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. More than 1,000 people are believed

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to have died. And at least 1,800 others have been infected. A Spanish

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priest who was working in Liberia has become one of the latest to be

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killed by the virus. our medical correspondent, Fergus

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Walsh, reports. This is Miguel Pajares, a Catholic

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missionary. He spent his life among the sick and poor and contracted a

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bowler in Liberia. He was flown home to Madrid last week amid the

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tightest while security, but died this morning. His body was swiftly

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cremated to minimise the chance of a bolus spreading. He is one of just

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three people treated with an experimental drug. The others were

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an American aid worker and another. In an unusual move, global health

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experts said it was ethical to offer untested drugs to a bowler patients.

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In the past ten years, we have researched into a bowler

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treatments... These support our efforts to control the disease. This

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is the only experimental drug which has been used so far. It is created

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by exposing mice to Ebola. But there are just 12 doses, all allocated or

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used. There will be no more until the end of the year. Another

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potential treatment is to use serum from patients who have recovered

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from Ebola. There are also anti-viral drugs. As for prevention,

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there are two vaccines in developing. But all of these have

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only been tested in monkeys. We have to make sure there is no consent

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from the patient. If the patient is conscience and able to give it,

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otherwise from the family or community. We also must ensure the

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patient is properly dealt with and data is collected so that we retain

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information on whether these treatments work. Global health

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officials said there had been limited research into the Mac to

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drugs. The virus can overrun the immune system, but intravenous

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fluids, oxygen, modern emergency medicine can help. It will not be

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experimental drugs, but better health care. And the early isolation

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of infected patients. That is what will bring this nightmare epidemic

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to an end. Dr Ben Neuman is a virologist from

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the University of Reading. He joins Let's focus on this new drug. With

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such limited scope, how should they be used and on who? This is

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something the medics will need to decide. It's not so important who

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gets these. Anyone who gets these will be very lucky. If I had the

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disease I would want it. It is likely to be safe because they are

:22:37.:22:39.

antibodies that are used in sick people already but we will not know

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till this is all over. What about the early testing stage in humans of

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another drug? Yes. These are different drugs. The first one is

:23:01.:23:06.

it's onto part of the virus and then the cell can destroy it. This second

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drug is more experimental because there were some adverse effects in

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initial trials. We don't know whether it will work. There is a

:23:19.:23:22.

great work it could cause harm. In this situation, with this disease

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being a serious as it is, it is a risk worth taking. When it comes to

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vaccines I believe the latest dates are -- the United States are fast

:23:35.:23:40.

tracking them. Even to fast-track a vaccine it could take months to

:23:41.:23:42.

develop a full immunity responds. You need to check what kind of

:23:43.:23:53.

immune response curves. The virus may burn itself out before we have a

:23:54.:23:56.

vaccine. But it could help with the next outbreak. For those who are in

:23:57.:24:02.

danger of being affected by this, what is there hope? It will give

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people hope to know that there is something out there. We are hoping

:24:15.:24:19.

this outbreak will be over by Christmas. But the outbreak should

:24:20.:24:23.

have been over months ago and this has dragged on. We also hope it will

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be over soon. Thank you. A Ukrainian security official says a

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humanitarian convoy being dispatched to eastern Ukraine by Russia will

:24:35.:24:36.

not be admitted into the country. A convoy of Russian trucks are heading

:24:37.:24:39.

for Ukraine after agreement was reached on an international

:24:40.:24:42.

humanitarian relief mission. But the Red Cross, which is due to

:24:43.:24:44.

coordinate the operation, said it had no information on what the

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trucks were carrying. Some cities, such as Luhansk, for

:24:48.:24:53.

example have been cut off for any supplies for over the past month. We

:24:54.:24:56.

know that the situation here is dire, in terms of supplies and

:24:57.:24:59.

medical supplies. Access to water and electricity, everything. Of

:25:00.:25:02.

course, we have heard of these Russian initiatives and have

:25:03.:25:08.

realised that this was an agreement somewhere between the Russian and

:25:09.:25:12.

Ukrainian authorities - that such a convoy should be a possibility,

:25:13.:25:18.

provided that the IRC can be on board. We have said we could be on

:25:19.:25:24.

board but we need clarification first, to implement such an

:25:25.:25:28.

operation in this kind of environment. We need serious

:25:29.:25:31.

security guarantees, for example, and direct contact with all the

:25:32.:25:37.

parties. We don't have that yet. We also need to know what precisely is

:25:38.:25:41.

in the convoy, the size of it, the various materials that will be

:25:42.:25:45.

transported. We have heard from the Russian authorities that this convoy

:25:46.:25:51.

consists of 280 trucks, so it is massive, and has left Moscow this

:25:52.:25:56.

morning. It is supposed to be at the agreed point of the border tonight.

:25:57.:26:02.

We are in constant contact with both the Ukrainian and Russian

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authorities on this. They know what our requirements are and we are

:26:07.:26:11.

waiting for their feedback. The Red Ross expressing concern

:26:12.:26:27.

about that convoy. Just to go back to our breaking news: Robin Williams

:26:28.:26:33.

has died due to suicide. We were given graphic details of how the

:26:34.:26:38.

actor had attached a belt around his neck. A lot more detail on our

:26:39.:26:45.

website. For now, goodbye. Hello. We have the remnants of

:26:46.:27:00.

Hurricane Bertha sitting to the north of the British Isles, keeping

:27:01.:27:06.

things breezy and showery. However, it will move further eastwards with

:27:07.:27:11.

some quieter weather to come. Tomorrow, the showers will be fewer

:27:12.:27:19.

and further between. Still a breezy day for the

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