12/08/2014 World News Today


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


Vital supplies including food and water are air-dropped to


Yazidis stranded on a mountain in northern Iraq - but thousands


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


now the land girls are being remembered through art.


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


Tens of thousands of people, mainly minority Yazidis are still


trapped on Mount Sinjar by Islamic State militants.


Helicopters are continuing to drop much needed supplies -


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


British jets have dropped a second round of aid.


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


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


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


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


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


Yazidi families are streaming over the borders with other


Carrying their children and little else,


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


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


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


comes and destroys everything, they killed my sister.


And we left them because we could not help them.


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


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


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


Somehow, these families have survived not only the massacre


by Islamist militants but the next enemies waiting


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


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


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


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


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


from local towns have brought clean clothes and food.


This man and his family of nine have walked


They have just heard that there are vehicles ahead


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


Others have no idea of where they are going next.


All they know is that they cannot go back.


The village is now dominated by the Islamic State ,


Their fate at the mercy of the shifting realities


Aid missions to reach those still trapped


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


The commander of the helicopter has been killed.


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


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


She spoke about the suffering of the Yazidis and the kidnapping


She was the one who made an emotional appeal to the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


were dispatched to the incidents with emergency personnel arriving on


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


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


Preliminary information developed during the investigation has


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


examination which was conducted this morning prior to this press


conference. The forensic examination did not reveal any injuries


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


prior to him being located. The preliminary results of the


investigation revealed supporting physical signs that Mr Williams died


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


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


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


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


note that this is an active investigation into the circumstances


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


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


the investigation which is several weeks away. When the investigation


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


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


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


note that each request will be handled in accordance with public


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


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


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


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


from other residents in this community. That includes my written


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


understanding that this is an active investigation and some information


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


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


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


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


no perfect environments when you are talking about the perfect


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


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


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


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


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


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


confirmed until they get the toxicology results in around six


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


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


journalist, asking about rigor mortis and whether a timeline had


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


influential. Robin Williams was a motormouth, he had incredible


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


will definitely tug at the heartstrings. And also he injected


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the Yazidi people. These are difficult circumstances for these


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


that. United Nations medical experts have


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


killed by the virus. our medical correspondent, Fergus


Walsh, reports. This is Miguel Pajares, a Catholic


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


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


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


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


three people treated with an experimental drug. The others were


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


potential treatment is to use serum from patients who have recovered


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


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


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


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


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


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


information on whether these treatments work. Global health


officials said there had been limited research into the Mac to


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


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


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


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


to an end. Dr Ben Neuman is a virologist from


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


drug is more experimental because there were some adverse effects in


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


humanitarian convoy being dispatched to eastern Ukraine by Russia will


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


for Ukraine after agreement was reached on an international


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


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


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


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


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


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


course, we have heard of these Russian initiatives and have


realised that this was an agreement somewhere between the Russian and


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


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


board but we need clarification first, to implement such an


operation in this kind of environment. We need serious


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


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


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


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


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


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


We are in constant contact with both the Ukrainian and Russian


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


waiting for their feedback. The Red Ross expressing concern


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


and further between. Still a breezy day for the


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