21/08/2014 World News Today


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United States launches more air strikes against Islamic State


militants in Iraq. They are carried out despite the execution of James


Foley. We hear from this American


doctor who survived Ebola. Today is miraculous, I am thrilled


to be alive, well and reunited with my family.


Evacuations and high alert for airlines as this Icelandic


The United States has launched more air strikes in northern Iraq,


despite threats by Islamic State fighters to kill a second American


It comes as more details emerge about the murder of photojournalist


James Foley after footage was released showing him being killed


The Pentagon says it attempted to rescue Foley and a number


of other hostages in a secret mission in Syria.


Meanwhile, the US Attorney General has opened a criminal investigation


And in the UK, security services are trying to identify


Militants demanded a ransom for him. -- for James Foley.


Frank Gardner's report on the murder investigation contains


Clues from a suspected killer, not much to go on, but every detail has


been studied from Islamic State's video of their murder of James


Foley. Jesus and reporter, who survived an earlier kidnapping in


Libya, he was held for nearly two years in Syria. Reports say his


captors demanded a massive ransom and later sent his parents and angry


e-mail, telling them he was about to be killed. This former French


hostage spent months with him, he got out because a ransom was


reportedly paid. Being American, it was probably more targeted by the


guard, eaten a bit more, probably. Many countries negotiate. I do not


know what, if it is money or prisoner exchange. Some countries,


like America, but also the UK, do not. The manhunt will be zeroing in


on the Syrian stronghold of Islamic State. These are weapons they


captured this summer from the Iraqi army. Most of their foreign hostages


are being held under jihadist control. Reports say they had three


British guards watching over them, who often beat them. There are


believed to be at least 20 others held, including this American


journalist. It is only a matter of time before MI5 or the FBI


identified the man who killed James Foley. Pinpointing where he is now


we'll be harder, and ringing the suspect out of the country that is


already torn apart by war and with similar because it is taking place


every day will be almost impossible. The area where most foreign hostages


are believed to be held has become a magnet for British jihadist. It is


very likely we will discover his identity in the next days. We have a


lot more means of finding out who that guy is reduced to have, 20 or


30 years ago. Maybe 80% of the foreign fighters are involved in


social media, they have Facebook accounts, Twitter accounts, they


give away a lot of clues in terms of height,


give away a lot of clues in terms of voice. Last month, America sent in


commandos like these in a failed attempt to free it captured in


Syria. Those who are held remain a massive propaganda tool in the


jihadists' armoury. Well, despite threats by


Islamic State to murder another American hostage, there were another


six US air strikes today. Iraqi forces are also understood to


have attacked the jihadists in Anbar province, and they're battling


Islamic fighters in Tikrit. Our correspondent Jeremy Cooke sent


this report from the front line It is time to fight back. The Iraqi


army in full retreat just weeks ago, now taking on the Islamic State


with maximum firepower. These special forces near Tikrit, facing


fanatical fighters, but victory will not come easy. Outside, the front


fanatical fighters, but victory will line is hardening. Here,


Kurdish - motor, who fought the enemy to a standstill. Look down the


barrel, across the river, 50 metres over the bridge, the black flag of


the Islamic State. Everything it stands for as well. The staggering


thing is how close the front lines. We have seen movement just over on


the other side. These fighters say they are determined to protect their


people, protect their homes. Several attacks have already been repelled.


Their commander says his troops are ready to give their blood and


lives. But they need help. ready to give their blood and


asking the international community and European countries for weapons,


he says. Our enemy has sophisticated and European countries for weapons,


weapons. Hours are good, but we need better. There is no panic here, the


people have faith in their fighting men, who defend the city. The


governor told me he remains confident that the Islamic State


will be defeated. It is a dangerous enemy. Not only the enemy of Iraq or


Syria, it is the enemy that can go anywhere in this world. It may be a


global issue, but for now, the future of the Islamic State will be


determined on the battlefields of Syria and Iraq.


Richard Barrett is a former head of counter terrorism at MI6 in the UK


and a former coordinator of the UN's Al-Qaida-Taliban Monitoring Team.


He's now Senior Vice President of the Soufan private security


Group, and joins me via webcam from near New Yor


Ultimately, did you think it will be possible to capture and identify the


killers of James Foley? I do think it will be possible to identify


them, yes. Not only will previous hostages have something to say, and


his boys could be found on social media, -- his voice -- but there is


also a whole community that he came from, people he was dealing with,


and there will be many of them, if not all of them, who will be


horrified by this video and would be willing to help the authorities


track him down. I am relatively confident he will be identified. As


for catching him, that is another matter. But there is a long time


ahead, and nobody will forget about this. Ultimately, this act opens up


a Pandora's box of political problems when it comes to what one


does when one has already identified the killing, whoever has killed


James Foley, what the US and UK forces then do. Indeed. He is likely


to stay in Syria or Iraq for the foreseeable future, but let's hope


that those countries settle down and there is more stability. But even


before that, there will be a lot of local people, local tribesmen, who


are also horrified at what the Islamic State are doing against


their own people as well as against James Foley. They will also be


willing to identify who the killers are or where they are. And help


British and American justice, if we can call it that, to get hold of


them, even if they do so for financial reason, that will still be


a good result. Barack Obama has already said the US will not scale


back its military actions, they have already launched more air strikes in


northern Iraq, that the issue of remaining hostages is still a large


issue. It is a very large issue, and that is why they have hostages. It


is a business, a money making, but as you said earlier, with British


and American hostages held, they know they will not get money, so


they use them for other purposes, and with James Foley, it was to


terrorise people, to re-emphasise their brutality, and perhaps put


pressure on the American and British and other governments not to take


action against them. There is no way the American government will be


blackmailed, so the additional and strikes are hardly surprising. What


to do think of the indications of this act on the wider political


thinking towards the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria? It confirms what


they are. They may have claimed they were just trying to create a new


state that would look after people in a better way than current leaders


in the middle east, and that is no longer tenable, that argument, we


see what they are, they are the same as Al-Qaeda and other international


terrorist groups. They have an agenda which tends entirely on them


imposing their own will on people and enforcing their rules, come what


may, even to the extent of killing people.


Bank of America has agreed to pay almost $17 billion in a settlement


with the US Department of Justice over questionable mortgages.


It's the largest sum to be paid as a result of the fallout


Why is this fine so big? If you asked the Justice Department, they


would say, consider how many millions of Americans were affected


by these mortgage backed securities and how many billions of dollars


were lost during the financial crisis. You look at how there are


still millions of Americans who are still trying to recover from what


happened in the financial crisis, if you take that into consideration,


the $17 billion does not seem so large. But it is one of the largest


fines we have ever seen, on a single US corporation, and it trumps the


fines we have seen in the past for these kinds of things, on the part


of JP Morgan, $13 billion, or Citigroup, $7 billion. This had to


do with these mortgage-backed securities, the financial


instruments that were lumped in with the faulty mortgages and sold to


investors as if they were safe. We know now that that led to the


financial crisis, and ever since then, the US Department of Justice


and the Barack Obama administration has been trying to call many of


these banks into question and to seek justice in terms of what their


role was in the financial crisis. The size of this fine, will it come


as a shock to the Bank of America? They helped -- how have they


reacted? There are a key things with this. We have known that this fine


has been coming for many weeks. The actual sum has also been bandied


about, at one point we were hearing 13 billion, then the 17 billion was


around, so it did not come as a total shock to investors that they


were going to be lumped with this kind of fine. As it is with every


other bank when they are facing these charges, on the park of Bank


of America, they are really happy to be able to put it behind them and


continue on with business, knowing that almost everything related to


the financial crisis has now finally been dealt with.


Now a look at some of the day's other news.


Hamas has announced that three of its senior military commanders


have been killed by Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.


Israel said the men were key to militant


Thousands have joined the funeral processions of the three commanders.


At least 50 people have been killed in Gaza since


A forensic inquiry by India's premier laboratory has concluded


that two girls found hanging from a tree in May were not


sexually assaulted, contrary to the findings of an earlier post-mortem.


Five men are being held on suspicion of involvement but are due to be


Marina Silva, the internationally-acclaimed


environmental campaigner, has been chosen by Brazil's Socialist Party


She replaces Eduardo Campos, who was killed last week in a plane crash.


Ms Silva is seen as a leading challenger to President Dilma


Ireland's former Prime Minister, Albert Reynolds, has died.


Mr Reynolds helped to shape the peace process in


Northern Ireland, pushing for the IRA ceasefire with his British


He served as prime minister between 1992 and 1994.


South Africa has said it is banning all travellers from Guinea,


Liberia and Sierra Leone from entering the country,


apart from its own citizens - over fears of the Ebola virus spreading.


The news comes as two American aid workers who were


infected with the virus in Africa have been discharged from an Atlanta


hospital where they were treated with experimental drugs.


One of them - Dr. Kent Brantly - had this to say.


Liberia, the use of an experimental drug and the expertise and resources


life -the direct answer to thousands and thousands of prayers.


I am incredibly thankful to all those who were involved in my care,


from the first day of my illness all the way up to today,


With me is the BBC's health reporter, Smitha Mundasad.


Extraordinary to see him looking so well. What happened today?


The American aid workers were flown to this hospital earlier this month.


They received top-notch care of there. We did not get many details


but we know they had access to intensive care therapy and access to


an experimental drug. They have made a very good recovery. A remarkable


recovery, the doctors say. Now they are looking to see whether other


people could recover like this. They want to learn some lessons from


this. They admit that the health facilities in the US are very


different to the ones in West Africa.


Indeed, and he refers to that experimental, untested drugs. We


still know that more than 50% of individuals infected will die. The


death toll currently stands at over 1000. What makes this outbreak


different to previous ones? This is a different strain so some


outbreaks have had rates of up to 90% of people dying who were


infected. This strain is more concerning because actually it has


moved from rural areas into urban areas so more people are affected.


Or people are dying. Let's go back to your initial point


about what happens in America is sometimes different to what happens


in West Africa, where the majority of victims... The World Health


Organisation has said that supplies are exhausted.


We're not sure if this drug actually works. The doctors in the American


Hospital were careful to say it was more likely to be the standard


facilities in this hospital that really helps them. These were the


two first people to receive this drug and, scientifically, it is hard


to prove when just two people are receiving a drug that it does work.


There have been reports that Liberian doctors who have received


the drug are improving, but there are other reports that a Spanish


priest who also receive the drug sadly died. It is very difficult to


say that the drug actually has any positive effect.


IQ. The Pakistani opposition leader


Imran Khan says he is pulling out of talks with the government until


Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigns. The two sides began discussions last


night, after thousands of opposition supporters occupied a high-security


zone in front of parliament. Our correspondent Shahzeb Jillani


has been out among those protestors. These protesters are continuing to


occupy this main road in front This place is called


the Constitution Avenue. It's now more than a week since this


anti-government campaign began. Thousands of these activists, many


of them women, have been camping They say they will not move


until the government resigns. For the government,


the demand for the prime Minister's Earlier today, in the building


behind me, the parliament also passed a unanimous resolution,


supported by opposition parties, that demands by these protesters for


the dismissal of the government and the dissolution of the


National Assembly are unconstitutional. The Pakistani army


has urged all parties to exercise restraint and try to resolve this


turmoil through dialogue. It's not entirely clear how


this confrontation will end. Both Imran Khan and Dr Tahirul Qadri


are saying they want the government to resign, something


the government and the parliament Ukrainian border guards are reported


to have begun checks on 270 trucks in a Russian aid convoy heading


for the rebel-held east of Ukraine. It's not clear if any trucks


have crossed into Ukraine. Earlier, the International Red Cross


issued specific instructions to They were told that the trucks must


drive through a Ukrainian controlled border post and then directly to the


delivery point without stopping. Each vehicle must have a Red Cross


escort at all Now a look at some That quintessential American export


- the McDonald's restaurant - is Several have been closed in Moscow


for alleged health infringements. It comes at a time


of deteriorating diplomatic relations between Washington and


Moscow, as our Moscow Correspondent, This is Pushkin Square


in the heart of Moscow. Every time I come here I remember


the date, nearly 25 years ago, when Russia's first McDonald's


opened its doors in the USSR. I was studying in Moscow


at the time and I came The crowds that day were


absolutely incredible. The queue went all


the way round Pushkin Square. It took me three hours to get


inside and be served, such was the level of excitement


here that American burgers had burst through the Iron Curtain


and were being served up in Moscow. They have ordered three of


Moscow's McDonald's restaurants to be temporarily closed,


citing sanitary violations. There will be more checks


at more McDonald's across Russia. Centrestage now are Russian


products, after Moscow banned imports of meat,


dairy, fruit and vegetables It's the Kremlin's response


to Western sanctions. But are Muscovites really


bothered about the burgers? Personally,


I prefer beetroot soup and Russian This is 99 percent politics,


she tells me. Russia is looking


for ways to hit back at the West. We did find someone at McDonald's


today, this cow mascot for a Russian Part of Iceland has been evacuated


amid growing fears that the country's Bardarbunga volcano


could be about to erupt. In the past 24 hours,


there's been around 1,000 This graphic from the


Icelandic Met Office marks each one of those earthquakes -


you can see just how deep they are. The volcano is inside a national


park that's popular with tourists. The warning's raised fears that


there could be a repeat of Professor Dougal Jerram is


a volcanologist from the University He joins me from our newsroom


in Birmingham. Thanks for joining us on the


programme. How serious is the situation?


Currently the Icelandic authorities have a cold orange and there is only


one more level which is an eruption imminent. -- code orange. As magma


works its way up through the crust, it can shake the ground and cause


minor earthquakes. That is what the graphic shows, the vision of those


earthquakes. They are also monitoring the ground, seeing


whether the ground is rising with GPS, as magma comes in and swells


the ground. They are quite concerned that an eruption is on its way.


Any idea whether this could be as serious as the ash cloud situation


that we had back in 2010? There are a number of possible


scenarios. This volcano, in fact the whole area is one of the largest


organic systems on the islands. In the past, it has had seismic tremors


like these which have stopped. There is that possibility, but given the


amount of earthquakes it is likely that there is some activity going to


happen. There is a large ice cap which this volcano lies underneath.


Sometimes, when it erupts, it does not actually breached the top of the


ice cap, it just melt a lot of ice beneath, but that can be quite


treacherous to any of the villagers that the potential place your ad


watch would cover. How soon after the volcano erupts


will you be able to tell how serious the situation will be?


In order to come up with a situation like two dozen ten, where


Eyjafjallajokull corrupted, Derrida was actually a magma which had been


stored in the shallow crust for some period of time and had gathered up a


lot of gases and so actually that material was much more explosive


than we would normally expect these types labour. Ultimately, when it's


at rotting we will get a feel for how explosive the volcano is. --


types of live art. First of all, it will not be ice underneath but we


would be concerned if it breach the service. Their own minds, we also


need the as cloud to go high up into the atmosphere and also we need the


win is to be on the right direction to take that ash over Europe. There


are number of different elements that need to come into place to make


a similar situation that we had in 2010.


Volcanoes have been ranting and I flagged for centuries. We only seem


to really be affected by Nan in recent years. Why is that?


If you spoke to the average Icelander, they would take a


different view. They have been affected in the past by many of


these glacial floods where the volcanoes erupted under the ice, the


water melts, builds up and catastrophically floods the


landscape. They have suffered a loss of sheep through poisonous gases


from volcanoes. It has affected humans. It is only recently that we


have our easyJet and Ryanair... I'm afraid we will have to leave it


Hello. At bit of a mixed bag of weather for the next few days.


Feeling fairly autumnal for some areas. Tomorrow, not a bad day with


spells of sunshine and a few showers. Many places will stay dry.


We are seeing this weather front seeking its way south rebirthing




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