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This is BBC World News Today with me, Alice Baxter.
With more allegations of Russian military involvement in Ukraine, the
UN Security Council is meeting for an emergency session on Ukraine.
Pro-Russian rebels there have taken over the town of Novoazovsk,
NATO says a thousand Russian troops are inside Ukraine.
, but it is difficult to fight with Russia and its army.
We'll hear reports that Jihadist militants from Islamic State appear
to have executed "dozens" of captured Syrian army soldiers.
The outgoing Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been sworn
in as president at a ceremony in Turkey's parliament.
Research says graduates from the top universities and fee-paying
schools dominate the most senior positions in British public life.
An emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council is
getting underway in New York to discuss the situation in Ukraine.
It comes as Russia is accused of sending troops over the border.
NATO says there are well over a thousand Russian troops operating
inside Ukraine, a claim the Kremlin denies.
It comes as pro-Russian separatists opened up a new front
The rebels have taken the coastal town of Novoazovsk
and are threatening the strategic port city of Mariupol.
The BBC's Diplomatic Correspondent James Robbins reports.
A Ukrainian soldier warns his colleagues, a sniper threatens.
But now as victory looks possible they are being forced out from
some areas amid claims Russia has sent reinforcements to the rebels.
Russia has sent a number of armoured personal vehicles, tanks and troops.
Ukrainian forces are capable to tackle and to cope with
the Russian-led guerrillas, but this is quite difficult for us
Moscow denies its forces are in Ukraine.
But that was undermined by this rebel leader, Alexander Zakharchenko
admitted Russian soldiers fight alongside his men, but claiming the
Earlier this week, these Russian paratroopers were apparently caught
Moscow says they crossed the border by mistake, but now
their mothers are appealing to the Kremlin to get them released.
Over the past few weeks, Ukraine's Government forces have
It is almost two months since rebels were forced to free
You can see how the area they once controlled has shrunk.
There are still forced to be between 3000 and 4000 separatist
fighters, bolstered apparently by a significant number of Russian
troops, despite Moscow's formal denials.
Further south, another front opened according to several reports
a town was taking largely by Russian troops and tanks.
Look at this video, which Ukrainians say is a Russian
It could be another part of Russian efforts to prevent a defeat, not
just of the rebels, but also of the Kremlin's strategy and prestige.
NATO has released aerial pictures it says shows Russian armour inside
Ukraine, a blatant attempt says one NATO general to change the momentum
of the fighting that currently favours the Ukrainian military.
As the battle for control of the eastern Ukraine rages on,
EU leaders use words like "intolerable" and "aggression"
David Cameron is warning of further consequences if President
Let's go to the United Nations in New York where
an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council is underway.
This meeting was called for by Lithuania. What has been said?
The meeting was just this moment getting under way. The
undersecretary general is briefing the Council on the latest in Ukraine
and he is likely to carry the message of the UN
Secretary-General, basically warning that further de-escalation of the
crisis and urging parties to come together for talks in a manner that
respects Ukraine's sovereignty. Before the meeting began, the
president of the Security Council said this meeting would basically
put Russia in the public light, having to answer questions about why
they are sending troops into Ukraine, something Russia denies. In
the Security Council, there has been concern for months that they could
be direct confrontation between Ukraine and Russia and so this
meeting will likely get the US and the Europeans hounding Russia for
their actions and the Russians denying it, saying they have no
troops. Many out there will be asking what
good or talking will do. Only a few days, we saw Presidents Poroshenko
shaking hands with President Putin in Minsk. Well today's meeting prove
any more useful? Really, the US and Europeans feel it
is important to have a meeting where Ukraine can lay out the information
they have about Russian interference. And where Russia can
speak for itself and deny or try to deny its involvement. But the
accused aggressor is a permanent member of the Security Council and
that is why it has not been able to act, because they hold a veto power.
Beside this open forum, there is little concrete action.
Steven Pifer is a former US ambassador to Ukraine,
I would like to begin with these new aerial shots that NATO has. They say
it represents and it escalation of Russia's interference. How much of
an escalation you think we are seeing in the country.
I think this is a major step. The Ukrainian military have made
increasing progress in terms of squeezing the area that the
separatists have. It looked like a separatists were on the verge of
defeat and now Russia has taken this new step of deploying Russian forces
into Ukraine. And yet Russia denies this. We have had some sort of
acknowledgement that there may be Russian boots on the ground in some
sort of voluntary capacity, but we heard from the separatist leader
Alexander Zakharchenko saying there are lots three to 4000 Russians
fighting. How do you think the outside world should read this
situation? I think we have seen a situation where President Putin has
chosen to escalate, as he does not want to see the insurgency in
eastern Ukraine defeated. And so he has now escalated, including Russian
forces, and I think this will create a difficult situation, because on
the other side Mr Poroshenko is in a situation where he does not want
another conflict in eastern Ukraine. He knows that Crimea is a
long-term issue, but he wants to resolve it. It is hard to see
unfortunately how you can get on a diplomatic path that might lead to a
political settlement. Indeed, diplomatic efforts are under way in
New York. And in the past couple of hours, we have had it confirmed that
Ukraine will be reinstating army conscription. To what extent can
NATO and the European Union really help? I think there are couple of
things it. Mr Poroshenko has described things such as the
decentralisation of power and status of the Russian language, he says he
does not want to deepen his relationship with nature, these
could be the basis of a settlement, but Moscow has not moved to go
towards a settlement and now we are in a situation where the West should
consider whether there is anything they could do to change President
Putin's calculation. A second step might be to be put right the
Ukrainian military with some military assistance, such as
anti-armour weapons. Maybe surfaced MSI was that will allow the
Ukrainian military to drive up the cost. Reports from Russia suggest
the Russian Government is trying to hide reports of Russian casualties
in Ukraine. If Russia begins to suffer economic pain and begins to
see Russian casualties, does that affect their calculations?
OK, thank you. Thank you.
Reports from Syria say that fighters from the Islamic State group have
killed dozens of captured Syrian soldiers after overrunning an
A video posted online purportedly shows the aftermath of the killings,
with a long line of bodies of young men lying face
There is no independent confirmation of this video.
With me is Sebastian Usher, Middle East Regional Editor at
We have both watched this video. What did you make of it?
It's did not seem the kind of thing that is unexpected with the Islamic
State. We have seen when they have overrun other brigades in their
stronghold, after taking the brigade headquarters, they massacred the
soldiers. In fact, they did worse than what you are describing there,
they put their heads on spikes in the middle of the city. It does not
seem a strange thing for them to have done in the way that they are
trying to instil fear in their enemies. In that sense, we can be
reasonably sure that when they claim they have done it and other sources
say they do, and we see the pictures, it adds up to pretty
conclusive evidence. In the last few hours, we have had a
second video being posted online. We will not show it as it is very
upsetting and is a much more select and better edited video showing the
execution of a Kurdish man. This is sending a strong message to the
Kurds and the United States. This is the difference levels they operate
on. The early video was a the difference levels they operate
on. The early video was grainy one to document what happened after an
attack. This is that they have just put up is very similar to the James
Foley video, different camera angles are used,
Foley video, different camera angles are it is a set piece, you first see
a dozen or so suppose Kurdish fighters, supposedly the strongest
force against the Islamic State in Iraq, speaking, and then one is
shown in the backdrop... It is a great dramatic backdrop. It is very
staged and do the same as they did with James Foley, they say that more
will be executed if the Kurds fight on the site of the United States and
then they slit his throat, they do not show the moment, they show the
prove afterwards. He is wearing an orange jumpsuit. It is very
choreographed. It is called A Message In Blood. We have not shown
it as it is very upsetting. Another development, 43 UN peacekeepers...
Wouldn't know capture them, but we do not think it is Islamic State. We
don't think so as they are not operating that far south. This is
different rebel forces. It is nothing to be too positive about as
the group to Haslam is probably an Al-Qaeda affiliates -- group that
has them. In another similar case, they were released, but this is
different. There are many nationalities who make up this force
that patrols this area. There is a big concern that perhaps they may be
passing over training to other people.
Now a look at some of the days other news.
The World Health Organisation's warning that the number of cases
of Ebola in West Africa could eventually exceed 20,000.
So far, more than 1,550 people have died from the virus,
and there are more than 3,000 confirmed cases - mostly in Guinea,
The children's charity, Barnardos, has warned that the widespread child
abuse uncovered in Rotherham is just the "tip of the iceberg".
1,400 children were abused over a sixteen year period -
but the charity says the problem is rife across Britain's
country and that it works with thousands of children every year
Wayne Rooney's been named the new England captain
The 28-year-old Manchester United striker takes over from Liverpool's
Steven Gerrard, who retired after England's World Cup elimination.
In a statement on his official website Rooney said
that to be appointed captain was beyond his wildest dreams.
Here in Britain a prominent Conservative MP, Douglas Carswell,
has announced he is defecting to the UK Independence Party.
He'll resign as an MP, triggering a by-election.
If he wins, he will deliver UKIP their first seat in parliament.
Here's our political correspondent, Ben Wright.
The For 1's a Westminster news conference delivered a real
political bombshell. -- for once. I am needing the Conservative Party
and joining UKIP. Douglas Carswell said it had not been an easy
decision. Independent minded and Euro-sceptic, he said on the UKIP
can shake up the cosy clique of Westminster. The top talk before
elections and see what they must to get our support but on so many
issues, on modernising our politics, controlling our borders, bank
reform, cutting public debts, EU Referendum, they never make it
happen. Nigel Farage predicted others would follow him into the
UKIP fold. This is not my show today, this is Douglas's shawl. It
is no great secret that are a number of members of Parliament sitting on
Conservative and Labour benches who hold UKIP views very strongly. This
will be the same of the big by-election battle. UKIP had a
resounding victory here in the Euro elections and Douglas Carswell has a
significant personal following so will they vote for him? Yes, I think
it is the best thing he could do because now he will get extra votes.
I think it is the wrong moves, I do not think he will get re-elected. I
voted for them before. I like his policies. He has moved over to UKIP
and that is good news. If he gets a foothold for UKIP here in Essex
months before the general election, it will help his new party make
further inroads elsewhere in the country. David Cameron knows he has
got a fight on his hands. It is deeply regrettable when things
happen like this and people behave in this week, but it is also
counter-productive. If you want a referendum of the future of Britain
in the EU, the only way to get that is to have a Conservative government
after the next election and that is what until very recently Douglas
Carswell himself was saying. Many MPs are heading back to Westminster
after the holidays and in the coming weeks they will be back on the
seaside trying to turn the tide against UKIP.
The outgoing Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been sworn
It follows his victory in Turkey's first ever popular vote for head
Mr Erdogan has vowed to give more power to the previously ceremonial
post of president but his critics say the move will
The star of Turkish politics continues to soar.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan arriving to be sworn in. He took the oath of
allegiance inside the parliament building. Applauded by many, but
booed by the opposition who left the chamber in revolt. The pomp and
ceremony was on show for the new head of state who has promised to
increase his powers by changing the constitution. He is the first ever
popularly elected president in this country's history. It was previously
ceremonial post but he has managed to change and he was elected to
weeks ago with 52% of the vote. He then went on to be a wreath at the
mausoleums of the founding father of the country. His critics say he has
strayed from the secular principles of Turkey and is too Islamic.
Speaking at the palace, he sounded our conciliar literary note.
TRANSLATION: We will work hand-in-hand for economic growth and
to improve social welfare. He has had a volatile year. Anti-government
protesters raged against his authoritarianism. The opposition say
it is typical of his style. But he has also transformed the economy.
His challenge now is to unite a divided country. Western Allies were
absent to date, perhaps a sign of Turkey's recent isolation but
absent to date, perhaps a sign of will have to work with the new
leader of a powerful new tool member, a key ally in a region
fraught with danger. Britain is still
"deeply elitist" towards people who went to private school -
and Oxbridge graduates dominate the most senior positions in public life
- that's according to a new report. The Social Mobility and
Child Poverty Commission found that seventy percent of senior judges,
half of the house of Lords and a third of
the cabinet went to private school. A degree from Oxford and Cambridge
is not just about academic excellence and personal success,
it also opens doors. Today's report shows today's
graduates still have Three quarters of our top judges,
59 percent of the Cabinet and almost half of all newspaper
columnists have Oxbridge degrees. But this report shows elitism
begins even earlier. Only 7% of the population is
privately educated but one third of MPs went to fee-paying schools
as did 62% of senior military officers and more than half
of the highest-ranking diplomats. The report warns this lack
of diversity means Britain's key institutions do not
represent the public they serve or Its authors say it's time to end
what they call the closed shop With me is David Johnston.
He's a commissioner with the Social Mobility and
Child Poverty Commission. Thank you for coming in. You believe
it is a clothes shop at the top? Not entirely, but it certainly is for
most people, the chances of getting in if you went to an ordinary state
school. It is not impossible, but it is very difficult. Do you believe
that by bringing out this report we might see a change in the way some
institutions hire graduates? I hope so. Often when we talk about this,
we focus on politics, we see the Shadow Cabinet is unrepresentative
for instance. Often lawyers, diplomats and people doing those
interviews are from the same background. All of our key
institutions in public life have theirs. What the commission is
calling for is to remove the University name of candidates when
you look at them for jobs. When they do that, deselect a very different
of people. I do not think it is positive discrimination, it is
levelling the playing field. I would say positive discrimination exists
at the moment, if you are using an old school tie to get ahead in your
job or if you are using personal connections to get a work
placement. That could be just outright discrimination. What about
families who prioritise getting their children to private schools
and decide not to buy expensive holidays and houses but put the
money towards good schools for their children, are being penalised? Quite
the contrary. They made a wise decision because they can see the
advantages that a private school buys in British society but it is
important to recognise that the vast majority of people in this country
cannot make that sort of choice. They would not have the means to
send their children to private schools. Only 1% of people who go to
private school get their fees paid for. The vast majority cannot afford
this. What do you want to see happen now? The first thing is to improve
the standard of education that everyone gets. We want universities
to look at the way they select, so they are not simply selecting those
with the top grades from schools Best Out producing top grades. Then
we want businesses to put aside some of the preconceptions they have
about the School university that people have been to. In the
interview room that we want them to judge how well someone could do the
job rather than other things like recognising their university and how
they interact in the universe -- in the interview room. Many thanks for
coming in to talk to us. You have been watching world News today.
Child Poverty Commission. watching.
Good evening. Some lively weather on the way for the British