02/09/2014 World News Today


02/09/2014

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 Philippa Thomas.

:00:08.:00:19.

It's claimed another journalist held by militants in Syria is killed.

:00:20.:00:22.

The Islamic State militant group says it has killed Steven Sotloff

:00:23.:00:24.

and threatens more deaths unless what it calls

:00:25.:00:27.

the evil alliance of America stops its campaign against them.

:00:28.:00:29.

Ukrainian soldiers trying to stage a retreat

:00:30.:00:31.

in the east claim they were ambushed and shot by pro-Russian rebels

:00:32.:00:32.

while they were waving white flags. We've given the corridor get out.

:00:33.:00:51.

They've given the corridor to exit and they were shot. It a violation

:00:52.:00:53.

of international conventions. successes against IS rebels while

:00:54.:01:06.

a new human rights report accuses Islamic State militants of ethnic

:01:07.:01:08.

cleansing on a massive scale. And from food to fine art

:01:09.:01:11.

and even building materials - we'll explain why China's

:01:12.:01:12.

in the middle of a museum boom. We start with some

:01:13.:01:38.

breaking news this hour. A video has been released

:01:39.:01:41.

on the internet purporting to show the beheading of the American

:01:42.:01:43.

journalist, Steven Sotloff, by Islamic State militants.

:01:44.:01:45.

The video shows Mr Sotloff dressed in a jumpsuit on his knees

:01:46.:01:48.

beside an IS fighter with a knife. The US State Department made

:01:49.:01:49.

this statement a short time ago. This is something that the

:01:50.:02:01.

administration has been watching very carefully since the threat

:02:02.:02:07.

against his life was made a few weeks ago. Our thoughts and

:02:08.:02:13.

prayers, first of all, are with his friends and family. The United

:02:14.:02:18.

States has dedicated significant time and re-sources to try and

:02:19.:02:27.

rescue Steven Sotloff. I am not in a position to confirm the authenticity

:02:28.:02:32.

of that video or the reports. If there is a video that has been

:02:33.:02:36.

released, it is something that will be analysed very carefully by the US

:02:37.:02:39.

government and our officials. this statement a short time ago.

:02:40.:02:45.

Let's get the latest from our North America Correspondent Rajini

:02:46.:02:46.

Vaidyanathan in Washington. Are there any more details coming

:02:47.:02:56.

through? We have heard more details from the

:02:57.:03:01.

state department. A similar message from US officials. They are working

:03:02.:03:10.

to confirm the video authenticity. But if the video is genuine, they

:03:11.:03:22.

would be second by this brutal act. The White House has said they have

:03:23.:03:28.

dedicated research is to try to release Steven Sotloff. His mother

:03:29.:03:37.

made a direct appeal to the fighters asking for his release. We

:03:38.:03:43.

understand that the jihadis are saying they may not stop there.

:03:44.:03:47.

That's right. I have not watched the video, but what I am reading is that

:03:48.:03:58.

in the video they say that this is because of your arrogant attitude

:03:59.:04:03.

towards the Islamic State. At the end of the video, they make

:04:04.:04:09.

to kill a third hostage, believed to be a British national.

:04:10.:04:15.

to kill a third hostage, believed to Now to the crisis in Ukraine.

:04:16.:04:17.

President Petro Poroshenko has signed a new conscription law

:04:18.:04:22.

as Kiev officials say 15 servicemen have died in the last 24 hours

:04:23.:04:25.

in the east of the country, and his defence minister has warned

:04:26.:04:28.

of a great war brewing with neighbouring Russia.

:04:29.:04:29.

Meanwhile, Britain's Defence Minister Julian

:04:30.:04:32.

Brazier has said UK troops may take part in a joint military exercise

:04:33.:04:36.

in Ukraine later this month. And after NATO's announcement that

:04:37.:04:37.

it will establish a rapid reaction force in

:04:38.:04:43.

Eastern Europe, Russia said it will review its military strategy.

:04:44.:04:47.

This ratcheting up of diplomatic tensions comes

:04:48.:04:50.

as the Ukrainian army alleges its forces were attacked while trying

:04:51.:04:54.

to retreat through what was intended to be a humanitarian corridor

:04:55.:04:59.

outside Donetsk on Saturday. The Ukrainian government said

:05:00.:05:03.

its armed forces were surrounded and put under relentless attack by

:05:04.:05:09.

pro-Russian rebels around the town of Ilovaysk, south east of Donetsk.

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Our Kiev correspondent David Stern has the details.

:05:12.:05:22.

In Kiev, they are demanding changes immediately. The Ukraine government

:05:23.:05:29.

is coming under pressure from all sides. These images show the

:05:30.:05:50.

has the details. Ilovaysk,

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town of... Ukrainians were promised safe passage

:05:58.:06:02.

town of... Ukrainians were promised they left at the weekend, they say

:06:03.:06:08.

they were ambushed. Maybe as many as 100 died. The rebels deny this. A

:06:09.:06:16.

convoy was captured, everything was taken away. The purpose of this

:06:17.:06:19.

convoy was to take away the injured. But there were too many

:06:20.:06:26.

military vehicles and too many armed men. That is why both convoys were

:06:27.:06:29.

military vehicles and too many armed surrounded and captured, basically

:06:30.:06:34.

without fighting. But the Ukrainians claim it was a war crime. They were

:06:35.:06:42.

given the corridor to get out. Nobody was shot, well they were shot

:06:43.:06:49.

given the corridor to exit and they were shot shot. It is a violation of

:06:50.:06:55.

international conventions. Reports say that hundreds of Ukrainian

:06:56.:06:59.

soldiers may have been taken captive. These images show some of

:07:00.:07:03.

them. The pictures come from the rebels, but they clearly show

:07:04.:07:09.

abuses. A soldier is hit. Others are humiliated. They are told they will

:07:10.:07:16.

be subject to forced Labour. Some of the prisoners have reportedly been

:07:17.:07:21.

released. The fate of others is unknown. Reports of what happened in

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the town and its aftermath are only now beginning to filter out. Anger

:07:30.:07:34.

is rising at the rebels and at the government who people see abandoned

:07:35.:07:38.

the forces. The Ukrainian president has promised changes to the

:07:39.:07:43.

military. The question is, can he make them fast enough?

:07:44.:07:50.

Vitaliy Shevchenko is a Ukrainian specialist at BBC Monitoring who's

:07:51.:07:53.

been working to verify some of those images we just showed you.

:07:54.:07:58.

What struck you about what you were seeing there? First of all, the

:07:59.:08:05.

brutal nature of what is happening in Ukraine. It is very graphic,

:08:06.:08:10.

shopping in places. We have to watch it because when you are dealing with

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a crisis like that, it is sometimes the only source of information of

:08:19.:08:23.

what is happening. Because it is a war zone, it is very dangerous

:08:24.:08:28.

there. Few reporters adventure into that part of Ukraine. How did you

:08:29.:08:35.

track down the pictures, or ten point them in terms of geography?

:08:36.:08:40.

Basically, it is a matter of knowing where to look and being able to tell

:08:41.:08:48.

falsehoods from the truth. I am originally from Eastern Ukraine and

:08:49.:08:54.

it helps to know the way people usually speak, the way they dress, a

:08:55.:09:01.

kind of cars they drive, the general feel of the area. We knew from

:09:02.:09:10.

official reports from Kiev and rebel claims that there has been a massive

:09:11.:09:15.

battle there and something major has happened. Then we started seeing

:09:16.:09:19.

video clips posted on you tube of prisoners of war, dead bodies and

:09:20.:09:27.

military hardware that used to belong to the Ukrainian army, burnt

:09:28.:09:33.

out and devastated in the fighting. Thank you for your time.

:09:34.:09:41.

I am going to remind you of our breaking news which is the Islamic

:09:42.:09:44.

State jihadists claiming that they have killed Steven Sotloff. Are

:09:45.:09:50.

making use, the State Department has just said that if the video that was

:09:51.:09:56.

released allegedly showing the killing is genuine, they are second.

:09:57.:10:02.

They say they are second, the White House has said their thoughts and

:10:03.:10:04.

prayers are with the family. Now to the crisis in Iraq where

:10:05.:10:10.

Amnesty International says Islamic State militants have committed

:10:11.:10:13.

a wave of ethnic cleansing across the north of the country accusing

:10:14.:10:17.

the group of turning the region The human rights group says it has

:10:18.:10:19.

evidence IS has committed atrocities against minorities,

:10:20.:10:24.

including mass murder. The report says

:10:25.:10:27.

at least 1,000 Yazidis have been killed in recent weeks with close to

:10:28.:10:32.

2,750 kidnapped or enslaved. And as the Islamic State continues

:10:33.:10:37.

to claim large parts of Northern Iraq and Syria,

:10:38.:10:39.

more than one million people have The United Nations Human Rights

:10:40.:10:42.

Commissioner has also denounced the action of the Islamic State

:10:43.:10:49.

fighters. Joining me via webcam from Geneva

:10:50.:10:52.

is spokesman Rupert Colville. Thank you for being with us. Is this

:10:53.:11:04.

a case of an ethnic cleansing campaign? Yes, that is what we

:11:05.:11:13.

believe. Ethnic and religious cleansing. Widespread and systematic

:11:14.:11:17.

persecution on the basis of religion are there as now sitting -- or their

:11:18.:11:25.

ethnicity. This amounts to crimes against humanity. Atrocities are

:11:26.:11:29.

taking place on an extraordinary scale and on a daily basis. We have

:11:30.:11:35.

heard about the Yazidis, the baby had been pursued and treated. Is

:11:36.:11:44.

this a case of the Islamic State perceiving all who are not of the

:11:45.:12:06.

SUNY faith -- Sunni. Yes, they are perceiving and removing people from

:12:07.:12:15.

areas in Iraq. Many minorities, some of them ancient, and they have all

:12:16.:12:19.

lived together fairly harmoniously for centuries. But Sunnis are also

:12:20.:12:34.

being targeted, we have a report of 19 been executed for not

:12:35.:12:41.

cooperating. Sunni Clerics being killed as well. What can the United

:12:42.:12:48.

Nations do to attract the perpetrators and eventually try to

:12:49.:12:53.

bring them to justice? -- to track. We are doing our utmost. There is a

:12:54.:12:59.

human rights team in Iraq, working with the United Nations operation

:13:00.:13:04.

there. They are doing their best to track and verify reports. There is

:13:05.:13:13.

an horrendous litany of crimes and murder and sexual exploitation of

:13:14.:13:18.

people. After the human rights Council resolution yesterday, they

:13:19.:13:22.

have asked us to send another team in specifically to focus on the

:13:23.:13:33.

region. The spotlight will remain on what they are doing. But they seem

:13:34.:13:36.

to be utterly shameless, they do not hide it. They broadcast and do these

:13:37.:13:41.

horrendous videos showing mass executions. What are your fears for

:13:42.:13:47.

civilians who are still be in cities like Mosul? Are fears are high,

:13:48.:13:57.

especially for the many minorities who are still in the. Particularly

:13:58.:14:12.

in Saint Jarder -- Sinjar. Some groups have been given options to

:14:13.:14:17.

convert, but there have been killings as well. The Yazidis were

:14:18.:14:28.

given no choice, convert or die. Thank you.

:14:29.:14:31.

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

:14:32.:14:33.

Experts who were asked to look at claims that young girls have

:14:34.:14:36.

been systematically sexually groomed and abused in the Yorkshire town

:14:37.:14:39.

of Rotherham have spoken publicly for the first time.

:14:40.:14:41.

They've talked of their frustration after their reports into

:14:42.:14:43.

the 16-year scandal were ignored and their findings suppressed.

:14:44.:14:46.

It finally emerged last week that about 1,400 children were sexually

:14:47.:14:50.

exploited in Rotherham, right up until last year.

:14:51.:14:54.

The US has carried out a military air strike in Somalia on

:14:55.:14:57.

a convoy carrying the leader of the radical Islamist group Al Shabab.

:14:58.:15:01.

It's unclear if Ahmed Abdi Godane was killed in the drone strike

:15:02.:15:04.

and a Pentagon spokesman said it was assessing the results

:15:05.:15:07.

The air strike comes days after African Union troops

:15:08.:15:12.

and government troops launched a major offensive aimed at seizing

:15:13.:15:15.

Pakistan's Parliament has held an emergency session over the current

:15:16.:15:22.

The session of both houses is an attempt to rally support behind

:15:23.:15:27.

Clashes between security forces and demonstrators continued

:15:28.:15:32.

for a third day on Monday in the capital Islamabad,

:15:33.:15:35.

with the protesters calling for the Prime Minister to resign.

:15:36.:15:40.

Scientists in Singapore say they've made a breakthrough in hopes

:15:41.:15:43.

of finding a cure for dengue fever, a flu-like illness spread by

:15:44.:15:47.

mosquito bites which tends to kill more than 20,000 people a year.

:15:48.:16:00.

British prosecutors have withdrawn the European Arrest Warrant

:16:01.:16:01.

against the parents of a five-year-old with a brain

:16:02.:16:04.

tumour, parents who are being held in custody in Madrid while

:16:05.:16:06.

Brett and Naghemeh King took their family

:16:07.:16:09.

to Spain last week after taking five-year-old Ashya out of hospital

:16:10.:16:12.

They insist they were taking him to get treatment that's only

:16:13.:16:17.

He has been at the centre than extraordinary week of human and

:16:18.:16:34.

legal drama, but Ashya King's immediate ordeal may now be over.

:16:35.:16:38.

His parents, Brett and now dammit, no longer face an arrest warrant in

:16:39.:16:42.

Spain, after the Crown Prosecution Service withdrew its case. --

:16:43.:16:46.

Naghemeh King. From Britain's point of view, they are free to go and be

:16:47.:16:50.

reunited with their son. That means they focused has turned to the

:16:51.:16:57.

Spanish prison the talkings has been moved to, and the formalities of

:16:58.:17:01.

Spanish bureaucracy to release them. Tonight, in a new video recorded

:17:02.:17:04.

before the arrest warrant was dropped, the family thanked the

:17:05.:17:08.

public for its massive support. I'd just like to say thank you to

:17:09.:17:11.

everyone. So many people spending so many

:17:12.:17:14.

hours in social media, spreading the word, and I'd like to say thank you

:17:15.:17:17.

to everyone. That support included a 100,000

:17:18.:17:21.

strong petition delivered to Downing Street today, calling for the

:17:22.:17:24.

parents to be released. The government said it welcomed the

:17:25.:17:28.

prosecutor's decision to drop its case against the family. I hope we

:17:29.:17:33.

have a good resolution in place, whether to get independent advice

:17:34.:17:35.

that they trust, and that we can make sure the most important thing

:17:36.:17:42.

happens all, which is that Ashya gets the right treatment for the

:17:43.:17:46.

situation he isn't. This letter reveals why Hampshire

:17:47.:17:51.

Police dropped the prosecution. Written by the Chief Constable to

:17:52.:17:54.

legal officials, it says, it is our view that Ashya need of medical

:17:55.:17:59.

treatment and for his parents to be at his side. Our intent was to

:18:00.:18:03.

secure his safety, not to deny him family support in this particularly

:18:04.:18:09.

challenging time in his life. In a separate development,

:18:10.:18:12.

Southampton General Hospital said today it would now be holding an

:18:13.:18:15.

internal enquiry into the events of the past week. It also said they

:18:16.:18:20.

would not object to Test being sent to that clinic in Prague to receive

:18:21.:18:24.

proton beam treatment, which is family have been calling for long.

:18:25.:18:28.

The hospital said it would not recommend it.

:18:29.:18:32.

These events in Ashya's life have been played out across the past six

:18:33.:18:37.

extraordinary days. It was last Thursday his parents took Ashya from

:18:38.:18:40.

hospital, boarded a ferry to France, before police were alerted.

:18:41.:18:46.

On Friday, a European arrest warrant was obtained. Ashya was made a ward

:18:47.:18:50.

of court. And then on Saturday, Ashya was found in Malaga, and

:18:51.:18:53.

admitted to hospital, as his parents were arrested. This delicate, sick

:18:54.:18:59.

little boy has become the subject of claim and counteraccusations.

:19:00.:19:03.

A week of ethics, police searches and a family driven by the need to

:19:04.:19:06.

save his life. A combination of law and love at the

:19:07.:19:09.

heart of this story. Just to remind you of our breaking

:19:10.:19:23.

news, a video has been released on the internet purporting to show the

:19:24.:19:27.

death of the American hostage Steven Sotloff by Islamic State militants.

:19:28.:19:34.

Mr Sotloff, a journalist, was abducted in Syria last August. I

:19:35.:19:37.

will warn you, we are about to show a still from the video of Steven

:19:38.:19:42.

Sotloff before he is killed. We have decided to show you this still, not

:19:43.:19:45.

to broadcast anything else from the video, and while showing you, you

:19:46.:19:50.

can see he is there in an orange jumpsuit. The Islamic State

:19:51.:19:57.

militants have released this video, we think, although the White House

:19:58.:20:01.

has said they haven't been able to establish the authenticity of the

:20:02.:20:06.

video yet. I think we can go to our North American correspondent, in

:20:07.:20:12.

Washington. Obviously, taking great care here about the voracity of this

:20:13.:20:15.

video, but what are you hearing from the White House, from the State

:20:16.:20:21.

Department to macro? What we are hearing that

:20:22.:20:27.

intelligence officials here are working extremely hard to try to

:20:28.:20:30.

determine the authenticity of the video. Any last few seconds, we have

:20:31.:20:34.

heard from the Pentagon, who say they are monitoring the situation as

:20:35.:20:37.

best that they can, and they say they cannot confirm the authenticity

:20:38.:20:40.

of the video, but that their thoughts and prayers continue to go

:20:41.:20:44.

out to the family. A similar message from the White House and the State

:20:45.:20:47.

Department, he said that if the video was genuine, they would be

:20:48.:20:50.

sickened by what they describe as a brutal act. I think once

:20:51.:20:55.

intelligence officials here in Washington are able to confirm the

:20:56.:20:58.

authenticity of the video, that is when we will hear from someone

:20:59.:21:02.

senior in the administration coming out on camera and giving a reaction.

:21:03.:21:06.

That could indeed be President Obama, although he is due to take

:21:07.:21:10.

off for a trip to Estonia, and then, of course, Wales for the NATO

:21:11.:21:14.

summit. His flight is due to leave in about an hour. Intelligence

:21:15.:21:18.

officials can confirm the authenticity before then, there is

:21:19.:21:22.

the possibility, and this is only me guessing, that President Obama could

:21:23.:21:25.

make some kind of statement before he bought apples one.

:21:26.:21:29.

It adds to the pressure, as well, on NATO leaders, over whether they can

:21:30.:21:33.

do anything to halt the rise of Islamic State, which is threatening

:21:34.:21:40.

NATO's borders, almost. That is right, and that is something

:21:41.:21:43.

that President Obama will be discussing with his counterpart when

:21:44.:21:48.

he is in Wales. Last week, President Obama made a statement about whether

:21:49.:21:54.

or not he is considering taking action against Islamic State

:21:55.:21:57.

fighters in Syria. We of course know that more than 100 air strikes have

:21:58.:22:02.

already been carried out by the US against the Islamic State in the.

:22:03.:22:08.

What President Obama said is that he would use the opportunity to meet

:22:09.:22:11.

other allies and discuss a wider act of cooperation, what the US could do

:22:12.:22:17.

in the region, and Secretary of State John Kerry is also planning to

:22:18.:22:20.

visit various countries in the Middle East to also speak to allies.

:22:21.:22:25.

So, that is the next step. We already know the US has carried out

:22:26.:22:29.

surveillance flights over Syria, but no action on that yet from the

:22:30.:22:31.

president. Thank you very much.

:22:32.:22:37.

And now, a different kind of American story. The FBI is

:22:38.:22:40.

investigating allegations that the online accounts of dozens of

:22:41.:22:45.

celebrities have been hacked. This led to explicit photos of some

:22:46.:22:48.

of Hollywood's most famous actresses being posted online. Our technology

:22:49.:22:54.

correspondent reports. It is Hollywood against the hackers.

:22:55.:22:59.

Jennifer Lawrence is just one of the celebrities whose private, sometimes

:23:00.:23:03.

intimate photos were stolen. They are now demanding action, and the

:23:04.:23:07.

FBI is hunting the thieves. It was on this site that the voters were

:23:08.:23:10.

first posted. How they got here still is not clear. One theory is

:23:11.:23:15.

that the celebrities were using Apple's iCloud service to store

:23:16.:23:17.

their pictures, and someone, somehow, found out their passwords.

:23:18.:23:24.

Apple will only say it is investigating. What exactly is the

:23:25.:23:28.

cloud? Here is an example. I taken there with a picture on my phone,

:23:29.:23:32.

and within moments, it appears this tablet computer. It appears this

:23:33.:23:35.

tablet computer. They a bank of computers and could not in the sky,

:23:36.:23:39.

but firmly on the ground. Those computers belong to firms like

:23:40.:23:43.

Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, and in theory, your data

:23:44.:23:47.

should be safe in their clouds, as long as it is protected by good,

:23:48.:23:52.

secure passwords. This man advises celebrities are making their phones

:23:53.:23:56.

and computers safe. He says the emotional impact of being hacked

:23:57.:23:59.

shouldn't be underestimated. We are talking about photographs

:24:00.:24:04.

that are very intimate and very private, and those being published

:24:05.:24:09.

to the wider Web and to anyone who wants to live in and see them as to

:24:10.:24:14.

have a massive psychological impact on the people that

:24:15.:24:16.

have a massive psychological impact Millions now use the cloud to store

:24:17.:24:19.

and share personal data, but Hollywood stars have shown

:24:20.:24:29.

China, as you know, is a growing economic superpower,

:24:30.:24:31.

but it's also keen to spread its influence on the cultural scene.

:24:32.:24:34.

As a result, many more museums are springing up there.

:24:35.:24:36.

In fact, a new museum opened in China almost every day last year.

:24:37.:24:39.

Some have rather unusual themes, as our Beijing correspondent

:24:40.:24:42.

You would be forgiven for thinking it is a joke, but welcome to

:24:43.:24:48.

Beijing's latest cultural offering. A museum devoted to roast duck. That

:24:49.:24:52.

is right. A history of the capital's most famous dish. It was

:24:53.:24:57.

built by a Chinese restaurant chain, and most of the visitors here

:24:58.:25:01.

are actually peckish customers, waiting to be fed. TRANSLATION:

:25:02.:25:07.

Young people don't know much about history, so when we visit museums,

:25:08.:25:12.

we learn about our past. It is like travelling back in time.

:25:13.:25:16.

Roasting travelling back in time.

:25:17.:25:16.

all rubber. If you think travelling back in time.

:25:17.:25:21.

fashion, there is fruit, you can go to the watermelon

:25:22.:25:30.

museum. If you fruit, you can go to the watermelon

:25:31.:25:36.

museum for that as well. China's cultural scene has

:25:37.:25:40.

flourished in recent years. One of the big success stories here in

:25:41.:25:49.

Beijing's Art district. Across China, a new museum opened its door

:25:50.:25:52.

almost every day last year. TRANSLATION:

:25:53.:25:57.

This curator tells me the building boom is all part of improving the

:25:58.:26:02.

country's image. TRANSLATION: The government realises

:26:03.:26:07.

that economic success is not enough. Soft power and the creative

:26:08.:26:10.

industries must now play an important role improving

:26:11.:26:17.

industries must now play an There is a huge appetite for museums

:26:18.:26:20.

here, with more than 100 new ones expected to open their doors this

:26:21.:26:26.

year. But if, in China, censorship is always at play, if there is

:26:27.:26:29.

anything controversial, those museums will be forced to shut down.

:26:30.:26:34.

And that means it is fine to serve up plastic food. But anything

:26:35.:26:39.

politically sensitive is strictly off the menu.

:26:40.:26:44.

You can also talk to me about this or any other of our

:26:45.:26:50.

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