08/09/2014 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today with me, Rajesh Mirchandani.


It's getting too close to call, but could Scotland be


Scottish voters will decide next week.


Now one poll says a majority favour independence.


And we'll see what happened when people in Quebec in Canada also


thought their bid for independence was about to become a reality.


Also coming up, Iraq's parliament votes on a new government,


a critical step in the fight against Islamic State jihadists.


And a new Royal baby is on the way here in Britain.


Delight all round, but the Duchess of Cambridge is once more suffering


It's early days, but we hope things settle down


A referendum on whether Scotland should leave


Now it's taken on new impetus because, for the first time,


a poll has suggested that more Scots would vote for independence than


The survey gave the pro-independence,


The British pound has already fallen to a low against the US dollar. This


report from Dundee. At campaign headquarters, they are


on dawn to buy the value of the pound or shaky set prices. They say


Dundee is yes city, so great has been the defection of Labour voters


to the yes cause. What difference has the poll giving them a narrow


lead made? Will it give yes voters pause, might there be a loss of


nerve? To the contrary, I think as people start realising we can do


this, people will find their nerve, people who perhaps before were a wee


bit sitting on the fence, not convinced we will do it. Now they


understand we can, they are finding their nerve. What will win it or


lose it for the yes campaign is the ability to maximise the campaign in


places like this, working-class Scotland where people's natural


inclination in the past has been to vote Labour. To do that, they will


have to reassure people that negative reaction in the


international markets and the global economy will be short lived. The yes


campaigners say it's Westminster that is stoking nervousness. The


blame for any uncertainty has to lie with the UK government which refuses


point blank to have sensible discussion with the Scottish


government about a currency union and the kind of things that would


help give reinsurance to those markets. Yesterday's a poll gave yes


a 2-point lead, the first time they have surged ahead. An aggregate of


recent polls suggest the pro union side's commanding lead has almost


vanished. I think we are winning the argument. We will win this


referendum next week because I think, as people approach polling


day, they will see the stakes couldn't be higher. We don't have to


break up the country to make Scotland a better, stronger country


in which to live. They've reassured by that in the other Scotland, the


Scotland that still feels British to its core? At Kelso in the Borders,


some are dismayed that the no campaign's leads seems to have


evaporated in a month. I am worried about what's going to happen if


Scotland goes independent, what's going to happen to my pension, my


health care? And also my family, who live here? A very worrying time.


It's a huge decision, the biggest we will ever make. You can change the


government from time to time, every five years if you wish, but this,


this is for ever. But the momentum is with the yes campaign now, pro


union leaders must hope that action on more powers for the Scottish


parliament, however late in the day, will halt that.


If you're watching in Canada, this all might sound familiar.


The vote for independence in Scotland has piqued


the interest of many people in the mostly French-speaking province


of Quebec, because they held two referenda on sovereignty.


Both time, voters chose to remain in Canada, but the last vote


So does Quebec's experience offer any lessons for Scotland?


The BBC's Nick Bryant has been to Quebec City to find out.


A pageant through the streets of old Quebec city, retelling


the story of the settlements of what was then called New France.


The British conquest in the mid-18th-century meant Quebec


The province has retained its Francophone character, even though


Festival organiser Stefan Perrin exemplifies the separatist dilemma.


He sees himself as a Quebecer first and a Canadian second.


But like many Scottish voters, he fears the economic consequences


Are we going to be still with the Canadian dollar?


Are we still going to trade with our neighbours, Ontario?


Is it going to be that easy to trade with the other Canadian provinces?


How would the Americans consider us if we decided to separate, to split?


Those were big concerns for a big part of the population.


In their decades-long struggle, Quebec separatists have suffered


Adding to the agony, they came within 1% of securing a


The lesson from Quebec for Scotland is that independence is a multiphase


affair, according to the politicians who advised the SNP.


They just had a new parliament in 1997 and now they are already having


To me, if it won't work this time, it might next time.


From laws protecting the French language to control over


immigration, Quebec has achieved a great deal of autonomy.


But another lesson for Scotland - that's thought to have dampened


Despite two separate referenda, despite the fact the last poll was


almost 20 years ago, the question of independence hasn't really been


In Canada, they even have a phrase to describe this long-protracted


constitutional struggle - they call it the Neverendum Referendum.


But for all the celebrations of Quebec's distinctive culture,


there's no great appetite right now for a third referendum.


Many feel that the history of this province has not yet reached


Independence - that struggle may be more a part


With me is Peter Kellner, president of YouGov, an international market


research firm that measures of public opinion and consumer


You have already corrected me on the plural of referendum being


referendums, so thank you, but your organisation at the weekend put the


yes campaign ahead 51-49 at the weekend, I'm undecided voters. What


should we take away from that one snapshot of just over 1000 voters?


Firstly, it's too close to call. A 2-point lead does not definitely


show yes is in the lead, it's within the margin of error. However we have


shown a progressive closing of the gap from a few weeks ago, and if we


look into the innards of the poll, especially people we have questioned


more than once, what is absolutely clear, a number of no voters are


switching to yes, and a lock of the undecideds are making up their minds


going much more to yes than to no. The move towards yes is real, recent


and big. So more importantly there is a trend, why is there a trend


towards yes in the latter stages? The reason is that the no campaign


was built very much on the fear factor, that Scotland's economy and


prosperity would be at risk. Those fears are subsiding. More and more


people think London is bluffing. When a London government says


Scotland couldn't keep the pound, which is what Alex Salmond says it


wants... He has been leading the yes campaign. The argument over the


pound is a thing that the no campaign has been hammering. That is


right, London has been saying you are independent, sort out your own


currency. Alex Salmond is saying, of course we are part of the pound and


when push comes to shove, London will have to come to terms...


Increasingly, people are agreeing with Alex Salmond. Secondly, the


fear is that Scotland's economy will go down the tubes. Those fears are


subsiding. A further factor, Alex Salmond, if you stay in the union,


you are going to be subject to Tory policies, Tory laws coming from


London, a Conservative led government. The biggest group moving


across are Labour supporters. A month ago, only 18% of Labour voters


in Scotland said they would vote yes. That has doubled in a month to


35%. Alex Salmond is playing the Tory London card and winning a lot


of Labour voters. The politics may lead to a result one way or another,


but let's internationalise for a second. If the Spanish government is


watching, they have a population in Catalonia that wants a referendum,


maybe the QuebecoISwatching, what will people make of this if Scotland


goes independent? -- the Quebecois. It is not the first time parts of


countries have seceded, you had checkers wackier breaking up into


the Czech Republic and Slovakia, but it would be the first time a stable


economic country has spread out like this. -- you had checkers wackier


breaking up. It is not civil war, economic upheaval, anything like


that, this is a reasonably stable, healthy, civil society saying


perhaps, narrowly in ten days' time, we choose to go our own way and


cease to be part of the United Kingdom. I think people in


Catalonia, Quebec, other places around the world are saying, if they


can do it, perhaps we can too. It's a big deal, Peter. Thank you. Ten


days to go, I imagine we will be having you back.


In Baghdad, a vote has begun to form a new government for the country.


It is considered to be a key step in the struggle against Islamic State.


Iraq's parliament is reconvening to try to approve a new government.


It's a critical step in the fight against Islamic State


militants who are occupying parts of Iraq and Syria.


On Sunday, the Arab League promised to do its part to stop


The town of Duluiyah briefly fell to the Sunni-dominated Islamic State


group for few days in July, but the Jabour tribesmen,


who have aligned themselves with the Iraqi forces in the battle against


Jim Muir is in Irbil. Where is Baghdad in putting together this


elusive, inclusive government? It does seem to be happening. The


session of Parliament began a short while ago. It got off to a rocky


start, quite a lot of barracking from MPs. Quite a number stayed out


in the corridors and didn't actually join proceedings going on inside.


Some bad vibes there. A prime ministerial nominee is currently


addressing parliament laying out the programme, and he will shortly


introduce the ministers he has chosen to implement that and will


ask for a vote of confidence in them. In his opening address, he


talked about an administrative revolution, he talked about


decentralisation, introducing balance within the Armed Forces,


which is very important because the current Iraqi army is seen as a bit


of a Shia militia, certainly a bit weak on the Sunni front. The whole


idea of this new government is to bring everybody on board, that is


what the Americans and others are looking for. We have yet to hear him


confirm the names of his ministers, but we have been told pretty much


what to expect. The Sunnis have got the defence Ministry, which they


would be happy about because that should put them in charge of the


army. The Shia have got the interior ministry. The man nominated there is


a Shia militia organisation, closely tied to Iran, so that may raise some


eyebrows. Otherwise, a lot of reshuffling. Well-known Foreign


Minister will become a Deputy Prime Minister. The Foreign Ministry job


that he has had for eight years, being the face of Iraq to the


outside world, will go to Ibrahim Jeffrey, a Shia politician who was


Prime Minister before the outgoing Nouri al-Maliki. We do expect this


government to be voted on and presumably passed in the coming


minutes. It might be a bit of a long night for you. Keep us updated.


Thanks, Jim. Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko


has said that pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine have released 1,200


prisoners. He was speaking during a visit to


the strategic south-eastern port city of Mariupol, the last city


in Donetsk region still held by the Ukrainian government,


which has come under shelling from The announcement follows Friday's


ceasefire deal, which has been described


by the head of the OSCE as shaky. Meanwhile the EU says it's imposing


further sanctions on Russia because of its continued involvement


in the crisis in Ukraine. Russia has responded by saying


it may block some international Through all of this, it's the people


in the region who continue to suffer.


To the neighbours, who watched them grow up.


The family want the story of Carolina, aged six, and her disabled


Shellfire killed them both on the day the cease-fire was declared.


She was taking care of them when they were killed.


She cries, God, why have you taken them?


Like Nikita and Carolina, they lived in places where land


became something men were willing to kill for.


Children faced death and displacement with their families,


driven to makeshift camps like this old Soviet era holiday resort.


The propaganda pictures of forgotten heroes yellowing


The war has distorted life and disrupted normality.


I want to go home, but there is no home to go to, she says.


In the crowded bunk rooms, medical aid is being provided,


including the help of psychologists for traumatised children.


They have of course been traumatised by the conflicts, hearing shelling


and bombs, fleeing their homes and not being in their normal


environment. It has a huge impact on the psychology of those children.


It is a serious situation for those displaced people.


If the conflict continues, this will worsen, definitely.


The cease-fire is supposed to end the random cruelty that destroys


the lives of children like Nikita and Carolina.


But for their parents, it is a truce empty of meaning.


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


The World Health Organisation says the ebola virus is spreading


It's warning that many thousands of new cases may emerge there in the


next three weeks and that measures to stop it spreading were not


working. Liberia has recorded almost 1,100 deaths out


Rescue workers are battling hard to reach villagers stranded


in remote areas of Indian administered Kashmir after


Six days of rain have caused floods and landslides and killed almost


three in 20 people. That my 320 people.


A five-year-old British boy whose parents took him from a hospital in


Britain last month has arrived in the Czech Republic for radiotherapy


Ashya King has been at the centre of an international legal wrangle.


His parents were arrested and detained


We're -- to Afghanistan now, and more instability looms there because


one of the two presidential candidates, Abdullah Abdullah, has


said he will reject the outcome of the second round of the disputed


election. The results are expected this week. The election has been


gridlocked for months. Both sides allege voter fraud.


With the disputed Afghan election process now entering its


one of the candidates, Abdullah Abdullah, has had enough.


He said he would not accept the results of the audited vote


as he believes it has not discovered fraud and despite


a personal appeal from President Obama, he told me that talks for a


government of national unity, backed by the US, are at a dead-end.


The future Afghanistan, which will be a viable partner with


the international community, to be able to deal with the challenges,


the challenges that Afghanistan has faced or global peace has faced in


this part of the world, could not be based on the foundation


The announcement was made to a room packed with supporters.


One prominent backer, a former head of the intelligence service,


said the deal had foundered because


A political settlement, ensuring equal partnership, should


The timing of Dr Abdullah's announcement was highly charged,


coming as Afghanistan prepares to commemorate the death of the former


guerrilla leader killed in 2001,


Dr Abdullah appealed to his followers not to protest


violently, but his message that he would not recognise a government


that may be about to come to our that does not include his people


Dr Abdullah has appealed for peace, but at the same time,


he has said that any negotiations are now over and that he won't


accept a government led by his opponent.


This feels like a very dangerous moment for Afghanistan.


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have announced that they are


The Duchess, who is still in the very early stages


of pregnancy, is suffering once again from acute morning sickness.


This time, she is being treated by doctors at Kensington Palace.


The BBC's royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell reports.


William was there at a long planned visit to Oxford


today, but Catherine couldn't make it, and Kensington Palace realised


that it would have to explain the reason for her unexpected absence.


She was pregnant with the couple's second child, the Palace said,


So William was asked, how was she feeling?


It has been a tricky few days for a week or so.


I'm hoping things can settle down and she will feel better.


It's important we all focus on the big news,


That is where my thoughts are at the moment.


In December 2012, early in her pregnancy with George,


doctors hospitalised the Duchess for a couple of days.


On this occasion, with this pregnancy yet to reach the 12 week


stage, it is hoped the sickness can be managed at home and that it


George was a summer baby, born in July last year.


The chances are that his younger brother or sister will be due in the


He or she will automatically come fourth in line to the throne,


fulfilling William and Catherine's obligation to ensure that


The Queen, seen here at the Braemar Gathering near Balmoral at


I think George will be over the moon.


The family continues to grow. a younger brother or sister.


News of the pregnancy is making headlines around the world.


International fascination with Britain's royal family


Hugo Vickers is a writer and broadcaster and he joins us from our


studio in Reading. You have written extensively about the Royal Family.


This is interesting, married couple expecting second baby. Why is that a


story that has lit up headlines around the world and social media?


Of course, it is a very happy story, and the monarchy has been doing for


many generations. So anything to do with the monarchy always attract


attention. But it is because the Cambridges themselves are such a


popular figure. Wherever they go in the Commonwealth, they seem to make


people feel happy. So we are all very much on their side and


rejoicing alongside them that there is more good news on the way.


Everyone seems to be getting in on the congratulations. I was looking


at Twitter and apparently, the royal baby # has been used 50,000 times,


the worst one from an international pizza chain that says


congratulations. May we humbly suggest naming the royal baby Pizza?


I will not name that chain! Everyone seems be getting in on the act. It


is internationally big news. It is. At the time of the royal wedding,


everybody got excited about Prince William. I know that royal weddings


are a cause of great excitement, but I remember wondering at the time why


this was so much the case with him. I think the real reason was that the


world had probably last seen Prince William when he was a forlorn


teenager following his mother's coffin, and he didn't go off the


rails. He went through school and universe tea and met a nice girl


with freedom of choice. They are clearly happy together and that is a


great story. I think it has gone on like that. The arrival of Prince


George was very much welcomed, and wherever Prince George has been


taken, he is a huge success. Funny you should talk about that, because


I remember at the time of the royal wedding, I interviewed the Queen of


American journalism, Barbara Walters, who said that was the


reason America were going crazy about the royal wedding, because


everybody remembered the tragedy of Diana, and now they have something


happy to talk about. We also saw in that report, Prince Harry was saying


great, I am not going to be king. There is also an issue for this


second baby. Prince George is the heir to the throne and now there is


a spare as well, as they say. Yes, that is the traditional duty as your


commentator said. They must keep the Protestant succession going. It may


be that they will have another child after that. Of course, supposing


they have a girl, she would automatically be after Prince


George. If there was a younger brother, he would not overtake her


the wake since Andrew and Prince Edward overtook Princess Anne. So


that is a change. And Will this child be born as a prince or


princess of the United Kingdom? Will Scotland be involved? We hope so.


That is a whole new area of conversation. Sadly, we don't have


time to get into that. Thanks for joining us. And thank you as well


The weather is looking fine and settled for the next few days and


for the week ahead, with high pressure in charge. Tomorrow could


have a misty start of the day, but sunny spells are soon developing. We


could start Tuesday morning on a chilly note, particularly from any


rural areas, but that mist and fog soon clears away. We are looking at


bright skies. Perhaps


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