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This is BBC World News Today, with me, Philippa Thomas.
With just two days to go before a vote on independence
will last minute promises keep Scotland within the United Kingdom?
The Yes campaign says the offer of more powers
But Gordon Brown claims it's the only way to protect key services.
Do you think we would ever stand by and allow the NHS to be privatised
or cut in Scotland? Do you think we would ever allow the NHS not to have
the powers in Scotland to protect itself? No! The only guarantee to
protect the health service, create jobs, make sure we do not get Tory
governments we did not vote for is to vote yes.
The French government narrowly wins a confidence vote,
but will that help it turn round the French economy?
This extraordinary scene as Ukraine ratifies an historic deal
to tighten ties with the European Union.
With only two days to go to referendum day,
both sides in the Scottish independence debate have seized
on a pledge by Britain's three main parties to devolve more powers.
Party leaders David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg say the
United Kingdom, the Union, offers voters the best of both worlds.
But the Yes to indepence campaign describes their pledge as an insult
to voters, asking why it's taken so long to offer extra powers.
And as James Cook reports, the future of a key
government service, the NHS, has been central to today's campaigning.
This campaign began more than two years ago. As Ed Miliband arrived in
Edinburgh, you would not know it. Both sides are fired up, there is
little sign of fatigue as they argue passionately about the future of
this country. Today, those arguments focused on Scotland's's health
service, the NHS is already run from Edinburgh, but this document
suggests the Scottish Government may soon have to save more than ?400
million from its budget. The Scottish Parliament has the powers
to raise the amount of money spent on the National Health Service, or
any other public service, if they are prepared to go to the sponge
people and ask them to raise the revenue to do so. This nails the
Scottish National Party line. As tempers fray and temperatures rise,
SNP ministers are hitting back. They insist they are not planning to cut
the NHS, and if money is tight, Westminster, which sets Scotland's
overall budget, is to blame. We will fight to protect the health service.
I know how hard it is to protect the budget of the health service when
the overall budget is being cut. We did that, and we continue to do it.
But when your budget is being cut by Westminster, that makes it harder
and harder to do. And there is a wider argument. Both sides agreed
that they want Scotland to have more control of its own affairs. They
disagree about how much control and how it should happen. Today, the
three UK party leaders published a pledge, going to introduce more
powers if Scotland says Now. They see it will ensure the Scottish
Parliament will be Parliament -- permanent. And that they will have
the final say on NHS spending. We are voting for a stronger Scotland,
a stronger Scottish Parliament with more powers so we can protect the
NHS, we can protect education, services in Scotland. And at the
same time, we avoid the risks that would come from independence. But
campaigners for Independence Day the pledge is nonsense. They point out
that the three party still do not agree on what extra powers should be
devolved. Some on the Yes team wants to go much further. We live in a
Scotland that is socially scarred! Tommy Sheridan has been to ring the
country calling for a radical new Scotland. So popular is his
message, he sometimes is to speak outside to those who cannot get into
the hall. We will not yet be a socialist country, just a free
country after September. But the declaration is quite clear. It will
be a more progressive, more fear country. Public ownership of gas,
electricity, oil and the railways. We will be listened to a lot of
more. Scotland's future has been hanging in the balance for a long
time. But very soon, Scotland decides.
Among the many international observers now in Scotland is
a delegation from Canada's Parti Quebecois,
including Alexandre Cloutier, a leading member of Quebec's
provincial parliament, and of course an advocate of independence.
Welcome to World News Today. Do you think the SNP has learned anything
from your experience in Quebec customer I am sure they are aware of
what we have been doing in the past. I am sure they are able to make the
difference necessary. It is two different situations, but we are a
democratic country under Democratic party. We have tried to do
independence in Canada respectfully of all laws and the International
Charter of rights, but Scottish people have their own great
experience now. What do you make of what you are seeing? Over 40 of you
either from Quebec to watch over campaigns are going. We are very
excited to be here, we wanted to learn from the Scottish experience.
The Yes campaign has been doing amazing work. It is quite
unbelievable the progress they have made doing the last 24 months. I
remember when I was a student here in 2004, the movement was not so
organised. It is quite unbelievable the progress. We wanted to
understand better who were supporting the Yes movement. What do
you think can said be to voters who still have not made up their minds?
Those who are worried about economic certainty or even economic recession
following a vote for independence? I do not have any advice to give to
people here. I am only here to learn from the experience. There is no
doubt from me that a small country can do very well, we have a great
example in northern Europe where you have very rich, small countries
doing very well. I totally understand the argument when you
say, why should you not only yourself, and do things for your
people? How big a story is this back on? It is very big. All eyes are
being turned here. I have been doing so many interviews, people are
looking towards what is going to happen here. Not many people
believed it was possible, and now, obviously, anything can happen. We
will find out in a couple of days. Thank you very much.
France's Prime Minister Manuel Valls has narrowly won a confidence vote
in his reshuffled cabinet amid record low poll ratings for the
It follows anger on the left of his Socialist Party
at the government's plan to drive through austerity policies.
But although 31 Socialist Party deputies were reported to have
abstained, Mr Valls still won with 269 votes to 244.
In an uncompromising speech earlier, Valls said he would not be swayed
from his plans to save 50 billion euros over the next three years.
Joining us from our Paris studio is Christine Ockrent,
a leading French journalist and television presenter.
Welcome to World News Today. He scraped through, but that does not
necessarily make all socialists happy? Certainly not, but as you
just said, Manuel Valls's challenge was not so much to convince
opposition in parliament, but to convince his own people. Five months
after being in office, he had again to ask for confidence, because he
has been adamant about the need for reforms. You have to understand
that, as opposed to the British Labour Party, which went through
that sort of ideological revolution, many years back, French socialists
are still, part of them, at least, very much against market capitalism.
Against globalisation. And quite far away from economic reality, so
Manuel Valls has had, since he has been, the courage and indeed the
stamina to try and convince his political party, his opponents
within the Socialist party, and also French public opinion. How much
chance do you think he has of pushing through the economic reforms
chance do you think he has of that he and Francois Hollande I
really needed? -- say at really needed? Francois Hollande was
elected on a series of false promises. Had he not made them, he
probably would not have been elected. But the problem is that
these have been two wasted years. Manuel Valls makes no mystery of the
need to try and catch up. The problem with public opinion is, and
I think it is true in all of our democracies, is that people ask for
a very quick results. Of course, it does not happen overnight. The
French economy is absolutely still, nothing happens. There is no
growth. There is a risk of deflation within the Eurozone. All of the
measures to try and get the business community to create jobs, assuming
these measures ever work, it will not create 300,000 jobs in two
weeks. The problem is really a race against time, as indeed the next
presidential election being in 2017, the opposition, which has not
put forward any proposal at all that makes any sense so far, in a way,
the presidential campaign has started today in my view. When you
listen carefully to what Manuel Valls has said. And thinking about
that next campaign, how much of a threat to you think the opposition
is? The Prime Minister has threatened that they are at the
gates of power. I think it is true when you look at the latest opinion
polls. They have indeed risen, and it showed in the European election
is not that long ago. It is a threat, not only to the socialists
in power, but also to the Conservatives. People say, after all
these traditional politicians, what have they done for us except put us
in this plight? Why not try something else? Even if the economic
proposals are preposterous, people are tempted to say, the hell with
you, the traditional elite way of doing things. Let's try something
new. That is what is shown in the opinion polls. When it comes to the
ballots, that maybe another story. It is indeed a threat. Good to speak
to you. Thank you. American ground forces could be
deployed against Islamic State militants if the current
United States-led strategy fails. That's the view of top US General
Martin Dempsey who's been speaking President Obama has insisted US
ground troops would not have But General Dempsey says
he'd make that recommendation if the international coalition
against Islamic State My view at this point is that this
coalition is the appropriate way forward. I believe that will prove
true. But if it feels to be true, and if there are threats to the
United States, I would go back to the President and make a
recommendation that may include the use of US military ground forces.
General Dempsey's comments come after the US carried out its first
air strike against Islamic State under its new strategy and Kurdish
troops on the ground are pushing towards Iraq's second city of Mosul.
Our correspondent Jim Muir is with the Kurdish forces.
Cutting through the skies of northern Iraq at dawn, American jets
providing air cover for the latest offensive against IS positions.
Below, Kurdish forces are preparing for action. American drones were
also up there, this time both the end the jets were just watching. --
both they and the jets. On the ground, the firepower was coming
from the Kurds. This is the objective, a village on the plane
leading to more so. -- Mosul. Kurdish ground forces had advanced
beyond their old lines, preparing to move in the village after the
bombardment. -- move in on the village. You can see clearly how it
works, Americans in the sky providing reconnaissance and
possibly are strikes, Kurdish forces on the ground bombarding with tanks
and rockets and so on. Despite all that, the ground forces are
preparing to move in, it is proving a very hard and costly job. Far-away
on the other side of Mosul, Kurdish forces have been pressing for on
another front. Pushing on further has been painfully slow.
They leave many bombs behind, he said so we have to be very careful.
It takes much information and planning to drive them out. Another
victim, this Arab village, abandoned and partly demolished by the Kurds,
retribution for collaborating with a ceramic state. -- Islamic State.
This man's Sun has been detained, suspected of working with the
militants. The other side of the coin, thousands of people driven out
by the IS radicals, waiting for the day that may never come when they
will be able to go home. Back on the front, the Kurds keep up the attack,
but the progress they have made it illustrates just how hard it will be
to eliminate the militants in the rest of the rock and Syria.
It's been an historic day for Ukraine as the European
parliament has ratified a controversial association
agreement strengthening economic and political ties with the country.
The agreement has also been ratified by the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev
during a live video link-up between the two parliaments,
although the free trade element of the deal won't be implemented
In separate measures, Ukraine also granted limited
autonomy to its eastern regions and an amnesty to fighters.
But while today's development may be seen as a step forward by the
government in Kiev, it was marred by disturbing scenes outside the
Parliament afterwards as an angry mob grabbed economic development
party deputy Vitaly Zhuravsky and manhandled him into a rubbish bin.
Zhuravsky, once allied to former President Viktor Yanukovich,
authored a bill in January severely tightening restrictions
In the past, he authored a bill criminalising libel.
As you can see, he was pushed over and held down in the dumpster,
after which men poured water on him and threw his briefcase on top.
First, David, why is there such anger
It has been an historic day for the Ukrainians. There were two major
pieces of legislation passed, first the ratification of this Treaty,
also the granting of some form of autonomy or limited the tonic to the
East, but there was also a vetting bill, and anti-corruption bill,
which the crowd gathered around the parliament to demand, and this is
where the emotions that we have seen, where they came from. They
were very high. The crowd was demanding this bill to be passed,
because this was one of the main demands of the revolution. It is not
quite clear why the crowd through this one particular politician into
the rubbish bin. There are different versions, but it does go to show
that it was a very passionate scene out there. They were burning tires,
and it shows that in addition to all these other things that were going
on, the EU deal, the amnesty and autonomy, the reform and
anti-corruption is very much a hot button topic here in Ukraine. We
should also talk about what is happening with eastern Ukraine and
an element of amnesty for fighters there and self-government, but tell
us how significant you find that to be? It is difficult to say. This is
a very controversial bill. There was a great outcry, people saying that
this perhaps creates a frozen conflict in the east, and so it
remains to be seen whether this was one step back or two steps forward,
or just the opposite. It should be said that some of the rebels have
rejected this deal, because they would rather remade within Ukraine
with its limited autonomy. It is only for three years. The fighting
continues, and there are great fears among Ukrainian officials that the
cease-fire which is already very unstable may eventually break down,
and this will all be able to point, and we will see major fighting in
the East. Briefly, we can't talk about this without mentioning
Russia, and I wonder whether the trade part of the deal was delayed
partly because it would provoke Russia greatly. Well, this is one of
the controversial points about the deal, is that it brings Russia to
the table, and this concession of putting on hold part of the deal
until the end of next year, this was seen as being from Russian pressure.
Now, the other parts of the deal are being implemented, but the
oppression -- the question is what does Russia want, and whether or not
this could placate Moscow and contribute to peace in the East or
whether we will see further fighting.
Now a look at some of the day's other news.
One person has been shot dead in a court building in the Danish
Police say a suspect has been arrested
The head of the City Court said it was probably
A suicide bomb attack in the Afghan capital Kabul has killed three
members of the NATO-led military forces and injured many others.
Police say the explosion targeted an international convoy
of soldiers along the airport road near the United States embassy.
The Taliban said it carried out the attack.
Filipino authorities say the country's most active volcano,
Mount Mayon, is dangerously close to erupting again.
Some 12,000 people living within an eight-kilometre radius
of the crater have been ordered to leave their homes.
The volcano has erupted 50 times in the last 500 years,
That's how UN agencies have today described the escalation
of the ebola crisis in West Africa, which has already killed almost
The stark warning comes as the US President Barack Obama prepares
to announce a huge increase in his country's commitment to
It's understood the United States will send 3000 troops to Liberia who
will be responsible for training about 500 healthcare workers a week.
And will build 17 medical facilities with at least 100 beds each.
50,000 home health care kits will also be sent to households
Joining me now from Monrovia in Liberia is Sarah Crowe
Thank you for your time. I have seen some of the photographs that you
have been putting online, really showing the situation. For example,
taxis lined up outside the hospital there. Yes, it is a tragic situation
and truly unprecedented. Everywhere you go, you are reminded that Apple
is really here. -- a bowler is really here -- ebola is really here.
We have been delivering 10,000 hygiene kits to households over the
weekend, so there is a huge surge forward now, and Liberians are
really... There is a real sense of trepidation, but also a sensible is
all to get on with the job at hand, and not to be entirely paralysed by
this kind of ebola psychosis. You are seeing a lot of those whose
families have been devastated by this. One of the photographs you
posted was of a little girl, and what is she doing with that mask on
her face? Yes, that was quite striking. This was a centre that was
once setup for children who were separated from their parents or lost
a parent or a loved one during the war, and it was closed down in 2008.
Now it has been reopened. Once it was for the victims of war, now it
is for her smack survivors. She was one of the little girls there. --
ebola survivors. Her parents have died, and we are now trying to trace
the extended family and put them back together in the extended
family. There is great stigma and great discrimination against those
who have survived, but that little girl was putting a mask to her face
because she said that was what she saw the doctor is doing all the
time, so she had taken a little poster and put it up to her face
just like a Doctor's mask, and she said that is how she felt she had to
approach people now. So even children, throughout wherever I have
done, are all aware of what they have to do, washing their hands with
chlorine, you might have seen some of those pictures too, having their
temperature taken, where ever they go. Of course, there are no schools
and no health facilities operating as well as they should be, so our
big fear is not only ebola but also the impact to children's health in
general, that means deaths from measles, malaria, and other
childhood diseases, because children are not being immunised as they
should be right now. Just very briefly, you have given us a vivid
picture there, are you not frightened for yourself as well?
There is a sense of trepidation, but there are also has two B... We can't
abandon Liberia, we can't walk away from this awful virus, so we have
two bogeys on the job at hand and really get on with supporting
communities, supporting households, and re-building the structure here,
because it is devastating and it is truly unprecedented, and it really
is the sense of them writing the first draft of the history of this
disease. There is the need to continue to push forward and focus
on what needs to be done right now. Thank you.
Temperatures will climb tomorrow morning. But we are also expecting