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This is BBC World News Today, with me Philippa Thomas -
it's the eve of decision day for Scotland - the momentous vote
The Yes and No camps have been on the campaign trail for one last
push - before the future of Scotland - and the United Kingdom -
It is incredibly tense here in Scotland right now. The opinion
polls say it is simply too close to call. That means that soon every
single vote will count. And we'll be asking what lessons
might an independent Scotland learn from
the dissolution of Czechoslovakia President Obama says American troops
will not have a combat mission against Islamic State in Iraq -
despite a senior general suggesting I will not commit you and the rest
of our Armed Forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq.
An autopsy after more than five centuries - we'll tell you about new
research revealing just how King Richard III was killed in battle.
It's nearly decision time in Scotland where campaigners
for and against independence are making their final pitches to
Thursday will be an historic day with election
organisers saying 97% of eligible Scots are registered to vote.
As you'd expect, leading politicians on both sides are frantically busy.
Alex Salmond says that this is the most empowering moment of voters
there will ever have. Gordon Brown says the union is too important to
lose. Nobody predicted even a few weeks ago that the polls would be
very close. Lucy Hockings is in Edinburgh
for us. Another remarkable day of what has
been an incredible referendum campaign. They are: Tomorrow
Scotland's date with destiny. -- they are calling it. Whether or not
Scotland should be an independent country. The opinion polls are so
close. It is simply too close to call. With campaigning today, really
they are targeting those people who have not decided. The feeling people
get in Scotland is that if you are adamantly yes or no, that won't
change. But tens of thousands have still to make up their mind and that
is who the politicians have in speaking to today, with messages
about national identity, the future, and the economy. With the latest,
here is James Cook in Glasgow. Scotland tonight is a nation
divided. A country staring into its soul. For a after day, thousands of
activists have poured onto the streets. Many have taken time off
might work to fight for a vision of the future.
We want to control education, taxes, most of the levers we need. We get
pocket money from Westminster. We want control of our income and
expenditure. Our intellect brought us to this place...
Do not be confused. If you want real power, and you wanted to stay in
Scotland, organising your own government, taxes, and future, vote
yes. There is no doubt this campaign has
been divisive but it has also breathe life into politics in
Scotland. The place is crackling with energy as the country reaches
the final hours of the campaign. And, for the hour,, the man. Those
battling to keep Scotland in the UK have not always matched the passion
of their opponents. What we have built together by
sacrificing and sharing, let nobody split asunder. Tell them this is
hours. This is not they are. Not their fly, not the country, not the
streets. The man who more than anyone has
brought Scotland to this place does not disagree. Alex Salmond insists
he wants to build a new country for all. Is he standing on the eve of
history? There have been fundamental
changes. We have seen a campaign of grass-roots empowerment. A festival
of democracy. Now it is in the hands of the Scottish people. There is no
place I feel more secure than in the hands of the people Scotland. They
know, and they sense and they sense an enormous opportunity to take
Scotland's future into Scotland's Hants.
Both Alex Salmond and his opponents have tried to use unemployment
figures as a reason to vote their way.
Everybody who cares about are united and, I get passionate about our
United Kingdom, but I have set out how Scotland can have the best of
both worlds. Scottish unemployment is actually lower than in London.
The people of Scotland have one more night to ponder. One more night to
weigh up what to do. Whatever happens, a myth has been dispelled.
They say people do not care about politics. They are wrong.
They are so wrong, those people who say there is not an engagement with
politics. You can actually feel it in Scotland right now, everybody
feels so passionate about the referendum and we expect a high
turnout, possibly over 80%. Two men who have been involved since the
very beginning, and who have written a book about it, join me now. Alan
Cochrane, and George caravan. Can I start on the positive, the absolute
engagement with the Scottish people? It is what you said earlier. The
atmosphere is not like an election. It is a festival of politics. For
the first day in the entire history of Scotland, ordinary people have a
vote that counts. It feels like ringing politics back to the people.
I have spoken to people all over the world who realise that Scotland is
leading the way. Are you surprised that has come down
to this? That we are so close? I am not sure the opinion polls will
be correct. The interesting thing about engagement is that people are
not engaging with the argument, the yes people are speaking to the yes
people, they know people are speaking to the gnome people. I am
not sure that there are many not sure that there are many
undecided. I have just not sure that there are many
interview with Chilean television. People around the world are
fascinated. But what they ask is why on earth is Scotland trying to break
away from the UK? You get that quite a bit, that
people who are voting now are too scared to say so.
I sense that people have made up their minds. No fighting, no
rights... It has gotten a bit more
acrimonious. Everybody says that, but we argue,
we do not shoot each other. That is the lesson the world is taking. If
you can settle different and seek self-government in a peaceful way,
after that, there will be many more, other countries following us.
The day of the countries is gone. That is what the campaign is about.
I want to give you each a case to state your case.
I cannot understand why Scotland would wish to break away from a
successful country. A successful union. We have been together 300
years. The UK is a brilliant growing economy. The envy of Europe. For all
the wrong reasons a leap in the dark is being proposed. We should not do
It is not about nationality. It is about taking over your own life.
Ordinary people, organising things. Government is too far away.
Everybody knows that people have turned off politics and politicians.
It is too far away. We want to bring it back to the people.
What is this about them? Exactly. We want to make the
decisions here, not Westminster. How do Scots feel differently from
other people in the United Kingdom? Can I ask you, if there is a
difference, if the values are different?
It is not an ethnic thing, let's be clear for anybody watching. My wife
is English, my father was born there, my sister lives there,
500,000 people will vote in Scotland tomorrow who come from the rest of
the UK. It is not about ethnicity. 160,000 EU citizens here have the
vote tomorrow. What they are voting for his inclusive politics, seeking
social justice, we do not want to be thrown out of the EU, the way the
Tories want to throw us out. Similarly I am a British mongrel.
And English wife, an Irish granny, children living in England, two
grandson exactly! But I don't want them to be
foreigners to one another. I want them all to be hits. If his will
when -- I want them all to be British. If his lot win, I cannot be
British anymore. We'll get you a special passport!
The undecideds will be crucial tomorrow and the opinion polls are
saying it will be too close to call. A momentous, historic day ahead.
Thank you very much. Spain's Prime Minister,
Mariano Rajoy, has said independence referendums
are bad for the European Union. He told the Spanish parliament
the EU had been built to integrate His remarks come as the Catalan
regional parliament prepares to vote on a resolution calling
for a Scottish-style referendum Mr Rajoy also warned that it could
take years for an independent Let's pick up that point with
Independent EU analyst Geoff Meade - Alex Salmond likes to say it is a
given that an independent Scotland would be part of the European Union.
How does it look to you? From the day this referendum date
was known, leaders of the EU have said, it is just not that simple.
You might think it should be. Scotland is obviously an active
member already so would not have to go through all the services you
might think. It is not just the Spanish prime minister who is
indicating it could take years to renegotiate. Lots of officials are
not turn their heads above the parapet publicly, they do not. But
behind the scenes, they say, it will take years. Scotland will need to
reapply. There is the complicated relationship already Scotland
believes the UK, because of course soon we will come up against a UK
referendum on EU membership, and there is a wonderful irony. The odds
are that if Scotland is out of the UK in Britain, the residual Britain,
microphone to leave -- might vote. But let's say that the UK stayed in.
And took Scotland years for membership. What Scotland wants more
than Westminster is EU membership and it would be a wonderful irony if
the romp was in the EU and Scotland had to wait. All we are getting here
is noises from the EU, the parliament, the commission, saying,
this will be a bureaucratic nightmare. To use the cliche, it is
uncharted territory. And yet, the SNP would say, hang on,
the Scots are keen Europeans. We provide a huge amount of the EU
energy. Oil. Fish stocks. How could you do without them?
It is a good question. But going back to the Catalan experience there
is no appetite in Spain to usher Scotland in quickly as an
independent member because what signal would that send to Catalunya?
It is chomping at the bit for a referendum. It has been denied. If
Scotland simply signed a bit of paper and came into the EU, or
stayed in the EU, and an independent and, Catalunya would say, if they
can, we can. There are movements in Italy, Flemish movements here in
Belgium, if they see that this is easy they will want to do it too.
That is one reason why some member states. Want to make it easy. And
also it has to be, any formal application, to join separately, it
has to be ratified by all countries. That process alone, even
if they are willing, can take years. As I say, countries like Italy,
Belgium, France, certainly Spain, will not necessarily vote. If you
don't have all member states including the residual UK saying yes
they're never happen. Thank you very much.
Later on, we will hear how Czechoslovakia coped with its
separation into two halves. President Barack Obama has said
emphatically that he will not commit US troops to another ground war
in Iraq. Speaking after a military briefing,
Obama said the battle against Islamic State militants in Iraq and
Syria requires a broad coalition, with some nations assisting the US
with airstrikes, while others focus The American forces that have been
deployed to Iraq do not and will not have a combat mission. They will
support Iraqi forces on the ground. As they fight for their own country
against these terrorists. As your commander and chief, I will not
commit you and the rest of our armed forces to fighting another ground
war in Iraq. After a decade of massive ground deployments, it is
more effective to use our unique capabilities in support of partners
on the ground so they can secure their own countries' futures. That
is the only solution that will succeed over the long-term.
The BBC's Barbara Plett-Usher is in Washington.
Barbara, only yesterday the most senior military officer
there General Martin Dempsey said he might recommend ground troops,
are there differences of opinion at the highest level about
Not necessarily. What General Dempsey said is that he believed the
coalition that President Obama is assembling will be sufficient to
take on Islamic State but he also said that the president had asked to
be advised on a case-by-case basis and if he felt the coalition was not
adequate to the task he would make recommendations which might include
ground forces. That might be the Army signalling it should be on the
ground or it might not. One thing can be said, ground forces are the
weakest part of the strategy which is, for the Americans, to bomb
Islamic State from the air and for the
Islamic State from the air and for Iraqi forces to be fighting them on
the ground. They need to be built up. General Dempsey said only half
the brigades are in a position to partner effectively with US troops.
There is a plan to train and equip them. Hundreds of advisers from the
US have been sent to Iraq to do that. No one can say for certain how
the war is going to evolve. Now a look at some
of the day's other news. Gunmen in northern Nigeria
have stormed a teacher training One student told the BBC that
he'd counted 17 dead bodies. The gunmen set off an explosion
and fired repeatedly on students. The Islamist militant group
Boko Haram has carried out similar Reports from Kosovo say that police
have arrested 15 people on suspicion of recruiting fighters for
the militant group Islamic State. Local media say that among those
arrested are prominent clerics. They were arrested
in a police operation spread Ukraine's prime minister has told
a cabinet meeting that one million civil servants will be screened
for loyalty under a new law which The government blames
the previous administration for fostering corruption
and serving Russia's interests. A new experimental vaccine for Ebola
is to be tested on humans Trials of the vaccine have been
fast-tracked to help stem the Ebola Results from animal trials are said
to have been promising and the drug will now be given to 60
healthy volunteers in Oxford. Our Medical correspondent,
Fergus Walsh reports. Could this be what
finally stops Ebola? This vaccine has never been
tested on humans until today. Ruth Atkins heard the call
for volunteers on the radio while driving home from work
and became the first of 60 people It's that one step and I'm part
of that first step, and it gets that vaccine,
they know they've got the right And that's going to make
a difference to people's lives, That will become clear
in just a few weeks. Normally it would take years
of human trials before a completely But the research here
in Oxford is being fast tracked And all being well, by the end of
the year, around 10,000 doses of the jab will be available to immunise
health workers in West Africa. This is why the vaccine is
so desperately needed. In Liberia, the health service
has been overwhelmed. Men, women, children, the virus
has claimed the lives of all ages. A key question
for the scientist heading the Oxford There is absolutely no risk of
this vaccine giving anyone Ebola. Because nothing came out
of the Ebola virus and went We've used modern technology, we use
a carrier, that is another virus which is safe and has been used for
lots of vaccine types, and just put one DNA sequence, a tiny fraction
of the Ebola genome, into it. The vaccine can't come a moment
too soon for West Africa where communities and whole economies
are threatened with collapse. Let's return to our top story
about the Scottish voting Some may be looking to
the former Czechoslovakia as a modern example of a single
country that has fairly recently It's now 21 years
since Czechoslovakia divided, in Our correspondent Rob Cameron
reports from Prague on what lessons Prague, seat of Kings, emperors
and presidents for ten centuries. A baroque stage set for many
a historical drama and a meeting But since 1993, also the capital
of a much reduced country. At the stroke of midnight on
December 31, 1992, Czechoslovakia And astonishingly the decision to
divide it without a referendum had Leading the talks for
the Czech side was Prime Minister, There was
a dispute over gold reserves. You are now using
the wrong argument. It is very easy to divide
the country. The number of people in the
Czech Republic and the That simple equation couldn't
be applied everywhere. A temporary currency union
collapsed after six weeks. The Slovak currency
devalued massively. But in Bratislava, despite a rocky
start, the Slovaks have caught up. The Slovak GDP per capita was
62% the Czech GDP per capita. Just now, a few days ago,
Eurostat announced that Slovakia has the same GDP per capita as the
Czech Republic now. Today, Czechs and Slovaks regard
their Velvet Divorce as a success, but that does not mean that there
is not nostalgia for Czechoslovakia. Of course, today everybody is
happy that it happened that way with no war or something.
A gentle way. Still,
there are a few things which are in Well, unlike the Czechs and Slovaks,
the voice of Scientists here in the UK have
discovered that King Richard III died in the thick of battle after
losing his helmet and receiving Richard III was the last English
monarch to die fighting, in the Battle of Bosworth more than
500 years ago. Scans of his bones suggest that
nine of 11 wounds, which were clearly inflicted in combat, were
directed to the sovereign's skull. His remains were found under a car
park in Leicester two years ago. The golden era of America's space
age may seem consigned to history but NASA is giving up to send rocket
into space. July 2011, and a moment in history.
The space shuttle Atlantis makes its final landing at the Kennedy space
Centre in Florida. The USA's manned missions to the stars comes to a
halt. At least for a while. Three, two, one. Zero. But now it is lived
off once again, and in a very American touch, it is the private
sector that is leading the way. NASA is signing a deal with Boeing to
build a new generation of craft, effectively space taxis, to carry
astronauts to the International space Station. They's announcement
sets the stage for what promises to be the most ambitious and exciting
chapter in the history of NASA and human space flight. From day one,
the Obama administration has made it very clear that the greatest nation
on earth should not be dependent on any other nation to get into space.
Particularly when that nation is Russia, hardly America's best friend
at the moment, even if the astronauts to get along. It costs
the US around $70 million per astronauts for a trip to the
International space Station. This new deal may make quite a
difference. We will have so who knows how many orbiting facilities
which will be visited not only by government astronauts of every
country, but Private citizens or foreign sovereign nations or mixes
thereof. NASA planes the first -- planning the first mission to 2017,
and hope it is the first step to the next giant leap, a mission to Mars.
That is all from us, thank you for watching.
So far, September has been exceptionally dry. For Wales, less
than one millimetre of rain recorded. Most places will stay dry
but we have still got a problem with mist and fog in the morning and
persistent cloud in the east. There is the risk of some showers in the
next few days, the low in the Bay of Biscay is throwing up more moisture.
We could see some showers to south-west England