18/09/2014 World News Today


18/09/2014

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This is BBC World News Today with me Philippa Thomas.

:00:00.:00:08.

It's decision day for Scotland - a vote that could shake up the nation,

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the United Kingdom and Europe. A record turnout is expected

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of voters answering the single simple question, Should

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Scotland be an independent country? We have a special report from the

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frontline where the Syrian Army is fighting Islamic State militants.

:00:26.:00:40.

The Syrians say the soldiers are experienced, battle hardened and

:00:41.:00:44.

fighting every day. Also coming up:

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Ukraine's president tells the US Congress that

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his war is not Ukraine's alone, it is also Europe's and America's.

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But will they give him much more than warm applause?

:00:55.:00:56.

And is the food in your fridge really still fresh?

:00:57.:00:59.

We'll talk to the prize-winning inventor of a hi-tech safety check.

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Hello and welcome. After months of campaigning

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and passionate debate, the people of Scotland are finally

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casting their vote to decide whether Scotland should become

:01:20.:01:23.

an independent country. Queues formed outside polling

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stations from first thing this morning.

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A record turnout is expectedwith more than 4.2 million people

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registered to vote. In just three hours time

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the polls will close and the vote counting will begin.

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By Friday morning we should know the result of this historic ballot.

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The BBC's Special Correspondent Allan Little reports.

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This long campaign has reached into every remote corner of Scotland.

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Today it is time to decide. This ballot box was on its way to an

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island with a population of less than 100. An unprecedented 97% of

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the electorate are registered to vote. In Edinburgh the grey autumn

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weather did not keep voters away. This is an important state for

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Scotland. I think so, for This is an important state for

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generations as well. It is probably the most important day of my life,

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the future of the country and all of Britain. It will be exciting and

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interesting to see which one will win. Those at the top of the

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campaign voted early. So did two others who played key roles. The

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former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Deputy First Minister Nicholas

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Virgin. The votes from 5500 polling stations will be counted from

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Shetland to Dumfries and Galloway. Here at Ingliston on the outskirts

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of Edinburgh is clear the announcement will be made. I am

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focus on making sure the process go well and even if people do not like

:03:31.:03:34.

the result at the end of the day they will at least trust it. My job

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is to insure the integrity of the process. Reporters and television

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crews from around the world have come to Edinburgh for what is

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happening here is unprecedented in a modern European democracy. The BBC

:03:54.:04:01.

will have live coverage as all the results come in. In the other vote

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taking place in Scotland today we can give you a result now. The

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famous and ancient golf club in St Andrews has voted to allow women to

:04:14.:04:21.

become members. 85% of those who voted were in favour. The cop said

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there where a significant number of women who would be fast tracked to

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membership in the coming months. Julie Peacock is in our Glasgow

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newsroom. What has it been like? The polls

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opened at seven this morning. But reports from the polling stations

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are that it has been busy all day. No reports of any major queueing at

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the moment but a steady and firm number of people coming in to vote.

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Around 97% of the Scottish electorate have registered to vote,

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that allows -- amounts to 4.2 million people. They will be asked

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the question should Scotland become a independent country with the

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simple choice of yes or no. We will not know the result until the polls

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close at ten o'clock tonight which is when we will get some idea of how

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many people have voted, what the turnout will be like and eventually

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what the result will be. Do we know if people still in line at ten

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o'clock will be allowed to Fort? Yes, the law has changed because of

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problems with recent general elections in the UK. Anyone at a

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polling station, either inside or in a queue outside, they will be

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allowed to vote. People will still be able to vote because it is

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something that has engaged the entire population and many people

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want to put the vote today whenever they can. You are in for that very

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exciting few hours. Thank you. Islamic State militants have

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released a new video featuring a British hostage.

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The man is not Alan Henning, the British hostage threatened with

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death by the militants at the weekend.

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The footage of John Cantlie is different

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from previous videos as it does not feature anyone being beheaded,

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and no IS militants are seen. Our security correspondent

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Gordon Corera has more. The latest release from the group

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calling itself Islamic State is another propaganda video. It is

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different from the last. This one features the British journalist who

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says he is a prisoner and his life hangs in the balance as he reads

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from a script. After two disastrous and hugely unpopular wars in

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Afghanistan and Iraq why is it that our governments seem so keen to get

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involved in another unwinnable conflict? There is criticism of

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British and American intervention in Iraq and the current policy. This

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video is different from others we have seen recently, it is filmed

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inside and not in the Desert, no-one is killed in it. The group's aim is

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similar, using a hostage to try to affect public opinion and challenge

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policy. This was the freelance journalist, John Cantlie, in Syria

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before he was first detained in 2012. He tried to escape and was

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short but was eventually freed by a read by the free Syrian army where

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he was held. He went back in November 2012 and was captured

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again, this time with James Foley, the American journalist seem killed

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in a video a month ago. His family have now been informed about

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today's video which the government has condemned.

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Police in Australia have carried out one of their largest ever

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anti-terrorism raids after allegedly receiving intelligence that

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militants connected with Islamic State were planning to kidnap

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and behead a member of the public. Details of the operation,

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which involved hundreds of police officers in Sydney

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and Brisbane, were announced by the Prime Minister Tony Abbott

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who said his country was at "serious Our Middle East correspondent has

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been given a rare access to the Syrian army. A district on the edge

:09:22.:09:31.

of Damascus city centre. It has been fought over since rebels seized it

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two years ago. A new government offensive is happening now. The way

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Sony and is used to live is a memory. The Syrian army allowed us

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into a small corner of the front line. A Minute Drive from the south

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of Damascus. This village was recaptured recently from rebels

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after hard fighting. This is a small outpost, 300 metres separate the

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front lines. What happened here it says a lot about the war and how do

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the fight against Islamic state might go. These Syrian soldiers said

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they were volunteers and the West was finally catching up with the

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belief that on the opposite sides of the lines were religious extremists.

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Morale was high. These Syrian general guarding this sector who

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seemed popular with his men, did not want to identify himself. Islamic

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State is a threat on the wall world. They control Syria and will

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take us back to the stone age. Said he can crush them without the help

:11:00.:11:09.

of the Americans. The afternoon firefight started when bullets came

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in from rebel positions. The Syrian army has been much more effective

:11:16.:11:21.

than its enemies expected. The Syrian's say any attempt to fight

:11:22.:11:28.

the soldiers will not work because they are experienced, battle

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hardened and fighting every day. The US and UK believe this army is the

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tool of a brutal dictator. The Syrian soldiers were shooting at a

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mix of Al-Qaeda sympathisers and supported moderates who the

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Americans want to use to fight Islamic State. Syrian soldiers say

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the West should help them fight jihadists. Because I come here to

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fight people who want to destroy our country. I want to save my sisters,

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brothers and father, the great Syrian people. The politics are

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getting more tangled and more bloody. Staying with the situation

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in Syria, the United Nations are saying they will have to cut food

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rations to Syrian people because of the lack of funding. This comes as

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Syrians are preparing for the fourth winter of the Syrian civil war.

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Now a look at some of the days other news.

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Francois Hollande says France is ready to carry out air strikes

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against Islamic State militants in Iraq.

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But the French President insists he will not deploy ground troops there,

:13:09.:13:11.

and he will not intervene in Syria. Mr Hollande's comments come

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in response to a request for aerial support from the Iraqi government.

:13:14.:13:16.

The Chinese President and Indian Prime Minister have

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announced landmark economic deals, on the second day of

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Mr Xi Jinping's visit to India. China plans to build two industrial

:13:21.:13:23.

parks in India, as part of its overall investment of twenty billion

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dollars in the next five years. Fire crews in California's Sierra

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Nevada are battling a blaze that threatens at least 2,000 homes and

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has displaced hundreds of residents. The so-called King Fire is the most

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menacing of 11 major wildfires currently threatening California

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after a prolonged drought. Thailand's prime minister has

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apologised for suggesting that it's 'unsafe'

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for tourists to wear bikinis - unless they are unattractive.

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His widely-criticised comments, came as the police continued

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their search for the killers of two British holidaymakers.

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David Miller and Hannah Witheridge were found dead on a beach

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on Monday. Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko

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has appealed to members of the US Congress for military help

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for Ukrainian soldiers fighting pro-Russia separatists

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in the east of Ukraine. His address to the joint session of

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Congress followed a meeting with the US Secretary of State John Kerry.

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He told Congress that non-lethal material was not enough,

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that his soldiers needed more than night-vision goggles

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and blankets to win. He said that support for Ukrainian

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soldiers was in America?s interest. these young men are fighting today

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is not only Ukraine's war. It is Europe's and it is America's

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too. Today aggression

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against Ukraine is a threat to global security everywhere,

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hybrid proxy war terrorism. the erosion of the national

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and international agreements, the blurring and even erasing

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of national identities. All these threats now

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challenge Europe. If they are not stopped now,

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they will cross European borders and spread absolutely throughout

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the world. To prevent this,

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Ukrainian soldiers are in the line of fire exactly right now

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when we have a so-called ceasefire. Willis Sparks is from the

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Eurasia Group research firm Do you think the Ukraine president

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will get that militaries sport, that lethal aid that he is asking for?

:15:49.:15:54.

No. He warned. I think that the extended lead in on Iraq and Syria

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makes clear that the president of the United States and a lot of other

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leaders around the world have their plates full with not only this

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conflict but others as well. Frankly, Iraq Obama believes

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correctly that he was elected to end war is not to start new ones. That

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is not to say that the US will not help Ukraine. They will continue to

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provide financial support for the new government in Kiev which is

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vitally important for the Ukraine government's long-term survival.

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There will be sanctions on Russia to increase the price for the Russians

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of every action that they take that threatens Ukraine. Blankets and

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night goggles may not be enough but for the moment he is unlikely to see

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more than lethal forms of aid. How much do you think the White House

:16:42.:16:48.

worries about provoking Russia? Well, I don't think they worry about

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provoking Russia in the broader sense, because if they were they

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would not have gone as far, frankly, as they have already gone in

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sanctions on Russia's energy sector, it's a natural sector, and it's the

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natural sector. I think what the US wants to avoid is to be a good it

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did in a shooting war where it is not clear how that conflict would

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play out, what reaction on the ground is my provoke, and in

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general, when you add more weapons into a conflict zone, it is always

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very difficult to say where those weapons will end up in any given

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circumstance if the balance of power shifts. Ukraine's new leaders have

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made it clear they would like to join the European Union. They would

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like the Natal security guarantee. If there are any chance of the

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things happening? -- Natal security guarantee. Rob Lynott. There is very

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little appetite in Europe at the moment to support countries as

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unstable as Ukraine, given all the other worries going on. The various

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separatist movements that we are seeing in the UK today and in Spain,

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Belgium, and elsewhere. There has been an agreement signed between the

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EU and Ukraine that will certainly keep in both trade and political

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tides, but membership of the EU is a very long-term project, and

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membership of NATO is even more theoretical. If you would like to

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appease the Russians, it might be some sort of guarantee that

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Ukraine's membership of NATO is postponed indefinitely. It has not

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been offered yet, but it is probably the best thing available for the

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long-term struggle. Banking. -- thank you.

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The sister of a Russian soldier killed near the Ukrainian border has

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She says that the Russian authorities gave her conflicting

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accounts of what happened to her brother, with one official saying he

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was killed by artillery from ukraine, but another that he

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The alleged involvement of Russian troops in fighting against Ukrainian

:19:04.:19:07.

After filming the BBC team was attacked and then arrested.

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The BBC has lodged a formal complaint to Moscow

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Our correspondent there Steve Rosenberg picks up the story.

:19:13.:19:27.

Constantine fought in Chechnya. This summer, he performed his final

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mission. When he called to say he was going

:19:30.:19:31.

away he sounded kind of scared. He said,

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I will be heading south west. I thought he meant the Ukrainian

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border. I told him to stay safe. Three weeks later,

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her brother was killed in exercises I asked that official,

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"Do you believe the words you are I just want to understand how

:19:52.:20:01.

my brother was killed. Perhaps not everyone here is

:20:02.:20:11.

so keen to know the truth. A few hours after that interview, we

:20:12.:20:15.

were attacked by at least three men, They hit our cameraman, smashed

:20:16.:20:18.

the camera, and drove off with it. We didn't expect our day to end here

:20:19.:20:25.

in the hospital, we are here because our cameraman is having x-rays and

:20:26.:20:31.

being checked out after the attack. Someone clearly didn't want

:20:32.:20:35.

our report to be broadcast. After four hours

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at a police station, back in the car, we discovered our

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equipment had been tampered with. Someone cleaned the hard drive

:20:43.:20:48.

on my computer. Luckily, we had made copies

:20:49.:20:53.

of the interview. State-controlled media portrays

:20:54.:21:11.

these soldiers as volunteers who've taken leave of absence to go and

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fight. Those independent Russian journalist brave enough to conduct

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their own investigations face threats and intimidation. They say

:21:22.:21:31.

there is no war. They say our soldiers are not involved. So who's

:21:32.:21:36.

to blame his death? How did this happen? I am tortured by this

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question. It is a simple question. All she wants is an answer.

:21:43.:21:47.

When the James Dyson Foundation asked young people to

:21:48.:21:49.

"design something that solves a problem" for an engineering

:21:50.:21:55.

competition, they received some remarkable submissions.

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Winners included the PrintAlive BioPrinter, which 3D prints complex

:21:58.:21:59.

structures mimicking human skin layers that can be used to close

:22:00.:22:03.

the wounds of severe burn victims, Solari, a solar powered outdoor

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cooker, and Mima, a kit to inspect a beehive without

:22:11.:22:12.

An overall winner will be announced in November.

:22:13.:22:20.

With me is Solveiga Pakstaite a Lithuanian Industrial Design

:22:21.:22:22.

Technology student from Brunel University who was one

:22:23.:22:24.

She designed 'Bump Mark' a bio-reactive food expiry label which

:22:25.:22:32.

shows you exactly when your food is going off so you don't have to rely

:22:33.:22:36.

Tell me why we needed this. I noticed that we waste a lot of food

:22:37.:22:56.

annually. It is clearly an issue and the current expiry labels are not

:22:57.:22:59.

working so well to prevent this. Another problem is visually impaired

:23:00.:23:05.

people are not able to gain this type of information at all. They

:23:06.:23:10.

have no clue about the freshness of their food. Yes, they have to

:23:11.:23:18.

guess, and perhaps end up throwing food away to be cautious, and that

:23:19.:23:22.

is money they don't have. One third of blind people are not in paid

:23:23.:23:28.

employment, so it is a struggle. This is why this is tactile. I

:23:29.:23:35.

wanted the texture to change, to let them know. So this is an food

:23:36.:23:41.

packaging, you will have a little marker, and tell me about the

:23:42.:23:46.

texture. What should you feel? If the food is fresh, it should feel

:23:47.:23:50.

solid. When it expires, you will start to feel bumps. The way it

:23:51.:23:56.

works is that you put a solid gelatin gel on top of the bumps, the

:23:57.:24:00.

Yukon QB bombs, and then the gelatin has this property, because it is a

:24:01.:24:03.

natural substance, it expires just like food, it turns back into a

:24:04.:24:09.

liquid when it expires, so that enables you to feel the dumps. So if

:24:10.:24:16.

it feels smooth you know your food is safe. Sometimes we do all we food

:24:17.:24:25.

that is too fresh. Exactly. My research found that 87% look at the

:24:26.:24:32.

expiry date and if it has expired, they want even check the condition

:24:33.:24:36.

of it, they want smell it, they will just throw it away. You have used

:24:37.:24:44.

gelatin. Have you had interest from industry, from business, you think

:24:45.:24:47.

this is a workable idea as well as a brilliant concept? I have currently

:24:48.:24:53.

got a patented pending for this, so it is protected, and I was able to

:24:54.:24:57.

do that because I won a scholarship with the James Dyson foundation.

:24:58.:25:05.

That's let me finance... It was an extensive recess, so I was able to

:25:06.:25:09.

file for patents. Now I can get to the next age of finding an investor,

:25:10.:25:13.

so I am talking to a view different comedies about this. Commercial

:25:14.:25:18.

confidence gelatin. This kind of scheme, I suppose, allows you to

:25:19.:25:23.

work without a big company behind you at the beginning. Yes, I was

:25:24.:25:30.

able to take this as far as it could go within my university. And now

:25:31.:25:33.

you're going to a global edition. How exciting. You could get

:25:34.:25:38.

inspiration from the other products as well. Yes, it is Williams firing.

:25:39.:25:49.

-- it is really inspiring. We are going to regroup with the astronomy

:25:50.:25:53.

photographer of the year awards. This year is no exception to the

:25:54.:25:57.

stunning images that have been provided. It is as good as

:25:58.:27:01.

as we look ahead to the weekend, it looks a lot fresher with some

:27:02.:27:07.

welcome sunshine coming from the north. With this weather

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