The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.
Browse content similar to 18/09/2014. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
This is BBC World News Today with me Philippa Thomas.
It's decision day for Scotland - a vote that could shake up the nation,
the United Kingdom and Europe. A record turnout is expected
of voters answering the single simple question, Should
Scotland be an independent country? We have a special report from the
frontline where the Syrian Army is fighting Islamic State militants.
The Syrians say the soldiers are experienced, battle hardened and
fighting every day. Also coming up:
Ukraine's president tells the US Congress that
his war is not Ukraine's alone, it is also Europe's and America's.
But will they give him much more than warm applause?
And is the food in your fridge really still fresh?
We'll talk to the prize-winning inventor of a hi-tech safety check.
Hello and welcome. After months of campaigning
and passionate debate, the people of Scotland are finally
casting their vote to decide whether Scotland should become
an independent country. Queues formed outside polling
stations from first thing this morning.
A record turnout is expectedwith more than 4.2 million people
registered to vote. In just three hours time
the polls will close and the vote counting will begin.
By Friday morning we should know the result of this historic ballot.
The BBC's Special Correspondent Allan Little reports.
This long campaign has reached into every remote corner of Scotland.
Today it is time to decide. This ballot box was on its way to an
island with a population of less than 100. An unprecedented 97% of
the electorate are registered to vote. In Edinburgh the grey autumn
weather did not keep voters away. This is an important state for
Scotland. I think so, for This is an important state for
generations as well. It is probably the most important day of my life,
the future of the country and all of Britain. It will be exciting and
interesting to see which one will win. Those at the top of the
campaign voted early. So did two others who played key roles. The
former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Deputy First Minister Nicholas
Virgin. The votes from 5500 polling stations will be counted from
Shetland to Dumfries and Galloway. Here at Ingliston on the outskirts
of Edinburgh is clear the announcement will be made. I am
focus on making sure the process go well and even if people do not like
the result at the end of the day they will at least trust it. My job
is to insure the integrity of the process. Reporters and television
crews from around the world have come to Edinburgh for what is
happening here is unprecedented in a modern European democracy. The BBC
will have live coverage as all the results come in. In the other vote
taking place in Scotland today we can give you a result now. The
famous and ancient golf club in St Andrews has voted to allow women to
become members. 85% of those who voted were in favour. The cop said
there where a significant number of women who would be fast tracked to
membership in the coming months. Julie Peacock is in our Glasgow
newsroom. What has it been like? The polls
opened at seven this morning. But reports from the polling stations
are that it has been busy all day. No reports of any major queueing at
the moment but a steady and firm number of people coming in to vote.
Around 97% of the Scottish electorate have registered to vote,
that allows -- amounts to 4.2 million people. They will be asked
the question should Scotland become a independent country with the
simple choice of yes or no. We will not know the result until the polls
close at ten o'clock tonight which is when we will get some idea of how
many people have voted, what the turnout will be like and eventually
what the result will be. Do we know if people still in line at ten
o'clock will be allowed to Fort? Yes, the law has changed because of
problems with recent general elections in the UK. Anyone at a
polling station, either inside or in a queue outside, they will be
allowed to vote. People will still be able to vote because it is
something that has engaged the entire population and many people
want to put the vote today whenever they can. You are in for that very
exciting few hours. Thank you. Islamic State militants have
released a new video featuring a British hostage.
The man is not Alan Henning, the British hostage threatened with
death by the militants at the weekend.
The footage of John Cantlie is different
from previous videos as it does not feature anyone being beheaded,
and no IS militants are seen. Our security correspondent
Gordon Corera has more. The latest release from the group
calling itself Islamic State is another propaganda video. It is
different from the last. This one features the British journalist who
says he is a prisoner and his life hangs in the balance as he reads
from a script. After two disastrous and hugely unpopular wars in
Afghanistan and Iraq why is it that our governments seem so keen to get
involved in another unwinnable conflict? There is criticism of
British and American intervention in Iraq and the current policy. This
video is different from others we have seen recently, it is filmed
inside and not in the Desert, no-one is killed in it. The group's aim is
similar, using a hostage to try to affect public opinion and challenge
policy. This was the freelance journalist, John Cantlie, in Syria
before he was first detained in 2012. He tried to escape and was
short but was eventually freed by a read by the free Syrian army where
he was held. He went back in November 2012 and was captured
again, this time with James Foley, the American journalist seem killed
in a video a month ago. His family have now been informed about
today's video which the government has condemned.
Police in Australia have carried out one of their largest ever
anti-terrorism raids after allegedly receiving intelligence that
militants connected with Islamic State were planning to kidnap
and behead a member of the public. Details of the operation,
which involved hundreds of police officers in Sydney
and Brisbane, were announced by the Prime Minister Tony Abbott
who said his country was at "serious Our Middle East correspondent has
been given a rare access to the Syrian army. A district on the edge
of Damascus city centre. It has been fought over since rebels seized it
two years ago. A new government offensive is happening now. The way
Sony and is used to live is a memory. The Syrian army allowed us
into a small corner of the front line. A Minute Drive from the south
of Damascus. This village was recaptured recently from rebels
after hard fighting. This is a small outpost, 300 metres separate the
front lines. What happened here it says a lot about the war and how do
the fight against Islamic state might go. These Syrian soldiers said
they were volunteers and the West was finally catching up with the
belief that on the opposite sides of the lines were religious extremists.
Morale was high. These Syrian general guarding this sector who
seemed popular with his men, did not want to identify himself. Islamic
State is a threat on the wall world. They control Syria and will
take us back to the stone age. Said he can crush them without the help
of the Americans. The afternoon firefight started when bullets came
in from rebel positions. The Syrian army has been much more effective
than its enemies expected. The Syrian's say any attempt to fight
the soldiers will not work because they are experienced, battle
hardened and fighting every day. The US and UK believe this army is the
tool of a brutal dictator. The Syrian soldiers were shooting at a
mix of Al-Qaeda sympathisers and supported moderates who the
Americans want to use to fight Islamic State. Syrian soldiers say
the West should help them fight jihadists. Because I come here to
fight people who want to destroy our country. I want to save my sisters,
brothers and father, the great Syrian people. The politics are
getting more tangled and more bloody. Staying with the situation
in Syria, the United Nations are saying they will have to cut food
rations to Syrian people because of the lack of funding. This comes as
Syrians are preparing for the fourth winter of the Syrian civil war.
Now a look at some of the days other news.
Francois Hollande says France is ready to carry out air strikes
against Islamic State militants in Iraq.
But the French President insists he will not deploy ground troops there,
and he will not intervene in Syria. Mr Hollande's comments come
in response to a request for aerial support from the Iraqi government.
The Chinese President and Indian Prime Minister have
announced landmark economic deals, on the second day of
Mr Xi Jinping's visit to India. China plans to build two industrial
parks in India, as part of its overall investment of twenty billion
dollars in the next five years. Fire crews in California's Sierra
Nevada are battling a blaze that threatens at least 2,000 homes and
has displaced hundreds of residents. The so-called King Fire is the most
menacing of 11 major wildfires currently threatening California
after a prolonged drought. Thailand's prime minister has
apologised for suggesting that it's 'unsafe'
for tourists to wear bikinis - unless they are unattractive.
His widely-criticised comments, came as the police continued
their search for the killers of two British holidaymakers.
David Miller and Hannah Witheridge were found dead on a beach
on Monday. Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko
has appealed to members of the US Congress for military help
for Ukrainian soldiers fighting pro-Russia separatists
in the east of Ukraine. His address to the joint session of
Congress followed a meeting with the US Secretary of State John Kerry.
He told Congress that non-lethal material was not enough,
that his soldiers needed more than night-vision goggles
and blankets to win. He said that support for Ukrainian
soldiers was in America?s interest. these young men are fighting today
is not only Ukraine's war. It is Europe's and it is America's
too. Today aggression
against Ukraine is a threat to global security everywhere,
hybrid proxy war terrorism. the erosion of the national
and international agreements, the blurring and even erasing
of national identities. All these threats now
challenge Europe. If they are not stopped now,
they will cross European borders and spread absolutely throughout
the world. To prevent this,
Ukrainian soldiers are in the line of fire exactly right now
when we have a so-called ceasefire. Willis Sparks is from the
Eurasia Group research firm Do you think the Ukraine president
will get that militaries sport, that lethal aid that he is asking for?
No. He warned. I think that the extended lead in on Iraq and Syria
makes clear that the president of the United States and a lot of other
leaders around the world have their plates full with not only this
conflict but others as well. Frankly, Iraq Obama believes
correctly that he was elected to end war is not to start new ones. That
is not to say that the US will not help Ukraine. They will continue to
provide financial support for the new government in Kiev which is
vitally important for the Ukraine government's long-term survival.
There will be sanctions on Russia to increase the price for the Russians
of every action that they take that threatens Ukraine. Blankets and
night goggles may not be enough but for the moment he is unlikely to see
more than lethal forms of aid. How much do you think the White House
worries about provoking Russia? Well, I don't think they worry about
provoking Russia in the broader sense, because if they were they
would not have gone as far, frankly, as they have already gone in
sanctions on Russia's energy sector, it's a natural sector, and it's the
natural sector. I think what the US wants to avoid is to be a good it
did in a shooting war where it is not clear how that conflict would
play out, what reaction on the ground is my provoke, and in
general, when you add more weapons into a conflict zone, it is always
very difficult to say where those weapons will end up in any given
circumstance if the balance of power shifts. Ukraine's new leaders have
made it clear they would like to join the European Union. They would
like the Natal security guarantee. If there are any chance of the
things happening? -- Natal security guarantee. Rob Lynott. There is very
little appetite in Europe at the moment to support countries as
unstable as Ukraine, given all the other worries going on. The various
separatist movements that we are seeing in the UK today and in Spain,
Belgium, and elsewhere. There has been an agreement signed between the
EU and Ukraine that will certainly keep in both trade and political
tides, but membership of the EU is a very long-term project, and
membership of NATO is even more theoretical. If you would like to
appease the Russians, it might be some sort of guarantee that
Ukraine's membership of NATO is postponed indefinitely. It has not
been offered yet, but it is probably the best thing available for the
long-term struggle. Banking. -- thank you.
The sister of a Russian soldier killed near the Ukrainian border has
She says that the Russian authorities gave her conflicting
accounts of what happened to her brother, with one official saying he
was killed by artillery from ukraine, but another that he
The alleged involvement of Russian troops in fighting against Ukrainian
After filming the BBC team was attacked and then arrested.
The BBC has lodged a formal complaint to Moscow
Our correspondent there Steve Rosenberg picks up the story.
Constantine fought in Chechnya. This summer, he performed his final
mission. When he called to say he was going
away he sounded kind of scared. He said,
I will be heading south west. I thought he meant the Ukrainian
border. I told him to stay safe. Three weeks later,
her brother was killed in exercises I asked that official,
"Do you believe the words you are I just want to understand how
my brother was killed. Perhaps not everyone here is
so keen to know the truth. A few hours after that interview, we
were attacked by at least three men, They hit our cameraman, smashed
the camera, and drove off with it. We didn't expect our day to end here
in the hospital, we are here because our cameraman is having x-rays and
being checked out after the attack. Someone clearly didn't want
our report to be broadcast. After four hours
at a police station, back in the car, we discovered our
equipment had been tampered with. Someone cleaned the hard drive
on my computer. Luckily, we had made copies
of the interview. State-controlled media portrays
these soldiers as volunteers who've taken leave of absence to go and
fight. Those independent Russian journalist brave enough to conduct
their own investigations face threats and intimidation. They say
there is no war. They say our soldiers are not involved. So who's
to blame his death? How did this happen? I am tortured by this
question. It is a simple question. All she wants is an answer.
When the James Dyson Foundation asked young people to
"design something that solves a problem" for an engineering
competition, they received some remarkable submissions.
Winners included the PrintAlive BioPrinter, which 3D prints complex
structures mimicking human skin layers that can be used to close
the wounds of severe burn victims, Solari, a solar powered outdoor
cooker, and Mima, a kit to inspect a beehive without
An overall winner will be announced in November.
With me is Solveiga Pakstaite a Lithuanian Industrial Design
Technology student from Brunel University who was one
She designed 'Bump Mark' a bio-reactive food expiry label which
shows you exactly when your food is going off so you don't have to rely
Tell me why we needed this. I noticed that we waste a lot of food
annually. It is clearly an issue and the current expiry labels are not
working so well to prevent this. Another problem is visually impaired
people are not able to gain this type of information at all. They
have no clue about the freshness of their food. Yes, they have to
guess, and perhaps end up throwing food away to be cautious, and that
is money they don't have. One third of blind people are not in paid
employment, so it is a struggle. This is why this is tactile. I
wanted the texture to change, to let them know. So this is an food
packaging, you will have a little marker, and tell me about the
texture. What should you feel? If the food is fresh, it should feel
solid. When it expires, you will start to feel bumps. The way it
works is that you put a solid gelatin gel on top of the bumps, the
Yukon QB bombs, and then the gelatin has this property, because it is a
natural substance, it expires just like food, it turns back into a
liquid when it expires, so that enables you to feel the dumps. So if
it feels smooth you know your food is safe. Sometimes we do all we food
that is too fresh. Exactly. My research found that 87% look at the
expiry date and if it has expired, they want even check the condition
of it, they want smell it, they will just throw it away. You have used
gelatin. Have you had interest from industry, from business, you think
this is a workable idea as well as a brilliant concept? I have currently
got a patented pending for this, so it is protected, and I was able to
do that because I won a scholarship with the James Dyson foundation.
That's let me finance... It was an extensive recess, so I was able to
file for patents. Now I can get to the next age of finding an investor,
so I am talking to a view different comedies about this. Commercial
confidence gelatin. This kind of scheme, I suppose, allows you to
work without a big company behind you at the beginning. Yes, I was
able to take this as far as it could go within my university. And now
you're going to a global edition. How exciting. You could get
inspiration from the other products as well. Yes, it is Williams firing.
-- it is really inspiring. We are going to regroup with the astronomy
photographer of the year awards. This year is no exception to the
stunning images that have been provided. It is as good as
as we look ahead to the weekend, it looks a lot fresher with some
welcome sunshine coming from the north. With this weather