23/09/2014 World News Today


23/09/2014

The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


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This is BBC World News Today with me Philippa Thomas.

:00:00.:00:00.

A major escalation in the American-led war against

:00:07.:00:08.

Islamic State militants and against fighters linked to Al-Qaeda.

:00:09.:00:12.

The US leads Arab allies in air and missile strikes against Islamic

:00:13.:00:20.

State targets in Syria, at least 120 militant fighters have been killed.

:00:21.:00:30.

We are going to do what is necessary to take the fight to the terrorist

:00:31.:00:37.

group for the security of the country, the region and the entire

:00:38.:00:39.

Some of the 200 missing Nigerian school girls,

:00:40.:00:43.

A warning on climate change from the head of the United Nations.

:00:44.:00:46.

Ban Ki Moon tells world leaders in New York, this is

:00:47.:00:48.

Also coming up, grim testimony from survivors of

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They tell the BBC that smugglers chopped off the hands of migrants

:00:53.:00:56.

And Marilyn Monroe was always playing a role but now has a new

:00:57.:01:01.

President Obama says the support of Arab nations in air strikes

:01:02.:01:22.

on Islamic State targets in Syria, makes it clear to the world that

:01:23.:01:26.

It's reported that at least 70 IS militants

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and 50 other al-Qaeda-linked fighters were killed in the first

:01:33.:01:35.

The US confirms that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan,

:01:36.:01:43.

Bahrain and Qatar took part in or supported the strikes.

:01:44.:01:48.

Warplanes, drones and Tomahawk cruise missiles were used to hit

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targets in cities including Deir Al-Zour, Aleppo and Raqqa, where

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The Pentagon says it launched strikes from warships

:01:56.:02:04.

in international waters, hitting targets

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including training compounds, vehicles and storage sites.

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When President Obama said that there would be no safe havens

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for the Islamic State, this time he meant it.

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Overnight, the US might was unleashed on the

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Sunni extremist targets in Syria from these ship launched cruise

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missiles, to fighter aircraft, to drones, and, critically, the

:02:26.:02:33.

participation of the air forces of a number of other Arab countries.

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And in the clear light of day, the flattened buildings, the rubble,

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the twisted metal and chaos, the evidence of what had unfolded.

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And that coalition of Gulf states in Jordan was something that

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the president stressed when he spoke at the White House this morning.

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Last night on my orders, America's Armed Forces began strikes

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The strength of this coalition makes it clear to the world that

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Above all the people and the government in the Middle East are

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rejecting ISIL, standing up for the peace and security that the people

:03:06.:03:08.

And one other country with an interesting role in the

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The country's representative at the UN was given the heads up

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but officials here are keen to stress there was no negotiation.

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We did not seek the regime's permission.

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We did not discuss targets, they say.

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What is clear is that Syria did not stand in America's way.

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And that is because the Assad regime has come under sustained attack

:03:39.:03:41.

The Sunni extremists have taken vast swathes of land, so much

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so that the city of Raqqa has become the effective headquarters of IS.

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And their playground, too, by the look of it.

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That explains its targeting in the overnight air strikes.

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The raids coincided with Islamic State parading its British

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hostage, the freelance journalist, John Cantlie, reading under duress

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Senior US politicians seem content to call

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Awful, vile, a cancer, an insult to our values.

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But such petty insults don't really do much harm to

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the most powerful jihadist movement seen in recent history.

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But one notable absentee from this joint action against the jihadists

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David Cameron, who is in New York ahead of the UN General Assembly,

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has issued a statement saying that he supports the strikes, and will be

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discussing over the next couple of days what else the UK can do.

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But the Pentagon, which released these videos

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of the attacks, has for the moment the vital support it needs.

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The strikes marked a new chapter in the military action. What is its

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legal basis and how long could they continue? Our diplomatic

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correspondent has this analysis. A bombardment out of the blue. It is

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not to mask this bombing but the US air force with Arab allies. Critics

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will call at another US led military intervention in a foreign country

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without UN Security Council approval. But the fanatical

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followers of the so-called Islamic State use barbaric methods and they

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are seen as a threat that could envelop the whole region in chaos.

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I'm worried that today's strikes were not carried out by the Syrian

:05:51.:06:01.

government but the government was informed and the people helped. The

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strikes took place in areas no longer under the effective control

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of their government. These attacks are the strongest international

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responses -- response yet to the Islamic State network. Led by the US

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but also involving Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab

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Emirates. Most of them also taking an active military role. The aim was

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to degrade key areas in these shaded zones controlled and supported by

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the extremist 's. This strikes themselves were carried out by

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fighters, bombers, and one man drones, plus dozens of missiles and

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massive barrage is. They get a wide area, including Raqqa, and IS

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stronghold. Targets included training camps, and even a finance

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centre used by the extremists. It is thought IS disburse some of its

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fighters and weapons in anticipation of the attack. Ironically, the

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Syrian president could benefit from this turn of events. Only a year

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ago, his government was the potential target of US strikes but

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now the Americans are taking on some of his enemies for him. It is

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inevitable that air strikes against Isis will help the Assad regime,

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that is an unintended consequence. You have to do that sometimes. What

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of other unintended consequences? Curbs on the Turkish border say they

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are worried that IS fighters are coming their way to flee the air

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strikes. The refugee crisis that, already hundreds of thousands

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strong, could get worse. It was back in April that more than

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200 school girls from Chibok in Northern Nigeria were abducted

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by Boko Haram Islamists. It caused worldwide outrage and

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sparked a social media campaign. Well, in the past hour there's been

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a dramatic The Nigerian Defence Ministry has

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confirmed to the BBC that some of the girls are now in

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the custody of the Nigerian army. But he has now retracted that

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statement and said that although some girls are in the Army 's care,

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these are not the missing schoolgirl is that we were all thinking about.

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Let's try to clear this up. Can you tell us what we know? Yes,

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well, the story broke on Twitter initially. Some independent Nigerian

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newspapers saying that they had information that some of the girls

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were now safe in a military barracks in another city. The BBC managed to

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get through to the spokesman for the Nigerian military, and he confirmed

:08:51.:08:58.

that some of those girls were now safe in the military barracks. We

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then reported that but within a few minutes, he called back to retract

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the statement. He said there were some girls that have now reached the

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barracks and they are safe, but he said categorically that they are not

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from the same group. And this seems to imply there are more girls,

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possibly, that have been taken by Boko Haram van we knew about -- than

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we knew about. We know that many more have been taken. The abduction

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of well over 200 schoolgirls, 219 of whom asked or missing, that hit the

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international headlines, but there have been many attacks over the past

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two or three years in which some people, including girls, have been

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abducted by Boko Haram, and I have interviewed some in the past, prior

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to this recent attack. There are more being held, and while the focus

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is on those girls, the attacks are continuing on different villages.

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And the abductions are continuing. So it is a terrible situation at the

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moment in the north-east. And although last week there was some

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good news from the Nigerian military, as they were saying they

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had some success against the Islamist extremist group close to

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the city of my degree, some towns are still in the hands of Boko

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Haram, and more people are being abducted each week. I know you will

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stay across the story for us, thank you for joining us live.

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

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The World Health Organisation is warning there could be

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Ebola has already killed almost 3000 people across West Africa.

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A prominent academic from China's Uighur minority has been

:10:42.:10:44.

Ilham Tohti was a vocal critic of government policies in the troubled

:10:45.:10:50.

The Spanish government has withdrawn its controversial plans to limit

:10:51.:10:57.

The conservative Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, said the governing

:10:58.:11:00.

Popular Party had not been able to reach agreement on the proposals.

:11:01.:11:09.

Two Palestinian survivors of last week's refugee boat sinking have

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told the BBC they saw smugglers deliberately ram the boats, and

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then chop the hands off those who clung to the sides of the vessels.

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300 to 500 asylum seekers died in the incident off the coast of Malta.

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The Maltese Prime Minister says this is mass murder.

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This is a detention centre, not a dream destination.

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It's where those rescued from the sea off Malta can end up.

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And despite the trauma of an uncertain future,

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Thousands died in unsafe and overcrowded vessels.

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The BBC was allowed to meet three survivors in what has

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A crime the UN says that cannot go unpunished.

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Earlier this month, Ibrahim, Manon, and Muhammad paid smugglers

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They left Gaza, ordered a boat to Egypt and then, in

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the Mediterranean, they were ordered to switch to a smaller boat.

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When the captain refused to stop, Mamon tells me, the smugglers rammed

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Around 150 people below deck drowned straight away.

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When someone tried to cling to the smugglers boat, Mohammed says, they

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They also laughed as the boat went down.

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This grim account of lives lost at sea has been backed up

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by the handful of other survivors now out in Greece and Italy.

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What they say happened has been judged to be credible by the

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United Nations and by the Maltese government.

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Day in, day out, year in, year out, the Maltese military is having to

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rescue migrants from the inhospitable sea.

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The government in Malta wants a Europe-wide

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response to people smuggling following this latest tragedy.

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That's something you wouldn't even imagine in a movie, let alone

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And this is murder at sea? It is.

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Back at the detention centre, where their freedom is on hold,

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those who cheated death at the hands of smugglers live with the

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horror of what they witnessed and are hoping for something better.

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Idyllic and alluring for holiday-makers,

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the Mediterranean Sea is proving increasingly treacherous

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There are more migrants, there are more deaths, there are no

:14:08.:14:13.

World leaders are being asked to make bold pledges to address climate

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change at a one day summit in New York.

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Opening the gathering of a hundred and twenty world

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leaders, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said climate change is

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The meeting is intended to build momentum for a new global treaty

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on reducing greenhouse gas emissions next year, although both

:14:42.:14:44.

Here's our science editor David Shukman.

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From the melting of the ice in the far north of the Arctic...

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To the rising sea level threatening low-lying countries like Bangladesh.

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To the fear of dust storms and droughts intensifying in the

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Climate change is described by the United Nations

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Climate change is a defining issue of our age.

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Today, the UN called a special summit on global warming.

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There's been deadlock in negotiations.

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Maybe some Hollywood stardust would help?

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I play fictitious characters often solving fictitious problems.

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I believe that mankind has looked at climate change in that same way.

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As if pretending that climate change wasn't real would

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The smallest islands say this is a matter of survival.

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But pleading for help hasn't really worked, so young mother from

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the Marshall Islands in the Pacific tried a poem to her baby poem.

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They say you, your daughter and your granddaughter, too,

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will wander rootless with only a passport to call home.

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Then her daughter was brought on stage.

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It's not often a baby gets a standing ovation at a UN summit.

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Getting anywhere on climate change has always been a struggle.

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The talking started back in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio.

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That year, emissions of carbon dioxide totalled

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By then, annual emissions were running at more than 32 billion

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tonnes and the treaty only covered a few dozen countries anyway.

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By the time of the Copenhagen summit five years ago, which tried and

:16:48.:16:50.

failed to reach a global agreement, emissions were more than 34 billion

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This year, they are set to climb to more than 40 billion tonnes with

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no sign yet of a cut which climate scientists say should happen soon.

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Carbon dioxide swirling above America, Europe and China.

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Some countries, cities, and companies are cutting emissions

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But the UN wants a global deal next year although there is no

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The actress Emma Watson has been targeted online, with anonymous

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"trolls" making threats to release nude photographs of her.

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The threats follow her address to the UN on gender equality,

:17:39.:17:41.

in which she called on men and boys to identify themselves as feminist.

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The former Harry Potter actress, who's now a Goodwill Ambassador

:17:45.:17:46.

for the UN, spoke about her own determination to be equal,

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Winning at choosing not to identify as feminists. Apparently I am among

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the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too

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aggressive, isolating and anti-men. Unattractive, even. Why has the word

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become such an uncomfortable one? So Emma Watson was talking

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about embracing feminism, A good time, we thought,

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to talk about Marilyn Monroe - one focus of a new book called

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Women In Dark Times from Jacqueline Rose, who is the new Professor

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of Gender Studies at Cambridge. Marilyn Monroe, reading some of your

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book about what she had written, she was so conscious of the path she had

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to play and anguished about the fact there was so much more to her own

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thoughts. One of the genius of Marilyn Monroe is the fact that so

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many parts were a send-up of what she was meant to be, a kind of clown

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who got compared to Charlie Chaplin in her day by being so witty and

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exposing what was wrong with the images she was supposed to be

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portraying. In a way she hated doing what was expected of her and she got

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control of Fox Studios, she got direct script control, so she was

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very feisty, but she was even more political than that. She was utterly

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transgressive, she slept with Jews, Communists, Montenegro's and other

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women, so she was way ahead of her time in that sense. -- Communists,

:20:05.:20:21.

black people. She phoned a club where Ellis -- where Ellis

:20:22.:20:26.

FitzGerald was not allowed to play and said if you have her on I will

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sit in the front row. She said in her diaries, actresses must have no

:20:33.:20:38.

mouth. She knew that absolutely but she was not really interested in the

:20:39.:20:42.

public she was supposed to be interested in. She said she was not

:20:43.:20:48.

looked after, cherished and love as a child, so that gave her an

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understanding of the poor, the week and be vulnerable, and the only

:20:54.:20:57.

people she wanted to perform for word the people in the trailers and

:20:58.:21:04.

working in the factories. -- were the people. She did seem so at home

:21:05.:21:13.

with the glittering lifestyle. She was a very contradictory woman, but

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that is an important point of feminism that we don't ask women to

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be perfect. She said in her journals, my body is my body, every

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part of it. She also knew that she internally suffered, but she was

:21:31.:21:34.

abominable, that she could not control everything. -- that she was

:21:35.:21:47.

vulnerable. I am not directly comparing Emma Watson and Marilyn

:21:48.:21:50.

Monroe but she is talking about feminism, Emma Watson, saying I

:21:51.:21:56.

don't want you to define my body, I don't want you to control me.

:21:57.:22:02.

Because she has made this address she is being threatened with nude

:22:03.:22:07.

photos being released, there is a backlash. There is, and in a sense

:22:08.:22:15.

nothing has changed, the link between female vulnerability and the

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need to behave a certain way, and the misogyny and rage that is

:22:22.:22:25.

released when you about that. There has been progress by women but the

:22:26.:22:31.

relationship between women's sexuality and their assertiveness

:22:32.:22:36.

and their right to speak out and the way that people, especially men,

:22:37.:22:39.

hate them if they do, we have not got to the heart of that yet.

:22:40.:22:46.

Earlier we spoke about the women abducted in Nigeria and we know that

:22:47.:22:50.

some of those may have been sold on as slaves, we know that this is

:22:51.:22:55.

still happening today, keeping women down. We have rarely seen a period

:22:56.:23:03.

where violence against women is so brazen, from FGM to rape during

:23:04.:23:08.

wartime, Jimmy Savile, women are read more -- are more at risk from

:23:09.:23:22.

domestic abuse than war, disease, cancer combined. We are seeing what

:23:23.:23:28.

hatred of women can do and we need a feminism that goes to the heart of

:23:29.:23:34.

that and tries to understand that. Marilyn Monroe was amazing because

:23:35.:23:37.

America off-loaded on her the demand to be perfect, she had to be the

:23:38.:23:44.

perfect ambassador of new American capitalism, she had to ferry it

:23:45.:23:53.

across Europe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and in many ways she was a

:23:54.:23:58.

very unhappy woman. It is as if she is giving UAW message, look at what

:23:59.:24:07.

a nightmare America is giving me and I have to live it. -- a double

:24:08.:24:17.

message. The UN refugee agency says that

:24:18.:24:21.

Turkey urgently needs help to deal with the Syrian refugees who have

:24:22.:24:29.

crossed the border fleeing from the danger of ISIS. Today we have more

:24:30.:24:36.

from the border. Age is no barrier when the

:24:37.:24:40.

desperation to flee is so strong. More arrived today, Syrian escaping

:24:41.:24:48.

the trauma of the ISIS advance. The youngest were terrified by the

:24:49.:24:53.

experience. Turkey is a safe haven under strain, struggling with over

:24:54.:25:01.

130,000 refugees since last Friday. Most border crossings have been

:25:02.:25:05.

closed as Turkey tries to stem the flow. Those who fled welcomed news

:25:06.:25:12.

of the air strikes on ISIS, hoping it could at some point allow them to

:25:13.:25:18.

return home. The Americans must bomb, he tells me, because ISIS are

:25:19.:25:22.

killing us. This man was a teacher, he has been here since the weekend

:25:23.:25:27.

and he says the military action is a rare piece of good news. I feel

:25:28.:25:34.

happy, I want to say I am grateful and joyful to America and her

:25:35.:25:42.

partners. I am so happy. Could the US and its Ali is -- its allies by

:25:43.:25:51.

the lightning advance of ISIS towards Turkey? The militants are

:25:52.:25:55.

dangerously close to the border and with waves of people coming every

:25:56.:25:57.

day perhaps that gave with waves of people coming every

:25:58.:26:01.

final push to strike. Humanitarian agencies have set up agencies to --

:26:02.:26:08.

clinics to deal with the crisis. Many here suffer from dehydration,

:26:09.:26:17.

and some have entered the world as refugees. TRANSLATION: Nobody

:26:18.:26:20.

expected the war in Syria to last more than three years. Nobody

:26:21.:26:25.

expected that more than 300,000 refugees would come. Yesterday we

:26:26.:26:29.

had two doctors here, now we have six. Meanwhile the political

:26:30.:26:36.

had two doctors here, now we have continues, a stand-off between

:26:37.:26:38.

had two doctors here, now we have and Kurds, people

:26:39.:26:40.

had two doctors here, now we have year Civil War. The refugee

:26:41.:26:44.

had two doctors here, now we have brought the test -- hostility back

:26:45.:26:48.

to the surface. Can the military action they wanted halt the march of

:26:49.:26:54.

the Islamic State? That is all from World News Today

:26:55.:27:03.

macro. The fairly settled weather looks set

:27:04.:27:10.

to continue for the next few days. Tomorrow there will be rain in the

:27:11.:27:13.

forecast, especially in the southeastern

:27:14.:27:14.

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