25/09/2014 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today, with me, Philippa Thomas.


The fight against Islamic State militants intensifies.


British politicians prepare to vote on joining air strikes over Iraq.


The latest US-led air strikes have hit 12 oil refineries that


are believed to generate about $2 million a day for the IS network.


Meanwhile, Iraq says it's uncovered an Islamic


State plot to attack the subway systems in Paris and the United


Also coming up, the worst of the war is over in


Ukraine according to its President Petro Poroshenko, who reveals


The American actor takes on many different faces as he recreates some


Hit them where it hurts, at the oil wells giving them cash.


Action against Islamic State fighters is gathering pace.


On the eve of the British Parliament being recalled to debate air strikes


on Iraq, France is openly considering extending


We'll look at the political situation in just a moment.


But first, let's get you right up-to-date on the last 24 hours


This is amateur video claiming to show the aftermath of US air


The Americans, along with jets from Saudi Arabia and the


United Arab Emirates, launched the strikes on 12 small-scale oil


These oil refineries produce roughly 300 to 500 barrels a day


and were targeted in order to damage the group's financial assets.


The US Department of Defence estimates the refineries have been


While in the northern Syria town of Kobane, Kurdish forces have


pushed back an advance by IS forces and are calling for


Also on Thursday, France carried out its first strikes


Now, as David Cameron prepares to ask the


UK Parliament to approve Britain's active military involvement,


our diplomatic correspondent James Robbins assesses what that


It's now seven weeks since the United States launched


its air strikes against IS extremists in Iraq, and almost


Britain has been more cautious after the deep divisions created the last


Now the tide of opinion apparently favours ordering these RAF Tornadoes


They flew from Norfolk to Cyprus back in August.


It only takes a political decision to switch them from


So what will Britain's part in strikes against IS


They will be carried out by those Tornadoes.


Six are based in Cyprus, armed with a variety of weapons to


These include Brimstone missiles used in Afghanistan and Paveway


Supporting them will be an RAF rivet joint, a successor to


Nimrod, providing electronic surveillance of the area.


Britain also has a small arsenal of Tomahawk cruise missiles.


A submarine with these on-board is believed to be in the Gulf already.


It adds up to a British military contribution which is a modest


by American standards, one they're certainly not relying


Obviously it's up to the British Government to decide


and characterise how they will support the coalition but they have


been already a huge supporter and we look forward to working with


Any capacity, any military capability that the British bring to


the fore, bring to the fight, is always welcome and always tangible.


For now, though, Pentagon maps show the main focus of Washington strikes


is in Syria, where neither Britain nor France is willing to attack.


So having Britain target extremists in Iraq could help Washington.


But a veteran British general warns destroying IS as a whole


And that, of course, brings us to the contentious subject


of ground forces - what sort of ground forces, whose ground forces?


And I accept there is great reluctance in this country


and arguably in the United States to go back to where we were.


Iran's President Rouhani used the UN stage today to condemn what he


IS extremism has brought Iran and the United States closer,


sharing an enemy, but still the pressure from Iran is for a regional


Let's bring you more now of those remarks James mentioned by Iran's


President Hassan Rouhani at the UN General Assembly, where he said


that it was blunders by Western governments that had led to the rise


Certain intelligence agencies have put blades in the hands


All those who have played a role in founding and supporting these terror


groups must acknowledge their errors, which have led to extremism.


They need to apologise not only to the past generations,


As British Parliamentarians prepare for that vote on military action


on Friday, with me is Sir Christopher Meyer, former British


Welcome. Good to see you. Do you think it will be a yes row at


Westminster? I do think it will be a yes Grove. All the pundits are


saying so. Apparently all three party leaders are agreed. There will


be some objections, I guess, from the Tory, Labour and Lib Dem


ventures. You will get the votes through and British planes will be


bombing over Iraq. Iraq. What about Syria? To me, it does not make any


sense to bomb ISIS in Iraq and not bomb them in Syria, because


effectively what you're saying to them is, you have a safe haven in


Syria but we will hit you all over Iraq. That is not actually a


sustainable position and would not be surprised if in due course, David


Cameron came back to the House of Commons to revisit this question,


because, as the Americans have or be worked out with some of the Sunni


states, if you are going to cut the head of the snake, you have to go to


Syria rather than Iraq. So what would the solution be? Is it that


being in Syria be part of an invitation from the Iraqi


government? That is what they are saying. This is being planned in


Syria and executed in Iraq, so, please, go after them in Syria as


well. I'm not a lawyer and it is all a bit murky but I do believe if you


construct a good case in international law for doing what we


are doing and going to in Iraq, we can do it also in Syria. Syria was


the big vote in Westminster last year and it was decided not to take


action, so if we are moving towards Westminster moving towards the


previously unthinkable, should we also be thinking about Iran and


involving Iran? President Rouhani seemed to be rebuking the West


there. He would be, wouldn't he? But he seemed to be making a few points


that one of them being if there was a solution, it would need to be a


regional one rather than one imposed by the West. He touches on a very


important point. We can only justify what we intend to do in Iraq and


Syria if we are in coalition with Sunni Arab states and it has to be


said, in a de facto operational kind of way with Iran as well, but this


cannot be done without the involvement of Iran. And the notion


that we can go ahead and deal with ISIS and safely arrange it to stay


in a box over there is ridiculous. They are already in Iraq working


with people there. I was speaking to a commentator yesterday who was


saying, this is an unholy alliance. We are in Syria dealing with


President Assad's enemies and then de facto dealing with Iran. The


Americans won't stomach that. Well, they truly are the heart of


darkness, to use President Obama's words the other day. And the


Iranians are in it. It is a fact of rife. We have to work this with some


skill politically and tactically. What if there are prize is if the UK


gets involved in active military strikes? There is always the danger


of reprisals. That is a constant fear and worry and anxiety, and for


families who have hostages in the region, this is a terrible moment,


but ISIS has to be dealt with. Otherwise there will be more


hostages, more beheadings, more sober she of a kind -- more savagery


of a kind. It does require politicians to hold their nerve when


you hear about plots and threats in the West, for example. It requires a


lot of resilience, resolve and nerve. It will be a tough one and it


will last for quite a while. Thank you for coming in. Thank you.


Meanwhile, on the sidelines of the UN gathering in New York, Iraq's


Prime Minister has made the dramatic claim that his security services in


Baghdad have uncovered an imminent terrorist plot to attack the subway


Let's get more from our correspondent at the


It sounds very dramatic. What was he saying? He said, well, only this


morning we were getting information from Iraq about an imminent plot


that was targeting the subway in Paris on the transporter -- and the


transportation systems of America. We have been trying to clear this up


and speaking to an Iraqi official in the last hour or so, who's that the


information came from several Islamic State fighters captured in


Iraq. They were interrogated by intelligence officials there and


they have given up this information which they say means there is a plot


being hatched targeting the Paris subway and also transportation


systems in America. And it involves recruits, Islamic State recruits,


who come from America and France. The Americans are saying, well, we


have no evidence of this. They had been threats against transportation


systems in America in the past from various militant groups but we


haven't got any credible recent information that suggests any new


threat. And those are the indications we are getting from the


French as well - that they haven't got any of the mage and they have


heard. Anything that would point towards an imminent threat on their


underground system in Paris. -- any information. How is the news or


allegation being received in the US? Well, the Governor in New York has


put out a statement in the past few minutes and there is no increased


security in response to what the Prime Minister has said this


morning. What he has said is that in the past few weeks, they have


stepped up security on the new -- New York subway system and the buses


because of concern about possible action in New York related to what


has been going on in Iraq and Syria. But, again, no new information that


points to an imminent threat. That was just a precaution that they have


taken. And worth pointing out that the US threat level has not been


changed at all. And the sources we have in the administration and


intelligence community already knocking this down and suggesting we


treat this with great caution. A final thought. We're hearing


something from the FBI about the Islamic State fighter that has been


called jihadi John. Any details on that? And interview has been done


with ABC News here in America and it has indicated they have established


the identity of this Islamic State fighter who has appeared in these


beheading videos as executioner, believed to have a London accent and


believed to be a Briton who they have been trying to identify. He


hasn't released that information yet. And given no indication of when


they will. It is clear is because David Cameron was asked this


question. He was in New York only yesterday and he was asked about


whether they were close to identifying this Islamic State


fighter who goes by the name or has been called by the media jihadi


John, and he said, we are very close, so an indication that the FBI


do believe they have identified that individual. Obviously you will keep


a watch on that. Thank you very much.


A radical Islamist preacher and political activist has been


arrested by counter-terrorism police in London.


Anjem Choudary has been detained along with eight other men


on suspicion of being members of or supporting a banned organisation,


although police say the arrests are not in response to any immediate


Our home affairs correspondent Daniel Sandford reports.


It was a move against some of the most outspoken Islamist in Britain.


In all, 19 properties were raided by counterterrorism command officers


early this morning. Here in West London, the focus was on a vehicle.


In the East End, officers were so watching -- searching a halal sweet


shop owned by the brother of one of the arrested men. The only clue to


their presence, this card saying the officers were from the


counterterrorism search team. The police arrived at this restaurant in


West London this morning and spent six hours searching the premises. It


is where Anjem Choudary and a large group of men had dinner last night.


Will And is and has been one of Britain's most controversial Muslims


for more than a decade. -- Anjem Choudary. He was a member of a group


which was banned in 2010. He admitted he knew one of the killers


of Fusilier Lee Rigby and they were seen together on demonstrations.


There was no suggestion that Anjem Choudary was linked to the merger.


His views are on the fringe of the that Muslims in Britain have. They


do not represent anybody other than the few hundred followers he has in


the UK so I would not classify him mainstream Islam. Also arrested,


this man. He famously heckled the then Home Secretary in 2006. All


nine men detained today are being held on suspicion of encouraging


terrorism and belonging to a banned organisation. The police were keen


to stress the arrests were part of a long-running operation and no


immediate risk to the public. Now a look at some


of the days other news. A Mediterranean cruise ship has come


to the aid of 300 migrants - thought to be Syrian refugees -


packed on board a fishing boat Most of the people


on the small fishing boat were Cypriot authorities said they were


alerted after they picked up a radio distress signal as


the boat was caught in rough seas. Rival Palestinian factions Hamas


and Fatah say they've agreed to The two factions made


the breakthrough in talks in Cairo - and the new government will take


immediate control of the Gaza Strip. Hamas and Fatah split in 2007 and


previous reconciliation agreements France is to introduce standardised


cigarette packaging and ban electronic cigarettes


in certain public places including It's the latest European country to


do so, with the aim of reducing the high


smoking rates among under sixteens. The president


of Ukraine says he believes the most dangerous part of the war


against pro-Russia separatists Petro Poroshenko was speaking


in Kiev as part of a wide-ranging address in which


he made it clear he wants Ukraine to Mr Poroshenko said


his priorities include tackling corruption and reforming


the economy and the tax system . Our correspondent David Stern is


in Kiev. TRANSLATION: I have no doubt my


peace plan will work. I have no doubt that the most dangerous part


of the war is in the past, thanks to the heroism of Ukrainian fighters


and soldiers. Moreover, this war is an additional argument in favour of


changes without any delay because with the state which does not


function, we can lose. Our correspondent is in Kiev. I


understand the president has been making great play of today being


momentous. Exactly, he was speaking at a news conference. It lasted for


two and a half hours. He struck a very positive note about the


developments, saying that the most dangerous part of the conflict is


now over. Earlier he had said this was the first 24 hour period, with


no casualties or fatalities and this puts him in a good mood. The


cease-fire which was declared at the beginning of the month is still very


shaky, the fighting continues although at a lower level. We have


heard of more casualties today but this has not been confirmed.


Premised apologetically said the fighting was decreasing. He was


presenting his reform programme and said he needed peace in the country


to open a new front against corruption to introduce reform which


he says is crucial for the Ukraine at the moment. Is there evidence


that Russian forces are pulling back from that eastern region? We have


heard reports from NATO officials saying they are pulling back. The


Ukrainians say there are less numbers but there are still


significant numbers on the ground. When we heard the Russian forces


were pulling back, they are just moving across the border so they


could move in quickly if necessary. But the fact that his troop movement


is adding to the positive note, by President Poroshenko and other


Ukrainian officials. Thank you. The British Prime Minister David


Cameron is to apologise to the Queen in person for his overheard comment


that she "purred" down the phone when he told her that voters in


Scotland had rejected independence. The Queen lays great emphasis


on her political impartiality. Mr Cameron has now said he is


"embarrassed" and "extremely sorry" for his remarks - as our political


correspondent Alex Forsyth reports. The meeting with New York's former


mayor was meant to be a photo opportunity but


the camera caught the Prime Minister recounting a private conversation


in which he told the Queen Scotland Protocol dictates conversations


between the Queen and her ministers David Cameron may not have meant


for his comments to have been made public but his indiscretion


and choice The Queen has 60 years


of experience and part of her role was to pass on her views


to the Prime Minister but it is They probably had some choice words


in private for the Prime Minister. Downing Street has already contacted


Buckingham Palace to offer He is said to be very embarrassed


and extremely sorry and it is thought he will apologise


in person during -- next. At future public


engagements, David Cameron may be more wary about what he says,


especially when he is in front of A US man sentenced to five years


hard labour in North Korea has spoken publicly about his ordeal.


North Korean authorities claimed he tore up his Visa and demanded


asylum. He spoke under close supervision. Prison life is eight


hours per day, mostly it is agriculture, digging around. Other


than that it is isolation, no contact with anyone. But I have been


in good health, no sickness. The American actor John Malkovich


has featured in a series recreating more 40 iconic photographs -


each taken with incredible care and detail - but in an ironic twist, the


project has now gone viral online - even though the photographer


Sandro Miller, started it to fight back against what he sees as social


media's degradation of the art form. Anna Bressanin spoke to Miller


about what he was trying to do This is a Malkovich,


this is not Warhol. The project Malkovich, Malkovich,


Malkovich is about me playing My mind began to think what if I


recreated those images with John is willing to experiment


and has no fear. When he got in front of the camera,


I would see him with the fullest of confidence transform him


self into Marilyn Monroe, Bette Davies, the migrant mother,


Salvador Dali, Picasso. We brought hair in


from all over the country. We had a seamstress make


the clothing. We took every shot,


dissected it and figured out where the photographer was at that time,


what light he was using. My goal was to sustain


as true to what It would be a two-hour time


for hair and make up to get ready I could see he would go to that time


and place and become that person. The one that really amazes me is the


Diane Arbus one - this twins shot. Just to see the difference


in the mind of both of those twins. One accepting the photographer and


enjoying the moment well the other John nailed both


of those expressions In Today's world with the internet,


we are bombarded with images. It is tough to see all this work,


most with no thought behind it. I was hoping maybe I would be able


to recreate a little bit of awareness again


of classic movie imagery. Not just putting images out to put


an image out, Think about what we're capturing


here, let us have an idea. On Wednesday we brought you


celebrations from India, as the country successfully put a


spacecraft into orbit around Mars. is the first picture


of Mars taken by the satellite. Part of its mission is to study


the Martian atmosphere for signs Just to remind you, it's


the first time a maiden voyage to Mars has entered orbit successfully


and it is the cheapest too. Hi there, it's been a cloudy day for


most parts of the British Isles but tomorrow this will change, early


morning sunshine in Scotland and northern Ireland and these sunny


skies will mood so forth. Overnight tonight it will be very windy with a


band of rain pushing southwards across Scotland and


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