29/09/2014 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today with me, Rajesh Mirchandani.


For a fourth day, tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators


And the stand off is causing concern in Beijing as well - this is one


of the biggest protests China's government has faced in decades.


Already, the celebratory fireworks have been cancelled here and now


Beijing has to look at this instead. Just miles from Baghdad -


the Islamic State group's advance through Iraq is halted close to


the capital. After six months' political


deadlock, Ashraf Ghani is sworn in as Afghanistan's new president -


the country's first democratic And the Ryder Cup is over


for another year - but all the talk is on what's


happened off the green, and whether it was acceptable for a US golfer to


implicitly criticise his captain. In Hong Kong, tens of thousands of


pro-democracy protesters have been blocking major areas for a fourth


day, shutting down the business These are pictures of the scene


from Monday night. The crowds on the streets have been


a mix of students and supporters of the Occupy Central pro-democracy


movement. Because Beijing said Hong Kong


residents could have elections to choose their local leader in 2017 -


but only from a centrally approved China took back control of the


territory from the British in 1997. Since then it's been "one country,


two systems". The protests have been mostly


peaceful - but they grew on Monday, as some 3,000 people blocked


a major road in Mongkok To the east of the city centre,


in the busy shopping district of Causeway Bay, up to 10,000 people


have been on the streets on Monday. Overnight, authorities used tear gas


to disperse protesters Police pulled back on Monday


and they say they've used But a total of 41 people have been


injured in the past three days. Thousands of activists also occupied


the area around Hong Kong's financial district, and seem set to


remain there again tonight. The government has said it is


resolute in opposing Our China editor Carrie Gracie


reports. The financial system did not


collapse and there was no chaos. So much for the dire warnings


from the Hong Kong government There were no buses


but no-one wanted to leave anyway. After last night's tear gas, they


passed their time preparing remedies All ages and backgrounds,


even one billionaire. If we can't be touched


by these young kids, But there are voices


warning that protest is illegal We need to work within


the framework of our constitution. There is no point


in stirring up confrontation between As night fell, the crowd swelled,


sending Beijing a message - that they're a post-colonial generation


who won't put up with exchanging one So they want rid


of a leader answerable to Beijing and free elections for a new one,


accountable to Hong Kong instead. I hope, finally,


we can give more pressure and get This Wednesday, the 1st of October,


is the most important date It's the anniversary


of the Communist Revolution. Already, the celebratory fireworks


have been cancelled here and now 1.3 billion Chinese citizens must


not be allowed to look, though. On the mainland,


there's tight censorship And the longer Hong Kong's defiance


goes on, the more humiliating and dangerous


it feels to China's leadership. He was the editor of the


South China Morning Post at the time of the handover of Hong Kong, and


the author of seven books on China. If anybody knows what's going on,


you do. What is Beijing's strategy? On Monday, we saw that the protests


were bigger but more peaceful. A correspondent Waldouck a carnival


atmosphere, and police pulled back. What does Beijing hope will happen?


It must be said that Hong Kong is normally a very peaceful, very


orderly place indeed, which makes these scenes the more extraordinary


and striking. It's really because, I think, 17 years after the handover,


on both the Beijing side and the pro-democracy side, you have the


sharpening of attitudes which has been very apparent this year.


Beijing issued a White Paper earlier in the year basically saying, "we


will do what we want and Hong Kong had better behave itself and we will


only allow patriotically to sue love the country to run for chief


executive, judges should be patriotically, " and so on. That is


Beijing asserting itself. On the other hand, a generation of


pro-democracy politicians who are new in Hong Kong who, after


handover, came into fruition after the reforms of the last governor,


Chris Patten. They've been out run now by them or article people, the


Occupy Central and the students. -- by the more radical people. Hong


Kong think the two system part of it is more important but Beijing can't


just let this go on, can they? Yet they can't crack down to harshly


because Hong Kong as a free press and it would be all over it. Yes,


Hong Kong is different in that way but what you say is absolutely


right. At the time of the handover, everybody was very happy with one


country, two systems. That means that Hong Kong system would degree


with a hide -- would continue a high degree of autonomy. What people


forget about is that Beijing would not in Beijing, one country came


first, and the preservation of the Chinese nation became a very


important element in the policy of the new leader Xi Jinping, who is a


strong leader, asserting himself in western China with a lot of unrest,


and he is clearly going to do the same in Hong Kong. That does mean


ongoing confrontation. The White House has said it supports universal


suffrage in Hong Kong and the aspirations of the Hong Kong people


but apart from words, I'm not sure what other countries can do. Where


is this heading? What looms large as the shadow of Tiananmen Square. Of


course. I don't think we're moving towards that at the moment, partly


because of the nature of Hong Kong. There is a silent majority in Hong


Kong who normally don't like unrest or disturbance. On the other hand,


they don't might be feeling that Big Brother is looking over their


shoulder and this is a very sensitive issue so I think other


countries will not wish to get involved in it. But Xi Jinping has


got a new quandary on his plate which, in a sense, he's brought on


himself. Thanks very much for coming in and speaking with us.


Let's cast our attentions to Iraq. Iraqi ground forces,


backed by air strikes, appear to have halted the advance of


jihadi extremists - but only five miles west of Baghdad, according to


local sources the BBC spoke to. The so-called Islamic State control


large swathes of Anbar province, including - crucially - the city


of Falluja, which they captured From there, the jihadis have


launched attacks towards Baghdad - and there have been pockets


of fighting along its outskirts. The latest clashes,


which lasted two days, were along the road between Falluja and


Baghdad near Amariyat al Falluja. Our chief international


correspondent Lyse Doucet sent this report from the area -


some parts you may find upsetting. Actually, Lyse Doucet joins us live


from Baghdad. Reports reach Baghdad every day of lashes. Large swathes


of the area have been under the control of the so-called Islamic


State fighters, including control of the key city of Fallujah. We are


told that there are battles taking place in the past few days, as you


mentioned, around a strategic town near Fallujah. They had to call in


Iraqi strikes because the tribal fighters and the Iraqi army weren't


able to hold back the IS fighters who were tracking from 20


directions. Those kind of battles are taking place in neighbouring and


bar. We went to see what is called the protective belt on the edge of


Baghdad to see how the defences of Baghdad were holding up.


Heading to the last defences between Baghdad and so-called


In recent weeks, the IS attacked this route


We're travelling with two powerful sheikhs.


Their task - to rally the tribes and help stop


There have been heavy battles right here, Sheikh Ali tells me.


"Our brothers were here," he says, pointing to the gunmen.


Don't be fooled by their relaxed pose.


The frontline lies along that horizon.


Beyond that, just 16 miles away, IS is in charge.


This is the border between us and IS.


They threaten the Baghdad protective belt.


We need air support from civilised countries like the US and Britain.


When fighters of the so-called Islamic State moved


at lightning speed across northern Iraq in June, and took


the second city of Mosul, it set off alarm bells in many capitals,


including Baghdad, with fear that they could also move in here.


And now, after more than six weeks of air strikes, the people


Islamic State fighters are about five miles away.


Iraqi soldiers like this young man are on front lines near Baghdad.


This is the first interview by a survivor.


TRANSLATION: We heard the IS fighters.


Bodies were falling on top of me, hiding me.


There was blood everywhere, then my mobile started to ring.


One of the IS answered it and said, "this is the mobile of your coward


We have shot and beheaded the cowards".


The IS have a tradition after they shoot people.


They cut their heads off to show how many they have killed.


They started to cut but the call came from the bridge,


Iraq faces an unprecedented crisis, this prominent MP tells me.


The Iraqi state is facing, for the first time, an existential threat.


This existential threat is that there's somebody else claiming


Did you fear they could make into Baghdad?


They are 26km from where we're sitting now.


Even Western and Iraqi air strikes haven't helped these fighters


What happens if the jihadi is make it into Baghdad? We have to be aware


that there is, in addition to the tribal fighters we were travelling


with, Iraqi army soldiers posted all around Baghdad and there are also


powerful Shi'ite macrame Lish is. They have launched a major


recruitment drive. -- Shi'ite militias. Everywhere you move, you


are stopped by checkpoints, by army police, by some of the Shi'ite


militias. Inside Baghdad, there is an extensive security network so I


think the IS forces -- if the IS forces came closer, they would be


pushed back but it's a question of whether there are weak points all


around Baghdad that they would be able to penetrate. That is the great


concern because so many of the reports we're getting from the front


lines, like that young man you heard from their... He was very bitter


about his treatment by his Iraqi officers. He didn't have food or


water for days and hadn't been paid his salary so it underlines that


this is an Iraqi army which is not fit for the kind of fighting that


they must do now if they are to save not just Baghdad but the rest of


their country. Always great to talk to you. Thank you very much.


Afghanistan has had its first ever democratic handover of power,


with Ashraf Ghani being sworn in as the country's new president.


He replaces Hamid Karzai, who led the country for 12 years.


It's been a struggle to get here - months of bitter argument


Now President Ghani will head a government of national unity with


Abdullah Abdullah - the runner-up and his main rival.


I'm joined now by a former State Department Senior Adviser who


worked on Afghanistan, Vali Nasr. He's now Dean of the


Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.


How significant is this moment for the Afghan people? It is very


important, it is the first transition from one president to


another, and even though the elections are fraught with


problems, also, Afghanistan came close to a major political crisis


and the fact that we are having an agreement between these two


contenders in a national unity government and the swearing in today


is very important, in terms of stability in that country. Is it


going to lead to stability? There has been such huge disarray over the


election. There was widespread selection method amid suspicion of


fraud which caused a total recount and both sides pulled out of the


recount, so can they abide by this balance of power and work together?


In reality, neither one is a legitimate president of Afghanistan


because we don't have formal numbers and both sides have accused the


other of rigging the elections. The elections are now tainted. What we


believe is the two of them put together is legitimate, and the two


of them put together, whichever way you counted, probably account for


the majority of votes. This will work as long as there is no


disagreement and as they begin to rule over the country, it is likely


they will disagree on things such as reconciliation with the Taliban, the


pace of reform, anti-corruption, and when that happens, there has to be


mechanism for crisis management, otherwise this unity government


could fall apart. But for now, we have averted a crisis in having at


least the swearing in happening. But is it enough now to have this


democratic handover of power and a democratic government? Without the


institutions of democracy, a strong, free press, an independent


judiciary and a strong civil society, those are the things that


make democracy flourish? This is not about democracy, it is about a


legitimate government. The key is that according to the Afghan


constitution, there had to be a transfer of power from an outgoing


president to an incoming president based on a boat, and I think that


was the key issue. It is not a functioning democracy -- based on a


vote. It is still at war with a Taliban insurgency and we shouldn't


be asking too much of it. The key issue is Afghanistan could have been


in a major crisis had it not been for this unity pact and the key for


the international committee is how do we keep this unity moving


forward? We don't want to take our eyes off Afghanistan and see an


internal crisis that could be dipped towards where, for instance, Iraq is


today. Very interesting, thank you for your time.


Now a look at some of the day?s other news:


A new study has found that more than 3,000 migrants have died


trying to cross the Mediterranean since January.


In the most comprehensive research into refugee deaths to date,


the International Organisation for Migration says Europe's


by far the most dangerous destination for illegal migrants.


The continent is the destination of three-quarters


46 Belgians have gone on trial charged with belonging to


a jihadi organisation alleged to have recruited fighters for Syria.


Prosecutors described Sharia-For-Belgium


as a well structured terrorist group that brainwashed young people


The group's alleged leader was one of eight suspects to appear


The others are thought to be in Syria,


Spain's government has asked the country's constitutional court


to declare Catalonia's planned independence referendum illegal.


The head of the north-eastern Spanish region


signed a decree on Saturday calling for a vote on the 9th of November.


Hundreds of thousands of Catalans joined a protest in Barcelona


earlier this month, calling for a vote.


At least 36 people are thought to have been killed after


a Japanese volcano erupted without warning at the weekend.


The search for survivors had been suspended


because of the growing danger from toxic gas.


The eruption at Mount Ontake is the first deadly volcanic eruption


in the country for more than 20 years.


Day three since this mountain suddenly exploded into life,


it continues to spew a thick column of smoke and ash into the sky.


On Sunday, soldiers had climbed up here to rescue survivors.


Today, they began the task of recovering the dead.


We watched as this helicopter repeatedly headed back


into the ash cloud to collect the bodies.


By the end of the day, at least 12 had been brought down,


but many more remain stuck close to the crater, unable to be recovered.


Even down here, four miles away from the summit,


there is a strong, pungent smell of sulphur and you can feel this fine,


The fact that this eruption is still going on is making the recovery


In Tokyo, Japan's prime minister was still calling it a rescue operation.


TRANSLATION: We will keep doing our best to rescue people


and we will be cautious and on alert for further eruptions.


Why there was no warning of Saturday's eruption


Hundreds of hikers were caught on the volcano.


This video shot by one hiker shows the horrifying moment


the massive ash cloud rolls down and envelops him.


The rock was falling like hail stones.


We covered our faces with anything we could find.


We couldn't breathe or even open our eyes.


Despite the Prime Minister's commitment to keep searching,


it now seems all but impossible that anybody else could have


Now when something at work doesn't go to plan, is it acceptable


Well, that's what happened in the world of golf.


After Europe retained the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles this weekend, American


veteran Phil Mickelson openly questioned the methods of his


captain Tom Watson and praised the former captain - Paul Azinger -


who previously led the team to success.


There were two things that allowed us to play our best,


One was he got everybody invested in the process.


He got everybody invested in who they were going to play with,


who the picks were going to be, who was going to be in their pod.


He had a great game plan for us, you know, how we were going to go


about doing this, how we were going to go about playing,


what we were going to do if so and so is playing well,


And those two things helped us bring out our best golf.


Let's get more on this from our sports team. Tulsen Tollett joins


me. It wasn't exactly what Phil


Mickelson said, it is what he didn't say. He was praising the previous


captain, is that the same as having a dig at the current captain, Tom


Watson? I think you are certainly having a dig, there was no doubt


about that. Phil Mickelson is or was very calculated with what he says.


If you cast your mind back before the Ryder Cup, he mentioned the


situation between Graeme McDowell's management company and Rory


McIlory's former management company, which one on the same, and saying


the Americans don't litigate against each tiller, and he knew what he was


doing what actions it would bring about -- against each other. But


another thing here, sports people are Bland and do not give anything


away and as soon as someone says something interesting, we say, why


do they say that? So you can see why sportspeople at times don't say what


they feel but on this occasion, he gave Tom Watson both barrels and he


knew exactly what he was saying and Tom Watson will not be there for the


next Ryder Cup in 2016. we have the phrase "take one for the team". But


it doesn't matter, it, because Tom Watson will not be there for 2016.


Speak ill of Phil Mickelson doesn't have a great record, he has lost


eight of the games he was involved in. I think one of the most


interesting things that will come out of this, Tom Watson will make


his final appearance next year in the open, and what will happen if he


is paired with Phil Mickelson in the second round, that could be very


interesting indeed. we will be talking to you about that! Thank you


very much indeed. Actor George Clooney and his bride,


human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin, have legalised their marriage


in a civil ceremony in Venice. At the weekend,


a host of famous guests celebrated the couple's nuptials


at a lavish wedding reception. As they arrived by boat to formalise


their marriage in a civil ceremony, they were followed by a small


flotilla of photographers eager to They married at a reportedly


lavish party on Saturday night. Today's ceremony, at Venice's City


Hall, was a civil service officially It was presided over by former Rome


mayor and close friend of Clooney, Clooney is one of Hollywood's


biggest figures and Saturday's celebration was attended


by stars including actors Matt Damon Amal Alamuddin is


a successful human rights lawyer who has represented figures including


Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Their weekend wedding celebrations


have attracted huge interest from tourists in Rome and


from journalists and photographers Today, the couple spent around ten


minutes inside the City Hall before leaving as they arrived -


by boat. They are now expected to set off


on their honeymoon. Another way to sell this story is


globally renowned human rights lawyer marries actor who got his


break on The Golden Girls. I just thought I was silent. You can follow


me on Twitter. Thank you for joining us.


September 2014 may well be one of the driest on record but we finished


the month with a West-East split, the driest of


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