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This is BBC World News Today with me Karin Giannone.
The role of American Special Forces in Iraq is to be expanded to help
The US Defence Secretary says they'll work with Iraqi and Kurdish
These special operators will over time and be able to conduct raids,
free hostages, gather intelligence and capture Isil leaders.
This Pacific island is a world away from Paris but it's
Scientists debate the boundaries of manipulating our DNA
which could treat or even cure inherited genetic conditions.
And the rock pools that form a prehistoric path.
We report from the dinosaur trail on Scotland's Isle of Skye.
Each one of these circular indentations was
Those are those trunk-legged, longnecked giants and they used to
We start with the fight against so-called Islamic State and the US
Defence Secretary has announced that America's role in direct combat in
Special operations personnel will be sent to Syria to support local
forces on the ground, and in Iraq, a special task force will be
deployed to conduct raids and gather intelligence.
Here in the UK, MPs from all parties are being urged by the government to
back military action against Islamic State in Syria.
They'll vote on the issue on Wednesday.
More on that in a moment, but first, let's hear what US Defence Secretary
Ash Carter told a congressional committee in Washington earlier.
In full coordination with the government of Iraq we are deploying
a specialised expeditionary targeting force to assist Iraqi
and Kurdish Peshmerga forces to put even more pressure on Isil.
These special operators will, over time, be able to conduct raids,
free hostages, gather intelligence and capture Isil leaders.
This force will also be in a position to conduct unilateral
That creates a virtuous cycle of better intelligence
which generates more targets, more raids, more momentum.
I spoke to Gary O'Donoghue in Washington about how surprising
this announcement by the US Defence Secretary is.
I think it is part of what they will call the intensification of the war
against Islamic State. There has been pressure on the administration
to do more and say what it is going to do and this ratcheting up of the
involvement of special forces as part of that response. Ash Carter
said they would conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence and
kill off ice leaders. Earlier in the year, they killed an Isis leader who
ran oil operations for Isis in Syria. A few weeks ago they were
involved in the releasing of some prisoners in northern Iraq. They
were just meant to be advising in that one but they got involved in a
firefight and one US special forces member died. This is an escalation
of some things that are already doing and an acknowledgement that
air strikes are not enough and they need people on the ground to
organise and assist local forces and do some things of their own.
Some Americans are worried and this is mission creep.
There will be that concern. This is not a large deployment. The numbers
in northern Syria, 50 special Ops members. Not large numbers of boots
on the ground. They will be involved in some kind of combat role so some
will see that as mission creep and some will see that as far too little
as there are people who want much bigger numbers. The Obama
administration is treading this line that it has promised not to put
boots on the ground but it must respond to changing situation.
Here in Britain, MPs are preparing to debate and later vote on
UK air strikes against Islamic State group targets in Syria.
But could more air strikes make a difference in Syria?
Prime Minister David Cameron says military action is just one part of
Our Diplomatic Correspondent James Robbins looks at the nature
The RAF Tornados are poised. From Cyprus, they have been striking Isis
in Iraq and if the word comes from the Prime Minister, they are ready
to strike in Syria. The government says Britain can be made safer and
Isis weaker. It strikes alone cannot defeat Isil but they can degrade
them. They can prevent them spreading further in Syria and
relieve the pressure on opposition forces which are being attacked by
Isil. The government believes those anti-Assad moderate forces could be
boosted. They want to prove they are fully on board for a war with Isis
until it is finished and this is the first step in escalating the British
involvement in that war. What is not being voted on this week is what the
next steps will be. Who is currently bombing Isis targets? Leading the
coalition are the US and France with Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. It
makes Russia's campaign a problem. They have a different agenda,
supporting President Assad. Moscow and Washington are still at long
raids and again today President Obama urged Moscow to follow in
line. I am confident we are on the winning side of this and ultimately
Russia will see the threat that Isil poses to its country is the most
significant and they must align themselves with those of us who are
fighting Isil. The coalition claims real damage to Isis headquarters and
killing many of their leaders although there are fears civilians
have been hit by air strikes. This will only be brought to a conclusion
by boots on the ground but the issue is whose feet are in them and what
is the degree of leadership? Can British tornadoes launch a far more
coherent strategy for Syria? It depends on settling political
divides, including the future for President Assad, if any.
Let's turn to the climate talks in Paris now and, after the upbeat
mood of yesterday, many world leaders are beginning to head home,
leaving the tough negotiations for a deal to reduce carbon emissions
Before he left the conference, President Obama met with leaders
from island nations hit hard by rising sea levels,
I think we are going to solve it. The issue is just going to be the
pace and how much damage is done before we are able to fully apply
the brakes. In some ways, it is a keen to the problem of terrorism and
Isil. In the media... Immediate aftermath of a terrible attack like
in Paris it is natural for people to despair but look at Paris, you
cannot tear down Paris cause of the demented actions a handful of
individuals. One of those places on the front
line of climate change is the tiny South Pacific island nation of
Vanuatu from where our correspondent Matthew Price has been
looking at how important setting carbon emission targets are to the
islanders. If you look at the seashore behind
me, I am at the heart of the capital city, the most vulnerable one in the
world to big events such as the huge cyclone which hit these islands in
March. It is hard to realise what a difference in targets, the sort of
targets they're talking about in Paris in terms of 1.5 degrees,
warming of 2 degrees, three degrees, it is hard to understand what those
means. But in these islands and other vulnerable low-lying areas,
they believe those numbers are crucial and they will make the
crucial difference between places like this surviving or having to
have huge funds injected in them in order to adapt.
How were were people of the talks going on in Paris and how much faith
do they have that something will emerge to benefit them in future?
One thing somebody close to the talks from the UN perspective said
to me in recent days was that the proceeds there to have been a real
change in mood. These sort of low-lying countries, in which around
the world hundreds of millions of people could be affected by climate
change, they are no longer saying they're going to be victims of
climate change and what are the rest of the world going to do about it?
They are active now in a bottom-up approach. The people in these places
feel that they are at the moral heart of these negotiations. We saw
that in the way that the Association of Ireland states went to Paris at
the beginning of the week and said 2 degrees warming of the world's
atmosphere is no good, we need it to be 1.5. They went in with their
fists swinging at the beginning of negotiations to try to influence
them. For more on this our Science
Correspondent, Rebecca Morelle is at What happens next?
It will be a tough two weeks of negotiations. Yesterday, we had all
the world leaders here laying out broad ambitions. This is what we
want to do to save the planet. Obama said this could be a turning point.
The leaders are gone now and the hard work begins. Each country is
setting out its stall. They hope to produce a document by the end of the
week and this will form the basis of a legal agreement. Countries are
saying, OK, we won't have this kind of thing to be in the -- we would
like this kind of thing to be in the document and not this kind of thing.
There will be some trade to get what they want, and some sticking points.
This push for a more ambitious target of 1.5 degrees being the
threshold of the planet can take, to be honest, having spoken to most
people here, they think 2 degrees Celsius is gone to be hard enough to
achieve already so whether the smaller island states, and I was
talking to a representative from our least developed country, I'm not
sure they will get that. But they are trying to as possible. Quite a
lot of debate over the next two weeks and lots to thrash out before
we see if there is a deal at the end of it.
Now a look at some of the day's other news.
A bomb has exploded near a metro station in the Turkish
A local mayor said five people were injured.
The explosion happened on a highway overpass at the height
A jury has been shown CCTV images of a gang who stole
around ?14 million worth of jewellery from a safety deposit
vault in London's Hatton Garden over the Easter weekend.
They were caught on one of the few working cameras covering
the building, carrying the stolen jewellery away in wheelie bins.
Cuba has reinstated restrictions on doctors leaving the island to work
in the USA and other countries. It is said the health services have
been severely affected by the great number of people moving abroad since
travel restrictions eased two years ago.
Hundreds of Moroccans, Algerians and Pakistanis continue to
protest at the border between Greece and Macedonia.
They're demanding to be allowed to carry on into northern Europe
after Macedonian authorities began to filter migrants based
Our Europe Correspondent Chris Morris has this update
This is the Greek Macedonian border and the people you can see here are
from Syria and they have just been allowed to cross the board. At the
moment, only people from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are being allowed
through by the Macedonian authorities. You can see this fence,
built in the last few days, one of numerous fences which are starting
to be built across the Balkans to try to stem this flow of migrants.
On this side of the fence, still in, all these people are from other
countries, Iran, Pakistan, Morocco, Somalia. They are not being allowed
across the border at the moment. It stretches right back along the
railway here, two or 3000 people who have been stuck here for days. There
was mounting frustration and anger, storms have been thrown at police, a
big security presence on the Macedonian side, and aid agencies
are worried that thousands more people are thought to be travelling
up through Greece from the Greek islands to the border will soon be
stranded here as winter begins to set in.
The US President has called on Turkey and Russia to move
beyond their diplomatic spat and focus on the threat
On Monday, President Putin said Turkey had shot down a Russian
warplane on the Syrian border to protect oil supplies from the IS.
Barack Obama met the Turkish President on the sidelines of the
He said an international coalition can defeat IS, but added that Russia
should rethink its support for Syria's president Bashar al-Assad.
I spoke to Dr Igor Sutyagin and asked him
if he thought Vladimir Putin genuinely believes his accusation
that Turkey shot down the Russian warplane near the border with Syria
in order to protect its oil trade with the Islamic State group.
No-mac, I don't think that the Russian president thinks so.
Especially keeping in mind that his own military perfectly now that the
main flow of oil from the Islamic State controlled part of Syria goes
to Iraq, which was supported by Russian General staff repeatedly
between the 15th and 19th of November. Two weeks ago, Russian
leadership knew that oil flows to Iraq, not to Turkey. Why do you
believe President Putin is coming out with this? It is a string of
angry allegations at Turkey and its alleged collusion with Isis.
Revenge? It is necessary to humiliate somebody who humiliated
the president. It seems to be the attempt to put lots of deaths on his
head and accuse him of something. Otherwise it is very difficult to
explain why that happened to a domestic audience. How risky is it
for Russia to keep up this kind of rhetoric, given the situation
regarding Islamic State? But also such close economic and business
ties with Turkey, with them importing oil and gas from Russia.
Russian sanctions against Turkey, which have been announced, are very
carefully tailored. It was specifically designed to hit Turkey
and not Russia. The surplus in trade with Turkey is approximately $25
billion, which Russia gets from Turkey. That is over the amount of
money being paid to Turkey. Overall, trade is approximately 44 billion
last year and just 7.5 billion were Russian imports from Turkey and the
rest was Russian exports. An investigation into the crash
of an Air Asia plane en route from Indonesia to Singapore,
a year ago, has found that it was caused by the pilots' inadequate
response to a technical fault. All 162 people
on board the Airbus A-320 were killed after the captain attempted
to resolve the fault Gene editing -
the ability to manipulate our DNA - is set to transform
our knowledge of human biology. It offers the hope that inherited
genetic conditions could be treated, Scientists from all over
the world have gathered in Washington to discuss the potential
of gene editing and whether limits From there,
our Medical Correspondent Fergus Just a day old with a lifetime
of opportunity ahead. This baby has been born
into a world set to be transformed The ability to precisely
manipulate our DNA. How we grow and develop is shaped
by DNA which sits in the nucleus It's an instruction manual
for how our bodies work. Written in a chemical code
of just four letters. Key sections are called genes,
a spelling mistake can trigger disease,
but now scientists have discovered a cheap and easy way to correct
such errors by editing the code. Think of gene editing
as a molecular sat-nav. It scans the DNA,
searching for the error. Then it uses molecular scissors to
snip through both strands which switches off the faulty gene, or it
can repair the code by inserting These techniques raise
the prospect of treating, even curing, some genetic diseases,
and it's not science fiction. Last month, we heard about
one-year-old Layla whose leukaemia was fixed by doctors in London who
gave her gene edited immune cells. The technology could eventually
be used to treat scores of A faulty gene means her
skin constantly blisters. It is incredibly painful
and can prove fatal. This technology holds
the unimaginable dream of a cure. We really do have a hope that we can
specifically correct Sahana's cells The breakthrough prize is awarded to
Emmanuelle Charpentier and The scientists who invented
a cheap and rapid new gene editing system, just three years ago,
have already been showered with awards and labs across the world are
using their technology. So what is the potential
of gene editing? In the future,
we hope that this will be a technology that can actually be
used not only to understand disease, So not only understand
the information in a cell, If we see a mutation that causes
disease, we have now That could help patients with a
whole range of genetic conditions. Their faulty cells could be removed,
treated in the lab, and then healthy If gene editing was done
in embryos then any DNA changes The hot issue
at this meeting is whether scientists should even be allowed to
do research to modify the genes of embryos or is it a step too far
that might lead to designer humans? They are giants that once roamed
the planet. Now more than 100 rare footprints
left by huge plant-eating dinosaurs Researchers at Edinburgh University
discovered the tracks, which were made by sauropods more
than 170 million years ago. Our science reporter Victoria Gill
has been to Skye. It's a landscape that legend
has it was shaped by giants. And
while there are many myths inspired by the drama of this island,
its coast has been hiding evidence A huge dinosaur
and I guess it would have compacted It was on this bay that
palaeontologist at the end of a day's fossil hunting noticed
an unusual pattern in the rocks. As the light hit it
at the right angle, it just kind of clicked that something was odd
about these things. And we'd seen things like this
before because we study dinosaurs. So we realised that these
were dinosaur footprints. What looks like four rock pools
in front of me are actually So each one
of these circular indentations was Those are those trunk legged,
longnecked giants and they used to What researchers stumbled
on here is the most extensive A trackway of more than 100
footprints left behind by some These are a record of real dinosaurs
living and moving around right here. And so we can tell a lot
about how big they were, about how they moved, about what
environments they lived in. At the museum in Staffin,
just a few miles from the site, Dougie Ross has curated a collection
of Skye's Jurassic treasures. He's been exploring and fossil
hunting here most of his life. But even he didn't expect
a discovery of this scale. At most I expected them to find
a few fragmentary bits So when they first announced that I
thought, oh, It's the pattern
of prints that allows experts to But
a few ancient feet have even formed The experts are now calling this
Scotland's Dinosaur Island and as they continue to race
the tides to work here, they expect its rocks to reveal more
of their prehistoric secrets. Victoria Gill,
BBC News, on the Isle of Skye. And you can find out more
about the Isle of Skye's Jurassic secrets in a special multimedia
feature on the BBC Earth website. In direct combat in Syria and Iraq
will be escalated. If you want to get in touch with me,
or some of my colleagues, you can