The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.
Browse content similar to 07/12/2015. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
This is BBC World News Today with me Karin Giannone.
Beijing's choking skies - the Chinese capital issues
Schools and industry have been closed down and outdoor
Turning up the heat at the Paris climate summit - Ban Ki-moon says
the clock is ticking towards climate catastrophe.
Syria says three of its soldiers were killed by a US air strike.
We hear from Damascus about the suffering of the civilians whose
And with Germany soon to welcome its one millionth migrant of 2015,
we look at how those who have settled in the country have been
For the first time Beijing has issued
a "red alert" because of severe pollution in the Chinese capital.
It means schools and factories are being urged to close and that all
The most serious warning on the four-tier scale has been
issued because more than three consecutive days
It comes as China plays a key role at climate change talks in Paris.
From Beijing, our correspondent Celia Hatton reports.
One artist has had enough of Beijing's dense, grey smog.
A very rare, very colourful piece of performance art...
demanding tougher anti-pollution measures.
I am wearing a wedding dress because I think people are married
We need to show that we love the environment.
The Government should make people's lives a priority.
No matter how fast the economy needs to grow,
Well, the outfit's in place and she certainly knows how to
Now the artist Kong is moving onto the next stage of her protest.
For more than one hour she wanders through a popular neighbourhood,
I do not understand what she is doing.
If more people were involved and they held banners, it would be
She is not arrested but many assume she is participating
She is trying to raise awareness and issue a call for action,
But frustrations are rising as the most beautiful parts
The Government regularly announces new measures to control the smog,
but few expect an immediate improvement.
Here, pessimism hangs in the air, as thick as the pollution.
So why has the Chinese Government issued its first red alert now
despite the fact that pollution levels are actually lower than they
A question for Zhuang Chen from the BBC Chinese Service.
I think the red alert was issued in response after the public outcry
last week because last week the pollution was so severe - orange,
second-tier, the highest level, people just wondering what might it
take for the Government to issue the red alert, now, here it comes.
So, it really does show a sensitivity on the part of the
Exactly, I think there is growing awareness from the public about the
pollution, and also, I think there is a growing outcry from the public
to ask the Government to take some action to tackle climate change,
because it is the daily effect, day-to-day life,
I think pollution is going to be even more severe in the winter time.
Is it traffic or industry or a combination of everything?
There is mass manufacturing, productivity, the factory emissions,
that is one element, and also the coal burning, and that is composed
And also in terms of the motor cars, we can see that there is
a growing number with the Chinese people getting richer and more
Millions of millions of new vehicles are coming to the roads.
That is why there is a restriction on reducing
I think the pollution there is severe and
also during the winter time, coal burning and the heating turns on,
How much is what is going on in Paris got to do with it,
the climate change talks, of course, China want to be seen to
I think China is one of the biggest greenhouse gas
emitters and the situation comes at a untimely moment,
It is a wake-up call for the Government, it is a call to action.
I think the Government has already realised that and that is why
the Government have said they will advocate a green GDP, instead of in
the olden days they would advocate the GDP growth, take it at whatever
the expense, I think that is no longer the situation now.
Well, Beijing's problems come as 196 countries, including China,
enter the final phase of the UN climate change summit in Paris.
As they seek to reach a deal to limit the increase
in global temperatures, a new study has suggested that
worldwide emissions of carbon dioxide are likely to stall and even
It's driven by reduced coal use in China and the faster uptake
Global Carbon Project say this would be the first fall while the global
The United States is one of the world's biggest polluters.
It's delegation in Paris is being led by Secretary
of State John Kerry who thinks it's more likely a deal will be reached
if it aims to limit global temprature rises to two degrees
rather than the 1.5 many low-lying island nations are calling for.
But should we incorporate the notion that we should be trying to do
anything we can below those 2 degrees, including the 1.5, I think
there are ways to do that that do not turn this agreement into a 1.5
agreement, which while not be supported.
It needs to be an adjunct to the notion that the formal call is 2
degrees of this agreement, but, yes, we all need to take note that it
would be better if we could move in the direction of some further
reduction and that would be one week to try to get the best of both
worlds because we still have to get consensus from a lot of countries.
John Kerry. But what if compromise still
fails to bring an agreemeent? Our environment correspondent Matt
McGrath can answer that from Paris. I think one of the things that is
driving the Paris conference is the desire not to make this same
mistakes in Copenhagen. Bringing in leaders at the end, rather than
that, they are bringing them an early on to make sure they do not
make those mistakes. That does not guarantee that will not happen. They
are likely to be lots of Paris -- barriers and arms that need to be
twisted. You could end up with an agreement at all costs, which means
you might be very weak, quite easily in terms of trying to get an
agreement between 196 countries, it could turn into a massive fudge of
global proportions. If that happens, it will not address the issues of
climate change, it will not send out clear signals for the future and we
will be doing it again and five years' time. Did you think this has
not happened before? Think about Copenhagen 2009, that exactly the
same thing happened. And we'll keep you up to date all
this week as those talks progress You can also find out much more
about the issues at a special section of our website,
just go to... Washington is denying
an accusation by the Syrian Government that the US-led coalition
was responsible for a deadly air The Syrian regime says Sunday's raid
- in Deir al-Zour province in eastern Syria - killed three
soldiers and injured 13. It says four coalition jets were
involved in what it describes as There have been numerous air strikes
over Deir al-Zour targeting Islamic State
in the past few months - by both America, though,
has denied striking the army camp, saying its jets hit oil well heads
more than 50 kilometres away. A US defence official is quoted
as saying: "We are not at war with the Assad
regime". The claim and counter-claim come
as the United Nations has asked for $20 billion - the largest-ever
humanitarian appeal in its history - to fund relief operations
around the world next year. $8 billion of that will go towards
helping millions of people Our chief international
correspondent Lyse Doucet is She has sent this report on what
daily life is like for people in a town called Kisweh, on the
outskirts of the Syrian capital. In the back alleys of Lyse Doucet
the water carrier is getting through, just. No one is running
water here, more than a third of the population in Kisweh relies upon the
UN. This man his five sons and more than 20 grandchildren. There is not
enough water for all of us, she tells me. Food and fuel costs so
much. Life is terrible, says horror husband Ahmed. It is worth that --
worse than death. This is what I can feel like here. But there are
moments of chair. At the local school, there is no heating, but the
children warm themselves up. -- cheer. School numbers have doubled.
Thousands of families have fled here to escape fighting in other places.
There has been a local ceasefire in Kisweh for the last few months, that
allows us to move through neighbourhoods under Government
control into opposition areas. Water comes every few days by the bucket
in this basement where more than 200 people have taken shelter. This man
had to move three times to escape the war and has been here for two
and a half years. Seven children, one room, no money, even plastic
balls have to be stitched together. TRANSLATION: It is getting worse,
every day is worse than yesterday. I wish it was last month, that was
better. Part -- bowl. And people are still leaving. Half
of the families living here have left for Europe, despairing, never
mind living a life here. Those left our computer dependent on outside
aid like this. Syria has long been called the
humanitarian test of our time, now the test just gives getting harder.
And no one can see when it will ever end.
Is tomorrow going to be a school day or not, it is not clear for the
schoolchildren. Will it be a cold meal or a no meal day? People are
getting more and more worried about the future, especially because they
feel they do not have any control over their fates.
Every year, the crisis in Syria demands more aid money than the 1
before. The world continues to give, but it is never enough. These
Doucet, BBC News, Kisweh. -- Lyse Doucet.
The international battle against so-called Islamic State has
increasingly focused on efforts to cut off its financial revenue. Well,
new analysis - from IHS, a UK-based financial monitor - today
tries to pinpoint exactly how much the group receives and from where.
Its report suggests IS gets around $80 million a month in funding.
With around half of that revenue coming from taxes it
imposes on areas it controls, as well as the confiscation of assets.
Oil revenue provides around 43%, with the rest
from drug trafficking, the smuggling of antiquities, other criminal
Ludovico Carlino - one of the authors of that report and a senior
analyst at IHS - gave me more detail about what makes up the IS revenue:
It is a big amount of money. We have been following and analysing a lot
of documents that Islamic State have released, we have been following
information on social media and try to figure out exactly how much money
the group is making from Syria and Iraq. As you have said, yes, there
is a division between oil and gas revenues and taxation and
confiscation and all the activities that Islamic State is conducting any
territory that is controlling in Syria and Iraq. So much is made up
from oil and gas revenues, can you tell who is buying this stuff?
This is actually the big question everyone is asking. We do not know
exactly who is binding the oil from Islamic State, but we know for
instance that the true middleman, the 1 that Islamic State sells oil
to on the black market in Syria and Iraq, we know that the Islamic State
smuggle oil through the Turkish border and we know that the Syrian
government buys the oil from Islamic State.
Are you able to assess what sort of Dent is being made with the
intensification of air strikes against these Islamic State funding
sources? Is it making a difference? We have seen information on social
media that air strikes targeting the oil assets run by Islamic State are
having an impact. We have seen that Islamic State is cutting off the
salaries of its fighters, the price of oil in Iraq, the capital of the
Islamic State, has increased by 50%. This suggests that in some ways the
Islamic State is trying to compensate for the loss of revenues
from oil and gas. That was Ludovico Carlino speaking
to us earlier. The far right National Front
in France has sent shockwaves through mainstream parties with
record gains in regional elections, coming first and winning
around a third of the vote. The party did particularly well in
the north and south-east of France. After winning around one
in three French votes in the first round of polling,
the Front Nationale was, said its I call on all patriotic voters to
turn their backs on France's In the Northern region around
Calais, where Ms Le Pen campaigned, In the south-east of the country,
her 25-year-old niece drew similar Three weeks on from the attacks in
Paris, these regional elections were a chance for voters to vote on
national issues like immigration, The Front Nationale's mix
of nationalist and pro-welfare policies has proved increasingly
popular over the last few years. A win in these elections would give
the party its first taste of regional power,
important if it is to prove it can But the party has been blocked
in previous polls in the second round of voting, where
their mainstream rivals have worked This time, the centre-right
opposition leader, Nicolas Sarkozy, has ruled out any such move
by his representatives, even though the ruling Socialist Party
has said it will withdraw its own President Hollande has seen
a rare boost in his personal ratings But that has not translated
into votes for his Socialist Party. The Front Nationale has been
indirectly shaping politics here But with the presidential poll now
less than 18 months away, the jockeying around this election
is a sign that France's two established parties have now become
three political forces, Figures released
in the last few hours from Germany show a big jump in the number
of people applying for asylum. The Interior Ministry says just over
206,000 asylum seekers were registered last month -
an increase of 25,000 on October. That brings the total number to well
over 964,000 since January, with most arriving from conflict
zones in the Middle East. Meanwhile, one of Germany's largest
companies is offering apprenticeships to young people who
arrive in the country as refugees. Siemens is one
of a growing number of employers who believe asylum seekers are vital to
Germany's economic future. But - as
our Berlin correspondent Jenny Hill The future of German industry is
by no means secure. The population's ageing fast,
and soon young, skilled workers will So big business is turning
to people like Ali. He doesn't know
if Germany will grant him asylum yet, but he has learnt the language
and landed an apprenticeship. In ten years' time,
will I have a future, a family? These are important things that
should be available to everyone. We believe refugees have a special
quality, like the people we already take on from disadvantaged
or migrant backgrounds. If you give them a chance,
they can fly. They are highly motivated compared
to our average applicants. For small business,
there is a lot to lose. To take on an asylum seeker involves
red tape, expensive training, and there is no guarantee they will
be allowed to stay. Family companies like this one are
the backbone of the German economy. Together they employ two-thirds
of the national workforce. 80% of our members say we
can't employ refugees who don't 60% say they must have
the right qualifications first. Germany has lots of job vacancies,
and a lot of refugees - What is missing is a significant
political drive to marry the two, and arguably, that is because
Germany's politicians still can't They are still bitterly divided
on how to manage the vast number of people coming
into the country this year. If there is no plan,
German business leaders say they The US Department of Justice will
investigate the Chicago Police Department following protests over
its handling of a case in which a black teenager was shot dead last
year by a white police officer. It came on the same day that
officials in Chicago announced that another police officer would not be
charged over a separate shooting of The US Attorney General Loretta
Lynch said the investigation would look into whether the Chicago Police
Department had violated the US We will examine a number of issues
related to the Chicago police Department's use of force, including
its use of deadly force, racial, ethnic and other disparities as
force and its accountability mechanisms. Such as it is this a
plenary actions and its handling of allegations of misconduct. -- such
as its disciplinary actions. Our correspondent in Washington,
Rajini Vaidyanathan, It was 2014 in which a young man was
shot dead 16 times shot by a police officer. At the time the issue did
not raise headlines, no one thought there was anything more than another
of these shooting in Chicago. Whistle-blower actually found out
that there was video viewed edge of what had happened from the police
dashcam. -- video footage. He was concerned about what had happened.
Activist campaign for months for this footage to be released and ten
digs a goal that footage was released. -- ten days ago. The
suspect what a way from the police officers, that is what the video
showed, although he was armed with a knife. A number of police officers
were at the scene, one officer opened fire and continued to shoot
at the suspect when he was lying on the ground and that video did spark
a number of protest because people said there were issues with the way
that was handled and actually one officer has now been charged with
first-degree murder. But it did raise questions about how Chicago's
police department handle beaches in the first is because many argued
that whistle-blower had not come forward and brought this to light,
then people would never have known about what had happened. An officer
has been charged, the head of the police in Chicago has been fired and
know the Department of Justice will investigate the broader practices
around the way that police decide to use deadly force.
The suspended president of FIFA, Sepp Blatter,
is being investigated by the FBI over his role in a bribery scandal
which saw sports officials paid one hundred million dollars.
Mr Blatter has denied knowing about the bribes,
but the BBC's Panorama programme has seen documents which suggest the he
Our sports editor Dan Roan has this report.
The net is closing in on Sepp Blatter.
The suspended Fifa President is already under investigation
by the Swiss authorities, following allegations of corruption,
now the BBC can reveal that Blatter is also being investigated
by the FBI for his role in a bribes scandal from the 1990s.
A sports marketing company called ISL paid a total
of $100 million to sports officials, including former Fifa President
Joao Havelange and former Fifa Executive Ricardo Teixeira.
In return, ISL was repeatedly awarded the contract to market
the World Cup to advertisers and broadcasters around the world.
Sepp Blatter denied knowing about the bribes and took no action,
he even allowed Mr Teixeira to take part in the notorious vote
You have to ask yourself, why did he seek to protect these
people, and not just protect them, but allow them to continue to play
an active role in some of Fifa's most important decisions?
Now the Panorama programme has seen a letter obtained by the FBI,
which suggests Sepp Blatter knew about the bribe payments all along.
The letter, apparently written by Joao Havelange, talks about
It says, "I emphasise that Mr Blatter had
full knowledge of all activities and was always apprised of them".
Blatter declined to comment on the letter.
The FBI has already charged 39 Fifa officials with corruption,
A crew from the Norwegian Coast Guard were involved in a rare
operation to save a humpback whale that was caught entangled by a long
The whale was unable to move freely after getting the rope
In order not to stress the whale too much, the Coast Guard
spent five hours on the job to free the whale from the rope,
You can get in touch with me and some of the team via Twitter -
But for now, from me Karin Giannone and the rest of the team, goodbye.
Hopefully nothing to extreme coming our way over the next few days.
Typical weather, that is to see the bobby periods of rain and dry spells
in between. As far as the moral is concerned, cooler than today. It was
mild in some