07/12/2015 World News Today


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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


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