07/12/2015 World News Today


07/12/2015

The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


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This is BBC World News Today with me Karin Giannone.

:00:10.:00:12.

Beijing's choking skies - the Chinese capital issues

:00:13.:00:13.

Schools and industry have been closed down and outdoor

:00:14.:00:17.

Turning up the heat at the Paris climate summit - Ban Ki-moon says

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the clock is ticking towards climate catastrophe.

:00:27.:00:29.

Syria says three of its soldiers were killed by a US air strike.

:00:30.:00:34.

We hear from Damascus about the suffering of the civilians whose

:00:35.:00:37.

And with Germany soon to welcome its one millionth migrant of 2015,

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we look at how those who have settled in the country have been

:00:44.:00:46.

For the first time Beijing has issued

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a "red alert" because of severe pollution in the Chinese capital.

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It means schools and factories are being urged to close and that all

:01:07.:01:10.

The most serious warning on the four-tier scale has been

:01:11.:01:18.

issued because more than three consecutive days

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It comes as China plays a key role at climate change talks in Paris.

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From Beijing, our correspondent Celia Hatton reports.

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One artist has had enough of Beijing's dense, grey smog.

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A very rare, very colourful piece of performance art...

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demanding tougher anti-pollution measures.

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I am wearing a wedding dress because I think people are married

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We need to show that we love the environment.

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The Government should make people's lives a priority.

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No matter how fast the economy needs to grow,

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Well, the outfit's in place and she certainly knows how to

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Now the artist Kong is moving onto the next stage of her protest.

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For more than one hour she wanders through a popular neighbourhood,

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I do not understand what she is doing.

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If more people were involved and they held banners, it would be

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She is not arrested but many assume she is participating

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She is trying to raise awareness and issue a call for action,

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But frustrations are rising as the most beautiful parts

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The Government regularly announces new measures to control the smog,

:02:58.:03:00.

but few expect an immediate improvement.

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Here, pessimism hangs in the air, as thick as the pollution.

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So why has the Chinese Government issued its first red alert now

:03:05.:03:10.

despite the fact that pollution levels are actually lower than they

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A question for Zhuang Chen from the BBC Chinese Service.

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I think the red alert was issued in response after the public outcry

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last week because last week the pollution was so severe - orange,

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second-tier, the highest level, people just wondering what might it

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take for the Government to issue the red alert, now, here it comes.

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So, it really does show a sensitivity on the part of the

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Exactly, I think there is growing awareness from the public about the

:03:42.:03:45.

pollution, and also, I think there is a growing outcry from the public

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to ask the Government to take some action to tackle climate change,

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because it is the daily effect, day-to-day life,

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I think pollution is going to be even more severe in the winter time.

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Is it traffic or industry or a combination of everything?

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There is mass manufacturing, productivity, the factory emissions,

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that is one element, and also the coal burning, and that is composed

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And also in terms of the motor cars, we can see that there is

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a growing number with the Chinese people getting richer and more

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Millions of millions of new vehicles are coming to the roads.

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That is why there is a restriction on reducing

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I think the pollution there is severe and

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also during the winter time, coal burning and the heating turns on,

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How much is what is going on in Paris got to do with it,

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the climate change talks, of course, China want to be seen to

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I think China is one of the biggest greenhouse gas

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emitters and the situation comes at a untimely moment,

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It is a wake-up call for the Government, it is a call to action.

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I think the Government has already realised that and that is why

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the Government have said they will advocate a green GDP, instead of in

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the olden days they would advocate the GDP growth, take it at whatever

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the expense, I think that is no longer the situation now.

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Well, Beijing's problems come as 196 countries, including China,

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enter the final phase of the UN climate change summit in Paris.

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As they seek to reach a deal to limit the increase

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in global temperatures, a new study has suggested that

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worldwide emissions of carbon dioxide are likely to stall and even

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It's driven by reduced coal use in China and the faster uptake

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Global Carbon Project say this would be the first fall while the global

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The United States is one of the world's biggest polluters.

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It's delegation in Paris is being led by Secretary

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of State John Kerry who thinks it's more likely a deal will be reached

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if it aims to limit global temprature rises to two degrees

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rather than the 1.5 many low-lying island nations are calling for.

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But should we incorporate the notion that we should be trying to do

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anything we can below those 2 degrees, including the 1.5, I think

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there are ways to do that that do not turn this agreement into a 1.5

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agreement, which while not be supported.

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It needs to be an adjunct to the notion that the formal call is 2

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degrees of this agreement, but, yes, we all need to take note that it

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would be better if we could move in the direction of some further

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reduction and that would be one week to try to get the best of both

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worlds because we still have to get consensus from a lot of countries.

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John Kerry. But what if compromise still

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fails to bring an agreemeent? Our environment correspondent Matt

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McGrath can answer that from Paris. I think one of the things that is

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driving the Paris conference is the desire not to make this same

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mistakes in Copenhagen. Bringing in leaders at the end, rather than

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that, they are bringing them an early on to make sure they do not

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make those mistakes. That does not guarantee that will not happen. They

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are likely to be lots of Paris -- barriers and arms that need to be

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twisted. You could end up with an agreement at all costs, which means

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you might be very weak, quite easily in terms of trying to get an

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agreement between 196 countries, it could turn into a massive fudge of

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global proportions. If that happens, it will not address the issues of

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climate change, it will not send out clear signals for the future and we

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will be doing it again and five years' time. Did you think this has

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not happened before? Think about Copenhagen 2009, that exactly the

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same thing happened. And we'll keep you up to date all

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this week as those talks progress You can also find out much more

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about the issues at a special section of our website,

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just go to... Washington is denying

:08:26.:08:33.

an accusation by the Syrian Government that the US-led coalition

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was responsible for a deadly air The Syrian regime says Sunday's raid

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- in Deir al-Zour province in eastern Syria - killed three

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soldiers and injured 13. It says four coalition jets were

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involved in what it describes as There have been numerous air strikes

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over Deir al-Zour targeting Islamic State

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in the past few months - by both America, though,

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has denied striking the army camp, saying its jets hit oil well heads

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more than 50 kilometres away. A US defence official is quoted

:09:08.:09:09.

as saying: "We are not at war with the Assad

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regime". The claim and counter-claim come

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as the United Nations has asked for $20 billion - the largest-ever

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humanitarian appeal in its history - to fund relief operations

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around the world next year. $8 billion of that will go towards

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helping millions of people Our chief international

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correspondent Lyse Doucet is She has sent this report on what

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daily life is like for people in a town called Kisweh, on the

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outskirts of the Syrian capital. In the back alleys of Lyse Doucet

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the water carrier is getting through, just. No one is running

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water here, more than a third of the population in Kisweh relies upon the

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UN. This man his five sons and more than 20 grandchildren. There is not

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enough water for all of us, she tells me. Food and fuel costs so

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much. Life is terrible, says horror husband Ahmed. It is worth that --

:10:18.:10:22.

worse than death. This is what I can feel like here. But there are

:10:23.:10:35.

moments of chair. At the local school, there is no heating, but the

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children warm themselves up. -- cheer. School numbers have doubled.

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Thousands of families have fled here to escape fighting in other places.

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There has been a local ceasefire in Kisweh for the last few months, that

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allows us to move through neighbourhoods under Government

:10:59.:11:03.

control into opposition areas. Water comes every few days by the bucket

:11:04.:11:07.

in this basement where more than 200 people have taken shelter. This man

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had to move three times to escape the war and has been here for two

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and a half years. Seven children, one room, no money, even plastic

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balls have to be stitched together. TRANSLATION: It is getting worse,

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every day is worse than yesterday. I wish it was last month, that was

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better. Part -- bowl. And people are still leaving. Half

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of the families living here have left for Europe, despairing, never

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mind living a life here. Those left our computer dependent on outside

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aid like this. Syria has long been called the

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humanitarian test of our time, now the test just gives getting harder.

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And no one can see when it will ever end.

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Is tomorrow going to be a school day or not, it is not clear for the

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schoolchildren. Will it be a cold meal or a no meal day? People are

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getting more and more worried about the future, especially because they

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feel they do not have any control over their fates.

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Every year, the crisis in Syria demands more aid money than the 1

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before. The world continues to give, but it is never enough. These

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Doucet, BBC News, Kisweh. -- Lyse Doucet.

:12:47.:12:48.

The international battle against so-called Islamic State has

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increasingly focused on efforts to cut off its financial revenue. Well,

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new analysis - from IHS, a UK-based financial monitor - today

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tries to pinpoint exactly how much the group receives and from where.

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Its report suggests IS gets around $80 million a month in funding.

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With around half of that revenue coming from taxes it

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imposes on areas it controls, as well as the confiscation of assets.

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Oil revenue provides around 43%, with the rest

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from drug trafficking, the smuggling of antiquities, other criminal

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Ludovico Carlino - one of the authors of that report and a senior

:13:16.:13:19.

analyst at IHS - gave me more detail about what makes up the IS revenue:

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It is a big amount of money. We have been following and analysing a lot

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of documents that Islamic State have released, we have been following

:13:31.:13:34.

information on social media and try to figure out exactly how much money

:13:35.:13:39.

the group is making from Syria and Iraq. As you have said, yes, there

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is a division between oil and gas revenues and taxation and

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confiscation and all the activities that Islamic State is conducting any

:13:52.:13:56.

territory that is controlling in Syria and Iraq. So much is made up

:13:57.:14:00.

from oil and gas revenues, can you tell who is buying this stuff?

:14:01.:14:05.

This is actually the big question everyone is asking. We do not know

:14:06.:14:10.

exactly who is binding the oil from Islamic State, but we know for

:14:11.:14:18.

instance that the true middleman, the 1 that Islamic State sells oil

:14:19.:14:22.

to on the black market in Syria and Iraq, we know that the Islamic State

:14:23.:14:29.

smuggle oil through the Turkish border and we know that the Syrian

:14:30.:14:34.

government buys the oil from Islamic State.

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Are you able to assess what sort of Dent is being made with the

:14:41.:14:43.

intensification of air strikes against these Islamic State funding

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sources? Is it making a difference? We have seen information on social

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media that air strikes targeting the oil assets run by Islamic State are

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having an impact. We have seen that Islamic State is cutting off the

:15:03.:15:09.

salaries of its fighters, the price of oil in Iraq, the capital of the

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Islamic State, has increased by 50%. This suggests that in some ways the

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Islamic State is trying to compensate for the loss of revenues

:15:20.:15:21.

from oil and gas. That was Ludovico Carlino speaking

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to us earlier. The far right National Front

:15:29.:15:34.

in France has sent shockwaves through mainstream parties with

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record gains in regional elections, coming first and winning

:15:37.:15:39.

around a third of the vote. The party did particularly well in

:15:40.:15:41.

the north and south-east of France. After winning around one

:15:42.:15:44.

in three French votes in the first round of polling,

:15:45.:15:51.

the Front Nationale was, said its I call on all patriotic voters to

:15:52.:15:53.

turn their backs on France's In the Northern region around

:15:54.:15:58.

Calais, where Ms Le Pen campaigned, In the south-east of the country,

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her 25-year-old niece drew similar Three weeks on from the attacks in

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Paris, these regional elections were a chance for voters to vote on

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national issues like immigration, The Front Nationale's mix

:16:27.:16:29.

of nationalist and pro-welfare policies has proved increasingly

:16:30.:16:34.

popular over the last few years. A win in these elections would give

:16:35.:16:38.

the party its first taste of regional power,

:16:39.:16:42.

important if it is to prove it can But the party has been blocked

:16:43.:16:44.

in previous polls in the second round of voting, where

:16:45.:16:50.

their mainstream rivals have worked This time, the centre-right

:16:51.:16:53.

opposition leader, Nicolas Sarkozy, has ruled out any such move

:16:54.:17:04.

by his representatives, even though the ruling Socialist Party

:17:05.:17:07.

has said it will withdraw its own President Hollande has seen

:17:08.:17:10.

a rare boost in his personal ratings But that has not translated

:17:11.:17:20.

into votes for his Socialist Party. The Front Nationale has been

:17:21.:17:26.

indirectly shaping politics here But with the presidential poll now

:17:27.:17:29.

less than 18 months away, the jockeying around this election

:17:30.:17:34.

is a sign that France's two established parties have now become

:17:35.:17:37.

three political forces, Figures released

:17:38.:17:39.

in the last few hours from Germany show a big jump in the number

:17:40.:17:52.

of people applying for asylum. The Interior Ministry says just over

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206,000 asylum seekers were registered last month -

:17:56.:17:58.

an increase of 25,000 on October. That brings the total number to well

:17:59.:18:00.

over 964,000 since January, with most arriving from conflict

:18:01.:18:03.

zones in the Middle East. Meanwhile, one of Germany's largest

:18:04.:18:08.

companies is offering apprenticeships to young people who

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arrive in the country as refugees. Siemens is one

:18:12.:18:15.

of a growing number of employers who believe asylum seekers are vital to

:18:16.:18:17.

Germany's economic future. But - as

:18:18.:18:19.

our Berlin correspondent Jenny Hill The future of German industry is

:18:20.:18:21.

by no means secure. The population's ageing fast,

:18:22.:18:39.

and soon young, skilled workers will So big business is turning

:18:40.:18:41.

to people like Ali. He doesn't know

:18:42.:18:49.

if Germany will grant him asylum yet, but he has learnt the language

:18:50.:18:52.

and landed an apprenticeship. In ten years' time,

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will I have a future, a family? These are important things that

:18:56.:19:07.

should be available to everyone. We believe refugees have a special

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quality, like the people we already take on from disadvantaged

:19:13.:19:15.

or migrant backgrounds. If you give them a chance,

:19:16.:19:24.

they can fly. They are highly motivated compared

:19:25.:19:27.

to our average applicants. For small business,

:19:28.:19:29.

there is a lot to lose. To take on an asylum seeker involves

:19:30.:19:33.

red tape, expensive training, and there is no guarantee they will

:19:34.:19:36.

be allowed to stay. Family companies like this one are

:19:37.:19:39.

the backbone of the German economy. Together they employ two-thirds

:19:40.:19:43.

of the national workforce. 80% of our members say we

:19:44.:19:46.

can't employ refugees who don't 60% say they must have

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the right qualifications first. Germany has lots of job vacancies,

:19:57.:20:05.

and a lot of refugees - What is missing is a significant

:20:06.:20:13.

political drive to marry the two, and arguably, that is because

:20:14.:20:19.

Germany's politicians still can't They are still bitterly divided

:20:20.:20:21.

on how to manage the vast number of people coming

:20:22.:20:28.

into the country this year. If there is no plan,

:20:29.:20:34.

German business leaders say they The US Department of Justice will

:20:35.:20:36.

investigate the Chicago Police Department following protests over

:20:37.:20:44.

its handling of a case in which a black teenager was shot dead last

:20:45.:20:46.

year by a white police officer. It came on the same day that

:20:47.:20:49.

officials in Chicago announced that another police officer would not be

:20:50.:20:52.

charged over a separate shooting of The US Attorney General Loretta

:20:53.:20:55.

Lynch said the investigation would look into whether the Chicago Police

:20:56.:20:59.

Department had violated the US We will examine a number of issues

:21:00.:21:19.

related to the Chicago police Department's use of force, including

:21:20.:21:23.

its use of deadly force, racial, ethnic and other disparities as

:21:24.:21:26.

force and its accountability mechanisms. Such as it is this a

:21:27.:21:32.

plenary actions and its handling of allegations of misconduct. -- such

:21:33.:21:36.

as its disciplinary actions. Our correspondent in Washington,

:21:37.:21:38.

Rajini Vaidyanathan, It was 2014 in which a young man was

:21:39.:21:49.

shot dead 16 times shot by a police officer. At the time the issue did

:21:50.:21:53.

not raise headlines, no one thought there was anything more than another

:21:54.:21:58.

of these shooting in Chicago. Whistle-blower actually found out

:21:59.:22:01.

that there was video viewed edge of what had happened from the police

:22:02.:22:08.

dashcam. -- video footage. He was concerned about what had happened.

:22:09.:22:12.

Activist campaign for months for this footage to be released and ten

:22:13.:22:15.

digs a goal that footage was released. -- ten days ago. The

:22:16.:22:23.

suspect what a way from the police officers, that is what the video

:22:24.:22:26.

showed, although he was armed with a knife. A number of police officers

:22:27.:22:30.

were at the scene, one officer opened fire and continued to shoot

:22:31.:22:35.

at the suspect when he was lying on the ground and that video did spark

:22:36.:22:39.

a number of protest because people said there were issues with the way

:22:40.:22:42.

that was handled and actually one officer has now been charged with

:22:43.:22:48.

first-degree murder. But it did raise questions about how Chicago's

:22:49.:22:53.

police department handle beaches in the first is because many argued

:22:54.:22:57.

that whistle-blower had not come forward and brought this to light,

:22:58.:23:00.

then people would never have known about what had happened. An officer

:23:01.:23:04.

has been charged, the head of the police in Chicago has been fired and

:23:05.:23:08.

know the Department of Justice will investigate the broader practices

:23:09.:23:14.

around the way that police decide to use deadly force.

:23:15.:23:20.

The suspended president of FIFA, Sepp Blatter,

:23:21.:23:22.

is being investigated by the FBI over his role in a bribery scandal

:23:23.:23:25.

which saw sports officials paid one hundred million dollars.

:23:26.:23:27.

Mr Blatter has denied knowing about the bribes,

:23:28.:23:29.

but the BBC's Panorama programme has seen documents which suggest the he

:23:30.:23:32.

Our sports editor Dan Roan has this report.

:23:33.:23:39.

The net is closing in on Sepp Blatter.

:23:40.:23:41.

The suspended Fifa President is already under investigation

:23:42.:23:43.

by the Swiss authorities, following allegations of corruption,

:23:44.:23:46.

now the BBC can reveal that Blatter is also being investigated

:23:47.:23:50.

by the FBI for his role in a bribes scandal from the 1990s.

:23:51.:23:56.

A sports marketing company called ISL paid a total

:23:57.:23:59.

of $100 million to sports officials, including former Fifa President

:24:00.:24:01.

Joao Havelange and former Fifa Executive Ricardo Teixeira.

:24:02.:24:07.

In return, ISL was repeatedly awarded the contract to market

:24:08.:24:13.

the World Cup to advertisers and broadcasters around the world.

:24:14.:24:15.

Sepp Blatter denied knowing about the bribes and took no action,

:24:16.:24:24.

he even allowed Mr Teixeira to take part in the notorious vote

:24:25.:24:27.

You have to ask yourself, why did he seek to protect these

:24:28.:24:35.

people, and not just protect them, but allow them to continue to play

:24:36.:24:38.

an active role in some of Fifa's most important decisions?

:24:39.:24:42.

Now the Panorama programme has seen a letter obtained by the FBI,

:24:43.:24:49.

which suggests Sepp Blatter knew about the bribe payments all along.

:24:50.:24:52.

The letter, apparently written by Joao Havelange, talks about

:24:53.:24:54.

It says, "I emphasise that Mr Blatter had

:24:55.:24:58.

full knowledge of all activities and was always apprised of them".

:24:59.:25:02.

Blatter declined to comment on the letter.

:25:03.:25:05.

The FBI has already charged 39 Fifa officials with corruption,

:25:06.:25:07.

A crew from the Norwegian Coast Guard were involved in a rare

:25:08.:25:24.

operation to save a humpback whale that was caught entangled by a long

:25:25.:25:27.

The whale was unable to move freely after getting the rope

:25:28.:25:31.

In order not to stress the whale too much, the Coast Guard

:25:32.:25:37.

spent five hours on the job to free the whale from the rope,

:25:38.:25:40.

You can get in touch with me and some of the team via Twitter -

:25:41.:25:53.

But for now, from me Karin Giannone and the rest of the team, goodbye.

:25:54.:26:08.

Hopefully nothing to extreme coming our way over the next few days.

:26:09.:26:14.

Typical weather, that is to see the bobby periods of rain and dry spells

:26:15.:26:18.

in between. As far as the moral is concerned, cooler than today. It was

:26:19.:26:20.

mild in some

:26:21.:26:22.

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