15/12/2015 World News Today


15/12/2015

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This is World News Today with me, James Menendez.

:00:00.:00:00.

All public schools in Los Angeles have been closed for the day

:00:07.:00:10.

That's nearly three quarters of a million pupils

:00:11.:00:15.

police say every school will be searched.

:00:16.:00:20.

The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, says Russia

:00:21.:00:23.

and the United States could make a significant difference

:00:24.:00:25.

to the war in Syria if they work together.

:00:26.:00:30.

The Soyuz space capsule carrying three crew members,

:00:31.:00:32.

and among them British astronaut Tim Peake,

:00:33.:00:35.

has arrived at the International Space Station.

:00:36.:00:39.

And like it or not, these little creatures are crawling on your face.

:00:40.:00:43.

We'll meet the microscopic mites that make the human face their home.

:00:44.:01:05.

The authorities in Los Angeles have closed all public schools

:01:06.:01:07.

All school buses have been ordered to return to their depots,

:01:08.:01:22.

Nearly three quarters of a million pupils,

:01:23.:01:24.

from more than 1,000 schools, are staying at home for the day.

:01:25.:01:28.

The city's mayor says it was the right decision. We continue to hope

:01:29.:01:33.

that this is nothing and our children can be back at school

:01:34.:01:35.

tomorrow. As a parent and as a mayor, I'm here to support this

:01:36.:01:41.

school district as it seeks to help to insure that we can look at each

:01:42.:01:44.

one of these campuses and make sure that they are safe for all of our

:01:45.:01:50.

children. An abundance of caution is something that all of us who have

:01:51.:01:51.

children appreciate. A similar threat was received in

:01:52.:01:54.

New York but the Police Commissioner there says it's being

:01:55.:01:57.

treated as a hoax. We do not see that as a credible

:01:58.:02:04.

terrorist threat, and we are investigating it as a hoax. We

:02:05.:02:09.

believe that the e-mail originated overseas. The language in the e-mail

:02:10.:02:16.

would leave us to believe that this is not a jet had its -- jihadist

:02:17.:02:24.

initiative. The name Allah was not spelt with a capital A. That is on

:02:25.:02:30.

think for that a jihadist would do that.

:02:31.:02:31.

Our correspondent Peter Bowes is in Los Angeles for us.

:02:32.:02:34.

Good to have you with us on the programme. The message from

:02:35.:02:38.

officials in the city is better safe than sorry. That was absolutely

:02:39.:02:44.

their message. An abundance of caution, they said, they made that

:02:45.:02:50.

decision early this morning to close all of the public schools in Los

:02:51.:02:54.

Angeles. That is a situation that is affecting hundreds of thousands of

:02:55.:02:59.

people around the city. The children who were expected to go to their

:03:00.:03:03.

classes today, their parents, who have had to deal with the situation,

:03:04.:03:09.

right now there is an eerie silence and many of those schools that are

:03:10.:03:15.

empty and are being searched. Some police officers have been seen going

:03:16.:03:20.

into those schools. They have better they will surge and leave no stone

:03:21.:03:24.

unturned. In terms of that search, every single school in Los Angeles,

:03:25.:03:28.

before declaring they are safe, and able to resume classes again. That

:03:29.:03:32.

will not be today. Tomorrow at the earliest will be when they can go

:03:33.:03:39.

back into the school. It has caused a tremendous amount of upset for

:03:40.:03:43.

people in the school. It is safe to say that after the attack in San

:03:44.:03:47.

Bernardino, many people here were still feeling nervous. There is an

:03:48.:03:50.

awareness that people need to be cautious at the moment and this

:03:51.:03:55.

incident today, this situation, has only served to worsen those fears

:03:56.:04:00.

for some people in this city of Los Angeles with an interesting, the

:04:01.:04:05.

discrepancy between the response of New York and Los Angeles. San

:04:06.:04:08.

Bernardino must be preying on people's mines where you are. That

:04:09.:04:13.

is what the officials said this morning come when the decision was

:04:14.:04:16.

made, that San Bernardino were certainly in the back of their

:04:17.:04:22.

minds, and other terrorist incidents around the world. The climate that

:04:23.:04:26.

everyone is living in at the moment. The focus now, apart from the search

:04:27.:04:30.

of the schools, appears to be on that decision and the discrepancy

:04:31.:04:35.

with New York, with the former police chief of Los Angeles now in

:04:36.:04:38.

charge of the police in New York City saying that LA had in effect

:04:39.:04:45.

overreacted, and it was determined that it was not a credible threat

:04:46.:04:47.

for New York. Questions are being asked, did it Los Angeles overstep

:04:48.:04:53.

the mark? Were they to cautious? Thank you.

:04:54.:04:56.

Steve Zimmerman is president of the Los Angeles Board of Education.

:04:57.:04:59.

He explained why they decided to shut down all of those schools. The

:05:00.:05:09.

actions we are taking today are swift and they are appropriate,

:05:10.:05:18.

given the situation that we are in, and we ask for the patience and

:05:19.:05:25.

cooperation and support of the city. The education of our kids is

:05:26.:05:28.

incredibly important. The only thing that is more important is their

:05:29.:05:30.

safety. She is a teacher and Vice President

:05:31.:05:31.

of the LA Teacher's Union. Thank you very much for joining us

:05:32.:05:45.

here on BBC programme. What do you think of the decision to close the

:05:46.:05:54.

schools? You support it? Yes. The teachers union here stands with the

:05:55.:05:59.

school district's decision to shut down the schools today. They

:06:00.:06:04.

received a credible threat, and we know that the district has highly

:06:05.:06:09.

trained people to assess these types of threat, and they decided to

:06:10.:06:17.

summarily close the schools. We support that decision because it is

:06:18.:06:25.

a top priority for the safety of our students and for the educators. What

:06:26.:06:31.

do you make of the discrepancy between the weight that New York has

:06:32.:06:35.

responded? They said they had a similar thread but decided it was a

:06:36.:06:39.

hoax. Do you think that the authorities in Los Angeles have

:06:40.:06:45.

overreacted? We support our School district. I cannot comment on what

:06:46.:06:50.

happens in New York. We are from LA, how school board president said this

:06:51.:06:58.

morning, and our mayor also stated this morning. We live in California,

:06:59.:07:06.

we are closest to San Bernardino. We know that safety is a primary thing

:07:07.:07:15.

for parents and students and educators. Is it fair to say that

:07:16.:07:21.

people in California are particularly nervous, given what

:07:22.:07:27.

happened in San Bernardino? I don't know if people are particularly

:07:28.:07:30.

nervous, I think we are living in a scary times all around the world,

:07:31.:07:36.

and we hope for peace everywhere. And so educators will be providing

:07:37.:07:40.

that support in the coming days at school, as we're heading off to

:07:41.:07:45.

holiday vacation. Thank you for being with us.

:07:46.:07:51.

Earlier, Rob Hayes, a parent to two small children,

:07:52.:07:53.

told us what happened this morning in LA.

:07:54.:07:57.

I took my kids to school this morning, just like I do on any

:07:58.:08:03.

regular day. When we got there, no one was there except for a few

:08:04.:08:07.

parents. There was a rumour that there had been a threat and then I

:08:08.:08:14.

saw it on Twitter. When I saw that, I decided it was serious. Do you dig

:08:15.:08:18.

it was the right decision? This was a view hours ago -- a few hours ago.

:08:19.:08:26.

Was it the right decision? Just last week, we had our own terrorist

:08:27.:08:31.

attack like you guys had in Europe, in Paris. We had one here as well.

:08:32.:08:36.

It must be taken seriously every time. You cannot just overlook that.

:08:37.:08:40.

Tell us more about that. You're talking about what happened in San

:08:41.:08:45.

Bernardino. Our people feeling very worried, very tense at the moment?

:08:46.:08:51.

You have to treat these cases seriously in any situation, because

:08:52.:08:56.

we don't we have these types of things happening over here in the

:08:57.:09:00.

United States will stop when they do happen, people are definitely on

:09:01.:09:05.

edge. I was in the Marine Corps, I'm a veteran, so I was in Iraq. I know

:09:06.:09:11.

it from both sides of the situation. That was Rob Hayes. His two children

:09:12.:09:17.

are staying at home today in Los Angeles.

:09:18.:09:17.

The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, has said that

:09:18.:09:20.

if the United States and Russia worked together,

:09:21.:09:22.

they could make a significant difference to the Syrian conflict.

:09:23.:09:24.

Mr Kerry is in Moscow, where he's been meeting

:09:25.:09:26.

President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Foreign Minister.

:09:27.:09:28.

The two sides agree on the need to tackle so-called Islamic State,

:09:29.:09:31.

the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, would have

:09:32.:09:36.

and which opposition groups should be included in peace talks.

:09:37.:09:45.

With me is the BBC Russia Service editor, Artyom Liss.

:09:46.:09:50.

Good to have you with us in the studio. How much common ground is

:09:51.:09:56.

there between Russia and the US? Or are they very far apart which mark

:09:57.:10:00.

what is important if they have started talking. They making

:10:01.:10:08.

allsorts of noises suggesting that a relationship is better than it was a

:10:09.:10:11.

view months ago. We don't know what common ground there is. We will find

:10:12.:10:16.

that when they finish their talks. I will be surprised if they come up

:10:17.:10:18.

with something specific tonight. The interesting thing is that both sides

:10:19.:10:28.

have been making positive remarks. We have not heard that for some

:10:29.:10:31.

time. Tell us about Russia's support for the free Syrian army, fighting

:10:32.:10:37.

President Assad's troops. A confusing picture emerging, with

:10:38.:10:40.

lots of different comments from very senior officials in Moscow. Is

:10:41.:10:47.

Russia's 's board giving support to them or not? That is a good

:10:48.:10:51.

question. I don't know. I don't think anyone can tell you with any

:10:52.:10:53.

degree of certainty. President Putin said that Russia was supporting the

:10:54.:10:58.

FSA, providing them with military help. Another official denied it. On

:10:59.:11:06.

Tuesday morning, a senior Russian official said they are supporting

:11:07.:11:11.

the FSA will stop them when one of my colleagues in Moscow tried to

:11:12.:11:18.

push this point about it, he is said he had nothing to say that it. It is

:11:19.:11:23.

very confused. They don't pick Moscow has decided what it is that

:11:24.:11:27.

they want the outside to hear. It is worth pointing out that the Free

:11:28.:11:32.

Syrian Army are saying that they have not received any help from

:11:33.:11:35.

Moscow. It would be extraordinary if they were because the suction has

:11:36.:11:38.

been that part of Russia's mission in Syria is to support President

:11:39.:11:42.

Assad and the FSA desperate the want to see President Assad go. Indeed,

:11:43.:11:47.

and Russia has been saying for some time now that the only thing they

:11:48.:11:54.

are interested in is the fight with the so-called Islamic State. You can

:11:55.:11:56.

see how potentially this could bring them into the same group as the Free

:11:57.:11:59.

Syrian Army and the other opposition groups. But where does President

:12:00.:12:10.

Assad's figure go in this? This is something they could be discussing

:12:11.:12:15.

as we speak. We will see if clarity emerges. Thank you.

:12:16.:12:19.

Of course, the United States and Russia are not

:12:20.:12:21.

the only countries grappling with how they should respond

:12:22.:12:24.

to Syria's civil war and the threat from Islamic extremism.

:12:25.:12:26.

Saudi Arabia has just announced a military alliance

:12:27.:12:28.

of nearly three dozen Muslim nations in order to tackle terrorism.

:12:29.:12:31.

The Saudi Foreign Minister says the move is unprecedented.

:12:32.:12:35.

As part of this effort, there will be a joint operation

:12:36.:12:40.

set up in Riyadh that would coordinate the efforts onto tracks.

:12:41.:12:52.

One track is a security and military track that

:12:53.:12:56.

involves exchange of information, it involves the training,

:12:57.:12:58.

and providing the forces where necessary.

:12:59.:13:00.

The second track involves combating the ideology.

:13:01.:13:02.

How do you develop effective messaging,

:13:03.:13:03.

how do you counter the messages of violent extremists?

:13:04.:13:13.

Part of a Russian cruise missile hit a block of flats

:13:14.:13:16.

in the Russian Arctic during a test that went wrong,

:13:17.:13:18.

but nobody was hurt, the media reports.

:13:19.:13:21.

A fire broke out in the three-storey block in the village of Nyenoksa

:13:22.:13:25.

but residents were evacuated in time.

:13:26.:13:29.

The village is near a Russian naval base at Severodvinsk,

:13:30.:13:32.

The missile was fired from a defence ministry test range.

:13:33.:13:39.

The British astronaut Tim Peake has made history this evening -

:13:40.:13:42.

a short time ago, the 43 year-old former army pilot arrived

:13:43.:13:44.

He's the first publicly-funded British astronaut.

:13:45.:13:51.

The Soyuz space capsule carrying him and two other astronauts

:13:52.:13:54.

arrived at the space station half an hour ago

:13:55.:13:57.

after more than six hours of flight.

:13:58.:14:06.

Our science correspondent who is in Kazakhstan has this report.

:14:07.:14:10.

The momentous day for tempi. Tim and his fellow crew mates

:14:11.:14:18.

are at the cosmodrome in Baikonur, On the other side of

:14:19.:14:30.

the glass, his family. This will be the last

:14:31.:14:33.

time they will see him, He is waving and smiling

:14:34.:14:36.

and giving the thumbs up. Next stage to go on the the bus

:14:37.:14:44.

to go to launch pad. With him, on his left,

:14:45.:14:53.

is his commander, cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and

:14:54.:14:54.

next to him, is Nasa's Tim Kopra. So how does Rebecca feel

:14:55.:15:00.

a few hours before the launch? I am really happy, you know,

:15:01.:15:04.

it has been a long journey We are really excited to get

:15:05.:15:07.

to this stage in the game. He looks so ready

:15:08.:15:11.

for it, it is great. A final wave goodbye,

:15:12.:15:15.

before Tim and the rest of the crew It stands on the same launch pad

:15:16.:15:20.

from which Yuri Gagarin set off to become the first man in space,

:15:21.:15:25.

more than 50 years ago. Lift off of Tim Kopra,

:15:26.:15:30.

Yuri Malenchenko and Timothy Peake on their way to the

:15:31.:15:53.

International Space Station. So far, getting good

:15:54.:16:04.

first stage performance, the Soyuz delivering

:16:05.:16:08.

930,000 pounds of thrust First stage of the Soyuz,

:16:09.:16:10.

68 feet in length, 24 feet in diameter, it will be burning

:16:11.:16:15.

liquid fuel for the first two minutes and six

:16:16.:16:18.

seconds of the flight. On the ground, jubilation

:16:19.:16:25.

from his friends, and family. In the capsule, Tim tells

:16:26.:16:29.

us he is feeling fine. The danger from the

:16:30.:16:46.

launch is now over. And coming into view,

:16:47.:16:55.

the Soyuz capsule, a scene from the International

:16:56.:16:58.

Space Station. Tim will have to wait

:16:59.:17:02.

until the hatch is opened Let's cross life to Kazakhstan and

:17:03.:17:25.

another of our correspondence. That process of opening the hatch, has it

:17:26.:17:31.

happened? Is it about the happen? It is a work in progress at the moment.

:17:32.:17:34.

In the next five minutes or so, we are expecting what is known as the

:17:35.:17:41.

ingress to begin. That is the word they use to discard the moment they

:17:42.:17:44.

pass from the Capshaw into the International Space Station. -- from

:17:45.:17:55.

the Soyuz capsule. It is about eight hours since they blasted off from

:17:56.:17:57.

here, from the launch pad in Kazakhstan. A nail-biting ride for

:17:58.:18:05.

anyone else perhaps but these astronauts are to it. They tense

:18:06.:18:09.

moment as we waited here and watched on the screens to watch the docking

:18:10.:18:16.

itself. The automatic systems apparently failed, and the commander

:18:17.:18:22.

then took over the controls and managed to dock perfectly safely in

:18:23.:18:26.

manual. Apparently that is what they train for. He managed to do it

:18:27.:18:31.

perfectly well. As I say, there was a little frisson here in the hall

:18:32.:18:36.

where I am now, where a lot of space officials are gathered from various

:18:37.:18:39.

countries. Also whether relatives of the group have come. They are here

:18:40.:18:43.

now because not only were they watching the docking but they are

:18:44.:18:47.

here because after the astronauts climb aboard the ISS, they will get

:18:48.:18:51.

a chance to speak to them from space. We will find out what that

:18:52.:18:53.

right was like. Many thanks. A memorial service

:18:54.:19:00.

has taken place in Australia one year after the armed siege

:19:01.:19:02.

at a Sydney cafe in which 18 people

:19:03.:19:05.

were taken hostage. Two people, as well as the gunman,

:19:06.:19:07.

Man Haron Monis, were killed in the police raid

:19:08.:19:10.

that ended the standoff. One year on,

:19:11.:19:11.

there is debate in Australia about whether the attack

:19:12.:19:14.

was an act of terror. From Sydney, here's our

:19:15.:19:16.

correspondent Jon Donnison. Sydney had never seen anything like

:19:17.:19:27.

it. After a 16 hour siege, two hostages dead in a massive police

:19:28.:19:32.

operation. Many more traumatised by a lone gunmen. Unlike the larger

:19:33.:19:39.

attacks in Paris this year, this was not an Islamic state operation. The

:19:40.:19:45.

man who perpetrated the siege acted completely on his own. We know that.

:19:46.:19:50.

However, he was influenced and inspired if you like by the success

:19:51.:19:55.

of the so-called Islamic State. That particular event was in no weight

:19:56.:20:01.

supported by the so-called Islamic State back in the middle East. The

:20:02.:20:07.

gunmen, who was killed in the raid, was well-known to police, with a

:20:08.:20:12.

history of criminal and unstable behaviour. The inquest into exactly

:20:13.:20:20.

what motivated him is still ongoing. But the Government believe it was a

:20:21.:20:25.

terrorist attack. It has led them to step up counter-terrorism action. To

:20:26.:20:29.

wrap this year, there have been a series of raids on suspected Islamic

:20:30.:20:35.

extremists. And Australia continues to be concerned about its citizens

:20:36.:20:40.

fighting in Syria and Iraq alongside jihadi groups. But some in the

:20:41.:20:48.

country's mainstream Muslim community feel they are being

:20:49.:20:53.

unfairly targeted, that the garment used the Sydney siege as

:20:54.:20:58.

justification to do so. They used it. They say we're under attack. We

:20:59.:21:06.

are not under attack. They are us! It is not in the Muslim character.

:21:07.:21:11.

He is a total madman. He is a bad guy, that is why he has done this.

:21:12.:21:15.

He is not a Muslim. Tonight at the site of the siege, Sydney civilians

:21:16.:21:24.

gathered to remember the two hostages killed.

:21:25.:21:29.

Like many countries, Australia does face a problem with a tiny number of

:21:30.:21:35.

Islamic extremists, but one year after the Sydney siege, we now know

:21:36.:21:42.

that it was not what people did at the time, it was not a coordinated

:21:43.:21:46.

attack by a group such as Islamic State. It was nevertheless hugely

:21:47.:21:50.

traumatic for those directly involved, and a profound shock for

:21:51.:21:52.

both the city and the country. It's probably the biggest

:21:53.:22:04.

Hollywood premiere of all time - the first public showing

:22:05.:22:06.

of the new Star Wars sequel, Fans have been out in force

:22:07.:22:09.

at the TCL Chinese Theatre one of three cinemas

:22:10.:22:12.

hosting the premiere. The boulevard itself

:22:13.:22:15.

has been closed all this week. Our correspondent,

:22:16.:22:17.

Lizo Mzimba, is there. John Boyega, one of the film's

:22:18.:22:22.

young British leads, who reprises his role

:22:23.:22:27.

as Luke Skywalker. The film's other new lead,

:22:28.:22:32.

Daisy Ridley, chats with George Lucas,

:22:33.:22:35.

the writer/director who created it

:22:36.:22:37.

all back in 1977. The meeting of the generations

:22:38.:22:42.

a key selling point for this film, the first in more than 30 years

:22:43.:22:46.

to feature the main actors What is it like being

:22:47.:22:48.

part of that again? Look, I've always been grateful

:22:49.:22:58.

for the success I don't think I can explain,

:22:59.:23:00.

I'm not going to take on the task and explain why they are,

:23:01.:23:10.

but this is a good movie Is this the day

:23:11.:23:15.

you have been waiting for, No, because then I think I would've

:23:16.:23:20.

wished the time away before. It's very exciting it is here now,

:23:21.:23:26.

but life is cool and the in-between bits are cool too, so it's nice

:23:27.:23:30.

to enjoy things in waves Disney paid George Lucas

:23:31.:23:34.

more than $4 billion for the rights to the series

:23:35.:23:45.

and other film properties. Thanks to one of the biggest deals

:23:46.:23:48.

in Hollywood history, This movie is the first stage

:23:49.:23:51.

of trying to recoup that investment by convincing

:23:52.:23:59.

millions of fans to see the film, buy the merchandise and then,

:24:00.:24:02.

crucially, to keep repeating that process as each new Star Wars film

:24:03.:24:04.

is released annually until 2019 Now this is the story that has had

:24:05.:24:10.

the whole newsroom talking today. Recent research has revealed that

:24:11.:24:20.

you, and me, and everyone around us, almost certainly have

:24:21.:24:24.

animals living on our face. The naked eye can't see them,

:24:25.:24:27.

but they are there. They are eight-legged,

:24:28.:24:31.

microscopic mites. They spend their entire lives

:24:32.:24:34.

on our faces, where they eat,

:24:35.:24:36.

mate and finally die. Before you start buying

:24:37.:24:39.

extra-strong face-wash, you should know that they probably

:24:40.:24:41.

aren't a serious problem. It's thought we all have hundreds

:24:42.:24:44.

of them, and possibly thousands. The type of mite you have

:24:45.:24:51.

is probably passed down through your family

:24:52.:24:53.

rather than person to person. Others think they're eating

:24:54.:24:56.

the oil from the sebaceous gland. well, I think I'd better leave that

:24:57.:25:02.

to your imagination. All public schools in the Los

:25:03.:25:18.

Angeles area have been closed for the day because of a security

:25:19.:25:24.

threat. More than 1000 schools, and nearly 700,000 pupils are affected.

:25:25.:25:27.

The message the authorities were acting out of an abundance of

:25:28.:25:31.

caution. Police in New York received a similar threat but said it was not

:25:32.:25:34.

credible. And the US Secretary of State, John

:25:35.:25:40.

Kerry, has met the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, to

:25:41.:25:44.

discuss how to enter the covered in Syria. He said that between them, US

:25:45.:25:50.

and Russia had a chance to make a significant difference.

:25:51.:25:51.

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

:25:52.:26:02.

Exceptionally mild air will be pushing its way

:26:03.:26:05.

across the United Kingdom over the next couple of days.

:26:06.:26:08.

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