05/01/2016 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today with me Philippa Thomas.


The American President takes on the nation's powerful gun lobby.


In the past hour, an emotional Barack Obama unveils new gun control


measures and asks Americans to support them.


Every time I think about those kids, it gets me


Alarm in Germany at reports of gangs sexually assaulting around 90 women


in several cities on New Year's Eve.


A bionic eye is offering hope that vision can be


Each year, more than 30,000 American lives are cut short by guns -


Those statistics come from President Obama,


who has demanded that Congress "stand up" to America's


Here's what Mr Obama is proposing to introduce by executive order.


Mr Obama said he would close a loophole where background checks


were not carried out on people buying guns over the internet


The President said background checks would be expanded and linked


to mental health and criminal records.


And he announced that $500 million would be made available to provide


better access to mental health care.


Our unalienable right to life and liberty and the pursuit


And from first graders in Newtown. at Columbine.


And from every family who never imagined


that their loved one would be taken from our lives by a bullet


Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad.


And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago


The Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives,


Paul Ryan, says the President's actions will be challenged


Mr Ryan said Mr Obama has never respected the right to safe


and legal gun ownership that the country has valued


Our North America Editor was at the news conference. If you cast your


mind back to when you interviewed the president six months ago he said


his inability to do anything on gun control was the greatest frustration


of his presidency. We saw today, frustration, anger, impatience. As


you rightly point out, emotion as well. He visibly teared up and had


to wipe tears away as he remembered the children who lost their lives.


But is not going to affect the people who arranged against him in


this debate? -- is that? Almost certainly not. Opponents say it is


unworkable what he is suggesting. On philosophical grounds they say the


president is meddling with the second Amendment right to bear arms.


Even though if you can be called later date at the proposals, they


are comparatively modest. Well, it is no surprise that the NRA is


fiercely opposed. A statement from Chris Cox,


the executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative


Action which says: They say the proposals are ripe for


abuse from the Government and the American people don't need any more


condescending lectures... Sarah Trumble is Senior Policy


Counsel at Third Way, a US think tank which supports


tighter gun controls, Sarah, I know you are sitting in the


East room watching President Obama delivered that statement. It is a


cause that is intellectually and emotionally very dear to him.


Absolutely. It was an incredibly emotional experience. Also


infuriating that we still need to be dropping about this in 2016. And yet


as we have just heard from the NRA, it says it speaks for many thousands


of Americans who hold gun rights dear. They see it as part of their


very American nature. There is nothing inherently opposed to gun


rights in any of these executive actions today. In fact the president


was quite clear that he supports the second Amendment. All that these


laws do and all these executive actions will do is ensure that


people are following the laws we already have. Making sure that guns


stay out of the wrong hands. Who is forming in behind President Obama in


terms of putting money into this fight because the NRA as we know has


a huge amount of it? The NRA has always been rich and they are loud


and powerful. But like the president said today, they may Congress but


they don't own the American people. In recent years we see the American


public rising up, a big groundswell in support of people want stronger


gun laws led by people like Gabby differs who was shot in the head and


almost killed right by Mike Bloomberg, the former mayor of New


York City who has put in millions of dollars to this fight. Isn't this a


particularly different year in which they have this fight, because we are


limbering up for the present campaign, if anything, politics gets


more partisan, not less? That is true but the president waited as


long as he could for Congress to act and they failed to do so. The


American public are demanding action and of Congress won't do it, the


president will. Paul Ryan the Speaker of the president of the


House of Representatives has already said there will be legal action and


we are hearing that from primarily republican sources, are you


convinced this battle can be one? Yes. The president is a


constitutional lawyer. He specialises in this. The smartest


lawyers in the country work for him and I am confident that these are


constitutional. He did not write new legislation, he is only enforcing


laws that exist. Are you confident that enough Americans care enough


about this when you have an election, generally issues like the


economy come to the fore, gun control is often not pushed by the


candidates. We used to worry that after a mass shooting there would be


lots of public sympathy and after a few weeks attention would win, but


in 2015 we had on average more than one mass shooting every day, there


is no time for attention to win and attention is -- Americans are


scared. Thank you for speaking with us.


The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has voiced outrage


over the sexual assaults and thefts that male gangs inflicted on women


This evening a crowd of around 150 most female protesters gathered


by the cathedral in Cologne to denounce the assaults.


Police suspect that organised groups of young drunk men, perhaps as many


as 1000 carried out the attacks. They said the men appeared to be of


Arab or North African appearance. Damian McGuinness is in Berlin and I


asked him about the reaction. It was chaotic. Thousands of people in


front of the cathedral in Cologne. Usually New Year's Eve is chaotic


anyway with fireworks being set off in all directions, but this was


particularly disturbing with the sexual assaults. What has really got


Germany talking is the comment by police officers that the men


appeared to be, the attackers appeared to be of north African or


Arabic appearance. There is no evidence that the perpetrators were


actually migrants or refugees or seekers themselves, but anti-migrant


far right groups have been saying that this proves that Germany has


been taking in too many migrants and refugees because of course, in 2015,


more than a million refugees and asylum seekers and migrants came to


Germany just in 2015 alone. So this event has sparked outrage. The


assaults on women, but also a lot of discussion amongst people in Cologne


themselves. The problem is of course where did 1000 people suddenly come


from. They said there was North Africans who were not asylum seekers


but where did they come from all of its open in such a large amount, you


do ask yourself that. TRANSLATION: I think you should just be prepared.


You should be careful and always wait for the help of the police.


TRANSLATION: I would advise young people not to get so drunk that you


don't know what is going on, and to perhaps not be alone, and to call


for help as quickly as possible. And especially at large events, there


are always enough people around who hopefully are not drunk. It is worse


in areas where there is nobody and where you can't get help. The next


challenge that Germany faces is the Carnival season at the beginning of


February and particularly in Cologne, where the whole city shuts


down for street parties. Officials have to find out what happened on


New Year's Eve and make sure it doesn't happen again.


The Turkish authorities say the bodies of at least 34 migrants


who were trying to reach Greece have now been discovered on beaches


The deaths occurred after yet another boat carrying migrants


capsized en route to the Greek island of Lesbos.


It isn't clear how many boats have sunk in rough seas, but the Turkish


authorities said some of the bodies had been washed up on a beach


while others were recovered from the water.


Several children were found among the dead, fully clothed and wearing


Now a look at some of the day's other news.


American defence officials say at least one member of the US


Special Forces has been killed during operations against Taliban


The officials said two other US servicemen were wounded in fighting


near the town of Marjah in Helmand Province.


Turkish authorities have freed an Iraqi translator four months


after he was detained in the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir,


The translator, Mohammed Rasool, still faces trial, while the two


journalists were freed in September and deported.


All three had been accused of helping militant groups.


Here in Britain, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, has confirmed that


government ministers will be able to campaign for either side


in a referendum on whether Britain should remain in the European Union.


Mr Cameron has made clear he will argue for the UK's continued


membership if he secures reforms from Brussels.


Now, the latest video from the so-called Islamic State group.


In the footage, five men are murdered -


The relative of one of the victims has been speaking to the BBC


about the killings - and what it's done to the families.


He's been talking to our world affairs correspondent,


The so-called Islamic State captured these five men. It forced them to


confess to espionage. Then it killed them. The men, one of them was 25, a


31-year-old, an 18-year-old, a 30-year-old, and a 40-year-old. At a


secret location, in Turkey, we met one of them. He is a democracy


activist. He says his brother, in Isis controlled Syria, was just a


normal person. My brother is normal, just like all the people inside my


city. Has shown he fixed the air conditioning, electric, things in


the homes, he lived a normal life. He hasn't slept since he learned of


his brother's death. How do you understand what happened? Until now,


I don't really accept the reality, of it. Up until now, I didn't


accept, just this moment, it came to me, my brother is... Sorry.


I was saying, my brother was still alive, but after that, back to


reality, Isis executed him and he is innocent. At astonishing risk,


activists inside wrecker smuggle out footage of life inside the Isis


ruled city. Where conmen are in charge and it is safest simply to


keep quiet. -- gunmen. What is it life now for people in Riker? It is


held. -- hell. Isis arrest people without any charge just like that.


The five men who were forced to make confessions had no chance to give


their defence and tell their own stories. They paid with their lives.


The masked front man in that IS video is thought to be


The man suspected of being in the video is Siddhartha Dhar,


who disappeared after being granted bail at a UK court


Now the British Home Office is facing serious questions over how


an extremist suspect could flee the country while


Commemorations have been taking place in France in memory of the 17


people who died in Islamist attacks last January. President Hollande


unveiled a plaque outside the offices of Charlie Hebdo where most


of the victims were shot dead. He also took place in ceremonies at a


site where policemen were killed and a kosher supermarket where officers


died. The row between Iran


and Saudi Arabia over the Gulf kingdom's execution of dissident


Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr and the subsequent attack


on Saudi Arabia's embassy in Tehran continues to expose fault


lines in the region. Bahrain has now suspended


flights to and from Iran, Kuwait has recalled its ambassador


from Tehran - and Gulf foreign ministers are preparing to meet


in Riyadh on Saturday to take The BBC Arabic security


correspondent Murad Shishani says tension between Riyadh


and Tehran is nothing new. This is the iceberg of the sectarian


tensions ongoing for a decade now, coming from the Middle East.


Secondly, this is politicised, after a proxy war was ongoing in Syria and


Iraq. Between both parties, supporting militant groups on the


ground, either diplomatically lobbying against each other in


various places, now coming to a clear political tension. Whether it


will escalate or not, we don't know yet, all indications both parties


don't want to go further than this. However they want to play the same


rule by supporting their own tools in different lists. That is the


situation we can see, from the Middle East. Of course, that has


impact on real lives on the ground outside diplomatic matters. If you


look at the Yemen or Syria, you need reconciliation. Yes, you need them,


but Yemen and Syria specifically which had had some talks, supposedly


to be held soon, this will be definitely affecting that. All


escalations in my opinion will go to these places, where there will be no


confrontation between both parties but they will be playing supporting


the proxies in different places. We have just had a wire comes through


from Reuters agency saying the Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister says recent


tensions won't affect political negotiations on Syria, I suppose the


answer to that is, you hope they won't. Exactly, you can hope that,


but it's seems if both parties have big influence in Syria. They have


their own allies. Both are influential on the ground, let alone


jihadist, who are striking chords on their own, but there are other


influential guys, the jihadis local groups, they are not adopting the


global ideologies. There are also Shia militants who are supported in


Iraq and Syria and these are I think the main factors which will be


effective at keeping the conflict ongoing. In Australia, fire


destroyed a whole house after a hover board level to charge set the


place alight. The blaze ripped through the entire property but the


family escaped unharmed. This was in Melbourne. It was a gift for


Christmas, the hover board, it was plugged into the wall in the


daughter's bedroom and it's just ignited. You can see the damage it


caused to the house, the whole house has had to be demolished. Apparently


you can get hover boards in Australia but as Doctor as 150 US


dollars, as in many countries, they have been become in vogue and this


went badly wrong. In the US, a three-year-old girl who was strapped


into a car when it was stolen was found unharmed. A frantic search was


launched after a thief drove off leaving her mother just feet away


filling up a water jug. The car was found abandoned without the child


and it wasn't until four hours later that she was discovered shivering


and alone at 1am in a car park. A police officer's body camera video


shows him chopping up this patrol car and scooping her up. This


happened in Albuquerque in New Mexico. Thank goodness for that


officer. A new implant or "bionic eye" has


helped a blind woman It's hoped it could eventually help


restore the sight of thousands A computer chip - costing around


$75,000 - is implanted over the retina and sends light signals


to the brain. If trials are positive,


surgeons hope it could be available on the National Health Service


in as little as two years. Our medical correspondent


Fergus Walsh has the story. Since the age of five, Rhian Lewis


has been gradually losing her sight as a result of a rare condition,


retinitis pigmentosa. It is a bit like if someone has put the dimmer


switch off ever so gradually. It has been maybe 80 years since I had any


idea what my children looked like. I certainly don't know how I have


aged. But now surgeons at Oxford I Hospital are to fit a German-made


implant in a bid to return -- restore some of her vision. The tiny


chip is fitted over the retina's like processing cells which have


stopped working. Just three by three millimetres. The implant has 1600


light-sensitive pixels, when like it's the implant it sends electronic


signals to the optic nerve and onto the brain, which processes them. She


has to learn how to interpret those messages. This control box allows


her to adjust the contrast and frequency of the pixelated images.


But can she now tell the time? Three.


Oh, it is. Oh, my God! Well done. I got it. It is very nice to compare


that to TV pictures. An outline of things moving and coming and going.


Compared to what we see, we consider that to be low-level vision. Someone


who is completely blind, the ability is actually life changing. She still


needs help getting around, but she says having the implant is pure joy.


You're not completely helpless, you can actually find the edge of a


wall. I really can't put it into words. I just felt elated. Switch


the machine on. It comes on completely instantly. I will move my


head around there, the flashing his starting. Mac in 2012I met Robin


Miller, one of the first patients to receive an earlier version of the


implant. Those devices lasted up to 18 months. It is hoped, this new


implant, could stay in place for up to five years.


Fifa's ethics committee has recommended imposing a nine-year ban


on the governing body's suspended secretary general,


Mr Valcke was originally suspended for 90 days,


but that has now been extended by a further 45 days.


A statement from the committee also recommended that Mr Valcke serve


a nine-year ban and pay a fine of $67,000 for alleged "misuse


of expenses and other infringements of FIFA's rules and regulations."


Former West Indies captain Chris Gayle has been fined $7,000


by the Australian team he represents for flirting inappropriately


with a female journalist during a live television interview.


Gayle then went on to tell the journalist not to "blush."The


cricketer has since apologised and said he'd been joking.


There wasn't anything meant to be disrespectful or offending to her.


She felt that way, then I am really sorry for that. There wasn't any


harm meant in that particular way, to harm any particular person like


that. It was a simple joke. The game was going on. Entertainment, you


know, things get out of proportion. These things happen. There wasn't


any harm done, and I will believe it at that and I am sorry for that, and


I will just have to move on. The female commentator journalist


interviewing Chris Gayle was Mel Here's what she had to say


about the incident. It was more that it was just


unexpected. Of course you don't expect to get that sort of answer. A


little bit disappointing, because that just doesn't happen normally. I


don't want to be the subject of such conversations, I like just going


about their business and doing my job. It is a good thing that people


are talking. We always want equality and I have always felt in my career,


nothing but respect. He apologised and I accept that and we move on.


You don't even have to be a fan of cricket to appreciate the amazing


feat a 15-year-old Indian schoolboy has achieved.


He's become the first batsman in the game's history to complete


Our South Asia Correspondent Justin Rowlatt reports.


15-year-old Pranav Dhanawade didn't expect to break any records today.


He says he just played what he calls his natural game, attacking from the


word go, and attack he did. He smashed 59 sixs, 127 fours. 6.5


hours later, he had run up a total of ten centuries. 1009 and runs not


out, and all in a single innings. Son of an auto rickshaw driver was


powered into cricketing history, shattering the previous record of


628 runs that had stood for 116 years. To play a big innings. After


that, I scored 100, 200, 300, I want to play for India. Mumbai 's school


cricket is seriously competitive, unlike my game. It has produced


legendary cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, widely reckoned to have


been deep test batsmen of all time. Today he tweeted his congratulations


to the young player, urging him to work hard and scale even greater


peaks. All right, come on, lads, let's try again. He is certainly a


hero to these kids, but perhaps it is the rival team that needs to do


the hard work. They were all out for a paltry 31 runs.


I'm Philippa Thomas. Thank you for being with us here on BBC World News


Today. Good evening. Still some heavy rain about this evening


particularly across the north-east of England. An Amber warning in


force until midnight. Tomorrow morning, dense fog could be the


hazard across parts of England and Wales. It could form anywhere but


particularly in the


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