22/01/2016 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today with me, Tim Willcox.


The headlines: Satellite images reveal the first evidence


of a growing US presence in northern Syria.


Images appear to show the Americans expanding a disused air strip


Six American states declare a state of emergency ahead of a giant


snowstorm threatening to paralyse parts of the East Coast.


Also coming up: More than 40 migrants drown as two boats sink,


And the actor Jerry Lewis comic at and the movie about the Holocaust


he's suppressed for more than 40 years.


We start in Syria where Satellite imagery obtained


by the international intelligence consultancy Stratfor indicates


that the United States is extending an airstrip in the north


The imagery - although grainy - clearly shows the extension


of the runway from 700 metres to over 1,300,


The site is located near to the town of Rmeilan.


American airpower has been used to help a Kurdish alliance trying


to repel the forces of the so called Islamic State.


But there are claims the US operation in the area could become


a lot more substantial, involving troops and helicopters.


Such a move is likely to attract strong opposition from Ankara.


special intelligence gathering information by talking to local


people Sim Tack works as a military analyst


for Stratfor and says the satellite The significance of this


is that this would be an important, qualitative step for the US to take


in its support for the SDF, the Syrian Defence Forces,


which is one of the branches of its strategy against


Islamic State in Syria. By supporting this group,


they are guaranteeing some sort of ground force that


can push IS back. They have been supporting YPG


in the past through air drops and that's fairly limited,


so in terms of putting an actual presence on the ground or using that


runway for logistical support of them, that really increases


the ability of the US to push Let's speak to Murad Shishani,


a correspondent with the BBC World if this is the case, it's Russia has


already developed to a bases and now America is Russians have. Even with


military experts, Americans and. But now they're It


will be very important. A fully be beyond Raqqa, that is one of the


major routes for supporting Islamic State, but now it is developing.


That is the plan of the Americans as far as I can see. Why would they


need to extend the runway like this, bearing in mind that those forces


that they are supporting have already recaptured quite a


significant amount of land from Islamic State. Indeed. It seems to


me that they want to boost support and logistics. Many observers say,


they downplay the ideal routes on the ground one way or the other.


But, now, in this case in Syria, for all the region. Who would have built


this? American special forces overseeing it, or would you have


local engineers? It is hard to say who built that. From local sources,


in the last few days they were talking about lots of movement in


the area. They control the large area to expand the runway. We don't


know who is exactly going to be behind it.


Millions of people along the East Coast of the United States


are bracing themselves for a blizzard, which,


forecasters say, could be a "crippling" winter storm.


A state of emergency has been declared across a number of states


ahead of what's being called a "potentially life-threatening"


weather system that could bring more than 50 centimetres


Our North America editor Jon Sopel reports.


A massive blizzard takes aim at 75 million Americans.


The north-eastern seaboard of the United States is bracing


itself for a once in a hundred years event.


And the District of Columbia will be hit hardest.


Washington, DC is bracing itself for a combination of epic snowfall,


A state of emergency is in place and the public transport network


is shutting down and apocalyptic warnings are being given.


I want to be very clear with everybody, we see this


It has life and death implications and all of the residents


of the District of Columbia should treat it that way.


Folks need to understand that this is a life-threatening storm.


If you do not need to be out, we are asking folks to,


by three o'clock today, beware they are going to be


People are taking heed, if the lines in shops are anything


to go by, by yesterday afternoon the supermarket in Washington had


We're getting snow shovels and provisions of all Kent and we're


going everyone was just running around no one was exempt, not even


the passenger from this flight. The are people reading the instructions


to get home as yes. There are still some


people than there were an hour and the federal government the warning


was that everyone should by three o'clock. That is 45 minutes because


they're expecting there could be up to another two period. According to


the weathermen, they're going for 80 the transport system has close for


the entire weekend until Monday to they're going to keep the


roads clear as the emergency services are still need to be able


to get around so they're going to still do that. They have tens of


thousands of more people booked in some parts of Virginia are going


In fact, the mayor said that it could be a matter of life or death,


this kind of storm, a deadly storm in that sense, and most people


should try and stay indoors, not attempt to do anything, quite


frankly, over the next 36-48 hours. Lots of flights cancelled, a couple


of thousand today, probably a couple of thousand flights on the Eastern


Seaboard tomorrow. It is not just Washington and Virginia and


Maryland, it is right down from Arkansas in the South. They have had


five, six inches of snow, Tennessee as well, right up into this area,


the New York metropolitan area. It is going to affect tens of millions


of people, this storm. People are keeping their fingers crossed that


people can stay safe. OK, Gary, go and buy a hat and have a hot


chocolate! Some breaking news. Spain's incumbent Prime Minister


Mariano Rajoy has turned down a petition from the King to form a new


government. He has declined to seek the confidence of Parliament.


Mariano Rajoy toning down that invitation to form a government. --


turning down. Let's turn to Syria. Government


troops have made new gains against insurgents in


the west of the country. Russian aviation is playing


an instrumental role in this campaign and today, Russian forces


took reporters to see a town, which had been out of government


control for more than three years. Our correspondent Steve Rosenberg


sent this report from Salma In the mountains above Latakia,


there has been heavy fighting. The Syrian Army has been on the


offensive. But it is the Russian military that is driving us here in


one of its armoured vehicles. They are taking us to this town, Salma.


The Russians said that the Syrian Army we took this town from rebels a


few days ago. We have been told we can only spend a short time here


because buildings are booby-trapped and security is still a major


concern. You can see the scars of war here


and feel the tension. There were battles raging here only days ago.


It was rushing air power that help the Syrian army take back this town.


Russia has helped us so much, the local governor tells me, by


destroying terrorists, their weapons and their command posts from the


air. Nearly months of air strikes have helped the Syrian army begin


territory from rebels. That doesn't mean that President Assad is winning


this war, but for now, Russia has stopped him from losing it. It's not


only Russian airpower that is bolstering cilia's president. Its


Russian warships, too, in the Mediterranean. We were allowed on


board this Russian destroyer of the Syrian coast. They showed us their


torpedoes and naval cannon and behind the site is, missiles for


destroying submarines, not that so-called Islamic State has any of


those. We face plenty of potential threats above the water, too. Like


terrorists in speedboats, so we need to protect all the Russian warships


that are out there. Russian force from the air and from the sea. It's


a statement that Russia once again sees itself as a global power. To


the West, the message from Moscow was clear. You may not like us, but


you can't ignore as if you want to solve crises like the conflict in


Syria. The US Defence Secretary Ash Carter


has said that soldiers from America's 101st Airborne


division will be sent to Iraq to join the fight against


the so-called Islamic State. Dozens of countries are involved


in a coalition to fight the militants, which has so far


mainly taken the form Washington wants more aerial


support for that campaign. The Nato Secretary General has told


BBC World News that Nato is considering an American request


for the alliance to get directly We can confirm that the


United States has asked for support from NATO, in the form


of support from our AWACS surveillance planes,


and we are now looking We will, as an alliance,


make decision. All NATO allies are part of fighting


Isil, and when we get such a request, we are taking


it very seriously. Greek and Turkish coastguards have


recovered the bodies of more than 40 migrants - including 20 children -


whose boats ran into trouble Dozens of other people


remain unaccounted for. This latest tragedy comes


as the Turkish and German governments held a special meeting


in Berlin to discuss Afterwards a communique was signed


by both countries in which Turkey promised to do more to stem


the migrant flow into the EU. These people were trying to reach


Greece. In the last 24 hours,


more than 40 have died trying This baby was rushed


to intensive care. Europe's leaders barely agreed


on how to help. Today the German Chancellor met


the Turkish Prime TRANSLATION: Deep inside I am


convinced that the problem of illegal migration can only be


solved if we work together in fighting the root causes


of the refugee crisis. Europe's leaders have yet to fully


implement a controversial quota system to relocate 120,000 refugees


and migrants across Europe. They are setting up so-called


hotspots, special reception centres in Italy and Greece


from which migrants can be sent on to other countries


or turned away. And they offered Turkey more


than ?2 billion in return TRANSLATION: I want to tell people


in Germany and the EU that this is not a German crisis,


or a European crisis, We can't just pass this crisis onto


each other. We have to solve it in Syria and in Iraq. Many are


overwhelmed. Germany was the promised land of Europe. Look at it


now. These people told us they have waited here for days and need money,


hosting and help. They said they could manage these people in Germany


and they can't. Across Europe, attitudes are hardening. Germany,


after the sex attacks, is divided. We have to help refugees by all


means at not by opening the gates and allowing millions to come. You


cannot plan when war is in a country, so I think we're doing the


right thing. This was less boss today. They are lucky to survive. --


Lesbos. Politically, the refugee crisis has exposed fault lines


running through Europe as one by one, member states prioritise


national interest over European responsibility. There is now a fear


at the highest level. The German president, the French Prime


Minister, that the crisis as instantly testing Europe, but that


it could destroy it all together. Over the last few weeks,


some countries have tightened Macedonia, in particular,


is now turning back many migrants, as James Reynolds


reports from its border. It seems unlikely that anyone


will be hiding in these bushes right But the police in Macedonia


want to show us just how Here, the border police


with colleagues from Hungary, keep an eye on a small


group in the distance. Macedonia only allows


in refugees from Syria, It deports everyone else,


including these young men trudging But these rejected migrants,


a new underclass, will not give up. At night, we followed


a group from Somalia. They wanted to find a gap


in the border fence. This route is difficult,


one of them told me. It is freezing cold and this group


wants to carry on walking They will try to navigate


by moonlight and they hope to carry on on these paths and to avoid


the Macedonian police and see if they can slip


in the country unnoticed. Macedonia caught them and sent them


back to Greece. These young men, from North Africa,


were also caught. They say the Macedonian


police attacked them. A doctor with the organisation


Medecins Sans Frontieres says that she and her colleagues treat


half a dozen injuries every night. The most things we see are bruises,


serious bruises, very visible, that their stories are correct,


it has been from violence. We send some to hospital


because we suspect fractures. The Macedonian government rejects


accusations of brutality and told the BBC its officers use


all legal means to defend In other news, Tunisia has


declared a nationwide, night-time curfew after four days


of protests over unemployment. The demonstrations have descended


into violence and looting. The Prime Minister has cut short


an overseas trip and has warned that there was no magic


solution to joblessness. The protests were triggered


on Sunday when a young man, who didn't get a Government job,


climbed a transmission tower The US vice president Joe Biden has


criticised Turkey for restricting Speaking in Istanbul,


Mr Biden said intimidating journalists, shutting down social


media and accusing government critics of treason set a poor


example to the region. Mr Biden visited the scene of last


week's terrorist attack, which resulted in the deaths


of ten German tourists. Brazilian health officials say


they fear the mosquito-borne Zika The virus has been linked to a sharp


rise in abnormalities The Zika virus, which affects many


other countries in the Americas, is raising concerns ahead


of the Olympic Games in Rio de The US health authorities have


expanded a travel warning for pregnant women to avoid


more than 20 countries. More than 40 years ago the American


slapstick actor Jerry Lewis made But it was so controversial that


Lewis himself banned the movie For decades, film buffs have


wondered exactly what was in it. Now, still images from the film have


come to light and have been seen But in 1972, he made a film


about the Holocaust, Now for the first time since then,


these stills from it have surfaced. Called The Day The Clown Cried,


it sees Lewis playing a clown It was so controversial,


Lewis changed his mind and has never Most of these images are not


comic at all in my eyes. Which is why the photos are now


being eagerly studied by scholars There were very many mentions,


both in terms of literature and film So I don't think there's anything


wrong necessarily with doing that. But of course, we are in a very


difficult area here. You have to be sensitive


to what you have made. It sounds as though Jerry Lewis,


in his sensitivity, felt it was best that what he had made


was best not let out. For years, the Internet has


speculated about the unseen film. It's very iconic,


isn't it, the outfits? The BBC asked the Jewish comedian


David Schneider to look There's a whole difficult


area of whether he has Once a thing is made,


whether he has the right to not But I think when you look at these


pictures, and you realise just how badly it could go, how


offensive it could be, then he has probably


done the right thing. The BBC did ask Jerry Lewis


for an interview to talk So all we have to go on are these


newly-released stills, As one film critic put it,


this is one of the most talked about movies in history but no one


has actually seen it. Three years ago, Jerry Lewis did


give an insight into his decision I was grateful that I had the power


to contain it all and never let The Day The Clown Cried is not


the only film to inject humour But unless it is released,


we will never know if it was Duncan Kennedy, BBC


News, Southampton. Satellite imagery in Syria appears


to show the extension of a runway from 700 metres to more than 1300,


believed to have been overseen by American special forces.


We are back in about an hour. See you soon.


Hello hello, most of us will have seen rain today but the weather is


good to pick


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