04/02/2016 World News Today


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I'm Karin Giannone, this is BBC World News.


Help for Syria's refugees that couldn't come soon enough.


Turkey says tens of thousands more refugees from war-torn Syria


are heading for its border as they try to escape fighting


Here in London, world leaders pledge more than ten billion dollars


to help civilians displaced by Syria's civil war.


Our message to the people of Syria and the region is clear.


We will stand with you and we will support you for as long as it takes.


He's been holed up Ecuador's London embassy for more than three years.


Now, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange receives the backing


He's one of the world's most famous "friends",


and now he's taking the wheel on the BBC's Top Gear show.


We start with the conflict in Syria and its impact on civilians.


International donors meeting in London have pledged more


than ten billion dollars to help people displaced by the fighting.


Neighbouring countries are bearing the immediate brunt


Turkey says tens-of-thousands of refugees are heading


for its border as they try to escape fighting north of the Syrian


Over the past few days intense Russian air raids have helped


the Syrian army make advances in the area.


The Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu has bitterly


criticised Moscow's involvement, saying that both the Russians


and the Syrian government were guilty of war crimes.


On Wednesday, efforts in Geneva to negotiate an end to the conflict


In a moment we'll have more on the refugee crisis.


But, first, the BBC's Diplomatic Correspondent Bridget Kendall


Camps in Jordan stretching into the distance.


Across the region, Syrian refugees may soon number over


four and a half million, with 13 and a half million more displaced


So, today, in London, there was a feeling this pledging


Syria's neighbours say they are near breaking point.


Soon, Lebanon will no longer be able to contain an eruption that


could involve further migration to distant shores,


decivilisation and devolved security threats.


Looking into the eyes of my people and seeing the hardship and distress


they carry, I must tell you we have reached our limits.


Last year, the world only gave the United Nations half


So, in the end, food rations to refugees had to be cut.


One reason so many decided to move on to Europe.


Which means today in London there is new self-interest.


Give aid to ease conditions in the region, and maybe stem


There have been previous donor conferences.


Isn't there a danger the same thing is happening this time around


and all your impressive pledges will ring rather hollow?


It will make a difference in terms of saving lives,


in terms of providing medicine and shelter and food.


These are important because we are fulfilling


our moral responsibility as countries to those people


who were caught up in this terrible conflict.


Of course, announcing all these big pledges of aid here in London


Anyway, everyone agrees that all these promises to give


humanitarian and long-term development help all very well,


but what's needed is a way to stop the war.


On the ground, the bombardments from Russian air strikes


backing Syrian government troops have just got heavier.


Fierce fighting has put under threat fledging peace talks in Geneva


And that's even before the outside world works


out how to unite against the so-called IS jihadists


World leaders this morning said it was time to act, not talk.


But whatever is achieved here in London,


it seems unlikely it will bring this conflict any nearer to a close.


One focus of the conference was to provide education


for displaced children - something that could prove


Clive Myrie reports from a refugee camp in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.


They've had a rough ride in life, these children.


Syrian victims of a war they're too young to understand.


In this refugee camp in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley,


they are being given back their childhoods -


Meet Mohammed, who is 13, and brother Mostafa,


They attend school five days a week, like the 270 of the youngsters


But when school is out, they and some of the other kids


They work in the brick factory that borders their home.


Hard, but necessary work for this family.


We work to help our father, Mostafa says,


Then they recall the day they fled their home


Around sunset when it started getting dark,


they started firing, he says, and we ran away.


The next day, we came here to Lebanon on.


As they toiled and heaved bricks, in London delegates


of the conference facility raised more money to pay for the education


of refugee children and to create well-paying job


Over lunch, the brothers admit life is hard now.


The BBC understands that a UN panel has concluded that the wiki founder,


Julian Assange, is being wrongly denied his right to political asylum


in Ecuador, and is detained arbitrarily in the UK.


Mr Assange, who is wanted for questioning in Sweden


about a rape allegation, has had the last three and a half


years inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in order to avoid


Our correspondent is outside the embassy.


This was Julian Assange back in 2012, the summer he sought refuge


And, to the dismay of Britain and Sweden, to the delight


of his supporters, and to some surprise, it's upheld his conflict.


I really hope that as a consequence of this ruling that Juliancan leave


the embassy and go to Ecuador, where he can benefit


I think it would be really unfortunate and send


a terrible message internationally about our recognition


of international human rights legislation.


Julian Assange first made headlines in 2010 when Wikileaks


began to publish hundreds and thousands of American state secrets.


In August that year, allegations were made of sexual


Two years later, Ecuador granted political asylum to Mr Assange


on the grounds that he risked being extradited home to the US.


Last year, police announced that officers would no


longer be stationed outside the Ecuadorian Embassy.


They had cost the British taxpayer more than ?12 million.


This morning, Julian Assange said he would accept arrest


by the British police if the UN panel ruled against him.


Of course, we now know it has ruled in his favour.


One of the things I will be interested to hear from the UN


is why they regard this as a detention when,


essentially, he is detained at his own hand.


The UK has a European arrest warrant for various serious


charges from Sweden on a well-respected jurisdiction,


and that will still have to be enforced, come what may.


Today, a high profile visitor for Mr Assange,


in the form of fashion designer Dame Vivien Westwood.


The UN panel's decision is a big victory for Julian Assange,


and an embarrassment for Sweden and the UK.


But unless Julian Assange really is ready to be arrested,


for the moment, at least, the Ecuadorian Embassy


Per Samuelsson is one of Assange's lawyers.


Here is some of what he had to say to Swedish television.


If we lose, he will come to Sweden immediately.


But if we prevaile, if we win, I think my strong firm


opinion is the Swedish prosecutor must cancel the custody decision


in absentia and immediately close the case.


Close the file and drop the investigation against Julian


But shouldn't she care about the alleged rape victim


But she should also care about the alleged person,


the suspected person, and that is Julian Assange.


He has not been served any suspicion.


He has called for an interview for five years.


He has been in prison for three and a half years in an embassy.


Sweden must interpret the European Convention


He's best known for his role as Joey in the American sitcom


Friends, and today it was announced that Matt LeBlanc is to join Chris


Evans as a new presenter on Top Gear.


He's already a familiar face on the motoring show having appeared


He says he's a "car nut and massive fan" of the programme,


which is set to return later this year.


He has already had a taste of Top Gear, he was a


Matt LeBlanc, Joey in Friends, is the secret weapon


A show that was itself relaunched with huge success 14 years ago,


with characters such as "the tame racing driver", the Stig.


You have to remember this is, or was, the most widely watched


programme in the world in 205 territories.


Now with Jeremy, James and Richard out,


That is worth a lot of money to the BBC.


Chris is maybe not known globally, but Matt is.


My agent asked me if I wanted to host the series...


He has already had a taste of Top Gear presentation


Which, as you can see from this BBC promotional


Top Gear is, for the Corporation, a way of making money off cars.


Here is a bit of motoring history for you.


Beautiful cars, although they don't wait make brilliant television.


Top Gear was under threat of cancellation a few years ago.


What saved it was Jeremy Clarkson and the realisation it was all


about the presenters, the chemistry and the comedy.


Matt LeBlanc is, of course, an actor.


He's going to have to show his real self


to the viewer to make this thing work because what the previous trio


did was make us feel we knew them very well.


They were the people you wanted to sit next to in the pub.


Of course, Top Gear has had many presenters.


But these days it's no longer just a car programme.


The former boss of a pharmaceutical company in the United States has


refused to answer questions in Congress about why he increased


the price of a life-saving drug by more than 5,000%.


Martin Shkreli, who is facing separate charges of securities


fraud, exercised his right not to incriminate himself.


One congressman accused him of taking blood money


from the pockets of hard-working Americans.


After Thursday's hearing, Mr Shkreli made use of Twitter


to describe members of Congress as "imbeciles".


Do you think you've done anything wrong?


On the advice of counsel, I invoke my


Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination


and respectfully decline to answer your question.


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


The government of Poland has opened a new investigation into the plane


crash in western Russia six years ago, which killed the President,


Lech Kaczynski, and more than 90 other people.


Announcing the probe, the Defence Minister appeared


to contradict the original findings, saying the plane had disintegrated


An Israeli man has been sentenced to life and another man has been


given a 21-year prison term for burning


Mohammed Abu Khdeir was abducted in a street in East Jerusalem


and killed during a cycle of violence in the run-up to the war


The men haven't been named because they were boys at the time


Moscow has reacted angrily to a BBC television drama that imagines


a future war with Russia, that leads towards nuclear confrontation.


The Russian Foreign Ministry said the programme, titled


World War Three, Inside the War Room, took British


propaganda to a level of aggression beyond even Cold War standards.


The condition of an Italian actor left in a coma after a hanging scene


went wrong during a play is said to be worsening.


27-year-old Raphael Schumacher was appearing in a production


in Pisa when an audience member realised he was in pain.Police


launched an investigation after sealing the theatre


Initial inquiries found the actor hadn't been wearing a body harness.


Outrage has erupted in France after a language moderator approved


In Germany, there's a heavy police presence on the streets of Cologne


as the city celebrates its annual carnival.


More than 2,000 police officers are out in force.


It's the first major public event there since New Year,


when many women were victims of sexual assaults and muggings


which were blamed largely on migrants.


Our correspondent, Anna Holligan, is there for us.


It's traditionally one of the most raucous days in carnival season.


But first something on the back of everyone's mind this year,


Carnival this year is being seen as a big test of the authorities.


TRANSLATION: This is probably the safest carnivore there has ever


been. There is zero tolerance this year for anybody who wants to cause


trouble. -- safest carnivore. After those attacks at New Year,


dozens of people of North African and Arab origin


were arrested and it has led to some tension with the immigrant


community here. Something that we're


hearing from a lot of women is that they are slightly


anxious of this year. They are determined


to celebrate this massive Today it's rainy.


It's not too nice. It doesn't matter


whether you are brown, It's not normal, we don't


do that every day. So, I think they know


what's happening here. Outrage has erupted in France


after a language moderator approved changes to the spellings


of thousands of French words in an attempt to


simplify the language. At least 2,400 spelling changes


will be implemented. However, the change that has sparked


the most fury is the removal of the traditional


circumflex accent. With me here in the studio this


French commentator Jean Jaffre. We are talking about the circumflex.


It would be described as a little hat which goes over a vowel. What


purpose has it served so far? For most, some words come from Latin


words. The circumflex accent... Sometimes it is illogical.


The French Academy said it would approve the circumflex was removed


in certain situations back in 1990. It has only taken until now for this


to come into French schools. It is only for 4% of the vocabulary.


But similar reform has been implemented in Canada, for instance.


Because of a change in the curriculum, the publishers of


textbooks have decided to introduce this reform, maybe to make more


money with new books. In the situation where it really


does change the meaning, it is going to stay. They won't have this


ambiguity. In certain circumstances it will


stay. So certain words won't look like the


same words, there will still be a difference.


The Education Secretary is very unpopular. She is a young woman and


was born fiercely -- and was fiercely denounced. Since the


Socialist party came to power, they introduced the form which displeased


a lot of people. Some say education is being dumbed down.


It is safe to say the has-been outrage on social media.


Sometimes when I read tweets I think people who are writing, sometimes


they missed a lot of words. It is amazing.


I think it is the convention. Spelling is a convention and people


should try to spell correctly. What is important, especially at school,


is to allow children to express themselves and to be creative. As


they get older they will become more correct. My brother was suffering


from dyslexia. Now, his writing is very good and he expresses himself


very well. Sometimes it takes time to simulate the spelling of words.


Thank you very much. Spanish officials say a pregnant


woman is among the seven people identified as being infected


with the Zika virus It's thought that the woman


who is in her second trimester of pregnancy showed symptoms


after travelling to Colombia. There are fears that


the mosquito-borne Zika virus In the United States,


the two front-runners for the Democratic nomination


for president have been sparring over who is the real


"progressive" in the race. Former Secretary of


State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders


criticised each other's credentials during a question and answer


session in New Hampshire. Campaigning in New Hampshire,


Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have been taking swipes at each


other. All day on Twitter and by e-mail -based barred about who is


the real progressive. I said I am a progressive who likes


to get things done. And again in the evening on stage.


Bernie Sanders thinks his opponent is not a liberal enough.


I do not know any progressive who has a super pack and takes $15


million from Wall Street. The Vermont senator may have lost


narrowly in Iowa but is leading by a wide margin in New Hampshire, his


backyard, and the gloves are coming off will stop we are taking on the


most powerful -- gloves are coming off.


We know what will happen. Mrs Clinton has been downplaying


expectations in New Hampshire but is still hoping to narrow the gap in


this state. She was asked about faith and she spoke of the parable


about the prodigal son. I read that parable and there was a


line which became a lifeline for me. It basically is practised the


discipline of gratitude. This race is heating up and on


Thursday the two candidates will face off against onstage in a


televised debate all-star campaigning continues.


A solar farm, designed to become the largest in the world,


has officially been opened in Morocco by King Mohammed.


The plant in the Sahara desert, south-east of Casablanca,


will generate 500 megawatts when it reaches full capacity -


It's designed to store power when the sun isn't shining.


It takes around two hours to walk around the array of half a million


parabolic mirrors, that focus heat to provide steam for the turbines.


Shakespeare's Hamlet has been performed to hundreds of migrants


at a refugee camp in Northern France.


The show was part of the Globe Theatre's world tour


which has already seen performances at refugee camps in Jordan,


Thomas Morgan went along to see the show at the camp they call


The crew were here at the break of dawn, hard at work building their


stage. They have been touring for quite a while now and have performed


in over 150 countries. They have an aim to have been all over the globe


by the end of April. Back corner, stage left.


But it is windy and cold in Calais, so theatre is probably not at the


top of people'swish lists. Many migrants don't even know who William


shakes a or what Hamlet is. Have you ever seen Shakespeare


before? No. This is my first time.


So, why bring this production to the Jungle?


We found that it works. Even if English is in their first language.


And it works if people don't know the story of Hamlet or don't know


what Shakespeare is. We the story of Hamlet or don't know


doing this in a lot of countries where there is not a big tradition


of performing Shakespeare. With free popcorn on offer, the


audience flocked to the ready-made venue. The 150 migrants that have


come to watch the play here today may not understand the whole of


William Shakespeare's Hamlet, but it is engaging them and that is one of


the main aims of the production staff, breaking up the monotony of


their daily routine. With laughter and applause all


around, it was a successful day at the box office.


We are delighted to be performing here for you!


The next stop in the tour will be in Malta for Libyan migrants before


finally heading home to London in a few months' time.


Mexican prosecutors have issued an order for the actress,


Kate del Castillo, to be located and to testify as a witness


over her links with the imprisoned drug baron, Joaquin "El Chapo"


The Mexican actress set up a meeting in October between the Hollywood


star, Sean Penn, and Guzman, who was on the run at the time.


Mexican prosecutors say she may have received money from Guzman


to launch her tequila business last year.


Kate del Castillo has denied any illicit links with Guzman.


For me and the rest of the team, good night.


So far this week we have seen wet weather, windy weather, bright


weather. Tomorrow it looks mostly cloudy once again. Outbreaks of


rain, heavy in places. For the time being we are between two fronts.


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