05/02/2016 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today with me, Ben Bland.


They are coming in their thousands...


Syrians are making their way to the border with Turkey to escape


intense fighting near the city of Aleppo.


Zika is found in human urine and saliva, raising new fears over


WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, speaks from the balcony


of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, after a UN panel rules


This is a victory that cannot be denied.


Also coming up, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari defies the critics


who say he hasn't done enough to fight corruption.


We have not done much yet. Because we're waiting for documentation so


that those who have tried to be too clever or too hard can be


prosecuted. And why are so many


sperm whales dying? Almost 30 have now been found along


beaches in the North Sea in the worst series of whale


strandings in 100 years. At least 15,000 people in Syria have


gathered at the Turkish border after heavy fighting


near the city of Aleppo. So far they're not being allowed


to cross the frontier. But Turkish aid workers have gone


into Syrian territory to provide The Turkish prime minister says


he believes tens of thousands of more refugees may


be on their way. They are said to be heading


towards the Turkish city of Kilis. Aleppo is a mere 60


kilometres from Turkey. And these latest pictures show


people said to be on the move They're being driven out


by the intense fighting which is going on in


Aleppo province. Syrian Government troops have been


making significant advances, Live now to our


correspondent Selin Girit. Selin Girit, what is the latest on


the situation at the border? At the border, the crossings are not


open on the Turkish side. We were at the border as the BBC team today,


for a few others, not all day. All that we saw was eight trucks going


in and a few ambulances and that was it, we did not see any survey in


side of the border, it is a no man's land as you might convert between


the two border crossings. -- cockpit. Thousands of Syrians


waiting on the Syrian side of the border, we could not see them


ourselves. Reportedly, the union has said there are 15,000 people waiting


at the border on the Syrian side of the border and the top SRR has said


that there are plenty more, thousands, tens of thousands more on


the way from Aleppo to Kilis into Turkey or at least trying to make


their way there. Today we have not seen anyone coming in but the Prime


Minister has said that Turkey is ready to give food and shelter and


will not leave Syrians without food and shelter but he did not specify


whether the talk is government is prepared to take these new refugees


in because we must remember that Turkey already holds over 2 million


Syrian refugees within its borders. Accepting more will seriously


maintain another burden on Turkey's finances, a country that has a Lady


spent over 10 billion dollars to accommodate these refugees. But the


Prime Minister has said they will accommodate the shelters and we have


seen pictures on the other side, we have received pictures coming from


the Syrian side of Turkish aid agencies, holding tents on the other


side of the border for the survey messages. So, shelter is being


provided, food is being provided, but whether they will make their way


into Turkey remains a big question. -- Syrian refugees.


Thank you for that report. Mohammed Yehia from BBC Arabic says


conditions for people stuck The Turkish authorities have not


opened up the border yet to them, they are preparing accommodation for


them. They are trying to make relocation arrangements for them. It


is not that may be up to 70,000 people could be on the move in the


Aleppo suburbs area, trying to flee the very determined attempts of the


Russian air strikes and the assault by the Syrian Army that is backed by


foreign militias from Hezbollah and Lebanon and Iranian forces. One


major goal we had this conference in Geneva that another really took off.


-- never really. Simultaneous with the start of this conference, there


was the start of this very determined offensive by the Russian


air force and the Syrian Army to target the Syrian rebels. The


Russian assault, the air strikes, they were described as unprecedented


in the intensity, hundreds of air strikes that were accompanied by a


ground assault by the Syrian Army and its militias. They cut off the


main supply route for the rebels in Aleppo that was linking Aleppo with


Turkey. This was a major blow for the Syrian rebels and what they are


now trying to do, the Syrian military, they are trying to


reinforce a complete siege around the northern countryside of Aleppo


to be able to totally besieged Aleppo, a city that is to have 2


million people, know it is divided between the eastern part which is


under rebel control and the western part which is under the control of


the government. By cutting off these main supply lines, the Syrian Army


appears to be moving to a new stage, where thanks to the writing --


Russian air support, it has been able to turn the tide and instead of


what we have seen into into 15 when they were losing ground, they are


starting to now gained ground and make advances with the optimum goal


of isolating the rebels in pockets that they can manage. -- 2015.


That was our colleagues speaking to my colleague a little bit out there.


-- a little bit earlier. More than 4,000 babies in Brazil


have been born with the condition It causes them to be born


with abnormally small heads. Health experts believe the rise


in cases is due to the Zika virus, which is spreading rapidly


through South America. The BBC spoke to Dr Wilson Savino,


a senior immunologist and director at the Oswaldo Cruz Medical Research


Centre in Rio de Janeiro. He gave this analysis


on the transmission of the virus The significance is that so far the


genetic material of the Zika virus had been identified both then the


Rhine and the saliva. But now the research done shows that this is not


only just the genetic make a real but there is a virus able to infect


cells in systems and subcultures. -- you're in. This is capable of


affecting people. This is completely different from only the


identification of the virus itself. It means that the virus is


functional. The principal precaution is something that should be in mind


and I would address, particularly to pregnant women, to avoid in terms of


sharing, let us say cuts or nice, etc, with someone who has clearly


been affected with the symptoms. These type of precautions should be


taken. But I think that people should continue to live normally. --


knives. The BBC's Julia Carneiro joins me


from Rio de Janiero. This latest finding about bodily


stewards and saliva, has this changed the plan to combat it? --


bodily fluids. Not at all, the plan is told to


eradicate the mosquito that transmits the Zika virus because it


is not yet clear at all if this finding that this research Institute


announced today whether this means that the saliva is spread through


saliva or you're in. It has been found in these fluids and its active


form, so there is the potential that could be transmitted to other


people. -- you're in. It must be investigated to find out whether it


can be transmitted and those other variables that must be studied to


assess if that is possible or not. What advice is being given to people


to help slow down what seems to be the rapid spread of it through Latin


America? Well, there's lots of advice given,


especially to pregnant women but in general, to the population using


mosquito repellent is, to pregnant women covering themselves up before


leaving home and this new finding comes just


Exchanging fluids in any way with other people. It is another set of


recommendations for people to be careful.


The Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, has welcomed a UN


ruling which says he's been 'arbitrarily detained'.


He says he should be allowed to walk free from Ecuador's embassy


He's been there since 2012, after an extradition


That followed a rape allegation that he denies.


In the last few hours he's spoken from the balcony of the embassy.


Still officially on Ecuadorean soil, still threatened with arrest,


Julian Assange emerged onto about Kenny this afternoon


for the first time since 2012, the year he sought sanctuary at this


This is a victory that cannot be denied.


The UK and Sweden have had this judgment for the past two weeks.


They did not file an appeal in that two-week period.


Julian Assange now says he has international law on his side,


but the self-styled champion of free speech and accountability did not


He detailed the UN findings, that the detention was arbitrary.


They also decided he has an enforceable right to compensation


The opinion in itself is an opinion, and it is legally binding


to the extent that it is based on international human rights norm,


From the UK Government, a furious response.


He can come out onto the pavement any time he chooses.


But he will have to face justice in Sweden if he chooses to do so.


Today, these police outside the embassy were for crowd


protection, but the police operation to prevent his escape cost


This evening, the lawyer for the alleged rape victim put out


a statement in Sweden saying that she was glad the UN call


for his release was not legally binding.


It is time, she said, that Assange packs his bags,


steps out of the embassy and begins to cooperate with the police.


His supporters are relishing this moment, a dramatic day


in an extraordinary international saga.


But it does not end the long-running stand-off.


For now, he is back inside, and still no one knows


A man has been shot dead outside hotel in Dublin. Police and


investigating if it was connected to criminal gangs. The boxing that was


due to take place on Saturday been cancelled.


Now to Nigeria, where President Mohammadu Buhari's war


against corruption is gathering momentum.


Millions of dollars have been returned by some of the people


President Buhari has been speaking to Focus on Africa's Peter Okwoche.


They began by discussion how much of that money has been recovered.


Because we're waiting for documentation, so that those


who try to be too clever or too hard, we can prosecute them.


Now, to prosecute them successfully, we have to produce evidence,


this is the evidence we have built up collectively.


It is not easy, especially in the petroleum industry.


They have literally declared their assets and they are


So it would be unfair, you know, before the deal is...


But would you agree to an amnesty for people who return their money?


I have to depend on the report and the recommendation


of the officials that I asked to do this job.


What do you make about the criticism that you only seem to be


going after political opponents and not some members


of your political party, the APC, who also seem to be corrupt?


Yeah, making wild allegations I think is a hobby, I suspect,


for Nigerian critics of this government.


If they can provide evidence, if they can give me an idea that


so-and-so in my cabinet, a member of APC stole so much...


If I do not react to credible information, then they can blame me,


but they cannot just open their mouths and say that


A few months ago, you told the BBC that Boko Haram have


So, how can a group that you have technically defeated


There were some allegations one week or so ago, not quite allegations,


but they were said to have gone and attacked a village.


They were said to have burnt 100 or more houses.


You know the type of houses that are there.


All they needed to do was to strike one match and the whole


In that particular attack you are talking about,


That does not sound like a group that has technically been defeated.


But all I know, that of the 14 local governments,


they used to hold, and while they host their flag,


they are not in charge of any of those local governments,


but they can still regroup and go and attack such targets,


Britain's proposed EU reforms have been strongly backed


The British Prime Minister, David Cameron's, been in Copenhagen,


trying to gain support in advance of a referendum later this year.


He also held positive talks in Poland but the Prime Minister


there said plans to limit benefits for EU migrants would need


Here's our Europe Editor Katya Adler.


Warsaw's charming city centre was rebuilt almost from scratch


It is a must see for tourists, but not on the regular beat


But this is the second time in a matter of weeks


Poland is being tricky when it comes to his EU reform proposals,


which he needs all the EU leaders to sign up to.


Real negotiations take place behind closed doors.


In public, it is often what is not said that is significant.


Poland's Prime Minister politely praised three out of David Cameron's


She didn't mention cutting EU migrant benefits,


Is he hinting at what Britain could offer Poland?


We want a full strategic partnership between Britain and Poland,


and that is because of the shared interests and shared ideals we have.


Shared interests in strong defence and supporting Nato in standing up


to Russian aggression, shared interests in terms


But improving finances for many Polish, particularly the young,


Hundreds of thousands have come to the UK, cutting their in work


In Poland, it is not easy to find a good job.


Salaries aside, they also fear for their security,


with aggressive Russia just next door.


Last week the British Government pledged 1000 troops to take part


Valuable military support for Poland, whose goodwill


is vital for David Cameron to get his EU deal.


Shuttle diplomacy is intensifying for the Prime Minister ahead


His EU reform proposals are welcome here.


And most importantly from the Danish Prime Minister...


I support all the elements on access to welfare benefits.


It is no coincidence that the Prime Minister chose


to hold a press conference in Denmark, and not to take any


press questions in Warsaw, where things could have got


David Cameron's EU reform proposal is a political hot potato


which he hopes will be signed off at a summit in two weeks,


Expect a roller-coaster of headlines between now and then,


predicting triumph, concession and even defeat.


In a historic step to heal the 1,000-year-old rift that split


Christianity, the first ever meeting between a Roman Catholic Pope


and a head of the Russian Orthodox Church will happen in a week's time.


Pope Francis will stop over in Cuba on his way to Mexico to meet


Patriarch Kirill for private talks, in an attempt to begin bridging


The announcement came in separate press conferences in Moscow


The meeting of the leaders of the Roman Orthodox and Catholic churches


which has been prepared for a long time will become the first one in


history to mark the important stage of relations between the two


churches. The Holy See and the Moscow


representative for that it will be a sign of goodwill to all people. They


invite all Christians to pray fervently for God to bless this


meeting and that it may be fruits. -- bear all the fruits.


Almost 30 have washed up on beaches along the North Sea over the past


few weeks but why are so many sperm whales dying?


They've been found stranded on beaches in the UK,


Holland, France and German and tests have now been carried out


on the latest arrival here in Britain to find out why


Our correspondent Danny Shaw has been investigating.


It's been a traumatic couple of days on this North Norfolk beach.


A sperm whale was stranded here yesterday, alive


There was a glimmer of hope as it showed signs of moving,


But last night it died, the latest in a series of whale


Initial findings show that it was starving and dehydrated.


All the whales we examined, at least our end, no evidence


There has been what we call bile staining the intestines and that


indicate it's gone through a period of a lack of feeding and starvation.


That would make the animal more compromised.


Why have so many of these huge animals, all young males,


Experts say bachelor pods are normally found


in the North Atlantic, feeding off deepwater


But they've ended up in the waters of the North Sea,


which are on average, 98 metres deep and too shallow


Over the last few weeks, 29 have been found stranded


on beaches in the UK, Holland, France and Germany.


This is the German operation to move them.


They can become a health hazard if left on the sands or mud flats.


Experts say collectively, this is the worst series of whale


And the concern is more of these will turn up on North Sea coasts


But how much detail is really known about what's going on under water?


An incident like this almost heightens the need for us


all to learn more about these enormous and fantastic creatures.


This may look like a scene from the days of whale hunting,


but these animals have to be examined if answers about why


they end up in the wrong sea are to be found.


A Ferrari built in 1957 has just sold


at auction in Paris for more than thirty-one million dollars.


The red 335 Sport Scaglietti won the 1958 Cuban Grand Prix,


and set a lap record at the Le Mans 24 Hours race.


It was driven by top drivers, including Britain's Stirling Moss.


When the auctioneer's commission was added,


But for now, from me, Ben Bland, and the rest


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