11/02/2016 World News Today


11/02/2016

The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


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This is BBC World News Today, with me, Alice Baxter.

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A stunning discovery by physicists that

:00:12.:00:14.

could revolutionise the study of the universe.

:00:15.:00:15.

Scientists say they've found the existence

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of the ever-elusive gravitational wave.

:00:18.:00:24.

It's a break-through being described as ushering

:00:25.:00:26.

Gravitational waves provide a completely new way of looking

:00:27.:00:29.

The ability to detect them has the potential

:00:30.:00:32.

Meanwhile, as Russia and the US talk possible ceasefire deals for Syria,

:00:33.:00:45.

aid agencies warn the humanitarian crisis is now a catastrophe

:00:46.:00:52.

Extraordinary scenes in the South African Parliament

:00:53.:00:55.

as President Jacob Zuma is heckled while delivering his State

:00:56.:00:57.

And a wartime couple reunite for the first time after falling

:00:58.:01:04.

in love just before D-Day, and then losing contact for more

:01:05.:01:07.

We begin with a breakthrough that's got the science world abuzz.

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It's being described as the most important discovery of this century,

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a discovery that will bring a much greater understanding of the origin

:01:35.:01:37.

It was Einstein who first came up with the idea of gravitational waves

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but it's taken 100 years demonstrate they exist.

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Our science correspondent, Pallab Ghosh, reports.

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Powerful telescopes can see distant stars and far-away galaxies.

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From now, astronomers will be able to see much deeper into space

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Eventually, right up to the moment of the Big Bang.

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Scientists have been searching for ripples in space

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Today, they told the world they had found them,

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created by two black holes colliding more than a billion

:02:20.:02:21.

We have detected gravitational waves.

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Professor Stephen Hawking told me it was a ground-breaking development.

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Gravitational waves provide a completely new way of looking

:02:42.:02:43.

The ability to detect them has the potential

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This discovery is the first detection of the black hole binary

:02:47.:02:56.

system and the first observation of black holes merging.

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Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves

:02:59.:03:00.

Gravitational waves are created whenever there is a seismic event

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in the universe such as an exploding star.

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These waves ripple across the galaxy at the speed of light,

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stretching and squeezing space as they go.

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But they are incredibly hard to detect because,

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when they hit the Earth, they give it the tiniest of jabs,

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Researchers developed a powerful laser system capable of measuring

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The beam runs along a tube just under the ground and it is stretched

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by a minute amount when a gravitational wave passes through.

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It really is, when you consider that these black holes actually

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spiralled in over a billion years ago and the signal has been

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We turned on our detectors at exactly the right time

:04:01.:04:03.

Those gravitational waves can be turned into sound.

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That is the chirping we have been looking for.

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That is one of the beautiful things, we are not only going to be seeing

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Today's result opens a new window into how the universe began and it

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will reveal a new view of the cosmos beyond our imagination.

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With me now is physicist Dr Toby Wiseman.

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As someone who isn't a scientist, it is still difficult to really

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understand how momentous this is and how significant the discovery is. It

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is significant on many fronts. It is an incredible human achievement,

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starting with Einstein nearly exactly 100 years ago, and it has

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taken this long to understand theoretically and build things to

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measure it. On the other hand, it is an amazing confirmation of

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Einstein's theory. The ripples of space and time, the fact that space

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and time can bend just like the ripples of a pond is really what

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underlies the whole theory. Seeing that directly for the first time is

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probably the best test of his theory that we have two dates. Finally we

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get to see totally new objects. The first object we have seen as a pair

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of black holes which collided 1 billion years ago, massive objects

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travelling near the speed of light, 30 times the mass of the sun each.

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Moving near the speed of light, it is an incredible event. As gravity

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wave detectors carry on working, we will see more events like this. Not

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only the first gravity wave but the first pair of black holes we have

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seen. What does this discovery mean for you and I, what can we do today

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that we couldn't yesterday? Very concretely, we can see pairs of

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black holes 1 billion light years away. We can tune into one single

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event billions of years away. When you point a telescope into the sky,

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you see an incredible array of stuff, but now we can see more new

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objects. Black holes are like a beacon when you listen to

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gravitational waves. We cannot study them using optical or x-ray

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telescopes. There are so many more object we will be able to learn

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about and study with these new techniques. This has been a huge fit

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getting to this point. Today is the first time I have heard of

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gravitational waves but this has been a collaboration of scientists

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which has lasted decades and gone all around the world. Since the

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early 90s this experiment has been running and it has been gradually

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upgrading to become more sensitive. In the early days, people did not

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expect to see gravity waves. They were building the experiments in

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preparation for a time they would become sensitive enough and have the

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technology to see them. Today we have reached that point, which is

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amazing. Aid agencies are warning that

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a humanitarian crisis in northern The Red Cross says 50,000 people

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have fled the recent fighting around the city of Aleppo,

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and supplies of food, The UN says that 120,000 people are

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facing malnutrition within weeks. It comes as world leaders

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are tonight in a new round of talks We've been speaking to a doctor in

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one of Aleppo's makeshift hospitals. We'll call him Hamzeh al-Khateb -

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he's asked us not to use his real He gave us this update

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on the humanitarian In the last couple of days,

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there are where many injuries We are speaking about the city,

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not the countryside. We had received about 30 injuries

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in our hospital only. Today, the situation,

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Aleppo city has two roads to get The regime, supported

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by the Russian air force, has control of one of these roads,

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and now the PKK are hitting In the hospital that I work in,

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we are about seven doctors. The total doctors inside Aleppo

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city are less than 30. We have some supplies that got to us

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through donation by the NGOs. We have enough supplies that make us

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survive for about 1.5 months, And that's the thing we are most

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frightened about, to be under siege and cannot help people for more

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than two months. Let's think about the heavy shelling

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that happened in Aleppo city Aleppo civilians were about

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400, 450,000 people. Now I don't think we are more

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than 200, 250,000 people. So the numbers are more than 50,000

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people fleeing from Aleppo city. Our chief international

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correspondent Lyse Doucet What can we realistically expect

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from these top is in Munich, bringing together both allies and

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opponents of President Assad? I think there are two issues on the

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table. The talks have begun amongst 17 countries on either side of the

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conflict, along with international organisations. There is a lot of

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talk of ending the punishing sieges which have left more than 250,000

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Syrians living in areas where they are cut off from food, medicine and

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other supplies. The opposition wants to see an end to today's sieges and

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get a signal from the Syrian government that they are serious

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about ending the suffering and moving towards peace talks. The

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second issue is a ceasefire. You have heard the account from a doctor

:11:03.:11:08.

about how dire the situation is. The situation has been like that in

:11:09.:11:12.

Aleppo for many years but now the world is paying attention. The

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discussions will focus on what comes first, how soon will the ceasefire

:11:18.:11:20.

take place, what confidence building measures will have to be in place

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first and who will move first. This is happening in the hotel find me.

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We expect a Botox to go on for hours. -- the Cox. Russia says

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ceasefire will come into force on March the 1st and John Kerry says he

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wants one immediately. There is no trust, that is the problem. Work at

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what has been happening on the ground. Syrian talks got underway in

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January and then Russia launched a bombing campaign around the northern

:12:00.:12:04.

city of Aleppo, saying it is targeting Islamic State but it's

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actions reinforced the Syrian military which is going to encircle

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all of Aleppo, so Western countries cry foul. Russia must demonstrate at

:12:17.:12:28.

these talks that it is serious about moving towards a negotiated

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solution. There is a suspicion about the ceasefire on March the 1st,

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because that leaves two weeks, just about time for the Russian bombing

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working with the Syrian military and their Lebanese and Iranian allies on

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the ground to encircle Aleppo and the opposition forces there.

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

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Six students have died after their bus was hit by a metal

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panel that had come loose from a lorry.

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The accident happened in Rochefort in Charente-Maritime in western

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Those killed were aged between 16 and 18.

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The final member of the armed militia which has occupied an US

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sanctuary in the west coast state of Oregon since the beginning

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of January has surrendered to the FBI.

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The one person was killed when the division leaders were arrested. --

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occupation leaders. The police in Myanmar have

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for the first time decided to give protection to Aung San Suu Kyi

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following a death threat. Up until now, the National League

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for Democracy leader has been protected by her own

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security detail. The man who made the original death

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threat has since apologised. A 94-year-old suspected former Nazi

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SS guard at the Auschwitz death camp has gone on trial in Germany

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over the murder of at Prosecutors say Reinhold Hanning met

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Jewish prisoners as they arrived at the camp in occupied Poland

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and may have escorted some Mr Hanning admits working

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there but denies involvement He is an elderly widowed man who ran

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a cheese shop until he retired. 70 years ago, this was Reinhold

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Hanning. SS guard. His job was allegedly to meet Jewish prisoners

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at Auschwitz. A recent court ruling means anyone who worked in a camp,

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regardless of role, can now be rocked to trial. Prosecutors have

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identified a handful of suspects. The justice system is doing that

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which is possible and I think these few cases are a signal for our

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country and for humanity and for justice. This man survived

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Auschwitz. 35 members of his family died there. He is 94, the same age

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as Reinhold Hanning. It is important to me because I like to see him

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talking about the time in Auschwitz. He must talk. At one point today you

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addressed him directly. I asked him to tell the truth. The trial is

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taking place here in a north-western town near where Reinhold Hanning

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spent most of his life. It is about trying to determine one-man's

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culpability but it is about more than that as well. One of the last

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opportunities for Germany to confront its past face-to-face.

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Reinhold Hanning is one of the last surviving Nazis to face justice.

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Now, there have been extraordinary scenes in the South African

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parliament where President Jacob Zuma has been delivering his annual

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State of the Nation address in Cape Town.

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Deputy speaker of the National Assembly and deputy chairperson of

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the NCOP... Throughout the speech,

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members of the left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters demanded

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the floor to raise points of order and then started to

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criticise the president. Mr Zuma had to leave

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the podium repeatedly, and ultimately the Speaker ordered

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the EFF MPs to leave the chamber. Julius Malema, you

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will not recognise ... You are prepared to

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remove the whole party which has been elected by the people

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in defence of one man! There is nothing that Zuma deserves

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from as in the form of respect. -- There is nothing that

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Zuma deserves from us Zuma is no longer

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a president that deserves He has stolen from us,

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he has collapsed to the economy of South Africa, he has made

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this country a joke, We cannot allow Zuma to do

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as he wishes in this country. Our correspondent Nomsa

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Maseko is in Cape Town. Just talk us through what happened.

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The people who were once friends have now become enemies. We saw a

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showdown with Julius Malema saying that President Jacob Zuma does not

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deserve the respect of South Africans. He said that because of

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the events which took place on Tuesday at the Constitutional Court

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when the EFF and the Democratic Alliance took Jacob Zuma to court

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because of the report which recommended that Jacob Zuma must pay

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back a portion of $23 million used to refurbish his private home. We

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heard from the President's lawyers conceding to the fact they should

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have taken the report seriously and complied with it. Some politicians

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and opposition parties are calling on the president to step down,

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saying that he does not deserve the respect of South Africans, and they

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also want him to explain why he fired the finance minister in

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December, because that negatively affected the economy. After all

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that, the presidentaddress continued. He wanted to talk about

:19:10.:19:14.

the economy and providing the tourist industry, saying that after

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all the bad regulation introduced by the government he wants to tourism

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to be boosted in South Africa. More than 50 people have been killed

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when rival gangs clashed at a prison The riot happened at the Topo Chico

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prison near the city of Monterrey. Well, it is one of the worst

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incidents in Mexico's already According to the latest official

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report from the city of Monterrey in northern Mexico, 52 people have

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died and 12 are injured, But officials say the situation

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is now under control and that no And according to the governor,

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the prisoners have not even attempted to escape,

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as was initially reported. And as you intimate,

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gang violence and break-outs are not uncommon in what many consider to be

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Mexico's notoriously overcrowded and corrupt prison system,

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but what were conditions like in this particular

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prison, Topo Chico? These kind of incidents are not

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at all uncommon in Mexico's overcrowded and violent prisons,

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which many of them are partially controlled by the inmates,

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and even at this very same prison of Topo Chico last September,

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a leader of the Zetas drug gang was stabbed to death in a riot that

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left 11 prisoners wounded, so we shouldn't say this comes

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as something completely unexpected. And this incident comes just days

:20:54.:20:59.

before Pope Francis is due to visit another prison in the northern

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city of Ciudad Juarez, another area notorious for gang

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violence and drug cartels. Pope Francis is arriving tomorrow

:21:08.:21:11.

in Mexico and next week he is going to visit a prison

:21:12.:21:17.

in Ciudad Juarez, one of the most They are paintings filled with some

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of the most bizarre images in the history of art, mysteries

:21:21.:21:31.

that have never been solved. Now for the first time ever,

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the strange and terrifying works of the painter Hieronymous Bosch

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have been gathered in his home town, Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands,

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to try to help unlock Our arts correspondent

:21:42.:21:43.

David Sillito reports. He is telling us

:21:44.:21:56.

about good and evil. He was the master of the weird

:21:57.:22:00.

and strange, Hieronymus Bosch. This exhibition a homecoming

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for paintings that have been scattered across the world

:22:10.:22:12.

but are rooted here. To understand, we

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climbed the cathedral. The view unchanged in 500 years,

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is this an echo of it? This image, locals recognise it,

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but to see it, you have to take It is the hole of hell,

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it is like hell. A lot of dead soldiers

:22:32.:22:42.

were buried here. They were thrown in the water during

:22:43.:22:52.

winter, when they died. There are echoes of him everywhere,

:22:53.:22:56.

this market square, the buildings have changed, but it is still

:22:57.:22:58.

the medieval landscape There is one thing you will not

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find. Which is what makes this

:23:02.:23:05.

so extraordinary, his great This is the Haywain,

:23:06.:23:09.

back for the first time I am walking across the market

:23:10.:23:16.

square where he lived and worked every day, and to have a painting

:23:17.:23:22.

like this after 500 years back here, This painting was kept in a store

:23:23.:23:27.

room for decades. But the fox-faced creature,

:23:28.:23:34.

what does it mean? We know the owls are not

:23:35.:23:38.

wisdom, but evil. But what is certain is that 15 years

:23:39.:23:44.

of coaxing and cajoling the world's If we are ever going to understand

:23:45.:23:48.

him, it will be here. A 93-year-old World War II veteran

:23:49.:24:02.

from America has been reunited with his British wartime girlfriend

:24:03.:24:04.

after more than 70 years apart. Norwood Thomas and Joyce Morris fell

:24:05.:24:09.

in love in London shortly before But they lost touch

:24:10.:24:12.

after a misunderstanding. Last year 88-year-old Joyce,

:24:13.:24:15.

who now lives in Australia, For Norwood Thomas, this

:24:16.:24:17.

was the most memorable He arrived in Adelaide

:24:18.:24:23.

after more than seven decades, wondering what became

:24:24.:24:26.

of his wartime sweetheart. What's the first thing

:24:27.:24:30.

you are going to do? His journey from the United States

:24:31.:24:33.

was paid for by well-wishers, when they read about the romance

:24:34.:24:38.

cut short by the war. They met by the River

:24:39.:24:41.

Thames in 1944. And it very rapidly developed

:24:42.:24:44.

into something from attraction, After the war, he wrote

:24:45.:24:59.

to her about marriage. She thought he was

:25:00.:25:07.

engaged to someone else. Last year, their story went viral

:25:08.:25:10.

when she tracked him down on a whim You know, to find someone

:25:11.:25:18.

who loves you, you love them, in the latter years of your life,

:25:19.:25:24.

it would rather be special, They've waited almost

:25:25.:25:28.

a lifetime for this. Over tea, they made plans

:25:29.:25:40.

for Valentine's Day But for now, from me

:25:41.:25:52.

and the rest of the team,

:25:53.:26:06.

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