16/02/2016 World News Today


16/02/2016

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It's been a day of claim and counter-claim over who did what

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after Russia denied attacking schools and hospitals

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in Syria's Idlib province in the town of Maarat al-Numan,

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leaving at least 50 people dead and many more wounded.

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The UN Secretary General said the strikes

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were a violation of international law.

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Medicins Sans Frontieres put it more bluntly - calling them a war crime.

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And while the Turkish Foreign Ministry blames Russia,

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has accused US planes of carrying out bombings.

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The United Nations special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura,

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has been meeting the Syrian Foreign Minister in Damascus

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in an effort to restart peace talks next week.

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Our Diplomatic Correspondent Bridget Kendall reports.

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What looks like a Russian fighter jet in the skies

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Imagine being in one those buildings.

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Apparently north of the city of Aleppo yesterday.

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And this is the sort of damage being caused from footage supplied

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The strikes are widely blamed on Russian and Syrian forces.

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And after yesterday's direct hits on hospitals and a school,

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where they are still looking for victims,

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and today, Britain's Foreign Secretary added his voice to those

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who say that it could amount to a war crime.

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There is mounting alarm across the rest of Europe.

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The Russian bombing in Syria leaves us with little hope.

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The Assad regime is strengthened and the moderate Syrian opposition

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is weakened and Europe is flooded with a new wave of refugees.

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The Syrian army, with its Russian and Iranian backers,

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insists they are advancing into northern Syria

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and that this will liberate areas from terrorists.

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Today, Russia angrily denied it had bombed hospitals.

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In Moscow, the Syrian ambassador went on Russian TV to cast blame

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There is no excuse for targeting innocent civilians,

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but at the same time the battlefield around Aleppo is very complex.

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Not only so-called moderate rebels backed by the West

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more extremist fighters from one group

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who are linked to Al-Qaeda and designated a terrorist group

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And that's why Russia and Syria insist

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Meanwhile, in Damascus the United Nations special envoy was urging the

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Syrian government to agree to local truces to allow food drops into

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But a wider ceasefire looks further away than ever.

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Ukraine's Prime Minister is facing a vote of no confidence,

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Ukraine's Prime Minister has survived a vote of no

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after the country's president called on him to resign

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and parliament rated his government "unsatisfactory".

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Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk was updating the country's parliament

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on his government's performance in 2015.

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have resigned from the government in recent days

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and there is frustration at a perceived lack of progress

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The Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said

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that the Prime Minister and his cabinet have lost public trust.

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Later, Mr Yatsenyuk lost a vote on his government's record,

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but survived a no confidence measure by just over 30 votes.

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With me now is Irena Taranyuk from the BBC Ukranian Service.

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They got through in the last hour or so, but where does this leave the

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Government, are they actually much safer or not? They will be no saved,

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because no other no-confidence motion can be tabled in Parliament

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during the current session -- they will be now saved. That is until

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that least autumn and Arseniy Yatsenyuk has the chance to be the

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first pro-Mac Phillips postindependence Prime Minister to

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be in his post for two years in a row -- the first postindependence

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promise. It was a day full of drama and horsemanship and it is obvious

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there is an element of show, political show there. The address of

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the president, calling on the Prime Minister to resign. The Prime

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Minister jokingly imploring the MPs to give him five minutes because it

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might be my last report. It was very playful. The journalists were

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commenting on the fact that Petro Poroshenko, his political foe, was

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sporting a new hairstyle and wearing a new dress in anticipation of the

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event, because she cannot forgive Yatsenyuk's former betrayal. So 30

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votes in parliament is what saved Yatsenyuk's skin and it will bring

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huge relief both to the current government and Ukraine's Western

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backers, because the last thing Ukraine as a country needed now, in

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the midst of economic crisis, in the midst of still in stability and

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security challenges in the East, where the security situation has

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deteriorated somewhat in the last couple of weeks, the last thing

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Ukraine needed was a deep and acute political crisis and early

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parliamentary elections, because that is what the opponents of this

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dismissal of the Government and no-confidence vote were threatening

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Ukraine with, further instability, further economic losses, further

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political crisis and early elections. And yet what it does mean

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when you still have so many votes going against you that all of the

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concerns about your government are still there. Oh, exactly. The deep

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unpopularity of his government in society is still a reality for

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Ukraine, because Ukrainians are frustrated with the fact that their

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standard of living is falling, that Ukrainian currency is losing its

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value and the IMF threatened Ukraine with not following up with a bailout

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programme unless there is real progress on the reforms, unless

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there is real progress on fighting corruption, something that Ukrainian

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government hasn't got a good record. Thank you very much.

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Scientists in America believe they may have found

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a potentially revolutionary way to treat cancer.

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They've managed to retrain cells in the body's own immune system

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In a trial, more than 90% of terminally-ill patients

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with blood cancers went into complete remission.

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This is the body's natural defence mechanism at work,

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an immune cell attacking and neutralising a cancer cell,

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but when that doesn't function properly, intervention's needed.

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This new study shows that specially engineered immune cells,

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injected back into the patient, can suppress a type of blood cancer.

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The study was published was in the United States and British

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researchers, working in this field, say it offers exciting potential

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We know the immune system is incredibly powerful.

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We know we can harness cells from the immune system,

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engineer them and give them back to patients.

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These effects are not just for a few weeks or a couple of months,

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they're long-lasting affects over many months and potentially

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So we think the enormous power of the immune system,

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in these kind of settings, is there to be harnessed actually.

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A blood sample was taken from the patient and immune cells

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Each one was modified and transformed into a targeted

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immune cell to seek out and destroy cancer cells.

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The cells were then grown in a laboratory and stored.

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Later, they were returned to the patient's bloodstream,

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where they were ready to detect and then attack the cancer cells.

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The patients helped by the therapy had all undergone other forms

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of treatment which had failed, including chemotherapy

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But cancer experts say more extensive trials and research

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So to have these kind of results, which were really being used

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Now, we've got to figure out how to make them last,

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how to make them more effective and how to make this treatment

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There's some caution about the latest study,

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as the full set of data has not yet been published,

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but there's agreement this is an important step forward

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Scientists say the next challenge is to get the technology genetically

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engineering cells to work on tumours as well as blood cancer.

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US and Cuban officials will sign a deal in Havana later to reinstate

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commercial flights between the two for the first time in over 50 years.

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Although it is still technically illegal for Americans to visit Cuba

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as tourists. Brazilian scientists

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have found more evidence linking the Zika virus

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to birth defects. The mosquito-borne virus is thought

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to cause microcephaly, when a child has an abnormally

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small head and brain damage. The World Health Organisation

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says if the Zika virus the consequences would be

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staggering. Two ethnic Uighur men have appeared

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at a military court in Thailand and pleaded not guilty to carrying out a

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bomb attack on a shrine in Bangkok. 20 people died and more than 100

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were injured in the blast in August. The defendants say they were forced

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to confess. A minute's silence has been held at

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the United Nations Security Council for the former UN Secretary General

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Boutros Boutros-Ghali, As an Egyptian, he was the first

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Arab to hold the UN's top post. of civil war in Yugoslavia

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and Somalia for the UN's failure

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to stop the Rwandan genocide and Washington was angered

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by his opposition to Nato's bombing

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campaign in Bosnia. Joining me from New York

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is Denis Halliday, who was appointed by

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Boutrous Boutrous-Ghali to UN Assistant Secretary-General

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for Human Resources, back in 1994. Thank you very much for talking to

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us. I wonder if we could just talk about his background first of all,

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how significant was a view that Boutros Boutros-Ghali was Egyptian,

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the first Arab to hold the post? -- was it for you which first of all,

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may I express my condolences to Mrs Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who is an

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extraordinary person in her own right. Boutros-Ghali came from an

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ancient Egyptian family, his grandfather was the Prime Minister

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in the 1930s and worked closely with President said that in the peace

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arrangements with Israel, so he has a very strong base, educated in

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Paris. He came to the UN with extraordinary experience and

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know-how. He appointed you to the posts of assistant general secretary

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for human resources at the United Nations, what was he like to work

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with? Very demanding, very hard-working himself, and author of

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several books, an agenda for peace in his own memoirs. An early-morning

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type, like myself. And I found him very easy to work with on a

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one-to-one basis when he called me in connection with human resources

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or worldwide. But he spoke truth to power and of course, in the context

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of the Security Council and the P five, I mean, the veto powers,

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Britain included, and the United States, that made things difficult

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for him, because truth to power is often difficult to provide. Do you

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think that indirectly, that was what led to him not serving a second term

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as Secretary-General? Absolutely, he was simply too outspoken. He didn't

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let his integrity become damaged. He said exactly what he felt was right,

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as was his obligation, I would say, under the UN Charter, as

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Secretary-General, but the member states, and particularly the P5,

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London and Washington, were not happy with some of the statement and

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his dedication to peace, or peaceful means or non-violent solutions to

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problems got him into trouble, clearly. We just mentioned some of

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the challenges of that period of time. How difficult time was it do

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you think to be Secretary-General this organisation? Well, he came in

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1992, the Gulf War had just come to an end, there were sanctions on

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Iraq. You mentioned Rwanda, which was a nightmare situation. Why he

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would be blamed for that, I have no idea, because I think Clinton

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withdrew his troops from Somalia, they could easily have been used,

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and intervention could have been there and I believe we had 5,000 UN

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peacekeepers in Rwanda at the time who were not employed to the -- keep

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people apart and allowed the killing to continue, so I believe it was no

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way the fault of Blue Cross Kali himself. Thank you very much for

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joining us. -- of Boutros-Ghali. German prosecutors say human error

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was to blame for the train crash which killed 11 people in Bavaria

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last week. More than 80 people were injured

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after two commuter trains collided on a single-track stretch of

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railway. With the latest, here's our

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correspondent in Berlin, Ordinarily, one of those trains

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would have been held back at signal On the particular day last week,

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both trains were, we're told, allowed by this controller on

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that track, travelling towards

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each other at speed. Now the controller, it is said,

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delivered some kind of wrong signal, which opened the track to both

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trains. tried to send a warning to both

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drivers - that warning, of course, appears to have

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come too late and resulted in what prosecutors described as

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"catastrophic consequences". Interestingly, they don't believe

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the man, who is 39 and said to have been pretty experienced, he finished

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his training at the end of the '90s, they say they don't believe he

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caused this crash on purpose, but they have now opened a criminal

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investigation into him. We are told that he faces a charge

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of involuntary manslaughter, If he is found guilty,

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it carries a maximum penalty On the day it happened, I spoke to a

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man in one of the carriages. He described really the most

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harrowing scenes, which he said to me will stay with him forever,

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understandably. He said he was sat there, there was

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a sudden sound like an explosion. He said people were flying through

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the carriages, I saw the wreckage myself and it was

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a pretty unpleasant sight. You can only imagine what it must

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have been like to have been right at the front of the trains

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when they collided. The death toll has stood at 11

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people, but this shocked Germany, because Germany is a country with a

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pretty good safety record There have been fatal crashes

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before, but it happens rarely. And of course, people put their

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faith in a modern system, a railway where signals and, for example,

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pieces of equipment are in place to stop this kind of accident from

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happening. So I think from the beginning people

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suspected that human error Today is the first time we have had

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that officially confirmed by The band Eagles of Death Metal

:16:51.:16:54.

return to Paris today to play a concert, just three

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months after the Paris attacks. They were the band performing

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at the Bataclan music hall when it was attacked by terrorists

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in November. The band joined U2 on stage in Paris

:17:09.:17:10.

shortly after the attacks but this is their first solo performance

:17:11.:17:15.

in the city since November. In what is sure to be an emotional

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evening, the band will perform in front of an audience of hundreds

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of survivors of the attacks. The concert will be held at the

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Olympia Theatre in Paris. The Bataclan music hall

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remains closed. has been speaking

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to French television. He said that the events

:17:34.:17:37.

of last November had confirmed his

:17:38.:17:39.

pro-gun views - saying that it was only the armed

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security forces who were able He also described how he is still

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haunted by the events of that night I can't really control it and I

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don't know where it's coming from That's one of the things that the

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strangest about this. I haven't had any nightmares and

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I've slept fine, but when I'm awake is when I see things that are

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nightmares, you know? And I thought that talking about it

:18:15.:18:16.

would make it easier. Expelling it from inside of me

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would make me less like this, There's really no frame of reference

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for this at all. On the streets of Paris today,

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one of the fans who survived the November attack talked about

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this evening's concert. TRANSLATION: It's lots of feelings,

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since the date of the concert Since we heard they were coming back

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and they were going to play here at the Olympia, we have been preparing

:18:46.:18:50.

ourselves psychologically. We have been wondering what it's

:18:51.:18:52.

going to be like. We have moments of joy because we

:18:53.:18:54.

are really happy to be here because we think of the people who

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are not here at the same time. I have a real physical need to

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attend this concert tonight. It's part of the reconstruction

:19:05.:19:07.

process. Colin Paterson is at the

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Olympia Theatre in Paris. All the survivors of the Bataclan

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show have been invited tonight and in fact, they have been allowed into

:19:25.:19:29.

the gig early. The band are fully aware that for

:19:30.:19:31.

many of them, this will be the first time they have gone to a concert

:19:32.:19:35.

since that night. So the band invited those fans into

:19:36.:19:39.

the gig an hour ago. Part of the reason was just to let

:19:40.:19:42.

them get acclimatise to the venue. We believe the band may actually

:19:43.:19:46.

come out and meet those fans early and also there are psychologists on

:19:47.:19:49.

hand tonight in case people do feel panic attacks, want to talk to

:19:50.:19:52.

someone about the experience, so it And what the band said since those

:19:53.:19:55.

that I have ever been to before. And what the band said since those

:19:56.:20:10.

terrible events on that night in November about what happened? The

:20:11.:20:14.

band started this tour on Saturday night in Sweden and moved to Norway.

:20:15.:20:18.

They had yesterday off to prepare for this and gave some interviews in

:20:19.:20:21.

the French press where they have spoken about how they are still

:20:22.:20:25.

traumatised, the front man Jesse Hughes says every time he wakes up,

:20:26.:20:28.

it is the first thing he thinks about. He has also made some

:20:29.:20:32.

comments about his belief that the right to bear arms should be given

:20:33.:20:36.

to all. He says he does not believe the attack would have been a bad if

:20:37.:20:41.

people -- as bad if people had the right to bear arms at the concert,

:20:42.:20:45.

quite controversial views, but they say tonight is a continuation of

:20:46.:20:49.

what they see as an interrupted night back in November. They want to

:20:50.:20:53.

show that this is about standing up to terrorism, that rock 'n' roll and

:20:54.:20:56.

music will continue despite the events of that night. They also say

:20:57.:21:00.

that despite the Bataclan not being yet open, they will go back and play

:21:01.:21:05.

that venue before the lead when it does reopen, possibly before the end

:21:06.:21:06.

of the year. They're the directors behind some of

:21:07.:21:08.

the most memorable movies to No Country for Old Men

:21:09.:21:11.

and True Grit, the Coen Brothers are famous for

:21:12.:21:15.

working across a huge range of plots Now they're tackling Hollywood -

:21:16.:21:19.

1950s Hollywood - with a comedy in which George Clooney

:21:20.:21:22.

plays an incompetent actor Our Arts Editor Will Gompertz has

:21:23.:21:25.

been talking to the pair. Hail, Caesar! is a classic Coen

:21:26.:21:33.

Brothers movie insomuch as it's a stylised, surreal comic

:21:34.:21:40.

tale, undercut with a little menace. The original sort

:21:41.:21:53.

of idea for the movie, when we first started

:21:54.:21:55.

thinking about it was, OK, 24 hours in the life

:21:56.:21:56.

of Eddie Mannix, as a sort

:21:57.:21:59.

of architecture through a movie. as a sort

:22:00.:22:01.

of architecture for a movie. Marriage doesn't have to last

:22:02.:22:02.

forever but in the end, having a child without

:22:03.:22:05.

a father would create a public relations

:22:06.:22:07.

problem for the studio. The aquatic pictures

:22:08.:22:08.

do very nicely for us. a legendary 1950s Hollywood

:22:09.:22:10.

fixer. Where does the idea start

:22:11.:22:13.

and what does it look like and then how do you,

:22:14.:22:16.

between you, evolve it? The scripts kind of develop

:22:17.:22:19.

out of essentially

:22:20.:22:22.

just a long conversation and so then the conversation gets

:22:23.:22:28.

more and more creative. and so then the conversation gets

:22:29.:22:32.

more and more concrete. Do you disagree?

:22:33.:22:34.

"I don't like that sentence, "I don't like that word,"

:22:35.:22:36.

or whatever? Well, yeah, I mean that's just

:22:37.:22:38.

the nature of movie-making, It's all about collaboration and the

:22:39.:22:40.

good collaborations are the ones where...not where you always know

:22:41.:22:45.

what's right, but when you know when the other

:22:46.:22:51.

person's right. Gather $100,000 and await

:22:52.:22:56.

further instructions. Gather $100,000 and await

:22:57.:23:00.

instructions. There are so many familiar

:23:01.:23:01.

structural devices we see Do you ever worry about

:23:02.:23:07.

repeating yourselves? I think when we were shooting Fargo

:23:08.:23:11.

and we were out on the street, shooting with the approaching car

:23:12.:23:15.

coming down and I literally turned to Ethan and

:23:16.:23:17.

said, "Haven't we shot this

:23:18.:23:19.

exact same thing before?" And you realise, to a certain

:23:20.:23:22.

extent, you keep reverting to the same shots or

:23:23.:23:25.

tropes or plot ideas. What would happen

:23:26.:23:30.

if one of you said, "Look, I don't want to do it

:23:31.:23:39.

anymore?" You have me there, sir,

:23:40.:23:41.

I haven't thought about that. Well, we did talk about it

:23:42.:23:44.

at one point, we said we will make

:23:45.:23:49.

ten movies and then quit. It gets too alarming

:23:50.:23:52.

thinking about that and even ways

:23:53.:23:56.

you are not aware of that you are repeating

:23:57.:24:00.

yourself, just on the road because

:24:01.:24:01.

he doesn't know anything else and he is just doing

:24:02.:24:05.

an oldies show. Lots more on that on the website.

:24:06.:24:24.

Let's go back to the two main stories we have been focusing on

:24:25.:24:28.

this hour, one in the last hour or so developing because Ukraine's

:24:29.:24:31.

embattled Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has survived a

:24:32.:24:36.

Parliamentary no-confidence vote in his government. It is only hours

:24:37.:24:42.

after the president asked him to stand down, despite criticising the

:24:43.:24:47.

Government's record, only 194 MPs voted in support of the

:24:48.:24:50.

no-confidence motion, but it was short of the 226 vote required for

:24:51.:24:56.

its approval. The president, Petro Poroshenko, earlier called on

:24:57.:25:01.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk to resign, saying he had lost public trust in his

:25:02.:25:05.

ability to fight corruption and overcome Ukraine's deep economic

:25:06.:25:10.

crisis. And in Syria, the other story we are focusing on, the United

:25:11.:25:20.

Nations special envoy says the Syrian government has a special duty

:25:21.:25:23.

to deliver aid to whoever needs it. After meeting the Syrian Foreign

:25:24.:25:28.

Minister in Damascus, Staffan de Mistura said this commitment would

:25:29.:25:31.

be tested tomorrow. A UN spokesman says the Syrian government has

:25:32.:25:35.

approved access to seven besieged areas, including in the east and

:25:36.:25:44.

near Damascus. Several other towns and villages that recently received

:25:45.:25:50.

aid where residents face starvation, such as Madaya, are on the list.

:25:51.:25:55.

Plenty more the website and you can get in touch with us via Twitter.

:25:56.:25:58.

That is it from the programme, from me and the rest of the team,

:25:59.:26:00.

goodbye. Hello, good evening, some changes in

:26:01.:26:10.

the next few days as a spell of rain, sleet and snow moves down from

:26:11.:26:12.

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