16/02/2016 World News Today


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


after Russia denied attacking schools and hospitals


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


leaving at least 50 people dead and many more wounded.


The UN Secretary General said the strikes


were a violation of international law.


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


And while the Turkish Foreign Ministry blames Russia,


has accused US planes of carrying out bombings.


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


has been meeting the Syrian Foreign Minister in Damascus


in an effort to restart peace talks next week.


Our Diplomatic Correspondent Bridget Kendall reports.


What looks like a Russian fighter jet in the skies


Imagine being in one those buildings.


Apparently north of the city of Aleppo yesterday.


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


The strikes are widely blamed on Russian and Syrian forces.


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


where they are still looking for victims,


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


who say that it could amount to a war crime.


There is mounting alarm across the rest of Europe.


The Russian bombing in Syria leaves us with little hope.


The Assad regime is strengthened and the moderate Syrian opposition


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


The Syrian army, with its Russian and Iranian backers,


insists they are advancing into northern Syria


and that this will liberate areas from terrorists.


Today, Russia angrily denied it had bombed hospitals.


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


There is no excuse for targeting innocent civilians,


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


Not only so-called moderate rebels backed by the West


more extremist fighters from one group


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


And that's why Russia and Syria insist


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


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


But a wider ceasefire looks further away than ever.


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


Ukraine's Prime Minister has survived a vote of no


after the country's president called on him to resign


and parliament rated his government "unsatisfactory".


Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk was updating the country's parliament


on his government's performance in 2015.


have resigned from the government in recent days


and there is frustration at a perceived lack of progress


The Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


first pro-Mac Phillips postindependence Prime Minister to


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


security challenges in the East, where the security situation has


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


Ukraine needed was a deep and acute political crisis and early


parliamentary elections, because that is what the opponents of this


dismissal of the Government and no-confidence vote were threatening


Ukraine with, further instability, further economic losses, further


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


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


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


unpopularity of his government in society is still a reality for


Ukraine, because Ukrainians are frustrated with the fact that their


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


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


programme unless there is real progress on the reforms, unless


there is real progress on fighting corruption, something that Ukrainian


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


Scientists in America believe they may have found


a potentially revolutionary way to treat cancer.


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


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


with blood cancers went into complete remission.


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


an immune cell attacking and neutralising a cancer cell,


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


This new study shows that specially engineered immune cells,


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


The study was published was in the United States and British


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


We know the immune system is incredibly powerful.


We know we can harness cells from the immune system,


engineer them and give them back to patients.


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


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


So we think the enormous power of the immune system,


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


A blood sample was taken from the patient and immune cells


Each one was modified and transformed into a targeted


immune cell to seek out and destroy cancer cells.


The cells were then grown in a laboratory and stored.


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


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


The patients helped by the therapy had all undergone other forms


of treatment which had failed, including chemotherapy


But cancer experts say more extensive trials and research


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


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


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


There's some caution about the latest study,


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


but there's agreement this is an important step forward


Scientists say the next challenge is to get the technology genetically


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


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


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


Although it is still technically illegal for Americans to visit Cuba


as tourists. Brazilian scientists


have found more evidence linking the Zika virus


to birth defects. The mosquito-borne virus is thought


to cause microcephaly, when a child has an abnormally


small head and brain damage. The World Health Organisation


says if the Zika virus the consequences would be


staggering. Two ethnic Uighur men have appeared


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


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


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


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


the United Nations Security Council for the former UN Secretary General


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


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


and Somalia for the UN's failure


to stop the Rwandan genocide and Washington was angered


by his opposition to Nato's bombing


campaign in Bosnia. Joining me from New York


is Denis Halliday, who was appointed by


Boutrous Boutrous-Ghali to UN Assistant Secretary-General


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


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


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


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


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


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


ancient Egyptian family, his grandfather was the Prime Minister


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


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


Paris. He came to the UN with extraordinary experience and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


last week. More than 80 people were injured


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


railway. With the latest, here's our


correspondent in Berlin, Ordinarily, one of those trains


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


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


that track, travelling towards


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


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


trains. tried to send a warning to both


drivers - that warning, of course, appears to have


come too late and resulted in what prosecutors described as


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


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


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


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


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


of involuntary manslaughter, If he is found guilty,


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


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


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


understandably. He said he was sat there, there was


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


the carriages, I saw the wreckage myself and it was


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


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


when they collided. The death toll has stood at 11


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


pretty good safety record There have been fatal crashes


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


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


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


happening. So I think from the beginning people


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


that officially confirmed by The band Eagles of Death Metal


return to Paris today to play a concert, just three


months after the Paris attacks. They were the band performing


at the Bataclan music hall when it was attacked by terrorists


in November. The band joined U2 on stage in Paris


shortly after the attacks but this is their first solo performance


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


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


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


Olympia Theatre in Paris. The Bataclan music hall


remains closed. has been speaking


to French television. He said that the events


of last November had confirmed his


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


would make it easier. Expelling it from inside of me


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


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


one of the fans who survived the November attack talked about


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


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


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


ourselves psychologically. We have been wondering what it's


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


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


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


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


process. Colin Paterson is at the


Olympia Theatre in Paris. All the survivors of the Bataclan


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


the gig early. The band are fully aware that for


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


since that night. So the band invited those fans into


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the most memorable movies to No Country for Old Men


and True Grit, the Coen Brothers are famous for


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


1950s Hollywood - with a comedy in which George Clooney


plays an incompetent actor Our Arts Editor Will Gompertz has


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


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


tale, undercut with a little menace. The original sort


of idea for the movie, when we first started


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


of Eddie Mannix, as a sort


of architecture through a movie. as a sort


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


forever but in the end, having a child without


a father would create a public relations


problem for the studio. The aquatic pictures


do very nicely for us. a legendary 1950s Hollywood


fixer. Where does the idea start


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


between you, evolve it? The scripts kind of develop


out of essentially


just a long conversation and so then the conversation gets


more and more creative. and so then the conversation gets


more and more concrete. Do you disagree?


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


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


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


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


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


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


further instructions. Gather $100,000 and await


instructions. There are so many familiar


structural devices we see Do you ever worry about


repeating yourselves? I think when we were shooting Fargo


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


coming down and I literally turned to Ethan and


said, "Haven't we shot this


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


extent, you keep reverting to the same shots or


tropes or plot ideas. What would happen


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


anymore?" You have me there, sir,


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


at one point, we said we will make


ten movies and then quit. It gets too alarming


thinking about that and even ways


you are not aware of that you are repeating


yourself, just on the road because


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


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


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


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


embattled Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has survived a


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


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


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


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


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


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


ability to fight corruption and overcome Ukraine's deep economic


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


Nations special envoy says the Syrian government has a special duty


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


Minister in Damascus, Staffan de Mistura said this commitment would


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


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


near Damascus. Several other towns and villages that recently received


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


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


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


goodbye. Hello, good evening, some changes in


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


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