09/03/2016 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today with me, Karin Giannone.


The headlines: A rare royal rebuttal from Buckingham Palace over alleged


Claims in a newspaper that Queen Elizabeth wants Britain


to leave the European Union are being strongly denied.


The main route for migrants trying to reach northern Europe


is effectively shut down as Macedonia closes its border with


Tributes for the man who shaped the Beatles' sound from the very


beginning - their producer, George Martin, who's died


And a spectacular treat for sky-watchers in Indonesia -


the best country in the world to witness this rare solar eclipse.


We start with an official complaint from Buckingham Palace,


about a report in Britain's Sun newspaper, which claimed the Queen


had expressed strong doubts about the UK's place in Europe.


The paper said the Queen made her opinion known to the then


Deputy Prime Minister at a lunch at Windsor Castle in 2011.


The BBC's royal correspondent, Nicholas Witchell, reports.


As many focused on the marriage and Kate Middleton, the Queen at Windsor


Castle was letting rip about the European Union. That at least is the


claim from an anonymous source to the Song. Alongside a front-page


deadline, greenbacks breaks it, the Song claims that at a lunch at


Windsor the monarch believed the EU was heading in the wrong direction.


The paper says the lunch was attended by the Ven Deputy Prime


Minister Nick Clegg, to whom the remarks were principally directed,


and a handful of other ministers. But today Mr Clegg said he had no


recollection of such a conversation. I think it's appalling that the


people who want to drag the UK out of the European Union are now trying


to drag the European referendum debate. As for the story in the


Sunni, it's Sunni, it's nonsense, it's not true, I couldn't clearer.


King Palace initially stressed the Queen's political neutrality. Later


it confirmed it was making a complaint about the story to the


press standards organisation. But the paper said...


Might this have been the occasion at the centre of the story? The Court


circular shows that in early April 2011 there was a meeting of the


Privy Council at Windsor attended by Mr Clegg and Michael Gove, who was


then the Education Secretary, and several other ministers. None has


made any comment today. So what are we to make of this? The Queen does


ask questions, she makes observations on occasions, but she


doesn't take over the political positions. Her officials point to 64


years of pretty pumped years neutrality. They say any idea that


she would take sides in anyway in the EU referendum is simply wrong.


With me is Andrew Blake, a constitutional historian at Kings


College, London. What do you make of this report and furore? It engages a


very important constitutional issue fundamental to the way in which


British democracy and our monarchy functions. That is that the monarchy


should not be seen publicly to get involved in matters of political


controversy on one side or the other. The monarchy is supposed to


keep out of these things. You say this is vitally important that the


Queen would not be seen to have any persuasion one way or the other on


this sort of matter? That's exactly it and that's why the Palace are


taking this so seriously. This is such an important issue, such a


divisive issue, that the monarchy cannot be seen to be siding on one


side or the other, whatever the Queen may think privately. How


unusual is it for Buckingham Palace to come out of this weight and rebut


these comments and the report about what she may have said or may not


have said? Very unusual and they have a general policy of not getting


involved. It shows how seriously this is being taken. How much


privacy does the Queen have two express what she feels about matters


in politics and elsewhere? What is private for her? Where does the


boundary like? There's a clear understanding that although the


Queen doesn't become publicly involved in controversial matters,


she's entitled to warn ministers, to consult and advise ministers, to


have with ministers in private. She has a weekly audience with the Prime


Minister in which all manner of things can come up. There's a


convention around this that nobody breaks ranks and actually brings


into the public domain things they are told by the Queen. In terms of


talking to the public, we've had reaction to something she said about


Scotland and the referendum about Scotland's remaining in the UK.


What's the difference between the Queen talking to a minister or the


Deputy Prime Minister and a member of the public? An important


difference is also that the Queen at that time was saying this is a


serious decision that needs to be taken seriously. You may attach an


interpretation to that... She wanted Scotland to stay. Some people


attached that, but she didn't say that, she said this should be taken


seriously, which you can't argue with. If she's saying the referendum


in Europe needs to be taken seriously, that's one thing. If


she's expressing a view that we should perhaps leave, which I'm not


saying is her view, but that's the insinuation, that's a different


matter. Thank you. Elsewhere in Europe,


Macedonia says it will no longer let any migrants through its


border with Greece - blocking the main route for people


trying to seek asylum. Tensions are high among


the thousands stranded at the Greek-Macedonian border,


which is now closed. Our correspondent, Christian Fraser,


is at Idomeni and has walked the last mile with some


of the migrants. Thousands of migrants have walked


through Greece and Macedonia and on into Central Europe. But in recent


weeks, many of the countries along that route have started applying


tighter restrictions. The border between Greece and Macedonia has


been closed and it looks as if it will stay closed. And yet still they


arrive in huge numbers. So who are they and why do they come? We will


walk the last mind -- mile of this journey and find out a bit more


about their stories. What has life been like


for Yazidis in Iraq? TRANSLATION: Absolutely difficult,


there's no life there, only war. 4,500 women were raped


and a lot of men were killed. Have you heard of the


conditions at Idomeni? The conditions are really bad,


only God can help us. TRANSLATION: It's very important


to have the right documents, and even with the right documents,


they're kind of useless My wife is already in Austria


and I tried to go through the family reunion route, but I've been waiting


for a long time so I decided to make this journey to try


and join her in Austria. There's not many people to help,


but that guy is holding my daughter. So God sent him to help me,


he's from Syria. We're walking again,


we must keep walking. We've been walking for an hour. We


are in sight of the camp. These are the outskirts of the camp. You can


see the Kents in the fields. There's a whole process these people have to


go through. They have to register at the camp, get a number, the numbers


are called to the gate one by one, in order. We've heard while we've


been on the road today from the Macedonian police on the other side


that they've closed the border completely. These things fluctuate


and these people will hope the border might well open, but right


now, it seems this might be a futile journey and they could be sitting


here for days, possibly weeks. A Greek far-right MEP


has been thrown out of the European Parliament


after comparing the Turkish To applause, the parliament's


President Martin Schultz announced the immediate expulsion


of Golden Dawn MEP Eletherios Mr Schultz said his comments


had "crossed red lines" The MEP gathered up his


belongings and was escorted You've probably been


following the story of one of London's most audacious


jewellery heists last Easter. Now four of the men behind


the Hatton Garden raid have been The gang got away with ?14 million


in cash and jewels. The re-enforced wall,


more than a metre thick, that the Hatton Garden gang bored


through with a diamond-tipped drill. Once inside, they ripped open


73 safe deposit boxes, stuffing the diamonds, jewels,


watches, cash and gold bullion into wheelie bins


for ease of transport. They made away with ?14 million


worth last Easter Bank Holiday Today, most of the Hatton Garden


gang learnt their punishment. 77-year-old Brian Reader was too


unwell to be sentenced yesterday, but Terry Perkins was given


seven years in prison, so was Kenny Collins


and the fourth ringleader, Jones' friend, Carl Wood,


who lost his nerve halfway But William Lincoln who helped store


the loot loot got seven years. Hugh Doyle, the plumber who helped


move the stolen property, Each will serve only half


their sentence actually in prison. There may be people out there that


feel a little bit of sympathy in relation to those that


were sentenced today. However, these were all career


callous criminals who had no thought in relation to the property


that they actually stole ?4 million worth of stolen jewellery


and cash was found by police, some buried in a North London


graveyard, but ?10 million Also missing is the mysterious Basil


who worked with the gang, He's now the Flying


Squad's most wanted man. The gang gave few clues


in their police interviews. Secretly filmed here


by undercover detectives, discussing the heist in the pub,


the gang had an average age of 63, so why were they still


committing crime? Noel 'Razor' Smith, himself


a lifetime criminal, though now reformed,


knows some of the men and says they probably did it


for the thrill of it. Being a professional criminal,


crime can be very addictive. When you're a career


criminal, that's your thing. No matter how old you get and how


much money you've got, you still get a, sort of,


a yearning to be on the front-line The judge today described this


burglary as "unprecedented" in its ambition and the value


of property stolen so the sentences are extremely high and things could


get worse for the Hatton Garden gang next year they'll be asked to give


the money back or spend even A Ukrainian military pilot on trial


for complicity in the death of two Russian journalists has


denounced her trial in a Russian Nadyia Savchenko has vowed


to continue her hunger strike, now in its fifth day, until charges


against her are dropped. Russian prosecutors allege


she coordinated this mortar attack in eastern Ukraine, in which two


Russian journalists and other Today's hearing sparked


more protests outside Tom Burridge reports


from Kiev in a moment, but first here's Sarah Rainsford


outside the court in Donetsk. It was a fairly short session


of court today in southern Russia, Nadyia Savchenko has been on hunger


strike now for five days, but she managed to walk into court


herself and at one point she jumped and showed her middle


finger to the judge, a gesture of defiance, but also,


she said, showing what she thinks She then had a translator read


out a formal statement She said that Russia had no justice,


that this trial is a farce We've heard from the EU


and the US this week, both calling on Russia to drop


the charges against Nadyia Savchenko and to return her to Ukraine,


saying this is an unjust trial. Russia has said this is a criminal


proceeding and that the outside world, the West, should not


try to influence Russian courts. Nadyia Savchenko is


a Russian military officer. She is accused of complicity


in the deaths of two Russian journalists during the fighting


in eastern Ukraine. Her lawyers, over the course


of several months, have shown evidence that they say proves


she was actually captured before She is still on hunger strike


and she's vowed to stay on hunger strike until the verdict


is delivered or until, But that verdict now


won't come until March 21st. Her lawyers have warned that


unless she is force-fed, The case of Nadyia Savchenko has


become much more than just one woman's claim of innocence


in a Russian courtroom. This is the Russian


Embassy in central Kiev. There's paint on the walls


from previous protests. Further down, you can see


all the signs and the heavy police These people here today,


the protestors who have come out to the Russian Embassy,


and across Ukraine, see her as a symbol of defiance,


a symbol of hope, in the face of what a lot of Ukrainians believe


is Russian aggression. We came here today because Nadyia


Savchenko is a symbol of Ukraine. She shows the Russian citizens


and the Russian government that Thank God we have such a hero


who can, despite all the trials, despite all the hardships


she faces at the moment, she can freely express her opinion


and she's not definitely broken. These people really see


Nadyia Savchenko as someone who represents the fight in Ukraine


for true independence, true sovereignty, from their larger


neighbour, Russia. In the world of music,


Sir George Martin was revered His death, at the age of 90, has


been followed by countless tributes. Paul McCartney described him


as the fifth Beatle, acknowledging George Martin's


pivotal role in taking the Fab Four's raw talent


and turning them into Over seven decades, he worked


with many of the most successful George Martin was 15 years older


than most of the Beatles, much more experience and had been trained as a


classical musician. By 1962 when he first saw the Beatles, he already


had seven years of experience and had already had numerous hit


records. He really knew the pop music business in the UK and the


Beatles, as talented as they were, were still very, very young. Give


the black -- classical background make the difference when it combined


with this war force of pop music? That background helped, but George


Martin had a very good understanding of what the formulas were for


putting together pop songs in that era. That's one of the most


important thing is he taught the Beatles. They had the talent, but he


had the ability to pull it together to something that would be


immediately successful. Were they sceptical at first with what he was


trying to do? A little bit. There's a story George Martin used to love


to tell. If there's anything you don't like tell me. George Harrison


said, I don't like your tie. They were always pushing back on anything


trying to control them. But they had a very healthy respect for him. The


students on your carts -- course, what part do they see him as having


played? The fifth Beatle? Probably not because the Beatles have become


such iconic faces, larger-than-life in many ways. George Martin was


always behind-the-scenes. By the time they get to the end of the


course, they know how important George Martin was to the group. As


their music evolved, how did George Martin's input change? The Beatles


began to change from being craftsmen, trying to repeat the same


formula, to being artists, where they didn't want to repeat. They


were always trying new things and somebody had to tell them how to get


new effects in the studio. George Martin was in charge of that. What


would he do? Backward tape affects. Being for the benefit of Mr Kite,


they took a tape of the Steve Morgan, threw it into bits, threw it


up in the air, take them together and created a background wash. This


is the kind of thing George Martin thought up when John Lennon said he


wanted to sound like the Dalai Lama singing from the mountaintop. How do


you do that? Tens of thousands of people have


been holding protests across France against a new labour


law being brought in by The reform to the country's labour


code is meant to give greater flexibility to employers,


so they'll be more willing to take But opponents say it's an erosion


of longstanding social rights. The biggest demonstration


was in Paris and Hugh Schofield At the end of today there will be


the normal numbers game to see how many people have turned up for this


protest against the government's new labour law. I would say it's a


pretty big turnout, but maybe not quite as much as the organisers


would have liked. Maybe the bad weather has something to do with it.


Most people here are young people. Students, university students, and


they say they will be the first in line if this reform goes through.


Just to remind you what this government reform is about, it's


about a change to the labour code. The government wants to reassure


business to take on more staff by removing some of the protection


enjoyed by workers up to now. For examples there would be a ceiling on


the amount of fines courts could impose on companies in the case of


wrongful dismissal, for example. The aim is to combat the country's


punishingly high unemployment, but young people are saying that when


they hit the jobs market, they will be the first to suffer. They'll be


condemned to a life of job insecurity. Precariousness. That's a


long way from the idea of social progress which of course is so dear


to the French left. A pioneering procedure for treating


the leading cause of blindness has been successful in helping


children in China to see. Around 20 million people worldwide


are blind because of cataracts, which is the clouding


of the eye's lens. It's normally treated


by implanting a lens, but the new technique activates stem


cells in the eye to grow a new one. It was trialled in China


amongst 12 children, where the regenerated lens grew


to a normal size in eight months. Our health and science reporter,


James Gallagher, explains. If you imagine light comes


in your eye through the pupil, the little black dot in the middle


of your eye and just behind When that becomes cloudy,


and it's no longer able to focus the light onto the back of the eye


to allow you to see. That's why there are millions


of people around the world So the best treatment at the moment


is to use ultrasound to break up the lens and then you just wash it


out and then you put in an implant. Now that works really


well for older people. It's less successful,


although still the best thing So the idea here was to try


something completely different. So they go in and they remove


the cataract, which is that blue bit But what they do is they leave


the rest, the outside So they just take it out


through a tiny little hole. The thing is, that capsule,


the outer surface of the lens, is covered in these regenerative


cells which would normally heal minor bits of damage,


but actually if, if you keep them intact, then they can repair


the entire lens when left That's what they've just


done in these children. Indonesians have been treated


to a rare solar eclipse - that's when the moon passes


in front of the sun, Indonesia was the best country


in the world to see the spectacle. People in Belitung had


a particularly good view. Foreign and local tourists have


flocked to this small island to catch one of the best views of the


rare solar eclipse. Cheers of excitement and then silence. You can


tell. The shades are different and the colours become different. Even


the temperature gets a bit lower. You cannot compare it with something


else. It's very special. You see the curl on the diamond. The noise of


the sea comes back. It's loud. Before that it's so silent. For many


in Indonesia it was deeply spiritual. Across the diverse


cultures of this archipelago, there are many myths and beliefs about the


solar eclipse. I'm so happy but also frightened. I have mixed feelings. I


am frightened by the darkness and I'm scared. It's an omen of


something bad happening in the future. Like more natural disaster.


But the event has given the island economy a major boost. We already


sold out since October last year. Mostly the guests are coming from


outside Indonesia. In some places officials have had to find extra


space for tourists on boats. People not wanting to miss it. Quite


exciting and quite incredible. Once-in-a-lifetime maybe. Scientists


have also flocked to Indonesia, using the event to study solar


physics. The next one is in 18 months' time in North America.


Buckingham Palace has complained to the British press watchdog over a


newspaper story claiming Queen Elizabeth supports Britain's except


from the European Union. The palace said the Queen remained politically


neutral. But for now from me and the rest


of the team, goodbye.


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