20/03/2016 World News Today


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Making history, President Obama arrives in Cuba. He's the first US


President to visit for nearly 90 years. Turkey says it's identified


the suicide bomber responsible for Saturday's attack in Istanbul and he


had links to Islamic state. Boat-loads of migrant continue to


arrive in Greece despite an agreement to send them back to


Turkey. A very warm welcome to you.


We are taking you straight to Cuba where President Obama has arrived on


what is being termed an historic visit, the first to the island by a


sitting President for nearly 90 years. He'll be there for two days


and will meet President Raul Castro where the pair will discuss trade


and political reform. Well, Dr Helen Yaffi is economic history fellow at


the London School of Economics and the author of Che Guevara; the


Economics of the Revolution. Welcome. You and I were watching the


arrival of the first family of the United States arriving en mass OK on


the tarmac in Havana just about 15 minutes ago now. The term historic


is often overused by us journalists, we are horribly guilty of it but in


this instance it's justified? Absolutely. If you think these are


two countries who brought the world to the brink of a nuclear war in


1962 and who would have thought this just a few years ago when the


relationship between the countries seemed to be at crisis point. So


yes, since the announcement in December 2014 that the countries had


re-established diplomatic relations, and that was the result of 18 months


of secret talks which really took the world by surprise. There's been


a sort of positive spiral between the two countries and there are many


issues still to be resolved but the first steps are being taken.


The first important steps being taken. Dr Helen please stick around


because we have a lot to talk about over the next half hour. Right now,


I want to check in with Barbara Plett-usher who is on the streets of


Havana for us. We were talking earlier about the slight make-over


that the central states of old Havana have undertake none the


run-up to this visit by President Obama, the smell of paint still


wafting about in the air? Yes. The Cubans have done as much as


they can to make the city look good for President Obama. Not only in old


Havana where he'll be going on a walkabout shortly if the weather


clears, but in other parts of the city, the streets he'll drive on,


the streets from the airport and in the city on which he'll drive. They


haven painted buildings, repaired the pavement and put up some bill


boards. Posters have been put up of President Obama himself, including


one of Obama and Raul Castro, things that you wouldn't have believed you


would have seen just 18 months ago. The city has been undergoing a


make-over for President Obama and the people themselves have been


eagerly looking forward to his visit. I think many are fairly


understanding that him actually stepping on to Cuban soil isn't


going to radically thing their lives right away.


The reproachment happened and Cubans' lives haven't changed right


away. But they understand the symbolic importance of Mr Obama.


Visiting with his entire family, Malia, Sasha and Michelle. We won't


see the streets swamped. Cubans have been encouraged to stay


home during this visit. The weather is not so great at the


moment. The images of endless sunshine here, but you get,


especially at this time of year what they call cold fronts and rain


sweeping in, which is bad timing unfortunately. So less people on the


street for this reason. Also, as you said, the Cubans government have


been telling people it would be better for them if they didn't come


out on the street. There'll be street closures for security


reasons. They wouldn't get a close look at the President anyway.


Anything else President Obama does during this trip, the emphasis of


the trip has been on the Cuban people. President Obama will be


meeting President Castro and there'll be press conferences and


pomp and ceremony around that. The Obama administration's always said


its policy is aimed at engaging the Cuban people and hoping that will


bring change about, rather than isolating the leadership.


Stimulating the private sector is a big part of the American approach.


He'll go to a baseball game. Again, something common between Cuba and


the United States. They all love baseball and a lot of the American


leagues are Cuban. He's also going to address the nation, he'll be


speaking at a famous theatre down town.


Remarks will be broadcast on state television which would be


unprecedented. It's an amazing thing that this is something they plan to


do, meaning all Cubans will be able to hear his message. He'll be


meeting with the dissidents that the Americans have been backing all


along, saying this is an issue of human rights to stand up against an


authoritarian regime, something the government said they wouldn't want


interference on but it's something Mr Obama is going to be raising with


President Raul Castro, that is the area of his visit.


Really gad to check in with you Barbara. For now, thank you.


Dr Helen, who is still hear with me in the studio from the London school


of economics, Barbara touched on it at the end there that President


Obama will be meeting with political dissidents during this visit,


including this group that was demonstrating a few hours before his


arrival the ladies in white. Could you explain who they are and the


significance of that? The ladies many white got set up as


the wives and sisters of a group of people who were arrested a few years


ago and accused by the Cuban government of receiving money from


the US or through agencies funded by the US to break the laws in Cuba


through various means of promoting regime change. The interesting thing


is that all those prisoners have subsequently been released in Cuba,


they have had an amnesty. But the ladies in white have continued


protesting, they are free to do so, they have a protest every week and


obviously for them, the opportunity provided by Obama's visit to draw a


bit of the Spotlight to themselves, is something that wouldn't be


missed. They are a controversial group, they don't have much


following, hardly any among the Cuban people, not least because they


receive payment for their activism. So the payment they receive for


attending one march is almost the same as a monthly average monthly


salary of a Cuban. That is interesting. Yes. Important to


remember that although there's been so many steps taken in the lead up


to this visit in terms of the thawing of relations, including


economic relations between the two, this visit does not mark the


complete normalisation of a relationship between Cuba and the US


because that 54-year-old economic embargo, that's still in place isn't


it? Absolutely. It's codified in law through congress so it would require


a vote. However, the Cubans have been very clear in laying out the


aspects that could be removed very quickly by executive degree. Obama


took some measures, or rather his administration did, which were


announced a couple of days ago. Among these measures, it gives you


an idea, I don't think people realise the extent of the blockade,


so one of the measures that's just been removed was that US citizens


visiting any country in Europe would have been breaking the law to drink


any drink that had a Cuban product in, so if they'd gone to a bar, I'm


thinking about my students at the London School of Economics, there


are many from the US, if they went to the student bar and had a Cuba


drink, they would have been violating the US blockade. So there


are some quite absurd measures which are thankfully being removed. But


it's interesting that all this sort of apparatus or infrastructure


that's impeding the relationship is on the US side so the onus is really


on the United States administration and Obama has shown, particularly


with the announcement a couple of days ago, that he is serious. There


are many more measures he can take using his presidential privilege.


What a wonderful first step to have been taken today, the first of many


perhaps. Dr Helen from the London school of economics, many thanks.


We are following this historic visit on BBC News, by not only President


Barack Obama but also his wife Michelle, their daughters Sasha and


Malia having touched down in the last half hour or so on the runway


in Havana in Cuba, the first visit by a sitting US President in 88


years. More on the BBC website and we'll be returning to this, our top


story here on BBC News throughout the hour.


There is some other news happening in the world, including officials in


Turkey, saying that the suicide bomber behind an attack in Istanbul


on Saturday has been identified as a member of the Islamic state militant


group. The Interior Minister announced the findings of their


investigation, referring to Islamic state as Daesh.


Our findings though the terrorist is afilliated with the terrorists of


Daesh. We investigated whether there are other connections to others


behind the attack. The information I received was there was no warrant


issued so far. Fever people have been detained. -- five people have


been detained. Five people were killed


and more than 30 wounded And the city remains on edge today


as officials postponed a football match earlier, citing


an unspecified threat. Daniel Boettcher has


the latest from Istanbul. This is the heart of Istanbul, its


most popular shopping street. This is where the suicide bombing


happened yesterday. Last night this area was emptied. People are coming


back out on to the streets here. The authorities say they have now


formally identified the suicide bomber who they say was linked to


Islamic state. This is the site of the bombing and people have put up


banners saying "we are not afraid, we are not going away". There's


carnations that have been set on the ground there. There's a mood of


defiance. Some people are staying away. This area would normally be


even busier on a weekend. Some embassies have been warning


visitors, tourists, to stay away from crowded areas and from the main


tourist sites. There is a sense here of a city on


edge and while the main concerns are of course about safety and security,


people are also beginning to wonder what all of this will mean for


businesses like these for shops, restaurants, cafes and also for


Turkey's tourism. I'm a restaurant owner so I know


that it's going to a risk. For a couple of months actually, there's a


huge decrease in the number of people coming to the restaurant. How


would you judge the mood amongst people in Istanbul at the moment?


It's the first time that we are living in that kind of mood that any


time, anywhere, there could be blast bombings. This has been the fourth


suicide bombing in Turkey's two main cities this year and, although there


isn't a visible presence, there is a heightened state of security as


Turkey faces threats from Kurdish militants. Some other news: The


lawyer for Paris attack suspect says he's planning legal action against a


French prosecutor for revealing details of his first interrogation


to journalists. The prosecutor told reporters that he admitted backing


out of blowing himself up during the November attacks.


The European Union's new rules for migrants crossing from Turkey


From today, all migrants who don't prove a case for asylum in Europe


can expect to be sent back to Turkey.


But the new rules haven't stopped people from making the short


but dangerous trip from Turkey to the Greek Island of Lesbos.


It's emerged it could take months to decode the flight data recorders


from a plane that crashed while trying to land at Rostov


It happened in the early hours of Saturday killing all 62


The chief executive of FlyDubai made an appeal not to speculate


A top Rwandan genocide suspect has been sent


from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Rwanda where


Ladislas Ntaganzwa is accused of organising the killing and sexual


abuse of tens of thousands of ethnic Tutsis in 1994.


The US had placed a five-million-dollar bounty


Do stay with us. Still to come from Rome to deal, famous landmarks


around the world go dark as part of a huge campaign to these awareness


of environmental issues. Here in the UK the fallout has continued from


the dramatic resignation from the government of Iain Duncan Smith, the


Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. Today, in his first


interview since stepping down on Friday, Mr Duncan Smith repeated his


criticisms of the government planned cuts to disability announced by


Chancellor George Osborne earlier this week. He is Mr Duncan Smith


speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr. ?33 billion a year out of working


age benefits. My argument now is we cannot on doing this. Too far now,


the straw that broke the back? I care for my countrymen and women, I


am resigning because I want my government to think again about this


and get back to that position which I believe is about an a one nation.


This is not some second attempt to attack the Prime Minister or


anything about Europe. It is nothing to do with that at all. This is ABC


world News today. The latest headlines: Michael making history,


President Obama arrives in Cuba. He is the first US president to visit


for nearly 90 years. Now, in us carrying foreign students has


crashed in Spain cooling at least 13 people. The accident happened early


in the morning on the highway between Valencia and worse alone.


Most of the 57 people on board the bus where international students on


an EU exchange programme returning to Barcelona after a fireworks


festival. I have been speaking to our reporter in Madrid who has more


details on this terrible crash. Well, we have heard from both the


regional government of Catalonia with this accident happened and from


the central government in Spain but they believe that this was human


error, this accident was caused by human error, the driver certainly


seems to have lost control of the bus in the early hours of this


morning. It appeared across the road heading a barrier then veered into


the middle of the road and turned over on its side and a car coming in


the other direction then struck the bus and 13 people were killed on the


bus in that accident. Other people have an taken to hospital throat the


day. Many of them have been discharged throughout the day but


the investigators at this moment are still looking into exactly what


happened and they are trying to identify the bodies. The


nationalities and identities of the 13 people who were killed, all of


whom were young women. Let's catch up with all the latest sports news


now. I am Jessica Crichton and I have the latest in the sports news.


Marco Fu Ashford scored the only goal of the game as Manchester


United week rivals Manchester City in the Derby. The 18-year-old coolly


slotted home in the 15th minute and now just a point between fourth


placed city who also lost Raheem Sterling and Joe Hart to injury. We


have to fight to the end because we were tired. We have played Thursday


and they have pleased Tuesday or Wednesday, I don't know but one day


more and that is very important. We did it also against Arsenal. If you


weeks ago. Now again against Manchester City so, here you are


seeing a very road manager. We dominated the game from the first


minute. We mist three or four chances to score. He scored the goal


in a mistake we made defending and that was the thing. Every player


makes mistakes but Martin Demichelis did not have a great day today.


Every player has a bad day, I think he was nervous and it was not good


for him to continue but we didn't score a goal and that is not his


fault. Also in the English Premier League Tottenham have cut Leicester


City's read at the top 25 points after a win against Bournemouth, two


goals from Harry Kane and one from Christain Eriksen shows the title


race is not over yet. Leicester played before us and most of the


games coming up so we know what we have to do but it is still a long


way to go. A lot of points up for grabs but we go away now in the


National break and we focus on that and when we come back it is a game


away from then and we have to focus. Two other results to tell you about


from England's top-flight. The result in the north-east derby


leaves both in the relegation zone. Liverpool lost 3-2 to Southampton.


Nico Rosberg has won the first race of the Formula 1 season in


Australia. He finished ahead of Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel


came third. After 17 yards it was halted after this man hit the


concrete wall but was able to walk away seemingly unhurt. The Moto GP


season is underway in Qatar. Jorge Lorenzo took the win. And as the


world T20 tournament South Africa have winds back from their opening


game defeat to England by beating Afghanistan by 37 runs. South Africa


made 209 from the 20 overs, the sixth highest total ever. AB de


Villiers made 64 including 29 off just one over. Afghanistan is


Mohammed Shazad made 20 overs of 19 balls but it was not enough to win


the game the other light for 172. The Indies have listed their chances


of regressing from the same group. Chris Gayle did not bat for the West


Indies because of injury, Sri Lanka were reduced to 120 949. The West


Indies not that off with almost two overs to spare. Serena Williams has


been beaten. The world number one went down in straight sets to the


fact teens seed six -- four, 6-4. The men's final is underway now.


That is all the sport for now. Many thanks. Let's go back now to have


banner and our correspondence I will ask on what has been an historic day


the first visit of the US president to due in nearly 90 years. We were


talking earlier about the significance of this visit and also


what is on the agenda because it sounds like nothing is off the table


when it comes to the discussions that will take least not only


between President Obama and his counterpart role Haass talks but


also the ordinary people of Cuba. -- Raul Castro. Yes, a lot to talk


about. On the agenda for the official talks what the Americans


would like to see particularly from an economic point of view is for the


Cuban government to respond to the steps the US has been taking. The US


has eased some of the sanctions, allowed more trade and some


interaction but it needs steps on the Cuban side for that to move


ahead and the Cubans have been reluctant. They have economic


reforms that they have been working on that have an slow in general but


on top of that I think he would also want to be moving quite cautiously


when it comes to the US because of their very fraught history. They do


not trust the US is stored at the Andy moving slowly possibly for that


reason. The Americans will possibly bring up democracy and human rights.


They have do because that has been the centre point of their policy


towards Cuba for the last few years. Something critics back home will be


looking for. The Cubans said we will talk about anything but we will not


be negotiating, we have our own system of government. Evidence we


think are mercenaries underfunded ride the US out against state. Those


positions which have an like that for years are not going to change


and I do not think the Americans expect that to change but the issue


will be raised. President Obama has a full agenda of meeting Cuban


people in various settings one of which will be to meet entrepreneurs


because a big part of the policy is to try to stimulate the private


sector. He will also attend a baseball game and meet with some


dissidents at the embassy, some of whom support what he is doing and


say the best way to do with our problems is to have a more open


environment between the US and Cuba and some new say he is selling them


out because he is giving the Cuban government legitimacy when it has


not changed its authoritarian policies. Good to talk to you. On


the streets of the rainy Habana awaiting the arrival of President


Barack Obama and the entire first family from the United States.


Barack Obama touched down on the runway in Havana about 40 minutes


ago with his wife and daughters marking the significance of what is


a truly historic visit. From all of us here at BBC News, fax for


watching. -- thank you for watching. Hello again we are expecting a big


change in the weather pattern later this week. Or the moment it is as


you wear, high-pressure sitting close to the


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