21/03/2016 World News Today


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America's man in Havana, Barack Obama, tells Cubans


History in Havana, President Obama and President Raul Castro meet


at the Revolutionary Palace, the seat of the Cuban government.


This is a new day between our two countries.


This is the scene live in Havana, where we're expecting


Presidents Obama and Castro to deliver statements shortly.


They will be celebrating that historic event.


The International Criminal Court finds former Congolese vice


president Jean-Pierre Bemba guilty of war crimes


As the British Parliament debates whether the atrocities committed


against Middle East religious minorities are a genocide,


we hear from a Yazidi survivor of Islamic State.


They ruined our lives. They raped us, they left us with nothing, they


took everything. It's never made a profit,


so what does the future hold In an historic moment,


US President Obama has held talks with his Cuban counterpart,


Raul Castro, on the second day Speaking a short time ago,


Raul Castro said he welcomed Obama's commitment to end the trade embargo


imposed by the US 54 years ago, but said more restrictions needed


to be lifted. The blockade stands as the most


important obstacle to our economic development. That's why its removal


will be of the of the essence to normalise relations. The road ahead


will not be easy, as you indicated. Fortunately, we don't have to swim


with sharks in order to achieve the goals we have set forth. As you say


here in Cuba, despite the difficulties, we will continue to


move forward. US President Barack Obama insisted


that the differences between their two governments won't


be a barrier to future cooperation. And we can cross live to Havana now


and the BBC's Laura Trevelyan. What did you make of the two


Presidents? Well, wasn't it fascinating, that even though both


men talked about how their countries were working together, they both


talked about what Raul Castro called the profound differences between the


two countries, chiefly on human rights and democracy. Just as


President Castro was taking a final question from an American journalist


just a few moments ago, he said, for example, "I think human rights


should not be politicised. If that is the purpose, we will stay the


same." He also said, "Is there any sacred right than the right to


health? " The difference between the health care systems. The Americans


want to focus on the fact that the Cubans crackdown on dissidents and


political activists. President Obama talking about this being a major


irritant, the Cuban record on human rights and democracy. And the Cubans


coming right back at them with President Castro being very testy on


the issue of political prisoners. Clearly, the tension is there, but


also both countries and men talking about the need to work together. The


question of political prisoners, that was something that came up from


the floor. My understanding of the tone and the mood of that... Of the


press conference, once it was open to the journalist is, is that the


questions focused on the issue of the embargo, that was raised at


least four or five times, and that issue of political prisoners. Sadly,


I think we have lost the line to our correspondent. She was listening in


to that press conference for us, those joint statements between


President Erica Balmer and Raul Castro on the second day of this


historic visit by a sitting US President, the first time that has


happened in 88 years. As Laura was saying, fascinating as to what both


Presidents had to say, both focusing on the positive steps that have been


taken in bringing these two nations closer together, but, a central


theme, the embargo that he has been in place the 54 years is still in


place. It requires a vote by Congress in order to lift. We will


hopefully get Laura back later on for a bit more analysis. Let's have


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


The head of the Syrian government delegation at the Geneva talks has


again ruled out any discussion about the future of President Assad.


Bashar Ja'afari also said progress was slow at the talks.


He was speaking after meeting UN envoy Staffan de Mistura.


Migrants stranded at the Greece-Macedonia border


in appalling conditions have staged a protest,


Men, women and children took part, chanting "Open the border."


Around 12,000 people have stayed put there,


despite the Balkan migrant route towards Germany being closed.


According to new Greek government figures, 50,000 migrants


are currently trapped in the country.


Israel says it has rescued some of the last remaining Jews


19 people from Sanaa and the town of Raydah were flown to Israel


They include a rabbi who brought an ancient Torah scroll with him.


An Israeli minister said their lives were threatened by Shia Houthi


rebels who are fighting a Saudi-led coalition.


The Islamist group Al Shabaab has attacked an army base


The militant group says it killed 73 Somali soldiers at the base


at Laanta Buuro, and seized seven military vehicles.


That's contradicted by the Somali army, which says one soldier


Former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba has been found


guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.


The International Criminal Court in the Hague has ruled


that he was responsible for murders and rapes carried out by his troops


It is alleged that the troops went on a rampage, killing and raping


hundreds of civilians, as well as looting.


MSC members and former collaborators of Jean-Pierre Bemba travelled


to the Hague to show their support on a day of verdict.


TRANSLATION: The court recognised there were unnamed protagonists


like Francois Bozize and Patasse, with allies on both sides.


He's very confident he has nothing to feel guilty about.


TRANSLATION: Today is the big day for the victims,


and for myself, as their representative.


Because today the international justice recognises their


This is the first case and the International Criminal Court


to have primarily focused on rape as a weapon of war.


of military commanders who overlook such crimes.


His lawyers are expected to appeal today's verdict.


Belgium's federal prosecutor says investigators are far from solving


what he described as "the puzzle of the Paris attacks."


pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place in the past few days.


New video has emerged showing the moment that Abdeslam was shot


during the raid in Brussels on Friday.


Belgian investigators have also named a suspected accomplice


TRANSLATION: We know that the inquiry isn't over


and there are other individuals who must still be found so they can


I would like to acknowledge the huge work done by all our teams on both


sides of the border and to express my condolences to all victims


On Thursday, we reported a decision of US Secretary of State,


John Kerry, to recognise atrocities committed by so-called Islamic State


as genocide against religious minorities in the Middle East.


In the British Parliament, a cross-party group in the House


of Lords wants a similar declaration by the UK government.


There was a unanimous vote along similar lines


in the European Parliament last month.


However, the British government has refused to make such a declaration,


insisting it is a matter for international judicial bodies.


These are live pictures we are looking at right now of the House of


Lords where that amendment to the bill is going to be debated.


Before the American administration reached a determination of genocide,


the US Congress first took evidence from a range of human rights


Jacqueline Isaac is a lawyer from California, who recorded


witness statements of survivors from the Christian and Yazidi


She spoke to Ekhlas, a Yazidi survivor who has found


In a recording made by Jacqueline, she described how her family


was kidnapped on the Sinjar Plain in Iraq and what then happened


to them, and to her, aged just 15 years old.


A warning, her evidence is disturbing.


They kidnapped and killed my father and my two brothers.


Yes, I saw my father killed in front of my eyes.


I was gripping my brother's hand and told him,


Yet, he let me go because they killed him.


The sounds of the gunshots, they will never leave my ears.


They took over the government prison and put you in it?


Yes. All of us.


Boys, girls, children, women, all of us.


How did you feel when you were in prison?


I always asked myself, why did this happen?


Did we deserve to be orphanes with no family,


I saw with my own eyes a man over 40 years old,


maybe 42 or 45, he took a girl ten years old,


What law would allow a man to use the name Allah to call on Allah


and then kill the men and rape the women?


What law? What religion?


What religion would allow that? They don't have a religion.


A survivor talking to the lawyer, Jaclyn Isaacs.


Congressman Chris Smith is a Republican who sits


on the Congressional Foreign Affairs Committee.


Really good to talk to you. Thank you. I know you listen to that


testimony from the girl when Jack clean first put it before Congress.


I know you've also been instrumental in pushing for this declaration of


genocide. On Thursday, John Kerry deemed the actions of Isis against


the Yazidis and other minorities in Iraqi and Syria as genocide. What


does that mean? What is going to happen in practical terms? It a


great question, and I've been pushing, chairing five congressional


hearings, going back to 2013, asking that such it is ignition be made. We


missed it on Rwanda and Srebrenica which came later, and I've been to


those places, and the international community needs to rally, and we


welcome Secretary Carey's statement on Thursday which followed, as you


pointed out, a unanimous vote, Republicans and Democrats alike in


the House of Representatives. There are a number of things. The genocide


couldn't be clearer. Those who are responsible for these crimes of


genocide need to be held personally responsible. There needs to be a


prosecution. The ICC is one venue. I think, and I have held hearings on


this as well, and a resolution passed on Monday, the same day the


genocide designation past was my resolution calling for a tribunal


similar to Yugoslavia, so we can get convictions. It is hard work,


building a case against these individuals, doing it aggressively,


having the nimbleness that these ad hoc courts have shown, and I think


that'll make a difference. And we will be looking at those. We have


now been designated as targeted genocide. Get them to a place where


they can continue living without rape. It is a great symbolic step


getting John Kerry to use the word genocide, the last time the US used


it was in 2004 when colon Powell referred to doff or as a genocide.


Is going to mean further feet on the ground? Is it going to mean the


victims of this genocide are given asylum in the States? What does it


mean? That is a great question. It means we need to provide asylum for


those. If this isn't a well founded fear of persecution, the definition


of asylum, I don't know what is. It needs all of us, the whole


international committee, including the US, needs to step up. Even for


the ICC designation, has it happened? It would be a flawed


approach but at least it would be something. I think the regional


courts are one way of going. We need to look at a safe haven, not like


Srebrenica, and the UN safe havens joined the Bosnian war, which turned


out to be areas where people were slaughtered. We need to double down.


Of course, there is a ceasefire in effect against Al-Nusra Front and


Isis. And that is a good thing, and I'm glad that was brokered. But


there is much more needs to be done. We are talking about 470,000 people


dead high-end estimate. The UN doesn't count anymore, they felt it


was too unreliable. But needs to be done and humanitarian access, there


are a number of areas where that access hasn't been provided. Russia


needs to be put on the Assad government. Most of the killings in


Syria are the result of his barrel bombing and killing, his troops. So,


a tribunal would include all players, just as we did in


Yugoslavia, just as we did in Sierra Leone and everywhere else. I'm


afraid we will have to leave it there. Thank you for joining us live


from Washington. I should also mention that last month the Council


of Europe and the EU Parliament also deemed these similar offences as


genocide. And this amendment to a bill currently debated in the House


of Lords hearing the today as well. Now, believe it or not,


it's ten years since the first The 140 character limit tweet has


become a feature of millions of people's lives, with 500 million


tweets now sent every day. But some have stood


out more than others. And others that have produced iconic


images of our time. Well, that came from Twitter


co-founder Jack Dorsey, Those missing vowels would come


a few months later. But what about the humble hashtag,


something we now use to group tweets Well, the very first pound sign


was used by Chris Mosina, a technology expert,


over a year later, in August 2007. The platform really took off


as a medium for breaking news in 2009, when a ferry passenger


on the Hudson River in New York sent It's of US Airways Flight 1549 just


after it touched down in the frigid But for some time news hasn't been


restricted to our planet earth. So, in 2010, NASA astronaut


Timothy Creamer became the first person to tweet live


from the International The power of Twitter


hasn't gone unnoticed. Many of the world's most powerful


and prominent leaders have taken British Prime Minister David Cameron


is on there, as is Iran's Supreme So, in December 2012,


the Pope joined, sending this tweet. Other high profile users include


Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi, They used Twitter in 2013


to announce the birth of the third in line to the British throne,


Prince George. One of the most popular public


figures remains the US President. He celebrated the win of his second


term by tweeting this picture At the time of the 2012 elections,


they just numbered over 16 million. He now has over 70


million followers. But one of the most retweeted


images, with over three million retweets to date, was the Hollywood


superstar selfie, taken at the Oscar ceremony in March 2014,


featuring such silver screen luminaries as Brad Pitt


and Kevin Spacey, and taken by that Rupert Goodwins is a technology


journalist and he joins me now So, do you have 70 million


followers? No, I have 4800 but I love them all dearly. That is better


than most! Do you remember sending your first week? I don't but I can


look it up. It says twittering, the deepest thought I had that day. Ten


years on, do you think Twitter is where it wants to be? It wants to be


making money, which it isn't doing. It is turning over $2 million a year


or so, which isn't bad, but it is losing 40 million. So it isn't


making money. It's place in the heart of the online world is


assured. People are using it to talk back to customer service people, and


President Obama. We wait to see whether President Obama and the Pope


and the Ayatollah Khamenei will talk to each other. That might happen


yet. Is that the appeal of Twitter, the fact that you can have immediate


interaction with these incredibly high profile figures? I could send a


tweet right now to the Ayatollah Khamenei, I could tweak the


president of the alert states, I could tweak the prime Minister. -- I


could tweet the prime Minister. Is that the appeal? Stephen Fry is off


Twitter at the moment but he will probably be back soon. They will


either come back to you or re-tweet your tweet. In terms of delivering


news quickly, there is nothing like it. When the plane landed in the


Hudson River, everybody could see it faster than any new service could


deliver it. It has the leading edge of news, it is unparalleled. Where


do they go from here? They need to start turning a profit. Their


revenues are rising but they are making money. How do they crack that


conundrum of successfully monetising the site? If I knew that, I probably


wouldn't be sitting here now. They've got this 300 million users


using it every month at least. They've got a lot of money coming


in. They are cutting their costs, and the making better and better


advertising deals. The trick is they've got to do that alienating


people. Twitter is personal. They don't like being poisoned by adverts


or fiddled with. It is a delicate dance. It is a brand-new medium. It


is one of the most rare brand-new mediums we have had in the very


first century. They are finding out what happens, we are all there for


the ride. It's not just the lack of money they are making but also the


number of monthly users signing up. There was this huge growth we saw.


Hazard plateaued? Are there still untapped markets? They've saturated


one particular market. The trouble is Wall Street and venture


capitalists see growth as the most important thing. They are not


comfortable with something being static even though it is evolving so


Twitter has to concentrate now not on finding new people but on making


better use of the people they have. And new markets will arrive as


perhaps new services are invented. The hash tag was invented by the


users. So, with Twitter, new things pop up from anywhere, they have to


keep refining it, making us use it more. OK, I will treat you, you can


tweet me back. Good to talk to you. Talking to us about Twitter and


their ten year anniversary. Happy birthday, Twitter.


President Obama is holding talks with his Cuban counterpart,


Raul Castro, on the second day of a historic visit


They are meeting at the Revolutionary Palace,


Earlier, Mr Obama laid a wreath at a monument to the country's


But, for now, from me and the rest of the team, goodbye.


Good evening. With Easter on the rise, it is perhaps inevitable it


would be a week


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