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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