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Hello and welcome, this is BBC World News Today
President Obama will make a historic visit to Hiroshima
But he will not apologise for the US nuclear attack in 1945.
The British Prime Minister is overheard describing Nigeria
and Afghanistan as "fantastically corrupt"
We've got some leaders of some fantastically corrupt
Also coming up: A heartbreaking BBC investigation, finds that more
than 1,700 migrants have been buried in unmarked graves after they died
And facing extinction, how a fifth of all plants
are at risk thanks to a range of threats including
President Obama will make a highly symbolic visit
It will be the first time a serving American president has visited
the Japanese city destroyed by a US atomic bomb in 1945.
Let's remind ourselves of the events surrounding
In December 1941, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States
On May 7th, 1945, Germany agreed to unconditional surrender,
On August 6th, 1945, the first atomic bomb to be used
as a weapon is dropped on Hiroshima in Japan.
140,000 people died, some instantly,
others later from the effects of radiation.
On 9th August, 1945, the US dropped an atomic bomb
August 15, 1945, Japan surrenders, ending World War II.
However, the White House made it clear that during his
visit Mr Obama would not apologise for the bombing.
The BBC's Gary O'Donoghue joins me from Washington.
Gary, another piece of history to add to the Obama Legacy?
Yes, it is and it will be quite a moment when they sitting American
president visits Hiroshima. We have had one former president go there
before, Jimmy Carter, who was president in the 1970s and obviously
he has been there but a sitting president carries with it enormous
symbolic power and while the White House is stressing that this is not
an apology, he will not apologise, he will not revisit, in their words,
the decision to drop the atomic bomb in 1945, he will in some
sense recognise the toll that it took on civilians in particular, so
that will be the message and also one about going forward and shared
futures etc. That reflects, of course, the fact that Japan and the
US are now very close allies and President Barack Obama has focused a
lot of his efforts on the pivot to Asia, as it is often called, and
they have significant economic and political interests in common and
that will be part of the trip as well so it will be an enormous
moment really, it will be an enormous moment for both countries.
Dr Sheila Smith is Senior Fellow for Japan Studies at the Council
How significant do you think this is? I think it is tremendous and for
those of us who have worked on the relationship with the US and Japan
for many years, it is long overdue. President Barack Obama began his
presidency very focused on nuclear disarmament and the Japanese people
have been very strong advocates of the reduction of nuclear weapons and
so I think you see a little bit of an American and Japanese gathering
of mines here about the future and what our two countries may be able
to do together. We know from the White House that he will not make an
official apology but will his presence there be viewed as a kind
of a conciliatory gesture? Absolutely. President Reagan went to
Europe many years ago in an attempt symbolically to put that war behind
us in our relationship with the European allies and I think for many
Japanese, especially off at wartime generation, the presence of a US
president at Hiroshima will be tremendous. I think without saying a
word, his intent will be very clear. I think for younger Japanese you
have quite lively debate about whether or not the president should
apologise for the dropping of those bombs and I think that debate will
continue long this visit. What do you think is the main reasoning
behind this? You mentioned Japan and US relations and if there a wider
message about something like this never happening again? That is
exactly right. When the President spoke in Prague early in his tenure
he spoke very openly about the moral responsibility of the United States,
as the only company -- country having used these terrible weapons,
to push forward on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation. It
is also true that in Asia at the moment you are looking towards North
Korea who tested nuclear weapons in January and you are looking at the
nuclear arsenal of China and their glowing -- in military might and you
can be a little worried about the nuclear balance. Our president has
touched on that alliance with Japan in a way that is alarming to many
Japanese so I think this visit will be very reassuring and will touch
many Japanese deeply. Thank you very much.
Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron, has called Nigeria
and Afghanistan "possibly the two most corrupt countries
Mr Cameron was caught making the comments as he chatted
with the Queen at an event to mark her 90th birthday.
A very satisfactory cabinet meeting this morning when we talked about
our successful summit. We have leaders of fantastically corrupt
countries coming to Britain. Nigeria and Afghanistan, wasn't it, the two
most corrupt countries in the world. This particular president is
actually not corrupt. He is working very hard. They are coming at their
own expense! The remarks come ahead
of an international summit on corruption taking place in London
later this week. The anti-corruption campaign group
Transparency International ranked Afghanistan 167th,
in its 2015 corruption perception index, ahead of only
Somalia and North Korea. We will discuss this more in a few
moments with an expert on global corruption. Let us look at some more
News stories for now: now: Maverick anti-crime candidate
Rodrigo "Digong" Duterte has won the Philippine presidential
elections, following the withdrawal of his
opponents. Although the official result has not
yet been declared, his main rival, Mar Roxas, admitted defeat
after polls gave Mr Duterte Officials in southern Germany say
a man who killed a commuter and injured three others in a knife
attack at a railway station suffered from psychological
problems and drug addiction. They said there was no evidence
the 27-year-old attacker Eyewitnesses had earlier reported
that the assailant had shouted Allahu Akbar,
God is Great, during Nasa's Kepler space telescope has
discovered what has been described as a treasure trove of planets. Over
1000 XO planets has been found which Nasa says increases the chances of
finding a planet similar to Earth. Afghan and US special forces have
rescued the kidnapped son of Pakistan's ex-Prime
Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani. He was abducted three
years ago, it's believed Yusuf Raza Gilani was taken
while he was in his home town But he was found hundreds
of kilometres away in Paktika Four militants were
killed in the rescue. Ali Haider's brother,
Ali Musa Gillani has spoken to the BBC from his home in Lahore
and described the moment He called himself from an
Afghanistan number, and he just told me I have US military around me
and they have rescued me and what are you doing
and who are you getting in And I replied that we are talking
to the Afghan ambassador and our military forces and the government
officials to bring him back, because he was really, really
confused about who was going to bring him back, because here only
I am in Bagram Base. Shaaima Khalil is in Islamabad
and tells us more about what's We now have confirmation
from the international forces in Afghanistan
that Ali Haider Gilani operation between US special
operations forces and Afghan commandos in the eastern
province of Paktika. We also understand that four
militants are believed to have been killed during that operation
and this mission was launched when evidence of terror activities
was confirmed, We also know now that arrangements
for Mr Gilani to return to Pakistan are being made
after some medical checkups. We understand that he was held
by an Al-Qaeda linked or affiliated group,
we're not exactly sure which group that is,
but we do know last year, from his father, former Prime
Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, asked for Al-Qaeda prisoners to be
released in return for his son. We also know that there was a video
in 2014 where abductors had
asked for ransom. during that rescue mission
are still going to come in. We are not very clear about how
exactly that happened but we do know, of course, that Ali Haider
Gilani was abducted not very far from his house in his
hometown of Multan which was in 2013, almost three years ago now,
and at the time he was campaigning for parliamentary elections
for the Pakistan People's Party. When the news broke today there was
huge celebrations in his hometown, by family and
friends and party workers and also at a party rally in
Pakistani administered Kashmir Let us go back now to that story
about David cannon calling Nigeria and Afghanistan corrupt and we have
heard from the Afghanistan Prime Minister who has said he was
shocked. He spoke through a spokesman and he argued that David
cannon, who was secretly films, must be referring to Nigeria's past
notoriety for corruption before his coming to power in May last year.
The president of Nigeria has been in power for around one year but says
that his government is deeply shocked and embarrassed by those
comments and says he must have been referring to the past of Nigeria.
Well, joining me from our Millbank studio is Transparency
International's Managing Director, Cobus de Swardt.
What is your reaction? The way David cannon has been saying this is not
ideal but how much truth is there in this? Historically Nigeria and
Afghanistan have had very high levels of corruption that continues
by the current leadership has sent very strong symbols that they want
to change that and this summit is the opportunity for those countries
to sign up to a new era. At the same time, countries such as the UK also
have to sign up to changing their fight against corruption, as the UK
and its own overseas territories remain a safe haven for corrupt
money and a big problem for corruption worldwide. We had the
relatively new Nigerian President they're saying that his government
was shocked and embarrassed by these comments from David cannon. How much
progress has there been in the fight against corruption in these
countries and we know that this president came to power in that he
would really fight this scourge. Progress first day starts with very
clear commitments from the top and we have seen strong signals from the
Nigerian government and that needs to go further and in addition to
that there needs to be a common working together. Nigeria cannot do
this alone. When you do not work together, for example, in stopping
corrupt money leaving Nigeria and entering the UK, it makes it harder.
We have seen some progress but clearly not enough. This summit
would need to bring these countries together in a common commitment to
prevent corruption and actually create a safe space for those who
fight corruption and also to tackle and punish those that facilitate
corruption, such as bankers, lawyers, estate agents, as the
Panama papers clearly show, as another major part of the global
fight against corruption. There will be some wondering what a conference
here in London, with lots of good words perhaps, can realistically
achieve. What are your hopes? How positive do you think it would be?
We have no hope for new work. What we are seeking our concrete and
specific commitments, for example on preventing corruption it is time
that those countries that participate make very concrete
commitments to ensure that companies that operate from their countries
have all the beneficial owners, those that own and control those
companies in public registers and that people and companies that did
for public contracts, that we know who they are owned by. We want to
see very strong commitments on those countries that participate that they
will protect the space of whistle-blowers and that they will
protect the space of civil society activists to fight corruption and we
want to see concrete actions by these countries on tackling those
that facilitate corruption. This is not that difficult. We can see major
progress this week but it needs to be concrete actions and the need to
be actions were those leaders that make them can be held accountable by
the citizens of their countries. We must and that there. It certainly
got us talking about it. Thank you very much.
1,700 men, women and children have been buried in unmarked graves
after they died crossing the Mediterranean,
That's what a BBC investigation has discovered.
There are more than 70 such sites in Turkey, Greece and Italy.
Over the past two years it is estimated that more than 8,000
people have died, many lost at sea, with many bodies washed ashore.
A boat full of Syrians fleeing war land on the Greek island of Lesbos.
No one on this boat drowned, but one man was crushed to death on board,
and another died of a heart attack when he set foot on land.
Both victims were travelling with other people who were able
There are hundreds more that have either been lost at sea or found
Their relatives, scattered across the globe, are left
with a lingering pain that could haunt them
In the last two years more than 8000 people have died
On average at least one person each day has been buried
in an unmarked grave, which you can see by these red dots,
scattered across Italy, Greece and Turkey.
More than 70 of these burial sites have been found as part
This ceremony in Lesbos is one of them, with dozens of bodies.
Some are recovered when the boats they were on capsized.
Others washed up on shore days or even weeks later.
Many relatives of the missing are desperately trying to find them.
Farouk Bakar has been on such a quest for the last five months.
His brother and wife died when their boat capsized off Lesbos,
but the bodies of their four children were never found.
He has travelled hundreds of miles in Turkey and in Greece, hoping
to find either proof of life or at least a DNA match
with unidentified bodies of children buried in Lesbos.
Local authorities in all three countries have been stretched
as they try to deal with unidentified dead bodies.
Because of the large number of bodies found by the Greek
authorities, they've had to bring in containers like these.
Sometimes the bodies of migrants stay here for days or
These containers are on the island of Samos, which doesn't
Many of those who brave death to reach Europe leave relatives
behind with the hope of some day seeing them again.
But those lost along the trail leave a darker kind of longing,
no longer for reunion - only for closure.
To Saudi Arabia now where authorities are trying
to curb the powers of the notorious religious police.
The new regulation bans members of the Promotion Of Virtue
And Prevention Of Vice Committee to chase suspects or arrest them.
Religious police officers are frequently accused
However, the new decision hasn't been welcomed
by everyone in the country, as Hanan Razek reports from Riyadh.
This widely shared video has sparked a debate in Saudi Arabia.
The woman tells a member of the morality police
It's one of many incidents where Saudis accused members of the
committee of abusing their authority.
It is quite rare to find someone who is willing to speak out
about their experience with the morality police publicly,
but we've succeeded to track down a Saudi woman who says she was
A bite on the hand is what this woman, who doesn't want
to reveal her identity, says it was the result
The BBC couldn't verify the incident details independently.
TRANSLATION: They wrapped my headscarf around me
and insulted me because I didn't delete the video.
I started screaming and I tried to get out of
the car but they locked me and my friend inside.
I was trying to film again so he bit me.
Recently the Saudi government, in what some describe as
a bold move, decided to curb their powers.
work of the religious police means that members of the
Committee To Promote Virtue And Prevent Vice can no longer stop
people on the streets, arrest them, or ask for their identifications.
Many Saudis have praised the decision, saying it will put an end
to the violenations practiced by the members of this committee.
However, not everybody here is happy about it.
Some have taken to Twitter, which is very big
in the most conservative of kingdoms, to voice their concern
about losing the powers of the Committee.
And some clerics weighed into the public debate
The new regulation came in a rush and it didn't comply
with the core of the governing system, and it violates the
committee law that was issued by a Royal decree.
For 76 years the Saudi religious police have enjoyed lots
of powers over people's day-to-day matters.
The new regulation has triggered a big debate.
Many here think it is only a beginning of a
Scientists have published their first global assessment
The new study reveals that there are just under 400,000
plant species known to science, and researchers say there
However the report also found that a fifth of all plants
are at risk of extinction, and face a broad range of threats.
Coming into bloom - the beauty of plants on display
at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew.
Now, for the first time, scientists here have carried out
And it has highlighted some big gaps in our knowledge.
One of the things we did in this report was to count how many
plant species there are, and that was interesting -
391,000 we have come up with, and that's addressing four different
databases to come up with that figure.
But this is just scratching the surface.
There are thousands out there that we don't know about.
We have come behind the scenes here at Kew where the latest new
Botanists have been heading to far-flung corners of the world,
searching through existing collections, and even trawling
through pictures of plants on the internet.
And they are making new discoveries all the time.
This orchid was one of 2000 plants found in 2015.
New, too, was this 50-metre high tree in Gabon, and an insect-eating
But there are also threats, and invasive species
like Japanese Knotweed are a major problem.
Damaging the environment, they are difficult
The report now estimates that there are 5000 different
Now that we have got this list and this number,
it's certainly a bit like know your enemy.
We know what we're dealing with, we can then look at them -
what is similar, what makes a good invasive - and how can we use that
information to have better management practices in place
or recommendations, how you deal with them.
But while the public enjoy their close encounter
with nature, conservationists warn that one in five species
This new report, though, will allow scientists to measure
these changes to keep track of the future of our plants.
We are just getting reports in the last few minutes that the leader of
Bangladesh's largest Islamist party has been executed for war crimes.
That announcement is coming from the War Ministry in Dakar. The offences
committed by him all dates back to 1971 and the Bangladesh liberation
war against Pakistan, one of the bloodiest in history. He led an
Islami party for 15 years. The tribunal was set up in 2010 and this
is one of the verdicts we have been waiting all day to hear whether or
not this was going to happen, but it seems that Bangladesh has executed
the top Islamist party leader for war crimes committed in 1971. More
on the BBC website and all of our channels.