17/05/2016 World News Today


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31 athletes test positive after samples from the Beijing Olympics


"a powerful strike against the cheats".


Those accused could now be banned from competing in Rio.


A wave of bombs hit Baghdad, killing 69 as the government


Now oil workers are forced to evacuate as the wildfires


And boiling over - a decision to scrap the BBC's Food


website has been met with fury and a petition against


the plans attracting more than 100,000 signatures.


It's the latest blow to the credibility of anti-doping


authorities, and one that raises many questions.


Up to 31 athletes from 12 countries could be banned


from the Rio Olympics after NEW tests were done on samples


from the Beijing Games eight years ago.


Ever since the recent doping scandals, sporting bodies have been


re-testing old samples using the latest technology.


With the results from the London and Sochi Games still to come,


it raises the possibility that medals and even world records


could be called into question. Richard Conway reports.


Antique and rules allow stored urine and samples to be retested for up


to ten years after being taken from an athlete.


Samples from 454 competitors who took place in the 2008


Beijing Olympics have now been subjected to the latest scientific


methods to test for any banned substances that went undetected


As a result, 31 athletes could be banned from competing at this


The IOC say they targeted athletes taking part in Beijing


who are likely to reappear at the summer's event.


Other Olympic Games are also in focus.


Back in 2012, the Olympic Stadium here in London was the centre point


for a lot of the drama, but 250 samples from those games


Thomas Bach, the president of the IOC, has called the measures


The identities of the 31 athletes are, for now, unknown,


given that formal disciplinary processes are underway.


What is disappointing, certainly for athletes who compete


clean and for the public is, they are beginning to get confused


about what they are really seeing, because if it takes us ten years


in order to sort out whether or not somebody deserves that medal,


that's a very long time in sport, and so many things well have


happened, so many other athletes will have been denied.


Russian athletes will next month learn if they can compete


in this summer's games, following the international ban


handed down for what was described as state-sponsored doping


The IOC may well hope this latest retrospective action will send


the message they are very serious about catching those who dope,


Chris Mitchell joins us live from the BBC Sports Centre.


Chris, after all these years, how is it that athletes could be caught out


now? Well, as Richard alluded to, this is really science catching up


with the dopers, if you like. The IOC tries to give it as much time as


possible to use those frozen test samples it took from the games to


find the dopers. So basically, it freezes them, keeps them in


Switzerland, where they are based, and tests than when any new


technology comes about. This is what happened is that what has happened


now. Beijing in 2008, eight years ago, comes within its parameters.


They have tested 450 odd samples, and found 31 discrepancies, the same


is happening with the London games, and also, interestingly, with Sochi


as well. So we don't know who these 31, but they won't be the only ones.


That is looking pretty certain. What action can the IOC now take?


If these people are found to have cheated, they will be banned from


Rio, and they could have their medals, if they won medals in


Beijing, stripped from them, so you could find that models are handed to


athletes who thought at the time they did not win. It is adjusting,


because we are talking about this now, and an athlete we heard from in


this piece said it takes too long. The IOC want to do that would prove


here, with the Kenyan and Russian scandals and allegations going on,


that they are on the front foot, doing something proactive about


this, trying to get a poacher out there into the dopers early on


before Rio comes about. Rio will begin a couple of months, and the


IOC will love to be in a situation where they can say, we have dealt


with the dopers. But all they can do at the moment is look at these 31,


if they are hoping to be in Rio, well, they will not be. The first


course of action the IOC will take will be to ban them.


We don't have any details about these competitors yet. When might we


know more? There are 12 nations here. The IOC


said those 31 athletes will be contacted in the coming days. It may


be that the athletes themselves know who they are. It may be that some of


this information in the coming days leaks out. It is very unusual for


the IOC to have told us that such information. 31 athletes, 12


nations, lots of clues out there, and there will be people out there


now looking at who won medals in Beijing and who could possibly be


competing in Rio. There are not too many. Already, the names have been


narrowed down to a list, not a list that we will mention here, but it is


not hard to work out. Thank you very much, Chris Mitchell.


Militants have yet again targeted Iraq's capital Baghdad in another


wave of bombings. Outdoor markets and a restaurant in Shia dominated


areas where hit, with more than 70 people dying.


The Islamic State group said it was responsible


for the deadliest bombing, as Jim Muir reports from Baghdad.


There are growing concerns about the ability of Iraq's dysfunctional


government to keep the areas of control so.


The first and most deadly attack hit a street market in this district of


Baghdad, a densely Shia populated area. So-called Islamic State said


one of their suicide bombers blew himself up here, and claimed the


attack was aimed at Shia militia men. That is not what the people


here said. This survivor said he hid under a table, and rescuers took


away body parts of shoppers who were no longer recognisable. There was


much anger at the random nature of the attack.


TRANSLATION: The explosion here killed a woman. And her brother and


her niece, as well as of the people who just came here to shop. What


crime have these innocent people committed? Across town on the East


side of Baghdad, there was anger as well in the sprawling Shia suburb


called Sadr City. This was the aftermath of a big


suicide car bomber poison, which took many lives. Sadr City has


frequently been the subject of such provocative attacks by the sunny


militants. Another suicide bomber struck shortly after this attack


nearby. This is the second blast inside. The


other blast was outside a restaurant Al sparing the city. We are fed up


with this violence. With bombs going off on busy streets


like there is virtually every day, the Iraqi authorities and western


coalition, which is fighting IS, say they believe it is because the


militants are losing so much ground on the battlefield. They say they


have lost nearly half the territory they control at the height of their


expansion nearly two years ago. That is little consolation for the


survivors of these increasingly frequent bomb attacks in Baghdad,


and for the friends and families of those who died. There is mounting


anger here, not just at the militants who did it, but the


country's feuding politicians for failing to protect the public.


Across the Iraqi border in Syria, a shaky truce


is giving little peace - and today 20 foreign ministers


meeting in Vienna failed to agree on any new date for peace talks


There WAS a commitment to push through humanitarian aid deliveries,


There WAS a commitment to push through humanitarian aid deliveries.


This is how the US Secretary of State, John Kerry,


The challenge that we face now is to transform these possibilities


into the reality of an agreement at some point, and because of


the gains that we have made in recent months,


yet because of their fragility, and we acknowledge they're fragile,


and increasingly threatened by irresponsible and dangerous


actions taken by those who would rather have this effort


fail, who want to create problems because rather than solutions,


And there are frankly actors on both sides.


One outcome from those discussions on Syria is an agreement that any


party breaching the current truce will be expelled from


The BBC's Bethany Bell has more from Vienna.


The international community is trying to change


the shaky truce in Syria into something more comprehensive.


It's announced a number of rather modest measures.


They say they'll set up a task force to monitor the truce,


and that anybody who breaches it will be expelled from the peace


process, and they've also announced measures in terms of humanitarian


They say that if they can't reach those areas by ground before


the beginning of June, the World Food Programme will


These are all part of movements to try to encourage the opposition


to return to indirect peace talks which have been ongoing in Geneva,


because back in the last round of talks in April,


the opposition said it was suspending its participation


because it was concerned about the mounting violence


in Syria, and about the lack of humanitarian aid.


The Russian Foreign Minister, speaking here in Vienna,


said that all parties had to compromise when it came


to the political aspects of peace talks, but at the moment,


they're still very, very big divisions which remain,


not the least being the fate of the Syrian President


The opposition, and its supporters like Saudi Arabia and the West,


saying he has to go, but Russia and Iran


Thousands of workers in the Canadian oil industry have been advised


to leave areas near Fort McMurray in Alberta because of a renewed


The blaze began more than two weeks ago and is currently about 250


At the height of the fire in Fort McMurray, more than


80,000 of the city's residents were forced to flee.


The area in red shows the worst affected part.


Now, even more people have been urged to leave oil sands camps


between the city and Fort McKay to the north.


We'll speak to one of the evacuees shortly,


but first, this report from Rajini Vaidyanathan.


Dense clouds of smoke can be seen from the skies


The worst of the wildfires is not yet over.


12,000 oil workers, who had been based just north of the city,


These oil-rich lands are once again under threat.


Winds have pushed the fires back towards the city.


The big factor for folks that are on site is that they will see


very, very heavy, dark smoke and that will obviously


Heavy smoke is probably the biggest issue right now.


This is one of Canada's worst natural disasters.


The dangers centred in Alberta province in and around


the city of Fort McMurray, where fires raged two weeks ago.


Now the area between Timberlea and Fort McKay, where big oil


The devastating wildfires have already turned the vibrant city


90,000 residents, who called this place home, could now wait even


Roughly a million barrels a day of crude oil will be lost


because operations have shut down here.


But with more than a dozen fires continuing to burn, this


disaster is costing Canada in more ways than one.


BJ Spears is a steam fitter, usually working in the oil sands


BJ Spears is a steam fitter, usually working in the oil sands


He's been evacuated and is now 70 kilometres north of the city.


Tell us what has happened to you. It really has been one thing after


another? Yes, I have been evacuated two weeks


ago. I got a phone call to return to work, so I showed up, completed a


night shift, and then the next night, I woke up to complete


darkness in the middle of the day. Smoke and ashes. We have been


evacuated now, 40 kilometres north of that camp. We're just waiting on


word to see what happens next. So you went to one camp, went back


to work, and had to leave again and go even further north?


That's right. The wind continues to blow from the south, pushing north,


and unfortunately, the fire and the smoke has just followed right behind


us. And what is it like there? How many


are you, and what I conditions like? Right now, it think this camp holds


about 2000 people, and it seems to be pretty full right now. We are


being told to hang tight and wait for further instruction.


And at one point, you must have thought all the drama was over, and


then it started all over again. Yes, when we got the call to come


back to work, we were assured that there was a brake in the weather, a


break in the smoke, so it was a good time to come back, but it doesn't


take long, once the wind turns around. It doesn't take long to blow


the smoking. How safe do you feel there? What are you being told about


how long you have to stay? I feel safe now, because you can't


see the flames, but it is just a matter of time, with the wind. We're


finding out now that one of the camps that was evacuated last night,


just down the road from where I was, it is now on fire, so I mean, it is


coming. And there must be no sense of


normality? You are stuck in a sort of limbo after all this time?


Yes, yes. It is very intimidating. You see about it on the news, and it


is what we have dealt with for the last two weeks, and it just feels


like there is no end in sight. It really doesn't feel like it is


getting any better. Did you manage to take any


belongings with you, or is it all happening so quickly?


I managed to, just because I was on night shifts, so I happen to be in


camp ennui had the evacuation, but a lot of friends of mine were working


day shifts, and couldn't make it back to camp in time to grab


anything, so they have been wearing the same clothes for a couple of


days now. I had to give my friend some of my clothing to wear. I had


to give him some shampoo and some toothpaste as well.


So it is pretty uncomfortable conditions in that sense. And you


described what it was like earlier, that day turned into night,


completely black? Yes, it was unbelievable. Like


something you would see in a movie. It was 3pm, usually, sunshine and


birds chirping, you know, but it was almost like it was midnight. It was


completely dark. Ash was falling from the sky, smoke so thick it


would burn your eyes, and was burning your throat.


Poor, poor conditions. Do you have enough information, or do you feel


you don't really know when this will come to an end?


No, they are kind of making a plan now. It is hard when there are 2000


people here to get us all moved, and there are other evacuees at the


camps as well. They figure there are about 4000 of us needing to get out


of here. Thank you very much. We wish you all


the best. Thank you for talking to us at that camp in the north of


Canada. Now a look at some of


the day's other news. The European Crime Agency Europol


says it estimates that organised crime groups made between five


and six billion dollars last year The agency says human trafficking


is now one of the main sources French riot police clashed


with protesters in cities including Nantes and Marseilles,


as opponents of controversial labour reforms embarked on a fresh wave


of strikes and marches. Water-cannon and tear gas were used


against demonstrators who hurled crowd-control barriers and glass


bottles at police. Union members were urged to bring


the entire transport system Kenya's police chief has ordered


an investigation after policemen were filmed beating a protester


as they broke up a demonstration organised by the main opposition


coalition on Monday. Three officers could be seen


kicking and hitting a man, Ten gay rights activists in Georgia


have been arrested for painting Gay rights are a battle ground


around the world, and the former Soviet republic of Georgia, the


issue is especially controversial. Despite their country's lean towards


the West, many Georgians remained deeply conservative, and gay rights


supporters have been attacked. On Tuesday, ten activists were arrested


for painting rainbow graffiti on the side of an Orthodox church building,


where church members were holding an event.


The BBC's Rayhan Demytrie went to their main event in Tbilisi.


You can see this procession, organised


There are hundreds of supporters behind.


They are marching towards the Holy Trinity Church.


Today, they are marking what they call a day of family


values, which was established here in 2014 in opposition


to the International Day Against Homophobia,


A very short walk away from here in a hotel, an American


conservative organisation is holding its annual congress,


This organisation is against abortions, against contraception,


and of course, they are against any sort of laws or policies that


Why all of this is happening here in Georgia?


Because homophobia is a massive issue here.


In 2013, this country made world headlines when a small group of LGBT


activists was attacked by a mob led by orthodox priests.


Recently, a parliamentary committee introduced a constitutional


ban on gay marriage, which was illegal here anyway.


So, Georgia is a country which has pro-western aspirations,


but there is a huge contrast when it comes to gay rights,


because the vast majority of the population here


The authorities in Thailand are set to close the island of Koh Taa-chai,


Much has been made in this campaign of the success


of Bernie Sanders attracting young Democratic party voters.


But for many Republicans, this was supposed to be the year


that their party became "cool" among the younger generation.


With two leading candidates in their 40s -


there WAS hope that a similar groundswell of support,


that swept Barack Obama into office eight years ago, would unfold.


Three young Republicans tell the BBC's Barbara Plett-Usher


why their party missed the boat on attracting voters like them.


I am highly disappointed in the Trump movement,


but I do understand that there are a significant amount of people


in this country that like him for his at least strong rhetoric,


and especially in a troubling time from our country.


But the sort of fearmongering that we are seeing out


of Donald Trump really concerns a lot of us.


He doesn't represent Republican values.


This is a party that should be espousing opportunity and hope.


We've got Trump just tearing down everything that the party has built


over the last two years to dispel these false


That we are not inclusive, that we are a bunch of racists.


Does the Republican party have a problem with


Republican ideas have a bit of a branding problem.


To date, the Republicans haven't really learned how to


This was supposed to be the election where we were supposed


to do it, right? Rubio was cool.


Rubio listens to rap music, Rubio speaks two languages,


You like EDM? I do.


Yes, maybe people thought it was something else.


We're supposed to have the cool candidates, and we do.


Given the field now, do you think Republican


We've got a lot of strong, young leaders in the party,


from Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz.


If you look at the Democratic party, you've got Harry Reid,


But they have been able to get a lot of the youth vote.


Yes, the Republican party just need to learn to speak the language,


because the values of the Republican party, I think, translate more to


to where this country needs to be going.


And there are primaries in two more states today. Democrats voting in


Oregon, and in Kentucky. We will bring you results as they happen,


and there is, of course, much more on our website. Now, speaking of BBC


websites... The number of signatures has


now gone over 120,000 against the closure


of the BBC Food website. The Corporation has announced that


a number of its websites, including Newsbeat, the online


News Magazine and BBC Travel, are to close as part


of a plan to save money. Three bakers, three


final challenges. And if you want to join


in and cook at home, for many it now begins


with a search. Whatever I get, it will be online,


so I very rarely use recipe books. My mum, I persuaded her


to throw all hers away. If I ever do home cooking,


I will often use a BBC recipe, because it is often one of the first


ones that comes up They are very clear,


very straightforward, and they always work,


because they have so many stars, they have people's reviews,


so you know you are onto Bake Off, Rick Stein, Nigella,


all these food programmes There are more than 11,000,


more than 3,000 pies. Now, if you tap in Yorkshire


pudding, it's almost always the BBC recipe that's at the top


of the search page. However, thousands of these recipes


will soon be disappearing The pages will become


harder and harder to find. However, BBC Good Food,


another website run by the BBC's commercial arm, will carry on


and it may take on some of For a famous chef such


as Ken Hom, the BBC is simply an essential part


of the food business. A lot of people like myself,


I started with the BBC 32 years ago. And it's nice to have my recipes


on that website simply because it helps people who maybe are not


going to buy the book right away, The News Channel may merge


with BBC World News. News presenters' pay is under


review, websites are being dropped. Many, especially the papers,


do want a smaller BBC. I don't think that the fundamental


questions in the minds of newspaper proprietors will have


gone away as a result But, nonetheless, every little bit


helps and there may be a sense that these concessions are the start


of a process of negotiation. And, this evening, the BBC has now


said that, following the uproar, they will accelerate the transfer


of content to BBC Good Food. Well, while David 's report was


running, the number of signatures on that petition has gone up to


133,040, so it gained about 1000 while that was on air.


You can get in touch with me and some of


the team via Twitter - I'm @KarinBBC.


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


Hello there. Some fine weather around today, but the weather is now


on the change. Wet weather arriving in the West, and most of us will


season downpours either tonight or tomorrow or both. The brightest




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