22/05/2016 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today, broadcasting in the UK


I'm Alpa Patel - here are the headlines.


Is Austria about to choose Europe's first hard-right head of state?


With nearly all the votes counted - the independent Green candidate


is neck and neck with the leader of a far-right party.


Pakistan says that a US drone strike which killed the leader


of the Afghan Taliban is a violation of its sovereignty.


Get out: that's the message to the residents of


the Iraqi city of Falluja - ahead of a major offensive


After a campaign featuring fear of migrants and loathing of elites -


exit polls in Austria's run-off election put far right leader


Norbert Hofer as running neck and neck with his rival


Alexander Van der Bellen, who is backed by the Greens.


The final result will not be known until Monday,


when the hundreds of thousands of postal votes will be counted.


Mr Hofer, seen here on the right, insisted that his party wasn't


a far-right organisation and described himself


It's all down to the postal votes now. The Austrians are going to go


to bed tonight without knowing who the next incumbent of the


presidential palace behind me in Vienna is. They will, the postal


votes, there is about 14% of the votes cast, we understand, they'll


be counted tomorrow. We expect to have a result sometime in afternoon.


Then it will become clear whether in fact it was Norbert Hofer of the far


right Freedom party or Alexander Van der Bellen who has won this race. Do


we have any idea what turnout was like in this election? Quite high.


Well over 70%. Higher than the first round of voting back in April when


Norbert Hofer scored a clear victory when he got 35% over the other


candidates that were standing, then. In this run-off vote, more people


turning out, and it's been quite interesting looking at the way the


vote has been split. Alexander Van der Bellen has profited very much


from support from big urban centres in Austria, some of the big cities.


Whereas Norbert Hofer's support comes very much from the


countryside. So we are getting a very, very split picture of Austria


here at the moment. Whatever happens in the result, the far right have


really proved a point here, and that is the dissatisfaction of voters in


Austria. Very much so indeed. There's a great deal of


disillusionment with the parties of the centre-left and centre-right.


The establishment parties. The parties that have ruled this country


on and off for decades. They were both knocked out of this race back


in the first round in April. And what the voters said they wanted was


either the far right or the Green party. There was this real sense of


people protesting against the status quo. And of course the far right as


well has been fuelled in recent months by the migrant crisis here in


Austria. 90,000 people claimed asylum here last year. 100,000 more


transited through to Germany. So this is also something that has


encouraged people to vote for the Freedom party.


Pakistan has described a US drone strike, which targeted the leader


of the Afghan Taliban, as a violation of its sovereignty.


Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in the Pakistani province


of Baluchistan, close to the Afghan border.


A US official described him as an obstacle to peace talks.


Several drones were apparently used in the strike, said to have been


In the burnt out car which had been travelling close to Pakistan's


border with Afghanistan were two men, among them Mullah Mansour.


He has been the official leader of the Taliban since last summer,


and he has been busy trying to tighten his grip on the movement.


Mansour posed a continuing, imminent threat to US personnel


in Afghanistan, to Afghan civilians, Afghan security forces.


Since he took over, the Taliban stepped up its campaign of violence


This was the aftermath of a suicide bombing


The Americans say that Mullah Mansour had been actively involved


The Afghan government says he rebuffed repeated calls to end war.


TRANSLATION: He was a barrier for the peace talks,


and from the date he was announced as the Taliban leader,


he was behind lots of violence against the Afghan people.


The ultimate authority for the Tower bank, Mullah Mansour officially took


over when it was announced the reclusive founder had died two years


earlier. His main deputy has a $5 million bounty on his head, he is


seen as more hostile and hardline. It is not clear who will succeed


Mullah Mansour, or the direction the Taliban will take. Under Mullah


Mansour's leadership, the Taliban extended territory. But they are


likely to be caught up in a battle for succession, and there are fears


that could give militants from so-called Islamic State the chance


to extend their influence. The question for all weary Afghans is


what impact his death will ultimately have on their desperate


hopes for security. Well for more analysis on this -


I've been speaking to Ali Jalali who is a former Afghan Interior


Minister. He joined me from the Afghan


capital, Kabul and gave me his view Mullah Mansour was one of the


leading figures in the Taliban. He was elected as a leader of the


Taliban last year when the death of Malawi Omar was disclosed.


He was the de facto leader of the Caliban from 2030. When Mullah Omar


died. He faced a dispute over his leadership, and to polish his


credentials he intensified war inside Afghanistan. When he is gone


I think there will be immediately, although there might be some


intensification why his followers, but in the long run I think it is a


major blow to the Caliban. How would the US have been able to track this


man, and would they have needed the knowledge and intelligence from


Afghan security services? Well, he was apparently coming from Iran,


where he spent some time, and he was moving in Baluchistan. I have no


information whether Afghanistan intelligence was or not. But for


years they were asking the United States that the Caliban bases inside


Afghanistan, they were attacking Afghanistan army, allies from across


the border, they were asking to do something. Therefore this is the


first time that the US has targeted a major senior Taliban leader. And


how could this impact on future peace talks? Could it backfire on


the Afghan government and the US? Yes, I think in the immediate future


in the short term, it will create problems for the peace talks,


because there is no unified leadership. Although they appointed


one of the deputies to Mullah Mansour as acting, but it will take


some time for the Taliban to get their forces together. In that time


it is not expected that they will come to the negotiating table.


However, in the long-running, I think this also undermines the power


of the Taliban. And probably some factions eventually will be willing


to come and deal in peaceful talks. Turkey's President Erdogan has asked


a close ally to form Binali Yild-irim will replace


the former Prime Minister. He was forced out for disagreeing


with President Erdorgan's plans to increase the powers


of the presidency. Critics say the President is trying


to tighten his grip on power, by overseeing the choice of a more


compliant Prime Minister. Speaking at the AKP party congress


where he was elected, Mr Yildirim said he was in favour


of more powers for the presidency. TRANSLATION: We need a new


constitution. Turkey needs the new constitution. And are you ready to


bring forth the executive presidency system? Are you ready for that?


After the president was elected by the nation, now nothing will be the


same for Turkey, because our president has received the approval


and the votes of millions of our citizens. He is carrying the


responsibility of this. However much one may claim, some may claim that


the president has no responsibility, he is burdened with the love of the


nation. And he carries the responsibility of the issues of the


nation. For more on this story,


the BBC's Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet has this


report from the AK Party This extraordinary party conference


in this sports stadium was very much a celebration of President Erdogan,


even though he wasn't here. And as president he is meant to be above


party politics. Turkey is now very much about his leadership and that's


why he's brought in one of his long-time political allies, Binali


Yildirim, to be the next party chairman and the Prime Minister. In


his remarks today he made it clear where he believes Turkey should


head, and that includes moves towards a more presidential type of


system. Everyone we spoke to hear back-to-back move, saying that


Turkey's Parliamentary democracy no longer suited Turkey. But many


questions are being asked whether it will only concentrate even more


power in the hands of President Erdogan. A lot of talk over what is


described as the war on terror. In other words, moves against the


Kurdish insurgency in the south-east of Turkey, and questions as to


whether that could include even more pressure on journalists and civil


society here in Turkey as well as against members of the pro-Kurdish


political party since the immunity for politicians has been lifted.


These are questions being asked in Turkey and in many capitals across


Europe, which very much wants to work with Turkey, with President


Erdogan, to resolve some key ongoing crises. The war in Syria next door,


and the refugee crisis where Turkey is expected to play an important


role. So this is a moment today not just for AKP, but for Turkey itself.


The British film director, Ken Loach, has won top


His film, "I, Daniel Blake," was awarded the Palme d'Or


for Best Picture at the 69th Cannes Film Festival.


It's his second Palme d'Or for Best film.


Jacyln Jose - a 'soap' star in the Philippines -


won the best actress award for her role in Ma Rosa,


portraying a mother who's forced to sell drugs to survive.


And Shahab Hosseini from Iran won best actor award,


for his part in "the Salesman" - which also won best screenplay.


Stay with us on BBC News, still to come:


On her feet again. The Revolutionary walking stick bringing back mobility


for people with Parkinson's disease. This morning and Indian air force


plane carrying Mr Gandhi's body landed. The president walked to the


plaintiff solemnly witness his return. The first truly free


elections in Romania's history. It was a remarkable climax to what was


surely the most extraordinary funeral ever given to a pop singer.


It's been a peaceful demonstration so far but suddenly the police are


tear gas in the crowd, we don't yet know why. The prelaunch ritual is


well established here. Helen is said to be in good spirits but just a


little apprehensive. In the last hour east to Moore has become the


world's newest nation. The challenges ahead are daunting but


for now at least it is time to celebrate.


With nearly all the votes counted Austria's presidential election


Former Green leader Alexander Van der Bellen and far right leader


Pakistan says that a US drone strike which killed the leader


of the Afghan Taliban is a violation of its sovereignty.


Manchester United are finalising minor details in Jose Mourinho's


contract before appointing the former Chelsea boss


Earlier today current Louis Van Gaal left the team hotel in London today


following yesterday's FA Cup win over Crystal Palace,


without having been told by the club that Mourinho is set to succeed him.


Five months after he was sacked by Chelsea, Jose Mourinho


is set for a sensational return to management.


It might be news to the man he'll replace.


This morning, Louis van Gaal left Manchester United's London hotel


without being told by the club that it was time to say goodbye.


Just 12 hours earlier he was celebrating victory in the FA Cup.


A trophy that will now be a parting gift.


Despite spending millions on players, he had failed to qualify


United have expectations he just couldn't meet.


While all this unfolded, Mourinho was watching boxing at the O2.


It is understood an agreement with United had


It's quite exciting, especially with the whole thing, Pep


The naughty side of me thinks it will be spicy.


Although he has gone out with winning a trophy I think it


needed change and with a manager at this moment in time,


I think Mourinho is the best man for the job.


Sir Alex Ferguson won 38 trophies in nearly three


Mourinho's record doesn't suggest that type of longevity,


but he is a proven winner and won't be overawed


by the challenge of trying to step out of Ferguson's shadow.


Mourinho made his name at Porto, by winning the Champions League.


That brought him to the attention of Chelsea, where he won three


Premier League titles in his two spells with the club.


He's also won major trophies in Italy with Inter Milan


He will make it exciting, the Premier League.


This season, since he has gone, press conferences have


If nothing else it gives us something to talk about.


Many will view Mourinho is a controversial appointment.


He left Chelsea in December after a spectacular slump in form


and a public fallout with medical staff.


United however have decided he's a risk worth taking.


Barcelona have already won the Spanish title -


can they make it a league and cup double?


They're taking on Sevilla in the final of the Copa del Rey.


Sevilla will also be hoping to make it a double.


It's just four days since they lifted the Europa League


trophy in Basel with a 3-1 win over Liverpool.


And there's been high drama at the Vicente Calderon stadium.


Javier Mascherano has been sent off, so Barcelona are down to ten men.


Just approaching half time and it's still goalless.


Despite it raining much of the morning in Paris,


There were wins for two of the world's top players.


Petra Kvitova is through to the second round after a tough


Australian Nick Kyrgios overcame a first set code violation to defeat


But the rain came back and washed out day one.


Only 10 of 32 matches were completed.


Rory McIlroy won the rain delayed Irish Open at the K Club.


It's the world number three's first victory of the season.


A final round of 69 got him to 12 under par, a three shot victory,


and a first win at his home tournament.


It means an awful lot. This is a tournament I've grown up watching as


a kid. Then playing in the amateur. And been dreaming about since my


first time at the golf club. To win it today and win it in the fashion


that I did, and being host as well, it means an awful lot. Finally,


Canada retained their ice hockey World Championship title after


beating Finland 2-0 in the final in Moscow. Thank you.


That's the warning for residents in the Iraqi city of Falluja,


just over an hour's drive from Baghdad.


The Iraqi army is planning to retake the city from Islamic


state militants, who have held it since 2014.


It was in fact the first Iraqi city to fall to the group.


Falluja is domminated by Sunnis and was once favoured


The city increasingly resented the American-supported


If you remember in 2003, resistance against the American


And US Marines were accused of targeting civilians


During that invasion - toxic munitions were blamed


for a surge in the number of birth defects in Falluja


Anger grew under former President Nouri al Maliki.


And Falluja became a base for Al-Qaeda in Iraq,


The government has been battling to retake it ever since.


I was joined earlier by Firas Abi Ali from


the think tank IHS - and he told me how Islamic State


militants are expected to react and prepare


Isis will try to stop people from thinking, others will be hesitant


about surrendering themselves to Shia militias who in anyway suspect


them of being collaborative with the Islamic State. So for these reasons


you can expect a pretty high civilian death toll from this


operation. The Iraqi army will be supported by the Iranians


Revolutionary guard and Hezbollah. Will that complicate the mission on


the ground? It reflects the disagreements between the Iraqi


militias and the Iraqi government, and reflects the disagreements


between the Iranians and the United States. It can be quite negative in


terms of dealing with the Sunni population, there have been various


atrocities documented. And the participation of the Iraqi militias


is their way of saying to the Baghdad government that we can


secure it, keep in mind this offensive is happening after a


series of suicide bombings targeting Baghdad, a major penetration for the


Islamic State. The militias have pretty much forced the government


into engaging in this offensive, and this is their way of asserting their


supremacy. The uranium's way of showing they are the real supporters


of the Iraqi people rather than the United States. If they are able to


retake it, how significant will that be? It will be a major blow to the


Islamic State in that it is one of their key centres, and where some of


their leaders and some of their families have been situated. That


will be a major blow to them. It will be one of the loss of the


congregations that they control in Anbar province. And as the Iraqi


government and the militias allied with it clear and bar province, the


sort of hotbed of Sunni rebelliousness will have been


pacified. It will make political compromise much harder. Because the


Sunnis would be much less likely to compromise with the Shia militias if


they see them taking the lead in this operation, or engaging in


atrocities. Are Islamic State on the run in Iraq? They are being


gradually defeated. But ultimately the conditions that allow for the


degradation of the Islamic State, the Shia Sunni disagreements, the


Kurdish disagreements, these have not gone away. And the Islamic State


had been in the past defeated and managed to re-emerge by exploiting


these divisions. So until we see some kind of stable secondary


democratic rule, we will still have the problem of militancy and


insurgency. President Obama has arrived


in Vietnam beginning an Asian trip that will also see him


travel to Hiroshima. His first stop is Hanoi where he's


keen to build stronger The spotlight is likely to be


on his visit to Hiroshima where the US dropped


the atomic bomb that killed 140,000 people and ushered


in the nuclear age. It may look just like any other


walking stick, but a new aid for people with Parkinson's


is helping them to retain The stick can sense when a user's


limbs have seized up, and then vibrates in a way that


helps them to regain their rhythm, and start walking again,


here's Andrew Plant From the outside it's a walking


stick like any other. But inside the handle


is an invention helping people with Parkinson's disease to get


a grip on their condition. Sufferes can seize up


when they walk and this can help I suddenly realise I'm not walking


and sometimes a little bit Or I count slowly and then


try to start walking again. You turn the device


on and it is basically sensing that People with Parkinson's sometimes


freeze up, but the beat in the handle helps them remember


how to move and can It's the brainchild of this Bristol


student who watched her grandfather Since I kept going to the patients


and talking to them, With Parkinson's they have a classic


Parkinson's posture which you can just recognise,


that they have this walking problem. She came up with the idea


when she was a student at She has now been given a grant


to get the idea up and running. The NHS and Parkinson's charities


have expressed interest. She hopes it could one day help more


people like Marcia to keep on moving Mexicans have been treated to the


site of some rare and beautiful old cast. More than 100 vintage cars


dating back as far as 1922 took part in a 1200 kilometre rally along


Mexico's Riviera mayor. He rallied past several cities on the Yucatan


Peninsula. The goal was to promote tourism, and it was organised by


several vintage car associations. Fantastic cars, there.


The outcome of Austria's election is too close to call. The former Green


party leader and the far right candidate are neck and neck.


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