30/05/2016 World News Today


30/05/2016

The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


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This is BBC World News Today with me Philippa Thomas.

:00:00.:00:00.

Fierce resistance from so-called Islamic State in the battle

:00:07.:00:11.

Government forces with American air support are moving

:00:12.:00:18.

towards the city's suburbs, but they're facing a wave

:00:19.:00:20.

50,000 civilians are trapped in the centre.

:00:21.:00:27.

The first African ruler sentenced in Africa for crimes

:00:28.:00:30.

against humanity, Chad's former president jailed for

:00:31.:00:32.

life for his reign of terror in the 80s.

:00:33.:00:38.

Turkey's President says Muslim families should

:00:39.:00:40.

He says Turkish mothers have a duty to boost the country's population.

:00:41.:00:48.

The multi-coloured wonder of the Great Barrier Reef,

:00:49.:00:50.

and how global warming is turning it pale and sickly.

:00:51.:01:11.

The Iraqi army is facing fierce resistance and counterattacks as it

:01:12.:01:16.

attempts to storm the city of Falluja, to wrestle control

:01:17.:01:18.

of it from the so-called Islamic State group.

:01:19.:01:21.

The city lies a mere 50 kilometres west of the capital Baghdad,

:01:22.:01:24.

and has been in the hands of Islamic State militants

:01:25.:01:27.

An official statement by the government says that forces,

:01:28.:01:31.

including members of the elite counter-terrorism unit,

:01:32.:01:34.

are moving into Falluja on several fronts.

:01:35.:01:38.

Our Middle East correspondent, Jim Muir, reports from Baghdad.

:01:39.:01:43.

This latest phase in the offensive got under way at dawn,

:01:44.:01:46.

exactly a week after the whole campaign to oust so-called

:01:47.:01:48.

Islamic State from Falluja was launched.

:01:49.:01:54.

The renewed assault was preceded by heavy artillery bombardments

:01:55.:01:56.

Jets from the American-led coalition and the Iraqi air force also carried

:01:57.:02:01.

out air strikes in support of the advancing ground forces,

:02:02.:02:05.

So far, the latest phase of attack still seems to be

:02:06.:02:17.

pressing in around Falluja, not penetrating yet into the centre

:02:18.:02:19.

As the battle moves closer to Falluja itself, there is huge

:02:20.:02:23.

concern for civilians trapped there, perhaps best guess

:02:24.:02:25.

They've already been through nine months of siege,

:02:26.:02:29.

a very tight blockade, so they will be drinking filthy

:02:30.:02:31.

water and have very little by way of food and medicine coming in.

:02:32.:02:39.

Some hundreds of families have managed to escape to safety.

:02:40.:02:41.

They're being taken to camps to the south and west of Falluja,

:02:42.:02:44.

where at least they can find shelter and food.

:02:45.:02:47.

TRANSLATION: Thank God we were able to get away from

:02:48.:02:50.

They let us starve and left us thirsty.

:02:51.:02:54.

They took away our men and told us to go home, saying they would

:02:55.:02:58.

return, but they didn't send them back, alive or dead.

:02:59.:03:08.

Baghdad was hit by big explosions. It seemed to be an attempt by IS to

:03:09.:03:18.

strike behind its enemy's lines to distract security forces from the

:03:19.:03:24.

Apple for Falluja. Militia commanders in the field who are

:03:25.:03:27.

taking part in the attack say that once the city itself is tightly

:03:28.:03:30.

surrounded, there could be a pause before the final assault to allow us

:03:31.:03:34.

many civilians as possible to escape.

:03:35.:03:36.

But IS is reported to be stopping them from fleeing,

:03:37.:03:39.

accused of using them as human shields.

:03:40.:03:41.

Let's cross to Baghdad and speak to the BBC's Omar Abdel-Razek.

:03:42.:03:49.

Let's talk about these civilians, they are trapped, and if they can

:03:50.:03:55.

escape, would they be welcome as refugees in Baghdad? I don't think

:03:56.:04:05.

so. The case of a town that was retaken by the popular mobilisation

:04:06.:04:12.

forces and the Iraqi army shows the opposite. Actually, the fate of

:04:13.:04:25.

nearly 15,000 civilians -- 1500 civilians, they were divided.

:04:26.:04:29.

Members of families were separated from women, and the elderly. And the

:04:30.:04:38.

men were subject to interrogation by the army security to establish if

:04:39.:04:42.

they have connections with IS or nod. The other situation is the

:04:43.:04:47.

government considered those families who are coming from areas like that

:04:48.:04:54.

are a security risk for Baghdad. But some Sunni politicians say they are

:04:55.:05:02.

not welcome because Baghdad, the capital, is considered a Shia

:05:03.:05:06.

majority city and Sony are not welcome, even if they are not

:05:07.:05:14.

representing any security risk. From the outside, this looks like a

:05:15.:05:18.

government offensive against the so-called Islamic State, but from

:05:19.:05:23.

where you are standing, there is obviously sectarian tensions coming

:05:24.:05:29.

into this battle as well. Yes, of course. Even if the government talk

:05:30.:05:44.

about the battle, it seems it is a coalition of those who are in power

:05:45.:05:49.

and who are actually under attack from popular protesters in Baghdad

:05:50.:05:54.

just two days before the start of the battle but when you go back to

:05:55.:05:59.

the media, especially on TV channels, you'll find the division

:06:00.:06:05.

is so clear. Some people accuse the government of waging an Iranians led

:06:06.:06:15.

battle to liberate or we take Falluja. We may repeat the scenarios

:06:16.:06:26.

that happened in remand a and Tikrit and other cities. With the promise

:06:27.:06:33.

is coming from the government, there is no guarantee who will implement

:06:34.:06:38.

the promises and how they will be implemented on the ground. What we

:06:39.:06:44.

have seen two days ago, it was clear that the city was retaken by a

:06:45.:06:52.

sectarian faction and not by the army. The slogans on the wall were

:06:53.:06:58.

everywhere, related to supporting Iran. Even some Iranians media

:06:59.:07:07.

outlets confirmed that the leader or commander of the Brigade of the

:07:08.:07:10.

Revolutionary guard, he was leading the battle. The Iraqi government has

:07:11.:07:16.

not denied this. Thank you for giving us some of the bigger and

:07:17.:07:18.

more complex picture from Baghdad. Now a look at some of

:07:19.:07:20.

the days other news. An appeals court in Bahrain has

:07:21.:07:22.

increased the prison sentence of the opposition leader,

:07:23.:07:24.

Sheikh Ali Salman, to nine years Sheikh Salman was convicted

:07:25.:07:27.

last year on charges Sheikh Salman leads the country's

:07:28.:07:30.

main Shia opposition bloc, Al-Wefaq. The group has condemned today's

:07:31.:07:36.

ruling as "unacceptable and provocative," saying it

:07:37.:07:38.

will exacerbate the political crisis Storms and torrential rain have

:07:39.:07:40.

caused severe flooding in southern Germany,

:07:41.:07:43.

leaving four people dead A fire-fighter died trying to rescue

:07:44.:07:45.

a man from a flooded underground crossing,

:07:46.:07:48.

the man he was trying And a girl was killed

:07:49.:07:50.

by a train when she took Two bridges were swept away and mud

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slides have blocked many roads. More than 100,000 people have signed

:07:55.:07:59.

an online petition in protest at the killing of a gorilla,

:08:00.:08:01.

who was shot after a child entered the animal's enclosure at a zoo

:08:02.:08:05.

in the United States. The four-year-old boy crawled

:08:06.:08:08.

through a barrier and fell He was grabbed and dragged along

:08:09.:08:11.

by the gorilla, called Harambe, before zoo staff decided they had

:08:12.:08:16.

to shoot the animal. And now he's been sentenced to life

:08:17.:08:24.

for crimes against humanity. That's the verdict today

:08:25.:08:29.

for the former president It's the first time an African Union

:08:30.:08:32.

backed court has tried a former African ruler

:08:33.:08:40.

for human rights abuses. This court was sitting in Senegal,

:08:41.:08:41.

and Human Rights Watch says its decision will go down

:08:42.:08:44.

in history as the day when a group of survivors managed to bring

:08:45.:08:47.

a dictator to justice. Minutes after the verdict was

:08:48.:09:02.

pronounced, the victims led out their joy. These are people who

:09:03.:09:06.

spent years in prison, and some of them are still physically damaged by

:09:07.:09:10.

torture. TRANSLATION: I'm very satisfied with the verdict. Life is

:09:11.:09:20.

fine with me. I didn't expect to feels such joy but today I am very

:09:21.:09:26.

happy. For the victims, this verdict is the conclusion of a struggle of

:09:27.:09:30.

20 years to bring Hissene Habre to justice. They feel this is a

:09:31.:09:34.

historical day for the country and for Africa, the day the Chadian

:09:35.:09:39.

people put a dictator in prison. Hissene Habre was imprisoned for

:09:40.:09:42.

life in prison for crimes against humanity. During his time in office,

:09:43.:09:46.

it's estimated 40,000 people were killed. TRANSLATION: When we dug a

:09:47.:09:52.

hole, we would put two bodies inside. Here, two more bodies. On

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the other side, to more bodies. This man was a prisoner during his rule

:10:00.:10:05.

and this was a mass grave. Every day for two years, he says he buried at

:10:06.:10:10.

least six people. TRANSLATION: I don't know why people were arrested

:10:11.:10:14.

or executed. A lot of people died. What I know is that they accused me

:10:15.:10:19.

of being involved in politics, but this isn't true. I am just a farmer.

:10:20.:10:24.

Thousands of files on the regime's prisoners were found and used in the

:10:25.:10:29.

trial. Among them, 800 death certificates, including one that

:10:30.:10:33.

says the prisoner died while being forced to reveal certain truths. It

:10:34.:10:39.

consists in tying two sticks together around the victim's head,

:10:40.:10:46.

inflicting brain damage. This man was a victim himself. TRANSLATION:

:10:47.:10:52.

When I look at these drawings, it is like I am experiencing the events

:10:53.:10:59.

again. I feed it in my bones. I remember how they climbed on my back

:11:00.:11:05.

and shouted, "Savage, you can just I! " The victims say they will

:11:06.:11:12.

remain scarred for life, but this verdict allows them to move forward.

:11:13.:11:16.

TRANSLATION:, what we have suffered can never happen in Chad again. We

:11:17.:11:20.

want stability, tranquillity and peace. This will make us happy. What

:11:21.:11:28.

happened with Hissene Habre was enough for us. This trial is

:11:29.:11:32.

significant for the victims. It was also a milestone for African

:11:33.:11:35.

justice. International jurisdiction two have been criticised by African

:11:36.:11:39.

leaders and now that a local court has shown it can try another

:11:40.:11:44.

country's president, we may see more cases emerge in other parts of the

:11:45.:11:45.

continent. Turkey's President Recep Erdogan has

:11:46.:11:48.

called on Turkish women He says birth control

:11:49.:11:50.

and family planning go It's not the first time Mr Erdogan

:11:51.:11:54.

has made such comments, a couple of years ago he likened

:11:55.:11:59.

birth control to treason. These most recent comments came

:12:00.:12:03.

during a speech broadcast live TRANSLATION: And I say it clearly

:12:04.:12:07.

that we will increase our prosperity Population planning

:12:08.:12:17.

or birth control... No Muslim family can engage

:12:18.:12:35.

in such a mentality. We will follow the road and advice

:12:36.:12:38.

of my God and the profit. Joining me now from

:12:39.:12:44.

Ankara is Sezin Oney. She's a Turkish political

:12:45.:12:46.

commentator and academic. Why do you think the president has

:12:47.:12:54.

raised this subject again now? Actually, he was talking about the

:12:55.:13:01.

conquest because they were first celebrations of Istanbul's conquest

:13:02.:13:08.

from buys anti-, so there was this historical celebration, and he

:13:09.:13:11.

picked up the conquest issued again today. He was referring there is a

:13:12.:13:19.

sense of being besieged, a sense of attack from the Western world. And

:13:20.:13:25.

also the internal enemies in Turkey. So he said we should multiply. We

:13:26.:13:29.

should multiply our numbers, our descendants. He was referring to his

:13:30.:13:34.

supporters, of course, not just any Turkish person. What has been the

:13:35.:13:40.

reaction amongst the women you know? Of course, the women are intimidated

:13:41.:13:45.

in general. The women who are secular, and those who are not

:13:46.:13:52.

really supporting him or those that are critical about him. And, of

:13:53.:13:56.

course, he is always emphasising the women's place, in his eyes, is,

:13:57.:14:00.

first and foremost, to be a mother. So, that kind of talk, and always

:14:01.:14:10.

belittling of the so-called Western, and in my point to universal,

:14:11.:14:13.

understanding of women's rights, scorn of the universal of women's

:14:14.:14:21.

rights is repeated by Edogan. And he repeated it again with contras --

:14:22.:14:26.

contraception. He is always repeating his messages, every other

:14:27.:14:32.

month or so. But, in theory at least, Turkey is moving closer to

:14:33.:14:36.

the prospect of European Union membership. How do you square that

:14:37.:14:41.

with this kind of rhetoric? Well, he likes to use this populist

:14:42.:14:49.

rhetorical us and them. In this way, Europe is always somehow

:14:50.:14:55.

hypocritical Europe. It is attacking Turkey. It is actually the enemy of

:14:56.:15:02.

Turkey. So, regardless of the relations with the EU, this talk is

:15:03.:15:08.

always there. This is an internal matter. His audience is his

:15:09.:15:19.

supporters in Turkey. It is detrimental for relations in the

:15:20.:15:23.

long run, and he is of course sprinting for the full systemic

:15:24.:15:31.

change towards presidential is. What matters to him is his local

:15:32.:15:35.

supporters at this moment. Thank you for your time.

:15:36.:15:37.

Republican Senators in the US have tabled a bill to send fighters

:15:38.:15:40.

from so-called Islamic State to Guantanamo Bay.

:15:41.:15:43.

It is the latest attempt to stop President Obama fulfilling

:15:44.:15:45.

a campaign pledge he made, more than eight years ago,

:15:46.:15:48.

While many detainees have been released during his time in office,

:15:49.:15:55.

and more are expected to be transferred in the coming days

:15:56.:15:57.

Our North America Correspondent, Aleem Maqbool, reports

:15:58.:16:02.

Keeping this facility open is contrary to our values.

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It undermines our standing in the world.

:16:12.:16:14.

It is viewed as a stain on our broader record of upholding

:16:15.:16:18.

the highest standards of rule of law.

:16:19.:16:22.

That's what President Obama's been saying for years and in his final

:16:23.:16:25.

months in office the remaining prisoners at the sprawling complex

:16:26.:16:29.

of Guantanamo Bay's detention centre are wondering

:16:30.:16:32.

It is extremely dark in here because we're

:16:33.:16:38.

looking at the prisoner through one-way glass.

:16:39.:16:40.

It is far emptier than even a year ago when we were last here.

:16:41.:16:44.

Many have been released in recent months.

:16:45.:16:47.

Those left behind have been here so long they are used

:16:48.:16:49.

They've devised ways of getting exercise through pacing around

:16:50.:16:54.

And we saw some interacting with the guards.

:16:55.:16:59.

The number of prisoners here now are just a 10th of what there once

:17:00.:17:02.

was and more releases are due in the summer months.

:17:03.:17:06.

But around 2,000 soldiers still operate the place,

:17:07.:17:09.

If you'd been here two years ago when I got here and now,

:17:10.:17:15.

you genuinely wouldn't see any impressionable difference.

:17:16.:17:19.

Did you see any reason why a facility like this couldn't hold

:17:20.:17:22.

the same detainees but on the mainland?

:17:23.:17:26.

Under appropriate security conditions in the United States,

:17:27.:17:31.

these detainees pose no more threat than they do here.

:17:32.:17:37.

Even the name Guantanamo conjures up images of orange jumpsuits

:17:38.:17:40.

and synonymous with issues around torture and force-feeding.

:17:41.:17:46.

What the White House says is that while it is still standing,

:17:47.:17:49.

it remains a powerful recruiting tool for militant groups

:17:50.:17:52.

The officers running it think the prisoners

:17:53.:17:58.

could be housed elsewhere, and it is seen by many as a smear

:17:59.:18:01.

The answer is continued political opposition back in Washington.

:18:02.:18:13.

Guantanamo Bay needs to be kept open not only to detain these unlawful

:18:14.:18:16.

We will tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now pull terrorists

:18:17.:18:22.

The right place to take them is not a federal prison in the Eastern

:18:23.:18:28.

It is to a place where we can conduct an investigation

:18:29.:18:32.

We were only shown detainees in the lowest security

:18:33.:18:37.

There were parts of Guantanamo we weren't shown, which house men

:18:38.:18:42.

deemed so dangerous America never wants them released.

:18:43.:18:46.

But, after all the talk, what happens to them

:18:47.:18:49.

and to the detention centre as a whole, now looks like an issue

:18:50.:18:53.

that will be left to the next president.

:18:54.:19:08.

Here in Britain, it's 24 days to the referendum on EU membership,

:19:09.:19:10.

and the campaign is turning our usual politics Inside Out,

:19:11.:19:13.

leading to the formation of unlikely alliances.

:19:14.:19:15.

On the "Stay in Europe" side today, we saw the Conservative Prime

:19:16.:19:17.

Minister David Cameron campaigning side by side with the New Labour

:19:18.:19:20.

Today Cameron described Khan as a "proud Muslim",

:19:21.:19:27.

a month ago, he accused him of appearing with extremists.

:19:28.:19:30.

Meanwhile one of Mr Cameron's cabinet ministers, Theresa Villiers,

:19:31.:19:33.

has been making headlines for the Vote Leave campaign.

:19:34.:19:36.

Appearing shoulder to shoulder, two men from rival parties who only

:19:37.:19:44.

weeks ago were engaged in a fierce political row.

:19:45.:19:49.

A Conservative prime minister with the Labour Mayor of London.

:19:50.:19:53.

He is the son of a bus driver, I'm the son of a stock broker.

:19:54.:20:00.

The Remain side called this an unprecedented show of cross-party

:20:01.:20:05.

unity for their case to stay in the EU.

:20:06.:20:09.

We can be clear about the things we guarantee if we stay in this

:20:10.:20:12.

If you wake up on June 24th, you know what you get

:20:13.:20:18.

with our campaign and the outcome that we seek.

:20:19.:20:22.

The so-called guarantee card contains five promises the Remain

:20:23.:20:26.

campaign says will continue if Britain stays in the EU.

:20:27.:20:30.

They include trade with other European countries,

:20:31.:20:34.

There was no such cross-party unity a few weeks ago.

:20:35.:20:39.

During the mayoral campaign, the Prime Minister was cheered

:20:40.:20:42.

by Tory MPs as he said Sadiq Khan had shared platforms

:20:43.:20:45.

But now it is Mr Cameron being attacked by some of the MPs

:20:46.:20:51.

Two of his backbenchers suggested he must get a decisive win

:20:52.:20:55.

in the referendum or face a confidence vote.

:20:56.:20:59.

Vote Leave campaigners have dismissed today's pledge card,

:21:00.:21:01.

saying it shows a vote to stay in is a vote for permanent

:21:02.:21:04.

free movement of people from Europe to the UK.

:21:05.:21:08.

High levels of immigration from Europe are depressing wages.

:21:09.:21:11.

That is having a direct impact on household incomes right now,

:21:12.:21:16.

and it's only going to get worse because we will see more economic

:21:17.:21:19.

That means more young people seeking work here because the EU is failing

:21:20.:21:25.

Some of the messages being pushed here today are a clear appeal

:21:26.:21:30.

to Labour voters as the Remain side ramps up its efforts to make sure

:21:31.:21:34.

And today's appearance of a senior Labour figure alongside

:21:35.:21:38.

a Conservative Prime Minister, who is under pressure from some

:21:39.:21:41.

in his own party, shows how this referendum campaign is rewriting

:21:42.:21:45.

In Australia, scientists there are warning more

:21:46.:21:58.

than a third of the coral in parts of the Great Barrier Reef has been

:21:59.:22:01.

destroyed by mass bleaching caused by rising sea temperatures.

:22:02.:22:03.

The scientists from several Australian universities blame

:22:04.:22:05.

climate change for what they say is the most extreme bleaching

:22:06.:22:08.

This is what the Great Barrier Reef is supposed to look like.

:22:09.:22:19.

A vast, underwater, multicoloured wonderland.

:22:20.:22:24.

But this is how much of it looks today.

:22:25.:22:27.

The latest research showing that, in parts, coral bleaching has left

:22:28.:22:32.

It happens when warmer water causes the coral to weaken and lose

:22:33.:22:41.

the colourful algae that provide oxygen and nutrients.

:22:42.:22:45.

It's because of global warming, it's because of the increases in

:22:46.:22:48.

sea surface temperatures, on top of other events.

:22:49.:22:52.

This year was a very, very dry year for the northern part

:22:53.:22:56.

of the Great Barrier Reef, high sunlight.

:22:57.:22:58.

All these factors came together to produce one of the most

:22:59.:23:01.

dramatic coral bleaching events that ever occurred

:23:02.:23:05.

on the Great Barrier Reef, or the most dramatic.

:23:06.:23:08.

Australia is one of the world's largest per capita emitters

:23:09.:23:10.

But the government here denies it's not done enough to protect the reef,

:23:11.:23:15.

and cites the UN's world Heritage Committee.

:23:16.:23:19.

The German chairman of the committee said that our management,

:23:20.:23:23.

that's to say Australia's management, of the Great Barrier

:23:24.:23:25.

Reef was a world-class exemplar of coral reef management.

:23:26.:23:31.

So there is no question that we are doing a good job.

:23:32.:23:35.

A month away from a general election, Australia's politicians

:23:36.:23:38.

are looking to score points, announcing a $400 million plan

:23:39.:23:42.

The opposition Labour Party accuse the government of being in denial

:23:43.:23:48.

Even of censoring a UN report out last week, and pressuring

:23:49.:23:54.

officials to remove references that were critical of Australia.

:23:55.:23:59.

We see the effects of climate change, and we have a government

:24:00.:24:04.

currently in Canberra who, despite Mr Turnbull's protestations,

:24:05.:24:08.

We see a government who managed to censor the UNESCO report

:24:09.:24:14.

This is a government who doesn't want to hear the problem.

:24:15.:24:19.

They just want to stop anyone else talking about the issue.

:24:20.:24:22.

Short-term politics, though, will not save

:24:23.:24:24.

It will take decades to recover from the damage already done.

:24:25.:24:30.

And many environmentalists are now warning that one of the seven

:24:31.:24:34.

natural wonders of the world might not be around for

:24:35.:24:37.

We want to show you incredible pictures of a man flying over the

:24:38.:24:56.

great Wall of China. Here is the American skydiver dropping out of a

:24:57.:25:01.

helicopter wearing a wingsuit, aiming for a target on the grateful.

:25:02.:25:06.

Keep watching. Can he sliced through the targets just a few metres off

:25:07.:25:10.

the ground? He did it, travelling at just under 200 kilometres per hour,

:25:11.:25:14.

he narrowly missed the bullseye but said he was very happy to have made

:25:15.:25:18.

what he described as a super-hard stunt. This is, in fact, the latest

:25:19.:25:23.

in the long line of challenges for the 40-year-old. It had been

:25:24.:25:25.

postponed because of strong winds but he did it in the end.

:25:26.:25:29.

Iraqi government forces are pressing ahead with their campaign

:25:30.:25:32.

to recapture the city of Fallujah, but they're facing stiff resistance

:25:33.:25:35.

Reports of car bombs coming in and counterattacks. The Iraqi military

:25:36.:25:52.

appears to have secured a key district, however.

:25:53.:25:54.

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

:25:55.:26:11.

Back to work after a long weekend could be hampered by some pretty

:26:12.:26:12.

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