22/09/2016 World News Today


22/09/2016

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


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Syria's President Assad gives a rare interview.

:00:00.:00:13.

He says he's not laying siege to Aleppo, not

:00:14.:00:16.

using barrel bombs - and not responsible

:00:17.:00:18.

I believe that the United States is not genuine regarding having

:00:19.:00:30.

cessation of violence in Syria. in North Carolina leaves one person

:00:31.:00:34.

critically injured and the city of Charlotte under

:00:35.:00:38.

a state of emergency. Joy for the families of survivors,

:00:39.:00:46.

but hundreds are thought to have died after a migrant boat sinks off

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Egypt - four crew are arrested. The Syrian boy whose picture went

:00:51.:00:54.

viral is offered a new home in the United States

:00:55.:00:56.

by a six-year-old. Dear President Obama, remember the

:00:57.:01:04.

boy who was picked up by the ambulance in Syria? Can you please

:01:05.:01:09.

go get him and bring him to our home?

:01:10.:01:21.

40,000 people are arriving into a suburb of the Syrian

:01:22.:01:26.

The first major delivery of aid in Syria this month comes

:01:27.:01:31.

as fresh fighting breaks out across the country.

:01:32.:01:34.

In an interview today, Syria's President Assad

:01:35.:01:36.

was uncompromising - saying his enemies alone,

:01:37.:01:40.

including the US, are to blame for the devastation

:01:41.:01:42.

Around Aleppo last night there was anything but a ceasefire.

:01:43.:01:57.

These unverified pictures show warplanes

:01:58.:01:58.

dropping bombs in what is said to be rebel held territory.

:01:59.:02:05.

At least 45 people were reported to have died.

:02:06.:02:07.

And elsewhere in Syria, including the central provinces,

:02:08.:02:11.

there seems little left of what truce there was.

:02:12.:02:27.

In an interview with the Associated Press News Agency,

:02:28.:02:29.

Denying he was besieging eastern Aleppo, and

:02:30.:02:32.

denying he was using barrel bombs to kill civilians.

:02:33.:02:34.

A bomb is a bomb, what is the difference between

:02:35.:02:36.

When you use it, use it to defend the civilians, you kill terrorists

:02:37.:02:44.

You do not have the moral incentive, we do

:02:45.:02:50.

The war, he said, would drag on, whilst outside

:02:51.:02:56.

And he blamed America for the breakdown of latest

:02:57.:03:01.

I believe the United States is not genuine regarding the

:03:02.:03:04.

As FOR the attack on Monday which destroyed a

:03:05.:03:19.

humanitarian convoy and killed 28 workers, he denied any involvement.

:03:20.:03:26.

Regarding the claim of the White House yesterday accusing

:03:27.:03:28.

either the Syrian or the

:03:29.:03:30.

Russians in that regard, I would say, what I can officially

:03:31.:03:32.

say about the conflicts in Syria, they have no

:03:33.:03:34.

credibility, whatever they say, it is just lies.

:03:35.:03:36.

Today, his forces gained control of yet more

:03:37.:03:38.

As more than 100 rebel fighters and their families were

:03:39.:03:42.

evacuated from opposition health districts in Homs.

:03:43.:03:50.

evacuated from opposition heald districts in Homs.

:03:51.:03:52.

Elsewhere, a United Nations aid convoy did get

:03:53.:03:54.

through to rebel holds about the Damascus.

:03:55.:03:55.

But so far, none has been allowed into Aleppo, something the

:03:56.:03:58.

Please, President Assad, do your bit to enable us to

:03:59.:04:08.

get to eastern Aleppo and also the other besieged areas.

:04:09.:04:11.

But aid will reach here only if there is a

:04:12.:04:13.

And although there will be yet more talks in the UN this

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evening, there are a few hopes that the fighting

:04:18.:04:19.

My colleague Laura Trevelyan is at the United Nations.

:04:20.:04:30.

Laura, James said there will be more talks at the United Nations, between

:04:31.:04:36.

the US and Russia but it's a tense time, isn't it? It is. What is

:04:37.:04:41.

happening this afternoon is the US and Russia will lead talks of an

:04:42.:04:45.

international group of 20 countries who will come together on Syria. But

:04:46.:04:52.

the principles are indeed the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and

:04:53.:04:57.

his Russian counterpart, Bobby Lovgren. They were at loggerheads

:04:58.:05:01.

yesterday, so the question is what can they do to revive the ceasefire

:05:02.:05:06.

deal that came into effect last Monday and is now in tatters? Other

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countries in the Syria group will tell you it is down to what the

:05:12.:05:16.

Americans and Russia can agree. If they can revive the ceasefire

:05:17.:05:21.

agreement and lead to a round of talks in Geneva, that would be

:05:22.:05:24.

something. The Russians suggested that there could be a three-day

:05:25.:05:30.

pause, that has been quoted. And meanwhile, the Americans suggested

:05:31.:05:33.

that there should be a pause in military operations over key areas

:05:34.:05:37.

of Syria where aid is being delivered. Is there wriggleroom?

:05:38.:05:43.

We'll see what happens after the meeting due to start in the next

:05:44.:05:44.

hour. Thank you very much. Charlotte's police chief says

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he sees no reason to impose a curfew in North Carolina's largest city,

:05:52.:05:55.

even after two nights of violent protests after the shooting

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of a black man by a police officer. These were the scenes in Charlotte

:05:58.:06:00.

overnight into Thursday, The rallies began after

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Keith Lamont Scott was shot dead Officials say Mr Scott was armed -

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his family say he wasn't. Mr Scott was the third black man

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to be killed by US police in a week. One protester remains

:06:19.:06:22.

in a critical condition Well, the Mayor of Charlotte,

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Jennifer Roberts, is appealing for peaceful protests - we'll hear

:06:26.:06:33.

from her in just a moment. The local Chief of Police Kerry

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Putney has also been speaking - he says police video does not show

:06:37.:06:40.

Mr Scott pointing a gun - but that the footage does back up

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officers' version of events. This is how he responded when asked

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if the video would be made public. . If there is compelling information

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that I think helps, we'll sew it but again, I'm going to be very

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intentional about protecting the integrity of the investigation and

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in so doing I'm not going to release the video.

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The video does not give me absolute definitive, visual evidence that

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would confirm that a person is pointing a gun. I did not see that

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in the videos that I reviewed. So what I can tell you though is

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that when taking into total all of the other evidence it supports what

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we have heard and the version of the truth that we gave about the

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circumstance of what happened that led to the death of Mr Scott. The

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safety and the security of our community and law enforcement

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officers remains our top priority. Today our city is open for business

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as usual. We let people know that come to our town, we are here

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working, our buses are running, we are here to serve and the city is

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open. Our correspondent Gary O'Donoghue is

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in Charlotte for us. Gary two different accounts of what happened.

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What are the chances of this video footage from the police body cameras

:08:23.:08:28.

and the dash cam actually being made public? Small, to be honest. The

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police chief made that quite clear this morning. He believes that would

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interfere with the investigation that he is conducting. He say there

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is is another complication, that the state bureau investigation may take

:08:45.:08:46.

over some parts of the investigation, therefore it would be

:08:47.:08:50.

up to them do decide whether or not to release the video. So he is

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adamant that at the moment it will not be made public. He does say

:08:56.:09:00.

however that he will show it to the family at their request. I think

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that they are hoping that this will, it could persuade the family enough

:09:06.:09:10.

that the police' account of what happened is closer to the truth than

:09:11.:09:14.

theirs. It may be a high bar to get over for the family but that must be

:09:15.:09:18.

part of the hope. Given what he said in the clip you heard there about it

:09:19.:09:25.

not being clear that a gun was being pointed in that video, I suspect

:09:26.:09:28.

that the family will want to see what else he has that convinces him

:09:29.:09:33.

that actually Mr Scot was a threat to his officer. So there is a lot of

:09:34.:09:39.

ground between the two sides on this already. In the meantime, of course,

:09:40.:09:45.

we are into late afternoon, and people are starting to cast their

:09:46.:09:49.

minds forward to this evening and whether or not there will be a

:09:50.:09:53.

repeat of the last two nights, something that everyone is hoping

:09:54.:09:56.

will not happen. Gary, briefly, there will not be a

:09:57.:10:01.

curfew as of now but what is the mood there at the moment, ahead of

:10:02.:10:07.

another night? Well, walking the streets here you would not know that

:10:08.:10:11.

anything had happened. There are a few boarded up windows here and

:10:12.:10:16.

there on East Trade Street. A bit of broken glass. They have done a good

:10:17.:10:21.

job of cleaning up. But people are waiting to see what information the

:10:22.:10:25.

police will release. We were promised other information from them

:10:26.:10:29.

other than the video. Then to see what the family's reaction will be

:10:30.:10:33.

to seeing that video. Getting sight of the body cam video. That will be

:10:34.:10:38.

crucial, I think.m people are still appealing for calm. The National

:10:39.:10:42.

Guard will be on the streets protecting buildings but I that I

:10:43.:10:46.

that people are wary about tonight. There is a mood amongst some of the

:10:47.:10:52.

protesters to punish the police for what they perceive as crimes against

:10:53.:10:58.

black people. Thank you very much, Gary O'Donoghue. We will be with you

:10:59.:11:03.

throughout the day watching the developments in Charlotte.

:11:04.:11:04.

It's one of the worst disasters of the Mediterranean migrant crisis

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hundreds of people are feared dead, after a boat which set sail

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Survivors told the BBC there were around 550 people onboard

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The disaster happened 19 kilometres from the shore,

:11:15.:11:17.

near the town of Rosetta where four crew members

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From there our correspondent Orla Guerin reports.

:11:20.:11:34.

Reclaimed from the sea, survivors of the latest tragedy in the

:11:35.:11:41.

Mediterranean. Saved by the Egyptian military but taken into police

:11:42.:11:46.

custody. Some, overwhelmed by exhaustion,

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after up to eight hours' treading water. Staring death in the face.

:11:51.:11:59.

Most were young Egyptians from poor communities who told us they wanted

:12:00.:12:04.

to reach Italy to find work. They said more than 550 people were

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crammed tonne the boat. TRANSLATION: It was very small. Said

:12:11.:12:17.

this man who is 17. It only had room for 200. We were at sea for days,

:12:18.:12:22.

they kept bringing more people before we capsized and then half the

:12:23.:12:28.

crew got away. Mohammed survived but without his

:12:29.:12:37.

cousin, Amir, who was just 14. TRANSLATION: May God have mercy on

:12:38.:12:41.

them and all the young men who died. I was going to die but God helped

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meet. We resited the prayers, not once but

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10 or 15 times, we said God help us, God save us.

:12:56.:13:00.

Outside the police station, anguish and anger. Some relatives

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complaining that the authorities took hours to respond to distress

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signals from the sinking boat. But then, what they had all been waiting

:13:10.:13:18.

for... Well the survivors are emerging now. They've spent the

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night in custody. They are being reunited with their families. Many

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of the relatives maintaining a vigil through the night hoping to get news

:13:30.:13:33.

from their loved ones, hoping that they were not among the dead.

:13:34.:13:34.

The BBC's Orla Guerin reporting there from

:13:35.:13:38.

Now a look at some of the day's other news.

:13:39.:13:41.

Iraqi government forces say they've fought their way into the centre

:13:42.:13:44.

of the strategically important town of Al-Shirqat,

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which has been in the hands of Islamic State militants since 2014.

:13:46.:13:49.

The army's effort to capture the town is part of an attempt

:13:50.:13:53.

to secure supply routes ahead for what's expected to be a very

:13:54.:13:56.

much bigger battle for the city of Mosul, which lies

:13:57.:13:59.

Around 3.5 million people in Puerto Rico

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are without electricity for the second day running.

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The black-out began on Wednesday after a fire at a power plant set

:14:06.:14:08.

off a broader outage across the island's utility gird.

:14:09.:14:17.

off a broader outage across the island's utility grid.

:14:18.:14:19.

People were forced to spend the night in darkness

:14:20.:14:21.

and without air conditioning in the tropical heat,

:14:22.:14:23.

and businesses have been forced to close.

:14:24.:14:24.

Officials say it could be 24 hours before power is restored.

:14:25.:14:27.

A Chinese lawyer whose clients included the dissident artist

:14:28.:14:29.

Ai Weiwei has been sentenced to twelve years in prison

:14:30.:14:32.

Xia Lin's supporters and his wife strongly rejected the charges,

:14:33.:14:36.

saying he was being persecuted for challenging the government.

:14:37.:14:39.

He is the latest of several human rights lawyers and activists to be

:14:40.:14:42.

The Afghan government has signed a draft peace

:14:43.:14:48.

agreement with the country's second-biggest militant group.

:14:49.:14:50.

A representative of militant leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar signed

:14:51.:14:52.

He'll be granted immunity from prosecution in return

:14:53.:14:55.

for his support for the constitution and a promise to abandon violence.

:14:56.:14:58.

Mr Hekmatyar was briefly prime minister of Afghanistan in the early

:14:59.:15:01.

1990s and is still listed as a designated terrorist by the US.

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News of the agreement sparked protests in the Afghan capital,

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Human rights groups say he is responsible for the deaths

:15:09.:15:11.

of possibly thousands of people during the 1990s civil war.

:15:12.:15:15.

They're tiny, so how dangerous can button batteries,

:15:16.:15:18.

which are often found in toys and watches be?

:15:19.:15:21.

Well, doctors are warning about the potentially

:15:22.:15:23.

lethal risk they pose to children and babies.

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Surgeons at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital say they've seen

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a rise in the number of children suffering severe injuries -

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sometimes even dying - after swallowing them.

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Our Medical Correspondent Fergus Walsh reports.

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Ready? Yeah.

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All it took was a tiny watch battery to devastate this

:15:45.:15:48.

After she swallowed the button battery it burned through her

:15:49.:15:52.

This is the latest of many operations at London's Great

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Ormond Street Hospital to try to repair the damage.

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For the past year the three-year-old has been fed through a tube

:16:06.:16:09.

into her stomach and has a bag to collect her saliva.

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Her mother who's Russian says it has turned their lives upside down.

:16:16.:16:18.

She hopes Valeria will eventually recover.

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Essentially this battery starts working in the oesophagus.

:16:25.:16:28.

Surgeons at Great Ormond Street Hospital are seeing one child

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a month with caustic soda burns caused by button batteries.

:16:32.:16:37.

The most important thing is to be aware that these are extremely

:16:38.:16:39.

dangerous and should be treated essentially like a poison

:16:40.:16:42.

and should be kept out of the reach of children.

:16:43.:16:44.

Let's mimic what can happen when a button battery gets lodged

:16:45.:16:47.

The ham represents the delicate lining

:16:48.:16:53.

of the oesophagus, and water, saliva.

:16:54.:16:57.

I'll cover this side but put another battery here so we can see

:16:58.:17:02.

We've left this for just two hours, and already a huge amount

:17:03.:17:18.

If I lift the button battery you can see all this black marked area.

:17:19.:17:27.

Eventually this would have burnt its way right through the ham.

:17:28.:17:30.

When she swallowed a button battery last year doctors warned

:17:31.:17:34.

her mum there could be life changing injuries.

:17:35.:17:42.

They said that her vocal cords could be damaged then

:17:43.:17:44.

and there and she would never develop a voice.

:17:45.:17:47.

And again, they said that if she did pull through she may never eat again

:17:48.:17:50.

because her oesophagus may have been too badly damaged.

:17:51.:17:52.

Fortunately the two-year-old has made a complete recovery.

:17:53.:18:05.

But it's a warning to parents to keep toddlers away

:18:06.:18:07.

In a few days time - the US election campaign

:18:08.:18:19.

will ramp up a notch - as the first presidential debate

:18:20.:18:21.

It'll be must see viewing, as Hillary Clinton and Donald

:18:22.:18:25.

Trump go head to head, on a range of issues.

:18:26.:18:27.

It's a crucial moment for both campaigns -

:18:28.:18:29.

so how do you prepare for such a big event.

:18:30.:18:31.

My colleague Katty Kay has been finding out.

:18:32.:18:45.

The presidential debates give American voters the only chance they

:18:46.:18:51.

have to come pair the candidates side by side. The stakes are

:18:52.:18:57.

enormous. And in this election, the biggest

:18:58.:19:02.

challenge Forsythe Hillary Clinton is how to debate someone like Donald

:19:03.:19:08.

Trump? There has never been a candidate or debater like him.

:19:09.:19:16.

Let moo me talk. Quiet! Donald Trump does not do traditional debate with

:19:17.:19:21.

policy briefings and analysis. He prefers off the cuff remarks, and

:19:22.:19:26.

almost child like insults. Lion Ted. He holds the Bible down

:19:27.:19:35.

and then he lies. Todd Harris was the Senior Advisor

:19:36.:19:43.

for Marco de-Rubio. Our strategy for the campaign was to

:19:44.:19:49.

ignore Donald Trump's insult but the challenge was that the media was not

:19:50.:19:54.

ignoring them. The best thing for handicap in terms of debating Trump,

:19:55.:19:58.

would be for her not to show up at all. The best way to engage with

:19:59.:20:07.

Trump is to let Trump hang himself with his own words and

:20:08.:20:12.

inconsistencies. Rubio discovered the cost of a bad

:20:13.:20:18.

debate in New Hampshire. Under attack, he Pre-Budget Reported

:20:19.:20:22.

himself four times. Barack Obama knows what he is doing.

:20:23.:20:27.

The notion that he doesn't know what he is doing, he knows exactly what

:20:28.:20:35.

he is doing. There it is... Within hours, the internet was buzzing with

:20:36.:20:40.

jokes about Rubio. His campaign ended that night.

:20:41.:20:48.

Handicap has briefing books and she talks about debate strategy with

:20:49.:20:54.

campaign veterans, she will do mock debates with someone standing in for

:20:55.:21:00.

Trump, I don't belief who is standing in for Trump, that will be

:21:01.:21:02.

interesting a role for someone to play. Donald Trump, got the first

:21:03.:21:08.

word and the last word... Donald Trump does not debate the way that

:21:09.:21:13.

anyone does debate. He does his Donald Trump way. He pro Seths

:21:14.:21:23.

strength, and uses moves he does as a result star. But moves so

:21:24.:21:27.

differently from anyone on a debate stage.

:21:28.:21:30.

President Obama learned that election debates can hurt a

:21:31.:21:33.

candidate as much as they can help them. On October the 3rd, 2012,

:21:34.:21:40.

Obama met Mitt Romney for their first debate. It was a disaster.

:21:41.:21:45.

Are we going to double down from the top down or embrace a new

:21:46.:21:51.

economicate rim. Obama was tetchy and distracted.

:21:52.:21:54.

Giving the impression he did not want to be there.

:21:55.:22:00.

Testify any Cutter was the campaign manager.

:22:01.:22:06.

It was clear we were losing not just on TV but for social media. Twitter

:22:07.:22:11.

was a factor on how the debate was covered. So we knew what we were

:22:12.:22:16.

dealing with. We have started to make changes before that ebait even

:22:17.:22:21.

ended. Obama recovered but those around him

:22:22.:22:25.

suggested that he underestimated his opponent.

:22:26.:22:28.

Political scientists don't agree how much the debates help you win the

:22:29.:22:33.

White House, the polls are inconclusive. What they do know is

:22:34.:22:38.

that this will be box office must-see television and don't expect

:22:39.:22:42.

the candidates to play it safe, whoing the voters in the middle.

:22:43.:22:46.

Instead, they will be trying to scare the living day lights out of

:22:47.:22:51.

their supporters at the very prospect of the other person on the

:22:52.:22:56.

stage occupying the Oval Office. That will mean a lot of sharp

:22:57.:23:02.

attacks, not necessariliedifying but certainly entertaining.

:23:03.:23:07.

A political event like no other, that debate is on Monday night.

:23:08.:23:12.

When a six-year-old American boy wrote a letter to Barack Obama,

:23:13.:23:14.

he probably didn't expect the President himself to read it

:23:15.:23:17.

Alex, from New York, penned a note to the president

:23:18.:23:20.

offering a Syrian refugee a place to stay with his family.

:23:21.:23:23.

It was after he saw the photograph of Omran Daqneesh, the little boy

:23:24.:23:26.

seen dazed and bloodied in the back of an ambulance.

:23:27.:23:29.

The letter went viral - Mr Obama read some of the letter

:23:30.:23:32.

at this week's UN summit on refugees.

:23:33.:23:35.

Dear President Obama, remember the boy who was picked up by the

:23:36.:23:46.

ambulance in Syria? Can you please go get him and bring him to our

:23:47.:23:52.

home? Park in the driveway or on the streets and we'll be waiting for you

:23:53.:23:56.

guys with flags, flowers and balloons. We will give him a family

:23:57.:24:05.

and he will be our brother. Katherine, my little sister will be

:24:06.:24:08.

collecting butterflies and fire flies for him. In my school I have a

:24:09.:24:15.

friend from Syria, Omar. I swill introduce him to Omar and we can all

:24:16.:24:20.

play together. We can invite him to birthday parties and he will teach

:24:21.:24:24.

us another language. Since he won't bring toys and

:24:25.:24:32.

doesn't have toy, Katherine will share her big blew stripy white

:24:33.:24:37.

bunny and I will share my bike and I will teach him how to ride it. ... I

:24:38.:24:43.

will teach him addition and subtraction. Those are the words of

:24:44.:24:47.

a six-year-old boy. He teaches us a lot.

:24:48.:24:57.

The humanity that a young child can display, who hasn't learned to be

:24:58.:25:02.

cynical or suspicious or fearful of other people because of where they

:25:03.:25:07.

are fro, or how they look or pray, we can all learn from Alex.

:25:08.:25:13.

Alex, six years old. The power of the pen! That's the

:25:14.:25:16.

Britain's Prince William has told a conference that he fears

:25:17.:25:19.

the African elephant will have disappeared from the wild

:25:20.:25:22.

by the time his daughter Princess Charlotte turns 25.

:25:23.:25:24.

He said action needs to be taken now to stop poaching and it's time

:25:25.:25:27.

to send an "unambiguous message" that it is no longer acceptable

:25:28.:25:30.

to recognise the BBC teams who won an Emmy last night

:25:31.:25:41.

for their continuing coverage of the European migrant crisis.

:25:42.:25:43.

We've been privileged to bring you their reports

:25:44.:26:09.

Hi there. We have showers to come at first overnight in parts of

:26:10.:26:11.

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