30/09/2016 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today with me, Tim Willcox.


The headlines - Russia accuses the US of protecting Syrian rebels


Russia's Foreign Minister tells the BBC that America is failing


to separate their moderate rebel allies from Islamist fighters.


They either are driven by Al Nusra, or they tacitly support this


Mission accomplished - the space probe Rosetta ends its 12


year voyage in a planned crash-landing on the comet


Former Israeli president Shimon Peres is buried in Jerusalem -


with dozens of world leaders paying tribute to his seven-decade


And we'll have more later on how the mystery of two missing


Italian police recover two priceless Van Goghs stolen from a museum


A year to the day since Russia's bombing in Syria began,


the Russian foreign minister has defended his country's actions


Sergei Lavrov accused America of trying to protect the Islamist


group formerly known as Al-Nusra Front in the battle


Monitoring groups say more than 9,000 civilians have been


killed in Syria since Russia started bombing - but Mr Lavrov said


Violence in Syria claimed more lives on Friday,


with 12 people killed in the city of Aleppo.


Here's what Sergei Lavrov said to the BBC's Stephen Sackur.


We take all necessary cautions not to hit civilians. The term


collateral damage was invented not by us. You know by whom. We are


taking, as I said, most strict precautions to make sure that we


don't hit civilians by any chance. If this happens, well, we are very


sorry but we need to investigate each and every accusation. So far,


we haven't been given any meaningful proof of what is being said about


the convoy which was bombed or attacked on the 19th of September,


which we have good reasons to believe was a provocation.


Earlier this week, the Americans threatened to break off talks


because of what is happening. The entire problem is that the United


States refuses basically to separate the opposition from Al-Nusra and the


terrorist groups who joined Al-Nusra. Instead of separation, we


see more people in alliance with them. When ever we hit Al-Nusra, we


are told, you shouldn't do it because there are good people in the


middle of this position. We cannot fight terrorists and less we agree


that those of us who want to be part of the cessation of hostilities get


out of the parts occupied by them. Let's speak to our correspondent


Gary O'Donoghue in Washington. Later in that interview he said the


US were not able to separate out the terrorists. What are they saying


now? What we have heard in the last few minutes is an interview with one


of their officials who is now saying, and has been saying for the


last couple of days, but it is difficult to believe that the


continuation of the democratic process can happen given the reality


of what is happening on the ground in Syria. It is a very gloomy


atmosphere about the prospect for continuing talks and getting that a


ceasefire re-established under any kind of coordination. The war of


words has escalated yet further with this BBC interview and these two


powers are now as far apart as they've ever been. And yet both men


are talking on a daily basis according to Sergey Lavrov. Yes,


they are, and both men are under different bridges from their own


governments, their own domestic audiences. Here in the United


States, John Kerry has faced internal difficulty, I suppose you


could call it, in proposing to cooperate with Russia in targeting


some of the jihadist groups. That was on the table, the Pentagon


didn't like that very much. A lot of people in those circles believed


John Kerry was spun a line by Russia, was taken along really by


them. Particularly Republican senators have said similar things,


that he has been strung along by Moscow, and they have also called


for other actions to be taken. The administration has been talking


about other things being considered in the last few days but we don't


know what they are. It's very vague talk and it's difficult to see what


their options could be at this stage because they don't want to get into


a conflict with Russia, certainly, and their options for movement on


the ground given they don't want to put troops in either very limited.


Thank you very much. For 12 years, the Rosetta probe


travelled deep into space. But this afternoon, it's mission


came to an end, crash landing deliberately on the comet it's been


circling, more than four billion The valuable scientific data


Rosetta has gathered, will be studied long


into the future. The project's been seen as a major


success for the European Space It's been an emotional day at


Mission control. Our science editor was there.


In one of the greatest ventures in space exploration, the strange


landscapes of a comet are revealed in more detail than ever before.


Cliffs and rocks, nearly 500 million miles away, photographed this


morning and beamed back to us during the day,


as the Rosetta spacecraft inched towards the surface.


An animation shows how the touchdown was planned.


Rosetta drifting down at walking pace.


The end of a 12-year journey, a last chance to


Rosetta has achieved more than anyone expected.


We will be listening for the signal...


Many here have devoted decades to this project, so all eyes


were on a signal from a spacecraft which suddenly switched off.


This is the end of the Rosetta mission.


You know that when you do these things it comes to an end.


But, you know, it is the end of a long, long mission.


Emotions were so different two years ago.


Monica Grady was leaping for joy back then.


A tiny lander launched by Rosetta had made it down onto the comet.


It did not anchor itself but it did deliver


What's remarkable is that all of these manoeuvres in deep


space were run from this control centre, and the mission has proved


so successful that the volume of data flooding back will keep


In fact, what they have seen already has left them amazed.


They found that dust blasting off the comet


contains many of the chemical ingredients needed for life.


And this really matters, because one theory is that comets


crashing into the early Earth helped to kick-start life here.


It seems a bit crazy to fly hundreds of millions of


kilometres through space to what looks


like a cold, dead body, but


it's actually full of complex molecules that we know if you were


to bring them to the planet Earth when it was young, add water and


sunlight, you could make life out of.


That's a huge discovery for us from Rosetta.


We have all of the ingredients in place.


So for understanding our own origins, this


mission is turning up some key evidence.


It's caught the imagination of people


The funeral has taken place in Jerusalem of


the former Israeli President, and Nobel Peace Prize


Dozens of current and former world leaders attended the open-air


service, including Mahmoud Abbas, President


of the Palestinian National Authority, who exchanged


a rare handshake with the Israeli Prime Minister,


Our correspondent Orla Guerin watched the ceremony.


A poignant final prayer for Shimon Peres.


Mourned today by his family and by world leaders who viewed him


We gather here in the knowledge that Shimon never saw his dream


The region is going through a chaotic time.


And yet he did not stop dreaming and he did not stop working.


In death, he brought Palestinian and Israeli leaders


Mahmoud Abbas was warmly welcomed to the funeral, though the peace


Israel's hawkish Prime Minister said Shimon Peres spent every minute


But we find hope in his legacy, as does the world.


As the tributes are being paid here now there is a real sense


Shimon Peres was part of the fabric of Israel right from its birth.


He is the last of the generation that helped to build the state,


he occupied virtually every major post.


Israelis are saying goodbye today, not just to an elder


statesman but to a key part of their own history.


Decades ago, it was Peres who helped buy weapons for the Israeli


army and who founded the countries's nuclear programme.


In the 1970s, he supported the building of Jewish settlements


Many Palestinians will remember him as a man of war, not peace.


Shimon Peres was taken for burial in the soil


Orla Guerin, BBC News, Mount Herzl Cemetery, Jerusalem.


Deutsche Bank's shares have rebounded in the US after reassuring


words from the German lender's CEO and reports of a possible deal


There had been fears over the bank's ability to pay the record


$14 billion fine for selling toxic mortgage bonds,


but it's reported it could settle for closer to $5 billion.


The Philippines president, Rodrigo Duterte, has said he's


willing to slaughter his country's three million drug addicts


The controversial leader compared his war on drugs


to Adolf Hitler's genocide of the Jews in Nazi Germany.


The remarks have been condemned by Jewish groups.


Three Chinese fisherman have died in a fire


after their boat was boarded by the South Korean coastguard.


The men, who were suspected of illegal fishing, were caught


in the blaze after the coastguard officers threw a stun grenade


into part of their boat where they were hiding.


The incident began when a coastguard vessel identified the fishing boat


in South Korean waters and ordered it to


It's been tried before - by both invading German troops


and the Russian government during the Second World War -


but now President Putin is hoping he'll succeed where others have


The multi-billion dollar project got under way two years ago


after Russia seized control of Crimea from Ukraine.


It's scheduled to open in 2019, providing a land and rail


link across the Black Sea from the town of Taman


on the Russian mainland to the Crimean port of Kerch.


The BBC's Oleg Boldyrev has been down to take a look.


On the shores of the Black Sea, an enormous construction project is


under way. Russia is building a 19 kilometre bridge to Crimea, in fact


to bridges, one each for cars and trains. It will provide a road link


to Crimea wrap which has been all but cut off since it was annexed by


Russia last year. This is the most expensive bridge ever built by a


Russian company. They discussed building a bridge here for almost 20


years but only after Russia annexed Crimea, the political will is now


pushing the project forward. This project is being given top priority


in Russia. The main project was given to a company owned by a close


friend of President Putin. Both the businessman and his company are


subject to international sanctions put in place after the annexation of


Crimea. I cannot say this seriously limits our company. It is more


difficult to get spare parts for our machines but in general, our


contractors from Russia have enough expertise to deliver on time. One of


Russia's leading experts on transport says the country is not


building enough roads for the size of its economy and this year alone,


the bridge alone is taking half of Russia's road-building budget for


2016. Does the project really make sense? With this project so big and


expensive -- with this project are big and expensive hold-up to usual


economic assessment? Probably not or it would have been built some time


ago. But I take a more philosophical approach and say that in two


generations time, everyone will forget the economic problems and we


will simply have a good bridge. A century from now, will be bridge be


seen as beneficial for the region or will it remain a concrete symbol of


Vladimir Putin biggest geopolitical gamble?


Donald Trump has used Twitter to attack a former beauty queen


who accused him of making sexist remarks and who is supporting his


In a series of tweets, Mr Trump urged his followers


to check out an alleged sex tape of Alicia Machado -


Ms Machado's case was raised by Mrs Clinton in the first


Presidential debate earlier this week as an example of


One of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest.


He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them, and he


called this woman Miss piggy. Then he called her Miss housekeeping


because she was glad to know. Donald, she has a name. Her name is


Alicia Machado -- Machado and she has become a US citizen and she is


going to vote this November. Laura Bicker is our Washington


reporter - she joins me now. There was a flurry of tweets before


6am. What does it say, do you think? It is either trying to distract


voters from a series of negative newspaper headlines that he has had.


It could also be to distract from his performance in the debate but


his campaign team have urged him to try to stick if he is going to make


any attacks, to stick to Hillary Clinton, her e-mails, the fact she


is an established politician, stick to her past, and now he has decided


to bring up this beauty contest winner. You saw how the case was


made by Hillary Clinton. It's turned out to be a masterstroke by her. He


couldn't let it lie just after the debate. He called Fox News the next


morning and he said she had admitted the whole thing -- and he admitted


the whole thing had got under his skin. He then said she was the worst


contestant ever because she had put on a massive amount of weight and it


was a real problem, not only that, attitude. Then, days later, he is


with this tirade of tweets suggesting that she has a sex tape.


The contestant in question has now issued a statement accusing him of


making a hate campaign, saying, generating attacks, insults and


trying to resurrect false allegations in my life, he insists


on discrediting and demoralising women, his worst characteristics.


Certainly he has a number of cases of picking a subject and then going


after them and many of them have been women. Briefly, in his defence


perhaps, she has in the past said she ain't no saint, but that is a


slightly better -- that is a slightly different thing. You


actually make these tweets? Is he lying in bed doing them himself or


does an aid do them for him? During his speeches, an aide may do them


for him but most of the told Donald Trump -- many of the time, Donald


Trump is in charge of his own Twitter account. These were sent


very early on. He fills the need to defend himself on this one, feeling


he is entirely right, but when it comes to the voting public, he


really needs to win women owe that and perhaps this isn't the way to do


it. Thank you very much. They were missing for 14 years,


but now two stolen paintings by Vincent Van Gogh -


pictured here - have been The pictures were taken


from a museum in Amsterdam in 2002 They are the 1882 work, Seascape


at Scheveningen, and a later work, Congregation leaving


the Reformed Church in Nuenen. The discovery was made by anti-Mafia


police in the city of Naples. Alex Ruger, Director


of the Van Gogh Museum, has been giving his reaction


to the discovery of the paintings. Needless to say, it is a great day


for us today, to see the works and to know that they are safe and in


safe hands. Of course, we hope that they will be able to return to our


museum as soon as possible. That is our great hope but, of course, we


respect the procedures of the Italian authorities and since this


is part of and larger investigation, we may have to be a bit patient. We


hope that we will soon have them back where they belong.


Joining us from Rome is Lynda Albertson, who's


Chief Executive of the Association for Research into Crimes


Against Art, which looks into trends related to art crime.


You have followed this case really quite closely. You must be relieved.


Argue also surprised about what appears to be the background of his


paintings for the past 20 years? I am very -- the past 14 years? I am


very pleased. A lot of people have worked on this for so many years.


Surprised? No, not necessarily. Often times, a high value painting


will be held by an organised crime unit. I wasn't surprised at all.


They weren't actually on the walls either from what I have read. They


were wrapped up in plastic sheeting and put in some room somewhere. Is


that because art now is used to love rich money? To get ransoms? Not


because people are stealing it to hang on their walls. Ransoms are not


used so much as they were in the late 1980s but they are used for


collateral. Organised crime unit like this particular one, like this


splinter group from the Mafia, was probably using this art as a


possible collateral peaceful negotiations. If someone was


arrested, they needed to plea bargain the case down, turning state


's evidence would give them something to bargain with. One of


these had been stolen before. Are there at any one time lots of stolen


Vincent Van Gogh paintings in existence, do you think? Three


Vincent van Gogh paintings have been stolen, each two times separately


and yes, there have been quite a few paintings over the years. I think


the current list is something like 36 paintings overall. 36 of his that


have been stolen but only two are apparently still missing. 36 were


stolen in 17 different thefts in total. The museums around the world


need to take more care? This was an audacious heist before the museum


opened. Do we need better protection for these arts -- artworks which are


valued at hundreds of millions of dollars or beyond that? I think the


museum directors of security have come a long way since 2002, since


some of the earlier great big thefts we have had in museums. Risk


analysis trends now are on proactive ways of securing museums, so not


just waiting until something happens with an alarm system, but looking at


ways to prevent out from being stolen in the first place in a more


proactive profiling scenario. Sometimes it is considered in a


positive or negative light, but in the case of New Zealand worth


innumerable amounts of money -- in the case of a museum with pieces


worth so much money, it is a good idea. In this case, the thieves who


had stolen it didn't let on whom they had stolen it for and this came


from a gang member telling the police who were probing the Mafia.


This came from an investigation into organised crime, specifically


trafficking drugs, so the fact this painting came up was not something


most people were thinking was going to come up, but the conversations


arose after search and seizure at multiple properties from different


gangland members who are currently over -- under investigation. OK,


thank you very much indeed for joining us. Let's just show you some


pictures before we go. Mexico's Colima or Fire


Volcano continued to spew gas, ash and incandescent


fragments into a cloudy Activity over the past week has


increased as the dome, which was discovered


in February this year. To tell you about our Sergey Lavrov


story, the State Department have just said that the rushing bombing


of -- the Russian bombing of civilian targets was inexplicable.


More on that I am sure, but for now, from me and the team in London,


goodbye. Good evening. We will all get at


least one fine day this weekend but it will not be Sunday -- Saturday


for the southern half of the UK thanks to this area of low pressure


which is going to move in. It


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