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This is BBC World News Today with me, Tom Donkin.
The headlines: The fiercest Caribbean storm in almost
Wind, rain and a massive storm surge have flooded coastal towns.
The US vows it won't give up on peace in Syria,
We'll hear from a top American official.
Also coming up - can you name these men?
The two vice-presidential candidates debate -
but how much does it really matter?
And the biggest mystery in modern literature may have been solved -
but was it right to unveil the author's real identity?
The most powerful hurricane to hit the Caribbean in nearly
a decade has struck Haiti, bringing winds of 145 miles
per hour, heavy rain and severe flooding.
This heat map shows the eye of the Hurricane
Matthew has been classed as a Category Four hurricane -
that's just one level below the most dangerous.
Locals are being urged to "do anything they can
Haiti's President has said a number of people have already been killed.
The BBC's Christian Fraser has the latest.
Hurricane Matthew is the most powerful storms across the Caribbean
in almost ten years. It is barrelling across an island that is
ill-prepared for what it will throw at them. Haiti is still recovering
from the earthquake that struck in 2010, and a devastating outbreak of
cholera. There are thousands of people living under corrugated iron
roofs, in shantytowns that have no defence from sustained, an hundred
and 40 mile an hour winds. The president has been urging people to
move to safer shelter. We have already seen deaths. People
who were out at sea. There are people who are missing. There are
people who did not respect the alerts. They have lost their lives.
The Red Cross has been out in those areas that will take the brunt. In
districts where roads are already filled with mud. But many like this
man have refused the offer of shelter. They came with a truck to
move us, he said, but what about the stuff we have at home? If we lose
our things, if they are stolen, we won't get them back.
From the International Space Station, Matthew looks like a vortex
of trouble. The forecasters predict it could dump up to 40 inches of
rain in the more isolated areas of Haiti, raising fears of mudslides
and floods in these heavily populated hillsides. Hurricane
Matthew has slammed into Haiti, very power.
And, it has been getting all its energy from the ocean waters.
In the next few hours, it will move into Cuba, and then out into the
Bahamas, where there are lots of very warm ocean tropical waters.
That will fuel the Hurricane, so it will maintain some of its intensity,
and then potentially moving very close to the Florida coastline as we
go through this week. In the Bahamas, they are in a hurry. Wood
and aluminium sheeting to protect what they own, and in Cuba, the
government is buzzing thousands of people to shelters in six eastern
provinces. In Jamaica, the outer bands of Matthew have now passed the
capital Kingston. Heavy rains have left lots of damage behind, but this
may be nothing compared with what awaits the impoverished island of
Haiti. Our correspondent game this update
in the last hour. From the early hours of this
morning, Hurricane Matthew has been buffeting this country, with winds
of up to 140 miles an hour. The fear is that it will dump rainfall of up
to three feet. You can see already the problem of flooding. There is
also a worry about mudslides in this very mountainous area that is
denuded of trees, and as you can see here, there is some flash flooding
happening already. Now, Haiti has already got so many problems. It is
suffering still from the earthquake that hit it in 2010, which killed
more than 200,000 people. It is suffering from a cholera outbreak
too. Public health officials fear this will exacerbate that particular
crisis. The conditions here are atrocious. To step outside is to be
drenched within a matter of seconds. Nick Bryant there.
Charities and NGOs in Haiti have been scouting the damage and handing
out supplies, and I'm happy to say, we can speak to Plan International
bat director. What do people need the most, and are they getting it?
Thank you for up offering me the opportunity to share with the wider
world about Haiti. The country now is suffering. All
our staff are mobilised to support the population especially as they
are coming out, because we have three officials in the south-east
and in the West. Hurricane Matthew, the situation is virtually more
critical in the south and in the south-east. We now have heavy rain
and some violent winds, and we have the river, that we explained, is at
a high risk of flooding. This is the situation now in Port-au-Prince, and
the population are very afraid and scared of the situation. But all the
NGOs are mobilised, both at central government and local level. They are
already mobilised, but we are waiting after the Hurricane to make
an assessment to support all the population are different levels.
Thank you very much for that update. I'm sure our viewers will join me in
wishing you all the best in Haiti. And now, some of the day's other
news. Fighting has continued
around the city of Kunduz Government forces have been trying
to repel Taliban militants who entered several areas
of the city on Monday. An Afghan government spokesman says
the security forces are now in control of large
parts of the city. Kunduz fell briefly to the Taliban
last year, but was recaptured The International Monetary Fund has
delivered its latest Police in South Africa have used
stun grenades to move on student protesters
at Wits University in Johannesburg. Their protests over the high cost
of education have forced the closure of some of the country's most
prominent universities The Court of Arbitration in Sport
has cut the ban given to the tennis player Maria Sharapova from
two years to 15 months. The Russian tested
positive for meldonium It means the five-time
Grand Slam champion CAN return The US Secretary of State,
John Kerry, says Washington is not abandoning the search for peace
in Syria, that's despite The US blames Russia AND the Syrian
government for fresh More than 400 people have been
killed in the city of Aleppo since Russia in turn has blamed
the Americans for the collapse So, if there are no talks with
Russia, what happens from here? Our chief international correspondent is
in Brussels with more. Over to you. Yes, what happens and what is left,
four months, if not for years, the main thread in a very tangled and
not a very optimistic process of trying to move the Syrian conflict
towards some kind of resolution, has been the talks between John Kerry
and Sergei Lavrov. Last week at the UN General Assembly. John Kerry said
the situation in Syria was hanging by a thread. The only thing keeping
that thread alive were the talks with Sergei Lavrov, so what happens
now that they have broken down? I am joined here in Brussels by the State
Department spokesman, John Kirby. I know you said in your statement that
it was a not a decision you took lightly, that you are to continue to
work for peace. How can you, when your main interleukin-2 is no longer
talking with you? Well certainly, we don't like being in the position
we're in right now, having to suspend those talks, because Russia
does have considerable influence over Assad, and it made sense for us
to try to workouts and sort of arrangement with the Russian
government, but obviously, that didn't happen, because they won't
stop supporting the Assad regime. They won't stop with the bombing,
they weren't stopped the siege of Aleppo, so we were left with little
choice. That said, there are still multilateral forums we can work
inside. The UN led process that is trying to get the political talks
back on track still exists, and of course, the UN Security Council is
still there. So there are plenty of opportunities for us to try and
attack is from a multilateral perspective. The other thing is, we
suspended the stored. It doesn't mean that if Russia is willing to
commit to a significant step, like putting Assad on the ground, that we
would restart it. It is not like it is over for ever.
As you know, many critics in the State Department and the pens again
said that John Kerry was on a fool 's errand. You would not be able to
make a deal with Russia. Have they been proven right?
I don't think so. Nobody is happy about where we are right now, what
is the alternative? If you don't keep trying a diplomatic solution,
the alternative is just more war, more bloodshed, more violence, so I
don't think the secretary would have one bit to apologise for in terms of
the effort that he went to to try to get some kind of an accord, an
arrangement, that would get the cessation of hostilities enforceable
and sustainable. So again, we did not take this decision lightly. We
would prefer not to have had to make the suspension, but if Russia is
willing to prove in some form of fashion that they are willing to
make a significant step, stop this bombing, we will certainly be
willing to listen to those ideas and to restart some kind of dialogue.
And it is also what is called Plan B. We understand talks have been
stepped up about a possible military option. We know from that audio tape
that was released of John Kerry's own feelings about the war. He said
he had argued for a military option. Is it time to look for another way
forward? I would tell you this, and that is
for months now, the US government has remained open to having
discussions about other options available to us, options outside
diplomacy. This is not a new idea. This is something that our agency
and the president himself has welcomed.
The president hasn't welcomed it all? He doesn't want to get
involved, necessarily, and he has come under criticism about that.
He has welcomed a robust discussion inside the US government about all
our options, and to stay open to all options, but he has also said that
no other option is better than a diplomatic one. All the other
options we have looked at, be they military and non-military, don't end
up in a better place in terms of a more peaceful Syria than a
diplomatic approach. So we continue to believe that the right solution
is a political one, not a military one, but we would be irresponsible
as the government and we did not continue to have these discussions.
You talked about ramping it up. I would actually say that discussions
about options, the whole panoply of options, has been something on the
table now for many months. The BBC spoke to Sergei Lavrov
recently, and he blamed the United States that this breakdown, saying
you refuse to separate yourself from backing Al-Qaeda linked group, and
he said that the main problem in Aleppo.
Well, any suggestion we are backing Al-Qaeda or Al-Qaeda linked groups
is absolutely false. It flies in the face of the facts. We recognise that
there has been a co-mingling of some of the groups with al-Nusra, which
is Al-Qaeda in Syria, and we have been working hard to get that
separation to take place, but the fault here for the breakdown, the
fault for the suspension, lies squarely in Moscow. The secretary
was clear about that today, and at the UN. The fault lies with Russia,
and the fact that they continue to bolster and support the Assad regime
as that regime continues to attack its own people.
Do you think Sergei Lavrov and John Kerry will find a moment to speak
here? I did the granny plans for them to
have a conversation in Brussels. John Kirby, here in Brussels, where
leaders are gathering to talk about the situation in Afghanistan,
another conflict where on some issues they don't see eye to eye,
but many will be asking if John Kerry, the quintessential double,
will look for some way to try to get this process back on track.
That is all from Brussels. Thank you bring much indeed. Thank
you for joining us, our chief international correspondent.
In little more than a month's time, either Tim Kaine or Mike Pence
will be, as they say, one heartbeat away
The role of American Vice-President is famously a low-key one
But in a few hours' time, the running mates to Hillary Clinton
and Donald Trump will be the centre of attention
as they hold their first and only TV debate.
When it comes to the debates between those who will be
second-in-command, perhaps James Stockdale put it best
Who am I? Why am I here?
So, let's start with Hillary Clinton's pick, Tim Kaine.
Even Republicans have struggled to find fault with
His first speech as a Democratic vice-presidential candidate
was aimed at Donald Trump, no doubt skills he will have been
We've seen again and again that when Donald Trump says
he has your back, you'd better watch out.
Donald Trump chose Indiana Governor Mike Pence, although their initial
He is an experienced Washington hand and a favourite of social
conservatives, and as the politician in this relationship,
he often finds himself translating the views of businessman Trump.
It seems like just about every day, the national media latches onto some
Turn on your Twitter account, turn on your cable TV,
The vice-presidential debates can often draw huge audiences.
This 2008 contest between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin
70 million viewers tuned in, and this year's vice-president's
We've got two presidential candidates who are seen deeply
unfavourably by the vast majority of Americans, and two vice
presidents candidates who are largely unknownby the vast
majority of Americans, but those vice-presidential
candidates have a level of credibility talking
about their presidential running mate that the presidential candidate
can't really have talking about themselves.
Candidates do get a chance to distinguish themselves.
In 1988, Dan Quayle compared himself to President Kennedy.
His opponent, Lloyd Benson, had this scathing reply.
Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy.
There has been nothing conventional about the 2016 election
year, apart from perhaps the two vice-presidential picks.
And yet, as the past has shown us, when you take to the stage,
And don't forget, all you need to know about the US
We also have this piece on why the Vice-Presidential debate
matters, plus Katty Kay on Bill Clinton's women, and much more.
bbc.com/news is where you need to head.
Pope Francis has made an unannounced visit to Amatriche,
the Italian town devastated by an earthquake
Crowds of photographers and onlookers surrounded the Pope
as he emerged from his car at the local school where he met
children, survivors and relatives of the victims.
Here's our Rome correspondent James Reynolds.
The Pope described this as a private visit, so he made the two-hour drive
from Rome in a regular car, notable only for its tinted windows
In Amatriche, Francis was taken to see earthquake survivors.
Many are still living in temporary shelters.
From the first moment, I thought I should come here,
Pope Francis met firefighters who showed him the extent
The Vatican itself sent relief teams here in the hours
The Italian government has promised to rebuild this entire region.
The Pope, the Bishop of Rome, normally surveys the grand works
This morning, by contrast, the view in front
Three British-born scientists have been awarded
David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz were
recognised for their discoveries about unusual forms of matter.
The Nobel Committee said their work has
"opened the door on an unknown world".
Our Science Editor David Shukman has more.
From steel strong enough to hold up bridges to the intricate robot on a
production line, to the myriad devices in our everyday lives we
depend on materials that have qualities that make them useful for
particular tasks, but there is another unseen world of materials
that don't behave in ways you would expect. Research into that world was
awarded the Nobel Prize for physics today. To the logical phase
transitions... Three scientists, born in Britain,
recognised for making some strange and conjugated discoveries.
New kind of phase transition. One of the judges resorted using
pastries to explain their work. The bagel has one hole.
How materials change their characteristics of the smallest
scales. One of the winners was Duncan Haldane, awarded by his
students at Boston University. Time to double down and learn! He told is
that fundamental research could lead to unpredictable benefits.
Science goes by people exploring where they want to go, and sometimes
they find something good, and sometimes that actually leads to
technologies, so we don't know where it is going to go, so it is very
important that people should follow their dream, basically, and not be
constrained to work on something that the funding agency thinks is
going to be in the national interest.
So what is this Nobel Prize for physics been awarded for? Well, it
is all about revealing the materials -- that materials can exist in
states that we never even thought of. So, take water. When it is
heated, it is in the form of steam. A little cooler, and it becomes a
liquid that you can drink. Colder still, and it freezes into ice. But
it turns out that when the temperature is even lower, materials
can exist in a whole range of different states in which they
behave in ways that just as expected. For example, allowing
electricity to flow without resistance. If this can be
controlled, new, much faster computers might be on the cards, so
this research is seen as having huge potential.
It is a theoretical results, but if you want to apply materials to
modern technology, for example, future generations of smartphones,
you can't do it without having an understanding of what these
materials will do. Duncan Haldane and is to ballot
prizewinners were at one stage seen as out on a limb with their
research. Now it has become in stream, and they are looking for the
next challenge. -- his two fellow prizewinners.
It's a literary storm worthy of a bestseller.
A journalist in Italy says he has solved one of modern
Gent-macro two claims to have revealed the real identity of the
writer known as Elena Ferrante, who has sold more than 2 million copies
worldwide. Very little is known about the author, who writes under a
pseudonym, but the Italian journalist has published a story
naming errors enabled professional translator.
A number of high profile literary figures have slammed
Bestselling British novelist Matt Haig wrote on social media:
"The pursuit to discover the 'real' Elena Ferrante is a disgrace
"A writer's truest self is the books they write."
Author and journalist Jojo Moyes tweeted: "Only criminals
"deserve to be unmasked, if they have consciously
"sought privacy. Badly done, @nybooks."
And Marlon James, last year's winner of the Man Booker prize for fiction,
wrote: "What kind of person supports this...
"And no, I have not and will never read the article."
Well, I'm joined now from Rome by the journalist
at the centre of the story, Claudio Gatti.
Very good of you to join us. I first want to ask you, what annoyed you so
much about ton-macro that made you dedicate so much time to uncovering
who she really was? Nothing annoyed me. Actually, I was a fan of hers. I
started this as a reader. I read the four books and I loved them all.
Then I read the autobiography, the same autobiography that is being
published in the US in November. Just to know more, like many, many
other readers. I was interested in knowing who was the author behind
the pseudonym, and I was interested in that, and then, I noticed that
there was a lots of details in that autobiography, and I realised that
it should be established, it should be clear from those details, who the
person was, and the more I looked, the more things didn't quite turn
out to be right, and then I decided as an investigative journalist to
use the typical technique of investigative journalism, which is
following the money, seeing who was paid for the huge commercial
success, and I've found the evidence that led to the person identified as
the real Elena Ferrante. Of course the author has said many times that
she does not want to be outed in this way, she liked to privacy.
I wonder, as many others have, would you have gone after this author if
it was a man? The Bronte sisters and Jane Austen had to hide their
identity. Are you just punishing this because of her success as a
woman, some calling it sexist bullying?
Well, I was accused of being a misogynist, except that the people
who do that do know how investigative journalism works. In
writing, the writing starts as a subject and then develops into a
story. In investigative journalism, you start with the mystery and want
to find out what the mystery is. In Italy, the number one suspect, or
candidate, for Elena Ferrante was a man. In fact, it was the husband of
the person I identified. So, when I started, I had no clue if the real
Elena Ferrante would be turn out to be a man or woman.
It does sound like you have the some kind of public service, but many of
her readers would argue that they enjoy this intimate contract, if you
like, with her. The reader doesn't know the author's background, the
author does not know the reader's. You seem to have railroaded that
sacred contact and denied a lot of readers they enjoy ability of
reading their work? Well, in the history of art, I am
not aware of any situation, any work of art, that has been ruined by the
fact that people would know who the author is, or the artist is. As far
as I am concerned, knowing the cultural millionaire, the
background, the history of an artist, only enhances the art, so I
don't see how that would work. Thank you very much for joining us.
An interesting topic, we will no doubt discuss online.
You can more detail and analysis on our website, bbc.com/news.
From all the team here, goodbye.
Good evening. Temperatures won't drop as much tonight, because there
is a bit