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This is BBC World News Today with me, Lebo Diseko.
The Headlines: Breakthrough in the European Union's on-off free
Leaders of the Walloon region of Belgium finally approve it
We are extremely happy that our requests have been accommodated. We
always vote for treaties would support our way of life, our
environment, and support our public services.
calls it "miraculous" no one was seriously hurt.
With just 12 days to go before the US chooses its next president,
Hillary Clinton is joined by Michelle Obama -
The world could lose more than two thirds of mammals,
fish and other species with a backbone, by 2020
You can feel the relief in Brussels and across the Atlantic in Ottawa.
The European Union and Canada have now finally agreed
The Belgian region of Wallonia - who'd blocked the agreement
with objections - has finally come on board.
Belgium's Prime Minister said the text now has guarantees for
farmers, and on the controversial dispute settlement system.
But as protesters gather outside the European Commission, it's clear
that free trade is a difficult issue, and future deals -
including with the UK - may be very hard to achieve.
Behind the doors of the official residence of Belgium's federal Prime
Minister, a moment of relief after a week of embarrassment.
The Prime Minister says he now has a deal with the regional
assemblies, without whose agreement Belgium and therefore the whole EU
was unable to sign up to free trade with Canada.
TRANSLATION: The consultation committee just reached
an agreement about the text that reflected the Belton position and
an agreement about the text that reflected the Belgian position and
that is immediately being addressed to the European Commission and the
In the coming minutes, I'll be talking to commission president
Jean Claude Junker and Council President Donald Tusk.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is also scheduled for today.
French speaking Wallonia led the rebellion.
Critics say its leaders are playing politics
to raise their profile in
They say there are sticking up for European consumers.
Translation: We in Wallonia are extremely happy that our requests
We've always voted for treaties that would support our way
of life, our environment, and which protect our public services.
So nothing is set up purely to benefit
individuals, but rather it is overseen by accountable public
bodies, which legally guarantee equal treatment.
Well, the economic and trade agreement aims to eliminate 98%
of tariffs between Canada and the EU.
That could save European Union exporters more than half a
Supporters say the deal would increase trade by 20%
and would especially help small businesses.
But critics say it gives too much power to big business.
They're worried that EU regulations on product standards could be
And that multinationals would be able to sue governments to
Belgium's internal deal came finally on the day when
the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was due
It is still not clear when the deal will finally be signed.
But after a difficult week for Belgium's national
Government and frustration for Canada and the rest of the EU, CETA
Although there will be no celebrating until it is finally
With me is our business correspondent Tanya Beckett.
It is not a done deal yet, is it? No. The area is in the south. It is
a French-speaking area and is far less affluent than the Flemish
north. Much of this deal is based on the idea of food products going back
and forth between Canada and the EU, so that is why they felt themselves
particularly exposed. They were also feeling that some of the regulations
that they had in place, as far as they were concerned were a
democratic matter, would really end up in the hands of multinationals
and that Canada would end up as a gateway for big US companies. There
are these type of concerns about other free-trade deals with the US,
for example, as well. Yes. Neither side looks well out of this. Canada
looks rather inept and naive and rather inexperienced when it comes
to diplomacy and the EU really doesn't look in any way unified in
this does not bode well for the UK, which of course is leaving the EU
and have to negotiate its trade relationship once again. I would say
there is an important distinction, though, that what we are talking
about here is a change in the lower product between Canada and the EU
and that is what will ultimately happen, whereas with Brexit what we
are talking about is the EU trying to be establish what it already has,
so nobody feels ridiculous under threat because of the EU gets it
right then things would not particularly change. So with the
Brexit negotiations and the Brexit deal, are there other countries that
may, like Wallonia, scupper those negotiations? They are unique in the
way that the parliament works is that you have to have all three
parts of it agreeing and then it has to be agreed centrally. In this type
of deal was described as a mixed deal. Meaning that it requires the
individual approval of all of the EU member state and therefore in the
case of Belgium it is also its constituent states. That is not
always the case with a trade deal. Sometimes you can get you to agree
directly. It depends what it is and whether it contains this mixed
factor which means it would include services to, but underlying this is
a very portion trend and that is a suspicion that trade deals do not
bring uniform wealth. The big figures might suggest that but there
are always those who lose out. Fantastic you with us. Very
interesting. Thank you very much. There's been severe damage
in central Italy, after two strong Hundreds of people have had
to leave their homes. And many historic buildings
have been damaged. Rescue teams have been struggling
to reach some areas but officials say the situation
is not "catastrophic". The centre of these latest
earthquakes is about 70 kilometers from Amatrice, where
an earthquake in August killed James Reynolds is in the region,
and sent this report. The people of Central Italy have
always known that they live in But the last two months have
proven just what that Wednesday night's quakes have
damaged roads and buildings. Rescue workers have
helped people from We have a lot of fear and we don't
know what to do right now because this is a place
that is about tourism. I don't know how
we will start again. The church of Saint Salvatore
is on the tourist It was hit in previous quakes
and it has now come down. The effects of the two earthquakes
could have This church collapsed,
but no one was hurt. And across this region,
many people have They've also had to get
through a series of Rescue workers will now have
to check every road, bridge and One of this country's most beautiful
regions is also one of its The United Nation's children's
agency UNICEF has said if the air strikes on a school
in Syria on Wednesday were deliberate
they are a war crime. More than 20 children and six
teachers are reported to have been killed in the strikes
in a rebel-held village A residential area around the school
complex was also hit. Russia has insisted it had nothing
to do with the airstrikes. The UN's humanitarian chief said
it was up to member states to act. This is not inevitable,
it's not an accident. It is the deliberate actions of one
set of powerful human beings on another set
of impotent human beings. And it can be stopped
but you the security council have The former British Prime Minister
and UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown
is at the United Nations Thank you for joining us. You are
saying that if this is deliberate, it is a warm crime and it should be
prosecuted mother and how does that actually help people on the ground
today? The International criminal Court should be brought in. We
should find out what has been happening. There have been 98 school
attacks in the last year and a half and we have 30 children at least,
perhaps more, who have been mutilated, who have died and two
were the victims of what is an education atrocity, which is the
worst one that has happened. If we do not investigate and we do not
hold people responsible and if we do not prosecute, then this will
continue to happen. It is time that the United Nations security council
said that we are putting this to the International criminal Court. I will
come back to that in a moment, but those prosecutions take a long time.
What does that differ people in Syria on the ground today? Because
whoever is responsible is put on notice that they are going to be
investigated. They cannot do with impunity for too long as Stephen
O'Brien has said, the international community has stood by and innocent
children in their thousands have lost their lives as a result of or
failure to act. Now what has prevented the Security Council
acting in the last two years is Russia and it vetoed an
investigation into atrocities two years ago. Today, the Russian
Foreign Ministry said that they would welcome an independent
investigation, so in theory, all the security council is now in favour of
investigating this crime. The security Council should now meet, it
should agree that the International criminal Court be brought in. If it
can't agree on the International criminal Court was that prosecution
authority, it should agree on a separate security Council
investigation. You cannot have people bombing children in this way
with impunity. You have got to show that they are going to be held
accountable if possible, prosecuted by the International criminal Court
at a later date. Is that the core issue within the Security Council
that Russia itself says that it has been threatened by Nato and that
some people might argue that the West has mishandled its relationship
with President Putin and with Russian? But hold on. This is
international law. It is a war crime, agreed when we said of the
International criminal Court that any attack on a school that is
deliberately seen as something that is a violation of human rights and
has got to be both investigated and where people are accountable, they
have got to be prosecuted. Do you think that is adequate? This is a
clear-cut case that if there is a war crime, then people should be
held responsible. Now whether it is the Syrian army or the Russian air
force or whoever has been responsible for this, the means
exist now that Russia has said it wants an investigation for the
Security Council to agree on this. We should call the Russian bluff on
this and hold the Security Council meeting, agree if we can get
everybody together on this, now that Russia has said it wants an
investigation that it should happen. We have been waiting for years now
to have the sort of investigations that would deter people from doing
this in the future. If people are bombing hospitals, civilians,
children, is the possibility of a prosecution and adequate deterrent?
No, of course not. It is only one of the measures that we should be
taking. But we have a year of fear because children have become the
innocent victims of so many of the wars in the middle East and of
course in Africa. We have stood by and the international community has
done so little when schools have been militarised, when young people
have been recruited into militias, and when schools themselves had been
bombed. And it is time to say that this is enough and we are going to
do something about it. And if we do not seize this opportunity when
Russia has admitted there is a need for an investigation, to call their
bluff or to force an internal investigation, then we will be
failing all of the children who were put in danger in future. You talk
about Russia and having to put Russia on notice and called their
bluff. President Putin is saying that he is holding restraint at the
moment and actually he intends to continue bombing Syria, rooting out
what he has called a nest of terrorists, despite the fact that
they are our civilians there. There is not a great deal of sway that you
have over Russian actions. I think you're missing the point. There is a
clear-cut case for a war crime that has been committed. The
international legislation we have all approved says that if that does
happen, it should go to the International criminal Court. If we
stand by when these atrocities are happening and allow children to be
the innocent and the vulnerable victims of wars that are being
conducted in this region then we are failing the next generation of
children. If you try to sidestep the issue and say Russia did this or
someone else did that or someone else is to blame, you have got to
investigate a crime when it is committed. We believe was
intentional. Isn't the real issue the fact that the Security Council
has essentially been paralysed because of this breakdown in the
relationship with Russia and many people would argue that the West has
failed in that relationship? Hold on. I am does pointing out that
Russia stood out against the security council resolution in 2014.
It did not support an investigation into atrocities. Now they have said
and perhaps they will regret saying this but they have said that they
would welcome and have called upon the international authorities to
have an independent investigation. If we do not then follow-up and have
that independent investigation and we are failing the children who have
died, but failing also those children and those adults who are at
risk in the future. Now, there are 6 million displaced children in Syria.
There are two Melbourne refugees children who are now outside of
Syria. They are a lost generation and if we continue to do nothing and
stand-by when atrocities are committed and there is a clear-cut
case for an investigation, then we are responsible, but this is the
moment when the Security Council could act. OK. Former British by
Minister and UN special envoy for education, Gordon Brown, thank you.
Now a look at some of the day's other news.
Japanese carmaker, Nissan, has decided to build new versions
of two of its leading models in Britain, in what is the first
major deal for the industry since the UK voted to leave the EU.
Nissan's decision will secure at least seven thousand jobs.
The firm said it has been given assurances that its UK-based plant
Twitter has announced major cutbacks after reporting a sharp slowdown
The social media giant has confirmed it will shut down its short-form
video sharing service, Vine, and axe 9%
Two Yazidi women who fled the Islamic State group in Iraq have
won Europe's top human rights award, the Sakharov prize.
Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar were among thousands
of Yazidi girls and women abducted by IS militants and forced
Both survived and now campaign for the Yazidi community.
With just 12 days to go until the US Presidential election,
the candidates are blitzing the key swing states that could
Hillary Clinton's in North Carolina, while her rival Donald Trump
He's been facing criticism for taking time out of his
campaign to open one of his new luxury hotels -
I built one of the great hotels of the world.
I'm going to North Carolina right after this and am going back
But I can't take one hour off to cut a ribbon at one of the great hotels
She goes, she does one stop because she has no energy.
She does one stop and nobody complained about that.
Adele concert all night long, while I'm making two
speeches and rallies with
The BBC's Barbara Plett-Usher is in Washington.
Michelle Obama turning out to be the star of the show, right? Yes, she is
passionate, she is seen as authentic. She is not a politician
so she does not have that baggage but she does carry a parity. In the
speeches she has made already, she is really resonated widely, so she
is a heavy hitter for Mrs Clinton. They will be campaigning together
for the first time and she in particular appeals to the
constituencies like Mullany, like African-Americans, like women, and
she has been brought with Mrs Clinton to a battle ground state
like North Carolina where the race is very tight to renew this effort
to get out the early voters. It all depends on who actually comes to the
ballot box, so the Clinton campaign is really pushing this to lock it in
as soon as possible. And issue managing to connect with those
millennial 's, who may have supported Bernie Sanders before. It
is interesting because Bernie Sanders really happy millennial 's
support. They were not keen to switch their support to Mrs Clinton.
They thought she was establishment and not radical enough and morally
compromised. They had been flirting with independence. But the latest
poll seems to show a reversing that trend. Now it looks like Mrs Clinton
will get as much support from Mullany is as Barack Obama did in
2012 and the reasons for that word because these people were beginning
to really realise what was at stake in this election and also to realise
that the independent candidates would not be able to help them out
with the issues that they wanted help on so it looks as if she is
stronger on that then she has been. OK, so for the two candidates, less
than two weeks to go, but what are the key issues they are going to
want to hone in on? Well, it is really all about getting the vote
out now so it is going to be the question of closing arguments. They
will make their statements. Not much different than what they had before.
Making the case about why they are better to lead the country. Pounding
their candidate, as such. The focus will be on the ground game, making
sure that the voters get out. You have these rallies with the heavy
hitters in the battle ground states. Mrs Clinton had much better
grounding than Donald Trump does and she will really try to capitalise on
that. Both of them do still pass to the White House. Donald Trump is
definitely not out of the race but she has more parts than he does so
she will be trying to exploit that as well. So that will be the focus
of the next two weeks. All right. I am pretty sure it is going to be an
exciting 12 days, if nothing else. Thank you very much.
The world is facing the biggest extinction of animal life
Seven in 10 mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and other vertebrate
species will be wiped out in just 50 years.
It found that human behaviour was eating, crowding and poisoning
The Living Planet Report has been published jointly
by the environmental group, WWF, and the Zoological Society
The world's wildlife is under threat.
From African elephants, whose numbers are
plummeting because of poaching, to Europe's killer whales,
The Living Planet report looked at 3700 different
species and it has found that since 1970
populations have fallen by
That's a decline of about 2% every year.
process but we are seeing higher levels of extinction than is
So we are already seeing extinctions, but yes,
we would expect those extinctions only to increase if we don't stop
The researchers say that humans are to
blame, from overfishing to deforestation and climate change.
They warn if nothing is done wildlife populations could fall by
two thirds by 2020, but some conservationists say there is not
enough data to draw firm conclusions.
The researchers say that humans are to blame.
They warn if nothing is done wildlife populations could fall by
two thirds by 2020, but some conservationists say there is not
enough data to draw firm conclusions.
It is true that the overall index is declining. Very markedly. But of
course it is an overall measure. That is aggregated up from many
different cases and it hides some really important differences.
Between species, between different parts of the world, and between
different habitats. But amid the declines, there have been some
successes. Wild tiger numbers have now risen for the first time in a
century. And giant pandas are now no longer classified as endangered. But
it will be a challenge to reverse a problem that is on such a large
scale. The president of Venezuela has
offered a 40% rise in the minimum wage. It is the fourth increment in
the year. This comes up day after 100,000 people took to the streets
to protest against the Government. The oil-rich country is facing
widespread food shortages and spiralling inflation. The mass
demonstrations came after a recall referendum process, and attempt to
remove the prime Minster from power was suspended.
More than a million people in China have signed a petition demanding
that a captive polar bear be relocated.
The animal which is kept in a small enclosure in a shopping
mall, has been described as the world's saddest bear.
Animal rights groups have released video of the creature,
in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.
They say it's displaying signs of agitation.
The shopping mall is refusing to give up the bear,
saying it's not breaking Chinese law.
Belgian officials say they've reached a breakthrough
on a European Union free trade deal with Canada.
The Belgian prime minister said the heads of his country's regional
and linguistic communities had now agreed a revised text.
The agreement was due to have been signed today,
but was delayed by opposition from the region of Wallonia.
Don't forget you can get in touch with me and some
of the team on Twitter - I'm at Lebo Diseko.
And you can see what we are working on via Facebook too.
Lots there to look at about our programmes coming up
But for now from me and the rest of the team, goodbye.
There is a weak weather front making its way across the country
as we speak but it is not going to bring that much
Some of it heavy and persistent across north-west Scotland but as it
sinks further south, it will weaken off substantially.