02/08/2017 World News Today

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Scientists think they are a step closer to preventing inherited


diseases being passed on in families.


They've found a way to edit genes, removing the faulty DNA


A method of being able to avoid having an effect on children,


passing on the defective gene, could be really very important


for those families and allow them to get out of this.


"Tampered with" - the company providing the technology


for Venezeula's controversial election for a new assembly says


Worth a quarter of a billion dollars - if Neymar moves


to Paris Saint-Germain it would be the world's biggest


And the end of an era - Prince Philip carries out his last


scheduled public engagement and retires at the age of 96.


Hello and welcome to World News Today.


For the first time scientists have successfully repaired a faulty


They used a process known as "gene editing" to correct DNA that causes


The US and South Korean team allowed the embryos to develop for five days


The technique is still at the early research stage but it raises


the hope of preventing 10,000 gene disorders which pass


Our medical correspondent Fergus Walsh reports.


The goal could not be more ambitious, to eradicate


These scientists have taken an impressive first


step on a long road, editing DNA in human embryos.


Inside the nucleus of each of our cells is our genome,


It is the instruction manual for life.


The scientists were targeting a faulty gene that causes


They fertilise the egg with the sperm of it a man who carried the


faulty gene. They then injected the gene editing


system, which scans the DNA It then cuts both strands


of the DNA, and removes the faulty gene, a healthy copy of the gene


from the egg is then Here are some of the embryos


from the study in the journal Nature after being edited,


42 of 58 embryos were corrected. They were allowed to develop


for five days, none was implanted. The research has been welcomed


by a team in London, who have a license


to edit human embryos. They say the technology


could eventually help many families. There are some nasty genetic


diseases like Huntingdon's, or a disease that affects heart


function later in life, which can blight families


for many generations. So a method of being able to avoid


having affected children, passing on the defective gene,


can be really very important Nicole Mowbray has the same


heart condition that was She now has a defibrillator


implanted in her chest, She has a 50% risk of passing


on the condition, but is unsure of whether she would


consider gene editing. I wouldn't want to pass on something


that caused my child to have a limited life or a painful


life, or a life of risk. That does, obviously,


come to the front of my mind I wouldn't want to create


the perfect child, in inverted commas, I feel like my condition


makes me me. Previous attempts at editing human


embryos in China led There is a lot of work needed before


this can be considered safe, and it raises ethical issues


about how far science should go In a deal that could be worth more


than a quarter of a billion - yes, billion - dollars,


the Brazilian football player Neymar appears to be a step closer


to leaving Barcelona and signing That figure is more than twice


the current world record transfer Our correpsondent Richard


Conway is in Paris. Fans visiting the club shop


here in the centre of Paris are getting excited because the deal


for Neymar is inching We have seen in the past few days


the player going from Shanghai where he was on commercial duties


and flying back to Barcelona. He has been excused from training


and now Barcelona are saying, pay us the money and Paris St Germain,


you can have the player. We will see how it plays out


in the coming hours and days. There is now an increasing


certainty that Neymar will be a Paris Saint-Germain player this


coming season and the indications for that are huge, of course


for Barcelona, who will be without one of their leading players


and for PSG who desperately want to bridge the gap


from being Champions League wannabes to winners and also for Uefa,


given Financial Fair Play, clubs have a requirement


to live within their means. The size of this deal and the money


involved in this potential transfer is such that many clubs


and individuals at the highest levels of football are looking at it


and wondering if PSG can live For now the fans here just


want to know one thing, With me is the football


journalist Tim Vickery. I read your article or later. Is


this a negotiating ploy or does look like a deal? It looks like it is


going to happen. The speculation and negotiation comes as no surprise


whatsoever. I am still a little surprised that it looks like it is


Neymar's decision. He wants to go. I just hope it is his decision and


what he wants to do. Not what his entourage would prefer. It is not


quite as simple as signing Neymar, is it? He has a complicated


structure around him. Including his father. You always worries about


that because it condemns the footballer to a permanent


childishness, if you like. But his career has always been managed by


his father on a step-by-step basis. Amongst the final objectives is


winning the Fever world Player of the Year award. That is taken with


great importance in Brazil. Five Brazilians won on it different


occasions. Neymar will be seen by himself and many of his compatriots


as something of a disappointment that he does not win that a word. He


is unlikely to win it if he is not outstanding player in his own team.


And also if he does not have a team around him. People from his camp are


saying he has been seduced by this project of Paris Saint-Germain. And


it will be the World Cup sin, where he plays at 26 years old, closest to


his peak, and perhaps during the French lead they will be able to


coast a little more leaving him with enough gas in the tank for the World


Cup next year. And still able to walk away from the experience of


playing up front with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. The people in his


entourage with the strategy do not have the joy he has, like a


collective childhood they have on a weekly basis with his players, there


is no animosity between them, they look like one force, and it is sad


in one way that he is turning his back on that and you just hope it


really is what he wants to do. And you can find that article on the BBC


sport website. Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro


plans to swear in a new assembly It follows a controversial election


in the country on Sunday, where the turn-out figure


was manipulated - that's according to the technology company


which provided the voting system. Antonio Mugica, the boss


of Smartmatic, said his firm estimated the difference


between actual participation and the one announced


by the authorities was at least It is therefore with the deepest


regret that we have to report that the turnout numbers on Sunday


30th of July for the constituent assembly in Venezuela


were tampered with. The automated election system used


in the Venezuela is tamper-evident and self-reports any attempts


to interfere with it. Our correspondent Will Grant


is in Caracas for us now. Has the government responded? Yes,


they are currently issuing the credentials for the new deputies in


quite a ceremony outside the building of the National electoral


Council and every high-profile new deputy, including Nicholas Monroe's


wife -- Maduro's wife. There does not seem to be any recognition of


the comment about the tampered votes from them. Reuters started the day


saying they had seen an internal memo from the Venezuelan electoral


authorities that suggested by half past five on the day of voting only


3.7 million people had voted, and the polls were due to close a couple


of hours later, and the government said 8 million people voted, so how


something around 4.3 or 4.4 million people voted in just a couple of


hours is beyond most people's imagination in Venezuela. It strikes


me that almost everything in Venezuelan society has become


politicised. Can we say that this firm making these claims is neutral?


That is a very good question. The thing is, I think, that is


interesting and important here is that the government have heralded


that from themselves as the reason the elections are free and fair.


They have done the elections and run the voting machines here since 2004,


so the idea that they suddenly wouldn't they, and they are all very


well respected company, used around the world for elections everywhere


from the Philippines to parts of Latin America, so you're right,


everything in Venezuela is politicised and no doubt this will


be too but the Maduro government has always pointed to this company and


their machines as the reason why results are believable.


Let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news.


A man and a child have been killed after a small aircraft made


an emergency landing on a beach in Portugal.


Local media reports say the incident took place on a beach


at Caparica in Almada, south west of Lisbon.


Reports said the pair were sunbathing when the plane


A local newspaper said members of the plane's crew were unharmed


and were being interviewed by authorities.


The US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has stressed


that his country is not seeking to topple the North Korean


government and it wants dialogue with Pyongyang.


Mr Tillerson said, "We are not your enemy",


but warned Pyongyang that its ballistic missile


tests were presenting an "unacceptable threat" to the US,


and Washington would have to respond.


The boss of Apple has said his company had no choice


but to stop providing apps in China that allow users to circumvent


the country's tough internet censorship.


Tim Cook said the technology firm would rather not have stopped


offering virtual private network, or VPN apps, but had


Amazon has also confirmed that customers using its cloud


computing services cannot now use unauthorised VPNs.


And we just want to show you one marine researcher's close encounter


Definitely not safe to go back in the water.


Well, luckily it was only a marine researcher's camera the shark


Greg Skomal was diving off the coast of Massachusetts in the US.


Both he and his camera remained intact.


Scientists have used a process called gene editing to correct DNA


that causes a deadly heart condition. Fergus Walsh had the


story and I played his report earlier. How easily do the


techniques translate more broadly to genetic issues? This particular form


of gene editing, it was only discovered five years ago and it is


incredibly cheap and easy and efficient so it has been adopted by


medical researchers, animal and plant researchers, because you can


edit the DNA of any living object using this technique. The sky is the


limit regarding how it can be used. In terms of 10,000 inherited gene


disorders there is enormous potential. But we are really at the


foothills of a giant mountain that needs to be claimed in terms of


safety, efficiency. Some Chinese researchers had a previous call at


this. Embryos they used were not very good quality, they were not


clinical grade, and they had all sorts of errors and the one thing


you do not want to do is to do this in the clinic with couples wanting


to have a healthy child, a risk of passing on a fatal heart disorder,


and then find you have created another problem. So it is a long way


before we will see this in the clinic. Who decides the ethics of


this? Individual countries. There was a conference in Washington 18


months ago that I attended and it called for research to continue but


a moratorium on using human embryo gene editing in the clinic. There


are observers who are unhappy that this team from the US and South


Korea have done this work. They said maybe they should be sticking to


check in on mouse embryos -- chicken or mouse embryos. One country


regarded internationally and sending good signals in terms of keeping an


eye on what is happening is the UK. A team in London has also been given


permission to do gene editing in human embryos and that has gone


through the regulator here and they will be publishing their research at


some point. They are also doing chicken and mouse embryos. The


concern is that when something is possible, and it really is very


easy, I have seen people do this gene editing in their garage in


California when I was doing a documentary on it. When something is


possible people will just do it. But then we had the same fears about


human cloning many years ago as well. If you want more information


on this story you can get it on the BBC news at.


Thousands of Syrian refugees and fighters are being


evacuated from camps on the Lebanese border today.


The operation is part of a ceasefire deal struck


between fighters belonging to the Lebanese Shia Hezbollah


Over 100 buses will transport Syrian civillians, and also jihadi


fighters, back into Syria and our Correspondent Carine Torbey


is on the Lebanese border with the latest.


This is the road that around 150 buses carrying thousands


of civilians and hundreds of fighters from Jabhat Fateh


al-Sham, the previously known al-Nusra Front,


will be taking out of here, the outskirts of Arsal,


on the border between Lebanon and Syria, into Syria.


The convoy of buses will be accompanied by fighters


from Hezbollah who drove the militants out of these


mountains just two weeks ago in a six-day battle.


The journey between here and Syria is expected to be a long


and exhausting one and once the buses arrive to the opposition


held area of Idlib, five Hezbollah fighters who were held hostage


The completion of this whole operation will mark the end


of the presence of militants from what was previously known


as al-Nusra Front in Lebanon and is expected to further secure


Poland is refusing to comply with a European Court order to stop


logging in Europe's last remaining tract of primeval forrest.


The government argues it's necessary to control a beetle outbreak.


If the dispute remains unresolved, it could lead to hefty financial


penalties and further strain the already tense relationship


A relic of ancient woodlands and home to one of the world's


largest population of European bison.


Covering almost 150,000 hectares on the border of Poland and Belarus,


the Unesco-listed Bialowieza forest is also the focus of a legal


tussle over logging that has gone all the way


It has issued a preliminary decision ordering the immediate


suspension of all logging, but Poland is refusing


to comply with the order, arguing it is trying to contain


TRANSLATION: We have to fulfil the protective measures planned


for the forest and this is what we are doing.


The Polish government says authorities are conducting


an experiment, which could last several years, to work out the best


By then, though, conservationists warn the logging will have


The dispute has led to scuffles on the ground.


A cameraman was allegedly assaulted by a timber worker while trying


to film logging operations after the court order


The legal stand-off is just the latest challenge by Poland


to the European Union's authority and could lead to a 4 million euros


fine along with daily penalties if it continues unresolved.


After 65 years of official public engagements, Britain's Prince Philip


has made his final solo appearance on royal duty today.


He attended a parade by the Royal Marines,


Now 96, he's the longest serving consort in British history.


Our Royal Correspondent Nicholas Witchell is at


It was the kind of afternoon weather-wise which might have made


Quite apart from the fact that in the Duke's case he's been doing


But there he was, on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, a man of 96,


standing to attention in the pouring rain for the salute he has


There were many things to remind him of the past decade.


The parade had been mounted by the Royal Marines,


the fighting force which is part of his beloved Royal Navy.


And in the background was the Palace where he has


attended so many events, garden parties and the formal


And where his programme, 22,000 solo engagements,


more than 5,000 speeches, has been planned.


The Duke strode across the forecourt, no stick for him


and woe betide anyone who might suggest such a thing.


And as he went, the crowd outside the Palace applauded.


The Royal Marines gave him three cheers.


The Duke waved his hat and strode away.


And as he went the band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines


After 70 years' service, and with his own separate programme


of royal engagements now concluded, who today would have


Nicholas Witchell, BBC News, Buckingham Palace.


President Donald Trump has called the Russia sanctions legislation


he just signed into law, quote, "significantly flawed".


The new legislation is in response to alleged Russian interfering


in the US election and limits Mr Trump's ability


to negotiate sanctions without Congressional approval.


For more, I'm joined by our correspondent


If he doesn't like it, why did he sign it? He was in a corner.


Congress went through with the legislation, unanimously approved by


Republicans and Democrats, and the way that American democracy works as


it landed on his desk. It sat there all weekend, he said he would sign


it and he has but he has issued a flurry of responses as the number of


reasons why he does not like it. One of those is that it will limit his


ability to lift or waive sanctions against Russia or any other country


in future but it also places limits on the amount of money that


Americans can invest in, for instance, Russian energy projects.


He believes some of these regulations will limit the ability


for American firms to do business in Russia. That is one reason why he


says he is finding this significantly flawed. But he does


feel that Congress is stepping on his toes, overreaching itself,


another reason why he says this is unconstitutional. Has Congress


restricted presidents in a similar way in the past? They have done in


the past but this is quite an unusual move by Congress and by


signing it Donald Trump is effectively making it law which


means he has to abide by it. He did try to work with Congress to try to


change the language of the bill but here we are, he has been boxed into


a corner, and Russia already retaliated over the weekend by


saying they would expel half of the diplomatic staff, US diplomatic


staff working in Russia. His hope of a new reset with Russia is in


tatters at the moment. Our top story, for the first time


scientists have prepared a faulty gene in human embryos using a


process known as gene editing to correct DNA against a deadly heart


Today was a pretty miserable day for large parts of the United Kingdom


and it remains pretty unsettled over the next few