23/12/2017 World News Today


23/12/2017

The news programme for audiences who want more depth to their daily coverage. With a focus on Europe, Middle East and Africa.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

This is BBC World News today. I am

Ben Bland. Our top stories. Flooding

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and mud slides kill more than 180

people as a storm sweeps across the

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southern fill apeeps.

-- Philippines.

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TRANSLATION: I am the President

right now and I haven't stopped

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being it. Even if they sacked me by

decree of the Spanish Government. As

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the California wild fire becomes the

largest in state history, we meet

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the prison inmates helping to tackle

the flames.

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In sport, Barcelona beat Real Madrid

3-0 in the first classic of the

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Spanish football season.

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More than one hundred and eighty

people are reported to have been

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killed by a Tropical Storm

in the Philippines.

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Two days of heavy rain have led

to flash flooding and mudslides.

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Andy Moore reports.

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Nearly 200 people have died

after a tropical storm struck

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Clinging to the neck of his rescuer,

a young boy is carried

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across the floodwaters.

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There was little sign

of official help here,

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just villagers doing their best

to rescue each other

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with fragile ropes.

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In a country used to devastating

storms, this took many by surprise.

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The authorities said too many people

had ignored warnings to leave

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coastal areas and river banks.

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Many of the casualties were on the

main southern island, Mindanao.

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This man said houses were getting

flooded but people couldn't escape,

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so they got caught in the strong

currents and swept away.

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Many places were hit by landslides.

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Flimsy houses were buried

beneath tonnes of debris.

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The Red Cross is helping

coordinate the relief effort.

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We have already provided water

and food, and we have been

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distributing non-food items,

blankets, mosquito nets

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and hygiene kits for those

who are in the evacuation centres

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to alleviate the suffering

of many of the folks there.

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The Philippines is battered

by about 20 typhoons every year.

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This particular storm

is not over yet.

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It's now heading towards the popular

tourist island of Palawan.

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As it passes over warm,

tropical waters, its winds are set

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to grow again in strength.

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Andy Moore, BBC News.

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A short while ago I was speaking to

Helen billets from the BBC weather

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centre to get an update on the path

and where it's headed next.

Now it's

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heading to open waters and then we

think towards parts of southern

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Vietnam.

So, in terms of the

severity of it, is it building, is

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it subsiding or at a constant level

as it moves across the region?

These

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sort of storms can happen any time

of the year but we normally have

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peak from about May to October,

slightly out of peak and far south.

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We have had substantial rainfall.

It's moving to open waters which is

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where these storms an get energy

from so it's likely to intensify in

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the short-term to a typhoon,

probably through tomorrow. Becoming

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a typhoon tomorrow evening across

the Philippines, Vietnam time. But

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then we think before it makes

landfall in Vietnam it's likely to

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weaken again dramatically, colder

air, but the winds are expected

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toing around 110 kilometres an hour,

not just concerns for southern

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Vietnam where we think it's going to

hit during Monday evening their time

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is the likelihood it will make

landfall then, could have about 200

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millimetres of rain and it's in a

similar area to those affected so we

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could see further flash flooding,

that happened about a month ago.

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Clearly the ground is still

saturated. The other fly in the

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ointment unfortunately is what will

happen is as this moves away it

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enhances the north-east monsoon, it

brings lots of rain across the

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Philippines and parts of India and

China and that could enhance rains,

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those areas, southern and central

Vietnam are most at risk of further

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heavy rain indeed.

It is storm

season. The region sees storms like

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this fairly frequently at this time

of year. In terms of the severity

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how does it compare, is it stronger

than average?

It's really about what

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they would expect. If it becomes a

typhoon temporarily, but that's

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obviously winds of 70 knots, that's

about 120 kilometres an hour plus,

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that's a quite nasty storm. Yes,

it's expected to weaken but will

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still have strong winds, still will

be a tropical storm when it hits, it

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could do a lot of damage around the

coast, structurely, of course, gives

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high tides as well, pushing large

waves, coastal flooding but rain

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still remains the main concern.

You

can find much more on this story on

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our website including a look at how

countries can cope with such natural

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disasters. Let's take a look at some

of the other stories making the

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news.

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The sacked Catalan leader,

Carles Puigdemont, says he wants

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to return to Catalonia and be sworn

in again as the region's president.

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He urged the Spanish Government to

let him return for talks. The

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political instability isn't bringing

down Catalonia's Christmas spirit.

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Catalonia may be facing a crisis but

it hasn't dampened the spirit of

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locals.

TRANSLATION: Of course there will be

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Christmas dinners and people will

discuss politics but in the end the

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primary thing of the people, nothing

will happen.

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So what next for Catalonia? That's

what everyone in the region is

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wondering after elections that once

again gave pro-independence parties

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a majority.

Now the separatist leader has said

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he wants to return from self-imposed

exile in Belgium and continue as

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President.

TRANSLATION: I am the President

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right now and I haven't stopped

being it. Even if they sacked me by

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decree of the Spanish Government

which has failed in Catalonia.

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He has called for dialogue with the

Spanish Government. Even if it falls

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short of independence.

TRANSLATION:

I say let's talk, let's

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talk about everything. But above

all, about what Catalan's want.

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They have the largest individual

vote, even though it's unlikely they

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can form a coalition. And if and

when talks between Madrid and the

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separatists do take place, it's not

clear what would be different this

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time.

Of course the Spanish

Government will say no to their

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proposal of a legal referendum so in

less than however years we will be

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on the same situation that we were

before the election.

As the crisis

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continues, it's the economy that's

most at risk. Tourism is suffering

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and already more than 3,000

companies are moving their legal

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headquarters out of Catalonia.

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32 people have been killed in a bus

crash in Rajasthan in India.

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Officials say the driver lost

control of the vehicle,

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which broke through a guard rail

and fell thirty metres

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from a bridge.

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Venezuela has expelled the Brazilian

ambassador to Caracas -

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and a Canadian diplomat -

accusing them of interfering

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in internal matters

and violating the rule of law.

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Last week, Brazil issued a statement

accusing President Nicolas Maduro

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of harassing the opposition.

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And earlier this year Canada imposed

sanctions on a number

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of Venezuelan officials.

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The conductor Charles Dutoit has

denied accusations of sexual

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assault made against him,

calling the allegations shocking,

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with no basis in truth.

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Four women - three of them

opera singers and one

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a classical musician -

have accused him of sexual assault.

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The United Nations has -

for the first time -

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begun flying vulnerable African

refugees being held

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in Libya into Europe.

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More direct flights to Italy

are planned for the new year -

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for those deemed to be extremely

vulnerable - including single

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mothers, unaccompanied children

and people with disabilities.

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A military plane

touching down in Italy.

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On-board, 110 women

and children, African migrants.

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Refugees who travelled to Libya,

now flown directly to Europe

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for the very first time.

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They are part of the protection work

that UNHCR does in Libya.

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We have visited the detention centre

995 times this year and 1,200

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vulnerable refugees,

we have had them released.

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Tens of thousands of people

fleeing their homes arrive in Libya

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each year and attempt to cross

the Mediterranean to reach

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Italy, their very first

footsteps into Europe.

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The risks are enormous.

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These people were pulled

from the water last week

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when their boat broke in half off

the Libyan coast, rescued

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by chance by the Libyan navy.

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This year and for the past four

years in a row more than 3,000

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people have died trying

to make the crossing.

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Those who survive often

say their greatest fear

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is being sent back to Libya

to camps like these.

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Complaints of abuse are widespread,

of beatings and ill treatment.

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Desperation forces many

into the hands of human traffickers

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and into boats overloaded and unfit

for the sea.

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Italy has called this an evacuation,

the first they hope of many.

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These people, the most vulnerable.

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50 more are due on a later plane.

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TRANSLATION: We managed

to intervene in a particularly

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difficult situation,

like the Libyan one,

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and managed to bring women

and children to safety,

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welcoming the refugees and rescuing

them from the people smugglers.

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European leaders met in Brussels

this week to discuss migration.

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More than 160,000 people

have arrived in Europe

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from Africa this year.

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That's less than half

the number from 2016,

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but measures to curb arrivals,

like a repatriation scheme,

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ongoing in Libya, are

highly controversial.

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Now Italy plans to take the lead,

taking up to 10,000 more

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people from Libya in 2018,

and is looking to the rest of Europe

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to help to find them new homes.

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Still to come. Deep sea alert. Nato

commanders warn of Russian

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submarines hunting a valuable target

on the ocean floor.

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We saw a tidal wave approaching the

beach and people started to run.

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Suddenly it was complete chaos.

The

United States troops have been

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trying to overthrow the dictatorship

of General Noriega. It's failed in

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its principle objective, to capture

General Noriega and take him to the

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United States to face drugs charges.

The Russian flag was hoisted over

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what is now no longer the Soviet

Union, but the Commonwealth of

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independent states.

Day broke slowly

over Lockerbie.

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Christmas has returned to Albania

after a communist ban lasting more

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than 20 years. Thousands went to

midnight mass where there were

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anti-communist riots ten days ago.

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The headlines. Tropical storm has

left more than 180 people dead in

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the Philippines. Two days of heavy

rain have led to flash flooding and

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mud slides.

The sacked leader of Catalan says he

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wants to return to Catalonia and be

sworn in again as the region's

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President.

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A wildfire in California

is now the largest ever

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recorded in the state.

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More than a thousand square

kilometres have been

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affected by the Thomas Fire,

which started in early December.

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A spokesman for the Fire service

says the flames are now

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65 percent contained -

and one of the key

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resources has been the use

of convicts on day release.

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James Cook has their story

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It's pretty challenging.

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Sometimes we're right there,

right next to the fire.

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Compared to being in prison

and being here, it's

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completely different.

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Here you feel free.

You're out in the world.

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The biggest change for me is mental,

because I've never pushed myself

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as hard, ever in life.

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California has 4,000 inmate

firefighters, men and women.

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Cutting firebreaks is risky work,

two have died this year.

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But there are rewards too in reduced

sentences and a sense of purpose.

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After being in this programme,

I feel like I've been rehabilitated

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and I feel like I can go out

there and achieve anything

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I want to because I've done this.

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This is so hard.

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We were allowed inside this

prison camp in Malibu.

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There are no walls or fences here.

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Violent or volatile

prisoners are not allowed

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to join the programme.

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With a job like this, there is only

time to think about the work.

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Latoya Najar is serving four years

for causing the death

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of her seven-year-old son

in a drunken car crash.

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The attraction for me

was because of my crime,

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I could come out here

and do something positive.

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It's challenging mentally

to get over something.

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I'm never going to get over it,

but to try to ease my mind

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and this has helped.

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With California facing more frequent

and more destructive fires,

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some critics call this slave labour.

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But the project is voluntary,

it may reduce re-offending and it

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provides some measure of redemption.

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Everyone is like, "We love

you firefighters."

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We all wave back and

we wave to the kids.

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It's amazing, yes.

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The work may be exhausting,

it may be dangerous,

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but in the words of one prisoner,

"It's better than twiddling

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your thumbs in jail."

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James Cook, BBC News,

in Southern California.

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Russian submarine activity has

apparently reached a level not seen

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since the end of the Cold War

thirty years ago.

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That warning comes from

Senior NATO officers.

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They're concerned that Russia

could target undersea cables linking

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Europe to the United States.

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The cables provide important

internet and communications links.

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Joining us to discuss this is the

deputy director general of the Royal

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United services institute, Malcolm

Chalmers. Does it seem Russia is

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back on the scene as a formidable

power to be reckoned with?

I think

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that's right. In that sense it's not

new, it's a trend we have seen over

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the last decade, very large increase

in the Russian defence budget which

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has allowed its forces on land and

at sea to be much more active, to

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train more vigorously, to improve

the effectiveness of their

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operations, compared with a decade

ago and that's reflected in

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submarines surging into the north

Atlantic at a rate that they haven't

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before for more than 20 years so

starting to match Nato in the levels

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of activity of their maritime

forces.

Haven't we seen peaks and

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troughs, it just changes over years,

there are surges of activity and

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then it subsides, could this not

just be another one of those high

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points and then it will taper off

again?

Of course that's always

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possible. But I think more about

Russia returning to the normal level

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of activity for a force that wants

to actually be seen as credible by

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Nato. For a long period after the

end of the Cold War in the early

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1990s Russia had a large fleet but

hardly ever went to sea and

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therefore Nato Navies came to

believe they really had not much

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capability to actually use them, but

over the last decade that's changed.

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They've become more active and more

serious and one of the consequences

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has been that Nato Navies, including

the Royal Navy, are having to spend

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a lot more of their time tracking

Russian submarines to see what

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they're up to and as a result of

that tracking one assumes that we

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have these multiplying reports of

Russian interests in undersea

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cables, to track a Russian submarine

takes a lot of effort from our

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submarines, but also surface ships

and aircraft.

You mentioned the

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cables there.

What would their interest be in

0:19:100:19:15

targeting those cables?

Well, in the

event of a large-scale conflict,

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cutting those cables would be very

valuable in terms of disrupting the

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economies of western societies.

Targeting cables is nothing new. The

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UK destroyed German Telegraph cables

back at the end of World War I, but

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today we are much more dependent on

those cables because of the central

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role of the internet in our

economies. So in the event of a

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conflict this would be a capability

which the Russians could deploy

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along with all sorts of other

capabilities, it doesn't mean

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they're going to attack them out of

the blue but it's one more element

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to keep Nato on its toes.

Thank you. Time to check in on the

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sport.

0:20:110:20:18

Manchester City are 14 points clear

in the Premier League

0:20:180:20:20

after beating Bournemouth 3-0.

0:20:200:20:21

Sergio Aguero scored twice,

Raheem Sterling and Dinilo

0:20:210:20:23

with his first City goal were also

on the score

0:20:230:20:26

sheet.

0:20:260:20:27

City have won 17 matches in a row.

0:20:270:20:34

Second goal was important,

especially the last 25

0:20:340:20:36

minutes and they play,

two strikers we found more space,

0:20:360:20:38

but we have to learn.

0:20:380:20:41

We have to improve to attack

this kind of defence.

0:20:410:20:43

We have to try it and I think

that's going to happen.

0:20:430:20:53

Harry Kane scored a hat

trick as Tottenham beat

0:20:550:21:05

Burnley 3-0 at Turf Moor.

0:21:080:21:09

The three goals means Kane equals

Alan Shearer's record of 36 league

0:21:090:21:12

goals in a calendar year.

0:21:120:21:13

It means Spurs leapfrog Burnley

and Arsenal into fifth place.

0:21:130:21:21

He has one more chance to break

Shearer's record when Spurs host

0:21:210:21:26

Southampton on 26th December.

You

are fighting for top four, that

0:21:260:21:31

victory shows everyone that we are

there. And yes, now we need to be

0:21:310:21:34

solid and we need to be consistent

in our performance. Today was a

0:21:340:21:43

point to platform to go up.

Newcastle United are out of the

0:21:430:21:47

bottom three after beating West Ham

3-2 at the London stadium. Andre

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Ayew had a penalty saved and they're

one point above the relegation zone.

0:21:540:22:00

Christian Atsu scored what proved to

be the winning goal. In the other

0:22:000:22:03

results.

0:22:030:22:10

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez scored

- as Barcelona beat Real Madrid 3

0:22:210:22:24

goals to nil in La Liga dealing

a huge blow to Real's title defence.

0:22:240:22:32

Cristiano Ronaldo's side now

trail their rivals by 14

0:22:320:22:34

points in the table.

0:22:340:22:35

Suarez struck in the 54th

minute of El Clasico -

0:22:350:22:39

and Messi added a penalty

10 minutes later.

0:22:390:22:41

After Madrid's Dani Carvajal

received a direct red card -

0:22:410:22:43

for stopping a goal-bound

header by Paulinho.

0:22:430:22:45

Messi also set up substitute

Alex Vidal - to round off

0:22:450:22:48

the win in stoppage time.

0:22:480:22:49

The victory for Barca team puts them

9 points clear at the top -

0:22:490:22:52

ahead of Atletico Madrid.

0:22:520:22:53

Real remain in fourth place

with a game in hand.

0:22:530:23:03

In the day's other results:

0:23:050:23:10

England wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow

has defended captain Joe Root

0:23:100:23:12

after comments made by the former

Australia skipper Ricky Ponting.

0:23:120:23:18

He said Root looked like a little

boy and had been a bit soft

0:23:180:23:25

Everyone's going to have an opinion

and that's all well and good. I

0:23:250:23:29

think he is doing a really good job

as captain. I think the tactics he

0:23:290:23:34

has shown with the ball has been

really good and I think he will only

0:23:340:23:38

grow and learn by doing it.

0:23:380:23:49

England all-rounder Ben Stokes

is returning home to the UK

0:23:540:23:56

for what he called "family reasons",

after a month-long spell with

0:23:560:23:59

the New Zealand side Canterbury.

0:23:590:24:00

He joined them just

after England had lost

0:24:000:24:02

the first Ashes Test,

sparking speculation

0:24:020:24:04

he could be set for a recall,

but he's still suspended

0:24:040:24:06

following his arrest in September.

0:24:060:24:10

He is best known for a photograph in

1984 which pictured him flying above

0:24:100:24:14

earth with a jet pack. He also

served as mission control

0:24:140:24:29

communicator when the awhen Neil

Armstrong stepped on the moon.

0:24:290:24:35

It may be one of the world's longest

rivalries and one that's worth

0:25:300:25:33

billions in marketing -

who lays claim to Santa?

0:25:330:25:35

His home has always been

known as the North Pole -

0:25:350:25:40

but is it Finland or Greenland?

0:25:400:25:41

Well, that fight is now over.

0:25:410:25:44

Greenland has officially given

up its claim to the Big Man and says

0:25:440:25:48

THIS tiny village in the Finnish

region of Lapland -

0:25:480:25:50

is where he actually lives.

0:25:500:25:58

He has a busy weekend ahead, hope he

0:25:580:26:00

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