24/02/2018 World News Today


24/02/2018

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.

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I'm Duncan Golestani.

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Our top stories: After three days

of haggling, the United Nations

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finally agrees on a ceasefire

resolution for Syria.

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The Security Council,

including Russia, backs

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a call for a 30-day pause,

as the number of dead

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from government strikes

on a rebel-held enclave tops 500.

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We may not know the faces that we're

talking about. We may not know their

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names, or these people, but they

know us. And we all failed them this

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week.

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Two major US airlines,

Delta and United, become the latest

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firms to cut ties with the powerful

National Rifle Association

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in response to the Florida

school shooting.

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China calls for the withdrawal

of the new US sanctions package

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against North Korea,

described by President Trump

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on Friday as the "largest ever".

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And, archeologists

discover a 2,000-year-old

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burial site in Egypt.

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We've found jewellery, amulets, part

of the finery... Furniture, pottery,

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wooden coffins. It's only the

beginning.

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Hello, and welcome

to World News Today.

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After days of delays,

the United Nations Security Council

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has unanimously agreed

on a ceasefire in Syria.

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The hope is the resolution

will allow some respite

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for civilians in the rebel enclave

of eastern Ghouta,

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who have been bombed

by Russian-backed Syrian forces.

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The resolution calls

for the ceasefire to last 30 days

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and begin without delay,

but we are already hearing

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reports from activists that

jets are still overhead

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and air-raids are continuing.

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More than 500 people have been

killed in the last seven

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days in Eastern Ghouta.

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There is a desperate need

for humanitarian assistance.

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Here's US Ambassador

to the UN, Nikki Haley.

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The Syrian people should

not have to die waiting

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for Russia to organise

their instructions from Moscow.

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Or to discuss it with the Syrians.

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And why did the council allow this?

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There is no good reason we shouldn't

have done this Wednesday,

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or Thursday, or Friday.

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We may not know the faces that

we're talking about.

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We may not know the names of these

people, but they know us.

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And we all failed them this week.

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Russia's ambassador to the UN,

Vasily Nebenzya, said the ceasefire

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would achieve little

without concrete agreements

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between parties at war.

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TRANSLATION:

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This will in no way help to address

the pressing humanitarian situation

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in Syria.

The demands of the

security Council must be underpinned

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by concrete, on the ground

agreements.

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Let's go to Kuwait and talk

to Panos Moumtzis, the UN

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Regional Humanitarian Coordinator

for the Syria Crisis.

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Thank you for joining us. First of

all, your reaction to this

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resolution being passed.

Finally, of

course we very much welcome the

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anonymous decision of all 16 members

of the Security Council to pass the

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resolution. It was long overdue.

It's really excellent to have it

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now. What is really important is the

implementation of this reveller so,

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resolution. Having all council

members on board is great, but how

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will it translate? We very much want

to see an immediate effect where the

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hostilities really do come to an

end, and for routes to open for us

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to be able to bring in humanitarian

assistance, food, medical supplies,

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and also to be able to evacuate the

people who need medical evacuation.

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This is where the resolution really

will be fantastic to see it lamented

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immediately.

From your point of

view, what's the plan? How quickly

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can you start getting aid into these

places once you know it is safe?

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From our side, we're ready. We have

people on the ground, we are ready

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to follow all the steps to bring it

whether it is. East Ghouta is about

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a ten mile distance from Damascus.

It's not the distance, it's really

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very much to have the access to be

able to see the hostilities subside,

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to be able to safely go inside.

Eastern Ghouta is an area that has

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had really no electricity, no water,

food is very low, health facilities

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have been overstretched to the

maximum. Several of them were

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destroyed, hospitals. People are in

desperate need. What needs to happen

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now is to implement this resolution.

What is designed in paper needs to

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be translated into action. It is not

just East Ghouta, it talks about the

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totality of the Syrian territory. We

want to see the same cessation of

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hostilities in Idlib and all areas,

for us to be able to reach all areas

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where there are people who are

besieged or hard to reach. There are

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2.9 million people who wore in the

card to reach areas. Really we want

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to see a cessation of hostilities in

the totality of the country.

I

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understand you want to read all

areas, but the situation on the

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ground, as you know more than

anyone, is so complicated, so

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confused, as our correspondent put

it, there is war is going on within

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walls. How difficult is it then your

workers to get to these remote

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places? -- wars going on within

walls.

It is a very complex

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situation. There are multiple

actors, multiple groups, multiple

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countries. We are driven by the

humanitarian imperative, as

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impartial, neutral, independent

humanitarian organisations, our role

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is to talk to everybody and reach

everybody, reach the civilians in

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all of these locations and bring

assistance to walk these places. Of

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course, well manoeuvring the

extremely complex situation on the

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ground.

OK, Panos Moumzis, we'll

leave it there. Thank you very much

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for joining us from Kuwait.

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Thank you very much

for joining us from Kuwait.

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US Airlines, Delta and United have

joined a growing list of companies

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cutting ties with the National Rifle

Association.

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The two airlines have ended

discounts for NRA members

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following the Florida school

shooting last week.

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Car rental firms, a computer

software company and a bank have

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also responded to an online boycott

of businesses with links

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to the pro-gun lobby group.

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Let's cross live to David Willis,

who is in Washington for us. David,

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this movement seems to be really

picking up momentum?

It does,

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Duncan, yes. It started last

Thursday and it's been gathering

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steam, picking up momentum ever

since. As the hashtag boycott NRA

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has trended on Twitter. And the list

now includes banks and hotel chains,

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car hire companies, an insurance

company, a household moving company,

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a software company. The most recent

being Delta Airlines and United

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Airlines, who, as well as severing

their marketing ties with the NRA,

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they are also asking for their

company logos to be removed from the

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NRA website. As well as the NRA

boycotts, there is also the

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possibility of some sort of

financial squeeze being imposed on

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the NRA's members, as the gun

manufacturers and the Bank of

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America issued a statement saying,

we are joining other companies in

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our industry to examine what we can

do to help end the tragedy of mass

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shootings, and an immediate step we

are taking is to engage the limited

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number of plants we have that

manufacture assault weapons for

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non-military use. We didn't see this

sort of vault, if I can put it that

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way, after the Sandy Hook massacre

just five years ago, Duncan -- this

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sort of revolt.

How are the NRA

taking this? They don't take these

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type of threats lying down, do they?

They don't. The NRA boasts about 5

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million members, it has been heavily

supported over the last few days by

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President Trump, of course. The NRA

has yet to comment on these

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boycotts. But earlier in the week,

the organisation said that this was

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the work of opportunists, as it put

it, who were using the Florida

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tragedy basically to make Americans

less free. But this is the sort of

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thing that must be troubling to the

NRA, particularly as it shows signs

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of gathering momentum, of the back,

really, of these very voluble and

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articulate students who survived

that killing in Florida last week.

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David Willetts in Washington, thank

you.

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Nigerian parents who fear

their daughters have been abducted

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by Boko Haram jihadists have

released a list of 105 names.

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The militants attacked

a boarding school on Monday,

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but until now it hadn't been clear

how many girls were missing.

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Our correspondent in Lagos,

Stephanie Hegarty,

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is following the story.

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We know that Boko Haram attacked

this, suspected Boko Haram Allott

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and attacked this town and entered

this school on Monday night. After

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that point, things got very

confusing. On the one hand, the

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authorities were saying that no

kidnapping were taking place. They

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didn't admit until Wednesday that

some girls had been abducted. Even

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since then, they've been very

confused in their account of the

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numbers. At one point they said 51.

Yesterday it seems they are saying

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84. Today, the parents who have come

together as a kind of advocacy

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group, the parents of these missing

girls, they have put together their

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own list and they say there is 105

girls and they have listed each of

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their names. That's their definitive

idea of who is missing, and that's

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the clearest line we've really had

on how many of these girls haven't

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been found.

So, if they can't even

get the numbers right, I have two

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was, how effective are the

authorities and the government in

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looking for the girls -- I have to

ask.

Well, we heard from the

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president last night, at least four

days after this happened. He said

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earlier he had sent an investigative

team to go and find out what

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happened in the town. Last night he

issued a statement that was intended

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to reassure people. It said that

this is a national disaster and they

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were taking it very seriously and

the army Warren pursued of the

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girls, their wrist surveillance

aircraft monitoring the region 24/7.

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Aside from that, no information on

where these girls are. Also, another

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very conflicting and devastating

line during the week on Wednesday,

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the State government claimed that

some of these girls had been

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rescued. Then on Thursday they said

that that claim was false. Parents

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of course were very angry. The

governor had addressed them in the

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town. And after he said that this

rescue hadn't happened, they

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attacked his convoy and pelted it

with stones. A lot of bad feeling

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between the authorities and the

parents themselves. A lot of

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confusion, and of course anger and

devastation. These 105 families that

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are wondering whether girls are.

Stephanie Hegarty Lagos.

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Let's take a look at some of

the other stories making the news.

0:11:480:11:51

The American billionaire

Warren Buffett says tax cuts

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introduced by President Trump

boosted his company's earnings

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by $29 billion last year.

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Many Democrats had argued

that the tax package was a huge

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and unaffordable giveaway

to the wealthy.

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Mr Buffett, who is chairman

and chief executive

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of Berkshire Hathaway,has long

argued for higher

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taxes for the rich.

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Rival demonstrations are taking

place in Italy, a week ahead

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of the general election.

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The anti-immigrant party is holding

a rally in the city of Milan,

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while several thousand took part

in an anti-racism protest in Rome.

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Security has been stepped

up across both cities.

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Three days after an attack

on a South African police station,

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officials say they have shot dead

seven of the suspects

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in a gunfight at a church.

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They say those killed had been

hiding there since carrying out

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Wednesday's attack in the Eastern

Cape.

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The armed gang killed six people

and stole weapons and a police van.

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Today, ten other

suspects were arrested.

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Stay with us on BBC World News.

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Still to come: In sport,

Scotland rejoices after beating

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Rugby Six Nations champions England.

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Prince Charles has chosen his bride.

The Prince proposed to Lady Diana

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Spencer three weeks ago. She

accepted, she said, without

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hesitation.

As revolutions go, this

had its fair share of bullets. The

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name of the sanctuary itself

symbolising one of the cruellest

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regimes in modern Asia.

The world's

first cloning has been produced of

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an adult mammal. Scientists in

Scotland have produced a clone of a

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sheep, called Dolly.

Citizens are

trying to come to grips with their

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new freedom. There is joy and relief

today, but the scars are everywhere.

0:13:510:13:55

Zero for 20 years, have posts been

seen in such numbers, some of the

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swarms have been ten miles long.

This is the last time the public

0:14:020:14:06

will have seen this Pope. Benedict

XVI world, in his own world is a

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much words, be hidden from the world

for the rest of his life.

0:14:120:14:15

This is BBC World News Today.

0:14:200:14:23

The latest headlines:

0:14:230:14:30

The UN Security Council has

unanimously adopts a resolution

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calling for a 30-day humanitarian

ceasefire in Syria.

0:14:320:14:38

And two major US airlines, Delta and

United, have become the latest firms

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to cut ties with the powerful

National Rifle Association in

0:14:430:14:46

response to the Florida School

shooting.

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Hugh Woozencroft has all the sport.

0:14:490:14:54

Hello, Duncan.

0:14:540:14:57

In rugby union's Six Nations

Championship, Scotland pulled off

0:14:570:14:59

a shock to beat defending champions

England at Murrayfield.

0:14:590:15:01

Fly half Finn Russell put in a man

of the match performance

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in the 25-13 victory,

which meant the Scots inflicted just

0:15:040:15:07

a second defeat for England in 26

Tests under head coach Eddie Jones.

0:15:070:15:10

It also saw the Scots lift

the historic Calcutta Cup

0:15:100:15:12

for the first time in ten years.

0:15:120:15:20

I was really surprised, we had a

game plan and we executed it really

0:15:200:15:23

well. If you look at that Tests that

we had, they've been outstanding. We

0:15:230:15:31

managed to get back on that type of

form, and it was awesome.

Do you

0:15:310:15:35

think Scotland can get back on track

with yellow it will definitely be

0:15:350:15:39

tough, but if we keep performances

like that, we have got a chance and

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we can build on it next week.

0:15:430:15:48

Ireland stayed on course

for the Grand Slam after running

0:15:480:15:50

in five tries, in a thrilling

victory over Wales in Dublin.

0:15:500:15:53

The final score was 37-27,

as result that makes it three wins

0:15:530:15:56

from three for Ireland

in the tournament.

0:15:560:15:59

I think when we went ten points up

with less than five to go we sort of

0:15:590:16:03

felt, keep control of the ball, keep

control of the defence and the game

0:16:030:16:07

was over. As in France, we don't

like to do things easy. But again,

0:16:070:16:12

great character. Wales are great

outfit. And we look at this game

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and, I think on one hand there are

some unbelievable positives, some on

0:16:170:16:22

attack and some the way we went

about playing. On the other hand, we

0:16:220:16:25

give up far too many points so

easily. I know that the coaches will

0:16:250:16:29

have a lot to look at. But at the

same time, I think if you'd asked

0:16:290:16:33

us, would you take a 5-point win

today, there would be no doubt that

0:16:330:16:37

we would have taken that.

0:16:370:16:41

Liverpool have moved up to second

place in the Permier League

0:16:410:16:44

after a 4-1 win over

West Ham on Saturday.

0:16:440:16:46

Egyptian Mohammed Salah

was on the scoresheet for the sixth

0:16:460:16:48

game in a row for Liverpool.

0:16:480:16:50

Emre Can, Roberto Firmino

and Sadio Mane were Liverpool's

0:16:500:16:52

other scorers to move them one point

above Manchester United

0:16:520:16:54

who play on Sunday.

0:16:540:16:57

It was an all-round performance,

we defended well and attack well and

0:16:570:17:00

counter pressing was outstanding.

0:17:000:17:06

Just outstanding.

0:17:060:17:14

It always helps us a lot,

because whatever the opponents

0:17:140:17:16

do, if they defended

or

0:17:160:17:17

whatever, David Moyes, fantastic

manager, he organises his teams

0:17:170:17:20

really well.

0:17:200:17:21

So they made a big step back

on track since he is there, and

0:17:210:17:25

we knew how difficult it would be.

0:17:250:17:32

West Bromwich Albion are now six

points adrift of second

0:17:320:17:35

from bottom Stoke,

who earlier drew at Leicester.

0:17:350:17:37

Swansea drop into the relegation

zone after losing 4-1 at Brighton.

0:17:370:17:39

Elsewhere Watford beat

Everton, while the matches

0:17:390:17:41

between Bournemouth and Newcastle,

and Burnley and Southampton

0:17:410:17:43

were both drawn.

0:17:430:17:45

Over to the Republic of Korea now,

where Ester Ledecka completed

0:17:450:17:47

an historic Olympic double

on Saturday romping to snowboarding

0:17:470:17:49

parallel giant slalom gold to add

to her shock super-G title

0:17:490:17:52

in alpine skiing.

0:17:520:17:53

The 22-year-old world champion

became the first woman to capture

0:17:530:17:56

gold medals in different sports,

at the same Winter Games

0:17:560:17:58

after beating German Selina Jorg

by almost half a second

0:17:580:18:00

in the Pyeongchang final.

0:18:000:18:05

Ledecka becomes just the third

Winter athlete to do a multi-sport

0:18:050:18:08

double at the same Olympics.

0:18:080:18:16

Norway secured a record 38th medal

at a Winter Olympics with bronze

0:18:160:18:19

in the inaugural alpine skiing mixed

team event as Switzerland took gold.

0:18:190:18:22

Norway passed the United States'

tally of 37 medals, won

0:18:220:18:25

at the 2010 Vancouver Games,

with victory over France

0:18:250:18:27

in the bronze-medal decider.

0:18:270:18:31

Switzerland beat Austria for gold

in the event which sees

0:18:310:18:34

four-strong teams compete

in head-to-head slalom races.

0:18:340:18:44

In the men's big air,

Canada's Sebastien Toutant won

0:18:450:18:49

gold, with United States'

Kyle Mack taking silver.

0:18:490:18:52

Great Britain's Billy Morgan,

at 28 the veteran of

0:18:520:18:55

the field, took bronze.

0:18:550:18:56

And that's all the sport for now.

0:18:560:19:02

China has asked the United States

to withdraw sanctions imposed

0:19:020:19:04

on Chinese firms and shipping that

Washington says are

0:19:040:19:06

trading with North Korea.

0:19:060:19:08

Beijing said it was responsible

for investigating and

0:19:080:19:10

punishing its own companies.

0:19:100:19:13

The United States said on Friday

it was imposing its largest package

0:19:130:19:16

of sanctions aimed at getting

North Korea to give up its nuclear

0:19:160:19:19

and missile programmes.

0:19:190:19:24

The new sanctions target

businesses and ships

0:19:240:19:25

from several countries -

including China,

0:19:250:19:27

Singapore and Panama.

0:19:270:19:30

But China's Foreign Ministry says

the government absolutely did not

0:19:300:19:35

allow any of its citizens

or companies to contravene UN

0:19:350:19:38

resolutions on North Korea.

0:19:380:19:40

And it adds: "China demands the US

ommediately stops such

0:19:400:19:43

mistaken actions to avoid

harming bilateral cooperation".

0:19:430:19:52

Let's speak now to

Oriana Skylar Mastro -

0:19:520:19:54

she's an Assistant Professor

of Security Studies

0:19:540:19:56

at Georgetown University

and Jeane Kirkpatrick Scholar

0:19:560:19:58

at the American

Enterprise Institute.

0:19:580:20:08

Thank you for joining us. So, is

China justified in being so angry,

0:20:090:20:14

do you think?

Well, I think China's

response is very predictable. They

0:20:140:20:19

are against any government is taking

actions that intervene in their

0:20:190:20:23

internal affairs, and they think

that this action meet this criteria.

0:20:230:20:28

They are generally against sanctions

in the North Korean nuclear case

0:20:280:20:31

because they think they won't work,

so they only look at the downside,

0:20:310:20:36

which is potentially destabilising

the North Korean regime.

In your

0:20:360:20:42

opinion, have Chinese businesses,

individuals and entities been

0:20:420:20:52

complying with the existing

sanctions on North Korea?

Well, I

0:20:520:20:54

don't have independent information

to be able to say whether the

0:20:540:20:56

Chinese have comply to the degree

that they are claiming that they

0:20:560:20:59

have. But the United States'

unilateral sanctions put China in a

0:20:590:21:03

very difficult position. Either they

are unwilling to comply, because 99%

0:21:030:21:07

of North Korean trade is with China,

or they don't have the capability to

0:21:070:21:12

do so. Either way, it doesn't make

China looks very good, which is why

0:21:120:21:16

we don't see a lot of the talk about

the Sangchan is an Chinese social

0:21:160:21:21

media sites, because this would be

an unpopular point to put to the

0:21:210:21:30

public. I think in general, there is

a lack of appreciation for how much

0:21:300:21:35

domestic political factors do impact

the Chinese regime, given the fact

0:21:350:21:38

it is an autocratic regime, but it

is very responsive, particularly

0:21:380:21:44

when it comes to the Chinese public,

Chinese companies and overseas,

0:21:440:21:48

there is an increased pressure on

the government to ensure that they

0:21:480:21:52

are protecting their citizens and

other countries aren't negatively

0:21:520:21:55

impacting them.

Of course, we have

had rounds of the rounds after

0:21:550:22:00

rounds of sanctions in order to make

North Korea comply with what it is

0:22:000:22:06

that the United States and South

Korea wants to achieve, but to no

0:22:060:22:10

avail. Do you think the latest

sanctions will do the trick?

No, I

0:22:100:22:17

don't think any amount of sanctions

will convince Kim Jong-un to give up

0:22:170:22:21

his weapons. But I think the United

states know that, it is symbolic.

0:22:210:22:31

President Trump mentioned phase two,

a second option, a military option,

0:22:310:22:36

suggests the seriousness. If I had

to choose between more aggressive

0:22:360:22:40

sanctions or a limited strike or

what is referred to as a bloody nose

0:22:400:22:44

option, I definitely would choose

the former.

Now, China is saying

0:22:440:22:48

that this will hurt China- US

relations. Do you think that's

0:22:480:22:51

accurate?

China has always

corroborated with the United States

0:22:510:22:57

when and to the degree that it

benefits Chinese national interest

0:22:570:23:02

-- has always corroborated. They

have never done any thing more just

0:23:020:23:05

because the United States has asked

them to or for the sake of a

0:23:050:23:09

bilateral relationship. I understand

China saying that it will be

0:23:090:23:12

harmful, but in my view, the Chinese

are going to continue to cooperate

0:23:120:23:16

for it suits them and they won't

cooperate when it doesn't.

Have you

0:23:160:23:20

been keeping an eye on the Olympics

in Pyeongchang, I wonder's do you

0:23:200:23:25

think anything will come out of that

seeming slight thawing in relations

0:23:250:23:31

between the north and South?

It is

always beneficial when we have a

0:23:310:23:37

reduction intentions and improved

inter-Korean relations, but it

0:23:370:23:40

doesn't change anything from the

perspective of the United States.

0:23:400:23:44

This administration has to decide

whether it is willing to live with a

0:23:440:23:48

nuclear North Korea and pursue a

containment option, or the United

0:23:480:23:52

States is not willing to live with

that and will pursue military

0:23:520:23:55

options. Either way, I don't think

that the handshaking and even the

0:23:550:23:59

drawing teams at the Olympics is

changing that more significant

0:23:590:24:03

calculus -- the joint teams.

Thank

you for joining us.

Thank you for

0:24:030:24:11

having me.

0:24:110:24:12

To Egypt now, where

archaeologists have discovered

0:24:120:24:14

a 2,000-year-old necropolis.

0:24:140:24:15

The site, just south of Cairo,

consists of dozens of burial shafts

0:24:150:24:18

dating from the late Pharaonic

period to the early Ptolomaic era.

0:24:180:24:20

The area is so large,

experts say it'll take five

0:24:200:24:23

years to fully excavate.

0:24:230:24:27

Egypt's Antiquities Minister

says he hopes the site

0:24:270:24:29

will help revive tourism,

which has been affected by unrest

0:24:290:24:32

in the country in recent years.

0:24:320:24:41

Today we found... You can see the

jars, more than 1000 amulet statues.

0:24:410:24:53

And we found jewellery amulet, part

of the funerary furniture. Pottery,

0:24:530:25:02

wooden coffins... It's only the

beginning. I think we need at least

0:25:020:25:06

five more missions to work. But we

are going to add very soon a new

0:25:060:25:12

archaeological attraction in Egypt.

Just time to take a look at some

0:25:120:25:18

pictures from a plus size model

competition in Thailand. The people

0:25:180:25:21

looking like they are having a lot

of fun. To take part in this beauty

0:25:210:25:26

pageant, you have to be at least 80

kilograms, and it's also open to

0:25:260:25:30

transgender participants. They are

judged and dance technique,

0:25:300:25:35

personality and confidence, and the

winner is crowned Miss Jumbo,

0:25:350:25:40

because it is an event to promote

elephant conservation. And that's

0:25:400:25:46

the way it's looking this hour.

0:25:460:25:49

And you can get in touch with me

and most of the team on Twitter.

0:25:490:25:53

I'm @Duncan Golestani.

0:25:530:25:54

Stay with us on BBC News. For now,

thank you very much for watching.

0:25:540:25:58

Bye-bye.

0:25:580:26:00

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