10/03/2018 World News Today


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10/03/2018

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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LineFromTo

Hello and welcome

to World News Today.

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Syrian government forces have

advanced further in the rebel-held

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enclave of Eastern Ghouta.

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The territory's city of Douma

is reportedly surrounded.

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As bombardments continue,

the casualties keep rising -

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at least 1,000 civilians have now

been killed since the regime

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began its offensive there

nearly three weeks ago -

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that death toll

includes 200 children.

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Our Arab affairs editor,

Sebastian Usher has more.

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Syrian tanks have continued to

spearhead the army's remorseless

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advance into Eastern Goutah, which

has gathered further momentum. A

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A military commander said

that rebel fighters,

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all of whom the government sees

as terrorists, were on the run.

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TRANSLATION: After Syrian army

forces took control of this village,

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we are currently on our way

to another place and our advance

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is going towards the town.

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We have noticed the escape

of several members of

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the terrorist groups

Faylaq al-Rahman

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Several sources say the troops have

moved in even deeper and have

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managed to cut off the two biggest

towns in the region,

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including Douma.

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The heavy bombardment of Douma

by land and air has continued.

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Residents assay casualties

are mounting again in a town

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where just 24 hours ago a convoy

of aid was finally being delivered.

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Syrian state media has shown troops

inside the small town of Misraba

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in the centre of Eastern Goutah.

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The biggest rebel group denies

that it has fallen and says it has

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beaten back army units,

but if Misraba is in government

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hands, then the enclave in effect

will be divided in half,

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following a tried and tested pattern

which pro-government forces have

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used across Syria to force

the surrender of verbal holdouts.

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Both of the main rebel forces have

vowed to continue fighting,

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but the battle may have reached

a turning point.

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The US Department of Justice has

taken the first step towards banning

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bump stocks, which allow rivals to

fly with the speed of machine guns.

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Bump stocks were used last year by a

gunman in Las Vegas to kill 58

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people. The definition of machine

guns, which are already banned, will

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be changed to include the device,

effectively banning them from sale,

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too. Joining me now from Washington

DC is our correspondent Chris

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Buckler. Chris, thank you for

chatting with us. Would banning bump

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stocks really help to improve gun

safety in the US?

Well, I think it

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is one step towards trying to

improve gun safety. Certainly new

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restrictions which are a lot of

campaigners have been asking for and

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indeed which President Trump himself

has talked about. These are devices

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which essentially modify

semiautomatic weapons and turn them

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into automatic machine guns.

Basically they increase the speed at

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which bullets can be fired. And it

was that attack in Las Vegas in

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October in which 58 people were

killed and hundreds were injured

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that really brought it to the four,

because these devices were used on

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semiautomatic rifles then to use

them effectively as machine guns.

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Now, it is important to say that

this is just the first step in a

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lengthy process. President Trump has

been talking about, it is now clear

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that the Department of Justice wants

to do it. But the proposal has to go

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through a number of hoops before it

is finally made law. And there is

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the chance of a legal challenge. But

there is a sense that campaigners

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are being heard at least with the

message that gun restrictions, new

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laws to try to tighten legislation,

is something they want to. What is

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interesting, though, is that this is

in itself not new legislation. This

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is really about redefining existing

legislation and making bump stocks

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one of the things that is defined as

a machine gun, and that is how it

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will be tightened. But effectively

it makes them illegal for sale.

Do

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you think this will be enough to

satisfy campaigners, to relieve the

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pressure on the Trump administration

to do more?

Oh, absolutely not. This

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is just one step and if you look at

all of what the campaigners want,

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then really you have to go much,

much further to satisfy them. Here

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in Washington, we are preparing

before the end of the month to have

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a huge march here in which students,

particularly are organising people

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to come and campaign, to ask the

politicians to listen. And we are

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seeing this battle taking place

between campaigners and the gun

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lobby, including the National Rifle

Association. As you saw this week in

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Florida, we have new legislation

that has been signed into law by the

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governor there, Rick Scott. And one

of those restrictions being put in

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place is to raise the age at which

someone can buy a gun from 18 to 21.

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The NRA is challenging that which

gives you a sense of how he did this

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debate is. But campaigners will not

be satisfied and they say that they

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don't just want sympathy, they want

to change.

It is a debate which is

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going to continue. Sparkler, thank

you. -- Chris Buckler.

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More than 200 witnesses have

been identified in a UK

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investigation into the poisoning

of a Russian ex-spy.

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British Home Secretary Amber Rudd

said the "serious, substantial

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investigation" was painstaking

but progressing quickly.

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Our home affairs correspondent

Dominic Casciani has more.

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This was the scene at Salisbury

ambulance station this evening as

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chemical warfare specialists began

the latest phase of this evolving

0:05:530:05:57

operation. More than 180 military

personnel are now involved in an

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operation which already includes

more than 250 detectives.

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This is the

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second major military operation

in Salisbury in the last 24 hours.

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in the last 24 hours.

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Last night we saw them taking away

a police car from the hospital.

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Today is now taking away ambulances

which were potentially

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contaminated last Sunday.

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Everybody is watching and waiting

to see when this emergency will end

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and the nation is watching

and waiting to find out

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who is behind this crime.

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Today was the second meeting

in a week of the emergency committee

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Cobra to see how far

the police have got.

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This investigation is focused

on making sure that we keep

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people safe as a priority,

that's what the meeting was about.

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And also making sure

that we collect all the evidence,

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so when it comes to attribution,

we will be absolutely clear

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where it should lead.

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The pizza restaurant where the two

dined is now behind screens.

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200 witnesses have so

far been identified.

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And 240 pieces of evidence.

0:06:570:06:59

Today the main cemetery in the city

was also closed to the public

0:06:590:07:02

as officers examined the graves

of Mr Skripal's wife and son.

0:07:020:07:05

Today there was no change in his

condition or that of his daughter -

0:07:050:07:08

still critical and still

in intensive care.

0:07:080:07:10

Wiltshire police released

a statement on behalf

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of the third victim,

Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey.

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He said he and his family are hugely

grateful for all the messages

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of support from the public

and colleagues from

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the police family.

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He was part of a group of officers

and other emergency service

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colleagues who dealt

with the incident and he does not

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consider himself a hero.

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He was merely doing his job, a job

he loves and is immensely proud of.

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Salisbury is a proud city,

trying to get on with normal life.

0:07:390:07:43

Shoppers in the market and officials

drawing up a plan to help businesses

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affected by the police operation.

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More barriers were going up tonight

at the park bench where it all began

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and it might be weeks yet before

this is all over. Steve Bannon has

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told a conference of the far right

National Front movement in France

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that it is part of a global movement

to. He took aim at what he called

0:08:150:08:21

the globalised elite and the

mainstream media. He spoke of a

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growing wave of populism across

Europe.

You saw in Italy that the

0:08:240:08:30

5-star movement and the league don't

agree on everything, and in fact the

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5-star movement is I would argue a

centreleft movement. But they came

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together to vote against the

permanent political class in Rome

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and in Brussels. Marine Le Pen laid

it out. It is not about left versus

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right. That's too simplistic, and

it's the way the opposition party

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media has always kept us out of

power. I did not come here as a

0:08:590:09:04

teacher, I came to Europe as an

observer and to learn. And what I've

0:09:040:09:09

learned is, you are part of a

worldwide movement that is bigger

0:09:090:09:13

than France, bigger than Italy,

bigger than Hungary, bigger than all

0:09:130:09:17

of it.

Steve Bannon.

0:09:170:09:24

Stay with us on BBC

World News, still to come...

0:09:240:09:27

It's known as a jewel

of gothic architecture -

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but for how much longer?

0:09:290:09:30

We take a look around Notre-Dame

cathedral in Paris -

0:09:300:09:32

some of which is in danger

of falling apart.

0:09:320:09:35

This, the worst terrorist atrocity

on modern European soil in modern

0:09:510:09:54

times. In less than 24 hours the

Soviet Union lost an elderly Sikh

0:09:540:09:59

leader and replaced him with a

dynamic figure 20 years his junior.

0:09:590:10:06

We heard these gunshots and then he

came out and started firing and we

0:10:060:10:10

were all petrified.

James Hall Ray,

41, sentenced to 99 years, travelled

0:10:100:10:20

to Nashville State prison in a

convoy...

What does it feel like to

0:10:200:10:28

be married at last?

It feels fine

thank you.

Is it going to change

0:10:280:10:37

your life?

I don't know, really,

I've never been married

0:10:370:10:45

This is BBC World News Today.

0:10:470:10:52

The latest headlines.

0:10:520:10:58

reports from Syria suggest that

government forces have split the

0:10:580:11:00

rebel-held enclave of Eastern

Goutah.

The Sri Lankan government

0:11:000:11:05

says it will pay for all the damage

caused by days of violent and he was

0:11:050:11:09

in protests in the city of own. That

includes buildings gutted by fire

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and businesses that were ransacked

in four days of riots. Several

0:11:150:11:19

people were also killed in a wave of

attacks on Muslims by Buddhist

0:11:190:11:24

hardliners. Jill McGillvary has the

latest. This was the moment the

0:11:240:11:29

Prime Minister saw the devastation

for himself if burnt out shops,

0:11:290:11:37

smashed windows and badly damaged

mosques. The violence here is a

0:11:370:11:43

reminder that tensions between

Buddhist and Muslim immunities run

0:11:430:11:47

deep. Many businesses are still

closed and with mosques damaged,

0:11:470:11:52

Friday prayers were in the open air

under army protection. The military

0:11:520:11:56

are out in force now, on the

surface, all is calm. But many

0:11:560:12:03

Muslims say they still feel unsafe

and flee to the jungle to hide at

0:12:030:12:06

night. The government now promises

to pay for the damage. Local

0:12:060:12:15

officials have been told to start

the clean-up at once. And in another

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sign of life starting to return to

normal, the curfew was lifted on

0:12:190:12:23

Saturday. But a social media ban is

still in place. At the height of the

0:12:230:12:29

violence, a state of emergency was

declared and thousands of troops

0:12:290:12:33

were sent onto the streets. Buddhism

mobs mostly from, her community

0:12:330:12:40

attacked a Muslim owned properties,

reacting to reports that a Buddhist

0:12:400:12:44

man had been killed by a group of

Muslims. This monk risks to his life

0:12:440:12:49

to protect mosques in his area from

attack.

TRANSLATION: There were four

0:12:490:12:54

attempted attacks, we were able to

successfully stop them and we

0:12:540:12:58

quickly got the police to come and

another instance we ran towards the

0:12:580:13:01

attackers and sent them away. There

are 14 mosques in this area and we

0:13:010:13:05

did not allow anything to happen to

them. We found several petrol bombs,

0:13:050:13:10

by well-briefed failed attacks with

petrol bombs.

Mohamed's home was one

0:13:100:13:13

sacked.

TRANSLATION: They've looted

our house, my sister only got

0:13:130:13:19

married recently. They have taken

all her jewellery. My small brother

0:13:190:13:23

could take the money to buy a watch

and they have even taken that. See

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how they have torn our two-month-old

child's toy. I think more than

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racism their intention was to

looked.

Police say they have

0:13:320:13:37

arrested nearly 150 people. Sri

Lanka's president has launched an

0:13:370:13:42

independent investigation into what

happened, a signal from the

0:13:420:13:45

government that it will restore

justice here. You're watching BBC

0:13:450:13:52

World News today. Jessica has the

sports. Starting with football,

0:13:520:13:59

Marcus Rashford scored twice as

Manchester United held on to beat

0:13:590:14:04

Liverpool and strengthened their

grip on second place in the Premier

0:14:040:14:06

League. It means Jose Mourinho's

side narrowed the gap on Manchester

0:14:060:14:10

City to 13 points. And they are now

five points clear of Liverpool.

I

0:14:100:14:20

don't remember a dangerous situation

to our goal. It was controlled by

0:14:200:14:25

them having the ball, controlled by

us not having the Boulter so, I

0:14:250:14:29

think we deserve the victory but of

course, a big match, I don't know

0:14:290:14:33

because I don't have binoculars, but

my feeling is that the referee was

0:14:330:14:38

also very good. And I think a big

game, where nobody goes home

0:14:380:14:46

disappointed with the emotion, the

quality, the level and the

0:14:460:14:49

intensity.

At the London Stadium

West Ham lost to Birmingham by 3-0.

0:14:490:15:02

The game was marred

0:15:030:15:04

by ugly scenes during the

second-half, when a number of West

0:15:040:15:06

Ham fans took to the pitch to

protest against the owners. The FA

0:15:060:15:09

and the Premier League have

condemned the disturbances and say

0:15:090:15:12

they will be seeking observations

from West Ham and the club has

0:15:120:15:15

launched an inquiry. West Ham are

three points above the relegation

0:15:150:15:21

West Ham are three points

above the relegation zone.

0:15:210:15:23

We want the supporters behind

us and since I've been

0:15:230:15:26

here they've been really good.

0:15:260:15:27

But you can't cross the line

had come on the pitch.

0:15:270:15:30

The players had gone one down

and we want them to keep their focus

0:15:300:15:33

and overall a lot of them did

a really good job.

0:15:330:15:36

Not football-wise at times

in the second half but certainly

0:15:360:15:38

in the way they behaved.

0:15:380:15:43

Confirmation of those results,

Newcastle United have gone five

0:15:430:15:45

points clear of the relegation zone

after beating Southampton. West Brom

0:15:450:15:50

look to be heading towards the

Championship. They were thrashed at

0:15:500:15:52

home to Leicester City. In the late

game, Chelsea beat Crystal Palace.

0:15:520:16:03

In Spain, Cristiano Ronaldo scored

twice for Real Madrid and they are

0:16:030:16:09

now four points behind Atletico

Madrid in third after winning their

0:16:090:16:11

game. Barcelona are currently

leading 2-0. Ireland have won the

0:16:110:16:20

Six Nations with one round remaining

after a bonus point victory over

0:16:200:16:24

Scotland in Dublin. Two tries from

Jacob Stockdale and further scores

0:16:240:16:28

by Conor Murray and Sean Cronin gave

the Irish deserved victory. England

0:16:280:16:36

were beaten by France in the other

game. It handed Ireland the trophy.

0:16:360:16:42

There was a lot of pressure, a lot

of people talking about it and we

0:16:420:16:46

knew how good a Team Scotland were,

so there are a lot of good things in

0:16:460:16:50

there. To score a bonus point win in

the Six Nations is a big defeat. Is

0:16:500:16:56

always there are things we can do

better, but ultimately, we're really

0:16:560:16:59

happy to get a big win.

In cricket,

a 58 ball century from Jonny

0:16:590:17:05

Bairstow helped England to a seven

wicket victory in the deciding

0:17:050:17:09

one-day international against New

Zealand in Christ Church. England

0:17:090:17:12

bowled New Zealand out for 223.

Chris Woakes and Adil Rashid got

0:17:120:17:18

three wickets each. A partnership of

84 between Colin de Grandhomme and

0:17:180:17:29

Mitchell Santner helped the Kiwis

get a respectable target. But

0:17:290:17:31

Bairstow helped tourists win the

series 3-2, winning this one with

0:17:310:17:38

more than 17 overs remaining.

It was

outstanding. It really was. We

0:17:380:17:42

played extremely well in the

previous game. Today, different

0:17:420:17:48

circumstances, different pitch, some

results. Just probably about 50

0:17:480:17:52

balls less. It is funny the

conversations we have in the

0:17:520:17:56

changing room is about who has got

the quickest hundred A.D. Just is

0:17:560:18:00

the first and now Jonny Bairstow has

the fourth quickest. To have four

0:18:000:18:05

guys who can go and do that is a

huge compliments to our batting

0:18:050:18:08

line-up.

That is to sport for now.

Let's go back to our top stories

0:18:080:18:16

Deeney advance of the Syrian regime

forces on the rebel enclave of

0:18:160:18:20

Eastern Goutah. To talk more about

it I am now joined by somebody from

0:18:200:18:26

Brussels, the Middle East programme

director at Crisis Group. Thank you

0:18:260:18:32

rejoining us. Let's get back to

basics - can you explain why Eastern

0:18:320:18:36

Ghouta is such a key battle ground?

Well, it is because the area is a

0:18:360:18:44

suburb of Damascus, is century. And

it has been rebel-held from pretty

0:18:440:18:47

much the beginning of the Syrian

uprising against the regime. And

0:18:470:18:52

since the regime has been able to

recover quite a bit of territory

0:18:520:18:55

elsewhere in the country, and since

the rebels have been shelling

0:18:550:19:00

downtown Damascus from their vantage

point in the suburb, the regime

0:19:000:19:07

clearly has decided now to retake

that area now that it has freed up

0:19:070:19:15

its troops in other parts of the

country.

So, we have 1000 civilians

0:19:150:19:20

dead in the past few weeks,

including 200 children - what will

0:19:200:19:24

happen now to the civilians who are

still left in the router and also

0:19:240:19:28

the rebels who are still there?

It

is a good question. We don't know.

0:19:280:19:33

The pressure is clearly tremendous.

There is a United Nations Security

0:19:330:19:39

Council resolution calling for a

nationwide ceasefire, including

0:19:390:19:42

Eastern Goutah. And yet we see that

the conflict continues there. At

0:19:420:19:49

tremendous cost to the local

population. It's not clear what

0:19:490:19:53

their way out is. Technically

Eastern Goutah, apart from the fact

0:19:530:19:59

that supposedly there is a

nationwide ceasefire, it is also a

0:19:590:20:04

de-escalation zone, which means that

no fighting should be taking place

0:20:040:20:07

between the regime and the rebels

Raqqa groups such as Al-Qaeda and

0:20:070:20:12

Islamic State are excluded from that

but the presence of an Al-Qaeda

0:20:120:20:17

affiliated group there is very

minor. And it is clearly being used

0:20:170:20:20

as an excuse to continue attacking

civilian areas. So, now, the

0:20:200:20:29

question is, what can other states

do? Exert pressure on Russia, on

0:20:290:20:34

Syria, on Iran. We don't see it. And

so, we can hope for any other

0:20:340:20:45

measure that would help protect the

lives of civilians in particular.

0:20:450:20:48

What more can you tell me about the

how many humanities situation, are

0:20:480:20:54

the aid convoys getting through?

The

Red Cross has been able to go in.

0:20:540:20:59

But the convoys have been few and

far between. And clearly, even when

0:20:590:21:03

they get through, there are

insufficient quantities to provide

0:21:030:21:08

the entire population of the area,

which is about 400,000, with aid and

0:21:080:21:13

food. So, many people are hunkered

down in underground shelters and

0:21:130:21:20

don't dare to come out in most

cases. And even when they do, there

0:21:200:21:24

is no food to be had, so the

situation is clearly dire.

Thank you

0:21:240:21:28

very much.

0:21:280:21:38

The Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris

attracts around 13 million

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visitors every year -

and is one of Paris's

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leading landmarks.

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But for how much longer?

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Parts of the 850-year-old Gothic

masterpiece are starting to crumble,

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because of pollution eating away

at the stone.

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Hugh Schofield reports from Paris.

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Because actually the parts

of the pinnacle have fallen down...

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Outside on the roof above the back

of the cathedral, this is the part

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of Notre-Dame that visitors don't

get to see - fallen chunks

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of stoneware, gatgoyles

replaced by PVC pipes,

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of stoneware, gargoyles

replaced by PVC pipes,

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a flying buttress held together

with metal staples.

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This jewel of Gothic architecture

is becoming unstable.

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So, I think if there is no repairs,

the risk is that the stone

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begins to fall down,

and the risk is also

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that the structure itself

of the walls, of the nave

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of the cathedral, for instance,

will be in danger.

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Parts of the cathedral could fall,

and this is a big risk, yes.

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You get a real sense

of the dilapidation of Notre-Dame

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cathedral when you come here,

it's a little private garden just

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behind the cathedral, off-limits to

the public,

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and this section is what

they call the cemetery.

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These pieces are all bits of Gothic

masonry which are in such bad repair

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they simply fell off.

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Some examples of stones that have

been recently damaged...

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The problem is pollution,

combined with the cold and rain,

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which together are eating

into the limestone -

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eventually, it crumbles away.

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The only solution is to replace

the masonry block by block,

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but that is a massive job,

and the French state

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can't afford it.

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That's why the cathedral has

launched an international plea

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for private funds aimed principally

at the US.

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On this very roof,

after all, once cavorted

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the hunchback of Disney fame -

oh, yes, and the book.

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It's a unique jewel at the worldwide

level, so I think not begging,

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but asking for help is the best

thing to do, because it's

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not a French monument,

it's not a Paris monument,

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it's a worldwide monument.

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Time, the elements and the petrol

engine have exacted a heavy toll

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on Notre-Dame cathedral.

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Today, the imaginative genius

of its medieval craftsmen

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is being eroded into annihilation.

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Without urgent help,

much more will be lost.

0:24:020:24:04

Hugh Schofield, BBC News, Paris.

0:24:040:24:14

Bolivia has unfurled what it says is

the world's biggest flag as part of

0:24:190:24:23

its campaign to regain territory it

lost to Chile 100 years ago. The

0:24:230:24:28

flag is decorated with national

symbols. Look at all the work that

0:24:280:24:32

has been done on it. It was

stretched for about 200 kilometres

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between two Bolivian Western cities.

Feel free to get in touch with me

0:24:370:24:43

and some of the rest of the team on

Twitter.

0:24:430:24:51