17/03/2018 World News Today


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17/03/2018

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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This is BBC World News. Our top

stories. Moscow summons the UK

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ambassador to

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stories. Moscow summons the UK

ambassador to confirm it is

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expelling 23 British diplomats as

the row over the nerve agent attack

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on a double agent continues.

US

officials investigate allegations

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that they mishandled Facebook data

in an effort to support President

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Trump's vision campaign put

thousands flee violence in Syria.

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Aid agencies say almost a quarter of

a million people have been driven

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from loans this week. And the

campaign to clean up Mount Everest

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begins. 1200 kilos of waste that

behind by tourists and climbers is

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elevated from the world's highest

mountain. -- is airlifted from.

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Welcome to World News Today. Russia

has hit back at the UK in the row

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over poisoning of a former double

agent. The British ambassador was

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called into the Foreign Ministry in

Moscow and given a list of measures

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Moscow intends to take in

retaliation for British actions

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against Russia which Russia --

London holds responsible for the

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attack.

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He had been expecting the telephone

call and today it came.

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Britain's ambassador was summoned

to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

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And in the skyscraper

that Josef Stalin built

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as a symbol of a superpower,

the ambassador was told how Moscow

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would retaliate to UK sanctions.

A note of defiance when he left.

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We will always do what is necessary

to defend ourselves,

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our allies and our values

against an attack of this sort.

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Which is an attack not only

on the United Kingdom

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but upon the international

rules-based system

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on which all countries,

all countries including Russia,

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depend for their

safety and security. Thank you.

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The ambassador headed into work,

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to tell embassy staff

about the Russian sanctions.

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Moscow says they are a response

to British provocation,

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Russia has expelled 23

British diplomats.

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The UK had expelled 23 Russians over

the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.

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The authorities here are shutting

down the British Consulate

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in St Petersburg and

the British Council

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which promotes UK culture abroad

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will now be forced to end

all activity in Russia.

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Moscow says the language coming out

of London was a factor in deciding

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what sanctions to announce.

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TRANSLATION: The British

Prime Minister insults

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us and threatens us.

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Her foreign and defence

secretaries insult us.

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They talk to Russia

as if they are drunk in a pub.

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So what the UK got from us today

is the result of this loutishness

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and their groundless accusations.

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Not so, said Theresa May.

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Russia's response does not change

the facts of the matter.

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The attempted assassination of two

people on British soil,

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for which there was no

alternative conclusion

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other than that the Russian

state was culpable.

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Relations between Moscow

and London have not been this

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fractured since the Cold War.

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The expulsion of 23 British

diplomats, that was expected.

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That is traditional tit-for-tat.

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But the shutting down

of the consulate and the

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activities of the British Council,

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that feels like a challenge

to the British Government.

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And the Russians have said that

if Britain responds

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with more measures against Moscow,

then Russia will respond with

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more sanctions against the UK.

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The danger now is a spiral

of confrontation.

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Let's get more now on where this

diplomatic stand-off

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might be going next.

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James Sherr, is Associate Fellow

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with the Russia and Eurasia

Programme at the international

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affairs policy institute,

Chatham House - and he

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joins me from Oxford.

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Welcome to the programme. Theresa

May and the British government say

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that they will look at their next

steps in the coming days.

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Realistically, what options do you

think are open to the British

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government? I think the key steps

are the ones she has already

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outlined.

What really matters now is

the extent to which we would give

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practical thought to steps already

outlined to increase security and

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increase the clearest -- these of

mess of our effort, primarily with

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regard to domestic security,

including protecting those people

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including Russian citizens, who are

lawfully resident here, and other

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domains as well, which must include

financial security and the

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privileges that dubious Russian

entities have enjoyed so far, in

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making use of all the privileges and

services of the City of London and

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the openness of the London property

market. The Kremlin is still waiting

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to see whether we actually wavered.

This is this serious story, not the

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tit-for-tat, and the exchanges that

are taking place publicly.

Do you

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think the British government have

been hesitant to fully implement

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laws on legislation that they

could've done over the last few

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years?

Over the past two years

definitely, and this is part of the

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problem. For main reasons the

Russians have seen the UK has

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relatively weak and three

unintentionally have reinforced this

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in a number of ways, not least of

all by failing to vigorously pursue

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a whole raft of unexplained and

macabre murders of Russian citizens

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in this country. The Home Secretary

now says that all of this is going

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to be investigated. Well, good. Will

this also apply to the financial

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sector, which is vital for a country

like Russia, whose system, the

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system that President Putin has

constructed is based on a merger of

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money and power at the very highest

levels, and a lot of this money

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comes from very dubious Celsius and

from some extremely dubious

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purposes. So we have on the table

some mechanisms on place that can

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adjust this and the Prime Minister

has also said, quite rightly, we

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would be looking at those to see

whether these measures need to be

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stiffened and consolidated.

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The Attorney General in the US

state of Massachusetts,

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is to begin an investigation,

into claims that information

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from millions of Facebook users,

may have been used by a data

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company, during the 2016 US

presidential election.

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A former employee of

Cambridge Analytica,

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claims that 50 million

profiles were accessed.

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The two companies

deny any wrongdoing.

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With me now is our business

correspondent, Joe Lynam.

This seems

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very complicated. Please bear with

me as I try to explain it. This is

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about the protection of personal

data. It started with the creation

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of an app by the University of

Cambridge. That harvested lots of

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data from Facebook users, 70,000, in

fact, but in addition to that, their

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friends as well so you can see how

it gets into millions. That very

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personal information was then given

to accompany called Cambridge

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Analytica, unfortunate that the name

is confusingly similar and they were

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ordered to breach that personal

information because it was in breach

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of their rules. In the last 24 hours

Facebook said it did not delete that

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so they are now suspending them from

Facebook pending an investigation.

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In the meantime, it is said that --

a whistle-blower has come forward

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and said 50 million profiles were

harvested from this app and used to

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target specific messages in relation

to the 2016 US presidential

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election, pro-president Trump and

anti-Hillary Clinton messages. So we

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have the Attorney General in the

state of Massachusetts saying that

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she's going to watch an

investigation. She said the

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residents of that state deserve

answers immediately. On the side of

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the Atlantic the Information

Commissioner's office has said it is

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investigating the circumstances that

Facebook data may have been

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illegally acquired and used for

political purposes.

So obviously

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some big legal and political

consequences, potentially. It puts

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Facebook in a potentially difficult

position as well, doesn't it?

They

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said they have suspended the

accounts and able not tolerate abuse

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of data. They have flatly denied any

huge data breach which this

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whistle-blower has alleged. And they

said users knowingly provided all of

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that information when they clicked

that box to agree. And that its

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systems had not been breached. Also,

the rules are changed from four

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years ago. Before then you could, by

taking that box, allow the app to

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use your friends friends. Now it is

just you and your data that can be

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provided. Cambridge Analytica has

denied that any of the information

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garnered from this app was used on

the 2016 US presidential election

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and that it only receives and uses

data that has been obtained legally

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and fairly.

Some stories the news

now.

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The former FBI deputy

director, Andrew McCabe,

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has accused the Trump administration

of acting with political malice

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after he was fired, just days before

he was due to retire.

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An internal review said that

Mr McCabe leaked information

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and misled investigators -

claims he has denied.

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President Trump called his sacking

"a great day for democracy".

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An engineer left a voice mail two

days before a bridge collapsed in

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Miami warning that some cracking had

been found in the structure but he

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added that there are no concerns.

Officials say that the voice mail

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was not picked up until after the

accident on Thursday, in which six

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people were killed.

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The government of Monaco has warned

the public to be wary

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of money-making scams -

by crooks impersonating top figures

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from the principality.

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Last September, a local newspaper

reported that a person

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resembling Prince Albert II,

Monaco's ruler, tried to con

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a journalist into contributing

funds towards a ransom.

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Syrian civilians at both ends

of the country have been facing

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intense fighting over the last few

days, and the UN says

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there is likely to be more to come.

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A few miles from the capital

Damascus, regime backed forces have

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nearly captured the rebel

held Eastern Ghouta,

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and it is thought up

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to 50,000 people are trying

to escape the area.

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And in the north,

as many as 150 thousand people

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are fleeing a military operation

by Turkey, aiming to push out

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Kurdish forces in the town of Afrin.

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Now, civilians are stripping out of

the city, desperate to escape.

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TRANSLATION:

As you can see this war

has displaced people. We are hungry

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and we have been walking for three

days. Thank God we have arrived

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here.

TRANSLATION:

We cannot sleep, we

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cannot eat, people are afraid. We

cannot sleep because of planes and

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artillery.

Further south on the

outskirts of Damascus it is Russian

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backed government was not fighting

rebels. Eastern Ghouta is Syria's

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last rebel stronghold. Thousands are

leaving before it is too late.

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TRANSLATION:

Wanted to leave three

months ago but the rebels did not

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allow us, they start us.

This

shelter to the North East of

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Damascus is overwhelmed. Mohammed

and his family fled as the Russian

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backed forces approached.

TRANSLATION:

People were hungry,

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they had been in good health and

then they became thin. The rebels

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have a lot of money.

70% of Eastern

Ghouta has been retaken by President

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Assad's forces.

TRANSLATION:

According to the

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information we have individual units

have laid down their arms and left

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Eastern Ghouta but they are waiting

for the command from the Western

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patrons.

As a Syrian conflict is

into its eighth year, the end cannot

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come soon enough for thousands of

ordinary civilians, who have lost so

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much already. Stay with us, still to

come, clean clean-up in the clouds.

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A new campaign is launched on Mount

Everest to remove some 100 tonnes of

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rubbish, human waste and old

equipment left behind on the world's

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highest mountain.

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The headlines:

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Moscow summons the UK ambassador

to confirm it's expelling

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23 British diplomats,

as the row over the nerve agent

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attack on a double agent continues.

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US officials investigate allegations

a company mishandled Facebook

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users' data in an effort to support

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President Trump's election

campaign.

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Pregnant women exposed to a chemical

found in common everyday items may

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find their sons' fertility and that

of future generations

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has been harmed - that's

according to a study.

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Researchers found that male

mice prenatally exposed

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to the chemical DEHP,

found in consumer products ranging

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from toys to medical devices,

had less testosterone and fewer

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sperm than mice that weren't.

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Their male offspring also

experienced similar abnormalities.

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I'm now joined by the lead

author of the study,

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Radwa Barakat, who's in Chicago.

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Thank you for joining us here on BBC

World News. Can you explain what

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this chemical is and where it is

found?

Thank you for meeting with

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me. This chemical is called DEHP. It

is used in ducks like and cosmetic

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products. -- in products like. If it

enters our body it disrupts our home

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on balance. So there are reason for

such phenomena is considerable, but

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we focused on DEHP as one of those

making the deposits. The main study

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focused on prenatal exposure to DEHP

in mice, and we found the fertility

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affected in the next generation of

the mice sweep round that the next

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generation of male mice has

remarkably less testosterone in

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their blood. And the most

interesting part was that the male

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mice bought this next-generation had

shown also similarly abnormalities

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and lower fertility than the normal

mice so it is really important.

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Obviously, that might cause concern

for pregnant women. What can they do

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to protect themselves and their

unborn children?

We need to support

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a policy calling for a reduction of

this chemical. This is so important

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for the public to try to reduce its

exposure to this chemical and

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similar chemicals.

We will leave it

there. Thank you very much. Sports

0:18:400:18:53

news now, and James Pearce has the

details.

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It's been a busy day of sport,

but we're going to start

0:19:010:19:03

at Twickenham and a brilliant

victory for Ireland over England

0:19:030:19:06

in the Six Nations which gives

them the Grand Slam.

0:19:060:19:08

The 24-15 win was the perfect end

to the Irish campaign,

0:19:080:19:11

winning their third Grand Slam

on St Patrick's Day.

0:19:110:19:13

Catherine Rory Best was one of two

players who remain from the Irish

0:19:130:19:17

Grand Slam triumph in 2009. It was a

winning streak that started with

0:19:170:19:23

last year for flag win over England.

And it was 70 yesterday week since

0:19:230:19:28

their first grand slam in the old

five Nations.

I don't think I could

0:19:280:19:33

be much prouder of the group in the

way that they committed themselves.

0:19:330:19:37

Some of the work in the 22, in that

eight minutes at the start of the

0:19:370:19:45

second half, it was almost to the

pump and they managed to fight their

0:19:450:19:49

way through that period. That was

the point, really. At 21-5, if they

0:19:490:19:54

suddenly get momentum, there were

times when they had huge momentum,

0:19:540:20:00

England, they are a super site.

Deserved grand slam champions. They

0:20:000:20:06

are well coached, well led team,

discipline, tough, they stick to

0:20:060:20:12

what they know, and real credit to

Ireland.

Wales finish second, just

0:20:120:20:21

three points scored in the fall of

the second half, 14-13 between Wales

0:20:210:20:25

and France. Italy ended the

tournament with a wooden spoon,

0:20:250:20:30

finishing bottom of the group after

losing 29-27 to Scotland. Despite

0:20:300:20:41

leaving for much of the match they

conceded a last-minute penalty and

0:20:410:20:46

suffered a seven successive defeat

in all competitions. So this is how

0:20:460:20:54

the final table looks. Ireland had

already wrapped up the title. They

0:20:540:20:59

sit pretty at the top. Confirmation

of Wales in second. If you are in

0:20:590:21:04

England supporter, look away now.

They set about Italy in both place.

0:21:040:21:10

-- they sit above Italy in fourth

place.

0:21:100:21:18

Mohamed Salah scored four goals

as Liverpool thrashed Watford 5-0

0:21:180:21:20

to move up to third in the Premier

League.

0:21:200:21:22

Salah has now scored an incredible

36 goals this season

0:21:220:21:25

in all competitions.

0:21:250:21:26

He also set up Roberto Firmino for

Liverpool's other goal at Anfield.

0:21:260:21:29

The day's earlier matches all

impacted the lower end of the table.

0:21:290:21:33

West Brom remain rooted

to the bottom following

0:21:330:21:37

defeat to Bournemouth.

0:21:370:21:38

Stoke remain a place above them

after defeat to Everton.

0:21:380:21:41

But Palace move out of the bottom

three after

0:21:410:21:43

a much-needed win at Huddersfield.

0:21:430:21:44

Christian Eriksen scored twice

as Tottenham reached

0:21:440:21:49

the semifinals of the FA Cup

for a second successive season.

0:21:490:21:52

They beat Swansea 3-0

at the Liberty Stadium.

0:21:520:21:54

First-half goals from Eriksen

and Erik Lamela put

0:21:540:21:56

Mauricio Pochettino's side a step

closer to what would be

0:21:560:21:58

a ninth win in the competition.

0:21:580:22:04

Manchester United currently lead

Brighton 1-0 in the day's other FA

0:22:040:22:09

Cup tie. That's all the sport. A new

campaign to clean up Mount Everest

0:22:090:22:14

has started with 1200 kg of waste

taken to the Nepalese capital,

0:22:140:22:20

Kathmandu. The aim is to lift 100

tonnes of waste from the world's

0:22:200:22:26

highest mountain and surrounding

region which is visited by more than

0:22:260:22:30

100,000 people last year. A private

airline said it would continue to

0:22:300:22:34

transport recyclable waste like

bottles and metal throughout the

0:22:340:22:38

year. I'm joined by British

mountaineer, who has been to Everest

0:22:380:22:48

from multiple exhibitions and has

climbed all of the world's peaks

0:22:480:22:54

over 8000 metres, Alan Hinkes. He

joins me from the Lake District in

0:22:540:22:58

England. Is it really that littered?

Not really, most climbers take only

0:22:580:23:07

photos, and leave only footprints.

But lots of trek actually go. Most

0:23:070:23:15

of the climbers who go there are

environmentally aware. But there is

0:23:150:23:20

quite a lot of rubbish on the way to

base camp. Not vast amounts but

0:23:200:23:23

there is some. The Nepalese Sherpa

is in that area are very

0:23:230:23:29

environmentally aware, so they clean

it up.

1200 kg is a lot. I don't

0:23:290:23:36

drop litter in my local park, I

would not think about doing it in

0:23:360:23:39

this incredible mountain range.

Unfortunately, there has not been a

0:23:390:23:43

proper disposal system there like we

have in first world countries so

0:23:430:23:49

they are getting to grips with it

now. There are lodges on the trek up

0:23:490:23:52

to Everest base camp, it is eight

days from the airstrip from where

0:23:520:23:58

they are flying this rubbish and on

that eight-day trek, trekkers will

0:23:580:24:02

drink bottles of beer and soft

drinks and eat things in wrapping,

0:24:020:24:07

and all that rubbish has to be taken

up. And at the moment a lot of it is

0:24:070:24:11

just piled up.

Do you find it quite

heartening that the Nepalese and the

0:24:110:24:17

Sherpas take this so seriously?

The

Sherpas are lovely people. All

0:24:170:24:23

Nepalese are lovely people. It is a

brilliant place, as nice as the Lake

0:24:230:24:28

District, where I am now! It is a

lovely country and I would recommend

0:24:280:24:33

anyone to go there, the Nepalese are

lovely people, and Kathmandu is a

0:24:330:24:38

fabulous region, worth visiting, it

really is.

A slight change of

0:24:380:24:44

subject, a Polish climbing

expedition gave up climbing the

0:24:440:24:51

mountain, K2, amid difficulty caused

by bad weather. Why is K2 so tough?

0:24:510:24:58

It is more difficult than Everest,

it is steeper terrain, worse

0:24:580:25:02

weather, more avalanches. It is

known as The Savage Mountain. It is

0:25:020:25:09

the only one of the big mountains

that has never been climbed in

0:25:090:25:14

winter. It is so remote, in northern

Pakistan on the border with China.

0:25:140:25:19

This was one of the strongest ever

expeditions led by a friend of mine.

0:25:190:25:23

I have been on expeditions with him

in the past, and if they can't do

0:25:230:25:28

it, it does not bode well, we don't

know who's going to be able to do

0:25:280:25:31

it.

Thank you for your company, Alan

K. Finally, from Las Vegas to

0:25:310:25:43

Australia, more than 250 iconic

landmarks across the globe are

0:25:430:25:46

turning a shade of green this

weekend to celebrate St Patrick's

0:25:460:25:49

Day. What else? Violin's National

Day is celebrated in more countries

0:25:490:25:56

than any other festival. This is

Dublin, hosting the biggest parade.

0:25:560:26:01

You are

0:26:010:26:04