Entries in bbc (8)


Suicide Bombing in Pakistan Kills 30, Injures 50

George Doyle/Thinkstock(KARACHI, Pakistan) -- Pakistan's largest city was the site of a deadly suicide bomb blast on Sunday morning.

The explosion is the latest attack on Pakistan's Shiite minority. The bomber reportedly struck directly outside a Shiite mosque as people were leaving, killing at least 30 people and injuring at least 50 more. According to the BBC, the explosion destroyed several buildings and set others on fire in the residential area.

While Karachi is often named among the most dangerous cities in the world, there had not been a targeted suicide attack in quite a while.

Pakistan's Shiite minority are often the target of attacks from Sunni militant groups, according to the BBC.

Shiites in other areas of Pakistan have already begun to retaliate and form armed militias. Some fear that if similar organizing were to occur in Karachi, the violence could spin out of control.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Kerry to Encourage Consensus in Egypt

Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(CAIRO) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Egypt on Saturday and urged political leaders to come to a political consensus.

Kerry is on his first overseas trip since being named secretary of state. The trip will take Kerry to 11 countries in Europe and the Middle East, according to the BBC.

Kerry's Egypt visit comes before the upcoming parliamentary elections that opposition leaders say favor allies of current Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. The main opposition group has planned a boycott of the elections.

According to the BBC, Kerry will speak with Morsi and other senior government officials during his two days in Egypt. Kerry also plans on meeting with some of the opposition leaders, however some have thus far refused to attend.

Egypt remains divided between the ruling Muslim Brotherhood and the more secular challengers.

Egypt has been the site of continuing protests against the ruling party since the revolution that forced former President Hosni Mubarak from power.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


BBC Weatherman Apologizes for Wrong Forecast

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- They're the two words every person who has ever had a birthday party, family reunion, hiking trip, wedding or just a good hair day thrown to pieces by rain wants to hear: I'm sorry.

And while a BBC weatherman didn't issue his apology quite that succinctly, he did issue an on-air mea culpa for predicting sunshine when, instead, Londoners got rain.

"There are thunderstorms there which were not represented in our forecasts over the past couple of days or so," the BBC's Phillip Avery said Sunday afternoon. "I have to say we can't even blame the computers, the computers actually wanted to put those thunderstorms in there but forecasters thought that it wasn't supported by enough evidence and so we went for the dry, hot option."

"Having said that, apologies to anyone who has had their next few hours ruined," he said.

Avery was forced to do what no weatherperson ever wants to do after he and his team of BBC forecasters stuck to what they thought the weather would hold -- dry sunshine -- rather than what the highly detailed weather models released by the Met Office, the U.K.'s National Weather Service, predicted, rain and clouds.

By Sunday morning, thunderstorms began developing over the English Channel and thousands of Brits, notably BBC viewers, were left stuck in the rain, the U.K.'s Telegraph reported.

By Sunday afternoon, Avery issued his on-air apology, and by Sunday night the BBC issued a statement of its own to the British public.

"The weather team always endeavor to be open about forecasting and it was right to explain why today's forecast didn't capture weather events in some regions," a spokesman said. "This was done following discussions with Met Office colleagues."

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Prince Charles Takes Over Weather Forecast

Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Images(LONDON) -- BBC viewers in Scotland tuning in for their lunchtime forecast on Thursday likely did a double-take when they received a forecast of wet and rainy, with a surprising chance of royal.

Stepping in for their usual weatherman was none other than England’s own Prince Charles.  The 63-year-old royal was visiting the channel’s headquarters in Glasgow to celebrate its 60th year of broadcasting when he decided to have a little fun with the lunchtime forecast, according to the BBC.

Charles, visiting the station with his wife, Camilla, stepped right in front of the camera and looked like an old pro against the weather map, predicting “cold, wet and windy” conditions brought on by an “influence of low pressure.”

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The incident was not entirely spontaneous, however.  The BBC reports that Prince Charles worked off a specially written script that highlighted royal residences in Scotland.

When he got to the part of the script that called for “a few flurries over Balmoral,” a favorite spot of the royals, the normally staid Charles injected some humor, exclaiming, “Who the hell wrote this script?”

Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, are visiting Scotland as part of their annual Holyrood Week to celebrate Scottish culture, history and achievement, according to the Buckingham Palace website.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


President Obama Talks More About Israel’s Borders with BBC as GOP Attacks

Pete Souza/The White House(WASHINGTON) -- In an interview with the BBC Thursday, President Obama went into a bit more detail about his stated new policy that “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.”

To the BBC, the president said, "the basis for negotiations will involve looking at that 1967 border, recognizing that conditions on the ground have changed and there are going to need to be swaps to accommodate the interests of both sides. That's on the one hand and on the other hand, and this was an equally important part of the speech, Israel is going to have to feel confident about its security on the West Bank and that security element is going to be important to the Israelis.”

The president said that the Israelis "will not be able to move forward unless they feel that they themselves can defend their territory particularly given what they have seen happen in Gaza and the rockets that have been fired by Hezbollah."

Republicans have attacked the president for his position. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said in a statement that “President Obama has thrown Israel under the bus. He has disrespected Israel and undermined its ability to negotiate peace.”

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who like Romney is pursuing the GOP presidential nomination, said that “President Obama’s insistence on a return to the 1967 borders is a mistaken and very dangerous demand.  The city of Jerusalem must never be re-divided. To send a signal to the Palestinians that America will increase its demands on our ally Israel, on the heels of the Palestinian Authority’s agreement with the Hamas terrorist organization, is a disaster waiting to happen.  At this time of upheaval in the Middle East, it's never been more important for America to stand strong for Israel and for a united Jerusalem.”

The president, however, told the BBC that he wasn’t discussing Jerusalem, saying “our argument is let's get started on a conversation about territory and about security, that doesn't resolve all the issues, you still end up having the problem of Jerusalem and you still end up having the problem of refugees, but if we make progress on what two states would look like, and a reality sets in among the parties, that this is how it is going to end up, then it becomes easier for both sides to make difficult concessions to resolve those two other issues.”

Other voices in the pro-Israel community seemed to have a different take than those of Republican presidential candidates.

The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith issued a statement applauding the president for his speech including his “strong affirmation of the importance of the deep and unshakeable U.S.-Israel relationship, and his clear articulation of the moral and strategic connections between America and Israel.  We support the president's vision of a negotiated Israeli-Palestinian settlement with strong security provisions for Israel, and a non-militarized Palestinian state.  We appreciate his direct rejection of a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state and his understanding that the Hamas-Fatah agreement poses major problems for Israel.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Anna Chapman Won't Admit She Was a Russian Spy

ABC News(MOSCOW) -- In her first foreign language interview since she was arrested as a spy, undercover bombshell Anna Chapman was coy about whether she had ever engaged in espionage for Russia.

"Who told you I was an agent?" Chapman asked an interviewer for the BBC, though she pled guilty to espionage in the U.S. last summer and was sent back to Russia as part of a massive spy swap. "I will never deny and I will never confirm the fact."

Ever since her return to Russia, the flame-haired 28-year-old has turned her notoriety into a lucrative and varied career in her native land. She has already appeared in various men's magazines and accepted a high position in the country's ruling political party, but the BBC interview was timed to promote her latest venture, a regular weekly show on Russian television.

Mysteries of the World With Anna Chapman airs weekly on REN-TV, a private channel. Wearing a little black dress, Chapman was prominently featured in a promotional shot on the station's web site, which also said "I reveal all mysteries, if you have the courage."

Chapman told the BBC she had never considered being on television. "I never saw myself as a TV star," said Chapman. "Most people they dream of being a TV star, like they dream of fame. I never thought of that."

She said, however, that she would never feature her own personal story on Mysteries of the World. Chapman, born Anya Kushchenko, and nine other members of a Russian spy ring were arrested in the U.S. in the summer of 2010. She and her fellow spies all pleaded guilty to espionage in a Manhattan courthouse in July. They were immediately flown to Vienna to be exchanged for accused Western agents held by Russia in the largest U.S.-Russia spy swap since the Cold War.

Chapman has continued to attract attention since her repatriation. She was hired as an advisor to a Russian bank in October. At a ceremony in Moscow in December, Chapman was appointed a leader of the youth branch of Vladimir Putin's political party. Candid nude photos that an ex-boyfriend snapped of Chapman appeared in the January issue of Playboy. Other nude and semi-nude photos of Chapman appeared in the British and U.S. press last summer, and Chapman posed in leather and lingerie for other magazines. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Three BBC Team Members Detained for 21 Hours in Libya

ANTOINE LAMBROSCHINI/AFP/Getty Images(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- Three men working for the BBC news were "detained and mistreated" by the Libyan military for 21 hours before being released Tuesday, according to the news organization.

On Monday, Feras Killani, who is Palestinian, Chris Cobb-Smith, who is British, and Goktay Koraltan, a Turkish man, were stopped at a checkpoint on their way to Zawiya, where members of Libya's army and secret police reportedly accused the three crew members of spying.

The team was next taken to a military barracks in Tripoli. Killani, a BBC Arabic reporter, described their detention at the barracks:

"In one cell there were about 10 to 12 prisoners. Two of them were Egyptians, the others Libyans.  The majority of them were from Zawiya," he said. "I understood from other guys that they were fighters, or that they were accused of fighting against Moammar Gadhafi's army."

Killani added that the other prisoners appeared to have "evidence of torture" on their bodies and faces.

At various points in the ordeal, the trio were beaten with fists, knees and rifles.  They were also hooded and subjected to mock executions. 

Finally, Killani said, "One man said to me 'sorry it was a mistake by the military.' But he said we were wrong first because we went out without permission."

The men were later released and flown out of Libya following several more hours of detention, according to the BBC.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


TUESDAY 10:47AM Prince Charles Eavesdrops on Tourists

(GLOUCESTERSHIRE, England) -- If anyone visiting Prince Charles' home had opened the right door at just the right time, they may have been greeted with an unusual sight: the Prince of Wales laying face flat on the floor, eyes closed and ears perked in concentration. He was, of course, trying to eavesdrop on some of the 30,000 annual tourists who pay 15 pounds each to tour his 900-acre royal estate. That habit is just one of some curious admissions the royal makes in a new BBC documentary. "I have eavesdropped on what visitors have said," the prince tells the BBC. Charles also talks about speaking with the trees and plants in his garden. "I happily talk to the plants and trees, and listen to them. I think it's absolutely crucial," he admits. The prince says speaking to the plants keeps him "relatively sane," according to the UK Press Association. The full documentary is set to air on BBC 2 on Thursday at 8 p.m. local time.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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