11/07/2011 GMT with George Alagiah


11/07/2011

George Alagiah presents international news and intelligent analysis going live to the heart of the day's top global story. Plus up-to-the-minute global business news.


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Welcome to GMT. I am Naga Munchetty. Massive explosions tear through a

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naval base in Cyprus. At least 12 are dead. It is thought

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the blasts were triggered by a fire at a munitions dump, and were felt

:00:20.:00:30.
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Egypt's revolution at a crossroads. The protesters step up the pressure,

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accusing the authorities of betraying the uprising.

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It is 12:30pm in London, 1:30pm in Cairo and 2:30pm in Cyprus. That is

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where huge explosions have torn through the main Greek Cypriots

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naval base, killing at least 12 people and injuring dozens more.

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The blast happened at the munitions store east of the country's second

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city of Limassol in the south. The blast were at the fishing village

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of Zygi. It has been described as a catastrophe of Le Buechel

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proportions, felt as far away as the village of Mari. -- catastrophe

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of biblical proportions. Nothing could a prepared local

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people for this. The hot summer morning were shattered as the

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munitions store packed with gunpowder exploded. The blast

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ripped through the Cypriot National Guard naval base, killing and

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maiming of those unlucky enough to be in its path. The force was so

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powerful, homes and cars near by were seriously damaged. The sound

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blew my socks off. The Glass Blew In, windows, door frames, things

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fell off the shelves. It was as though a bomb has hit the place.

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Officials speculate this was a tragic accident. The fire brigade

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was called out to fight a while far, and as they struggled with the

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blaze, there were massive explosions from the naval base. The

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weapons cache had been confiscated two years ago from this ship, the

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Monchegorsk, chartered by the Iranian national shipping company.

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The arms left to run and were bound for Syria of the cargo was

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intercepted a on suspicion it was violating a UN arms embargo on Iran.

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The Tehran has always denied accusations the weapons were

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intended for a militant groups like Hizbollah.

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Next to the naval base is the island's main power station, also

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largely destroyed. The South of cypresses in the grip of a heatwave

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and possibly months of power cuts. Residents have been urged to cut

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back on the use of fridges and air- conditioning. We have come up with

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a plan of interrupting supply to residential areas on a rotational

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basis. Basic infrastructure places like airports, hospitals, tourist

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areas, industrial areas will not be affected. It is thought about 2000

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tons of gunpowder exploded. Nearby farms have been devastated and the

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country's President has called it a catastrophe. Many will be asking

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why so much dangerous material was not stored more safely.

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The blast caused extensive damage to villages near by. Stephanos

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Kouratzis, a Greek photographer, has been travelling through nearby

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Zygi and Mari. He is now back in Nicosia. Describe the scene. Good

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evening from Cyprus. The electrical plant has been levelled. The

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catastrophe is huge. The surrounding villages have been

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affected. Most of it was the village of Mari. The nearby fish

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farms had also some damage. Fishermen have been reporting that

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dead fish are on the shores. It is quite worrying. There was an

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official announcement two minutes ago that officially there are 12

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dead people. The Minister of Defence and the commander of the

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National Guard have both resigned. You mention that Mari is a few

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kilometres away from Zygi, where the blast occurred. The damage

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could have been worse if it was not for this hill. Explain more.

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Between the village and the plant, there is a small hill. This is what

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saved the village from a bigger disaster. It was like a field. -- a

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shield. Interlocked the wave. also mention the fishermen and the

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damage. They must be concerned about their income in the coming

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:05:40.:05:42.

months. These fish farms, they are the main income this time of year,

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because it is summer. They will be scared of these things, and trying

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to find out more. The Government does not have a full image of the

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issue that has come up. I imagine this catastrophe will come clear in

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coming days. Stephanos Kouratzis, thank you very much.

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It has been six months since protests in Tunisia brought about a

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historic revolution in the country that sparked a wave of uprisings

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across the Arab region. George Alagiah is in Egypt to mark the

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occasion. With the latest, George, Hull.

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Thank you very much. Five months on, Tahrir Square is still very much

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what it was in January and February, a place of protest. It is a place

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that has now got iconic status. It toppled the presidency of Hosni

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Mubarak. The fact that these people are still here tells another story.

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There is growing disenchantment with the pace of change. Let me

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give you an idea. This poster behind me essentially says that the

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Transitional Military Council, the generals that took over the running

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of the country, that they are defending Hosni Mubarak and the

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people around him, saying that they have not been brought to justice.

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That is what this resolution is about. One of the protesters who

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has been here is Mohammed. Thank you for being with us. Tell me, in

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your words, what are you still doing five months since Hosni

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Mubarak fell? The regime is still here. It has not changed. Hosni

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Mubarak is not here, but he is still in power. That is not what

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the transitional council say. They say that the change has to come

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slowly. They say that if the country went up the pace you're

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wanting, it would be chaos. intermediary council wanted to make

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a military movements to cut the regime, by telling the people that

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:08:07.:08:08.

they would accept the demands. Behind the scenes, everything is

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still there, fake promises, accepting other man's. The regime

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is still here. -- accepting their demands. That will come as a huge

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surprise to people around the world to have watched the events in this

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country and remember those moments in Tahrir Square on February 11th,

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five months ago. They will be surprise to hear you say that

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nothing has changed. You are talking to a mess. This is a mess.

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We activists, and we're taking any risks. These activists me to go

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back. -- needed to go back. Friday, there were many thousands

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here, how long are you going to stay, and what are you going to do

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to step up the pressure? I have started another movement. I'm not

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eating, I have not had any food. Many people are supporting me. I

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will stay like this for as long as I can, until the military council

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goes away, and instead of this... I am so tired. I know. It is very hot.

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Mohammed, thank you very much. I should say, it is very hot, it is

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39 degrees. Egypt is not the only place. From Tunisia, which started

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it all off, six months ago, right through to Libya and, of course,

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Syria. There have been protests right across this Arab region. We

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can go over to be written and talked to our correspondent, Owen

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Bennett Jones, who has been monitoring these cocks in Syria.

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Reconciliation talks, there being cold. Bring us up to date on what

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is exactly happening -- they are being cold.

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They're in their second day. The first day was dealing with the

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general issues, and also possible changes to the constitution. Des

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two is more focused. They're talking about election law. In the

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:10:51.:10:54.

evening, media law. These are big issues. The questionnaires, is

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incredible? To people believe it will happen? -- the question is.

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And some opposition members have not joined in with the stocks. What

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are they saying? They are saying it is impossible to hold this kind of

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dialogue at a time when, if people go out on the streets to express

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their point of view, there can be shot and killed. That is happening,

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week in, week out. We have been used to these huge protests, and

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people die every Friday. Last Friday, probably 15 people died. It

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is difficult to get Agora numbers. There are clashes throughout the

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week. The opposition leaders in Syria, and some in exile, say it is

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impossible to talk to the Government without going on. What

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is your judgment on these talks, and whether or not they will come

:11:48.:11:53.

to any sort of meaningful conclusion, as far as the demand

:11:53.:11:59.

for change in Syria goes? As far as the Government is concerned, it is

:11:59.:12:03.

the only show in town. They have been using force for four months

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and it has not worked. This is the other track. They have a process

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underway. This is a two-day meeting with an indeterminate time table

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but there will be, they say, a national dialogue Conference at the

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end of this which will come up with proposals for legislative change.

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There is a process, but cannot work without the opposition

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participating? Is it really possible that a regime that is

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shooting people on the streets every week is going to be willing

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to have genuinely free and fair elections, and if they lose, to

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give up power? It is that kind about combat people on the

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opposition side cannot see happening. -- it is that kind of

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power that. You get a sense, talking there, and

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talking to the protesters here, that throughout this region, that

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has seen these convulsions over the last six months, there is now a new

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stage. It is as if the initial protests, the initial call for

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democratic change in places like Egypt and Tunisia, that in many

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ways is the easy part. What comes next, the replacement, is turning

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out to be much, much more difficult. That is all from Tahrir Square.

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George, thank you very much. A quick look at some of the other

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stories making headlines around the world today. In Russia, the hope of

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finding any more survivors after a tourist boat sank in the Volga

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river, are fading. More than 100 are feared dead. 80 passengers and

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crew survived the accident but so far, just six bodies have been

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recovered. Nearly 70 people have been killed

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in a train crash in northern India. Police say more than 200 other

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passengers were injured when the train derailed between the cities

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of Kanpur and Anna Battke. In a further sign of worsening

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relations, the United States has suspended $800 million of military

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aid to Pakistan. Tensions were already beginning before Osama Bin

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Laden was killed in a US raid in the country. Recently, Pakistan

:14:26.:14:31.

expelled more than 100 US military trainers and threatened to shut

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down ACA base. Still to come: More than 600

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victims of the shrubbery to massacre are being re- buried on

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the 16th anniversary of the killings. -- CIA base.

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Aaron Heselhurst is here with the business news. It is something

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we're not getting away with, alleged hacking.

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Absolutely. The pressure is mounting on Rupert Murdoch's bid

:15:05.:15:09.

for BSkyB. This is what investors are looking at. Jeremy Hunt is

:15:09.:15:13.

saying that he is not going to be rushed into any decision. He knows

:15:13.:15:18.

he has also written to the regulators seeking advice. All of

:15:18.:15:22.

this, growing speculation that this takeover will be referred back to

:15:22.:15:29.

the Competition Commission, which will involve a lengthy decision --

:15:29.:15:32.

investigation into whether Murdoch would be a fit owner. Investors are

:15:32.:15:37.

doing one thing because of all of this, dumping BSkyB shares. It fell

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6%. It is around 700 pence per share. Let us remind ourselves, not

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too long ago, it was �8.50 per share. Let us listen to the

:15:49.:15:55.

comments made by Nick Clegg not Rupert Murdoch is now in town in

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London, seeking to sort things out. I would simply say to him, look how

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people feel about this. Look how the country has reacted with

:16:05.:16:10.

revulsion to the revelation, so do the decent and sensible thing, and

:16:10.:16:18.

reconsider. Think again, about your bid for BSkyB. I should say the

:16:18.:16:21.

global empire News Corp as it is investors from round the world but

:16:21.:16:25.

they are focused on one story and that is what is doing on in the UK.

:16:25.:16:31.

They are punishing News Corp shares, they are down There is a story that

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usurps this story? Is bigger than this story. I know what word meant

:16:39.:16:45.

That C word we use round the eurozone, contagion. It is back

:16:45.:16:49.

again. Over Italy. If we are worried about Greece, Ireland and

:16:49.:16:54.

Portugal we should be sweating bricks when it comes to Italy. It

:16:54.:16:58.

has the highest sovereign debt ratio reltive to its economy

:16:58.:17:04.

outside of Greece. It has a lot of, a lot of debt indeed. Investors are

:17:04.:17:10.

starting to punish the economy. They sold off the banks on Friday.

:17:10.:17:14.

The interest rate that has to pay on the debt, the country, that is,

:17:14.:17:19.

reaching dangerous levels. Listen to this. We are approaching that

:17:19.:17:23.

zone really where they are sufficiently elevated we almost hit

:17:23.:17:27.

whatever terms is a self full tilling prophesy who Italy can

:17:27.:17:32.

sustain the high interest costs and that concern itself puts those

:17:32.:17:37.

costs on an ever more upward path. So, yes, I think we are very much

:17:37.:17:42.

in significant territory, in terms of outright yield levels and it's a

:17:42.:17:52.
:17:52.:18:00.

concern. And markets are down off You are watching GMT from BBC World

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news. Our main headline this hour. Massive explosions tear through a

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naval base in Cyprus, 12 people are dead. Dozens are injured. More than

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600 victims of the Srebrenica massacre will be reburied on the

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16th an versery of the killings. The remains will be taken from a

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memorial cemetery where more than 4,000 massacre victims are buried.

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Round 8,000 Muslims were killed by Bosnian Serb forces. Joining us

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from Slovenia is the lead lawyer for the mothers of Srebrenica, a

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group made up of family members of those killed in the massacre. What

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are you expecting today. Thank you for joining me. Good day. Thank you

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for the opportunity to discuss it. Tell me, what do you think today

:18:55.:19:01.

will mean, to people in the town? Well, today anniversary is

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different, because of the two main things. First, the general is

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arrested and that gives hopes to mothers Srebrenica. Second thing is

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verdict in a case which could have var good implications to our case.

:19:19.:19:25.

It has been many years since the scenes of devastation, how have

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people moved on? Well, emotions of the mothers are very mixed. First,

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first impression was relief, while the hunt after Ratko Mladic is over.

:19:44.:19:48.

Second he could show the places where their sobs and husbands were

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killed and buried. And anger because of his behaviour in the

:19:51.:19:56.

court room. That as I said, this verdict gives a hope to mother, and

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we hope that we will have it on our part. What does this cemetery mean

:20:02.:20:07.

to these families? What do they feel? Do they feel some peace will

:20:07.:20:14.

come about for the victims? Yes, the worst thing is still looking

:20:14.:20:19.

for revenge of your son or husband. That is the worst thing for the

:20:20.:20:22.

mothers. They emphasise a lot of time, the most important thing is

:20:22.:20:29.

to find remains of their relatives, who were killed in Srebrenica.

:20:29.:20:36.

Second is to determine who is or who was responsible for it. Do they

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feel the international community has done enough to bring justice to

:20:40.:20:45.

themselves and their victims. Definitely not. Somehow they feel

:20:45.:20:49.

to be like betrayed, because of the behaviour of the international

:20:49.:20:55.

community. That is the reason why this verdict in which came as a

:20:55.:21:05.

surprise, is a very good thing. Thank you very much for joining me.

:21:05.:21:07.

The UN's High Commission forerefugees has described the

:21:07.:21:12.

drought in east Africa as the worse humanitarian disaster in the world.

:21:12.:21:17.

Our correspondent has been to the overcrowded refugee camp in North

:21:17.:21:24.

East Kenya. This woman gave birth to to her daughter just four days

:21:24.:21:30.

ago. But they are far away from home. She is from Somalia but

:21:30.:21:33.

escape add country wracked by war and drought. So her daughter was

:21:33.:21:38.

born in a refugee camp in North East Kenya. A victim of man and

:21:38.:21:44.

Mother Nature. My grandparents were the last to leave. My whole family

:21:44.:21:52.

south of Somalia. There is nothing for me or my daughter there now.

:21:52.:21:56.

Every day cease more and more desperate people turn up at the

:21:56.:22:02.

refugee camp, while the rains stay away. I need to know what you want.

:22:02.:22:08.

I know. You have the power to help Somalis. And this man is charged

:22:08.:22:11.

with their welfare. He is the UN High Commissioner for refugees,

:22:11.:22:16.

facing one of the most difficult crises of his career. They walked

:22:16.:22:20.

for day, I just saw a mother that lost three of her children on the

:22:20.:22:28.

way. So this is indeed something terrible, and I believe that the

:22:28.:22:31.

international community needs to massively support the plight, this

:22:31.:22:36.

population to overcome the plight they are suffering. The camp is the

:22:36.:22:41.

biggest in world. It is well over 350,000 people strong. Yet every

:22:41.:22:47.

single day it grows and grows. 1300 people arrive here every day. They

:22:47.:22:50.

retired, their are malnourished, and they are looking for sustenance

:22:50.:22:57.

and they are looking for a bit of help. The camp spreads for miles.

:22:57.:23:02.

Much of it unrel regulate and the UN's top priority is getting the

:23:02.:23:08.

Kenyans to provide more official facilities nearby. Until then, the

:23:08.:23:11.

camp's number will be swelled by those the drought forced into exile

:23:11.:23:19.

and by those who were born into exile. You can get plenty more on

:23:19.:23:23.

the situation in east Africa on the BBC News website. We have special

:23:23.:23:27.

reports on the drought, including first hand accounts of how some of

:23:27.:23:33.

the ten million people affected are coping. There are details on how

:23:33.:23:42.

you can donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee. The last

:23:42.:23:46.

American space shuttle in operation Atlantis has docked at the

:23:46.:23:49.

International Space Station on its final mission. It has delivered

:23:49.:23:53.

enough food to last the astronauts for a year, and will bring rubbish

:23:53.:24:00.

back from the space station to earth. In orbit above the earth. A

:24:00.:24:05.

moment of history as Atlantis, the last American space shuttle comes

:24:05.:24:10.

into dock tat International Space Station for the last time. Slowly

:24:10.:24:13.

performing a back flip so that astronaut tons station can check

:24:13.:24:19.

for any damage to the heat tiles on the bottom of shuttle. And at

:24:19.:24:23.

Mission Control in Houston they keep a close watch as the shuttle

:24:23.:24:29.

makes its final approach. Atlantis arrival -- arriving. Welcome to the

:24:29.:24:33.

space passion for the last time. will see you shortly. It is great

:24:33.:24:39.

to be here The crew are getting ready to welcome the crew... Inside

:24:39.:24:42.

the space station the crew wait to welcome the new visitors and first

:24:42.:24:49.

through the hatch from the shuttle is Commander Chris Ferguson.

:24:49.:24:57.

are you? Good. Closely followed by the other astronauts from Atlantis.

:24:57.:25:02.

Two, one, zero. Lift off. shuttle blasted off on Friday,

:25:02.:25:07.

climbing into the sky for the last time. Carrying with it supplies for

:25:07.:25:13.

the space station, with enough food to last a year. The astronauts will

:25:13.:25:17.

stay here until next week. Before their final journey home. And the

:25:17.:25:22.

end of a programme that has lasted 30 years, as the shuttle passes

:25:22.:25:31.

into history. The end of an era. Organisers of the Tour de France

:25:31.:25:35.

have ban add tell kaition car from the race after it crashed into two

:25:35.:25:39.

requireds sending them flying. Stage nine was another eventful one

:25:40.:25:44.

with a number of riders involved in accidents. Before we take a look at

:25:44.:25:49.

the incident. It is pretty bad, I should warn you. Have a look at

:25:49.:25:54.

this mass crash. Four riders had to go to hospital with broken bones.

:25:54.:25:58.

The most high profile was Alexander. He has a broken thigh bone. That is

:25:58.:26:04.

the end of his tour and he says it is his last Tour de France. The

:26:04.:26:09.

most shocking came 55 kilometres first on. A television car swerved

:26:09.:26:17.

into the path of Fletcher who brought down another ryeer. The

:26:17.:26:21.

Dutchman flew into a ditch. Fletcher had cuts to his arms and

:26:21.:26:30.

legs but both got back on their bikes. Spain's rider won stage nine

:26:30.:26:36.

when while the Frenchman wears the yellow Jersey. We are just about

:26:36.:26:40.

out of time. If you have any views on the stories we are covering we

:26:41.:26:45.

would love to hear from you. We will have our own Facebook page as

:26:45.:26:50.

International news and intelligent analysis going live to the heart of the day's top global story. George Alagiah shares his experience as one of the BBC's most successful foreign correspondents to communicate why world stories matter to a UK and global audience.

Featuring exclusive reports from BBC World News correspondents based around the world, plus up-to-the-minute global business news.


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