16/09/2011 GMT with George Alagiah


Stephen Sackur 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.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 16/09/2011. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Fierce fighting in Colonel Gaddafi's final strongholds.


Libya's new rulers launch an assault. Anti-Gaddafi fighters pour


into Bani Walid. Is the end of Colonel Gaddafi's resistance


approaching? Welcome to GMT. Also in the


programme, Palestinians facing the diplomatic heat as they prepare


their UN bid for stated. Washington warns of negative consequences. --


statehood. And months of protest by hundreds


of thousands of students in Chile. Why is the country's education


system in crisis? It is 7:30am and Washington DC and


1:30pm in the Libyan capital of Tripoli where the country's interim


government has given the green light for an assault on Colonel


Gaddafi's few remaining strongholds. Eyewitnesses reported heavy


fighting in Bani Walid. In Sirte, to the north, loyalists are putting


up fierce resistance. As to Gaddafi's whereabouts, Libya's


rulers insist he is in the country but do not know where.


They gave the enemy a deadline. It has now run out. Military columns


of the National Transitional Council and their orders to go in


and oust Gaddafi loyalists. Two key towns are under attack. The last


stands of a civil war. They moved towards the heart of Sirte, an


ancient Mediterranean city made rich from Gaddafi's patronage. On


the way, they clear buildings were loyalists are hiding. And they take


casualties, too. A sniper, killed in a firefight. They discover


shallow graves of loyalist fighters. Fighting is now in Sirte and Bani


Walid. Further south, Sabha and smaller pockets are holding out.


Outside of Bani Walid, it was hoped that leaders of the local crime


would hand over the town but it has not worked out like that. On the


cusp of victory, peppered with threats from the dictatorship.


TRANSLATION: They have come to Tripoli to sign agreements with


traitors. These people pretend that they have come to rebuild Libya but


at the same time, they carry on destroying its buildings, schools,


factories and hospitals. Colonel Gaddafi's strongholds are


surrounded but the transitional council has yet to control the


whole country. Richard Galpin joins us from the


Libyan capital. We have a renewed assault, we continue to see


sustained resistance. Does this seem like the end game? It is very


difficult to make that call. We have had a lot of false starts


before. The assault on Bani Walid started one week ago. We were there


and the forces loyal to the interim government were saying it would be


over in a matter of hours. Here we are, one week on, and there is a


major assault going on in Bani Walid. It is coming from the north-


west and from the east. It seems clear that there are more fighters


involved. The numbers were pretty small were we were there. A lot of


the fighters were inexperienced. It seems that more fighters have moved


in, with more reinforcements on the way. It is a major assault. As they


tried to get in, to control the key parts of the city centre, we


understand they are facing heavy resistance from loyalists. At the


moment, the battle continues and we do not know whether this assault


will be a successful or not. And we should not forget that there is a


similar situation in Sirte with an offensive that was repelled to a


certain extent. I just wonder whether you're getting indications


in Tripoli that officials believe that Colonel Gaddafi may be in


either of these towns? That has been the rumour. Not so much Sirte


but certainly Bani Walid. There had been rumours about the Gaddafi


family. Colonel Gaddafi, I think not. Certainly, we interviewed the


end of the entrant government, a couple of days ago, and we asked


him how the hunt for Colonel Gaddafi was going. He said that he


believes he is in southern Libya. So we think he is not in Bani Walid.


Certainly, there have been rumours from the fighters around the town


saying that one of his sons, possibly Saif al-Islam, is there.


He has been seen their not so long ago. And possibly also Mussa


Ibrahim, Colonel Gaddafi's main spokesman. These are rumours. There


are contradictory accounts. Other people say that yes, they may have


been here when they withdrew from Tripoli but it is unlikely they


would allow themselves to be cornered. Thank you very much. Let


us look at the other stories. Widespread flooding has brought


misery to a swathe of territory in southern Pakistan. Over 200 people


have died, 200,000 are said to be homeless and it is feared that 2


million have been infected with disease. The region are still


recovering from last year's devastating floods. The current


situation could deteriorate rapidly. Live now to Sindh Province and Det


Aleem Maqbool. What is the latest situation where you are? We had


been travelling across the rural areas of this province, is fast


province. We have been travelling for eight hours and the entire way,


we have seen water on either side of us. We have seen people grabbing


belongings. In some cases, they had to do it very quickly. There was


flash flooding in many areas. They went to higher land with whatever


livestock they could find. Often the only high land was the road, so


we were weaving through a tense and livestock. -- through tents. We


have been seeing the carcasses of dead animals. They have been


several occasions where we have looked out to our left and see


nothing but water. And we are a few hundred kilometres from the sea.


gave some depressing statistics at the beginning, the scale of this


disaster, with a couple of hundred 1000 people homeless and up to 2


million suffering from water-borne disease. Is it your impression that


the authorities, the Government, the military are able to cope and


that the rescue effort is reaching everywhere it needs to reach?


are two things going on. There is a visible military presence. The army


is carrying. Rescue missions in boats and by a helicopters. --


carrying out rescue missions. Just as it was last year, there are lots


of complaints about the aid effort and the Government's capacity to


deal with all of this. Eight has been very patchy. We have gone


through Sindh Province and we have seen so many communities were


people have said they have not seen any aid at all. That is why you're


getting these problems. People are so desperate for clean water that


they are resorting to drinking floodwaters in many cases. And


there are dead bodies of animals lying around, there is much concern


that many more people will get ill and will die because of this.


Maqbool, thank you very much. Human Rights Act of this say that


Syrian security forces had shot dead at least four people during a


raid on a town near this central city in Syria. Meanwhile, Lebanon


says that Syria has fired into their territory and people fleeing


across the border are now being targeted. The Lebanese claimed the


patrol came 200 metres into Lebanese territory. Locals say that


the shooting went on for two hours. In recent months, refugees have


been moving across the border between the two countries.


For one of four miners trapped underground in South Wales has been


found dead. It is hoped the remaining men in the Swansea Valley


have found pockets of air in which to shelter after water burst


through a retaining wall and cut off their escape route.


In Australia, firefighters had been fighting a blaze in a chemical


factory in Canberra. This is what Firefighters have gained control of


the Inferno, which billows toxic smoke across the capital. Many


residents had to evacuate the area. Anyone within 10 kilometres was


told to stay indoors and keep their windows closed. Two people have


been treated for smoke inhalation. Over 2000 have been arrested in


China as part of a crackdown on gang related crime. Chinese


television broadcast images of Swat teams carrying out raids on a mafia


gang who police believe are involved in the production of drugs.


Coming up, postman Pat. Do you remember him? It is 30 years since


the friendly postman was created. First, the business news. Aaron


Heselhurst is here. It is the Eurozone again. Finance ministers


meeting in Poland. Not just European finance ministers, it is


also the US treasury secretary, Tim Geithner. What are they saying?


fact that he is there highlights that there is growing international


worry that the Eurozone problems could spread. Number one on the


agenda, increasing the rescue pot. At the moment, it is 250 billion


euros but that is nowhere near enough if the bigger countries get


into trouble, like Italy and Spain. Also, Greece, on the agenda.


Willetts default? Austria's Finance Minister said earlier today that a


Greek default would be the cheapest option for the Eurozone. The reason


being that the more money you throw into Greece, the bigger their


problem gets. All the time, it will press down on Greek growth, which


is collapsing. It fell by 7% in the second quarter. Official forecasts


are for a return to bolster growth next year but that looks hopelessly


optimistic. In that environment, it will never get better. The GDP


ratio will be 152170%, and the default risk will remain high.


there is momentum in Germany, Finland, Slovakia, where people are


saying, enough is enough. They are seeing a slowdown in their own


economies. So still the focus on sovereign debt. And yet one of the


bigger stories over the last couple of days has been the debts run up


by a banker working for DPS. He is being questioned over these


unauthorised trades. It was him who went to the UBS management to


notify them, and that is a huge worry. That highlights the fact


that if this can happen at UBS, it could possibly happen in other


banks. Let us listen to this. happened in the equity trading


division of the UBS, one of the biggest traders of equities in the


world. It has world-class systems and a long track record. You have


to assume that if they cannot control this, then you cannot


expect other banks to be able to control it. That is a worry. The


markets are roll-up on the back of the move by the five central banks


saying they would pump US dollars into the liquidity market. That has


eased some of the pressure. -- the markets are all up.


Get in touch with us here and tell us what do you think. You can see


highlights of the programme on our This is GMT. Here are the


headlines: Forces loyal to Libya's interim government launch a major


military assault on Colonel Gaddafi's final strongholds in such


-- including his home town. Flood misery in Pakistan as 200,000


people are homeless and 2 million exposed to disease. Emergency teams


struggled to reach the worst affected areas.


The Obama administration is putting intense diplomatic pressure on the


Palestinians to dissuade them from applying for full membership of the


United Nations at the General Assembly next week. In a few hours'


time, Mahmoud Abbas will address his people to explain the reasons


behind the decision to seek UN recognition. It is a move opposed


by Israel and by the US government. In an interview with the BBC, the


US ambassador to the UN said that the proposed bid for Palestinian


statehood would set back prospects We share the aspiration for the


creation of a Palestinian state but that can only be accomplished


through direct negotiation between the Israelis and Palestinians.


There is no short cut to where we pass a resolution in the General


Assembly and the Security Council. In the real world, it creates a


Palestinian state. The issues that divide them, boarders, security,


Jerusalem, refugees etc, can only be resolved through director Nick


associations at the negotiating table and that's why we view the


Palestinian potential drive to come to the City Council and the General


Assembly as counter-productive. Those negotiations are effectively


dead at the moment. 20 years of a US-led negotiations have not got


anywhere and the Palestinians are saying, we need something to keep


the state to States alive a. There is no magic wand which can be


waived in the New York to make everything right. There is a risk


in that because if you are an average person in the territories,


and your hopes have been raised that by some action in New York,


something will be different, the reality is, nothing will change.


There will be no more sovereignty, no more food on the table. This gap


between expectation and reality is quite dangerous for the there is


the risk Palestinians look at what happens in the United Nations next


we can say to themselves, the path of diplomacy has not work. The


miscalculation is it by coming to the UN in some fashion, they will


be in a better position to negotiate. There will not be a


credible environment for Nick associations. It will be much


tougher. After action in New York. If the aim is to isolate and


confront his role, then that is not going to encourage Israel to come


back to the negotiating table any sooner. The diplomatic manoeuvring


around the UN General Assembly next week has already begun and for more


on the planned Palestinian statehood UN full membership bid,


we're joined from Jerusalem by Professor Gerald Steinberg, the


head of conflict management and negotiations faculty at Bar Iban


university. How worried is Israel about this looming isolation Susan


Rice referred to? Well, it is worrying. Israel has been


increasingly isolated as Egypt has become unstable. We sought violent


riots last week and there were demonstrations in Turkey and Jordan.


There is a sense there is a sense Israel is much more isolated than


it was and that adds to instability. The Palestinians are taking


advantage, exploiting that situation. None of the questions we


heard a few moments ago we heard from the Palestinian Authority had


been directed at reassuring Israel. It is saying that we understand for


the last 63 years to have been subject to isolation and of


terrorism. We are looking for a compromise. The move up to the UN


is to increase that isolation. It's a cynical political ploy and will


not help the peace process. We have focused on that Susan Rice's words.


The Barack Obama administration has tried again and again to get


Benjamin Netanyahu to renew a commitment to stop settlement


construction on occupied land. He refused to do so. Is he prepared to


make that sort of a move? That isolation of but one issue after so


many complex issues in the conflict was a big mistake by the Obama


administration. We need to have a compromise on the Palestinian side.


It can't be focused on Israelis who are concerned, instead of getting a


stable to state solution, we will have a very violent terrorist


regime and a failed at state. These factors are very important.


give me for interrupting. In that answer you imply a Israel has put


concessions on the table. Benjamin Netanyahu is going to go to New


York and make a speech at the UN are. What sort of concessions will


he be prepared to put on the table? Up we have a history of a very


generous Israeli concessions. To heighten 3% differences in borders.


If there was a Palestinian partner who was serious, if they were


talking about ending their right of return claim a Offiah's the people


There is the incitement. That is the main issue here. There is


absolutely no question... haven't actually outlined any


significant specific compromised proposal or concession but Benjamin


Netanyahu is prepared to take to New York. Is there one? You get


proportion to watch our put on the table into what it is receiving. It


has received nothing from Palestine. Complete stonewalling from the


beginning. Only focusing on Israel to stop settlement construction


when the areas involved are under the speed and the boundaries are


not clear. The Palestinians want to impose an agreement which has not


going to be stable and to create another failed state in the region.


We have to ended their but thank you for joining us on GMT. For the


past five months, hundreds of thousands of Chilean students have


joined a movement for free, equal and good quality education in their


country. Back in May, the demonstrations started peacefully,


with the students trying to get their message across in unusual


ways. A kissing protest and then protesting in fancy dress. But in


the past few weeks the protests have become violent, with frequent


clashes with police. It's become a huge political problem for the


government as President Sebastian Piera's poll ratings have plunged.


Well for more on the movement we're joined via webcam from the Chilean


capital Santiago by Juanita Chacon Snow, the Acting Editor of the


Santiago Times. I suppose I want an update. Are these protests


continuing and is there still violence in San Diego? We received


word this morning from the student movement that they have rejected


the recent government proposal to get working groups going to discuss


three of the major concerns raised by the student groups -- Santiago.


They have announced another general strike for next Thursday. A big


March. Basically because the Government did not agreed to two of


the four conditions that they placed before them to agree to


participate in these working groups would have been proposed by the


Government. What they were requesting was a freeze to two


bills which will put the Congress on the 17th for Education Reform


which was drafted without student participation. It just strikes me


that the students are using some of the tactics they drew inspiration


from the Arab Spring. In the end, it's a different situation. Chile


has been successful in recent years. I wonder why street protests have


become such a popular form of political action? Well, it's at new


phenomenon here. The student body began following a series of other


protests here in Chile when people were expressing discontent and the


opposition to a series of projects, environmental ones up specifically,


in the south, and also the rise in gas prices in the south. There have


been a series of protests and people just want to express their


frustration with the situation here in Chile right now. There are many


other stories you may have heard of in terms of the increased profits


of the private health system, there are serious legacies situations


here in the country which have made people feel less afraid to express


their opinions. We have to end there. Thank you for joining us on


GMT. It's exactly 30 years since the


first broadcast of the animated childrens TV show Postman Pat. Some


of you like me may still have the theme tune stuck in your heads. The


show, starring the doughty rural postman in his delivery van became


an unlikely hit across the world from China to Iran to the


Philippines. On this 30th anniversary the creator of Postman


Pat has been recalling what # Everybody knows his bright red


banner. # All his friends will smile as he


I and the creator of Postman Pat and a few of the characters in the


box and a television as well. MUSIC PLAYS and Pat and his black


I said to them, what about having a post man? I looked at my farming


stories and we hadn't used to those. Who else lives in the countryside?


The postman troubles around and needs a lot of people. It would not


be static -- the postman travels around and meets a lot of people.


They said, it sounds quite likely. I don't think anybody has done it.


OK, you go back to Kendal and write an outline for 13 episodes.


ANNOUNCER: Postman Pat was on his way. A bit further back in his life


I was a mobile librarian in Northumberland and I travelled


around a very much in the way Postman Pat travels around in a


large mobile library, travelling around the farms, around the


countryside. A lot of that fed into it. Come on, Jess, we have got work


to do. Jess provided some body poor postman Pat to speak to without


seeming peculiar. The question in the press about it, I think it was


said the postman are not allowed to carry pepsin their vans. -- pets in


International news and intelligent analysis going live to the heart of the day's top global story presented by Stephen Sackur. Featuring exclusive reports from BBC World News correspondents based around the world, plus up-to-the-minute global business news.

Download Subtitles