25/11/2011 GMT with George Alagiah


25/11/2011

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.


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Tension in in Tahrir Square, another mass protest in Cairo as

:00:10.:00:15.

Egypt's military rulers appoint a new Prime Minister. This, the scene

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live in the centre of Cairo. The military insist next week's

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election will go ahead but protesters are calling on the

:00:24.:00:34.
:00:34.:00:47.

Welcome to GMT, I am Stephen Sackur. Also in the programme: Syria in a

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stand-off with the Arab League. Observers are not allowed in to

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monitor the violence so are sanctions on the way?

:00:54.:01:01.

And voting in the world's most war- torn country. People prepared to go

:01:01.:01:06.

to the polls in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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It is 12:30pm here in London, 7:30am in Washington DC and 2:30pm

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in Cairo where tens of thousands of protesters have again gathered in

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Tahrir Square to demand the removal of the ruling Ministry -- Military

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Council. Reports that a new Prime Minister, Hussein Tantawi, have not

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diffused tensions in the capital -- Kamal Ganzouri. Protesters are

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calling for parliamentary elections to be postponed. Lyse Doucet joins

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me live from Tahrir Square. You can see behind me Tahrir Square is

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teeming with people today. At Friday prayers held in this huge

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space, you saw men and women in different areas kneeling in pram

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and then chanting in unison: God is great. The chance coming from the

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square are the same we have heard all week, leave, leave. Never mind

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that the military have promised they will not hold on to power,

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they have pledged elections beginning on Monday but the people

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who gathered here are still not convinced. They are still calling

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on field map -- field Marcio Hussein Tantawi to stand down.

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These are not the only voices being raised in Cairo today. If there is

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a rival demonstration close to the Defence Ministry which is

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criticising Tahrir Square and expressing support for Field

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Marshal Hussein Tantawi. Today is a day which underlines that Egypt is

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in crisis and it is a divided nation. But what about the politics

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going forward? We can join now in one of our Cairo studios, a veteran

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Egyptian politician who is hoping to run for the elections. What is

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your view about the continuing protest in Tahrir Square? Should

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but the protests continue? This is a protest which has been done by

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people who feel they have been disappointed by the revolution,

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that it has been jeopardised by the political class, by the military on

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the one hand and they are just fed up from military rule, from his

:03:25.:03:30.

handling of the past 10 months. I do not think they will give in very

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easily, unless the military council meets part of the demands, not

:03:35.:03:40.

necessarily all of the demands but at least part of their demands.

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Which is to delegate domestic decision making entirely to a

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civilian government so they have the prerogatives to not be as the

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former cabinet was, the secretary at and Military Council. The

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military council has lost a lot of its popularity in these past days.

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But many Egyptians here, I would say most Egyptians still feel that

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this is the only institution that is left that we trust. Will make a

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difference between the army and the staff and the army, we have to not

:04:22.:04:27.

protect, because it is their job to protect us, but we have to stand by

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the army and I am one of them. main politics sees -- seems to be

:04:36.:04:40.

on the streets and in the squares, are you confident the elections can

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take place safely and surely? the concerns about the elections on

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Monday are raising by the day, by the hour. Many of us have suggested

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they should be postponed. Not cancelled, but postponed. Postponed

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for a week or two. How can you run elections in Tahrir Square when it

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is burning? How can you run elections in the mainstay of the

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area? It is ridiculous. People are scared. People are fearful to go

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out of their houses. We have been encouraging people to participate

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because we knew the Liberals had a big chance, particularly that which

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ran a part off. Nobody said we should take it for granted that the

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Islamist so should come to power. They are the best organised but

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they also have a lot of tensions among them. The latest statements

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have triggered the buyer of a lot of sections of society, among them

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the women, the cops and the Liberals. And among them, the

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moderate Muslims who do not want to be told when to pray or how their

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women should be addressed. -- how the women should be dressed. Thank

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you for joining us from central Cairo as we continue our coverage

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of this unrest here in Egypt. Many are saddened that as Egypt heads

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towards what are supposed to be the freest and fairest elections in

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Egypt's Modern History are now being overshadowed. They are

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overshadowed by the injuries and deaths we saw across Egypt. Also

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overshadowed by the growing gap in trust between the protesters and

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the military. But the military said the elections can and will go ahead.

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The big question now is, is Egypt heading for a greater unrest or

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will it move confidently into a new Egypt? We will keep an eye on

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developments here. Lyse Doucet, thank you very much indeed. We will

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stay with turmoil in the Middle East because the Arab League and

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Syria are now locked in a trial of strength. The League demanded that

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Syria accept 500 observers in to monitor the violence in the country,

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or face sanctions and further isolation. In the last hour, the

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deadline passed apparently without a Syrian response. To add to the

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pressure, a report from the United Nations human rights panel which

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says there is evidence that security forces are torturing

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children. Frank Gardner reports. When an army starts using anti-

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:07:43.:07:52.

aircraft guns on its own people, Undeterred by tanks, torture and

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over 3,000 deaths, a Syrian protesters are still taking to the

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streets, risking their lives to call for an end to the rule of

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President Bashar al-Assad. Often pictured on state TV surrounded by

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acolytes, he is facing the most serious challenge to his role. Many

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feel he is hanging on because the population fears the chaos that

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will follow his departure. So long as the regime can maintain some

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kind of viability financially to keep paying those who need to fight

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for the regime and defend it, there will be many Syrians who have too

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much to lose to want to join the opposition. Deserters like these

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from the Syrian army are starting to appear but not in big numbers.

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There have been attacks on military installations, prompting fears of a

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civil war, a nightmare for the Arab League. Its members have already

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suspended Syria. Its chair stands empty. They have been meeting to

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discuss whether to introduce harsh new sanctions are this area pulls

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its troops out of cities and allows in monitors. Syria's neighbour,

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Turkey, says time is running out. Already there is talk of a

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humanitarian crisis with Syrian refugees fleeing across the border

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into Turkey. France is looking to establish humanitarian corridors to

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protect Syrians -- civilians. Meanwhile, the protests continued.

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The sniping, the arrests, the intimidation, the torture and

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bloodshed show no sign of stopping. Later in the programme we will be

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speaking to the BBC's Paul Wood who spent a week inside Syria and has

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come back from -- with some remarkable pictures.

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Now a look at other stories making headlines around the World Today.

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And evil, devious act of treason - that is the view of the Prime

:10:03.:10:06.

Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Kamla Persad-Bissessar after an

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apparent assassination plot. The BBC's Nick Davies who is in the

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Port of Spain says definitive information is still patchy.

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authorities are keeping much of the information to themselves. What we

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are gathering is there may be other people who are implicated who are

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basically on the run but the government here are really

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concerned over the fact that members of the security forces are

:10:33.:10:36.

actually implicated in this plot, whatever it might have been. They

:10:37.:10:43.

are looking for explosives and weapons. At the moment, all the

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police and Trinidad and Tobago defence force are on high alert.

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Moroccans are voting in general elections which were brought

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forward as a response to the revolutions around the Arab world.

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It is a first under the new Moroccan constitution which gives

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greater powers to the parliament. Joining in the studio he is a

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commentator on international affairs. I know you have just come

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back from Morocco. Do you believe these elections signal a

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fundamental shift that Morocco is now part of the democratic movement

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in the Arab world? Absolutely. The elections will open a new landscape

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in political terms in Morocco. It will initiate a new era for

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Moroccans as well. It is for the Prime Minister to actually decide

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the fate of the best -- the executive. It is no longer be king.

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Up to a point, if I may interrupt. The King retains his own powers

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over military matters and defence. He is still a key player. He is

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very much a key player. He will remain the arbiter of the political

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scene but the political parties will be playing their own role. The

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new constitution has given them wider powers to initiate a new era,

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especially to invite the youngsters, the new generation to take part in

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the parties. In the past, or the political parties have been

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dominated by the old guard, as it were. Today, the new elections will

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introduce a new initiative and that will give opportunities for the new

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generation. The sound like an optimist and we are seeing pictures

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of a calm looking Morocco there but the truth is, youth unemployment

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around 40 % and we have continued to seek almost daily demonstrations

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by disaffected youths who say the reform does not go far enough.

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course, and in Morocco there are protests on a regular basis. It is

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on a weekly basis. Every Sunday youngsters go and protest and they

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are allowed to. The new constitution protects the right to

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protest and protect the people from violations of their human rights.

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Do you think there is a message about other Arab monarchies like

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Jordan and Saudi Arabia? Do you think they will be watching this

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transition? They are watching it very carefully. Morocco always came

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out first with new constitution, with a new model to be emulated in

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the Arab world. They have so far succeeded and I think the new

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constitution will introduce a new political landscape that will be

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emulated throughout the Arab world. Thank you for joining us.

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Still to come on the programme: We explain why some of the biggest

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names in food will still -- soon be allowed to trade in India.

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First, let's get all of the other business news. Aaron is joining me

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now. We have to look at Italy again because the bond markets are

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telling us that the crisis in Italy is by no means over. Absolutely.

:14:08.:14:11.

Investors gave them all the money they were looking for but the

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investors said, sure, we will do it but you give a 7.8 % in interest.

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That is sky high. It is very expensive for Italy. You add that

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to the fact that on Wednesday we saw a very lacklustre German debt

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auction, you add that to the fact we are seeing some big selling

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volumes out of the US, Asia and all things Europe, if you have to

:14:32.:14:37.

picture that the global markets are turning their backs on Europe. They

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are saying, we are fed up, you they let the eurozone break-up or you

:14:42.:14:45.

let the European Central Bank step in and step in in a big way. The

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problem is, Germany is very heavily opposed to that idea. While Germany

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maybe the blocking to all of this, it could also be the only saviour.

:14:56.:15:05.
:15:06.:15:06.

Germany is the only economy at the centre of Europe with the firepower

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to solve this problem. Whether they pay for it in a very direct, or be

:15:12.:15:15.

assuaged by giving loans to the rest of Europe, or whether they

:15:15.:15:20.

find some clever financial mechanism, like the European

:15:20.:15:24.

Central Bank buying back debt from other countries, ultimately it

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falls on Germany. So while Angela Merkel is the problem, she is the

:15:28.:15:34.

only possible solution. It goes on and on! Let's not forget there are

:15:34.:15:39.

other interesting things happening. The British former boss of Olympus

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has gone back into the lion's den, to a certain extent, because he was

:15:44.:15:50.

fired and now he is back. Yes. This is the man who was unanimously

:15:50.:15:54.

fired by the Olympus board after he started questioning this $1.3

:15:54.:15:58.

billion his company had paid out in fees to a rather obscure companies

:15:58.:16:01.

and money they had used for takeovers which largely ended up

:16:01.:16:07.

being written off. At first, Olympus denied any wrongdoing but

:16:07.:16:10.

then they admitted that they had been covering up huge investment

:16:10.:16:15.

losses over a decade. So he came back and face the board. He wants

:16:15.:16:20.

the ball to go. This is what he had to say. I am not obsessed about

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returning back. I have got a wonderful legal position and I will

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be comfortably well-off. I was sacked for gross misconduct. Any of

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you who look at the case will see that. If I am not wanted back, and

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it is the shareholders who will make the decision, that is fine by

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me. We will keep our eye on that story. Thank you.

:16:45.:16:55.
:16:55.:17:00.

We want to hear what you think. Go to the website and follow the link.

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This is GMT. Here are the headlines: Mounting pressure on

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Egypt's military rulers to step down despite the appointment of

:17:10.:17:17.

pomade and sorry as the new Prime Minister. And no word on allowing

:17:17.:17:21.

an observer mission into Syria. A deadline set by the Arab League

:17:21.:17:26.

could trigger new sanctions. The people of the Democratic

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Republic of Congo go to the polls on Monday in what could be a

:17:31.:17:35.

turning-point for the war-torn central African nation. Over 19,000

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candidates are in the running but elections in the Congo have, in the

:17:39.:17:45.

past, been mired by violence. Andrew Harding has been to the east

:17:45.:17:49.

of the country to the city still living with the legacy of Congo's

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long wars. Excitement and more than a whiff of

:17:56.:18:03.

trouble. It is election time in one of Africa's most chaotic countries,

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and nobody in Congo is expecting a smooth ride. On the throne here,

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one of 11 presidential hopefuls. Loyalties are dangerously for

:18:13.:18:22.

brochures, and so it is the desire for change. They do not care about

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the population. We don't have roads. In your country, you have Rhodes!

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It is no joke! And not much peace either, here in eastern Congo. This

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is a poor town where bicycles are Borden, the peacekeepers cannot be

:18:43.:18:49.

everywhere and rival groups battle for power of Congo's mineral wealth.

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The incumbent President has all the usual advantages and may sneak

:18:54.:18:59.

another victory, but it could be close and pence. These elections

:18:59.:19:04.

could be a step forward for a country that has squandered its

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potential for decades, but this is a real danger that there could

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trigger -- it could trigger a real instability, violence and impunity.

:19:16.:19:22.

My fear is that all this might lead to serious violence and the

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breaking up of this country. Who knows. Out of sight, the clearest

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proof of Congo's enduring lawlessness. In a hospital, new

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victims of the epidemic of sexual violence that still blights the

:19:37.:19:43.

countryside. 15-year-old Mary says she was raped this week by two

:19:43.:19:53.
:19:53.:19:54.

unknown men. Then they beat me, she says. She does not expect justice.

:19:54.:20:00.

But the hope for progress remains strong here. He is one of 19,000

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candidates running for a seat in Parliament at these elections.

:20:04.:20:10.

think this is a step forward. Let's not think of miracles, but I think

:20:10.:20:16.

this is a step forward towards a stronger institutions and a

:20:16.:20:23.

peaceful country. Then we can get development. Miracles are not on

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the cards. But Congo's economy is growing and its fate matters to

:20:28.:20:38.
:20:38.:20:39.

Africa. It is the wounded giant at the centre of the Continent.

:20:39.:20:44.

The world's biggest supermarket chains, the likes of Wal-Mart,

:20:44.:20:48.

Carrefour and Tesco, have opened in many countries, but until now,

:20:48.:20:52.

there were not allowed to sell directly to shoppers in India. All

:20:52.:20:58.

of that is set to change after the government's decision to change the

:20:58.:21:03.

rules and open up the country's multi-billion dollar retail market.

:21:03.:21:07.

This is how in the shops for its daily needs. In congested local

:21:07.:21:14.

markets. Haggling for the best price. The produce get here after

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passing through many hands. A cumbersome supply chain that has

:21:18.:21:24.

somehow survived. But it is also unregulated. The poor

:21:24.:21:29.

infrastructure at leading to huge losses. It is a scene you can see

:21:29.:21:33.

outside money market in India. Large piles of rotting fruits and

:21:34.:21:38.

vegetables left out in the open, exposed to the elements. It is

:21:38.:21:43.

estimated that up to 40% of India's produced is wasted because of poor

:21:43.:21:49.

storage facilities. A sign of things to come. At a massive Wal-

:21:49.:21:53.

Mart cash and carry store offering a wide range of products. But at

:21:53.:22:00.

the moment, only to wholesalers. Businesses, hotels and restaurants.

:22:00.:22:06.

With the rules changed, they will soon sell directly to consumers. At

:22:06.:22:11.

a farm outside Delhi, a bumper crop of aubergine. It is meant for the

:22:11.:22:15.

Wal-Mart cash and carry store. The company sources directly from the

:22:15.:22:22.

farmer. Monitoring quality and cutting out the middlemen. And the

:22:22.:22:27.

farmers earn considerably more. TRANSLATION: Earlier, we had to

:22:27.:22:31.

travel a long way to market and deal with middlemen. We never used

:22:31.:22:36.

to get a good rate. Now the company takes a or vegetables and pays us

:22:36.:22:43.

much more. -- takes a or vegetables. But these are the ones who are

:22:43.:22:49.

threatened. The local vegetable vendor. Earning subsistence wages.

:22:49.:22:53.

There are about 20 million of them in India taking care of the

:22:53.:22:58.

country's demand for fresh food. With international giants coming in,

:22:58.:23:04.

many fear they will be wiped out. If you take an average Wal-Mart

:23:04.:23:12.

store, it will displace about 11,000 people. This is the

:23:12.:23:19.

calculation we have done. It will be replaced with 285 jobs. Another

:23:19.:23:24.

day and a fresh load of farm produce arrives at Delhi's main

:23:24.:23:28.

wholesale market. A scene that could soon fade away and change the

:23:28.:23:38.
:23:38.:23:38.

wake Indians shop. -- the way. We will return to the turmoil in

:23:38.:23:43.

Syria. We have heard in the last few moments that the Arab League

:23:43.:23:53.
:23:53.:23:54.

has changed its deadline to set a new one. No response from the

:23:54.:23:58.

Syrian authorities. The Arab League has given them till the end of

:23:58.:24:03.

today. That is Cairo time. Our correspondent has been in Syria for

:24:03.:24:10.

a week and made an extraordinary journey to the City of harms. It is

:24:10.:24:16.

the centre of President al-Assad's rule. -- the City of harms. Can you

:24:16.:24:22.

explain to me where you went and how you were able to travel, given

:24:22.:24:25.

that international journalists are barred from Syria and have been

:24:25.:24:30.

four months? We did not go officially. We went on the

:24:30.:24:36.

underground supply line that Syrian fighters, and this is becoming

:24:36.:24:42.

increasingly military-led, to run guns into places like this from

:24:42.:24:46.

Lebanon, and to take casualties on the way out. We met a group of

:24:46.:24:55.

smugglers in the dead of night. They had two or three weapons each.

:24:55.:24:59.

We walked across the border with them. The Syrian army has sown a

:24:59.:25:04.

lot of minds on that border and they have reinforced their patrols.

:25:05.:25:11.

-- a lot of mines. And then in what seemed like a remarkably efficient

:25:11.:25:16.

process, we were passed from activist group to activist group,

:25:16.:25:20.

with members of what is sometimes called the Free Syrian Army,

:25:20.:25:23.

sometimes with those just supporting them, going on back

:25:23.:25:28.

roads, skirting around checkpoints, until we reached the outskirts of

:25:28.:25:33.

the city itself, which is ringed by the Syrian army. And activists are

:25:33.:25:37.

literally running across roads and fields, hoping to dodge the army to

:25:37.:25:42.

get into the centre of the city itself. How many resistance at

:25:42.:25:49.

providers are there in and around the city now? There were claims

:25:49.:25:54.

that there were thousands, but what is your estimate? I think it is

:25:54.:25:59.

probably exaggerated that there of thousands. Spokesmen outside the

:25:59.:26:03.

country have spoken about 15,000. We have spoken to the commander and

:26:03.:26:08.

they were claiming 500. Bear in mind that their estimate of the

:26:09.:26:13.

official security forces were some 150,000. So this is a very small

:26:13.:26:19.

force. But it is growing in number every day, and we saw defection has

:26:19.:26:22.

more or less every day, and in the middle of the night, you would hear

:26:22.:26:27.

a lot of gunfire. It would go on and be Syrian soldiers literally

:26:27.:26:32.

running from their bases on the outskirts to join the opposition in

:26:32.:26:37.

opposition-held areas, if you can call than that. This is what

:26:37.:26:45.

changed the game. This will continue if it goes on like this.

:26:45.:26:49.

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.


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