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.
Browse content similar to 25/11/2011. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Tension in in Tahrir Square, another mass protest in Cairo as
Egypt's military rulers appoint a new Prime Minister. This, the scene
live in the centre of Cairo. The military insist next week's
election will go ahead but protesters are calling on the
Welcome to GMT, I am Stephen Sackur. Also in the programme: Syria in a
stand-off with the Arab League. Observers are not allowed in to
monitor the violence so are sanctions on the way?
And voting in the world's most war- torn country. People prepared to go
to the polls in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It is 12:30pm here in London, 7:30am in Washington DC and 2:30pm
in Cairo where tens of thousands of protesters have again gathered in
Tahrir Square to demand the removal of the ruling Ministry -- Military
Council. Reports that a new Prime Minister, Hussein Tantawi, have not
diffused tensions in the capital -- Kamal Ganzouri. Protesters are
calling for parliamentary elections to be postponed. Lyse Doucet joins
me live from Tahrir Square. You can see behind me Tahrir Square is
teeming with people today. At Friday prayers held in this huge
space, you saw men and women in different areas kneeling in pram
and then chanting in unison: God is great. The chance coming from the
square are the same we have heard all week, leave, leave. Never mind
that the military have promised they will not hold on to power,
they have pledged elections beginning on Monday but the people
who gathered here are still not convinced. They are still calling
on field map -- field Marcio Hussein Tantawi to stand down.
These are not the only voices being raised in Cairo today. If there is
a rival demonstration close to the Defence Ministry which is
criticising Tahrir Square and expressing support for Field
Marshal Hussein Tantawi. Today is a day which underlines that Egypt is
in crisis and it is a divided nation. But what about the politics
going forward? We can join now in one of our Cairo studios, a veteran
Egyptian politician who is hoping to run for the elections. What is
your view about the continuing protest in Tahrir Square? Should
but the protests continue? This is a protest which has been done by
people who feel they have been disappointed by the revolution,
that it has been jeopardised by the political class, by the military on
the one hand and they are just fed up from military rule, from his
handling of the past 10 months. I do not think they will give in very
easily, unless the military council meets part of the demands, not
necessarily all of the demands but at least part of their demands.
Which is to delegate domestic decision making entirely to a
civilian government so they have the prerogatives to not be as the
former cabinet was, the secretary at and Military Council. The
military council has lost a lot of its popularity in these past days.
But many Egyptians here, I would say most Egyptians still feel that
this is the only institution that is left that we trust. Will make a
difference between the army and the staff and the army, we have to not
protect, because it is their job to protect us, but we have to stand by
the army and I am one of them. main politics sees -- seems to be
on the streets and in the squares, are you confident the elections can
take place safely and surely? the concerns about the elections on
Monday are raising by the day, by the hour. Many of us have suggested
they should be postponed. Not cancelled, but postponed. Postponed
for a week or two. How can you run elections in Tahrir Square when it
is burning? How can you run elections in the mainstay of the
area? It is ridiculous. People are scared. People are fearful to go
out of their houses. We have been encouraging people to participate
because we knew the Liberals had a big chance, particularly that which
ran a part off. Nobody said we should take it for granted that the
Islamist so should come to power. They are the best organised but
they also have a lot of tensions among them. The latest statements
have triggered the buyer of a lot of sections of society, among them
the women, the cops and the Liberals. And among them, the
moderate Muslims who do not want to be told when to pray or how their
women should be addressed. -- how the women should be dressed. Thank
you for joining us from central Cairo as we continue our coverage
of this unrest here in Egypt. Many are saddened that as Egypt heads
towards what are supposed to be the freest and fairest elections in
Egypt's Modern History are now being overshadowed. They are
overshadowed by the injuries and deaths we saw across Egypt. Also
overshadowed by the growing gap in trust between the protesters and
the military. But the military said the elections can and will go ahead.
The big question now is, is Egypt heading for a greater unrest or
will it move confidently into a new Egypt? We will keep an eye on
developments here. Lyse Doucet, thank you very much indeed. We will
stay with turmoil in the Middle East because the Arab League and
Syria are now locked in a trial of strength. The League demanded that
Syria accept 500 observers in to monitor the violence in the country,
or face sanctions and further isolation. In the last hour, the
deadline passed apparently without a Syrian response. To add to the
pressure, a report from the United Nations human rights panel which
says there is evidence that security forces are torturing
children. Frank Gardner reports. When an army starts using anti-
aircraft guns on its own people, Undeterred by tanks, torture and
over 3,000 deaths, a Syrian protesters are still taking to the
streets, risking their lives to call for an end to the rule of
President Bashar al-Assad. Often pictured on state TV surrounded by
acolytes, he is facing the most serious challenge to his role. Many
feel he is hanging on because the population fears the chaos that
will follow his departure. So long as the regime can maintain some
kind of viability financially to keep paying those who need to fight
for the regime and defend it, there will be many Syrians who have too
much to lose to want to join the opposition. Deserters like these
from the Syrian army are starting to appear but not in big numbers.
There have been attacks on military installations, prompting fears of a
civil war, a nightmare for the Arab League. Its members have already
suspended Syria. Its chair stands empty. They have been meeting to
discuss whether to introduce harsh new sanctions are this area pulls
its troops out of cities and allows in monitors. Syria's neighbour,
Turkey, says time is running out. Already there is talk of a
humanitarian crisis with Syrian refugees fleeing across the border
into Turkey. France is looking to establish humanitarian corridors to
protect Syrians -- civilians. Meanwhile, the protests continued.
The sniping, the arrests, the intimidation, the torture and
bloodshed show no sign of stopping. Later in the programme we will be
speaking to the BBC's Paul Wood who spent a week inside Syria and has
come back from -- with some remarkable pictures.
Now a look at other stories making headlines around the World Today.
And evil, devious act of treason - that is the view of the Prime
Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Kamla Persad-Bissessar after an
apparent assassination plot. The BBC's Nick Davies who is in the
Port of Spain says definitive information is still patchy.
authorities are keeping much of the information to themselves. What we
are gathering is there may be other people who are implicated who are
basically on the run but the government here are really
concerned over the fact that members of the security forces are
actually implicated in this plot, whatever it might have been. They
are looking for explosives and weapons. At the moment, all the
police and Trinidad and Tobago defence force are on high alert.
Moroccans are voting in general elections which were brought
forward as a response to the revolutions around the Arab world.
It is a first under the new Moroccan constitution which gives
greater powers to the parliament. Joining in the studio he is a
commentator on international affairs. I know you have just come
back from Morocco. Do you believe these elections signal a
fundamental shift that Morocco is now part of the democratic movement
in the Arab world? Absolutely. The elections will open a new landscape
in political terms in Morocco. It will initiate a new era for
Moroccans as well. It is for the Prime Minister to actually decide
the fate of the best -- the executive. It is no longer be king.
Up to a point, if I may interrupt. The King retains his own powers
over military matters and defence. He is still a key player. He is
very much a key player. He will remain the arbiter of the political
scene but the political parties will be playing their own role. The
new constitution has given them wider powers to initiate a new era,
especially to invite the youngsters, the new generation to take part in
the parties. In the past, or the political parties have been
dominated by the old guard, as it were. Today, the new elections will
introduce a new initiative and that will give opportunities for the new
generation. The sound like an optimist and we are seeing pictures
of a calm looking Morocco there but the truth is, youth unemployment
around 40 % and we have continued to seek almost daily demonstrations
by disaffected youths who say the reform does not go far enough.
course, and in Morocco there are protests on a regular basis. It is
on a weekly basis. Every Sunday youngsters go and protest and they
are allowed to. The new constitution protects the right to
protest and protect the people from violations of their human rights.
Do you think there is a message about other Arab monarchies like
Jordan and Saudi Arabia? Do you think they will be watching this
transition? They are watching it very carefully. Morocco always came
out first with new constitution, with a new model to be emulated in
the Arab world. They have so far succeeded and I think the new
constitution will introduce a new political landscape that will be
emulated throughout the Arab world. Thank you for joining us.
Still to come on the programme: We explain why some of the biggest
names in food will still -- soon be allowed to trade in India.
First, let's get all of the other business news. Aaron is joining me
now. We have to look at Italy again because the bond markets are
telling us that the crisis in Italy is by no means over. Absolutely.
Investors gave them all the money they were looking for but the
investors said, sure, we will do it but you give a 7.8 % in interest.
That is sky high. It is very expensive for Italy. You add that
to the fact that on Wednesday we saw a very lacklustre German debt
auction, you add that to the fact we are seeing some big selling
volumes out of the US, Asia and all things Europe, if you have to
picture that the global markets are turning their backs on Europe. They
are saying, we are fed up, you they let the eurozone break-up or you
let the European Central Bank step in and step in in a big way. The
problem is, Germany is very heavily opposed to that idea. While Germany
maybe the blocking to all of this, it could also be the only saviour.
Germany is the only economy at the centre of Europe with the firepower
to solve this problem. Whether they pay for it in a very direct, or be
assuaged by giving loans to the rest of Europe, or whether they
find some clever financial mechanism, like the European
Central Bank buying back debt from other countries, ultimately it
falls on Germany. So while Angela Merkel is the problem, she is the
only possible solution. It goes on and on! Let's not forget there are
other interesting things happening. The British former boss of Olympus
has gone back into the lion's den, to a certain extent, because he was
fired and now he is back. Yes. This is the man who was unanimously
fired by the Olympus board after he started questioning this $1.3
billion his company had paid out in fees to a rather obscure companies
and money they had used for takeovers which largely ended up
being written off. At first, Olympus denied any wrongdoing but
then they admitted that they had been covering up huge investment
losses over a decade. So he came back and face the board. He wants
the ball to go. This is what he had to say. I am not obsessed about
returning back. I have got a wonderful legal position and I will
be comfortably well-off. I was sacked for gross misconduct. Any of
you who look at the case will see that. If I am not wanted back, and
it is the shareholders who will make the decision, that is fine by
me. We will keep our eye on that story. Thank you.
We want to hear what you think. Go to the website and follow the link.
This is GMT. Here are the headlines: Mounting pressure on
Egypt's military rulers to step down despite the appointment of
pomade and sorry as the new Prime Minister. And no word on allowing
an observer mission into Syria. A deadline set by the Arab League
could trigger new sanctions. The people of the Democratic
Republic of Congo go to the polls on Monday in what could be a
turning-point for the war-torn central African nation. Over 19,000
candidates are in the running but elections in the Congo have, in the
past, been mired by violence. Andrew Harding has been to the east
of the country to the city still living with the legacy of Congo's
long wars. Excitement and more than a whiff of
trouble. It is election time in one of Africa's most chaotic countries,
and nobody in Congo is expecting a smooth ride. On the throne here,
one of 11 presidential hopefuls. Loyalties are dangerously for
brochures, and so it is the desire for change. They do not care about
the population. We don't have roads. In your country, you have Rhodes!
It is no joke! And not much peace either, here in eastern Congo. This
is a poor town where bicycles are Borden, the peacekeepers cannot be
everywhere and rival groups battle for power of Congo's mineral wealth.
The incumbent President has all the usual advantages and may sneak
another victory, but it could be close and pence. These elections
could be a step forward for a country that has squandered its
potential for decades, but this is a real danger that there could
trigger -- it could trigger a real instability, violence and impunity.
My fear is that all this might lead to serious violence and the
breaking up of this country. Who knows. Out of sight, the clearest
proof of Congo's enduring lawlessness. In a hospital, new
victims of the epidemic of sexual violence that still blights the
countryside. 15-year-old Mary says she was raped this week by two
unknown men. Then they beat me, she says. She does not expect justice.
But the hope for progress remains strong here. He is one of 19,000
candidates running for a seat in Parliament at these elections.
think this is a step forward. Let's not think of miracles, but I think
this is a step forward towards a stronger institutions and a
peaceful country. Then we can get development. Miracles are not on
the cards. But Congo's economy is growing and its fate matters to
Africa. It is the wounded giant at the centre of the Continent.
The world's biggest supermarket chains, the likes of Wal-Mart,
Carrefour and Tesco, have opened in many countries, but until now,
there were not allowed to sell directly to shoppers in India. All
of that is set to change after the government's decision to change the
rules and open up the country's multi-billion dollar retail market.
This is how in the shops for its daily needs. In congested local
markets. Haggling for the best price. The produce get here after
passing through many hands. A cumbersome supply chain that has
somehow survived. But it is also unregulated. The poor
infrastructure at leading to huge losses. It is a scene you can see
outside money market in India. Large piles of rotting fruits and
vegetables left out in the open, exposed to the elements. It is
estimated that up to 40% of India's produced is wasted because of poor
storage facilities. A sign of things to come. At a massive Wal-
Mart cash and carry store offering a wide range of products. But at
the moment, only to wholesalers. Businesses, hotels and restaurants.
With the rules changed, they will soon sell directly to consumers. At
a farm outside Delhi, a bumper crop of aubergine. It is meant for the
Wal-Mart cash and carry store. The company sources directly from the
farmer. Monitoring quality and cutting out the middlemen. And the
farmers earn considerably more. TRANSLATION: Earlier, we had to
travel a long way to market and deal with middlemen. We never used
to get a good rate. Now the company takes a or vegetables and pays us
much more. -- takes a or vegetables. But these are the ones who are
threatened. The local vegetable vendor. Earning subsistence wages.
There are about 20 million of them in India taking care of the
country's demand for fresh food. With international giants coming in,
many fear they will be wiped out. If you take an average Wal-Mart
store, it will displace about 11,000 people. This is the
calculation we have done. It will be replaced with 285 jobs. Another
day and a fresh load of farm produce arrives at Delhi's main
wholesale market. A scene that could soon fade away and change the
wake Indians shop. -- the way. We will return to the turmoil in
Syria. We have heard in the last few moments that the Arab League
has changed its deadline to set a new one. No response from the
Syrian authorities. The Arab League has given them till the end of
today. That is Cairo time. Our correspondent has been in Syria for
a week and made an extraordinary journey to the City of harms. It is
the centre of President al-Assad's rule. -- the City of harms. Can you
explain to me where you went and how you were able to travel, given
that international journalists are barred from Syria and have been
four months? We did not go officially. We went on the
underground supply line that Syrian fighters, and this is becoming
increasingly military-led, to run guns into places like this from
Lebanon, and to take casualties on the way out. We met a group of
smugglers in the dead of night. They had two or three weapons each.
We walked across the border with them. The Syrian army has sown a
lot of minds on that border and they have reinforced their patrols.
-- a lot of mines. And then in what seemed like a remarkably efficient
process, we were passed from activist group to activist group,
with members of what is sometimes called the Free Syrian Army,
sometimes with those just supporting them, going on back
roads, skirting around checkpoints, until we reached the outskirts of
the city itself, which is ringed by the Syrian army. And activists are
literally running across roads and fields, hoping to dodge the army to
get into the centre of the city itself. How many resistance at
providers are there in and around the city now? There were claims
that there were thousands, but what is your estimate? I think it is
probably exaggerated that there of thousands. Spokesmen outside the
country have spoken about 15,000. We have spoken to the commander and
they were claiming 500. Bear in mind that their estimate of the
official security forces were some 150,000. So this is a very small
force. But it is growing in number every day, and we saw defection has
more or less every day, and in the middle of the night, you would hear
a lot of gunfire. It would go on and be Syrian soldiers literally
running from their bases on the outskirts to join the opposition in
opposition-held areas, if you can call than that. This is what
changed the game. This will continue if it goes on like this.
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.