28/10/2011 GMT with George Alagiah


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.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 28/10/2011. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Are fleeing the Thai capital Bangkok as fear grips residents


that the flooding is getting worse. This is the scene in the capital


Bangkok, relief workers are expressing concern that the


authorities cannot cope with the city's main river bursting its


banks It is under water. We have seen this picture time and again in


the past few weeks. Now, we are Hello and welcome to GMT. Also in


this programme. Modernising the Commonwealth. Historic changes


allow females the same succession rights to the thrown and monarchs


to marry Catholics and the Formula One circus arrives in India but are


locals paying too high a price. Welcome. It is 12.30 in London,


early morning in Washington and 6.30pm in Thailand, where the


authorities and the people are bracing themselves for more floods.


So far, about 300 have died in the worse flooding to affect the


country. Thousands of residents in the capital Bangkok have decided to


leave the city, as fears mount that the main river may burst its banks


in coming days. The city's second airport has seen aeroplanes


standing on run aways awash with water. We have been following


developments and have this update. The Government is warning that this


weekend could be decisive in determining how much of Bangkok


might fall victim to the floods, and the reason is we are about to


go into a period of peak high tides. The Chao Phraya river which snakes


through the capital, it is already swollen, the worry is it could


burst its banks when the tide is at its highest. That means that bong


cock would be vulnerable on two fronts. From here, because of the


river, and also from the run off water that is bearing down the


capital from the north. This road bridge has been closed to


everything but essential traffic, so emergency vehicles, a few


motorbikes have been going through, relief supplies. The reason is


there is a community on the other side, but it is already under water.


We have walked across the bridge, to the far side, the far side over


the river. Look at this. It is completely under water. We have


seen this picture time and again in the past few weeks. Now we are


seeing it in districts in Bangkok. Roads that just disappear under the


muddy water. People who are preferring boats to cars because


cars can't get through most of this any more and groups of people that


are packing up belongings, looking to find a way out. We have seen


some coming in the opposite direction. Volunteers who are


trying to help people, but people with supplies who want to try and


stick it out in here. Some people who just feel they can't move all


their families at this stage. You just look round, and see how high


the water is already, you wonder how long they will be able to stay.


We may try and get you some live response from Thailand later in the


programme. The the meantime some of the other stories round the world


today. The contrast between the heavily indebted nations of western


Europe and the economic powerhouse of China sitting on multi-trillion


dollar reserves is evident. While the head of the eurozone bail out


fund is in Beijing, to try to explore ways to attract some of


that cash into the newly expanded plan to solve the EU's debt crisis.


In a moment we will discuss the story. First this report from our


world affairs correspondent. So, will China use its Great Wall of


foreign reserves to help Europe? The head of Europe's bail out fund


hasn't come to China cap in hand, he says he doesn't expect a


conclusive deal but he thinks Beijing will continue to buy his


bonds I have had regular contact with the Chinese authorities, they


are regular buyers of bonds, these are good commercial product, not


linked to any other ideas. China's leaders will be conscious that the


euro block is their biggest export market. Europe's leaders left


Brussels having bought some time for the eurozone, with their last


minute deal. But the verbal jousting continued after President


Sarkozy made this comment about the country at the heart of the crisis,


Greece. Neither Angela Merkel nor myself were in power when it was


decided to allow Greece into theure row. Let us tell things the way


they are. It was a mistake. Greece entered with figure thars were


false and they weren't ready. Their economy wasn't ready for


integration. It was the decision that was taken in 2001 and for


which we are now paying the consequences. The Greeks response


was to dismiss the remarks an their Foreign Minister told the BBC it


was time to move on. This is a European issue, so scapegoating


Greece is not the solution to European issue, Greece making


changes is a solution to help bring a Europe closer to what it should


always be. A union that together is more powerful than almost anyone, a


union that divided can be weak. long-term health of the your row


will depend on European leaders finalising the details of their


plans. Perhaps getting those funds from China. The markets seem to


have been buoyed up for now but by the evoefpbs the last few days but


will be watching closely to see how Europe follows up on its plan. With


me here is Rod Why. So, obviously big economic partnership between


Europe and China, and the Chinese who won't want to see the eurozone


fail. On the other hand if they give some money they won't give us


freely are they, they will want something in return? They are not.


They will be first of all they will be cautious about whether or not


into vest. They want to make sure that they have a safe investment


basically. If they do, they will want something in return, exactly,


something probably something political, they have been asking


for market economies status from the European Union for a long time.


They would certainly want a greater say in international discussion, of


how the international economy works. The G20... Like the IMF, we pay we


want a bigger say. They would, and the G20 meeting is coming up they


want their voice to be heard and taken more seriously. So, I mean,


in a sense would they put a bullet to the head of the European, the


old global powers and say "We will do this but we want this in


return?" might that not cause some concern. I don't think there will


be bullets to the head. The Chinese will say some helpful things. They


have already said helpful things because they do want the European


economy to recover, so they will say helpful things. How much


helpful thing, how many they will do is another question... But they


may say to the Europeans keep quiet about human rights and don't keep


raising it? I don't think they would say it that bluntly, but


certainly some Chinese lead verse said in the past if we do something


for you then we would expect something back, and that would be a


something that the Europeans need to understand. One gets confused


when you look at the global picture, because China on the one hand says


on climate inshoes we are a developing nation and so on, yet


this is a demonstration of how clearly power is shifting from the


west to the east, globally in terms of the money available, three


trillion dollars worth that the Chinese have. What is China then?


China is all these things. China is in many senses still a developing


nation, there is a lot of very poor people in China, on the other hand


China is very much a central power in the world today, and will remain


so. And it is finding it difficult I think, to accustom itself to the


new realities, to the new realities people are looking more to China


for a lead, and for support on big economic issue, on climate issues


and the other things. When you look at where power sits in the world


Tay today, do you say look at Europe, heavily indebted, and yet,


Asia, China in particular, booming and that is where the new power is,


the new wealth is? Yes, but you have to keep these things in


proportion, I mean, Europe is in difficulties but it is still a very


wealthy place. And I think that although we see, we tend to see


ourselves in a difficult position at the moment, that doesn't mean


that power has shifted towards the east. We will see what happens on


that EU bail out fund and whether the Chinese do help the Europeans


or not. Thank you. Now, let us go back to our main story that we


brought you at the beginning of the probg. The flooding in Thailand


where the authorities taped people particularly in Bangkok are bracing


themselves for worse to come, with fears that the city's main river


may burst its banks in the coming day, we can speak to someone who is


running a flood relief centre in the centre of the capital. Can you


give us an update on just what you are doing to try to prepare people


for the worst, are you helping people leave the city, are you


trying to help those who are remaining to prepare themselves


better? What we are trying to co- here -- do here is co-ed or nait,


to assist in the flood... Sound am sorry, it is very hard to make


out what you are saying. Let me just see, I think we are going to


have to leave it. Very sorry about that, but I don't think the line


was strong enough to bring you an update on the flooding, in Thailand.


Some other news in brief now. The corruption trial of the former


Prime Minister of Croatia has opened and adjourned in the capital


pending medical reports. He is alleged to have benefited


financially from high interest loans he organised to fund


Croatia's War of Independence in the '90s. He denies any wrong doing,


the trial is going to resume in a week. An Iranian actress sentenced


to 90 lashess and a year in prison for appearing in an Australian film


has been released. She didn't receive the lashes and had served


almost four months in prison. Marzieh Vafamehr appeared in My


Tehran For Sale, a film about the social problems of a woman living


independently in Iran. In Canada, a small plane has crash-landed in a


city street in van koofrbgs all nine passengers onboard were


injured. The plane was approaching the airport when it went down. It


caught fire and broke up on impact. A person on the ground was also


hurtment some of the passengers are in a critical condition in hospital.


Now, the humble aspirin is back in the news today. A new major study


subjects a daily dose of aspirin should be given to people at high


risk of bowel cancer. The study has found that two pills a day for two


years reduced the incidence of bowel cancer in people with a


family history of it, by 60%. The research es say treatment could


stop up to 10,000 cancers over the next 30 years. Well, let us talk


more about it. Joins us from Newcastle is the man who led the


study Professor Sir John Burn. Tell us more about this, what did your


study show? It is just bowel cancer or other cancers that might be


reduced? We focused on people with an inherited predisposition to


bowel cancer called lynch syndrome. They get other cancer, particularly


of the womb, the exciting observation was as you say, we got


a very dramatic reduction in bowel cancer, of more than 60%, but we


also saw a similar reduction in other cancer, particularly of the


womb. That fits in with the observational studies and follow up


studys that have been gathered over the last 20 years that suggest


people on regular aspirin do get fewer cancers. This is the first


time though we have had a random control trial where people were


blinded to whether they were receiving aspirin or dummy tablets,


as were their doctors, we arranged to follow them for up to ten year,


so it has taken in 1 years to prove this, but this is definitive


evidence. And all right, we hear claims made regularly so anybody


listening to this who may have a family history of bowel cancer,


they just go and start taking the aspirin themselves, because I mean


that is what might happen, or they obviously have to seek medical


advice presumably? To some extent aspirin is an overthe counter


preparation. There are ways you can avoid side effects and, there are


well recognised ones. The figure you quoted of so,000 cancers


preventable, that would be in the UK n this high risk group, and in


that same group, if we did treat them with aspirin we would cause


about 1,000 ulcers so there is a trade off. You get ten times as


many cancer preventions as ulcers. As you become move your way down


the scale, to people at lesser risk, the trade off becomes slightly less


difficult or more of a challenge, but it is true to say, I mean


certainly personally I started taking a low dose aspirin a couple


of years ago, because the balance in favour of heart attack stroke


and cancer prevention has to be set against a relatively small risk of


ulcers, about one per1,000 patient years and that is a treatable


problem so compared to the other problems it is a good trade off in


most people's eyes. What is it about aspirin that gives it these


properties? Sorry could you say that again p what is it about


aspirin that gives it these properties? Aspirin gets its name


from the white willow. My personal theory is it is main effect is the


same in humans as plants. In plant, they make salicylates to induce


programme cell death when the cells become infected. I think in humans


what might be happening is salicylates enhancing that same


programme cell death of cells that might become cancered in the future.


So it could be in fact we are putting back something our ancient


diet used to v because in the past we would have had a lot of that


from wild plants. We don't get that any more because we grow plants in


Thank you very much indeed. Still to come, spin, spin, spin. Who or


are the real winners and losers in India's first ever Formula One


Grand Prix? Now, joining me here is Sally with


the business news and financial news. Another demonstration of the


problems in the eurozone crisis, with some pretty bad employment


figures from Spain? Absolutely. We were talking about the sticking-


plaster over the debt but where is growth going to come from? We are


seeing a new unemployment figures. Over 21%, which is the highest in


any OECD country, in Spain. It is a big psychological barrier and if


you dig into those numbers, it is the young people having real


problems. Over 45% of young people do not have a job. Now that the


construction boom is over, it really means, where is that growth


going to come from? Elections are coming up next month and it is said


that whoever wins that election will have to act very decisively.


Clearly, the numbers are dismal and the only solution would be a


radical, bold, brave reaction. I hope we will see this in the


upcoming election. And Spain had its credit rating downgraded last


week which makes it even harder to find the money for that growth.


to about the EU bail out fund? They are looking to the Chinese for help


on that? The Chinese have said they will do their due diligence and


they are not going to rush into any decisions to provide that fund.


They want to know what they will get in return. The EU will invest


something like $100 billion into that fund. It had 3.2 trillion, so


it has the money to do so. China says Europe has to take its own


responsibility and cannot look for a good Samaritan to come along and


bail it out. Europe should do that for itself. However, it is looking


at the details of the fund. A professor from Peking University


said that he believes Europe should not be borrowing from Trina,


however. I think it indicates two problems. Somehow, the Asians


arrived at his solution that the Europeans cannot arrive at and


secondly, if the Asians do provide a significant amount of capital, it


is going to be a case of exchanging long term benefits for short-term


gains. There have been many views. You were chatting earlier about


whether China should invest or not all stop looking at the markets, we


can see the euphoria rally we had yesterday. The FTSE is up at 19%


since its low at the start off August, so a lot of profit-taking


going on. The other markets are also reining back slightly on that


euphoria we saw yesterday with the You are watching GMT from BBC World


news. I'm Zeinab Badawi. Here are the headlines: Thousands flee the


Thai capital Bangkok as the flooding gets worse.


And head of the eurozone's bail out fund is in China for talks to


encourage Beijing to help rescue the European countries from their


debt crisis. The Queen has opened the


Commonwealth leaders' summit in Perth, Australia, with most of the


54 member countries represented. A short while ago, David Cameron


announced that the 60 nations of which Queen Elizabeth is monarch


have agreed to remove gender discrimination in the order of


succession to the throne. -- 16 nations. They also agreed to lift


the -- lift the ban on it Monarchs marrying Catholics. Attitudes have


changed fundamentally and some of the outdated rules, like the one on


succession, just do not make sense to us any more. If the idea that a


son should become monarch in place of a daughter just because he is a


man or that a future Royal cannot marry a Catholic, these are the use


of the past. Prime Minister Cameron, can I congratulate you on leading


this initiative and offer your congratulations both as a Prime


Minister and as a woman. And I am absolutely delighted that this


moment in history is happening here in Perth. To our modern minds, it


might seem simple and rational to make these changes, that there


would no longer be a discrimination against women in the way the line


of succession works and we would not continue the religious -- the


religious prohibition against marrying Catholics. But just


because they seem straightforward to our modern minds does not mean


we should underestimate their historical significance. That was


Julia Gillard, the Australian Prime Minister, at that Heads of


Government Meeting in Perth. Much of the debate in the lead-up to the


meeting has focused on Sri Lanka and international demands for an


independent inquiry into accusations of war crimes during


his 25 year civil war with the Tamil Tigers. Sri Lanka is due to


chair the next summit in 2013, something many human rights groups


consider unacceptable in the circumstances. We have Brad Adams


in the studio with us. He is the Asia director for the Human Rights


Watch group. Why do you feel Sri Lanka is not the right nation to


host such a meeting? Well, there have been 40,000 deaths in the


final stages of the war. We know the Army were targeting hospitals


and populated areas, and they told civilians to move into no-fire zone,


however, it became a free-fire zone. There have been many of these cases


and so they are effectively being rewarded for this behaviour. It is


shocking. The Commonwealth threw out Fiji for violating process and


suspended Pakistan, and now they are rewarding Sri Lanka by letting


them host this meeting, and it would be of great political benefit


to Sri Lanka to do so. The United Nations has held a report but it is


said they do not have the authority to hold such and investigation.


Where do you go from here? Members of the Human Rights Council are


also members of the Commonwealth and they have spoken out strongly


about this. We cannot find a government that is not appalled at


what the Sri Lankan government did. The Commonwealth has to decide


whether they want to be relevant. They are dithering over a point


over the human rights commissioner. Action it is being blocked. One has


to wonder what the progress of rewarding Sri Lanka is, and I think


the answer has to be that all these states are worried about


discrimination themselves some day. Thank you.


Formula One is making its debut in India this weekend, bringing its


noise and glamour to the capital, Delhi. Some people are asking,


however, whether Indians are paying too high a price for the World's


most expensive sport, in spite of the expensive track built there.


The spin machine is in overdrive. Formula One cars are raising


through the centre of Delhi. Promoting it as the new sport for a


rise in India and its burgeoning middle classes. There's a brand new


track and stadium built on time and Dom budget. The organisers hope it


will raise -- erase memories of last year's chaotic Commonwealth


Games. But even the cheapest tickets are way beyond the pockets


of most Indians. India is in the fast lane - that is the message


here, ready to host the World's most expensive sports. But is it a


sign that India is pulling ahead or just his wealthy elite? Just the


other side of the track, it is a world away from the high octane


glamour and speed of Formula One. Some have done well, getting


compensation for the race track for their farmland. They have gone on a


spending spree on new cars and houses. So, can everybody who has


received compensation for the track put their hand up. But it's a


lottery. Those with land are doing really well. Those without get


nothing. With the land gone, this farm labourer now has no work. He


cannot afford to send his children to school.


TRANSLATION: I wish Formula One had never come to India.


preparations for the multi-million- dollar race are now in Top Gear.


The owner of India's Grand Prix teams as the country is now in the


big league Costock I don't know why the media keeps focusing on the


poor part of India. Sure Bob, -- sure, we have poverty. But many


have a growing income per capita and an aspirational population that


is very successful. The market is large enough. The country is


roaring ahead in many ways. The danger is that it is becoming more


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.

Download Subtitles