14/07/2011 Newsnight


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Kirsty Wark.

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Hauled in for questioning at Westminster, vilified in his own


Australian backyard and now the FBI are involved too. Newsnight


examines the danger to Rupert Murdoch's global interests. Both


Rupert, James and Rebekah Brooks will appear before MPs next week to


answer questions. But, tonight, Mr Murdoch is on the


offensive, calling Gordon Brown completely wrong. And claiming News


Corp has only made minor mistakes in its handling of the crisis.


We're joined live from Washington by Barbara Boxer, one of the


senators calling for a full scale inquiry into whether Murdoch's men


and women broke US law. We have an exclusive interview with


a Saudi billionare Prince, who is News Corp's second largest


shareholder. We hope the truth will come out. It is very important for


me and my company, investors in News Corp for 20 years to get this


in order. And are the troubles at News


International just going to accelerate the demise of newspapers


in this country. Also tonight we are deep in the


mountains of western Libya, as the rebels open another front to get


rid of Gadaffi. They may look a bit sinister, but


beneath the masks they are doctors, lawyers, teachers, it is as if the


Rotary CluB went to war. Rupert Murdoch, the man who once


leaders were desperate to curry favour, has bowed to desperate


pressure to appear in front of MPs, along with his reluctant son, James,


and Rebekah Brooks, about alleged phone hacking and bribes to


policemen. The FBI are looking into whether or not News Corp hacked


into the phones of victims of 9/11. Mr Rupert Murdoch just before we


came on air, gave a robust defence to the newspapers.


First of all, the committee, this morning, neither James nor Rupert


were going to the committee? only person who was going to attend


was the CEO of News International, Rebekah Brooks was Gogol, but not


Rupert and James. They wanted to threaten with everything they had,


but it wasn't clear what powers they had if they declined. The


deputy Serjeant at Arms served a summons to the News International


lawyers, received a receipt for that summons, in response to that,


the Murdochs this afternoon, through a letter from James Murdoch,


said they would, in fact, accept this summons to appear, but they


wanted to be very mindful, or the committee to be mindful that there


were other investigations going on, not least the one by the police,


and they didn't want the committee to trample all over it, and would


do their best to answer questions without that problem. Will they be


flanked by lawyers on Tuesday? will see all three in a line


together. They did want to do it one at a time. I was speaking to


people on the committee, they didn't think they could get. That


they are having them three at a time. One of the people on the


committee has said they cancelled everything for the weekend, we will


spend the weekend working out what questions they ask them with


counsel. Rupert Murdoch, who has kept his silence, and has choosen


the Wall Street Journal as the organ to speak to us all from?


that newspaper it is a newspaper he owns, we can probably rely on them


to have faithfully recorded the quotation they have got from him.


In that we will get a preview of the line he will take with the


commity. On whether News Corp got it wrong, they said they handled it


extremely well in every possible way, making minor mistakes. On the


question whether his son, James Murdoch, has handled it well, he


has handled it well and the BSkyB bid well. A lot of rubbish spoken


in parliament, that is why he's looking forward to going to the


committee to put it straight. was a rather large swipe at Gordon


Brown in the Wall Street Journal? There was, Gordon Brown yesterday


made a big rumbling roaring speech in the House of Commons were he


accused every other politician under the sun, it seemed, of


getting very, very close to Rupert Murdoch, except for him and he


stood alone against the Murdoch empire. Today we got that from


Rupert Murdoch, he got it entirely wrong, the Browns were always


friends of our's until the Sun withdrew its support. One last


thing, speculation Mr Murdoch says about the sale of his newspaper


assets in order to extricate himself from, that there is a lot


of speculation about that happening, Mr Murdoch says it is pure and


total rubbish, give it the strongest possible denial you can


give. Also another development today, it seems a further


entanglement between the Met and former News of the World


executives? Every day we learn t seems b more of this interaction


between journalists, particular - to be more of this interaction


between journalists and the police. Lisence lives the deputy editor of


News of the World, 2003,-2009, under Jason Cowley. It turns out


when he left News International, without stain on his character, he


didn't have to resign. He went to work for the police. The Mayor of


London is absolutely livid e wasn't told anything about this. When he


found out this gentleman was working for the Metropolitan Police,


in 2009, just after the time when they reassessed the evidence on


News International, whether there was evidence, the mayor was livid,


the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police was at Hendon


Police Academy, handing out medal, the mayor rang him up and said get


back here and talk to me. They had an hour-and-a-half in his office A


letter has gone from the home of the commissioner to the


Metropolitan Police asking what went on and why nobody was told


about this. Let's talk more about now about the interview with Mr


Murdoch in the Wall Street Journal, and his attack on Gordon Brown. I'm


joined by the Times candidate, and Tory peer, who used to edit the


Wall Street Journal, and the editor of the New Statesman, Jason Cowley.


First of all, David Aaronovitch, clearly he is trying to minimise it


in the Wall Street Journal. There are two message, one a public


message, and a very big message of reassurance, back to people who


work for what is always now called the Murdoch empire. Do you feel


reassured? I do feel reassured. I wasn't looking forward to the Times


being sold to a Big Society collective of cross word enthusiast,


or people whom imagine to take over newspapers if Murdoch went away.


He's in no position to make reassurances? I think he can try,


but it is very difficult. Murdoch mur loves his newspaper, I think he


would do - Rupert Murdoch loves his newspapers, I think he would do all


he could to remain the owner of them. There may be other


shareholders News Corp who may not have the same devotion to them.


When he writes or communicates to the Wall Street Journal, that he's


only made minor mistakes in the handling of this, and that is


preceded by James Murdoch saying he regreted deeply the payout to one


of the hacking victims of something like �750,000, the professional


Football Association, Gordon Taylor, that doesn't show a minor mistake,


does it? I think a lot of people will feel this was not a minor


mistake. There is little to be gained at this stage by trying to


play it down. If that's what his advisers are telling him. I would


take issue with that. Two things we know about Murdoch, we never second


guess what le do, closing news nuefs a stunning event. - closing


News of the World was a stunning event. I thought he didn't believe


in the her red try principle, but he does when it comes to his own -


hereditary principle, but he does when it comes to his son. Yet,


according to the Times this morning, James Murdoch didn't know they


would drop the BSkyB all together? Which shows about his whole lack of


judgment during the whole proceedings. He might not protect


James Murdoch together, he might be the ruthless father, eventually?


the News Corp shareholders will move against Rupert and force his


hand in a way he wouldn't want. thought a strange section in that


piece is choosing the Wall Street Journal to have an take on Gordon


Brown? The Wall Street Journal thing is the first opportunity to


give himself a chance to speak out at all. The whole Gordon Brown and


Rupert Murdoch thing is becoming one of the most bizarre high-level


soap operas we have available. We can track it back through Sarah


Brown, and Rebekah Brooks's call about the cystic fibrosis. You have


to say it is fabulously entertaining. What it means is


another matter. It is more than fabulously entertaining, it is a


deeply serious problem? I'm not sure it is a deeply serious problem


so much as showing our former Prime Minister in a very unflattering


light. I don't really blame Rupert Murdoch for trying to put that side


of things in perspective. Nick Clegg this morning said, and I have


no reason to disbelieve him that he had it on the best of authority


that the first person to call Andy Coulson and commiserate with him on


losing his job as editor of the News of the World was one Gordon


Brown. It is bitterness on Brown's part. That explosion in the House


was like Lear emerging from the storm raging. He wasn't in control


of the facts. There is tremendous bitterness and anger. It is true


Brown and Murdoch were close. Murdoch admired Brown's knowledge


of economics and economic history, Brown was a free marketeers, he's


an Atlantices. Labour worked hard to court the Murdoch empire, brown


can't start throwing out allegations in a wild and


incoherent way. Brown seemed to admire Rupert Murdoch when he was


publishing the Sun and the News of the World. He had the support of


them. Just before the general election I travelled with Brown, we


went to Newcastle a couple of days from the vote. I had to pass a


message from someone close to Rupert Murdoch about what happened


in the negotiations when the Sun moved against Gordon Brown, it came


out against him on the morning of his speech. I mentioned the name of


the person who was giving it, and Brown's face turned to stone and he


hung his head in shame. You are staying to speak about the future


of newspapers later on. The trouble with global empires is when one


part snoozes, the other parts catch a cold. There is shivering in


America and Australia now. In the US where Rupert Murdoch has huge


holdings, Democrat senators have been calling for an investigation


into whether News Corp broke the law by phone hacking or bribing


officials. Tonight the FBI announced they were looking into


the issue of whether the phones of the victims of 9/11 were hacked N a


moment we will be joined live from Washington by one of those senators,


Barbara Boxer. First this report. Rupert Murdoch's troubles may have


broken out in the British corner of his empire, but the contagion is


spreading fast, to affect his business worldwide. In his homeland,


Australia, where he owns almost 150 titles, his company is checking


that all editorial payments in the last three years have been


legitimate. Politicians are now worried. Like, I think, most


Australians, I have been pretty shocked and disgusted to see the


revelations we have seen in the UK. After seeing some of the things


that have been done to intrude on people's privacy. But more


seriously the contagion spread to Murdoch's adopted home, the United


States. Where he's now a naturalised citizen. His holdings


include the New York Post and Wall Street Journal, the publishers


Harper Collins, most of the skal nap Geographic Channel, most of


20th century Fox, and the news channel, which has enabled Murdoch


to play the same role in America as he has played in Britain. He is a


conservative media outlet and sides with Republicans in Congress


routinely and against the Democrats. There is a lot of liberal anger at


Mr Murdoch over the years. I also think there have been liberal


politician, Democrats who have been more loathe to criticise Mr Murdoch


in the past, or Fox, for fear of having some of the reprecussions I


know we have seen in the British politics. British politics don't


want to be targets of the the news. Fox's show this week didn't discuss


the troubles. This video of the panelists chatting through the ad


break, shows them daring one another to do so. Anyone want to


bring up the subject we are not talking about today for the


streamers, I'm not going to touch it. In Congress concern is now


growing. Especially since the suggestion, still unsubstantiated,


that News of the World may have been involved in hacking the phones


of 9/11 victims. Several senators have now called for investigations


by the Department of Justice and the securities and exchanges


commission, into the hacking allegations, and into the


possibility that if Murdoch papers in Britain, paid police for stories,


that may have breached the US foreign corrupt practices act,


which bans US companies from paying bribes to foreign officials. Last


week when the story broke, this became sort of an interesting story


to Americans, we found it some what titilating and fascinating as a


story, I don't think it necessarily was penetrating the consciousness


of the greater American public. This week, on the other hand, I


think we're starting to see greater American interest in the story, as


the possibility that it could affect Americans and not just


people in Britain has come out. Tonight FBI sources confirmed


unofficially that the agency will look into claims of possible


hacking in the US. But as political concern spreads, Wall Street is


also becoming increase league worried about Rupert Murdoch. News


Corp's share priest - increasingly worried about Rupert Murdoch. News


Corp's share price has dropped. It is fight lawing suit by one group


Some believe the corporation may pull out of the newspaper business.


Many doubt that James Murdoch will ever succeed his father as its head.


I think investors in America are needing to know that there is a


capable leader, and there is some question now about whether James


Murdoch is that capable leader to actually run the enterprise. The


other thing the shareholders need is reassurance the advertisers


won't flee the newspaper titles. In the worst case scenario, should you


get the fleeing of advertisers here, that you have here for News of the


World, the only other option then is to actually kill those brands in


the way that News of the World was yuet niceed. Very likely there will


be at some point, I'm not saying this will be in the near term, an


entire new management at News Corp, which is a fine company. It has


great assets and a terrific future, but the Murdoch influence, despite


their basically de facto control ownership, is going to be


diminished. Last year Rupert Murdoch was master of a business


empire, commanding global revenues of about �20 billion, now he's


unable to turn the tide of allegations against his corporation.


Senator Barbara Boxer joins us now from Washington? Also we must


remember you are a former journalist with Pacific Sun. Let's


begin now with our understanding that the FBI is looking into the


possibility that the victims of 9/11 were hacked. Is this the


investigation you wanted? It is absolutely part of it. I teemed up


with Senior Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the commerce committee,


I'm a senior member of that committee, we have jurisdiction


over the broadcasters, folks, the media as a whole. We wrote to the


security and exchange commission and we wrote to the Department of


Justice, the FBI is part of the Department of Justice, asking them


to look specifically into the possibility that two American laws


were broken. One, the foreign practices Corruption Act, and


secondly, the called wiretap act. Any American corporation has to


comply with these laws. Rupert Murdoch decided he wanted to become


an American citizen, I don't blame him. America is the greatest place


of the world, I say to you. The fact of the matter is he became an


American citizen, his corporation is American. He needs to obey


American law. The stories coming out of your country about bribing


police official, on its face, that is not allowed under the foreign


corrupt practices act. The fact that he may have hacked into


victims of, the familiar lose of the victims of 9/11, that is not a-


families of the victims of 9/11, that is not aed load. I'm right in


saying there is no evidence of hacking of victims of 9/11, it is


just allegations at this stage? Absolutely. Let's look at the


hackings of phones here and also the bribing of officers here. Under


that act that you talked about, that would mean that foreign


Corruption Act, would mean that he could then be divests of his


newspapers, be prosecuted in America? He cannot, as an American,


Or a citizen of anywhere, bribe other people. This past, and Jimmy


Carter signed this into law, and we began to see a higher level of


morality in our corporations. It is very important. Right away, any


type of bribery of officials, or any other people trying to get


information, that is just not allowed. So it would be breaking


that law. In the Wall Street Journal, the new edition of the


Wall Street Journal, Rupert Murdoch has spoken to the Wall Street


Journal and said, as far as he's concerned the conduct of the


investigation into News Corp's activities, he has only made minor


errors in that. What do you make of it, given that this morning neither


he nor his son were prepared to appear in front of a committee of


MPs, but at the end of the day they were put in a position where they


absolutely have to? To say it is minor problems. You can correct me


if I'm wrong, more than 4,000 people in Britain were hacked in to.


Minor problems in the way they have conducted themselves in the inquiry


so far? I thought he was saying there was minor problems with what


he did. I can't comment on the way he has responded. Although the


initial reports were that he wasn't going toself testify, now he's


changed his - to testify, now he's changed his mind, that is a good


thing. But what he did is not minor. Do you think it might be possible


that you would request that he appears in front of a Senate


Committee? He has always appeared before the Congress committee on


other matters it's an American corporation and citizen, depending


on how this goes, I have spoken to Chairman Rockefeller, and it is


possible we could call him, we are not ready to do that at this time.


But the FBI is focused and on this. I have to say, it is hard for me to


understand how anybody could sanction, anybody could sanction


doing some of the things they reportedly did. When you look at


that little girl's murder, in your country, and what is reported to


have happened there, the possible hacking over here. The possible


hacking of phones of families who lost soldiers in Afghanistan and


Iraq, British families. It takes my breath away. Senator, if they are


found guilty, if the executives are found guilty of involvement in any


of these things. What would be sanctions that could be put upon


them on your side of the Atlantic? Well, right now there are many


things, I told you, there are two laws here, that come into play.


There is, this is a public corporation, they sell shares, if


they hid payments, you know, bribery payments, from shareholders,


that is a whole other civil penalty. Then f they hacked in to phones,


without a warrant, obviously, they don't have a warrant, that's


criminal. The corrupt practices act could be civil or criminal. So lots


could happen, the FCC has the ability to take away a license from


the media corporation kpro that break the law. It is too soon to


way what, why and how. There is one criticism, that actually it would


suit the Democrats greatry if for example the Fox channels were


emasculated before the election in 2012, and that this has become


quite a partisan issue for you? my goodness, if you break the law,


in our country, whether you are a Republican, or a Democrat, or a


liberal or Conservative or moderate, you break the law, you pay the


price. That is as simple as it gets. It


has nothing to do with your political persuasion.


News Corp sharehold ertsers have had to watch as - shareholders have


had to watch as their shares have dropped. It might get worse


depending on the outcome of the myriad of inquiries. Ofcom may make


the company divulge itself of the existing shares they have now. If


the Murdochs are on the back foot what about the other shareholders.


We have an exclusive interview with the Prince who owns 7% of News Corp.


If you want to see the superrich at play, then Cannes, on a beautiful


summer afternoon is where you need to be. Even by the standards of the


wealth that you find here, on the French Riviera, the man I'm about


to meet is wealthy, his name is Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal Alsaud.


The Prince is known as the Arab Warren Buffet,'s a nephew of the


Saudi king, but the vast majority of his wealth, he says, is self-


made. Owns the second-biggest stake in News Corp, the company that owns


Rupert Murdoch's entire, global media empire. We're on our way to


the Prince's yacht, which featured in a James Bond film. Before


meeting the man himself, it is worth putting His Royal Highness


and sharehold nears perspective. This Prince owns 7%, he's a


powerful voice in the company. The Prince is far, far richer than


Rupert Murdoch. He's ort �20 billion, Rupert Murdoch, by


contrast, is worth a relatively modest �7.5 billion.


I met the Prince on an upper deck of his yacht. We hope as think


thing unfolds the truth will come out. It is very important for me


and my company, investors in News Corporation, for 20 years, to get


this in order. Ethics to me are very important. There are some


terribly unethical things taking place at News Corporation. All four


things, hacking into the telephone of a murdered teenager, hacking


into the telephone of relatives of British soldiers who have died in


action. These are awful things? would like to correct you, the


problems have been at the News of the World and not News Corp level.


I would like to differentiate between News Corp conglomerate and


the News of the World, that was shut down. Unfortunately the


tactics used by the tabloid newspapers in the UK were done not


only by News of the World, but other newspapers and tabloid


newspapers also. James Murdoch is in an uncomfortable position,


either you knew what was going on, and didn't tell the British


authorities, so he's liable to a criminal prosecution, or he didn't


know, which means as a manager he wasn't in control of his own


organisation. On either way he doesn't look good? We have to wait


for the commission and wait for the result, why predict and pre-empt


what will come out of it. The facts will come out and soon hopefully.


One of the dangers for you as a major organisation is how the


contagion has spread. There are calls in the US for a Senate, there


is criticism of Murdoch and his organisation across the world. This


is a serious problem for you as an investor? I hope the matter doesn't


get overpoliticised. Because clearly some politicians in the UK


and others places would like to set the record clear and take revenge


from Mr Murdoch's conglomerate. I think this thing should not be


overpolitic yoised, we should give the commission - overpoliticised,


we should give the commission an opportunity. According toly we will


see how the thing went up. accordingly we will see how things


went up. What have you been saying to Rupert Murdoch about what is


happening? I say to Rupert and James Murdoch, who are my friend


and allies, and my company in Saudi Arabia. I said they have to co-


operate fully, and they will co- operate fully with the group sorted


by the Prime Minister. Speaking from my dealings with them there is


nothing but high ethics in the past 0 years. BSkyB was a key part of


the strategy for growth of News Corp? It was a key strategy, but at


the end of the day, you have to understand that News Corp is a


profitable company, even without the 61% of BSkyB. BSkyB has been


shelved, but it is not dead forever. You think News Corp might come back


and make a bid again for BSkyB? don't talk on behalf of management,


that is Mr James and Rupert Murdoch, but today they have withdrawn, and


based on the UK, the minimum period to come back is six months. We will


have to see what happens after six months. There is a lot of


controversy around one key manager at News International, Rebekah


Brooks, should she stay? indications are for her involvement


in this matter, for sure she has to go. Ethics for me is very important.


Definitely. I will not accept the tirade to de rail the company -


derail the company that has lady or man with a shriller of doubt on her


part. James Murdoch f he had known and didn't do anything about it,


would you say to Rupert, your son has to go too? From my dealings


with James Murdoch, it is impossible for them to know what is


going Onyango the News of the World level.


I'm with my panel now. Just picking up the very endpoint there. Huge


defence by the second-biggest shareholder of James Murdoch, and a


lukewarm defence of Rebekah Brooks. He's right to say it depend ones


what the investigation throws up. At the helm of any organisation you


can't have someone who is found to have done wrong, but at the moment


it is not proven. Very keen on ethics he says as well.


What he was also saying, interestingly, which won't be music


to your ears. That he didn't seem to worry they are divesting


themselves from the newspapers and leave broading and on-line, and the


way was open to make a new bid for BSkyB. Newspapers were in a fair


bit of trouble way before any of this became news. There will be a


temporary blip for people like the Sunday Mirror and the People, with


the News of the World not being there. We have been fiercely


competitive and working out how to deal with the new world of first,


24 hours news, and then the Internet, trying to make it work


for us financially. How do you go about that personally, when you're


writing a column do you put outside all social media and hope they will


read the paper? Fpbgts you use every mechanism you can to put


yourself out there. Of course you do, not just yourself but your


colleagues too. I'm fiercely proud of the newspaper I work for and the


work it does. It is a hugely professional organisation. And yet,


like the Guardian, which relaunched six years ago, has had the benefit


of some stunning scoops and great journalism. Yet has seen its


circulation continuing to decline, like so many newspapers have done


for the last 40 years. You can see why a Saudi Prince taking a world


view might say, we like the broadcasting bits, but newspapers


not so good. Newspapers are good things to have. I would be very


reluctant to see them disappear. shouldn't lose sight of the fact


that the Times and other papers do fantastic journalism, and serve a


very important purpose? That might be the case, but are people


prepared to pay for them. I think we can be too alarmist about the


future of newspapers in this country. There are some


extraordinary successful organisations, the Mail is selling


making a profit, backed by this extraordinary web operation, now


celebrity fixated, but successful. And taking market share in the


states. The telegraph group have gone back into profitability,


containing cost, extra strong linked journalism, and they are


moving towards a meted pay wall. Are people under 25 going to pay


for a metered pay wall? That is the challenge, how do you get young


people to pay for couldn't tent. - content. Simply for newspaper, I'm


more optimistic about magazines and the whole thing about long form and


magazine craft, magazine photography You will pay for


quality. What model for seven days? In seven days you can take out a


lot of cost. That will have to happen. It has already happened


with the Observer and the Guardian, it is happening with the Telegraph


group, it is bound to happen with the Times and Sunday Times, they


have already said they will look at that. The big problem for


newspapers a lot of people have been prepared to pay, but only for


salacious gossip. That is one of the reasons where we are in this


mess now. Will daily newspapers survive, what is the model, do you


think? I think they will have to change, because one result of this,


one way or another, is that salacious gossip on the scale it


has been printed is not going to be there any more. Do you think you


might go to a position where you have an on-line paper from Monday


to Friday, and a fabulous ten supplements at the weekend. What we


are discovering from the on-line content, who people like about it


is it looks like a newspaper. They want to he will foo the newspaper


is involved in it. Your pay wall is the wrong one, the Financial Times,


it is not just salacious gossip, it is paper that will work. Some


people will pay for quality, but numbers are small, compared with


the numbers who are prepared to buy the News of the World. We are being


parochial, India is a huge growing newspaper plarbgt. That is exactly


where Rupert Murdoch - market. That is exactly where Rupert Murdoch can


go now. NATO's campaign in Libya is


approaching the four-month mark, with little sign of Gaddafi's


regime close to collapse. International pressure is growing


on the rebels for negotiations to begin with the Government, perhaps


even with members of the Gaddafi family. How much time do the rebels


have, is there still a chance they can overhe throw the colonel. We


report from the rebel held mountains in the west of Libya.


The Tripoli brigade. "we are lions" they chant. These are the men the


rebels say will strike the final blow against Colonel Gaddafi,


liberating the capital. Most are from Tripoli, they fled at


the start of the uprising. Their commanders are telling them it


could only be matter of weeks before they return. Their families


are still there, so they hide their faces. They may look a bit sinister.


But beneath the masks they are doctors, lawyers, teachers. It is


as if the rotary club went to war. They are fighting for high ideals,


these don't seem the kind of men to accept a grubby compromise with the


regime. The rebels' hopes of marching on the capital lie here,


in the mountains. Across the plain below, Tripoli is a mere 60 miles


away. Just months ago, rebel held towns in the mountains were under


siege. Battered by the loyalists' heavy artillery.


But the rebels brokeout, and just a couple of big towns now stand


between them and the road to Tripoli.


But this isn't a regular army, it often seems like quite a sleepy


little war. There is a lot of sitting around


inbetween the fighting, and in that the Libyan war is no different from


any other. The rebels do seem to have some forward momentum, in this


part of the frontline, at least. But they are short of everything.


Food, fuel, weapons, ammunition and money. That means they are not


moving as fast as they would like, or NATO. The Americans are running


out of patience, the British are running out of place, and the


French want to open negotiations with elements of the regime.


For ordinary fighters, though, the focus is on the next battle. If


Raul goes to plan, this will be in the small - if all goes to plan,


this will be in the small town nearby. The rebels summoned the


tribal leader there, they told him he had 48 hours to evacuate


citizens before they take fire. The rebels are confident and believe


things are going their way. So at the first sound of gunfire they


complacently assure us it is just their own men having a bit of a


market practice. It was Government loyalists mount ago surprise attack.


It is a nasty shock for the inexperienced troops. They spot


vehicles toward them, they realise they are being surrounded. With


frightening rapidity, the rebel frontline collapses. Slow, slow.


I'm getting tout get some shots. Tim, stay in. We run. So does


everyone else. They halt a few miles down the road.


There is an argument over whether or not to go back to fight. He says


they have only one case of bullets, what can they do with that.


Other towns have plenty of ammunition, but keep it for


themselves. A sign of some disunity beneath the ref - revolutionary


slogans. That evening, though, the rebels


counter-attack. Hundreds of men are pushed up, by the end of the day


they had won back all the ground they had lost in the morning.


Finally they were outside the town of Assaba, once again.


The Gaddafi forces are using civilians as human shields this man


who is a rebel field commander says. They warned citizen they should


leave because the rebels would attack, we will still take the town


in 48 hours. In getting this far, the rebels had shown fighting


spirit, that more than the skill may determine the outcome of this


conflict. But the regime's loyalists had fought hard too.


Looking at the battlefield, Colonel Gaddafi might think he can hang on.


So it time to talk to the regime. A plane carrying rebel ministers from


Benghazi, lands on a mountain road, converted into an air strip.


Gaddafi and his family have to leave unconditionally. I don't know


if any view officially in the cabinet that I represent, that look


into all that believe we are ready to negotiate. The key issue is we


need the military situation to change. The reason that everyone is


running for and clamouring for a political solution, is so far on


the military side they haven't done as well. Unless we do that, the


rest of the world, obviously, needs to find a solution to this conflict.


You are the Finance Minister, but everything is short here as well,


as you know, there is one Kalashnikov between four men, there


is no fuel not enough food or ammunition. How do you address


this? One of the issues that our friend, everywhere, they haven't


really, they are always to the level that they should be. They


committed themselves to let us use some of our money. We are not


asking anyone to give us money, this is our friingen money and I'm


tired of saying that. The rebels haven't met all the international


community's expectations either. There were reports of looting in


the last place they captured. The rebels move in and Government


supporters flee, terrified. They leave behind ghost towns.


Human Rights Watch spoke to former The rebels would still like us to


think of them as they think of themselves, the good guys.


These are the men of Al-Zawahiri, their uprising was crushed by


Colonel Gaddafi's tanks, so they took to the hills. We have pressure


on our families, they are searching our homes nearly every day. All of


us we don't have military. I'm an engineer, I'm a senior engineer,


but now I'm holding guns and I'm fighting. Even if this war takes


long-term, we are not going back, you know. There is no retreat.


fighters seem in no doubt of their eventual victory. Their few tanks


will roll into Tripoli soon, they say. But Colonel Gaddafi has


reportedly sent his best army unit, to stop these rebels. They are


apparently in the last big town on the way to the capital. The


colonel's fate and that of the Libyan revolution, could be decided


here in the mountains. That report there.


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 60 seconds


Tomorrow morning's front pages now. That's all for Newsnight tonight,


if you want more advise the website to read all about it and watch -


visit the website to read all about A much brighter day on Friday,


across East Anglia and Kent, sunshine here. Further west, well


the opposite is true, after some sunshine on Thursday it is a much


gloomier prospect on Friday, outbreaks of rain creeping in. Some


of the rain may arrive to the west of the Pennines. In north-east


England places looking fine with sunshine. Warmer, brighter day


across East Anglia, temperatures into 25 in London. Across the south


west, after a bright start, we will see the cloud thickening up.


Eventually outbreaks of rain will trickle their way into Devon and


Cornwall, the wet weather arriving into the west of Wales. Eastern


Wales, we will not see the rain until late in the day. After a


bright day on through, it is all change for Northern Ireland too. A


glum day. The rain not too heavy, but light rain and drizzle for most


of the day. The rain heading into western Scotland. Which parts of


the east coast will stay dry and bright. Into the weekend it turns


cooler, wetter and windier, heavy showers expected on Saturday,


across the north of the UK. Any sun A raft of showers on Saturday a


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