23/07/2012 Newsnight


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

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Tonight, is the way to crack down on clever but legal tax avoidance


schemes, to name and shame those who profit from them. If there


really is something so wrong with the schemes, why not change the


law? You also need to remember to do


your tax return on-line, pay anything you owe by the 31st of


January...$$NEWLINE For those avoiding the tax man, the Treasury


insists it is going to get tough. What can Government actually do.


Treasury Minister, David Gauke s here to explain, and tell us why he


thinks even paying tradesmen in cash is morally wrong.


Female genital mutilation, the horrific butchery of young girls


practised in some communities, is happening here in Britain. It is


against the law, so why have there been no convictions. What would you


do if the girl had blue eyes and blonde hair, would it be carrying


on in the UK. Who would have thought problems in


the lovely Spanish region of Valencia might rattle the whole of


Europe? Paul Mason? Europe's politicians are staring at


a 400 billion bail out they don't have the money for.


On another day of fear and fighting on frontlines of Syria's war with


itself, the Assad regime confirms it has chemical weapons. We have a


special report from the Syrian border.


TRANSLATION: They are trying to carry out sectarian cleansing, to


push all the Sunni Muslims out of the villages, to create their own


Alawite state. Good evening, the Treasury Minister,


David Gauke, reminded us today that those who pay their taxes are


extremely irritate bid those who don't. In talking about targeting


aggressive tax avoidance schemes, which apyre to be legal, what does


the Government really have in mind. If the schemes are so dodgy, why


are they not outlawed. What of the views expressed on tomorrow's front


pages, that paying traits tradesmen in cash is morally wrong. The


minister will speak in a moment. First Allegra Stratton explains


some of the Government's thinking. For the Olympic family visiting


London the next three weeks should fly by in the lanes, the superfit


and the superfit's hangers on, able to pass through the capital on


lanes uncluttered by mere mortals. Going way back, the superrich have


also enjoyed what could be called the economy zil lanes, finding the


trap doors and escape hatch doors that slice through normal tax


paying behaviour. A cut in the top rate of tax from 50p to 45p in the


last budget suggesting an even smoother ride for the elite. Far


from it, the Government insists. are building on the work we have


already done to make life difficult for those who artificially, and


aggressively reduce their tax bill. These schemes damage our ability to


fund public services, and provide support to those who need them.


They harm businesses by distorting competition, they damage public


confidence, and they undermine the actions of the vast majority of


tax-payers, who pay more in tax as a consequence of others enjoying a


free ride. Jimmy Carr getting out of his car,


and here just being revealed to have enjoyed quite a cheap ride, if


not a free one. He was advised to pay his salary into a K2 offshore


trust, which saw a lower rate of tax. Legal and fully disclosed to


HMRC, the Prime Minister, nonetheless, described it as


morally wrong, the comedian apologised. Government was already


taking action to stamp out avoidance, with a new general anti-


avoidance rule, met by fines of a million pounds if flouted. On


Sunday research emerged showing �13 trillion is held in offshore


accounts around the world. Today's consultation proposes closing some


more bits of road. The Government believes 14% of all unpaid income


tax is due to aggressive avoidance schemes. This is behaviour not


illegal, but not very sporting, to use an on-trend adjective. It is


for those who contriumph to short change the Exchequer. HMRC will get


new powers to discover details of wealthy clients take advantage of


schemes, and discover how all the tax avoidance schemes work, not the


ones only criticised. If penalised, they will provide more information.


There are all these tax accountants across the country, who live a


little bit close to the edge, in terms of what's legal tax avoidance.


What they are trying to do with this consultation is ask those tax


advisers, who I like to think of as the mice in this scenario, to tell


the cat, which is HMRC, a bit earlier on in the chase about where


they are planning to run away to. And HMRC can give an earlier


opinion as to whether or not this is going to be legal or not.


you see why people think that these practices should just be made


illegal rather in this ambiguous territory of being morally


outrageous? They do make things illegal after the fact. HMRC spends


a lot of time in the Finance Bill trying to close loopholes. This


scheme would give earlier notice of what the intended events are, in


terms of getting round the loopholes. The issue around bring


anything law, is that law, people, accountants, barristers, will find


ways around that law. It will be game of cat and mouse, as you find


a way through, Government then has to refine that law and close it


down. That is very expensive for parliament, it takes a lot of time,


keep trying to think about it and closing down what the next route is


going to be. One of the significant things about


this morning's speech is it is a Conservative minister making the


case for tax avoidance clampdown, not a Lib Dem. The Chancellor and


Prime Minister have said plenty in this area, but orderly it is the


Lib Dems who get to announce the new policies. The trouble is, since


the budget and the cut in the 50p rate, the Tories know the sense


that they are the friends of the rich and powerful is even greater.


It is they who have to be seen to be getting back as much as they


have given away. Some critics think the Government is just skimming the


surface. A significant percentage of the world's tax havens are


actually UK overseas territories or crown dependencies. For example,


Jersey, the Isle of Man, the Kayman eye lafrpbds. These are places we -


- Kayman islands, these are the places we have the right to


legislate for. It is something to keep the press aware, or in the


press, aware of what the Government want. But in reality, it does have


no teeth to it. The Government wants the superrich,


including even donors and friends in the City, to think they are


running out of road. Their efforts may be no match for the sat-navs of


the very wealthy. The Treasury Minister, David Gauke,


is here to give his account of what be achieve pbl in tackling all of


this. You talked about name -- achievable


in tackling all of this. You talked about naming and shaming the


advisers, go ahead, what are the names of these people? I'm not in a


position to run through a list of names here and now. Why not? That


is not how the system currently works, what we are looking at doing


is strengthening the disclosure of tax avoidance schemes rules, so


there is more information available to HMRC at an early stage. Where


HMRC are able to take action if they need to change the law, or we


need to change the law in order to close a loophole, we can do so at


an early stage. If a scheme is ineffective and very often they are,


HMRC can take litigation action at an early stage and warn off people.


When you talk about naming and shaming, you don't really mean that,


we have due process in this country, and you can't have a Government


minister or HMRC tarting people and saying, publicly, we don't like how


you do your tax stuff, you do it privately and it ends up in a tax


tribunal? When something goes to a tax tribunal, and HMRC succeeds,


they are in a position to put out information about these are the


promoters, who for example have promoted a scheme that doesn't work.


After? Yes. And next time someone is approached and says this is a


fantastic scheme, they have the ability to look and see, here is


the same of someone, this person has -- the name of someone who is


promoting dodgy schemes. That information ought to be out there.


That is wonderful, except for one flaw, the backlog is 20,000 tax


tribunal cases which HMRC says at the current rate could take 38


years to clear up. You could put the money in getting people through


tax tribunals and then name and shame? That story isn't right. It


sounds a lot, but there are a lot of lead cases, when one case is


dealt with, a lot of other cases fall away. There isn't a particular


problem that we need to be overly worried about. There is a new


system in place that is settling in all right. I don't think there is a


big issue with that. HMRC have got more resources to deal with tax


avoidance and evasion, than they have had in the past. The focus is


to a greater extent on avoidance and evasion, they have the


capability. They are having a good run in terms of litigation, a lot


of these schemes are failing. HMRC are having a lot of success here.


We want to put out more information to tax-payers, so they can see if a


scheme isn't working. Also, that we are able to respond quickly f we


need to close down a scheme. I want to talk to you about tomorrow


morning's front pages, you have already seen the Telegraph saying


it is morally wrong, attributed and quoted to you, to pay tradesmen


cash in hand? What does that mean f the window cleaner comes round you


can't pay them in cash? Of course you do and people will continue to


do. The specific points, I'm not sure the article reflects that. The


specific point I was making is when a tradesman says, here is a 20%


discount on your bill f you pay me cash-in-hand, that is facilitating


the hidden economy. That is as big a problem in terms of loss to the


Exchequer as tax avoidance. That is meaning that revenue isn't being


paid that should be paid. You have never done, that unlike millions of


people presumably across Britain? have never said to a tradesman if I


pay you cash can I get a discount, no. Do you think any of your


colleagues have done that? I don't know. If people Diamonds Will Do


that, they have to do so with -- do that -- if people do that, they


have to do it with the recognition taxes will be higher for the rest.


That hidden economy is a large part of the issue. Do you think the BBC


has got it wrong in paying some people through service companies,


they shouldn't do it? I think the point I would make on that is that


it does depend on the specific circumstances. There are perfectly


reasonable circumstances where someone may be paid through a


service company. But if, as a matter of course, an employer,


whether the BBC or anybody else, pays people who are essentially


employees, working full-time for them, not going off to other


organisations, through service companies, for the purposes of


reducing national insurance contribution liability, I think


that is wrong. You think the BBC may have been doing this? I'm not


in a position to comment on the specific circumstances of an


individual case. If you try to get round the usual tax system that


applies to employees, but using service companies instead, so you


pay less in national insurance contributions, then there clearly


is artificial tax avoidance. That is wrong. One final quick question,


which also falls within your gambit, the Trade Minister in charge of


HSBC, when it was accused of money laundering, a serious offence,


taken up very seriously in the United States. When do you think he


should give an account of what he knew and when he knew it? I'm sure


Lord Green will give a full account at the appropriate time. I'm sure


he will want to respond at the right time. And you should do.


Allegations have clearly been made against HSBC. But, yeah, I think


Lord Green is someone with a reputation for integrity, I'm sure


he will want to set out his case in due course. You would like to hear


it? I'm sure he will set out his case in due course.


Now, thousands of women and girls living here in the UK have been


subjected to the practice of female genital mutilation, the custom of


FGM, as it is known, is widely practised in some ethnic minority


communities in Britain, and made illegal 30 years ago. Since then


not a single prosecution has been brought. Now there are reports that


some young girls are brought to Britain to be mutilated.


We have been investigating, on learning of this report, the head


of the Crown Prosecution Service has said he is determined to find


way to prosecute those guilty of cutting young girls and some. Some


of the imimages in this report are explicit, you may find them


upsetting. Parliament outlawed female genital


mutilation nearly 30 years ago. Specialist units were set up at


major hospitals throughout the country to help those already


mutilated. Later, it was made an offence to


take a British-born girl abroad for the purposes of mutilation.


And yet, thousands of girls in the UK today are still at risk.


My legs were spread, I thought this is not right, then I felt this pain,


I remember just screaming and I think everyone was just shocked, it


was like I had 50 pairs of hands cover my mouth my nose, I was


fighting, fighting, fighting. I can hear it the sound, just the cutting.


Emma explained she was 14 when she was taken from Brixton to Sierra


Leone to be cut. She's at the FGM clinic at St Thomas's, because


she's about to get married and she's worried. I realise a part of


me was musing, then I started to feel -- missing, and then I started


to feel very different from anybody else. If I'm with all my


girlfriends, I feel different. There are certain things that they


can feel that I may never get to experience. Comfort Momoh, the


country's expert on FGM, says most of the women she sees has what's


known as Type 3. This is a typical example of Type 3, as you can see


the clitoris is missing here, and the closure here, and leaving a


small opening there. Out of which urine, menstrual blood, everything


has to come. Even having sexual intercourse will be so painful. And


for some women to achieve penetration can take up to six


months, unfortunately. She travels the UK explaining how to repair


women who have been cut. To ease sexual intercourse and childbirth.


And finds that the facilities available for the task vary.


England we have about 17 clinics that support women and girls. I do


travel a lot. I provide support to other midwives, doctors, and


professionals, but I feel that in Scotland they are not ready for the


number of immigrants that they are receiving and they need lots of


support. Scotland's experience with


communities who practice FGM is very new. It was only ten years ago,


with the Government's refugee dispersal policy, that the tower


blocks of Glasgow filled with new immigrants, from those countries,


like Somalia, where women are routinely mutilated, in the name of


purification. To ensure that they experience no


sexual pleasure. Having intercourse was more painful


than giving birth. I did shout and scream, but he didn't care, all he


wanted to know was if I'm a virgin or not. The Africans, some of them


believe it is something that should be done, like every woman needs to


be circumcised. Others don't believe in it.


Faceded with a new population of thousands of mutilated women, and


as many children at risk, the Scottish Government rushed through


laws, some years after they were passed in England. Making FGM


illegal here, and for parents to take their children abroad to do it.


Nicky Loughran, a lawyer specialising in asylum, meets with


immigrants regularly. She says she knows the law forbidding FGM is


being broken. We cannot assume it suddenly stops when family crosses


a border, that they suddenly lose their culture of centuries. And


they suddenly become "British" in their way of thinking and in their


attitude to their daughters, and in their attitude to virginity and


monogamy, cleanliness, all reasons, all stated reasons for continuing


circumcision in girls. Do they know the law, do they know it is illegal


in this country? No, I don't think so. People need to know the law


will be enforced. There hasn't been a single


prosecution against FGM in Scotland, or in the UK as a whole.


Ayanna told me of two recent incidents of girls being cut in


Glasgow. One was three, and the other one was just about two weeks.


By whom? Mostly by the elderly women, the parents' mums. What


method do they use? Scissor, blade or a sharp knife. Who is making the


community feel this way, is it the women or the men? It is the choice


of the man, if the man is wanting to marry a woman, he needs a woman


that has been circumcised. So they force the women to circumcise their


daughters, in order for them to marry their daughters.


What do the men say? In a local hangout for Somali men, I asked


them, do they really want their women mutilated? No, most of them


said, it is their mothers who want it. Not the woman, it is the mother


of the children, they do their children. Others said they didn't


much care either way. If you want to do it, you can do it, if you


don't want, you don't do it, you know.


You wonder why the two sexes don't talk to one another. Some mothers


they cannot be understanding. group of Somali women, all who have


been cut, say they wish the authorities would do more to help.


By getting the anti-FGM message across. If the authorities can help


us to make these people to stop t I would be very happy. Since I came


here I have never heard about it. I have had two years in this country,


I have never heard of this. They need classes telling what happens,


what is right, what is wrong. women also want help when they


return to their country of origin for holidays, where many


mutilations take place. The authorities, they say, could


threaten to check girls on their return.


It is dangerous if families go back to Africa, because the child will


spend time with the grannies more than you. They may take your


daughter, there is nothing you can do about it. All they will tell you


is they have done it, that's it, that's it.


Many newly-arrived mothers, who have been mutilated, don't attend


antenatal clinics. Doctors are confronted with a woman who needs


to be unstitched urgently, only when she arrives at the hospital in


labour. If a baby girl is born to a mother who comes from a community


that routinely does GFM mutilation. But should that child be placed on


an "at-risk" register and kept up with. When I spoke to the midwives


concerned in Glasgow I was told I couldn't, but was assured that


policies and protocols are in place. When I wanted to interview social


workers to ask they keep an eye on girls who could be at risk, I was


told there were no social workers available, with sufficient


experience of FGM. When I asked to talk to head


teachers, I was told I couldn't, there were no guidelines issued to


schools on FGM. Why does no-one want to talk?


wish that people did talk about it more, so that the subject is raised.


I'm amazed that you are meeting a wall of silence from the very


professionals that I would think would really want to grapple with


it, in the best interests of the child.


Is the situation any better across the border in England? Where laws


against FGM were introduced back in the 1980s.


A lot of people thought it was taboo, a lot of people would be


like it's women's bits, you shouldn't be talking about that in


public. A group of schoolgirls, here in Bristol, are so frustrated


by the way people don't talk about FGM, that they have made their own


film. The Silent Scream depicts a family


where the parents are at odds over whether to mutilate their youngest


daughter, whom the older sister is trying to protect. We live in the


21st century, things have changed, can't you see that. Break-away from


our tradition. Who will want to marry her if she doesn't. Men don't


want it. That is what you say, Those statistics show how little


the Government is doing to stop FGM. They are so terrified, and they are


using cultural sensitivity as a barrier to stop themselves from


really doing anything. What would you do if the girl had blue eyes


and blonde hair, would FGM still be carrying on in the UK. Do you have


a message for David Cameron? grow a pair and do something about


FGM! If you can't handle the issue, then there is no point of you doing


your job. They say the majority of women in


their community are mutilated, and that the girls get cut at FGM


parties in Bristol. They have the parties like all in one go, all the


girls come together with the parents, the party is because it is


cheaper and get it all over at the same time. Who is doing the


cutting? Either the mothers, or they get the mum who is experienced


in cutting, an elder in the community to come and do it T


Their film ends with the fact that everyone finds bewildering.


At Scotland Yard they say they have had 82 incidents of FGM reported to


them. Why don't they prosecute? not necessarily sure that the the


availability of a stronger sense of the likelihood of being prosecuted


will necessarily change it for the better.


The police claim that the lack of prosecutions is due, in part, to


the difficulty in investigation. In France, where there have been some


100 convictionings for FGM, all school-aged children are inspected.


Why don't we do that here? convictions for FGM, why don't we


do that here? Inspection in our times could be considered a form of


abuse. We need to be careful with the law in this country that we


should not encourage behaviour towards a child, against their will,


even in their personal interest, if that behaviour itself amounts to


something that is child abuse. And that has been the received


wisdom in this country for nearly 30 years.


Meanwhile, the latest figures released on FGM in the UK suggest


that the number of mutilations taking place is increasing.


Tomorrow Sue will be reporting on how France takes a much tougher


line on FGM than the UK. We will have a special studio debate,


including the Home Office Minister, we will be asking what more needs


to be done to stop FGM. Well, it was groundhog day, one more time


again today on the European money markets, as the long-running soap


opera of the euro, again unsettled nervous traders. It was the region


of Valencia, looking for cash from the Spanish Government, pushing


Spain's bond yields into the disaster zone. And pushing down the


major stock market measure down by 5% at one point. Paul Mason has


been looking at the chronic de disease that won't go away. What


unsettled the markets today? people who decided who wants to


hold Spanish debt, they said this economy is shrinking by 1.5% per an


number, the regions are slowly going bust, they are -- per year,


the regions are slowly going bust, they provide merge he is services


and the Government is coming out with one statement of denial after


another. This is the cost of borrowing on the market over the


past six months. Today, at 7.5% is the highest it has ever been in the


eurozone, it is a signal where the time may come where Spain can't


borrow on the markets. That had an impact on Spanish stock markets,


the shares fell by up to 5%, and the Government stepped in and


banned short selling. We remember short selling from the Lehman


Brothers days, that is a signal of crisis. The German stock market


fell 3%, some German banks were hammered. Greece topped off the day


with a one-day fall of 7%, it would be remarkable if it were not a time


where it keeps on happening. It is still startling how Greece can


still unsettle the markets? Greece, the noises coming from


German politicians, unnamed sources in the IMF, all saying the new


Government, the coalition of everybody but the left supposed to


sort things out, it isn't happening fast enough, the fiem time may come


to pull the plug on Greece. It is more uncertainty. What about Spain?


It has to borrow 150 billion euros in two years, another 150 billion


for sister, another 160 billion caused by overborrowing, the deep


trepidation in Spain that they can't do it. A 400 euro bail out,


that is what it would need, is money the ruen European Union just


doesn't have at the moment. We have -- the European Union just doesn't


have moment. We have ratings agency talking about Germany and Holland,


talking about downgrading your sovereign debt rating because of


this. Lovely, thank you very much. With me now is Megan Green, and the


economist Ken Rogoff also joins us. The Spanish economy minister is


saying Spain doesn't need a full bail out, do you think he's right?


I don't it will turn out they don't need a bail out. Spain will end up


needing money. Things are clearly going down hill. The Spanish rekals


transabout accepting a bail out, German ambivalence about giving one,


and France's dubts about having a political union, all mean we can't


get aic -- Downing Street about having a political union, all means


we can't have but have Downing Street about this. Surely the whole


European economy isn't dependant on a few Spanish municipalities paying


their bills? You have Catalonia, the economy the size of Portugal


that might need a bail out from Spain. Their public debt is


untenable, but its external debt position is completely


unsustainable, I don't see any way that Spain can afford a bail out.


When Spain gets a bail out, unfortunately, Italy is right


behind it. The big picture here, we have been talking about this, all


of us, with monotonous regularity for a few years, is the big picture


there is no structural solution to the eurozone's problems, because it


was never conceived to deal with this, and the politicians haven't


really got a clue? Nobody knows. They clearly need much more of a


political union, eventually, to stablise things. They have to put


that on the map, they have to put that on the horizon for anything to


work. You need unlimited support here, that doesn't have credibility


without movement towards a political union. I think they have


a lot of cards to play. I would be very reluctant to say it is about


to fall apart tomorrow. The problem is, it is such an existential risk,


nobody knows how it will play out f it does blow up, it really unnerves


markets. They are nowhere near settling things, because they just


don't have agreement on the fundamentals. Aren't they on the


road, they say, to some kind of political union. We have gone


through the French election, we have had all the nice warm words,


they constantly tell us they are on the road to sorting it. They have


solved the immediate problem, and in the long-term there will be this


union that you talk about? I think the French election was a giant


step backwards, the French basically rejected a lot of the


movement towards a more centralised Europe, and yet, there is no


solution in the long run without doing that. I think it is clearly


that this experiment of trying to have the euro ahead of the


political union was not a good idea. Either it is going to blow up, or


they are going to move towards union. All these financial


engineering solutions, the euro bonds, the European Central Bank


coming in, they are tempising measures. Don't think it is


necessarily going to end now. These temporising measures, they could


work for a while, this could drag out for years. That is a happy note.


Megan, you were nodding through that, you agree with that?


Political union is the first step, they really need a banking and


fiscal union, and then the ECB might be willing to actually step


in and provide some support as a bridge. Unfortunate he loo, all of


the countries in the eurozone aren't agreed on the end game, or


on any of the details. Haven't we got used to it, in a way, this


stuff about kicking the can down the road, maybe they can do that


for the next eight years? I think Kenneth is right, they are going to


buy time with a number of policy rabbit that is they pull out of


hats. We are going to lurch from crisis to crisis the euro zone


isn't -- eurozone isn't about to fall apart, but if you take


everything to extremes there are only two possible outcomes, it


disintegrates or moves towards closer union. The core of all this


is Germany, and what they are prepared to do and what their


Supreme Court finds constitutional to do? That's right, the German


constitutional court is waiting until September, they are on summer


vacation, to rule whether the latest bail out will be legal. The


German politician would argue they are already skirting that they can


do constitutionally. I agree with Megan, they need a fast fiscal and


banking union, that is saying they are in a political union. You need


legitimacy for that, it has to come at every level, it is a mess.


The Syrian Government has publicly admitted what many other


Governments in the region already knew, they have chemical weapons.


But they said they would be use the only against foreign agressors, not


against their own civilian population. It is not much of a


comfort, however, especially as they are on record as blaming


foreign agressors for much of the trouble in the first place.


Today, they are watching the destruction in Syria on TV, but


they have lived through it themselves. Some have been damaged


beyond repair. This rebel fighter is now recuperating in a flat


across the border in Turkey. He lost his leg to a schrapnal wound,


after the house he was sheltering in his home province, was shelled


by a Government tax. TRANSLATION: I was moved to the


field hospital. This bone was smashed, they put a metal plate in


there. And also in this food, my left knee was smashed too, and they


put wire to keep it straight, like that I was moved to Turkey, but


they didn't operate. I spent five- and-a-half months in the hospital


here. And then I pound I had gangrene.


Before the war he was a decorator, he will not be able to do that


again. This man, who arrived two days ago, worked in a clothes shop,


he wasn't a fighter, just a protestor. But he still got shot in


the stomach, he says, by the pro- regime militia, the Shabiha, the


bullet, from a Russian-made heavy machine gun, ripped through his


intestines. TRANSLATION: They were shooting


everyone who left their house, not just me, but everyone they saw in


the street, the whole area was surrounded by the Shabiha. And


anyone who left the house was shot. They are all from Hama province, in


central Syria, but the war is also going on much closer. Even in the


part of Syria you can see from the parliamentary party window.


-- the apartment window. There has been talk of a buffer zone along


the hills of the border, but Turkey and its western allies have balked


at the idea. Today smoke is rising, apparently from Syrian army


shelling of rebel positions. The land behind me in northern Syria is


still a battleground there are villages and stretches of


countryside that have been in rebel hands for months. Inbetween the


main roads and some towns are still controlled by the Government. The


members' hopes are pinned partly on establishing a single, unbroken


expanse of territory from which they could advance, they haven't


achieved that yet. Today fighting continued in the northern city of


Aleppo, with a Government tank set on fire, and rebel fighters moving


through the streets. As they were celebrating their advance, there


was a veiled warning to outside powers, from a Government spokesman


in the capital, Damascus, acknowledging, for the first time,


Syria's chemical weapons stockpile. TRANSLATION: Chemical weapons will


not be used during the crisis in Syria, irrespective of developments.


These weapons are stored and safeguarded by Syrian forces. They


will not be used at all, unless Syria is attacked by foreign forces.


But even without foreign intervention, which has effectively


been ruled out. The regime's days, most believe, are numbered. Western


powers are already considering a post-Assad Syria. The regime will


fall, but it will leave Syria in a difficult position. We need to


focus on what to do the day after, we don't know when that day will


come, but it will come. For the 2,500 Syrians in this sprawling


refugee camp in southern Turkey, that day can't come soon enough,


although they don't know what they will return to. Many of the people


in this camp have been here for more than a year, they hope with


the rebels' recent successes that they Maysoon be able to go hom.


There are fears that even the fall of the regime in -- home. There are


fears that even with the fall of the regime in Damascus, may not end


the conflict in their countries. In in this tent is a young Sunni


Muslim who fled from the heartland of President Assad's Alawite sect a


week ago. He fears his family may suffer if he shows his face.


TRANSLATION: They are trying to carry out sectarian cleansing, to


push all the Sunni Muslims out of the villages, to create their own


Alawite state. It is a new plan, when we left everyone left, no


women, no children, the area is deserted.


Some think that Bashar Al-Assad will make a final stand in his


family region along the coast. It is unlikely he will take up the


offer from the Arab League of safe passage out of the country.


Whatever happens, this war will alter relations between Syria's


Sunni majority, and the Alawite minority, forever. TRANSLATION:


Before the revolution relations with the Alawites were normal,


after the revolution is changed. If we go on the protest and chant,


they will come from the next village and shoot us, for them it


is God, Syria and Assad, for them he's like God. Back in the flat in


southern Turkey, the wounded rebels are cared for by a dentist from


another Syrian minority, he's a Christian, and supports the


uprising, but doesn't trust the opposition's exiled leadership, the


Syrian National Council. He's worried about sectarian in a post-


Assad Syria. TRANSLATION: The force which is dominating the Syrian


National Council has the same mentality as the regime. That force


is the Muslim Brotherhood. And they are a sectarian group, who base


everything on religion. They treat the population like children. We


have many secular people in the National Council, highly educated


people, but they are sidelined by the Muslim Brotherhood, who want to


control everything. Syria's rebels have fought hard, but it is not yet


clear who will profit most from their struggle, or what new Syria


will emerge. The BBC's commentator has just made


it into Aleppo, and a short while ago gave us his assessment of the


situation there, he was speaking on a videophone. What you are looking


at are burning barricades set up by hundreds of rebel fighters who have


just moved into the city itself, from the Aleppo countryside. We


have to use night vision, which explains the picture quality, just


because it is unsafe to turn major lights on. The rebel fighters were


following orders, and poured in from various towns and cities


around the Aleppo countryside, because they believed...there as


many as six neighbourhoods now up in arms against the regime. Today


we saw shelling, certainly of one of the districts, and the sound of


heavy gunfire. They feel they have the initiative, the truth is, they


are still outmanned and outgunned by the Syrian army, they are


waiting to see how they will respond in this particular area.


Why does Aleppo matter? It is Syria's second largest city, and


the economic hub, it accounts for half of all industry and commerce


for the country. If, and it is a large if, President Assad were to


lose power here, that would present a significant blow to his control


of the country. Our apologise for the poor sound quality.


I have also been speaking to Melissa Feming of the UN refugee


agency, UNHCH. What are your people on the ground selling you about the


situation in Sir -- telling you about the situation in Syria now?


The situation in Syria has been very tense for a time. Now the


deadly violence is spreading, it has spread to Damascus now. Once


considered a haven for people inside the country trying to escape


silence from homes. Now what is happening is people are fleeing


Damascus in droves. We saw, just last week, in one go, in two days,


18,000 people fleeing across the border, into Lebanon. We are


reporting tonight allegations of sectarian cleansing of non-Alawites


in the area around there, do you have any information on that or


similar examples of the killings of people, just because of their faith


or background? UNHCR does have 250 staff inside Syria, we do not have


staff in that location, so we can't coroborate that. But Iraqis, the


people that we have been taking care of, the refugees that have


been, for many years, seeking shelter and safety inside Syria,


have now been bombarding our hot- lines with tales of terror,


actually many of them feel targeted, they say they have been getting


death threats, others say they are terrified by the violence, they


want to move back to Iraq a place they were not ready to go until now.


But bus loads of Iraqis are now going back home. Into all this mix,


we heard from the regime theself today, they have confirmed they


have chemical weapons. I wonder how that -- regime themselves today,


they have confirmed they have chemical weapons, I wonder how that


affects your duty of care for your staff? We are concerned for our


staff, most of our staff are Syrian nationals. 250UNHCR staff, the


majority coming from the region. Many actually already deciding to


flee. Chemical weapons, that would be the absolute worst possible


scenario. We have no actual plans for that taking place, but we do


have stockpiles, huge warehouses full of equipment and full of basic


needs for people who are displaced, that is really what UNHCR is all


about. If, as you said, there are some 80,000 Iraqis who are worried,


having gone to Syria for safety, many now thinking of going back


home to Iraq, the scale of this, in terms of the overall Syrian


population, and the strain that will put on neighbouring countries,


we haven't seen anything like this in that region for quite some time?


Certainly in that region, this is quite an operation. What we are


seeing is Syrian displacement, inside the country, there could be


as many as one million to 11.5 million Syrian citizens who have --


1.5 million Syrian citizens who have fled their homes and crossed


border, they are difficult to reach, they are staying with people they


know or family or relatives, but the supplies will fast run out,


this is becoming an increasingly desperate situation. Every day, at


least 1,000 people are crossing international borders to seek


shelter and safety in other countries. Just a quick look at the


front pages. The Telegraph has the morally wrong act of paying


That's all from us tonight. We will be back with the special report on


female genital mutilation tomorrow, female genital mutilation tomorrow,


good night. Sizzling day it was across southern


parts of the UK. Different further north, some cloud and outbreak of


rain. That is the story again as we go through Tuesday, with the north-


south divide, outbreaks of rain for Northern Ireland, Scotland, the far


north of England. Further south, with the clear blue skies, the


light winds and sunshine, temperatures again will sore. By


mid-afternoon we are looking -- soar, by mid-afternoon we are


looking for high temperatures. In the beaches there will be cooling


sea breezes, temperatures there could be several degrees lower.


Pleasant enough. A nice day for most of Wales, away from the far


North West. Where there will be cloud and heavy rain for a time


across parts of Northern Ireland. Particularly down in Armagh. Dry


towards the north coast, the north western half of Scotland


brightening up nicely, further south further outbreaks of rain.


Some dry weather, esently, a little cloud around -- eventually, a


little cloud around. The heat continuing through Wednesday,


across many southern areas, temperatures nudging 30 degrees in


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