14/09/2012 Newsnight


14/09/2012

Are topless pictures of Kate Middleton a return to the way the press pursued Diana? Plus the violent protest rocking the Muslim world. With Kirsty Wark.


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Will the anti-American protests, which have ignited in countries

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across the Muslim world, have lasting impact on US foreign policy.

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Today those protests spread to Sudan, including attacks on the

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British and German embassies in Khartoum. Tonight the bodies of the

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American diplomats killed in protests in Libya arrived back at

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Andrews Air force Base. There is grief and anger in the

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United States too, and people trying to work out what this

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display of visceral hatred means for their policies towards the Arab

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world. A grotesque invasion, furious words

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from William and Kate, as they sue the French magazine that published

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the topless pictures of her, as the couple holidayed in a secluded

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chateau in France. TRANSLATION: These are pictures that will go

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around the world, that is our headline, I don't know a single

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celebrity magazine in the world that wouldn't have run the pictures.

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We will discuss what made the French publish and why the British

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press withheld. Good evening, the wave of protests

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against the amateur US film, insulting the Prophet Mohammed,

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spread across much of the Muslim word, with vehement anti-American

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and anti-western demonstrations. Some were peaceful, in countries

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such as Indonesia, Pakistan and Malaysia, but elsewhere, protestors

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went on the attack. One person was killed in Lebanon, when a KFC

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restaurant was burned down. Protestors in Tunisia attacked the

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American Embassy and set fire to an American school. The big protest

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was in the capital of Sudan, Khartoum, when protestors attacked

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German and British embassies. In Tahrir Square tonight protests are

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still going on. It has just been confirmed one protestor has died in

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clashes with police. Finally Egypt's President, Mohammed

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Morsi, went on television to condemn the protests after strained

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relations with the US. The body of the US Ambassador

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killed this week arrived back in the US. We will speak to our

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correspondent amid the protestors in Tahrir Square tonight. First

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Mark Urban, his report contains flash photography.

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It was inevitable that Friday prayers would bring angry scenes

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across the Arab world. With the Daneer cartoons row, and the one

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earlier this year about the burning of Korans at an American base, the

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insult to mobilise millions of believers has been shown once more.

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TRANSLATION: Barack Obama, I want to say, that you have not arrested

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him yet, how long do Muslims have to wait, he has attacked the heart

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of millions of Muslims. Barack Obama, we say arrest him, and hang

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him. In Washington, they are mourning

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the loss of an ambassador, and his three colleagues. Any sense that

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the withdrawal from Iraq, and President Obama's outreach to the

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Islamic world, might have soothed tensions between the culture, has

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been badly rocked. Inevitably, there are questions too, about the

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perceived gains from the Arab Spring. I think there's a normal, I

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think, instinctive American reaction, by the way I think it

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would be the reaction of any people in similar circumstances, that, you

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know, why don't we just let these people go off by themselves and not

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get involved. And, again, it's the job of American political

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leadership to explain why that's not possible, why we can't simply

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leave the Middle East, as much as many Americans would probably like

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to do so. The four killed at the consulate in

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Benghazi were returned home today. There is anger and grief here too,

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and it's not about a symbolic insult. Americans have grown used

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to flag burning and the like, but how to exert political leadership

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now, the Obama administration has combined promises of action to find

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the culprits, with calls for cool heads.

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We will bring to justice those who took them from us. We will stand

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fast against the violence on our diplomatic missions. We will

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continue to do everything in our power to protect Americans serving

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overseas, whether that means increasing security at our

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diplomatic posts, working with host countries, which have an obligation

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to provide security, and making it clear that justice will come to

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those who harm Americans. This work, and the men and women who risked

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their lives to do it, are at the heart of what makes America great

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and good. So we will wipe away our tears, stiffen our spines and face

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the future undaunted. And we will do it together. Protecting and

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helping one another. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood today called off

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demonstrations, and the President that party propelled into office,

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sought to calm the situation. TRANSLATION: In Egypt we have

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clearly declared that we reject and condemn the killing of innocent

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people, and the attacks on embassies and consulates. Our duty

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is to defend diplomats, tourists and all foreigners who are guests

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in our country. So political leadership is doing its work in

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this difficult situation. But the question remains as to whether the

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uglier passions seen, either on the Arab street, or Main Street USA,

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can be soothed by statesmanship alone.

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The fact that today's violence has targeted British and German as well

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as American missions, suggests that the precise causes of this may have

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become less important. Than a general venting of anti-western

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feeling. When feelings cool things may return to normal, outwardly at

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least, but the American hunt for the perpetrators of Benghazi, and

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the low likelihood of prosecution for the offending film makers who

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seem to have started this, mean there will be plenty of scope for

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further tensions in the months ahead.

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The BBC's Middle East editor is in Egypt's Tahrir Square tonight.

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Jeremy, we have just heard that there is one person confirmed dead,

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what is actually happening in the square beyond you, just now?

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Tahrir Square at the moment, there is a lot, there is a sense of

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expectation, people are hanging around and waiting. But the cars,

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as can you see behind me, are moving. The action as such, the

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clashes, are taking place 200 yards that way, towards the American

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Embassy, where a big wall has been built by the security forces, to

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stop people getting towards it. But there, when I went to check it out

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about half an hour ago, there were quite a lot of people who were

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engaging with the police there. Who were firing teargas at them. It was

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quite a heavy atmosphere. But, in terms of the impetuous behind these

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protests, the initial impetuous being that amateur US film, do you

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get a sense of something bigger, or is there a general feeling that

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America is anti-Islamist? I think we have lost you? Thank you very

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much indeed. I think we had problems in Tahrir

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Square there. But we can go to our guests now, Ashraf El-Baroudi is

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President of the Egyptian Appeal Court, and the husband of Egypt's

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first female presidential candidate. Robert Danin was a US deputy

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Assistant Secretary of State until 2010. Good evening to both of you.

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The atmosphere that Jeremy is talking about in Tahrir Square, you

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were there on quite a different occasion, when there were the

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protests to overthrow Hosni Mubarak. How worrying are the developments

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of the last three days to you? I'm not that worried about the

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agravation of the situation concerning the US embassy. This is

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not the problem here, but there are some other backgrounds here. Let me

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summerise them for you, very quickly. First ly, in general, how

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does -- firstly, in general, how those young people view the United

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States of America in general, they see the United States of America as

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the friend of Israel. This long heritage has been affected very

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much due to the atrocities that took in Gaza and this and that.

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America and among the people doesn't have in the Egyptian street

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a very good reputation. This is one thing. The second thing is there is

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a party here that is the Egyptian police, because there is a huge

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crack between the Egyptian young people and the Egyptian police, as

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they have been going through police brutality for a long time. If you

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add to that the feeling of despair after the revolution, all this and

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that, that makes all the ground ready for a reaction of this sort,

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if I may say so. Let me tell you this, the battle going on the

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streets right now in Cairo, it's not against the American Embassy as

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much as it is against the police once again. They are throwing rocks

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over the police and exchanging hits here and there. So the police here

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is not the one that is defending the embassy, rather than being a

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party in itself, as usual. There has been a very sad heritage about

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that. It is complicated. Robert Danin, what Ashraf El-Baroudi seems

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to be saying is, yes, of course, the protests over the film are one

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thing, but this is actually a much bigger antipathy to America,

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looking at it from American point of view, what does that say about

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American foreign policy? I think we should be circumspect in

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universalising or drawing such broad sweeping generalisation from

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what has happened. Our embassy was attacked on 9/11, the wall was

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breached, American flag was burned, the security perimeter was

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abandoned by the Egyptian security forces there. We have had a

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security failure. We have then had a political failure in the

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leadership of the Egyptian Government to condemn it. It took

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several days for them to try to rein it in. Instead they called for

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further protests. So, sorry. So, in that case, do you think that what

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you are saying, essentially, is that Mohammed Morsi, is not playing

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the part of a partner to Barack Obama? Well, I think this is a

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moment of real testing for Mohammed Morsi. He handled it, at least in

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the initial period, not as the leader of a country, but as the

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former leader of an opposition movement. After two days of real

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challenges, in which the United States expressed its displeasure,

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both with the film, calling it disgusting and reprehensible, but

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clearly expressing its displeasure with the way the Egyptian

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authorities have mishandled this situation. I think President Morsi

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is now starting to take responsibility for the actions of

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the people under his authority. do you think there is more, you

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talked about the film being very clearly stated as reprehensible, is

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there more than can be done, either that message is not getting out to

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many countries in the Muslim world, or is not really about that?

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think there is a profound misunderstanding here. There is a

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film that was made in the United States, we have freedom of speech

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in our country. Our leaders have denounced it, but they have not

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taken the film off the air. I think in parts of the world where films

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are made. Should it be taken off the air? Sorry? Should it be taken

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off the air? Let me explain the phenomenon. You have a situation in

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which I think people in a part of the world when something broadcast,

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they believe this has the, mpreventure of the Government, they

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believe the Government has the power to take something off the air

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or is behind putting something on the air. That is not how it works

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in the United States. It is a profound misunderstanding. Our

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leaders in the United States have denounced the film, but they are in

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no position to do anything about the film. If you want tole cha eing

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the film or video, you can -- to challenge the film or video, you

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can take it to court and see if there is reason for legal recourse.

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That is how we moderate discourse in this country, not through

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violence. Ashraf El-Baroudi, looking to the future, of what an

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American foreign policy might look like, a lot of people in America

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will be saying today, especially after what happened in Libya, look,

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we don't want America to be the policeman of the world, we don't

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want America reaching out to try to create Arab Springs, we want to

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retrench, we don't want our people and our money going there? Let me

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tell you this, before I answer the question, I need as a start to say

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that, of course, it is the responsibility of the Egyptian

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authorities to protect the American missions. But if we are talking

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about the freedom of speech here, I don't think, at all, that the

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freedom of speech includes nailing and smearing values that are

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sacrosanct to people. Let me tell you this, despite the freedom of

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speech that I am listening to and we are talking about, I know very

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well that any action, or any statement can be very well

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interpreted as anti-semetic. This has been going and on going for a

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long time, we can't simply say this is again the freedom of speech, but

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listen to me, where are we going here? We are separating the planet,

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and we are spreading hatred, I don't think that the freedom of

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speech is a very good explanation to make fun of the beliefs of

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others. Co-existence means mutual respect, and this is the core of

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civilisation. We are right out of time.

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Tonight, two American gossip websites have published versions of

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the pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge topless, after the palace

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announced it would take legal action in the French courts against

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the publishers of the French magazine, Closer, that printed them,

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calling them "images of cloudless happiness", the palace said a red

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line has been crossed. But the editor has defended her position,

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and says she has pictures of the couple that are even more intimate.

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Today there were two very different images of the Duchess of Cambridge,

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depending where in the world you happened to be. In Malaysia, where

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she was in a mosque with her husband, on a tour on behalf of the

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Queen, she was demurely shrouded in white. In France, readers of the

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magazine, Closer, were studying images of her topless, wearing a

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black and white bikini bottoms and rubbing suncream on her husband's

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back on a holiday last week. The magazine claim the couple were

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visible from a nearby road. It led to public outcry and the furious

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:16:40.:16:56.

That is clearly what Prince William and the palace fear, that Kate is

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the new Diana, and will be constantly hounded by the press.

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Although Diana was pretty adept at using the media when she wanted.

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That is presumably the reason why the couple will sue Closer magazine.

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How will the French courts react. The position in France will be the

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same as here. It is an invasion of privacy to take photographs of

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somebody in a private place, where they are topless or partially nude,

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they will win their case in France, as they would win it here.

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fines in France for cases like this have been pretty small, haven't

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they? The rough average fine, well damages in civil cases in France is

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about �24,000. The editor of Closer, she seemed unconcerned, hardly

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surprising considering the amount of publicity she has enjoyed. She

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claims she withheld some pictures. TRANSLATION: We took the decision

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to publish a certain number of the pictures. I won't hide the fact

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that there are more intimate pictures that exist, that we

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haven't published and will not publish. Other newspapers probably

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will choose to publish them. what are all the implication of

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this in Britain. We also have privacy laws, of course, but no

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statutory press regulation. And where Lord Leveson is finalising

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his recommendations on the press. The Sun printed pictures of Prince

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Harry maked in a Las Vegas hotel room last month. But British papers

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turned down pictures of topless Kate proof, say some, that Levison

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should continue to support self- regulation by the press. Ironic

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isn't it, a statutory system in France, with, in principle, strict

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rules, has failed to protect Kate. Here in Britain, where we have a

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voluntary, self-regulatory system, the British press hasn't printed

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the photos, self-regulatory has worked here and statutory

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regulation worked in France. -- hasn't worked in France. Lord

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Leveson take note. Once a photo is out there, it is

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quite likely to remain out there. And tonight, the topless Kate

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pictures are being shown on at least one American website.

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Kate Middleton is, understandably, a global celebrity, the royals may

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strike a deal with the British press, but it is impossible to make

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everyone obey the rules. If you are in the public high to such a high

:19:25.:19:29.

degree as Kate and William you have to be extremely careful. There are

:19:29.:19:33.

two separate questions, one is, should somebody in the public eye

:19:33.:19:37.

be able to sunbathe in private topless, yes, if you are going to

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be the future Queen of England, should you choose to do so?

:19:43.:19:50.

Probably not. Kate Middleton's picture sells papers, the papers in

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England will hope Lord Leveson will be impressed by the restraint shown

:19:53.:19:57.

today when he comes to make his decision in a few weeks.

:19:57.:20:02.

Agnes Poirier, the French commentator is in the Paris studio,

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with husband is Tom Sykes, who edits Daily Beast, and the former

:20:07.:20:16.

part of the News of the World, and under investigation by the phone

:20:16.:20:19.

hacking incident. You said, had you been offered the Harry photographs,

:20:19.:20:24.

you would have published them, if you were offered these photographs

:20:25.:20:31.

would you vn tempted? Tempts as a journalist who saw amazing pictures

:20:31.:20:35.

for less than a second, but like every other editor you would have

:20:35.:20:38.

thought you can't publish these because there is no justification.

:20:38.:20:44.

What exactly has happened here, do you think? As the day has gone on

:20:44.:20:49.

today, a lot more has come out about this. And there are, in fact,

:20:49.:20:57.

two sets of pictures. There was a set of pictures taken of Kate, and

:20:57.:21:01.

I assume William, earlier in the week, by a local newspaper. I have

:21:01.:21:08.

no idea... These were paparazzi- type shots, they were not allowed.

:21:08.:21:11.

There was no collusion with the Royal Family, they were taken in

:21:11.:21:17.

the same way? The local paper went along and grabbed some pictures,

:21:17.:21:21.

without permission. Topless? don't believe so. The point being,

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however, we don't know whether the topless pictures were taken before

:21:26.:21:31.

or after that, but earlier this week the palace were aware, because

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Fleet Street was aware, so the palace was bound to be aware, that

:21:35.:21:39.

pictures had been taken on that holiday. That doesn't, of course,

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justify the fact? Tom Sykes, you move in these kinds of circles,

:21:44.:21:49.

what do you think has been the impetuous for the reaction this

:21:49.:21:52.

time, this is the most vehement statement that has ever come out of

:21:53.:21:57.

the palace about the paparazzi. course, just two days ago, William

:21:57.:22:02.

was asked if he could have one superpower could he have from a

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child, he said "invisibility", clearly they don't have that. I

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think you can definitely detect the hand of William in the response. I

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feel that the response that they issued was inappropriately

:22:18.:22:22.

emotional, if I may couch it in those terms. Obviously they were

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upset. The indication of his mother's name and what happened to

:22:27.:22:30.

her? That was a very strange decision, to say this incident

:22:30.:22:35.

recalls the worst excess of the press, and the Princess Diana era,

:22:35.:22:40.

it is just not accurate. It smacks a bit of a hysterical, not really

:22:40.:22:48.

very well thought through response. It feels to me as if at that moment

:22:48.:22:52.

the royals really completely have lost control of the story. What has

:22:52.:22:56.

happened, I suppose, with talking about Diana, the tabloids would

:22:56.:22:59.

have come to, I'm sure that connection themselves. But if you

:22:59.:23:06.

look at the Mail, saying grotesque, you have a picture of Diana in a

:23:06.:23:12.

hijab and a scarf, and that picture of Kate on the tour. Saying don't

:23:12.:23:22.
:23:22.:23:22.

make her a new Diana. The Mirror, royal outrage, "I won't let Kate

:23:22.:23:26.

suffer like my mother". You are saying it is fuelling the story,

:23:26.:23:30.

the whole connection, of course, being in France and so forth?

:23:30.:23:34.

think that fundamentally this is not really a news worthy story. If

:23:34.:23:38.

you look at the initial reactions today of people, especially on the

:23:38.:23:42.

social media sites, people were saying, come on, what's the big

:23:42.:23:47.

deal, a 30-year-old girl takes her top off while she goes sunbathing.

:23:47.:23:52.

Unfortunate loo, William's response has made this -- unfortunately

:23:52.:23:56.

William's response has made this news worthy. You are speaking from

:23:56.:24:00.

Paris, where the story was published. Are you ashamed the

:24:00.:24:09.

French have published this? Well, I'm amazed more importantly about

:24:09.:24:15.

the British reaction. Coming from a country where the tabloid culture

:24:15.:24:22.

and the invasion of privacy happens on Daily basis. It doesn't mean

:24:22.:24:28.

that the Windsors don't have any rights to sue the Closer magazine.

:24:28.:24:32.

They do. And I hope they do so and they will win their case easily,

:24:32.:24:38.

because there are laws in France protecting privacy. Let me remind

:24:38.:24:43.

you that Closer, the French version of Closer magazine, which appeared

:24:43.:24:50.

on the French market in 2005, so not so long ago, was at the time an

:24:50.:24:55.

offshoot from the British Closer. Although today they don't belong.

:24:55.:25:02.

Silvio Berlusconi now owns it? Absolutely. But the peeping Tom

:25:02.:25:06.

culture is not very familiar to the French. The French are appalled by

:25:06.:25:10.

those pictures, I'm not sure they are ashamed, though.

:25:10.:25:14.

They are not ashamed but appalled. Actually this is an expert we have

:25:14.:25:18.

given France, this peeping Tom culture, this grabbing pictures of

:25:18.:25:24.

people like Helen Mirren on the beach in her bikini, a general

:25:24.:25:28.

invasion of privacy? Nonsense. If you have ever seen French celebrity

:25:28.:25:33.

magazines, I have been reading them for 20, 30 years, it has lived off

:25:33.:25:38.

pictures of celebrities on beach. What do you say to that? On beaches

:25:38.:25:42.

because France is a sunnier country than Britain, that's why they are

:25:42.:25:48.

on the beaches. You would seem to be suggesting that actually, if

:25:48.:25:53.

this goes to court they will win, they will win any way, if it is out

:25:53.:25:58.

of court they will win. What do you say to the defence of Closer's

:25:59.:26:01.

magazine editor that she's just showing them as cloudless happy

:26:01.:26:05.

young people, and actually isn't this great, it shows the Royal

:26:05.:26:10.

Family are a functioning and in a loving relationship. You don't buy

:26:10.:26:15.

that stuff, do you? Of course not, neither do I buy anything that a

:26:15.:26:18.

British editor of a British tabloid says. They would say exactly the

:26:18.:26:23.

same thing, that is to say, being coy, saying well look at them, they

:26:23.:26:27.

are beautiful and lovely people, it's like the Sun saying we love

:26:27.:26:31.

Harry, but we think it is in the public interest of showing him in

:26:31.:26:33.

the nude. No, it is not in the public interest. It is the same

:26:33.:26:38.

thing in France or in Britain. you personally, but the tabloids

:26:38.:26:42.

justified it saying he's a member of the Armed Forces and let himself

:26:42.:26:45.

get into a very dodgy situation, this calls into question the

:26:45.:26:49.

security detail and so forth? say that and on this programme. It

:26:49.:26:54.

is the two circumstances are utterly different. What you have

:26:54.:26:56.

here is, there is no public interest justification for this.

:26:56.:27:03.

And can I just say, there is one important thing on this, France has

:27:03.:27:06.

severe privacy law, those pictures have been printed there. In Britain

:27:06.:27:11.

we don't have the same privacy law, but the press here have decided,

:27:11.:27:15.

unilaterally, they will not publish. I want to look at the Star front

:27:15.:27:19.

page, we no from the editor of Closer, who suggests she has other

:27:19.:27:24.

photos. I think the Star is jumping on, I don't think they were offered

:27:24.:27:31.

them. I'm slightly wary of this, there is new pictures. We were told

:27:31.:27:36.

throughout the Vegas thing, there is video and more pictures, if

:27:36.:27:40.

there is more why not publish them. Wouldn't that make sense of William

:27:40.:27:45.

going in hard? It could do. The other explanation, perhaps, is that

:27:45.:27:48.

they seeking to really put the frighteners on the press around the

:27:48.:27:54.

world. And to try to say, look, if you publish these, we will come

:27:54.:27:59.

after you, it is very plain to see, that as a strategy it is backfiring.

:27:59.:28:03.

Can we talk about Levison for the last amount of time we have, is

:28:03.:28:10.

this one more thing to stop the boiler for hard new privacy laws

:28:10.:28:13.

under Leveson? Even under that there can be no complaints about

:28:13.:28:21.

the British press's behaviour on this. They have abided by the PCC

:28:21.:28:26.

code, the PCC have a whole number of tests you have to pass, and it

:28:26.:28:30.

didn't work with this, and so the papers haven't published. As we

:28:30.:28:35.

have talked about, we are in a post-Leveson scenario, two American

:28:35.:28:39.

gossip website about to publish, although slightly doctored

:28:39.:28:43.

photographs. Actually, in the end will Leveson be redundant before it

:28:43.:28:47.

is publish. You work on-line? think that's really the issue, is

:28:47.:28:51.

that trying to muzzle the British press is completely, totally

:28:51.:28:56.

pointless. For 99% of people, who are going on-line, and getting

:28:56.:29:01.

their information on-line. I have seen these pictures on-line tonight.

:29:01.:29:04.

If everything is about on-line, there is going to be no privacy

:29:04.:29:07.

laws that will matter a candle in any country. It will be a free for

:29:07.:29:14.

all on-line, is that what we are heading for? I think it is a matter

:29:14.:29:20.

of principle, in France, why do French celebrity press target

:29:20.:29:22.

American or British personalities more than the French one, because

:29:22.:29:29.

the French ones are very aware of their rights and go straight, fast,

:29:29.:29:36.

and sue them. They are fined every week, perhaps the fines should be

:29:36.:29:41.

much higher, actually much higher at the same level they were 20

:29:41.:29:46.

years agoth they would not publish them. Make it financial. Thank you

:29:46.:29:49.

very much, that is all from Newsnight tonight, Jeremy is here

:29:49.:29:56.

on Monday v a great weekend, -- have a great weekend, especially if

:29:56.:29:59.

you are going on the Great North you are going on the Great North

:29:59.:30:09.
:30:09.:30:24.

Run. Good night. The winds are eegs overnight, that

:30:24.:30:27.

will allow one or -- easing overnight, that will allow one or

:30:27.:30:31.

two fog patches to form. A chilly start in the morning, but a fine

:30:31.:30:35.

day for most place. More cloud in the west. Grey on the coast of

:30:35.:30:39.

North West England, but certainly to the east of the Pennines spells

:30:39.:30:42.

of sunshine, a sunny day or two across much of the Midlands, East

:30:42.:30:46.

Anglia and the south-east. With lighter winds than today, it will

:30:46.:30:50.

feel warmer as temperatures get into the low 20s. We will see some

:30:50.:30:52.

cloud developing across south-west England, some of the coasts here

:30:52.:30:56.

may be drab, but generally it is a dry and a bright day, as it is

:30:56.:31:01.

across much of Wales. Parts of the west coast may be predominantly

:31:01.:31:06.

overcast, we should, at least, have some sunshine. A bright and breezy

:31:06.:31:09.

day in Northern Ireland. Breezy, but not the strong winds as during

:31:09.:31:13.

the Friday. The same goes across much of Scotland, the winds lighter.

:31:13.:31:18.

Still a lot of cloud in the west, one or two showers. Temperatures on

:31:18.:31:28.
:31:28.:31:30.

the Moray firt higher, we may get up to 20 degrees.

:31:30.:31:34.

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