17/01/2013 Newsnight


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

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As we go on air strikes the Algerian hostage crisis is still


unfolding. But there is still no clarity, as the number of oil


workers involved, the number of casualties, or the attempted rescue


operation at the plant by Algerian forces is actually, as the Algerian


Government claims, over. The Prime Minister cancelled a speech on


Europe tomorrow, and was grave when he spoke earlier tonight. It is a


very dangerous, very uncertain, a very fluid situation, we have to


prepare ourselves for the possibility of bad news ahead.


will have the latest news as it unfolds, we will be joined by


politicians and experts to discuss the crisis and the implications for


foreign policy, and for western commercial activity in Algeria. A


new era in medicine, the Government has plans for a national DNA


database, but what benefits if we share and share alike.


Government thinks the health and wealth of the nation could benefit


if we were all a little more open with our data. So the qi question


is, how far are we prepared -- so the question is, how far are we


prepared to trade our personal information for the promise of a


healthier future. And...Bear Grylls has just filmed a series on which


he takes celebrities on adventures, he took them on adventures and


Miranda up the hill. Charlotte Green, - sarndy Green is about to


hang up her Microphon. If you have anything good to say give it to her,


and her fall ago I part is one of my favourites moments.


Good evening, the Prime Minister has said tonight we must brace


ourselves for very difficult news at the hostage crisis at the


Algerian gas plant. Now we expect multiple casualties. This evening


the Algerian communication minister went on Algerian television to say


the operation had been successful. We already know from the Algerian


authorities that there are fatalities among the hostages, and


also the Islamist militant terrorists responsele for the


attack. Among the hostages in the Amenas plant in the oil region are


British, French, Japanese and spweed and possibly Filipinos, one


Irishman, Stephen McFaul is free, and perhaps three others. Earlier


tonight David Cameron called off his speech tomorrow on Britain's


future in Europe to concentrate on the crisis. Downing Street was


surprised by the decision of Algeria to storm the ground by air


and ground. Francois Hollande, the French President, said the action


today justifies the decision to inter veen in neighbouring mal--


intervene in neighbouring Mali. Mark, first of all, what was the im


port of what David Cameron said tonight about preparing ourselves


for bad news, do you think? I think he was expressing the concerns that


resulted from the way this had unfolded this afternoon. Causing,


as you say, him to cancel this long-awaited Europe speech here in


Amsterdam. What became clear this afternoon was that an Algerian


military operation had started, obviously without consultation with


the British and other Governments, whose citizens were being held


hostage. My understanding is, that Foreign Office and MI6 personnel


were on the ground in Algeria, and it was from them that the British


Government first learned the news that something was happening. That


shots were being fired, and that the thing had turned violent. There


are two versions about what happened, the first is that the


hostage takers put many of the hostages in vehicles, and decided


to try to break out, or move them out of the compound, the other is


that the Algerian army had given some sort of ultimatum or warning,


and that shots started when that ultimatum had expired. But one


thing is clear, that once the violence got under way, the


situation rapidly became much more serious, and quite a few people


were killed. Now, as you mentioned earlier, the Algerian Information


Minister has put a positive spin on this, and said that many of the


hostages were freed, and that many of the militants were killed or


captured. It is still a confused situation. And Downing Street has


urged people to expect bad news. know Stephen McFaul either escaped


or was freed, we know nothing about him, but we don't know anything


about any of the other hostages. Why do you think the Algerian


Government went ahead. They were in conversation with Downing Street


without consultation? It seems that they didn't consult with any of the


other Governments, we know for example, from the Irish Foreign


Minister, who said this evening, that they weren't consulted, that


is what sources in London suggest too. The US, which has said that it


had six or seven people among the hostages there, also, it seems,


learned about things as they turned violent, not before. It could be as


simple as a commander on the ground taking a decision, events getting


out of control, it could be that in some sense, the Algerian Government


felt that this was too good an opportunity to miss to try to stop


this notorious Islamist gang, for once and for all. But the simple


truth is, in these situations where you are, if you like, in governed


rather than ungoverned space, the will of the sovereign Government


will always be paramount. There was one a couple of years ago, where


the British wanted to free a hostage, had forces in place to do


so, but the word never came, and that person was murdered.


These situations never end exactly the same way. But does history tell


us anything? An interesting counter point is what happened in march


2011, when the -- March 2011 when the Libyan revolution had started.


Another one of these big facilities in The Sahara, in the far south of


Libya, came under threat. There were 150 foreign workers near Zili


in the desert down there, they felt armed gangs were either going to


take them hostage or start using violence towards them. At that


point, in part, because of the ungoverned nature of the space, the


British decided to mount a rescue operation, they sent the Special


Forces from the SBS, and RAF Hercules planes in there they


rescued the people. There were some shots fired, but essentially the


operation was carried out without a great deal of trouble. So it can


end in a positive way. If you are able, if you like, hold all the


cards, in terms of making those decisions, about when to go in, and


when to extract people, foreign nationals. In that case, many of


them were not British, but the British felt a responsibility to


their own people and the wider foreign community there. Equally,


it can go totally disastrously wrong, go back to 1978, an Egyptian


plane was hijacked, taken to Cyprus, Egyptian commandos then tried to


storm the plane in Cyprus, without the permission of the Cypriot


Government, they ended up in gun fights with the Cypriot police and


troops, 15 of their commandos were killed, et cetera, et cetera. So,


that kind of macho attempt to determine the outcome of these


things, has, in the past, gone disastrously wrong. We see the


other extreme with the British mission in Libya nearly two years


ago. In the intervening years, countless examples where small


numbers of people have been taken, particularly by this type of group


in The Sahara, and randsoms have been paid, or some other


arrangements have been reached, and people have been freed. We have


been trying to piece together all today's events.


The exact details of what happened today at the Ain Amenas in eastern


Algeria are still unclear. But certainly the operation by the


Algerian military to rescue the hostages, held there since


yesterday by Islamist militants, went badly wrong. Earlier in the


day there was some good news, as one hostage, Stephen McFaul from


Belfast, phoned his family to say that some how he was free.


elated. I just can't describe how happy I am. I didn't think we


would...I didn't think we would get this so soon. But even as the


rescue operation continued, the British Government sought to


prepare others for the worst. a very dangerous and very uncertain


and fluid situation. I think we have to prepare ourselves for the


possibility of bad news ahead. COBRA officials here are working


around the clock to do everything we can to keep in contact with the


families, to build the fullest possible picture of the information


and the intelligence that we have. I have chaired meetings of COBRA


today, I will continue to do so. I will do everything I can to update


people about what is a difficult and dangerous and potentially very


bad situation. Now, several hours later, there are


still conflicting reports about how many died, in an operation the UK


wasn't warned about in advance. Downing Street has let it be known


about Algeria not letting other states know before mounting


operations. The Foreign Office offered advice on siege tactics and


other information, but it was ignored. When they began their


assault, the Government here was completely shocked. Why did it end


like this, this is a former Jihadi fighter, who tracks the activities


of Islamist commanders, some of which he knew personally, and


Government's response to them. the incident happened in gall


gearia, they would like to set up from now the standards of the


Algerians, there is no negotiations with terrorists, we are not going


to accept to be the victims of this intervention, this is our methods,


this is our measures, which is very brutal, and very direct. Military-


based, even if there is other victims from civilians. It is the


conflict in Mali, its southern neighbour, that Algeria wants to


insulate itself from. French forces moved in there last week to try to


crush a growing Islamist insurgency. Was the attack on the western gas


workers, that now appears to have ended in such tragedy, a direct


retaliation for that. This attack, has been planned for many, many


months before the French intervention or international


intervention in Mali. But just, I think, when it happened last week,


maybe it gave the terrorist group a legitimate, from the ideolgical


point of view, legitimate reasons to carry out the attack. Because


the group itself, or the nature of the leader of the group, by is


Mokhtar Belmokhtar, if we study his history over the last ten years, he


usually asks for ransomes, he has never been -- randsons, he has


never been involved in killing or capturing hostages. Whatever his


reasons, we know that Mokhtar Belmokhtar and those like him are a


real threat of the west. Until recently he was head of Al-Qaeda in


the Islamic Maghreg, one of the Islamist groups who have been


building up their strength throughout this poorly defended


region of porous borders. It was in Algeria in the 1990s, that those


groups first launched a major insurge circumstance eventually


defeated by the Government, at a cost of 150,000 lives, perhaps. In


Libya, since the fall of Colonel Gaddafi, some of the Islamists he


once defeated have now returned. And some, like others from Algeria,


have crossed The Sahara into northern Mali, taking advantage of


the collapse of state authority, in the wake of a rebellion by ethnic


Tuareg seperatists. Some of those Islamists are believed to have


training from Al-Shabab, the militant Islamist group that has


controlled much of Somalia in recent years. They have been joined


by fighters from Nigeria, from the Islamist group, Boko Haram,


fighting the Government there. Shabab in Somalia, they trained


explosive makers and experts for Boko Haram, and Boko Haram


themselves, they have a significant number of many of their fighters in


northern Mali, to establish networks and connection and co-


operation between the other groups in northern Mali. And why? Because


they share the same ideology and the same goals. This ideology and


goals is very important, this is the culture that is keeping the


network together. It acts as the Super Glue to hold all this loose


network together. To counter that threat, Nigerian


troops are now following the French into Mali, to join an operation


that President Hollande today said had been proved to be justified.


TRANSLATION: What's happening in Algeria absolutely justifies a


decision I took on behalf of France to come to the help of Mali, in


accordance with the United Nations charter, and at the request of the


President of Mali. Today's terrible events in Algeria, though, suggest


that in the short-term at least, the north African Islamist threat


can only increase. There is a surge of militantcy at the moment, it is


linked to what's happening in Afghanistan, and in Somalia, and


they are trying to create the same sort of pushback against the west,


and non-Islamic people. I think it will be very dangerous for non-


Islamic people, for Europeans, to travel in these countries for the


next few years. I think they really do have got their selves now, and I


don't think the Governments -- themselves now, and I don't think


the Governments have the capacity to contain them. Today's tragedy


will change our whole view of the region.


With me to discuss the latest in the hostage situation are the


former Lib Dem leader and member of the Intelligence and Security


Committee, Ming the Merciless Campbell. And from Washington the


former US Assistant Secretary of State for public affairs, now a


fellow at the George Washington Institute for Public diplomacy.


Ming the Merciless Campbell, it must be a draet -- Ming Campbell,


it must be terrible for the families that no information is


known. Today in the Scottish Parliament, Alex Salmond indicated


that two of the hostages are Scottish, is there any information


on that? There doesn't appear to be any more information on that at the


moment. I understand Alex Salmond was speaking after a conversation


with the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister after a meeting of COBR A,


that is the committee immediately formed when crises of this kind


occur. It seems to me that one of the first questions will be, did


the Algerian Government act out of necessity, or was it out of some


kind of view of national pride? The answer to that question may be very


important in so far as if there is a breakdown in relations between


the Governments of those who have been killed, and the Algerian


Government, that may make finding out exactly what happened more


difficult. Especially as we know the Algerian Government say no to


negotiation, we just heard on the report that there was quite a lot


of traffic between Number Ten and the Foreign Office, and Algeria,


saying negotiate, discuss, hold off, by clearly was either ignored or,


by the necessity, ignored? You can have a policy of saying we are not


going to negotiate, but that doesn't mean to say you have to


take action as soon as appears to have happened in this case. If you


think about it, British Special Forces, and American special force,


and French Special Forces, have got a much greater amount of experience


about this kind of thing than putting it bluntly, any Algerian


equivalent might have. That is why there will be suspicions that this


was an -- suspicions that this was an action taken out of national


pride. Whatever the reason it was taken for, none the less, as the


Prime Minister said, if I may say so, in a some sombre mood than I


have ever seen him before, we have to expect the worse, and what has


been called, "multiple casualties". From your point of view, if Number


Ten was talking to the Algerians about tactics, it would be


presumably inconceivable that the state department was not also doing


the same thing? The state department has been in touch with


senior Algerian officials, including the Prime Minister. I do


not know what kinds of consultations occurred today,


either immediately before or after the Algerian action. I think you


have to put this in context with Algeria's history. I'm not sure it


is about national pride as much as steps that Algeria has taken, not


only going back into the 1990s, but also over the past two years to try


to insulate itself from trends that are happening in neighbouring


countries. Do you think it is quite shocking to the Americans that they


went in today, or do you think the Americans thought that Algeria


would do it their own way? I think there has been an effort in recent


weeks and months to get Algeria more engaged in trying to help


solve the situation in Mali, and Algeria has been involved in some


dialogue to try to work with all the forces in northern Mali. It is


a really interesting mix. You have got Tuareg, indigenous Tuareg


tribes that have historical historical grievances, and


opportunists in it for the revenue from hostage taking, and you have


these elements closely linked to Al-Qaeda in the Maghreg. It has


been very, very difficult for all the stakeholders to try to sort out


who are those you can deal with and who are those you can't. At the


very heart of this, Claire, is Al- Qaeda, a former commander of Al-


Qaeda. Before we actually get on to that, what went wrong today, do you


think? I think we have to reserve judgment until we get more


information about what was actually going on amongst the hostage takers


and the hostages. There were reports yesterday, for example,


that explosives were strapped to the hostages, and that there were


threats to kill them straight away, should any attack like this be


launched. Somewhere inbetween this, there must have been a calculation


that a surprise attack would happen before they could actually detonate,


if you like, sadly, some of the hostages. Do you think that is why


Algeria might have moved very quickly, because of the idea that


there were suicide bombers. Obviously they would have needed


some kind of intelligence about where the hostages are. I


understand one of the reasons they have been saying the mission wasn't


complete earlier this evening, was that they had to search the whole


facility to see if people were hiding out in it. We are in


situation now where we are dealing with, not Al-Qaeda itself, but


Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who himself is trying to improve himself, even he


is slightly separate from Al-Qaeda in the region. In the report it was


saying that in the area Al-Qaeda is completely unfettered by the idea


of nation states. In a sense, no matter how much Algeria is trying


to be brought into the fold, is it extremely dangerous place for all


these companies, that are trying to move in there, British Airways,


GlaxoSmithKline, all these companies trying to do business?


One of the things that will have to be investigated is how it was


possible, in an area where, as we know in the 1990, there was always


a possibility, Algeria itself was ridden with internal violence, of


an Islamist nature, but other factors at play, there were big


fears then that the oil and gas facilities would be attacked by


insurgents of different kinds, and largely, they weren't. A lot of gas


pipelines were attacked but they were repaired. What has gone on


recently, it has been fairly safe, yet this Al-Qaeda in the Islamic


Maghreg has a residual presence, not much, around 200 people in


Algeria itself, but have also migrated, not just across the


Sahara but other regions. They haven't attacked the facilities in


recent years, why now. They claimed yesterday, Mokhtar's crew, that it


was associated with the French attacks in Mali. Mokhtar, what was


it, was it ransome, or was it Mali? -- randson or Mali? I think it is


interesting, he was the leader of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic faction in


malli. He has been part of the faction that has enriched himself


through that. He has been reported to have separated himself, had an


argument with other leaders, this is a new faction movement he's


heading. Do you think, Francois Hollande says this justifies


France's action in national Mali. Do you think the two are linked?


think that's an inference that people will want to example very,


very carefully, I'm not sure I would go along with Mr Hollande to


say this justifies the French action. Afterall the French action


was taken for a particular purpose in relation to Mali. What people


want to know is whether it is a consequence that came of the French


action. What people want to know is whether it means, rather as some


other contributors have indicated, whether it will be regarded as open


season on these plants. Which are soft target. They are enormous and


difficult to guard. It would be virtually impossible to make sure


you could keep them safe in all circumstances, against a determined


Islamist terrorist force like the one we are talking about. Which


then, begs the question, there may be some help being given by British


forces in malli. It begs the question will British forces have


to become part of the operation in Mali? What we have so far


contributed it is the provision of transport aircraft, two C-17s, and


the crime up until now has been pretty strong, as indeed has the


Foreign Secretary, in saying there is no intention of putting British


boots on the ground. I have to say there was general support in the


House of Commons for the action taken so far, if that were to be


extended, either by in degree or inkind, there would be very


substantial political reservation, and also, in the light of our


recent history in Afghanistan and before that Iraq, very considerable


reservations in the minds of the public. The huge resistance among


ordinary Americans about getting embroiled in Mali, it mate be, if


this is the big focus for Al-Qaeda, that the US might have no other


action but to become embroiled in Mali with the French? It is not


likely that the United States will become directly involved, because


by US law, because there was the military coup last March, the


United States has prevented -- is prevent the legally from providing


assistance to the mally Government. A lot of lawyers here in Washington


are working overtime to find out how to support the French and the


in coming African intervention force, without breaking US law. I


do think that it will accelerate the planning that was already under


way. Because obviously what we are seeing on the ground is perhaps a


far more dangerous situation, and the capabilities of the insurgents


are much more significant than might have been initially assessed.


But, you know, where as the United States has taken direct action in


places like Pakistan and Yemen, Mali will follow, I think, the


Somali model, where you will be empowering indigenous regional


forces to take action, in Somalia it has been successful, as of yet


not successful in Mali. You were saying, we know tonight that sat


oil and BP are pulling -- Statoil, and BP are pulling out all but


essential workers in the two plants in Algeria. If Algeria thinks it is


literally drawing blood, do you think that the push will really be


done to make the western companies feel very uncomfortable in Algeria?


It depends how many survive the attack. Don't forget the movements


are still very small. I don't know how many are involved in this


current assault, there is about 20, but I think we are talking all


about 200 people, perhaps in these movements. They know the terrain


very well. They have been operating in these very difficult areas for


some time. At least over the last four or five years. They have


become wealthy. They are not just involved in taking previous


hostages for money, don't forget the French still have a number of


French hostages, there are others still in the region who have yet to


be asked for money. They have the opportunity of withdrawing and


doing this on a future occasion if they retain the ability to do so.


We really need to wait until the outcome of this current crisis to


ask some of these questions about why curt had got so lax, what is


the rational now, if they haven't attacked, what essentially are a


primary part of the Algerian economy. 97% of their income comes


from exports of oil and gas. So if they haven't attacked them, if they


are really against the Algerian authorities, why haven't they done


this before, why have they been able do this in a situation where


security measures have been taken. Thank you all very much indeed. If


we have any more news from Algeria, of course we will bring it to you


during the programme. Big Data is one of the Government's


favourite big ideas, the idea is about analysing everyone from the


police to retailers to doctors, and even sports teams will you ever


cover trends, fresh insights into the way the world looks.


Enthusiasts say we should use better use of this stash of


digitised information, to make us more efficient and save money. It


is contentious, much of this information is personal and some


private. Many databases are being created for our most intimate data,


our DNA, the information that describes us. Who will decide who


gets to know what? And will it revolutionise medicine? Most of the


time we are not aware of it, but as we go about our daily lives we


create a trail. A trail of data, and masses of it. A digital record


of where we are and what we are doing. As computing power increases,


and gets cheaper, we can gather and analyse this information on an


ever-grander scale. We live in what's being called the era of big


data. Unlocking the messages held within this mass of raw data, could


help us to lead lives that are more efficient and save money. But could


also reveal information about each and every one of us that is


sensitive. Many of us might not care too much about some of the


data that's collected on us, say what we buy at the supermarket or


how we use public transport. But when it comes to information about


our health, many of us see that has so personal, we want to be sure it


is kept especially safe. The Government thinks the health and


wealth of the nation could benefit if we were all a little more open


with our data. So the question is, how far are we prepared to trade


our personal information for the promise of a healthier future?


passionate about this, because I see this as being quite a dramatic


change in the way that medicine is likely to evolve. Given that a lot


of this information is personally sensitive, it has to be used in the


right way. You have to be honest with people about what is going on,


and you have to give people the opportunity to opt-out. The grand


bargain the Government is offering us, is if we give them our DNA they


will revolutionise healthcare. It is not clear that the British


public is actually willing to accept that bargain.


The Government already seems pretty convinced, at the end of last year


it launched a big data project for some of the most intimate of


personal information. The DNA readout of 100,000 Britains,


suffering from rare diseases and cancer. It is a -- Britons


suffering from rare diseases and cancer. Not only does each patient


have a unique DNA code, but so do their cancer tumour, doctors need


both to identify the most appropriate treatment. It is the


future for healthcare because we want to crack cancer, and the DNA


database can help us to do that. We also want to keep Britain at the


absolute forefront of Biotech nolg and pharmaceutical industries, we


can be a real world-leader in this. So, aside from highlighting British


innovation and attracting investment, the idea initially is


to help people who are already sick, that is because we know, for


example, that some people's cancer tumours will respond better to one


drug rather than another. For the rest of us, if enough people are on


the database, trends will become clear. So we can be more confident


that our personal DNA readout can be checked against the trends, and


might warn us we are more at risk about certain diseases, and do


something about it, like changing our lifestyle and getting screened.


We might be able to avoid drugs known to be toxic in people who


carry a similar genetic make up to our's.


The data at the heart of the project is the DNA double heel lix,


it is made of four -- helix, it is made of a code with four letters,


the string of letters that spell out a human being is huge. It took


about eight years and cost billions of dollars to unravel the first


human genome. But now, the computer technology that made that possible


is far more powerful and cheaper. It now take as little over a day to


sequence a person's DNA, although it is not yet possible, there is


talk of a $100 price tag. Cost serving, I wasn't talking about


this two years ago, I wasn't even talking about it one year ago,


because the cost of doing this was such that it would be an enormous


burden to do it at scale, but the cost of sequencing a whole genome,


as you know, has fallen by more than 100,000 fold in ten years.


Andrew Wilkie works on rare genetic disorders, he uses the power of DNA


sequences to look at cranial disorders. His work provides


families with answers, and can help them make decisions about having


more children. I return a small lab with about four staff working in it,


in the past couple of years, we have identified as many new genes


in my group of disorders, the facial malformation, as the entire


world achieved in the previous decade. So, that's obviously


spectacular progress. Also, of course, it represents incredibly


good value for money. The NHS already has world class Big Data


projects in place, notably a system that enables scientists to carry


out research on our clinical information, once anon-miceed, and


there are begin -- anonymised, and there are genetic databases too.


The idea of bringing it all together is to create a much more


powerful scheme of data, so scientists can better understand


disease and people get better drugs that might suit their disease.


of the things we have in the UK is scale. The truth is, there is lots


of data systems in the world, which are five million people here and


four-and-a-half million year, on tearia has one, Scotland, Australia,


some of the healthcare systems in the states have got them. The great


thing about the UK and the particularly UK NHS is it is 50


million people, it is at that scale you will have the power to detect


all kinds of things that are very powerful in terms of the management


of the disease and have quite a profound impact. It may be some


time before there are enough people signed up to realise the promised


power from gen omics in the UK. In Iceland they have already tried to


harness its potential, although in on a smaller scale. A company


called Deco Genetics set out to put the DNA code of the country's


entire population. The aim was to identified genetic risks for common


diseases. The project proved controversial over privacy and data


projection issues, the Icelandic High Court questioned its legal


basis. The Government boasts the UK will be the first country to


introduce DNA seek qensing in a mainstream -- sequencing into a


mainstream system. That is part of the problem. This computer expert


said medical data is hard to protect, because it is so rich in


information. The NHS has traditionally anon-ised details by


taking off people's personal details but leaving on your date of


birth and postcode. This doesn't give you any protection at all


against a competent adversary. Postcode and date of birth is


enough to identify 99% of people easily. There are all sorts of


circumstances that will identify people uniquely, the fact that a


certain person got a certain preeplt on a particular day, --


treatment on a particular day may be well known, that might enable


somebody to pick out their medical record from a database of 50


million others. You probably can't get around the issue that no data


in any setting is absolutely anon- ised, and secure, -- anonymised and


secure. I think the constraints in the system that have already been


thought about, about other types of clinical data, are probably pretty


secure. One of the great things about the databases is you may not


be able to make it secure, but you know what everybody has done in the


database, you can track down who has looked at what, when they have


looked at it, how they have looked at it. The current plan seems to


rely, in part, on limiting access to the data to trusted research


partners. Whether in the public or private sector. But some say that's


not enough, and want the Government to make clear the precise details


of how it plans to keep our data secure? What we actually need is


for anonymisation methods to be open to the public, so we can see


what is happening to our data, and we can work out whether the


protection is adequate. He want to see the mechanisms and test them, I


want to be able to kick the tiles, if the Government is lying, I want


to expose them and embarrass them for it. Bioth cyst, Stuart Hogarth,


says he's not sure people are ready to buy in on this one. The grand


bargain the Government is offering us, if we give them DNA, they will


revolutionise healthcare, it is not clear that we need so much begin no


mamic data to understand the begin et genomic data to understand our


genes. It is not clear that the Government has the IT skills to put


in place a giant project like this. It is not clear whether or not the


British public will accept that bargain. Others think that if David


Cameron's goal is to attract life sciences industries to the UK, he


should look more widely than the promise of mass data sets. Richard


Sullivan has worked in the pharmaceutical industry, and was


clinical director of Cancer Research UK for eight years. There


is absolutely no doubt the NHS is in a unique position to do all


sorts of association and co- relation studies between science


and patient outcome. The reality is industry is in the UK because of


the excellence of the healthcare professionals and the ability of


the NHS to do clinical trials, it is here because of the creativity


and the brilliance of our scientists. That is what industry


looks for. Not simply a very large data collection exercise. So before


we embark on such big data experiments, whether with the


nation's health or other private information. Many people want to be


reassured that they will have the choice to opt in, rather than


having to take the time and trouble to opt-out. They will want to know


who stands to gain in this trade in data, they will want to be


reassured that the Government has taken the best possible steps to


protect sensitive information before it is handed over.


The use of Big Data will grow, because it promises so much. But we


will only know for certain who is doing what, with the data the


Government holds on all of us, if it is used in a way that is open,


testable and transparent. After a quarter of a century the


Radio 4 news announcer, Charlotte Green is leaving the BBC tomorrow.


Firstly, we must apologise for ridiculously playing the clip of


another announcer Harriet Cass, she is leaving the BBC, but later in


the year and that is no excuse for mixing the clips. She has


unflapable poise, while yearning for one of her show-stopping fits


of giggles. We have been speaking to the retiring voice of the nation.


With the BBC News, Charlotte Green. It is hard to believe, I know, but


the once lofty standards of broadcasting and grammar at the BBC


are about to get a whole lot worseer. That is because of the one


of the most beloved and trusted voices on radio is taking her leave


of the mic. Charlotte Green is a self- effacing and admired. She


agreed to talk to Newsnight, provided no-one could see she was


on the programme. I know it has come to that! People have an image


of you as being really very sober andsome better, because of how --


sombre, because of how you read the bulletin. When they meet me, I like


to have a laugh and have a lot of fun with people. For some,


Charlotte will always be the voice of the shipping forecast. We may


never know how many have found solace in her voice. They send me


Valentine's cards, and rather sweet letters, actually. But with a


certain whistfulness in them. the listeners you are the acme of


professionalism. I'm really sorry. Just then Charlotte's mobile went


off, there was evidence it was her presumed successor. Nine men have


gone on trial at the Old Bailey...Butter Wouldn't melt,


don't you believe it. American historians have discovered what


they think is the earliest recording of the human voice.


(laughs) The award-winning screenwriter Abby Mann as died at


the age of 80 ...excuse me, sorry (giggles) he won lots of Emmys,


including one in 1973...(giggles) for a film that featured a police


detective...It Is 8.10. We who present the programme genuinely


believe it is about us, and funnily enough you are quickly disabused of


that illusion, the listeners don't see it like that at all. One of the


early questions I was always asked was "you must know Charlotte Green",


followed by "what's she really like"? There is something about


Charlotte that says Radio 4, if she says something is happening in the


news you absolutely believe her. We save up anything with disgraceful


innuendo and we give it to Charlotte. Her falling apart is one


of my favourite things. Bring in the new year with a bang! And with


that, goodbye. I'm goingry lance, and I hope to


come back and do the occasional news quiz, which would be the icing


on the cake. Do you fancy Newsnight? If you're offering!


you have any broadcasting ambitions still unfulfilled, would you like


to dub a Kung Fu movie, is there something? I have always wanted to


read out the football results, ever since I was about six years old,


that is something I would love to do. The fabulous Charlotte Green,


tomorrow morning's front pages. We Laura Robson on the right there.


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 43 seconds


Epic match at the Australian Open. We must make it clear there is no


certainty about what happened yet at the gas plant. Finally in the


Express they decided not to go in the Algeria story, they go with


It is not often we get the chance to have royalty on Newsnight.


Tonight is different, as we have heard for some bizarre reason,


Charlotte Green, radio royalty is being allowed to hang up her crown.


We bow down at her feet, take it away Charlotte. You have been


catching, Kirsty Wark, she has blanked me in the canteen. Should I


know these people on the credits. The film about Big Data was


produced by Ian Lacy, well, I say produced. Some pictures were


brought to you, despite Mike Kacey, Bea Games, and Philip Clarkson. Is


there much more of this?? The planning team were Sam and Zara,


this stuff is planned? Unit manager was Rebecca Lavender, she handles


the money, he need to see her. The programme producer was KavitaPura.


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