31/01/2013 Newsnight


31/01/2013

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


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Transcript


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Francais it has reached a turning point in Mali.

:00:12.:00:17.

Newsnight reports from inside the country. Will any peace be

:00:17.:00:24.

shattered by violent reprisals. TRANSLATION: They tied up the head

:00:24.:00:28.

of the family, and raped his wife in front of him, and then his

:00:28.:00:32.

daughter. I saw it with my own eyes. I thought my family would be next.

:00:32.:00:42.
:00:42.:00:43.

So we fled. The French ambassador is here.

:00:43.:00:49.

The mystery substance coating seabirds washed up on the south

:00:49.:00:52.

coast, bird watcher Chris Packham is here. He thinks it is the tip of

:00:52.:00:56.

the iceberg. It is time to polish your Polish, it is very popular.

:00:56.:01:01.

Poland we have a lot of complicated world, they have more and more

:01:01.:01:11.
:01:11.:01:13.

difficulties than English. France's military mission in Mali

:01:13.:01:18.

appears to be nearing its end, Special Forces are reportedly in

:01:18.:01:21.

Kidal, the last town occupied by militants. France's Defence

:01:21.:01:25.

Minister says the Jihadists have scattered, and a turning point has

:01:26.:01:30.

been reached. Now what. We will ask the French ambassador to the UK in

:01:30.:01:34.

a moment, if you want an indication of the problems that lie ahead,

:01:34.:01:39.

even after any peace has been achieved, look no further than this

:01:39.:01:43.

report. This report contains image that is reflect the brutality of

:01:43.:01:52.

the conflict. Ready to die for their country.

:01:52.:02:00.

These young men are preparing to go home. Called scat the Children of

:02:00.:02:04.

the Land, they are a militia, made up largely from refugees of the

:02:04.:02:10.

north of Mali. As French paratroops and Malian regular forces retake

:02:10.:02:14.

the region from Islamists and seperatist forces, their job will

:02:14.:02:18.

be to go in behind and deal with the new threat. The danger now,

:02:18.:02:24.

says the Maliian soldier instructing them, is infiltration.

:02:24.:02:27.

TRANSLATION: The rebels will hide among the population, we must be

:02:27.:02:31.

prepared for attacks and suicide bomber. The militia know the

:02:31.:02:35.

territory, they know the people. They know who is who. They can pick

:02:35.:02:42.

out the rebels and deliver them to us. For months they have been

:02:42.:02:45.

training in this camp, south of the frontline, brooding over what

:02:45.:02:52.

happened last year. That's when rebels, first Tuareg seperatists,

:02:52.:02:55.

then Jihadis, some links to Al- Qaeda, came to their homes in

:02:55.:03:05.

Timbuktu and other towns. TRANSLATION: They tied up the head

:03:05.:03:12.

of the family, and then raped his wife in front of him, and then his

:03:12.:03:17.

daughter. I it with my own eyes. I thought my family would be next, so

:03:17.:03:22.

we fled. They raped many women, they took them into the dunes for

:03:22.:03:27.

two or three days, and then they came back for more. We have heard

:03:27.:03:32.

rebels committed many rapes. But the militia is keen to stress to me

:03:32.:03:36.

that there will be no summary justice. TRANSLATION: You can't

:03:36.:03:45.

take justice into your own hands. This man says he also saw girls

:03:45.:03:50.

taken to be raped. And young men forced to join the rebels. He says

:03:50.:03:58.

now they want revenge. That's the word they are not meant to use, but

:03:58.:04:03.

they are the successors of a previous militia accused of

:04:03.:04:06.

atrocities, particularly against ethnic Tuareg, and they hope the

:04:07.:04:10.

military will arm them soon. These forces seem well disciplined, they

:04:10.:04:14.

say they are going to abide by the law. But there is an obvious danger

:04:14.:04:19.

when they return to their own home regions in the north, where they

:04:19.:04:21.

say their families have suffered under the rebels, that there will

:04:21.:04:28.

be a settling of scores. Like many Malian soldiers, the instructor has

:04:28.:04:31.

had training from the Americans. British military advisers will now

:04:31.:04:36.

also be working with men like him. But in his heart is something they

:04:36.:04:42.

won't approve of. Many Tuareg are loyal to Mali, but he wants

:04:42.:04:49.

vengence against a whole ethnic group. TRANSLATION: All Tuareg are

:04:49.:04:53.

rebels or bandits. When we get to the north, they should get out of

:04:53.:05:03.
:05:03.:05:03.

our way. They are enemies of the state. The river niej certificate

:05:03.:05:09.

the highway that unites this -- Niger is the highway that unites

:05:09.:05:12.

these people. Until the war they scratched a living side-by-side,

:05:12.:05:16.

but now fear has driven away the Tuareg who control the salt trade

:05:16.:05:21.

from The Sahara. They fled to refugee camps in neighbouring

:05:21.:05:28.

countries. I ask what they are afraid of? Of

:05:28.:05:37.

death, he says, of being killed by Malian soldiers.

:05:37.:05:41.

It's not just Tuareg who are under suspicion now. Nearly three weeks

:05:41.:05:45.

ago, just after France intervened in Mali, this man saw something

:05:45.:05:50.

he's afraid to speak of openly. The Maliian military had arrested three

:05:50.:05:59.

students in Islamic dress, with who had no identity papers.

:05:59.:06:03.

TRANSLATION: When I got there, the students had their hands tied

:06:03.:06:06.

behind their backment they were on their knees. I heard one of them

:06:06.:06:11.

say, for the sake of God don't kill me, I'm not the enemy, I'm just a

:06:11.:06:15.

student of the Koran. But one of the military guys said, don't

:06:15.:06:18.

listen to them, they were infiltrators, they talked among

:06:18.:06:23.

themselves, and one said, fire, they shot all three of them, in the

:06:23.:06:27.

chest. Then they dragged them by their feet, and threw them into a

:06:27.:06:31.

well. We went to the place he described.

:06:31.:06:38.

There are reports that as many as 20 or 30 suspected infiltrators may

:06:38.:06:43.

have been executed by Malian forces here. You can see lines of blood

:06:43.:06:47.

going all the way down, and some of this earth has clearly been pushed

:06:47.:06:56.

down, to hide the bodies at the bottom. The Maliian Government has

:06:56.:07:00.

said it will investigate what happened. But it's clear several

:07:00.:07:09.

wells hold awful secrets. Down below me, what appear to be the

:07:09.:07:15.

bodies of several people. There's a horrible smell coming from down

:07:15.:07:21.

this well, you can see the blood splattered all around. There is no

:07:21.:07:24.

doubt that people were killed here. And that's just a few hundred yards

:07:24.:07:30.

from a crowded bus station just over there. At the bus station

:07:30.:07:34.

everyone's heard of the killings. But it is very hard to find anyone

:07:34.:07:37.

who will admit to having seen them. People are afraid of the

:07:37.:07:44.

consequences of speaking out. In the Old Town of mock at this, they

:07:44.:07:49.

have heard too, and -- Mokti, they have heard too, and they are

:07:49.:07:53.

worried. This is the home to a people with a reputation of pieity,

:07:53.:07:56.

but today it is hard to find the usual Islamic students on the

:07:56.:08:00.

streets. We find some at last, studying inside. They say they

:08:00.:08:03.

don't dare go out any more, because so many like them have been

:08:04.:08:10.

arrested. They have no sympathy, they say, with the Jihadis, but

:08:10.:08:14.

they can guess why others joined the rebellion.

:08:14.:08:18.

TRANSLATION: Some have the conviction to fight for God and

:08:18.:08:22.

really have good Islamisation in their country. Some people, they

:08:22.:08:28.

say also to people, if you go with them you can have, 150,000 a month.

:08:28.:08:32.

That's why some people also go. Because they have nothing.

:08:32.:08:36.

could this happen in Mali? For centuries there were strong,

:08:36.:08:40.

centralised states here, the peoples have usually lived in

:08:40.:08:44.

harmony, for most of the last 20 years, and it had a functioning

:08:44.:08:48.

democracy. One of the President's closest advisers says that was a

:08:48.:08:57.

facade that's now cracked. Mali, although it was showcased as

:08:57.:09:07.
:09:07.:09:09.

a strong democracy in Africa, was, from the start, a failed state. We

:09:09.:09:14.

have a lot of corruption and no discipline in the army. In a

:09:14.:09:20.

country which is one of the poorest in the world. He's grateful now to

:09:20.:09:24.

the French and other forces, that victory over the rebels -- but

:09:24.:09:28.

victory over the rebels, won't be enough. If we are defeated in the

:09:28.:09:34.

north you are not solving the main issue. The main issue is how to use

:09:34.:09:42.

the most efficiently, as possible, the meagre resources of the country.

:09:42.:09:46.

The talk today, thanks largely to the French, is of liberation. But

:09:46.:09:50.

it will take months or years to see whether Mali has really been

:09:50.:09:56.

reunited. That will be the true test of the west's intervention.

:09:56.:10:01.

Bernard Emie is the French ambassador to the UK. And in all

:10:01.:10:05.

candour, has this operation gone much better than you might have

:10:06.:10:10.

feared? So far we have reached our objectives. I just want to remind

:10:10.:10:14.

you that we had three main objectives. First of all, to stop

:10:14.:10:19.

the Jihadist offensive towards the south. These people wanted to

:10:19.:10:22.

concur Bamako, and to -- conquer Bamako, and establish a terrorist

:10:22.:10:28.

state in the heart of Africa. We stopped that. The second point, we

:10:28.:10:33.

wanted to help the Malians to restore authority of the whole

:10:33.:10:37.

territory, and to restore the sovereignty and territorial

:10:37.:10:42.

integrity. Thirdly, the objective is to make sure that we are in a

:10:42.:10:45.

position to help the African-led mission to be deployed on the

:10:45.:10:50.

territory. It is on the way. Things are going according to our plans. I

:10:50.:10:55.

want just to say again that we acted urgently, at the request of

:10:55.:11:00.

the Malian authorities n full accordance with the United Nations

:11:00.:11:04.

security council's charter. Were the rebels defeated or did they

:11:04.:11:09.

felt away? We had a lot of clashes with emthis, it is not an easy ride.

:11:09.:11:12.

Our servicemen and soldiers were extremely brave in the field.

:11:13.:11:16.

not suggesting they weren't, but are they all gone? The rebels

:11:16.:11:21.

melted away as well. We had some clashes with the rebels. Now we are

:11:21.:11:28.

moving, we are in Kidal, as you said in the film, we are making

:11:28.:11:32.

sure that the Malian authorities come back and get the power to

:11:32.:11:37.

restore law and order in the cities. This is not our mission, to restore

:11:37.:11:44.

law and order, the Malian police come back to the cities. We

:11:44.:11:49.

continue to help the Malians to reconquer the sovereignty on the

:11:49.:11:52.

whole territory. How long will France stay in the country, is it

:11:52.:11:57.

your hope, at least, that some other force, either UN-backed, or

:11:57.:12:02.

from the AU, will take over soon? It is very clear, we will stay as

:12:02.:12:06.

long as necessary. We didn't fix any deadline for our presence. What

:12:06.:12:10.

matters to us right now, first of all, is to have the Malian forces

:12:10.:12:14.

being trained, and this is the objective of what we call the

:12:14.:12:22.

European train mission in Mali, with around 500 men from 12-20

:12:22.:12:26.

European countries. The second point, we want the African-led

:12:26.:12:32.

forces to be deployed in Mali. They should be around 7,000. And we do

:12:32.:12:37.

already have more than 2,000 in the field. These African forces,

:12:37.:12:41.

according to the United Nations resolution, are in charge of

:12:41.:12:45.

helping the Malian Armed Forces to recover their own sovereignty on

:12:46.:12:50.

the whole territory. The French are not intending to stay in Mali

:12:50.:12:56.

longer than necessary. Are those African forces up to the job of

:12:56.:12:59.

desert fighting? They are very good, they know how to fight in the

:12:59.:13:03.

desert. Many of the forces are extremely good. But we are going

:13:03.:13:08.

train them. That is why we had recently in Addis Ababa, an

:13:08.:13:11.

International Conference in order to raise fupeds and support for

:13:11.:13:15.

this of a -- funds and support for these African forces. We have to

:13:15.:13:18.

support them as much as possible. By the way, they are grateful to

:13:18.:13:24.

the British forces, and to the British establishment and to the

:13:24.:13:28.

British authorities to have decided to be part of that effort.

:13:28.:13:32.

Britain come up with everything you asked it for? Absolutely. We

:13:32.:13:38.

requested logistical transport yaiing, we have two C-17s --

:13:38.:13:43.

transportation, we have two C-17s and aircraft and civilians. We have

:13:43.:13:48.

a British participation to the AU team in Mali. And you are going to

:13:48.:13:52.

support the training of certain English-speaking African countries.

:13:52.:13:55.

It has been quite a popular conflict in terms of French public

:13:55.:13:58.

opinion, will that continue the longer France is in there? It seems

:13:58.:14:02.

to me there is a national unity around this operation. Because the

:14:02.:14:06.

people do understand the rational for that operation. That is a war

:14:06.:14:10.

of necessity. We had to stop terrorism in that part of Africa.

:14:10.:14:15.

Has it been stopped, is Mali no longer in danger of being a

:14:15.:14:21.

"terrorist state"? I'm not saying that, we stopped Bamako being

:14:21.:14:23.

conquered by the Jihadist and terrorists, we have to make sure it

:14:23.:14:27.

is not going to be a refuge for terrorists. It is not completely

:14:27.:14:32.

over, but we want the Malian state to be in a position to be stable,

:14:32.:14:36.

and then, to move to the national reconciliation in Mali. That's a

:14:36.:14:40.

very important objective that we have as well. How much UN

:14:40.:14:44.

involvement do you accept anticipate? At the moment you have

:14:44.:14:48.

a UN Security Council resolution, the regional organisation of west

:14:48.:14:53.

Africa is part of the process, and this African-led force is part of

:14:53.:14:58.

the UN resolution. Afterwards, maybe, we will have a UN

:14:58.:15:00.

peacekeeping operation, it is under discussion in the United Nations,

:15:00.:15:07.

with our African friends, and with our United Nations and Security

:15:07.:15:10.

Council partners. Are the streets of France and Britain safer

:15:10.:15:14.

directly as a result of this operation? Well, I think that we

:15:14.:15:17.

have to be extremely cautious on that. I think that these people,

:15:17.:15:21.

they were threatening Mali, but they are threatening Europe as well.

:15:21.:15:25.

I think that we are under threat from Al-Qaeda in the Islamic

:15:25.:15:30.

Maghreb, and we should join all efforts to prevent these people

:15:30.:15:34.

from being able to export their terrorist acts. Thank you very much

:15:35.:15:38.

for talking to us about these important matters of life and death.

:15:38.:15:41.

I want to ask you also since you are here about a subject that is

:15:41.:15:46.

matter of life and death for some people, football, David Beckham

:15:46.:15:49.

joining Paris St Germain, what is what are your thoughts? Football is

:15:49.:15:53.

very important to the French people. David Beckham is an international

:15:53.:15:57.

sta, and we are pleased and proud to have him coming to Paris. He's

:15:57.:16:02.

not coming to live in Paris? We are looking forward to David Beckham

:16:02.:16:08.

coming and spending a lot of money in Paris. Thank you.

:16:08.:16:13.

In a moment, the mystery of the birds being washed up on the south

:16:13.:16:22.

coast. Also in the programme. (speaks Polish) Yes, amazing.

:16:23.:16:30.

What's she on about? We will talk language later.

:16:30.:16:34.

In the middle of the afternoon, we got first reports of seabirds.

:16:34.:16:38.

Hundreds of people being washed up on beachs from Cornwall to Dorset.

:16:38.:16:43.

Some alive, some dead. All of them covered in some kind of sticky

:16:43.:16:46.

substance. We are told it wasn't oil, and the usual cleaning methods

:16:46.:16:54.

employed by rescuers weren't working.

:16:54.:16:58.

This could be the first sign of a major environmental tragedy.

:16:58.:17:02.

Hundreds of birds have been found washed up along the English south

:17:02.:17:08.

coast, in an area from Dorset, right across to Cornwall. The

:17:08.:17:11.

majority are guillemots, the dark brown and white seabird that is

:17:11.:17:15.

only come to land to nest along the cliffs to the south west of

:17:15.:17:18.

Scotland, and spend the rest of their lives at sea. They have been

:17:18.:17:25.

covered, not in oil, but by a white waxy and glue-like substance, still

:17:25.:17:28.

unidentified, that sticks their feathers together, that makes it

:17:28.:17:33.

difficult to fly and causes source to their legs. Almost 100

:17:33.:17:38.

guillemots have been found in Dorset over the last few years.

:17:38.:17:42.

A member of the Dorset wildlife Trust was one of the first to find

:17:42.:17:46.

them, they were in a serious state. They preen themselves and ingest

:17:46.:17:52.

whatever this substance is. It is unidentified at the moment. They

:17:52.:17:56.

ingest it, they can't swim. It is sticky, so they stick to the rocks

:17:56.:18:06.
:18:06.:18:08.

as well. They can't feed, and can't fluff up their feathers. They are

:18:08.:18:12.

dying. We picked up bin bags of dead birds in sacks today, so they

:18:12.:18:16.

are dying. The ones we have rescued and the RSPCA has got, are

:18:16.:18:19.

responding well to treatment. they have been rescued, the birds

:18:19.:18:24.

were taken to a centre in Somerset, placed on drips, and there were

:18:24.:18:28.

attempts to clear the mystery white substance from their feathers.

:18:28.:18:33.

have tried the normal solvents that get oil off, that hasn't been

:18:33.:18:39.

successful. They are using margerine, and the birds that have

:18:39.:18:43.

died, they have left them and the substance solidfies and it brushes

:18:43.:18:46.

off. They are trying different kinds of methods. The birds are

:18:46.:18:51.

responding well to the treatment they are giving them. Many of the

:18:51.:18:56.

affected birds have been found along the seashore around Portland,

:18:56.:19:04.

according to the RSPB have been found in Wrexham, and Sulkham.

:19:04.:19:07.

Tonight scientists are trying to establish what the substance is.

:19:07.:19:10.

The Environment Agency have collected samples for testing,

:19:10.:19:13.

while the marine and Coastguard Agency are looking into where it

:19:13.:19:18.

might have come from. It could, it seems, be vegtable-based. It might

:19:19.:19:24.

be some sort of palm oil, maybe it reacts with the salt in the water

:19:24.:19:29.

and sticks with the bird's feather. I have been dealing with spills for

:19:29.:19:34.

22 years, I have never dealt with a contaminant like this, it is fuel-

:19:34.:19:38.

based. There are fears that the mystery substance might cause

:19:38.:19:43.

damage to more than seabirds. haven't seen anything on the

:19:43.:19:48.

shoreline, we look out for it, in case it affects seals and other

:19:48.:19:51.

things like dolphin, whatever is on the coastline. We have to look out

:19:52.:19:55.

for that. Nothing is on the shore. Unless it is dispersed out on the

:19:55.:19:59.

sea and they have caught it and it has dropped and dispered and the

:19:59.:20:02.

birds are coming in. As for the cause, it could be illegal action

:20:02.:20:05.

from shipping? Obviously it is not a ship that has gone down, that

:20:05.:20:10.

would have been reported. It sounds like it is some form of either

:20:10.:20:13.

accidental or even purposeful, illegal, tang washing that is going

:20:13.:20:17.

on in the channel somewhere. Now the weather is not ideal for

:20:17.:20:22.

monitoring and flying to look for spills. But I would hope that

:20:22.:20:26.

within the next 24-hours, some investigation is put into place to

:20:26.:20:30.

find out what is going on out in the channel. Because what we don't

:20:30.:20:37.

want to do in this situation is to have something that impacts on more

:20:37.:20:41.

wildlife. There are fears many more birds will be found washed up in

:20:41.:20:47.

the morning, perhaps the scale and cause of the tragedy will be known.

:20:47.:20:54.

We have the leader of the rescue mission at the RSPCA. And we have

:20:55.:20:58.

Chris Packham from the BBC's natural history unit.

:20:58.:21:02.

We got wind of this today, you have been dealing with this since

:21:02.:21:07.

yesterday? Yeah, the first birds came into us, actually we had three

:21:07.:21:11.

birds in the day before yesterday, three guillemots with the sticky

:21:11.:21:19.

substance on them. Those birds weren't in a good way at all. Yes

:21:19.:21:22.

it really started to escalate, and the number of birds today has

:21:23.:21:27.

really taken off. Do you know what sort of numbers we are talking

:21:27.:21:33.

about? We have 123 birds currently in the centre. More have been

:21:33.:21:35.

admitted, but unfortunately they haven't made it. Reports from the

:21:35.:21:38.

beaches is there are hundreds of birds affected by it. We are

:21:38.:21:42.

expecting more birds in tomorrow. What proportion are you able to

:21:42.:21:48.

save? Most so far. We have lost a couple of birds that have been lame.

:21:48.:21:51.

Some of the birds that we are seeing towards the end of the day

:21:51.:21:55.

have obviously been in the water for longer. They have been

:21:55.:21:58.

obviously struggling. They can't fly, they are struggling to stay

:21:58.:22:01.

afloat. They have been suffering for longer, those birds are in

:22:01.:22:04.

worse condition than the ones we saw earlier. But we have still

:22:04.:22:08.

managed to save most of the birds that have come in so far. Talk me

:22:08.:22:12.

through your process, a bit. What was your first guess as to what the

:22:12.:22:17.

substance was, and what did you try to tackle it with, and what did you

:22:17.:22:21.

move on to? Well, with any bird that has something on it. The first

:22:21.:22:26.

stop really is to use something like a soap detergent, just a

:22:26.:22:29.

washing up detergent, that didn't touch this substance at all. But

:22:29.:22:34.

the people here who work in rehabilitation, have come across

:22:34.:22:38.

all sorts of substances before, they tried margarine, that they

:22:39.:22:47.

have used on other substance, that caught on fly papers, and it does

:22:47.:22:51.

break down sticky substances, that worked very well. We still don't

:22:51.:22:55.

know the substance. At this stage what is your advice to people who

:22:55.:22:58.

want to come and have their morning constitutional on beach tomorrow,

:22:58.:23:03.

maybe out walking the dog. Should they be doing that? They should,

:23:03.:23:07.

they should probably look out. We don't know whatever it is washed

:23:07.:23:11.

around and caught the birds isn't washing up the beaches too. That is

:23:11.:23:17.

worth a word of caution. If they come across birds in distress, call

:23:17.:23:21.

the RSPCA to mobilise inspectors, if they are not already on the

:23:21.:23:25.

scene. In order to pick the birds up, we are advising people not to

:23:25.:23:28.

pick the birds up themselves, there are all sorts of issues surrounding

:23:28.:23:32.

that, and we don't know what the substance is. That wouldn't be the

:23:32.:23:35.

best idea. Call the RSPCA and we will get inspectors there. When

:23:36.:23:40.

will you and your clogs get some sleep? It will be a bit later --

:23:40.:23:44.

Your colleagues get some sleep? will be a bit later. These birds

:23:44.:23:47.

will be with us for a while and a lot of birds to get through

:23:47.:23:51.

tomorrow, it will be a while. do you think has gone on here?

:23:51.:23:55.

is difficult to say. It is obviously an unidentified substance

:23:55.:23:58.

and clearly affecting this population. At this time of year we

:23:58.:24:01.

have international low important populations of birds wirpbtering

:24:01.:24:05.

off our shores. These are not always species like the guillemot

:24:05.:24:08.

that you can see on the beach, they are coming from way out in the

:24:08.:24:13.

channel. What is frightening, if you are picking up 100 on the beach,

:24:13.:24:16.

there could be many more who have died and are lost at sea. This

:24:16.:24:21.

could be the tip of the iceberg. Not just birds could be affected?

:24:21.:24:27.

Mammals and seals along the coast, and crusttations as well. It is not

:24:27.:24:30.

just at the stage of them being damaged physically, if it is toxic

:24:30.:24:35.

and gets into the food chain, it can persist for many years and have

:24:35.:24:41.

affects on many types of animals, from shellfish and crusttations t

:24:41.:24:48.

might end up in pred -- crustaceans, but it might end up in the

:24:48.:24:53.

predators. We have to identify the source of the material and try to

:24:53.:24:57.

trace the ship. We hope there would be a legislative process to

:24:57.:25:01.

prosecute the culprit. This has to be seen as a crime. If it was

:25:01.:25:04.

deliberate and not accidental, because it is causing damage to

:25:04.:25:08.

significant numbers of birds, of significantly important

:25:08.:25:12.

conservation value. What kind of punishment is methed out for this

:25:12.:25:21.

kind of thing? Zrb Meted out for this sort of thing? In previous

:25:21.:25:24.

catastrophes, in our own and other places, it is very difficult to

:25:24.:25:29.

prosecute these companies. Very often they take a long, long time

:25:29.:25:35.

to make any compensation or mitigation processes. Has any work

:25:35.:25:39.

been done on what happens to birds in this sort of situation who are

:25:39.:25:44.

released back into the wild? It has, increasingly this is being

:25:44.:25:48.

researched. The figures are variable, if a bird is heavily

:25:48.:25:52.

oiled, the survival rate in the mid-term can be as low as 1%. If

:25:52.:25:57.

they will go back and most of them will die within seven days T

:25:57.:26:02.

depends on how much oil and which species. Some species are

:26:02.:26:05.

remarkably tolerant, they have had oil disasters in South Africa, and

:26:05.:26:10.

the penguin species that live there can take a lot of oil and a lot of

:26:10.:26:13.

treatment, and successfully put back into the wild. Their success

:26:13.:26:17.

is as high as 80%. In the circumstances we seem to understand

:26:17.:26:21.

now, we know the effort, is the financial cost of doing all this

:26:21.:26:24.

worth it in the end?. That is another consideration. Because,

:26:24.:26:30.

again, I did read a report that those birds which were oiled from

:26:30.:26:35.

the disaster in Alaska. Of those that were put back into the wild it

:26:35.:26:44.

cost �32,000 -- $32,000 per bird and the survival rate was low. The

:26:44.:26:50.

RSPCA have to make a quick decision on whether to use in this case that

:26:50.:26:57.

bird and move on to another. We -- uetnais the bird and move on to

:26:57.:27:02.

another. We want to do our best and make

:27:03.:27:12.

sure it is successful. We are pretty sure something

:27:12.:27:18.

happened involving Israel and Syria late on Tuesday night, or early

:27:18.:27:25.

yesterday morning. But what? US officials have told the BBC that

:27:25.:27:29.

Israeli jets struck a convoy carrying Russian-made surface-to-

:27:29.:27:33.

air missiles, as it headed towards the Lebanese border, bound for

:27:33.:27:37.

Hezbollah. That is not what the Syrian army says. A military

:27:37.:27:42.

announcement on state TV said jets bombed a military research centre

:27:42.:27:47.

in the area North West of the capital, Damascus, killing two

:27:47.:27:52.

people and wounding five others. For its part, Israel is saying

:27:52.:27:58.

nothing. Of other interested parties they are not saying much.

:27:58.:28:03.

If it was true it would mean a gross violation of the norms of

:28:03.:28:07.

international law and the charter. That is a matter of grave concern.

:28:07.:28:11.

In Brussels, the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, was nor diplomatic.

:28:11.:28:15.

I won't give any condemnation of Israel or rush into any criticism.

:28:15.:28:20.

There may be many things about it that we don't know, or the Arab

:28:20.:28:23.

League or Russia don't know. I think we should give our eyes on

:28:23.:28:28.

the main event and crisis. He also said he welcomed a sur advice

:28:28.:28:31.

declaration by a leader of the Syrian opposition, to negotiate

:28:31.:28:36.

with members of Assad's regime. Syria has formally complained to

:28:36.:28:40.

the UN, but retaliation seems unlikely. In 2007, Israeli

:28:40.:28:44.

warplanes reportedly bombed a suspected nuclear FA sill ein the

:28:44.:28:48.

country. But apart from an incident in November last year, it has tried

:28:48.:28:51.

to keep the distance from Syria's Civil War. One thing the Israeli

:28:51.:28:57.

Government has made clear, if it suspects a transfer of weapons from

:28:57.:29:04.

Syria to Hezbollah, it will act. It removed one of the Iron Dome

:29:04.:29:08.

defence batteries to the north of the country was said to be routine,

:29:08.:29:12.

but it reflected concern about growing unrest in the region.

:29:12.:29:18.

Jeff White is a Washington-based expert who specialises in Syria and

:29:18.:29:21.

Iran. What do you think happened here? We don't know for sure, there

:29:21.:29:27.

is a lot of confusion whether there were two attacks, one account or no

:29:27.:29:32.

attacks, conceivably. It looks like the most likely story

:29:32.:29:37.

here is that the Israelis struck Hezbollah arms convoy, trying to

:29:37.:29:41.

bring weapons from Syria into Lebanon. That seems to be the core

:29:41.:29:46.

story. The Syrians have an interest in trying to portray this as

:29:46.:29:53.

something else. Their story of an attack in a research centre doesn't

:29:53.:29:59.

look too good. The US has warned Syria not to transfer weapons to

:29:59.:30:06.

Hezbollah in Lebanon, is it by and large happy to sit this out?

:30:06.:30:10.

action the Israelis took is one of the most effective ways, I think,

:30:10.:30:15.

to stop this kind of thing from happening. In addition to whatever

:30:15.:30:21.

equipment the Israelis destroyed, presumablying that they did it. It

:30:21.:30:25.

sends a warning signal to the Syrian Government and Hezbollah,

:30:25.:30:29.

not to do this. That Israel is watching carefully and has the

:30:29.:30:33.

capability to strike these kinds of activities. That is the most

:30:33.:30:39.

effective way to deter them. The problem is Hezbollah and Syria have

:30:39.:30:41.

demonstrated that they are absolutely determined to do these

:30:41.:30:45.

kinds of things, especially over time. It is a dangerous game. We

:30:45.:30:50.

may see more of these kinds of events. I know you have been an

:30:50.:30:53.

advocate for greater American involvement in Syria earlier, but

:30:53.:30:58.

at this stage, what would it take the US to get more involved. We

:30:58.:31:03.

have had chemical weapons and all those warnings what would it take?

:31:03.:31:08.

The most likely thing is the chemical weapons issue, that the

:31:08.:31:10.

Syrians released chemical weapons against their own population, or

:31:10.:31:17.

that they try and transfer them to Hezbollah. Maybe if the radical

:31:17.:31:21.

Islamists get a hold of weapons, those might push the United States

:31:21.:31:27.

to become involved. Another possibility here is that the

:31:27.:31:33.

outbreak of a large, very large and snow-balling humanitarian crisis,

:31:33.:31:38.

with lots of people dying, lots of people in very difficult conditions,

:31:38.:31:42.

even beyond what we are seeing today, that might also push the US

:31:42.:31:47.

in the direction of more military involvement. As of now, I don't see

:31:47.:31:50.

either of those things on the immediate horizon. What did you

:31:51.:31:57.

want the US to do? My view was there is two kind of intervention

:31:57.:32:00.

that the United States could approach. One was direct military

:32:00.:32:06.

intervention. Sort of like in the Libyan case, with direct attacks on

:32:06.:32:10.

the Syrian military structure. That can be done in different ways,

:32:10.:32:14.

different tactics and so on, but the core of it would be direct

:32:14.:32:19.

attacks on the Syrian military. The second way in more plausible ways

:32:19.:32:24.

to me was indirect intervention. That is providing arms, training,

:32:24.:32:28.

intelligence, organisational help, all those kinds of things to the

:32:28.:32:34.

armed Syrian opposition. The groups that are fighting in Syria.

:32:34.:32:39.

Basically we had those two kinds of options, direct intervention,

:32:39.:32:44.

indirect intervention. Thinking of the opposition, the main opposition

:32:44.:32:48.

leader indicating that he would be happy to talk to officials of the

:32:48.:32:51.

Assad regime, with some conditions, it should be said. How significant

:32:51.:32:59.

do you think that is? Not very. One thing we have learned in the course

:32:59.:33:03.

of the war is the Syrian opposition doesn't speak with one voice. There

:33:03.:33:06.

is criticism of him for making that kind of statement or approach,

:33:06.:33:11.

whatever. In addition to that, the notion of a negotiated peace

:33:11.:33:16.

settlement is just nonsense at this point. The regime's response to the

:33:16.:33:21.

uprising, the peaceful uprising was brute force. And brute force has

:33:21.:33:25.

dominated the conflict ever since. And that's the way this conflict is

:33:25.:33:30.

going to be settled, is by brute force. Whoever can mass the most

:33:30.:33:33.

military power, and be most effective on the battlefield will

:33:34.:33:40.

win this war. Thank you.

:33:41.:33:46.

Perhaps you popped out earlier this evening and entered a Polski skep

:33:46.:33:54.

skep, they can't touch skrb skel, they can't -- skelp they can't

:33:54.:33:59.

touch you for it. A new census might have suspected what your ears

:33:59.:34:03.

have detected for a long time. Polish is the second most common

:34:03.:34:08.

language in England and Wales. We went out to talk Polish with

:34:08.:34:18.
:34:18.:34:57.

speakers of those languages and in I'm Bangladesh and my brother is

:34:57.:35:06.

Bengali, my child talks Bengali, my childlikes English. In this country

:35:06.:35:16.
:35:16.:35:16.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 92 seconds

:35:16.:36:48.

everything is English, doctor, Plos and thank you, the most

:36:48.:36:58.

important -- please and thank you, the most important English.

:36:58.:37:08.
:37:08.:37:19.

I want to speak proper English, my Well besides being fantastic news

:37:19.:37:25.

for subtitlers, what else should we make of it. We have an academic and

:37:25.:37:30.

linguist with us, and an English Noelist and playwright from a

:37:30.:37:33.

Romany background. What sort of influence will all these Polish

:37:33.:37:38.

speakers have on the way English is spoken? It really depends on how

:37:38.:37:43.

much impact they make. I don't have the privilege of Polish groceries

:37:43.:37:49.

in my neighbourhood, perhaps if I don't. Skelp is the word you want

:37:49.:37:57.

to look for. For me, Polish is associated with things like

:37:57.:38:00.

solidarnish. That dates you? dates me indeed. The point is,

:38:00.:38:04.

there has to be something going on in that language, and then people

:38:04.:38:09.

will pick up words from it. I'm a curious, if a lot of Polish people

:38:09.:38:13.

are learning English, which you might expect them to, if English

:38:13.:38:17.

people aren't picking up any Polish, where is the cross-fertilisation?

:38:17.:38:23.

It certainly doesn't work the other way round. In my field, novel

:38:23.:38:25.

writing, it is tremenduously to our advantage that the rest of the

:38:25.:38:28.

world is interested in fiction in English, and it doesn't work the

:38:28.:38:32.

other way round. Countries like Germany, Sweden, a lot of the

:38:32.:38:35.

Scandinavian countries, something like 40% of their fiction is read

:38:35.:38:41.

in translation. In this country we read, I think, between 2-4% of our

:38:41.:38:46.

fiction in translation. In America it is 1-2%. You don't need to be a

:38:46.:38:50.

rocket scientist to work out that is a huge advantage to novelists

:38:50.:38:54.

writing in the English language. We get, or theed over the world and

:38:54.:38:57.

get translated into umpteen language, we have the opportunity

:38:57.:39:02.

to travel and to spread the culture of English fiction or fiction in

:39:02.:39:05.

the English language, all over the world. I think it is to our

:39:05.:39:09.

detriment that it doesn't work the other way round. If you think of

:39:09.:39:14.

how many fantastic novelists there are in other language, that English

:39:14.:39:20.

readers are look missing out on because we are poor at translating

:39:20.:39:27.

languages. Are you trying to save languages? Its all about morale, to

:39:27.:39:32.

make people value them, if they value them they are more likely to

:39:32.:39:38.

speak it. That is the strategy of language saving is. You need to

:39:38.:39:41.

make people want to speak it, before everyone who could teach it

:39:41.:39:46.

to them has gone away. What will happen, leaving aside Polish, but

:39:46.:39:50.

more minority languages in this country, aren't they just going to

:39:50.:39:54.

speak English as the generations go on? I don't know about that. We

:39:54.:39:57.

have already seen a slight maligning of Welsh, since in the

:39:57.:40:02.

significant, which came out in the census, Welsh is still bigger than

:40:02.:40:05.

Polish as a language within England and Wales, as it was mentioned.

:40:05.:40:09.

Those things are going on. In fact, there has been quite a change in

:40:09.:40:13.

morale, one could saying, generally, among the smaller languages of the

:40:13.:40:17.

world, as far as I'm in touch with them. Not only do those people feel

:40:17.:40:22.

that they are being given a chance, and that people are concerned about

:40:22.:40:27.

them, it impacts on a small community of people coming in and

:40:27.:40:30.

saying we are interested that you are speaking this language, what is

:40:30.:40:36.

it like. It is also the case, if you speak to English people, and

:40:36.:40:41.

people are much less likely to be puzzled by the very idea of an

:40:41.:40:44.

endangered language. How much is English going to be influenced by

:40:45.:40:49.

all the languages that prevail in this country now? It depends what

:40:49.:40:53.

happens t might be the case that there is some comedy show that gets

:40:53.:40:59.

established with Poles in a Polish grocery, and all sorts of other

:40:59.:41:04.

things, like spacemen coming into it, something that makes it

:41:04.:41:08.

distinctive. Then you will find Polish expressions cropping up in

:41:08.:41:11.

popular English. It will take that, something like that, historically

:41:11.:41:16.

has there been much of that? Historically you find communities

:41:16.:41:20.

come in and talk their language to each oh when they have an effect on

:41:20.:41:25.

other people. The classic thing, we had this at the beginning here,

:41:25.:41:32.

with menus, could not be written nowadays, without using Turkish,

:41:32.:41:37.

Greek, various Indian languages, all of which have hundreds of

:41:38.:41:41.

thousands of speakers in this country. I wonder are from your

:41:41.:41:46.

experience, when people come here, do they always want to pass on

:41:46.:41:50.

their own language to their children? Is it inevitable?

:41:50.:41:54.

necessarily, we have think about the political and social

:41:54.:41:59.

sensitivites around language. For a lot of immigrant, certainly in

:41:59.:42:02.

previous generation, dropping the language they grew up in the

:42:02.:42:07.

country of their birth was about asimulation. You only have to look

:42:07.:42:17.
:42:17.:42:19.

at movie stars like Rene Zellwegger, in the 1980 she would have to have

:42:19.:42:24.

been Jenny Johnson. Now we are happy with her name. From my

:42:24.:42:30.

father's background, with Romany ancestry, it was important not to

:42:30.:42:34.

speak his words of Romany dialect in public. You had to be careful,

:42:34.:42:38.

he didn't want people to know about his background. Did you get a sense

:42:38.:42:45.

of that growing up? Certain low. I have cousins of my generation who

:42:45.:42:50.

were taught the Romany, we weren't, my father was keen we would be

:42:50.:42:53.

educated and myself and brother and city to go on to higher education.

:42:54.:42:57.

We were the first generation of our family to do that. That was

:42:57.:43:01.

extremely important to him, and not clinging on to many cultural and

:43:01.:43:06.

social aspects of his ancestry, including language, was extreme low

:43:06.:43:14.

important to him. I hope that is different now and there is a sense

:43:14.:43:20.

of national pride. In Romany Europe they have 160 groups speaking many

:43:20.:43:26.

dialects, not all mutually Intelable. It is politically --

:43:26.:43:30.

Intelable, it is politically sensitive. When should a language

:43:30.:43:40.
:43:40.:43:40.

be allowed to die? It has a rank oder want to go generalise in this

:43:40.:43:45.

sort of thing. -- wanting to generalise in this sort of thing.

:43:45.:43:49.

Every language and community is related to the communities in

:43:49.:43:52.

several ways. There is no point in being sentimental, there may be

:43:52.:43:57.

times when you have to suppress your own language in order to

:43:57.:44:03.

survive as a community. Which language is in danger in your point

:44:03.:44:08.

of view? The language in greatest dang, which has the lowest morale.

:44:08.:44:12.

So Romany might be one such language. Can I just come in there

:44:12.:44:17.

with a little scepticism about the articles in the press. It claimed

:44:17.:44:24.

that 629 people speak Romany, there is between 80,000-120,000 people

:44:24.:44:29.

who speak it? A mixed version of Romany, that sort of thing.

:44:29.:44:39.
:44:39.:44:39.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 92 seconds

:44:39.:45:24.

appreciate you both coming in. Now Some news just in, the singer

:45:24.:45:30.

Beyonce has admitted she did sing along to a pre-recorded track at

:45:30.:45:35.

President Obama's inauguration. That is all for us, apart from

:45:35.:45:41.

saying goodbye to the last surviving member of the Andrews'

:45:41.:45:48.

Sisters, Patti has died at the age of 94. Newsnight is not complete

:45:48.:45:52.

without boogie wooingy, here is some more.

:45:52.:45:57.

# Don't go walking down lovers' lane

:45:57.:45:59.

# No # Lover's lane

:45:59.:46:03.

# Until you see me # Until you see me ach marching

:46:03.:46:06.

home # Sit down under the apple tree

:46:06.:46:16.
:46:16.:46:26.

# Baby just you and me A a wet night in the south, the

:46:26.:46:31.

rain moving away fairly smartly. Rain too across Scotland, hill snow,

:46:31.:46:34.

that will work into North West England, leaving behind clearer

:46:34.:46:36.

skies. That is the story for Northern Ireland as well. Come the

:46:36.:46:40.

afternoon, a rather damp one for the Manchester area. Further south,

:46:40.:46:44.

lots of sunshine, temperatures about where I would expect to see

:46:44.:46:47.

them. Fairly brisk winds across much of south-west England. That's

:46:48.:46:52.

that little change from recent days. But the sunshine will be quite

:46:52.:46:56.

pleasant, despite the breeze. Across Wales, a fair bid of cloud

:46:56.:47:00.

through the afternoon, clouding over to bring patchy outbreaks of

:47:00.:47:04.

rain. A dryer, brighter afternoon across Northern Ireland. Brisk

:47:04.:47:08.

winds coming in from a chilly direction, highs of around six or

:47:08.:47:14.

seven. A largely fine afternoon across much of Scotland. Light snow

:47:14.:47:19.

showers across Grampians, otherwise largely drive. A bit of a damp one,

:47:19.:47:23.

eventually in Manchester. Most places by Saturday brightening up,

:47:23.:47:27.

a crisp, although chilly day. Temperatures coming down three or

:47:27.:47:32.

four degrees in many place, a chilly wind to add into the mix.

:47:32.:47:36.

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