31/01/2013 Newsnight


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

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Francais it has reached a turning point in Mali.


Newsnight reports from inside the country. Will any peace be


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


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


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


So we fled. The French ambassador is here.


The mystery substance coating seabirds washed up on the south


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


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


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


difficulties than English. France's military mission in Mali


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the conflict. Ready to die for their country.


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


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


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


the region from Islamists and seperatist forces, their job will


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


says the Maliian soldier instructing them, is infiltration.


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


prepared for attacks and suicide bomber. The militia know the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


they are the successors of a previous militia accused of


atrocities, particularly against ethnic Tuareg, and they hope the


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


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


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


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


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


had training from the Americans. British military advisers will now


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


from The Sahara. They fled to refugee camps in neighbouring


countries. I ask what they are afraid of? Of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


listen to them, they were infiltrators, they talked among


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


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


well. We went to the place he described.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


they can guess why others joined the rebellion.


TRANSLATION: Some have the conviction to fight for God and


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


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


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


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


centralised states here, the peoples have usually lived in


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the Jihadist offensive towards the south. These people wanted to


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


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


wanted to help the Malians to restore authority of the whole


territory, and to restore the sovereignty and territorial


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


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


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


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


the Malian authorities n full accordance with the United Nations


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


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


Our servicemen and soldiers were extremely brave in the field.


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


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


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


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


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


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


continue to help the Malians to reconquer the sovereignty on the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


according to the United Nations resolution, are in charge of


helping the Malian Armed Forces to recover their own sovereignty on


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


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


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


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


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


International Conference in order to raise fupeds and support for


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


support the training of certain English-speaking African countries.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


involvement do you accept anticipate? At the moment you have


a UN Security Council resolution, the regional organisation of west


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


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


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


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


Council partners. Are the streets of France and Britain safer


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


employed by rescuers weren't working.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


unidentified, that sticks their feathers together, that makes it


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


attempts to clear the mystery white substance from their feathers.


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


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


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


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


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


affected birds have been found along the seashore around Portland,


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


Tonight scientists are trying to establish what the substance is.


The Environment Agency have collected samples for testing,


while the marine and Coastguard Agency are looking into where it


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


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


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


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


based. There are fears that the mystery substance might cause


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Chris Packham from the BBC's natural history unit.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the people here who work in rehabilitation, have come across


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


is difficult to say. It is obviously an unidentified substance


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


have international low important populations of birds wirpbtering


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


deliberate and not accidental, because it is causing damage to


significant numbers of birds, of significantly important


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


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


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


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


to make any compensation or mitigation processes. Has any work


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


another. We want to do our best and make


sure it is successful. We are pretty sure something


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


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


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


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


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


announcement on state TV said jets bombed a military research centre


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


declaration by a leader of the Syrian opposition, to negotiate


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


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


warplanes reportedly bombed a suspected nuclear FA sill ein the


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


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


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


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


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


but it reflected concern about growing unrest in the region.


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


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


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


attacks, conceivably. It looks like the most likely story


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


sends a warning signal to the Syrian Government and Hezbollah,


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


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


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


demonstrated that they are absolutely determined to do these


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


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


advocate for greater American involvement in Syria earlier, but


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


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


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


Syrians released chemical weapons against their own population, or


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


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


to become involved. Another possibility here is that the


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


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


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


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


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


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


that the United States could approach. One was direct military


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


indirect intervention. Thinking of the opposition, the main opposition


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


military power, and be most effective on the battlefield will


win this war. Thank you.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 92 seconds


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


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


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


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


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


Romany background. What sort of influence will all these Polish


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


get translated into umpteen language, we have the opportunity


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


distinctive. Then you will find Polish expressions cropping up in


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


has there been much of that? Historically you find communities


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


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


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


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


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


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


their own language to their children? Is it inevitable?


necessarily, we have think about the political and social


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


previous generation, dropping the language they grew up in the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Intelable, it is politically sensitive. When should a language


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


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


Every language and community is related to the communities in


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 92 seconds


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


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


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


saying goodbye to the last surviving member of the Andrews'


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


without boogie wooingy, here is some more.


# Don't go walking down lovers' lane


# No # Lover's lane


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


home # Sit down under the apple tree


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


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


that will work into North West England, leaving behind clearer


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


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


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


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


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


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


through the afternoon, clouding over to bring patchy outbreaks of


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


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


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


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


eventually in Manchester. Most places by Saturday brightening up,


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


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


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