12/07/2013 Newsnight


12/07/2013

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


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The Taliban tried to silence her, but today Malala addressed the

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world. So let us wage a global struggle against it literacy, d

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illiteracy, poverty, let us pick up our books and our pens, they are

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our most powerful weapon. But were the politicians really listening,

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we will ask Pakistan's ambassador to the UN, a pioneering Saudi film

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maker and a minister educated in Bangladesh. After the wife of

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Alexander Litvinenko is denied an inquiry into her husband's killing

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she says she will fight on. And then...The Whole Alan Whicker

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island. There is too many. remember the original travelling

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man. The two superheros from Seattle here to tell us how to

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protect the streets of London. Good evening, Malala Yousafzai had

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a 16th birthday she will never forget, nor one the UN will ever

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forget. Will her moving, powerful speech at the General Assembly in

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New York become the movement in history by changed the fortune of

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girls and young women denied an education, or will the passion and

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fervour she's trying to imbue in world leaders dissipate like so

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much else. The Taliban tried to deny this feisty teenager not only

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an education but her life. In a moment we will discuss what it

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would take to educate girls, not only in Pakistan, but around the

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world. From the Swat Valley in Pakistan,

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via a Birmingham hospital bed, to the United Nations in New York.

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This has been the extraordinary journey of Malala. Last October her

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life was nearly cut short by an aSAS san's bullet, after she had --

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assassin's bullet, after she had written a BBC Urdu blog about

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education. With only a faint sign of her injureies, she spent her

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16th birthday like no other. She reflected on why she was there.

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Taliban shot me on the left side of my forehead, they shot my friends

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too. They thought that the bullet would silence us. But they failed.

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And out of that silence came thousands of voices. The terrorists

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thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions. But

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nothing changed in my live exSeptember this. Weakness, fear,

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and hopelessness died, strength, power and courage was born.

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speech was about defiance but also forgiveness and non-violence. She

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saw herself in the tradition of Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

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not even hate the Taliban who shot me, even if there was a gun in my

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hand and he stands in front of me, I would not shoot him. But here is

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a reminder of what Malala and her many supporters are up against.

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When a reporter who had grown up in Pakistan recently returned there

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for Newsnight, she interviewed a hardline Mullah who runs a girls'

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Madrassah, he made it abundantly clear that Malala is now regarded

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as a dangerous figure. TRANSLATION: She talked about being open-minded

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and liberal, on the Internet. She said there is no need for the veil,

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and she always spoke against Islam, that is why the west like her. She

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crossed Islamic boundaries, and that is wrong. Today at the UN

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though Malala was undeterred by her opponents, instead she confidently

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argued for the need for universal primary education. The full extent

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of that problem has been revealed in a UN paper to mark Malala Day.

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57 million children are kept out of school, of those 28 million live in

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the world's conflict zones. Nigeria, Pakistan and Ethiopia are the

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countries with the worst records. But Malala's main concern is for

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young girls like herself. Her message, "empower yourselves".

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us pick up our books and our pens, they are our most powerful weapons.

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One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.

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Education is the only solution. Education first, thank you.

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Joining us now from New York is Pakistan's ambassador to the UN,

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here in the studio is a Labour MP and Shadow Minister for

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International Development and a Saudi Arabian film director.

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Ambassador first of all, was today embarrassing for Pakistan or a

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reason to celebrate. Because it doesn't show the country in a

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particularly good light? There was no embarrassment it was a cause for

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sl operation as a matter of fact. I sat through that session and I

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enjoyed every moment of it. Many in the audience were moved to tears

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because of the passionate words Malala used. Very few people know

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that Malala was a national icon before she became an international

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icon. She was a celebrity in Pakistan before she was shot. So

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what I want to tell you is what comes out of this day today is

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noblity of Malala. Her readiness to forgive and I think that in

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Pakistan we are proud of her. She sums up the essence of Pakistan, no

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embarrassment add all. On the BBC Urdu on-line traffic and social

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media, by the end of the day 70% of the comments on this BBC traffic

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was negative to Malala, words like "prostitute", "cursed woman", some

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of it so offensive it couldn't be kept up. Isn't it insurmountable in

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Pakistan to change these attitudes? It is not, when Malala is waging

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this struggle and people in Pakistan are waging a struggle for

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education, against violence, against extremism, you should give

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credit to the state of Pakistan and to the people of Pakistan. Let me

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tell you that the dynamic, the dialectic here is between violence

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on the one hand and education on the other. You know the person who

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shot Malala he was preaching violence, he wanted to put across

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his point of view through coercion, Malala used another vehicle,

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education. And the whole of Pakistan stands for that. I want to

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ask you, Malala is not in Pakistan now, when and if she will go back

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is a matter for the future. What is your Government doing now to make

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sure that every girl, for example, in the Swat Valley, can go to

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school safely. Because many don't? We are doing whatever we can. There

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is a war going on, there is war against terrorism. I think that's

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the root cause of all the violence that has proliferated throughout

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Pakistan. We have to fix this. We have to staunch this violence which

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is spreading. Let me tell you that Malala said something very profound,

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her voice has been heard, but because of her today here in the

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United Nations, she want that the voices of other victims all around

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the world should be heard. Let me tell you that Pakistan in this

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regard is proactive. Terrorists threatened there would be no

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elections, we went ahead and held elections, they said there should

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be no polio campaign, we went ahead and conducted a polio campaign. We

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went ahead with vaccination. So you have to compliment the genius of

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the people of Pakistan and their resill yeoints in -- resilience in

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the face of threats and violence. Malala said it is about educational

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opportunities at every level. You made a pioneering film about a

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young girl, and by a large education at school is good for

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young women, but at every level. What happens in Saudi is it is not

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about equal opportunities after school it is about segregation, it

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is about not being able to drive a car. How much needs to change

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across the world for opportunities for women? Well yeah definitely

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there is so much to change when it comes to women. It is amazing to

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see young girls like Malala who is coming and voicing their opinion

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and they have this sort of confidence. And I hope in places

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like Saudi, where they have a very heavyweight when it comes to

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politics and it comes to the economy in the Middle East. Because

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Saudi is moving away from being a very conservative state and more

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moderate and they are opening up. Can you put pressure on Pakistan?

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don't know if we can put pressure, I don't know I'm not a politician.

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But I feel like Saudi is a leader in this, a leading country. It

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leads by example and it is very important to see it opening up.

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we have to say that it leads by example but you can't drive in

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Saudi? I can't drive, but next year I start. The doctors can't work in

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hospitals treating men, this is the problem. You set up this huge

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expectation in Saudi for young women going to school and then the

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problems start? Now it is an exciting time in Saudi Arabia, it

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is a moving and changing society. The pressure comes, I unwhat Mr

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Ambassador was saying, it is a pressure -- I understand what Mr

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Ambassador was saying, the pressure comes from conservative forces that

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can't accept change, it is very difficult for them to move away

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from those conservative values. What can you do to politicians in

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this country when they are handing out international aid, sub-Saharan

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Africa has a dreadful record for girls in school. Don't you have to

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be tougher about the way aid is calibrated and the demands you make

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for that aid? What Malala has symbolised is a form of

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international leadership that says to world politicians this is a

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rallying cry. If you don't sees this moment then it will be too --

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seize this moment then it will be too late for millions of girls

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around the world. This is a very important time, including the

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western Governments like here, to show leadership and put women's

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rights and empowerment and human rights at the heart of the agenda

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and set govern ance. We are about to withdraw from Pakistan and the

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requirements we were making in terms of the women's issues have

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been lessened on the way out of Pakistan? We have a huge aid budget

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to Pakistan. Afghanistan, I mean? Absolutely. And that sets a huge

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challenge when we engage in peace processes women's voices are not at

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the heart of the debate, violence and sexual violence is used as a

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weapon of war against women as well as in these sorts of cases.

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ambassador was talking about the Swat being a warzone, literally

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just now with terrorism. But is this about poverty, is it about

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culture, is it about religion? is about a number of issues. The

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first one is it is about certain groups, extremist groups, trying to

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hijack the agenda. We need to create the space for women like

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Malala to be safe and secure so that they can speak up as she is

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doing for their countries. There is a great tradition in the sub-

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continent of women speaking up and fighting for their rights. Our

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Governments need to empower and support them. Do you think it is

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about poverty, culture or religion? I think it is all mixed up, I don't

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think there is a clear answer. That is the pure reason. I think it is a

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lot of the religious practices are mixed, especially in Saudi with

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social and tribal practices and all tangled and people sometimes don't

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distinguish, they don't know what is like social, what is the

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religious and what is all that. But certainly in places like Pakistan

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and Saudi Arabia to a certain degree it is very tribal. There is

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a pressure on the individual and from the collective. People cannot

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take personal choices and stuff like that. Just to finish with you,

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you honoured and said that it was a tremendous moment and an honour to

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be there in front of Malala. Will women's freedom, freedoms now be

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made a priority for the Pakistan Government after today? It has been

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a priority, let me tell you. It remains a priority of the new

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Government under the leadership of Mr Sharif. Let me also tell you and

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let me reassure you that there are millions of Malalas in Pakistan,

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there is a Malala in every house in Pakistan. Because we represents our

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spirit, the spirit of Pakistan. Yes, I was listening to you, there are

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three problems, of course there is illiteracy and there is poverty and

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terrorism. This is a very, very vicious brew, we are pitted against

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it. We are mobilising all our resources to fight this menace. But

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Malala's missage is larger than that. It is not -- message is

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larger than that, it is not just Pakistan, it is the poverty and

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marginalisation of girls around the world. Thank you very much indeed

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all of you. At the very last minute the Home Secretary, Theresa May,

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today denied the widow of the poisoned MI6 consultant, Alexander

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Litvinenko, a public inquiry into his death. After his murder in

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London seven years ago relations between Britain and Russia became

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very strained as the finger of blame was pointed at two men from

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Russia who hus a meeting with Mr Litvinenko. Sir Robert Owen, the

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coroner had requested a public inquiry to look at secret evidence

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relating to the Russian state's involvement in the killing. In what

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Marina Litvinenko called a political decision the Home Office

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blocked it. Earlier today I spoke to her and asked her for her

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reaction to the news. First of all we were waiting for this news a

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long time. It was supposed to be the 1st of July we were waiting for

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the news, whether or not we would have the public inquiry. Then it

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was 9th of July and no news. When we went in the morning to the

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courtroom we were just not sure what we were expecting. And the

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coroner said it is only 10. 15 and he received the news the Government

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declined our request for public inquiry. What do you feel about

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that kind of treatment? I was surprised. Is this the way to treat

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people in a court or why did the news come so late? For me it was

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still more questions to my lawyers why it has happened? Of course they

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can't answer me because it is probably not the first time but it

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is not very often happened to people. It is not very often

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happened to people that the Home Office phones an hour before being

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due in court to say there will be no inquiry? There was no

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explanation. No explanation at all? No. Your coroner believed only at a

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public inquiry could some of the evidence come out about your

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husband's connections with MI6. What kind of connections were they

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with MI6? He was consulted for information about Russian organised

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crime. So it wasn't a case that this was no James Bond agent?

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Absolutely. I think his job, like a consultant for MI6 started for two

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or three years. The coroner felt you absolutely had to have a public

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inquiry for particular evidence to be revealed. What was that

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evidence? The first time we listened about this evidence was

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December last year. It was quite special for us, it was the first

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time in an official way that was said this is evidence of the

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Russian state behind this crime. Before we can talk about this but

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we could not prove it. After February and May it was the first

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time coroner said he can't go through because he wasn't able to

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use this evidence. Do you feel safe on a day-to-day basis in London?

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did feel safe even before Sasha died. For us it started to be home,

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for our son who was just six years old, and now he's 19, he has spent

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most of his life here. It is difficult to say is he English or

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Russian? When Sasha died I received this question almost every

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interview, "do you feel safe"? It is difficult to say. Would you feel

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safe if you were in Russia? For the last 13 years I have not been in

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Russia. It is quite a long time much every time when we discuss

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whether or not I would be safe if I deciding to I don't know really.

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What has been the impact of all this on you personally? I came

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because of my husband. I support his decision to go to England and

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when I lost him I was just like what do I have to do, what is next?

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The decision to go through and just find this truth probably is keeping

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me strong. Have you enough fight in you, enough money, enough

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everything to keep going until you find out the truth? You know

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probably I will look at Sasha and what he did for us and what I

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remember about him. I know what he would do if it was happened

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something to his friend or to us. It makes me feel I have to do this.

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I have to do this because it is of his name, of his memory and I have

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to have some kind of, not finish, but finalising and I can't say to

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relax, but to be sure for myself I did everything for him. Thank you

:19:33.:19:43.
:19:43.:19:46.

very much. Rohan Bewick, who died today at the

:19:46.:19:52.

age Alan Whicker who died today brought the world to people for

:19:52.:19:56.

themselves. Interviewing notorious people to the fabulously rich and

:19:56.:20:01.

wonderfully strange. Many travel journalists have tried to fill Alan

:20:01.:20:11.
:20:11.:20:14.

Whicker's perfectly polished shoes. Whicker's World was the last word

:20:14.:20:19.

in cosmopolitan travel and elegant broad kags. It had the music,

:20:19.:20:27.

broadcasting. It had the music, so what if it dropped the apostrophe

:20:27.:20:31.

from time to time, that is how urbane and sophisticated it was.

:20:32.:20:36.

And, of course it had one of the most singular front men in the

:20:36.:20:43.

business. Often imitated, almost amputated, but never duplicated.

:20:43.:20:48.

There is always something awful out there just beyond the shadows, or

:20:48.:20:58.

something unspeakable about to happen in some sinister dungeon.

:20:58.:21:06.

wanted to write and travel. And journalist being seemed to be the

:21:06.:21:11.

way. There was a lot of romance about being a correspondent which I

:21:11.:21:16.

eventually became, which was the target. Alan Whicker joined the

:21:16.:21:20.

BBC's Tonight Programme from Fleet Street, like others since he was

:21:20.:21:27.

glad to quit the inky streets for late night news programmes at the

:21:27.:21:33.

corporation. As I stroll along with an independent air! Unlike many in

:21:33.:21:40.

television Alan Whicker could actually write. Commemorated in

:21:40.:21:46.

song and suicide the casino, sugar- cake charming or seductively wicked

:21:46.:21:50.

dominated this incredible village. While over the hill the Monte Carlo

:21:50.:21:55.

beach, while not a beach and not in Monte Carlo. There he is in these

:21:56.:22:00.

exotic places and he takes you with him. He was incredibly inclusive,

:22:00.:22:03.

he knew he was there on your behalf and he was having fun, didn't

:22:03.:22:07.

pretend he wasn't having a jolly good time and staying in great

:22:07.:22:10.

hotels. We don't do that any more, of course. But he did it on behalf

:22:10.:22:17.

of the viewers. The long-running Whicker's World kicked off at the

:22:17.:22:24.

country pile of reclusive billionare J Paul Getty, who

:22:24.:22:29.

thoughtfully installed a pay phone for guests. Alan Whicker maintained

:22:29.:22:35.

you could do anything as long as you did it with charm. You seemed

:22:35.:22:39.

seem a melancholy man, your normal expression is not normally a happy

:22:39.:22:43.

one, you often seem so miserable people must believe your money has

:22:43.:22:50.

not brought you happiness? suppose that's the effect I suppose

:22:50.:22:56.

of responsibility. Alan Whicker also encountered the dictator of

:22:56.:23:04.

Haiti Papa Doc Duvalier. You have had the worst international press

:23:04.:23:11.

of any President I have known. got away with a lot but it was

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partly this attitude which is charm, authoritativeness, and a refusal

:23:17.:23:23.

really to compromise. You could see that in his garments. I mean he

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dressed everywhere, it might be in Alaska, he could be in Haiti, and

:23:29.:23:35.

he would dress like some old fashioned bank manager who had once

:23:35.:23:39.

been a major in the army. He didn't change at all. A problem people who

:23:39.:23:44.

are fast disappearing off the face of the earth. A race who one might

:23:44.:23:50.

say are losing...That Changeless persona was famously sent up by the

:23:50.:23:57.

Pythons. Where only reality is missing...Hello, Alan Whicker here.

:23:57.:24:07.
:24:07.:24:07.

And by the man himself. Hello I'm sitting here in Sam Suhimo to

:24:07.:24:12.

salute the city break. I'm always voted the luckiest man

:24:12.:24:17.

in the world, the one everyone envys because I never do work. I go

:24:17.:24:20.

to wonderful places talking to attractive girls all the time, no

:24:20.:24:29.

wonder, it is the best job in the world. They blow my cover! There

:24:29.:24:32.

have been some strange sightings in London this week. Linked to the

:24:32.:24:36.

fact that the capital has been hosting a symposium for people with

:24:36.:24:39.

superpowers, not literally but people think they have a superpower

:24:39.:24:42.

role in fighting crime, keeping communities safe. They see

:24:43.:24:46.

themselves rather like Special Constables but not in such mundane

:24:46.:24:50.

uniforms. In fact they also describe themselves as costumed

:24:50.:24:59.

activists. Felix Stone and his wife came over to London from Seattle to

:24:59.:25:06.

offer advice about keeping the streets clean rather than mean.

:25:06.:25:13.

Phoenix Jones, and Purple Rain, real identity unknown are roaming

:25:13.:25:18.

the city. So to test out their geek credentials, we took them comic

:25:18.:25:28.
:25:28.:25:31.

shopping at superhero Mecca Forbidden Planet. Do you have Bat

:25:31.:25:39.

Girl Vol12. They headed for two of got tham City's finest, Bat Girl,

:25:39.:25:46.

but unlike fans, Phoenix Jones is a triple black belt and semi-

:25:46.:25:50.

professional martial arts fighter. So he and his wife are living the

:25:50.:25:56.

dream. Wearing body armour on nightly patrols, breaking up

:25:56.:26:00.

drunken punch-ups, occasional low getting stabbed, allegedly pepper

:26:00.:26:03.

spraying protestors, something he denies. It sound like an average

:26:03.:26:07.

day in the Seattle police force rather than a costumed vigilante.

:26:07.:26:12.

Yet the city attorney has called him "deeply misguided" and he has

:26:12.:26:18.

once been arrested for assault. Why does Phoenix Jones do it? Here is

:26:18.:26:23.

the man himself, with Purple Rain at his side. Where are you on the

:26:23.:26:27.

streets? You know I think it is time for citizens to really stand

:26:27.:26:30.

up and defend themselves and what we believe in. It is always a good

:26:30.:26:35.

time to look out for your brothers and fellow citizens, that is what

:26:35.:26:39.

we represent. Give us an example of how you intervene? For the most

:26:39.:26:43.

part when we are out we are wearing cameras so we are able to collect

:26:44.:26:48.

video evidence when crimes are taking place. We go and we

:26:48.:26:53.

deescalate the situation. We help the victims if necessary if they

:26:53.:26:58.

need first aid, we call 911, or here 999 and get the police.

:26:58.:27:03.

have done some superhero work on the streets? We have patrolled but

:27:03.:27:06.

not run across crime yet. streets of London are not giving

:27:06.:27:09.

you what you want at the moment. Why not just call the police?

:27:09.:27:12.

call the police. I think it is important to note that we don't

:27:12.:27:15.

want to take the role of the police, the police have a job that is very

:27:15.:27:18.

important. When the police show up it is cool to have video evidence.

:27:18.:27:23.

Do they like you? The police in Seattle like us now, not when we

:27:23.:27:26.

start. What has changed, how do you operate with the police? We operate

:27:26.:27:30.

before they get there. When they show up I give a video and write a

:27:30.:27:35.

police report and testify in court if I have to. You are not wearing

:27:36.:27:38.

your mask because we are law- abiding people and a you don't have

:27:39.:27:42.

to, are you not threatening? really, people in Seattle know what

:27:42.:27:45.

it is, they have come to understand and respect what we do. They are

:27:45.:27:52.

not offended by it. You are really channelling something else, are you

:27:52.:27:56.

superheros or vigilantes it is more? No.It is about Night Wing

:27:56.:28:01.

and Bat Girl, it is more about that than anything else isn't it? No, so

:28:01.:28:05.

a lig lantity is somebody who exacts their own form of --

:28:05.:28:09.

vigilantly is someone who exacts their own form of justice, what we

:28:09.:28:12.

do is something different, you hurt someone we stop you and hold you

:28:12.:28:19.

accountable for the laws that the citizens vote for. I have never

:28:19.:28:22.

hurt anybody on patrol, I have been hurt been I have never hurt anyone.

:28:22.:28:26.

Are you trying to get something going here, or are there superheros

:28:26.:28:29.

hiding in the twilight area of London that we don't know? There

:28:29.:28:36.

are a couple of guys we have been hanging out with and teaching them

:28:36.:28:41.

cool stuff. On the streets with this amazing stuff on, are you

:28:41.:28:46.

reasonably protected when you are out there, you have been stabbed?

:28:46.:28:52.

On the streets of Seattle I have armour and bulletproof vests, it is

:28:52.:28:56.

not useful here. We have stab- resistant plates. People know you

:28:56.:28:59.

in Seattle, do they run for the hills when they see you? Usually

:28:59.:29:04.

when we are out there people want to shake our hands and give us

:29:04.:29:07.

high-fives, they are happy to see us. People will laugh when they are

:29:07.:29:11.

having a fight they laugh at as you and instead of fighting each other,

:29:11.:29:15.

we are doing our job. Is this about responding to things that have

:29:15.:29:18.

happened to you in the past is it a way of dealing with things? Some

:29:18.:29:22.

people have coping mechanisms, other people decide to be a leader

:29:22.:29:25.

or champion of something. We decided instead of a bad thing

:29:25.:29:29.

happening to us we stand for something. When we go out there we

:29:29.:29:32.

tell citizens it is time to stand up and defend each other and

:29:32.:29:35.

believe in something. You better get going, thank you very much

:29:35.:29:40.

indeed. Time for tomorrow morning's front pages, two front pages Malala

:29:40.:29:50.
:29:50.:29:53.

on the front of the Times and the That's about t I will be back on

:29:53.:29:55.

Monday. The Russian agency responsible for Kremlin security is

:29:56.:30:00.

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