22/10/2013 Newsnight


22/10/2013

With Jeremy Paxman. An investigation into dodgy degrees, John Major enters into the energy prices row, Mark Urban on Syria, Facebook controversy and Afghan football.


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Could a business degree boost your job prospects? Look no further and

:00:10.:00:19.

don't worry about studying. JTSDZ we are starting with high-level

:00:20.:00:24.

macro-economics. It cost our friend Pete of Battersea Dogs Home just ?50

:00:25.:00:32.

to enrol with an MBA with a virtual guarantee for an MBA at the end of

:00:33.:00:36.

it. A former Prime Minister wades into

:00:37.:00:39.

the energy row and calls for a windfall tax. I think it would be

:00:40.:00:43.

entirely reasonable for the Chancellor then to recoup that money

:00:44.:00:49.

back from the energy company in a one-off impost. The Prime Minister

:00:50.:00:53.

definitely doesn't like it. Why would Facebook want to be used to

:00:54.:00:59.

show pictures of people being beheaded?

:01:00.:01:02.

And in Kabul, we're on the touch-line reporting a good news

:01:03.:01:05.

story. In a country still suffering from

:01:06.:01:09.

the chaos and injustice of war they are celebrating a game where you

:01:10.:01:13.

play by the rules. Where the referee's word is final. As anyone

:01:14.:01:25.

who has slogged their way to get there and then slogged their way

:01:26.:01:28.

through years of study there, a university degree can be a hard won

:01:29.:01:34.

thing, and expensive nowadays too. But supposing that you could pay

:01:35.:01:37.

some money and get a degree without having to do any work at all. A

:01:38.:01:42.

Newsnight investigation has found one on-line university, offering a

:01:43.:01:47.

high-level degree, in exchange for nothing other than thousands of

:01:48.:01:49.

pounds. Crickets say that unless something is done to crack down, the

:01:50.:01:54.

good name of British education could be dragged through the mud.

:01:55.:02:09.

Lectures and libraries, books and examples, taily life for most

:02:10.:02:20.

students. Higher education is meant to be something you can trust,

:02:21.:02:26.

standard recognised around the world. Too often though things may

:02:27.:02:31.

not be quite what they seem. There is place where it's possible to get

:02:32.:02:40.

hold of top degrees and diplomas, no checks, regulations or standards.

:02:41.:02:44.

Away from the real world on the Internet, it can seem that more or

:02:45.:02:48.

less anything goes. Dodgy degrees are nothing new. Black markets in

:02:49.:02:53.

fake bits of parchment go back to 14th century Europe. But the

:02:54.:02:56.

Internet has transformed the business of dubious qualifications

:02:57.:03:03.

into a billion dollar industry. It is now thought 200,000 degrees are

:03:04.:03:09.

dished out each year by unrecognised virtual universities, based entirely

:03:10.:03:14.

on-line. Carolyn Campbell runs the international section of the quality

:03:15.:03:16.

assurance agency which checks standards in British universities.

:03:17.:03:23.

Nowadays we see that these diploma and Boeing news providers are able

:03:24.:03:29.

to adopt the apparatus of regular universities. They can see what goes

:03:30.:03:33.

on in these institutions and they replicate it. They are very

:03:34.:03:36.

difficult to track. They are very difficult to find, actually, because

:03:37.:03:44.

they are operating on the Internet. So, armed with just a laptop, we

:03:45.:03:50.

started to look into this lucrative business. To hand out a British

:03:51.:03:53.

degree you have to be recognised by parliament. But there is a loophole,

:03:54.:03:58.

it is perfectly legal to give the impression a university is run here

:03:59.:04:03.

but in reality incorporate it on an obscure island with no regulation.

:04:04.:04:09.

It is thought there are now around 350 unaccredited universities, just

:04:10.:04:12.

like that, linked to the UK. Triple the number of officially recognised

:04:13.:04:20.

institutions. Take the American University of London, founded by

:04:21.:04:25.

this man, Professor Michael It describes itself as one of the

:04:26.:04:46.

leading distance universities in the world, with more than 100 thousand

:04:47.:04:56.

students since it was founded. This is an investigative journalist

:04:57.:05:00.

specialising in internet verge, we worked with him to take a closer

:05:01.:05:08.

look at the university. It might be called the American University of

:05:09.:05:12.

London, you can see it is incorporated in St Kitts and Nevis,

:05:13.:05:18.

an island where a lot of these institutions are based. That is a

:05:19.:05:22.

few thousand miles away from where it is suggested it is based here in

:05:23.:05:26.

London. Here is the location of the Post Office box, there is nothing

:05:27.:05:29.

there, they don't seem to have a physical location in London at all.

:05:30.:05:33.

What about the people actually running the university, what do we

:05:34.:05:36.

know about them? On the website there is a video of them both. There

:05:37.:05:44.

is Professor Michael Nimier, and Sonya Grime, a registrar. From

:05:45.:05:51.

public records we know they are living in beckons field in the UK.

:05:52.:05:55.

The phone number that the university lists is a by-election cons field --

:05:56.:06:06.

Beconsfield area and the tuition fees go in to bank in the local

:06:07.:06:12.

area. While it is based in St Kitts, it appears the company is operated

:06:13.:06:17.

out of the UK. On its web side the American University of London says

:06:18.:06:20.

it does not award British qualifications, it has claimed to be

:06:21.:06:24.

recognised by three different American institutions. All these

:06:25.:06:27.

themselves are unofficial and unrecognised. It used to say it was

:06:28.:06:31.

accredited in Norway, but the people there said that never happened. It

:06:32.:06:34.

is though listed as bogus by the agency that values degrees for the

:06:35.:06:39.

Italian Government. It has been blacklisted in five US states,

:06:40.:06:44.

including Texas, where it is illegal to use any of its qualifications to

:06:45.:06:50.

get a job. Looking on-line the university does boast an impressive

:06:51.:06:54.

faculty list, with some well-qualified superviser, but when

:06:55.:06:57.

we contacted five western academics on that list, all said that he had

:06:58.:07:01.

never worked there and never agreed for their names to be used. The

:07:02.:07:07.

American academic George Golin has spent much of his year researching

:07:08.:07:14.

the murky world of unaccredited education. If you look closely they

:07:15.:07:17.

American University of London, it doesn't hold up and doesn't have

:07:18.:07:20.

legal authority for degrees, they are not degrees just pieces of

:07:21.:07:25.

paper. They are charging a lot for a product that does not stand up to

:07:26.:07:29.

scrutiny. I am GAESing they are not able to -- I'm guessing they are not

:07:30.:07:34.

able to sell many degrees into countries where English is the first

:07:35.:07:39.

language. The university says most graduates study at independent

:07:40.:07:42.

colleges overseas. Those affiliated are independent with their own

:07:43.:07:46.

staff, subject to their own local laws. The American University of

:07:47.:07:51.

London, simply takes a fee to set the curriculum, and issues

:07:52.:07:55.

graduation certificates in its own name. Given the web of colleges

:07:56.:07:58.

involved, it is hard to know how much work these students have done

:07:59.:08:02.

and what the quality of teaching is like. We wanted to see how easy it

:08:03.:08:09.

might be to get a degree direct from the university itself. What we are

:08:10.:08:16.

looking at here is the holey GRAL of macro-economics by Richard Coup. We

:08:17.:08:20.

found one crack student and got to work training him up. Notice in

:08:21.:08:23.

chapter seven there is a whole section here about Japanese interest

:08:24.:08:27.

rates from 1990 right the way through to 2007. If you could pay

:08:28.:08:32.

attention for a second. Meet Pete from Battersea, we drew up a

:08:33.:08:37.

one-page CV for Pete in the name of an invented 36-year-old management

:08:38.:08:41.

consultant. With 15 years work experience and a 2. . . : 1 degree.

:08:42.:08:50.

Standard background for the masters in business he was applying for. In

:08:51.:08:54.

just four days the decision came Just two weeks, he wouldn't be

:08:55.:09:13.

expected to submit any more work? We applied for a masters degree,

:09:14.:09:33.

based only on life skills and work experience. It was awarded straight

:09:34.:09:37.

away. We were told no studying or extra work was needed whatsoever. So

:09:38.:09:44.

long as we paid the ?4,500 fee. I wouldn't want you to think that I'm

:09:45.:09:51.

cynical but this CV in itself is weak. And so at the moment just

:09:52.:09:59.

having a first glance of this warning bells are going off in my

:10:00.:10:04.

ear. We showed our written application to Jan Banford at London

:10:05.:10:15.

Metropolitan University that runs accredited courses. I don't know how

:10:16.:10:19.

true this is, I can't believe you get an offer. Would this be enough

:10:20.:10:23.

for a legitimate university to award an MBA? It is nonsense. Absolutely,

:10:24.:10:30.

I find it incredible any organisation awarding an MBA on what

:10:31.:10:34.

essentially amounts to an application form there, but the

:10:35.:10:37.

evidence is one piece of paper. None of this would matter, of course, if

:10:38.:10:43.

the American University of London had no students. But on professional

:10:44.:10:47.

networking sites there are hundreds of senior executives, all graduates

:10:48.:10:51.

of the university. We found the chief executive of a multinational

:10:52.:10:56.

drugs company and an expert in terrorist rehabilitation to who

:10:57.:11:00.

served in Iraq. Others with senior qualifications include a

:11:01.:11:03.

psychologist from Birmingham who gives expert testimony in court

:11:04.:11:09.

cases. Dr Robert Oakes was awarded his PhD, five months after first

:11:10.:11:13.

submitting workment he told us he had spent 18 months on his own

:11:14.:11:17.

background research. He was already a registered forensic psychologist,

:11:18.:11:21.

based on a previous degree. He said he believed the American University

:11:22.:11:26.

of London was properly accredited, but has now taken the accreditation

:11:27.:11:31.

off his CV. We found a senior executive in the nuclear power

:11:32.:11:37.

industry. Dr Rita Bowser was in charge of selling nuclear reactors

:11:38.:11:43.

in the UK. He was awarded her DBA after what she describes significant

:11:44.:11:47.

amounts of course work. Her employer says she's well qualified for her

:11:48.:11:50.

job, with 30 years experience and two previous degrees, including a

:11:51.:11:55.

masters from Georgia Tech, a respected university. All of those

:11:56.:11:58.

individuals have told us they did submit work to get their degree. But

:11:59.:12:03.

the point is, because the American University of London is not checked

:12:04.:12:08.

or accredited by any recognised body we can't know what the standard was

:12:09.:12:11.

like or how much work they did. What we do know is that as in our case

:12:12.:12:17.

the bar can be as low ascending off one fictitious made-up CV and

:12:18.:12:22.

getting a degree back two weeks later. Why is it these private

:12:23.:12:25.

institutions don't have the same checks and balances that

:12:26.:12:30.

universities have? I think it is a huge concern.

:12:31.:12:33.

It undermines the very essence of the education process that people

:12:34.:12:38.

can gain a diploma, or offer one without any of the processes that

:12:39.:12:45.

are required by universities. All right Already there is pressure

:12:46.:12:50.

on our university system, this week the Government said places will have

:12:51.:12:55.

to rise by a quarter to meet demand. On-line learning is meant to fill

:12:56.:12:59.

some of that gap. But with few standards and little regulation, we

:13:00.:13:03.

might have some way to go until we can really trust education on the

:13:04.:13:10.

Worldwide Web. In statement the American University of London

:13:11.:13:41.

The man who you saw in that piece and worked on the investigation is

:13:42.:13:47.

here now. How widespread is this problem? There is thousands of

:13:48.:13:51.

people at that university alone, CEOs, very senior executives, and

:13:52.:13:56.

thousands of others at the other 300 institutions in the UK. It is a

:13:57.:14:00.

multibillion dollar problem, it doesn't seem to be going away. It

:14:01.:14:05.

has been brought to the governments attention, what are they doing about

:14:06.:14:09.

it? The Department of Business, innovation and skills were told

:14:10.:14:12.

about it. They said Companies House needs to investigate. They said it

:14:13.:14:17.

is not their problem. They are not based here, they are based overseas,

:14:18.:14:20.

OK Trading Standards were looking into it. Trading Standards said the

:14:21.:14:24.

same thing, it is based in St Kitts and Nevis it is not our problem. We

:14:25.:14:29.

sent a whole dossier of material and said they are based, the people are

:14:30.:14:33.

based in the UK, there should be something that can be done about it.

:14:34.:14:39.

Most importantly, the very well qualified dog what has become of

:14:40.:14:43.

him? I'm hearing the dog is still at Battersea, but very well qualified

:14:44.:14:47.

for the position's about to fill. I imagine we will be besieged, or

:14:48.:14:52.

Battersea will be besieged by anxious would-be owners of a very

:14:53.:14:56.

well-qualified pet. Thank you very much. Coming up:

:14:57.:15:01.

Newsnight thought that you would be suffering from withdrawal symptoms

:15:02.:15:07.

from the Great British Bake Off, for your enjoyment, the Newsnight Orange

:15:08.:15:14.

SKA Lemon Cake, the most important ingredient, a little glass of wine.

:15:15.:15:20.

The row over energy prices drew in another senior politician today, the

:15:21.:15:23.

former Prime Minister, John Major, a man who doesn't normally say much

:15:24.:15:26.

about anything wondered about bringing in a windfall tax on the

:15:27.:15:30.

energy companies which have hiked their prices. David Cameron's glove

:15:31.:15:35.

puppet called it an interesting contribution, which is another way

:15:36.:15:39.

of saying, thanks for nothing! The Government has no plans for a

:15:40.:15:45.

windfall tax and meanwhile knows how popular is Ed Miliband's campaign

:15:46.:15:49.

that he will freeze energy prices should he get elected. A man who had

:15:50.:15:56.

power and one who wants it, together at Margaret Thatcher's funeral. And

:15:57.:16:00.

again today Sir John Major appeared close to Ed Miliband on energy

:16:01.:16:05.

prices. There are a number of ideas I think the suggestion made by Mr

:16:06.:16:09.

Miliband shows his head is in the right place. I don't think it is a

:16:10.:16:13.

workable proposition. I do think without some action if we have a

:16:14.:16:17.

hard winter, which is quite likely, there are many people this winter

:16:18.:16:21.

who will have to choose between keeping warm and eating. I don't

:16:22.:16:24.

think that is acceptable. I think there is a very real chance this

:16:25.:16:26.

winter that the Government will be forced by events to provide more

:16:27.:16:30.

assistance to people facing real difficulties. If that proves to be

:16:31.:16:34.

the case, then I think it would be entirely reasonable for the

:16:35.:16:37.

Chancellor then to recoup that money back from the energy companies in a

:16:38.:16:42.

one-off impost, given the SKAFL their profits and the unjustified

:16:43.:16:47.

nature of the very high increases they have imposed. For Sir John to

:16:48.:16:52.

clamber back on his soapbox things must be bad, in 1997, then Prime

:16:53.:16:58.

Minister, he opposed Labour's plan for a windfall tax on privatised

:16:59.:17:04.

utilities. Labour's windfall tax would drain the profits of

:17:05.:17:07.

privatised companies in order to pay for their own spending plans. Those

:17:08.:17:19.

Sir John -- though Sir John quibbles with Ed Miliband's method, the

:17:20.:17:23.

backbenchers want action too? I welcome the idea of a windfall tax,

:17:24.:17:27.

I have been proposing that for some time, not just energy companies, but

:17:28.:17:32.

all utility companies, looking at water bills and other companies as

:17:33.:17:36.

well. The way it would work is the company would eithering fined by the

:17:37.:17:40.

regulators if they are under performing and charging excessive

:17:41.:17:44.

amounts to the public, which many of them are for the moment. The

:17:45.:17:48.

regulator or the Government would take it and give it back to the

:17:49.:17:52.

consumer in the form of lower prices. Thatcher taxed oil in the

:17:53.:17:56.

1980s and George Osborne imposed emergency levels on the banks --

:17:57.:18:02.

levies on the banks. Windfalls are not Anwar nat MA to the Tories.

:18:03.:18:09.

Is Sir John kite flying for the Government, on this occasion as he

:18:10.:18:14.

has done on so many previous ones. It is quite difficult to call, but

:18:15.:18:18.

it appears probably not. The reason is this, this week was supposed to

:18:19.:18:22.

be the week when the Government changed the story from Ed Miliband's

:18:23.:18:27.

energy price freeze to George Osborne's thaw in the British

:18:28.:18:31.

economy. With Sir John's intervention it becomes a bit more

:18:32.:18:34.

difficult for the Conservatives. Today many at the top of the Tory

:18:35.:18:39.

Party might be hoping that the grey man of British politics had been a

:18:40.:18:44.

little bit more DPRA. Today Downing Street's reaction was cool. Sir

:18:45.:18:48.

John's intervention was "interesting "they said, except this are no plans

:18:49.:18:54.

for it. As Lib Demes fought Tory plans to cut green taxes from energy

:18:55.:18:57.

bills, the Conservatives want more to say on this hot subject. -- the

:18:58.:19:06.

Lib Demes want more to say on the hot DUBT. We have our guests with

:19:07.:19:12.

us, Brooks Newmar, if you did this you might become popular again? Is

:19:13.:19:17.

that a question? Yes it is, a suggestion, a helpful suggestion,

:19:18.:19:22.

follow John Prescott's advice? I'm sure as David Cameron has had his

:19:23.:19:27.

interesting idea, I suspect it will be kicked into touch. The reason for

:19:28.:19:31.

is if you target companies through taxation that price rise will be

:19:32.:19:35.

passed on to the consumer. A much better way of approaching this

:19:36.:19:39.

problem is through the regulator. The big flaw in that argument is

:19:40.:19:42.

that John Major is man who knows how to win elections and David Cameron

:19:43.:19:48.

has never won a general election has he? Well we made huge strides in

:19:49.:19:53.

2010, but I think on the subject which you were discussing here,

:19:54.:19:57.

which is whether to have a tax or have a more robust policy with the

:19:58.:20:00.

regulator to control prices that way, that's a much better approach,

:20:01.:20:05.

I think. So you are ruling out although it is advice for from man

:20:06.:20:10.

with a proven record? I'm just disagreeing with John Major who is

:20:11.:20:15.

now an ordinary citizen, he's no longer Prime Minister. Yes, but he

:20:16.:20:21.

could win elections? I'm giving you my view. Flintoff do you support --

:20:22.:20:26.

Caroline Flint do you support the windfall tax? I don't, because I

:20:27.:20:31.

think the freeze is better and is good for everyone who is a bill

:20:32.:20:36.

payer. You would oppose the Government taking the advice? We

:20:37.:20:39.

support a freeze ander urging David Cameron to do that. That is after

:20:40.:20:43.

the next election? But the reason is because a freeze is simple to

:20:44.:20:47.

implement but benefits every bill pay e and behind what we need to

:20:48.:20:51.

address what John Major said today about excessive profits and

:20:52.:20:55.

unacceptable IP creases is the fact we haven't got -- increases and the

:20:56.:21:00.

fact we haven't a strong regulator and Labour is answering those

:21:01.:21:03.

questions as well which the Government isn't. Tony Blair wasn't

:21:04.:21:07.

afraid of a windfall tax was he? If you remember the windfall tax on the

:21:08.:21:11.

utilities there, we felt strongly and believed, and were right to do

:21:12.:21:15.

so that it was undervalued when it was sold into private hands.

:21:16.:21:18.

Therefore we were recouping a sale that went ahead that was undervalued

:21:19.:21:23.

and bringing some money back to the taxpayer to pay for young unemployed

:21:24.:21:27.

people. Today it is different, we are tackling the problem of

:21:28.:21:32.

overcharging and the customer paying the price. The similarity, of

:21:33.:21:35.

course, is he too was a man who knew how to win elections. Yes, he was.

:21:36.:21:40.

He was very good at it. But the truth is as well is that we need a

:21:41.:21:43.

different prescription for the problem we have today. That problem

:21:44.:21:46.

is about a market that is not competitive enough and a regulator

:21:47.:21:50.

that hasn't got any teeth. If the Government does take up John Major's

:21:51.:21:53.

advice, just to be clear about this, and brings in a windfall tax, you

:21:54.:21:58.

will vote against it? We will be pursuing our policy of a freeze. We

:21:59.:22:01.

are urging the Government to do that. That is not an answer. At the

:22:02.:22:05.

moment what we have heard today is that the Government think it is

:22:06.:22:08.

"interesting "what Sir John Major said and they will not sign up to

:22:09.:22:11.

it. The truth is they have no policies to address the fact that we

:22:12.:22:15.

haven't got enough competition and the regulator doesn't work. We are

:22:16.:22:18.

sticking with our package, it is clear, simple and about addressing

:22:19.:22:21.

fundamental problems of why this market is not working as well as it

:22:22.:22:26.

should. If they were to decide on the windfall tax, you might vote for

:22:27.:22:30.

it, clearly. Let's see what they come up with, they are all over the

:22:31.:22:35.

shop because they cannot make up their minds, they know they have a

:22:36.:22:38.

problem. And John Major has added fuel on the flames today about the

:22:39.:22:41.

problems they are facial. We have a clear plan. -- facing. We have a

:22:42.:22:44.

clear plan. Why doesn't the Government accept that to tackle

:22:45.:22:49.

regulation and competition our proposals around separating

:22:50.:22:52.

generation and retail, having a pool and new regulator are the answer.

:22:53.:22:58.

Can I answer her on that? I think I know what she is going to

:22:59.:23:03.

say. They are even asking you for answers because they haven't any

:23:04.:23:06.

answers to the problem. She is getting very interesting there. Why

:23:07.:23:10.

is it your party seems uniquely to be the only one that doesn't

:23:11.:23:13.

recognise there is something gone seriously wrong with the way this

:23:14.:23:17.

alleged market works? There are two answers to, that the Government has

:23:18.:23:20.

approached it and the Prime Minister has made it very clear that we will

:23:21.:23:23.

simplify the number of tiers there are to ensure. Tiers, what tiers? To

:23:24.:23:30.

ensure the consumer better understands the price points people

:23:31.:23:32.

can purchase their energy. Number one, there is a simplification

:23:33.:23:37.

process? Of tarrifs. Of tarrifs, which ensures that people can try

:23:38.:23:41.

and get the lowest price available. The second thing is, unlike king can

:23:42.:23:50.

NUT -- King Canute, which Ed Miliband thinks he is, we can't take

:23:51.:23:55.

on market forces and prices. We can't go back to the 1970s with

:23:56.:23:59.

price controls. What we can do is agree on one thing which is that the

:24:00.:24:05.

regulate to. So no change. So the regulator needs more teeth, you and

:24:06.:24:09.

I will agree on that, nothing else. Nobody agrees -- everyone agrees

:24:10.:24:14.

with simplifying the tarrifs, it is not enough. We have four years of

:24:15.:24:22.

data from Ofgem. You #130R the Government -- you support the

:24:23.:24:26.

Government's plan to simplify tarrifs? Of course, but it is not UN

:24:27.:24:31.

wholesale prices have dropped, that hasn't been passeden to the

:24:32.:24:35.

consumer, and the chief executive of Ovo, a small supplier, said over

:24:36.:24:39.

this week since 2011 wholesale prices haven't increased, what is

:24:40.:24:42.

going on. All you is surmise out of this, that somewhere within the

:24:43.:24:46.

self-supply that these companies operate, and they generate and sell

:24:47.:24:50.

to themselves, they are overhyping the wholesale cost and we are paying

:24:51.:24:53.

the price and your Prime Minister isn't dealing with that. The best

:24:54.:24:56.

way to deal with it is through the regulator, not increasing tax,

:24:57.:25:02.

because they are passed on to the Consumer with higher prices. Even

:25:03.:25:07.

the presence of no fewer than 11 foreign ministers all wanting much

:25:08.:25:10.

the same thing couldn't produce a clear result when the Syrian Civil

:25:11.:25:15.

War was discussed in London today. William Hague made the unsurprising

:25:16.:25:18.

observation that finding way of ending a war which has already gone

:25:19.:25:28.

on for over two years will be "formidably D ifficult". We have

:25:29.:25:34.

this report and it contains flash YOEFy. -- photography.

:25:35.:25:42.

The friend of Syria convened in London, neighbours and opposition

:25:43.:25:45.

supporters such as the UK, US and France. Now that there is date in

:25:46.:25:49.

the diary for a peace conference in Geneva, it is time to focus minds.

:25:50.:25:55.

But even the host didn't sound too optimistic. I don't want to minimise

:25:56.:26:01.

in any way the difficulties and the enormous challenges in making a

:26:02.:26:07.

success of Geneva II as it has become known. Never the less we

:26:08.:26:10.

believe it is very important to begin that process. It is a process

:26:11.:26:15.

rather than an event. It isn't a meeting that takes place for one or

:26:16.:26:19.

two days and everybody has reached agreement. It is a, it is the

:26:20.:26:24.

beginning of a process. That is very important to try. And how to get

:26:25.:26:32.

meaningful dialogue? Saudi Arabia mocks the process and backs a rebel

:26:33.:26:37.

umbrella group that won't even be at Geneva. Russia, for its part, will

:26:38.:26:42.

talk about transition in Syria but doesn't accept that President Assad

:26:43.:26:47.

has to accept down. He has just hinted that he might run for

:26:48.:26:52.

President next year. The Syrian opposition coalition, the

:26:53.:26:56.

westerners' main hope in this, who haven't confirmed they will be at

:26:57.:26:59.

the Geneva table were asked today how they could possibly attend under

:27:00.:27:11.

these circumstances? TRANSLATION: They are going to Geneva II with the

:27:12.:27:16.

understanding of Geneva I, which states specifically that Al-Assad

:27:17.:27:19.

will not be part of the solution, that Al-Assad will leave and

:27:20.:27:27.

Al-Assad will not be there. His opposition group will decide the

:27:28.:27:30.

week after next whether to go to Geneva. There the moderates, many of

:27:31.:27:36.

the most effective militant brigades won't go near the table, which begs

:27:37.:27:42.

the question, why should the Assad Government go to Geneva if the

:27:43.:27:47.

participants can't even deliver a deal. Mark has put on his best suit

:27:48.:27:51.

and joined us now. If the prospect is so bad, why are they even

:27:52.:27:57.

thinking about it? Well, it is a very legitimate question, they would

:27:58.:28:02.

say that they think it can work, the conference can be convened, but they

:28:03.:28:05.

have been trying to get this together throughout the summer, the

:28:06.:28:10.

idea was first mooted several months ago, the deadline slipped from May

:28:11.:28:15.

to June, they seem to think that by fixing date in the diary they might

:28:16.:28:19.

force people to come to their senses and come to it. My honest view is I

:28:20.:28:24.

think it is simply because the diplomats in the UK, in France, in

:28:25.:28:28.

the US feel there has to be some hope. That if they admit this is

:28:29.:28:33.

impossible it will simply become a self-fulfilling prophesy and they

:28:34.:28:37.

should try to do it. Some fascinating remarks tonight though

:28:38.:28:41.

about whether or not President Assad can survive. Now, of course, both

:28:42.:28:46.

John Kerry in London today and William Hague were saying this

:28:47.:28:50.

process we are asking people to sign up to involves a transition from the

:28:51.:28:54.

Assad Government to a successor democratic Government. Bob Gate, the

:28:55.:28:59.

former US Defence Secretary, we are hearing tonight an academic meeting

:29:00.:29:03.

said by agreeing to the chemical weapons deal with Assad, the US and

:29:04.:29:07.

others may be prolonging his survival. If he isn't there to

:29:08.:29:10.

deliver the deal then how on earth is this going to work? That may be

:29:11.:29:17.

one reason why Mr Assad is feeling more emboldened, and just been the

:29:18.:29:21.

past 24 hours suggested he may run for President again next summer.

:29:22.:29:55.

It doesn't the billionares in California, one jot, we report

:29:56.:30:03.

Today's news-based quiz question, please say which of the following

:30:04.:30:07.

you find most offensive, someone rolling a joint, someone's naked

:30:08.:30:13.

breasts not engaged in the act of breast-feeding, someone taking the

:30:14.:30:18.

air as nature intended, or a video of someone being decapitated. For

:30:19.:30:25.

many the answer is so obvious to render the question absurd. Which is

:30:26.:30:29.

why the decision of Facebook to allow again the posting of videos

:30:30.:30:38.

depicting beheadings is bizarre says the Prime Minister. He said today:

:30:39.:30:45.

The Home Office Minister, James Brokenshire says Facebook needs a

:30:46.:30:49.

re-think. I think many parents across the country will be deeply

:30:50.:30:54.

disturbed and shocked by this sudden decision of Facebook to allow these

:30:55.:31:00.

grossly offensive videos back on to their website. They clearly

:31:01.:31:03.

recognised there was a serious problem when they decided that this

:31:04.:31:07.

material needed to be taken down earlier this year. It is strange

:31:08.:31:11.

that they have now sought to put this back on without any clarity as

:31:12.:31:17.

to the protections afforded to children and giving parents that

:31:18.:31:20.

assurance that these issues will be dealt with properly. The Prime

:31:21.:31:24.

Minister copped a bit of ridicule for his TWEET about Facebook posting

:31:25.:31:29.

videos when of course Facebook is platform, it is the users who post

:31:30.:31:33.

videos. But even so, the question is why allow such appalling content

:31:34.:31:39.

back on to the site? In a statement the company said: back

:31:40.:32:02.

The company is determined to preserve Facebook's capacity to

:32:03.:32:09.

harness international outrage, to be a medium for social change. To

:32:10.:32:13.

spread news of human rights violations right around the world.

:32:14.:32:21.

As an example of this social action, here is the 2012 campaign to

:32:22.:32:26.

publicise the war crimes of the Ugandan guerrilla leader, Joesph

:32:27.:32:34.

Kony. Anticensorship campaigners say context is everything. It is a huge

:32:35.:32:39.

platform Facebook, and it is used for a lot of different purposes,

:32:40.:32:45.

from sharing pictures of family to as Facebook say discussing news

:32:46.:32:50.

events and politics. I think they want platform as open as possible

:32:51.:32:53.

and allows people to use it in a variety of ways. These videos are no

:32:54.:33:01.

doubt HOR rend -- horrendous, but if people want to talk about the

:33:02.:33:04.

brutality of war and terror, they should be allowed to view these

:33:05.:33:08.

things. This afternoon as a result of the pressure they have been

:33:09.:33:12.

under, Facebook began posting warnings alongside the videos.

:33:13.:33:17.

Children are inquisitive, the likelihood is they will open the

:33:18.:33:20.

sites and have a look. What I would like to see really is more

:33:21.:33:24.

discussion with Facebook, which we are having about whether it is

:33:25.:33:27.

feasible to perhaps have different settings for different ages on

:33:28.:33:30.

Facebook. That is something I'm sure they will be looking at. However, I

:33:31.:33:34.

think we do need to be ware of course all this information say

:33:35.:33:39.

veilable elsewhere on the inter-- is available elsewhere on the Internet.

:33:40.:33:44.

It is not just a Facebook issue. They do have a responsibility to

:33:45.:33:47.

young users and we need to be mindful that significant harm could

:33:48.:33:51.

come to them if they see this content. With over a billion user,

:33:52.:33:58.

Facebook could never please everyone, what is offensive? What

:33:59.:34:02.

should be allowed? Indeed how much responsibility the company has

:34:03.:34:07.

itself on what its users choose to post, these are all questions they

:34:08.:34:11.

and we are still grappling with. With us now is the cofounder of the

:34:12.:34:17.

website Lively, where you can see a very large number of videos of that

:34:18.:34:23.

kind if you wish to. Also with us is Colin Freeman the Sunday Telegraph's

:34:24.:34:30.

chief correspondent who spent five weeks being held hostage in Somalia

:34:31.:34:38.

in 2008. Are there any kinds of violence you won't allow on your

:34:39.:34:43.

site? We don't allow multiples, there is not that a lot of that type

:34:44.:34:47.

of media on the site. There are some but there are certain things we

:34:48.:34:53.

can't and can't show. Why do you allow them? It falls within a

:34:54.:34:57.

certain sense of freedom. There is always extreme with any kind of

:34:58.:35:01.

freedom. Some adults wish to see it, for whatever reason. It is also

:35:02.:35:07.

always purrant as people claim, it is a general human condition we look

:35:08.:35:12.

at the extreme, the horrific, some people choose to, if they wish to

:35:13.:35:17.

they can view them, if they don't then... What is your perspective

:35:18.:35:22.

after your experience? I luckily I didn't end up in a beheading video,

:35:23.:35:26.

the people who took me weren't that kind of people. Many people have

:35:27.:35:31.

done. Their relatives, unlike them are still alive, and the prospect of

:35:32.:35:37.

these videos being PUNTed around, you know, is not pleasant for them

:35:38.:35:43.

to say the least. I spoke to someone earlier this evening before I came

:35:44.:35:48.

on, one of whose relatives died in a video leaked on to the Internet. Say

:35:49.:35:53.

leaked but put on deliberately, he says it is horrific the idea these

:35:54.:35:58.

things are around. He has to worry about his young kids and other young

:35:59.:36:02.

relatives in his extended family finding these things on the

:36:03.:36:06.

Internet. What do you think when you hear that sort of testimony? Of

:36:07.:36:10.

course it is absolutely horrific, for any family, who could deny that,

:36:11.:36:16.

it would be ridiculous to. We see things on the news every day where

:36:17.:36:20.

people die in a less immediate and graphic manager, we are shown the

:36:21.:36:24.

planes smashing into the buildings all the time, families hurt all the

:36:25.:36:28.

time by that. You don't see beheadings on the television, it is

:36:29.:36:33.

regulated? There is a limit, death as long as it is less personal and

:36:34.:36:38.

graphic. That is understandable. I'm an advocate for responsible titling

:36:39.:36:42.

and information, trying to ensure people know what they are going to

:36:43.:36:45.

see. When it comes to when you say children viewing it and things of

:36:46.:36:49.

that nature, there needs to be some education for the parents there as

:36:50.:36:52.

well. Facebook is a medium that is in virtually every home now, isn't

:36:53.:37:04.

it. Ubiquitous as television? I don't promote graphic media on

:37:05.:37:13.

Facebook that is for such a range of people. What is your reading of the

:37:14.:37:18.

Facebook position? I would agree in a sense it is not the appropriate

:37:19.:37:23.

forum, it normalises this kind of thing, to some extent. And it says

:37:24.:37:32.

this is normal to see this kind of thing. More generally, if you have

:37:33.:37:36.

the sort of stuff out there, there is, you know, the impact that it has

:37:37.:37:41.

on someone who has lost a loved one, they are trying to make a

:37:42.:37:44.

psychological recovery from a horrific ordeal and this stuff is

:37:45.:37:49.

out there potentially reminding them all the time of what happened. You

:37:50.:37:55.

know, particular effect from -- Kat that

:37:56.:38:28.

particular effect from -- cathartic effect of seeing that happen? One of

:38:29.:38:34.

the things from the Arab springs was a video shot of a man beaten to

:38:35.:38:39.

death in custody, his face was shaped into a kind of garage GOIL

:38:40.:38:45.

death mask, his family shot the video and put it on-line. The

:38:46.:38:50.

context is everything to some exTEPT. When you are putting a --

:38:51.:38:55.

extent. When you are putting a hostage video the person who

:38:56.:38:58.

intended that video to go out is the terrorist, you are doing their

:38:59.:39:03.

bidding by deseminating it, that is what they want. It causes terror

:39:04.:39:06.

among the people who have seen it and terror amongst others. What do

:39:07.:39:10.

you make of that? The actual effect of those videos? Not that so much,

:39:11.:39:15.

the man who has been beheaded clearly has no desire to see the

:39:16.:39:22.

video posts anywhere? But the horrible irony, in no way humourous

:39:23.:39:29.

is the releasing of these videos, we only see these in truth when they

:39:30.:39:32.

are killing westerners. It was the lease of the videos and the reaction

:39:33.:39:36.

to them, which is why they stopped pretty much from that region in the

:39:37.:39:40.

world. It was totally counter-productive to them, it is

:39:41.:39:44.

not a good thing that people were beheaded, but it was a

:39:45.:39:47.

counter-productive act on their part. It worked against what they

:39:48.:39:50.

wanted to achieve. There is some truth in that but it didn't stop

:39:51.:39:56.

them happening. One or two Al-Qaeda groups may have said that didn't

:39:57.:39:59.

work, but it hasn't stopped that kind of thing going on. It is not

:40:00.:40:06.

anything like it was in 2005-2007. Now the sports news, there is a

:40:07.:40:10.

spring in the step of football fans in Afghanistan. The country has just

:40:11.:40:14.

won its first international trophy by beating India 2-0 in the South

:40:15.:40:20.

Asian Championship Cup Final. It is still ranked 139th in the world. But

:40:21.:40:34.

the final -- in the final all the country was praying for a win.

:40:35.:40:45.

Lis Ducet has been charmed by the Premier League there to join a

:40:46.:40:50.

country torn apart by war. Days like this are rare for a

:40:51.:40:54.

generation that has only known war, division and destruction.

:40:55.:41:02.

Sport is now building a new spirit. Making the people proud to be

:41:03.:41:15.

Afghans. The war hasn't gone away, and NATO helicopters land at a

:41:16.:41:20.

nearby base. But Afghan forces protect these grounds. Kabul in

:41:21.:41:28.

yellow take on the northern team in this brand new stadium. They are the

:41:29.:41:31.

best of eight clubs that cut across the ethnic lines, that still divide

:41:32.:41:40.

this society. Number four dreamed of being a footballer from the first

:41:41.:41:48.

day he set foot in Kabul's old Ghazi stadium, made infamous where the

:41:49.:41:53.

Taliban carried out harsh Islamic punishments. At home with his

:41:54.:42:00.

family, 26-year-old Mustaba remembers those years as the worst

:42:01.:42:07.

in his career. TRAN Before one match -- TRANSLATION: Before the match the

:42:08.:42:11.

Taliban brought in one person and shot him four times, another one's

:42:12.:42:16.

hands were amputated. After that no-one was interested in seeing

:42:17.:42:20.

football in the stadium. Now the nation is watching. From the

:42:21.:42:25.

President to 12-year-old Sammi, who says he wants to be a footballer

:42:26.:42:32.

just like his brother. Live coverage on TV brings football into Afghan

:42:33.:42:39.

homes, unthinkable years ago. The Premier League was even created

:42:40.:42:44.

through a reality TV show and on the popular network. In messages played

:42:45.:42:52.

at half time, footballers use their new fame to urge kids to stay off

:42:53.:42:58.

drugs, and stay in school. They are heros for a lot of Afghans around

:42:59.:43:02.

the country. If the players are going back to their villages, to the

:43:03.:43:07.

district and province, everybody knows them. They are, they can play

:43:08.:43:16.

goodwill ambassadors for a lot of issues. But at the same time they

:43:17.:43:22.

are role models for millions of kids and young Afghans.

:43:23.:43:26.

But they still have to play well and strictly by the rules. In this world

:43:27.:43:32.

misbehaviour is punished immediately. And the Kabul team gets

:43:33.:43:53.

instant justice. In a country still suffering from the chaos and

:43:54.:43:56.

injustice of war, they are celebrating a game where you play by

:43:57.:44:00.

the rules, where the referee's word is final. And they are hoping that

:44:01.:44:06.

some day fair play will define Afghanistan too. Activists like

:44:07.:44:13.

Ahmed usually spend their time worrying about human rights abuses.

:44:14.:44:18.

A day out with the boys, even brings him a bit of cheer. When he meets

:44:19.:44:36.

fellow activists at their usual hangout, football is now part of the

:44:37.:44:39.

political debate, especially the national side's recent triumph over

:44:40.:44:44.

India. Which made them regional champions. There were 11 men who

:44:45.:44:49.

TLIEL brought pride to -- who actually brought pride to 32 million

:44:50.:44:56.

people, and none were holding a gun. You are seeing a new narrative.

:44:57.:45:00.

Leaders in this election realise that. There is still some space

:45:01.:45:03.

between the dominant political actors and the new wave since 2001.

:45:04.:45:09.

Now that is going to play out in the elections remains to be seen, the

:45:10.:45:12.

hope that we are striving towards is to get them to play at least by some

:45:13.:45:17.

rules. Is sport so powerful that it could change a much harder

:45:18.:45:20.

potentially violent political culture? If we play together, if we

:45:21.:45:29.

have a common goal and if we don't think about it as a short-term

:45:30.:45:32.

benefit and think about the bigger vision and goal, we can repeat the

:45:33.:45:36.

success we had in sport on the political field as well. In sport

:45:37.:45:42.

there is only one winner. The Kabul team triumphs, 3-1 in extra time.

:45:43.:45:49.

For Mushtaba there is another victory. TRANSLATION: My happiness

:45:50.:45:54.

has doubled, I have always dreamed of being the best player, we won the

:45:55.:45:59.

game and I'm the Man of the Match. Well done! And that's how it feels

:46:00.:46:05.

when you are a winner in Afghanistan, it is great day for the

:46:06.:46:09.

Kabul team, but just look how the crowds have been acting today. This

:46:10.:46:12.

is game where it is win-win for a country which has had all too little

:46:13.:46:22.

of this kind of celebration. A feel-good moment is precious,

:46:23.:46:27.

changing decades of violent division much harder. But this rare presence

:46:28.:46:31.

of hope creates a powerful sense of what could be possible.

:46:32.:46:39.

That's it, you may perhaps have noticed that it was the final of the

:46:40.:46:43.

Great British Bake Off earlier tonight, so below stairs in her

:46:44.:46:47.

Glasgow Stately Home Kirsty is making a very easy orange and lemon

:46:48.:46:52.

cake from a recipe invented by someone else, she's giving it her

:46:53.:46:58.

own twist with the help of nutmeg and almonds and other things she has

:46:59.:47:02.

found in the butler's pantry, including a bottle of wine. We have

:47:03.:47:07.

tweeted the recipe. Welcome to the Newsnight morning and lemon cake. It

:47:08.:47:27.

is an incredibly simple recipe. I'm going to put the zest of a lime in.

:47:28.:47:35.

I feel Mary Berry is at my shoulder! Plenty of greated nutmeg. There is

:47:36.:47:53.

the cake. That goes into a medium oven for an hour. That is ready.

:47:54.:48:03.

Let's see if it is ready. I think it is. Paul Hollywood eat your heart

:48:04.:48:11.

out! Good evening, Wednesday is set to

:48:12.:48:26.

get off to a

:48:27.:48:28.

In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Jeremy Paxman. An investigation into dodgy degrees, John Major enters into the energy prices row, Mark Urban on Syria, Facebook controversy and Afghan football.


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