02/05/2014 Newsnight


With Laura Kuenssberg. With 31 dead in Ukraine, will Russia invade? Plus, more on the Gerry Adams arrest, Gordon Brown on Nigeria and Will Self on the death of the serious novel.

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3 is people have died in western Ukraine. A building held by


3 is people have died in western pro-Russian gunmen was set on fire.


How can Kiev avoid a violent retaliation from the Kremlin? Also


tonight, when a war ends without a retaliation from the Kremlin? Also


winner, you don't usually get to arrest the enemy. So why is Gerry


Adams about to spend a third night in custody? Was there an assumption


the price of peace was whitewashing in custody? Was there an assumption


the past? And if that no longer applies what does that mean for


peace itself?ly ask the former police Watchdog in Belfast Nuala


O'Loan. And Will Self on death of the serious novel. And the big


internet mystery of the day. What is this? We may have ran answer.


-- an answer. Good evening. Tensions in Ukraine that have been simmering


for the past few weeks explode today, with deadly consequences. 31


people are reported dead in a fire that broke out in the western city


of who December is a during a clash between pro Russia demonstrators and


porter of the Government. In Sloviansk, Ukrainian helicopters


were shot down, and as the UN Security Council met in an emergency


session, Moscow's add ambassador warned of catastrophic consequences.


Our diplomatic editor is here with us. Mark, what has been going on


today? Well, the most dangerous situation, this disturbance that


happened in the port city, in the west. A crowd of people about 1,000,


pro Ukrainian Government, the interim Government, were set upon by


pro-Russian, we can see them in the distance there, the pro Kiev group


closer to the camera. Shots were exchanged and slowly the Russian


side realised they had been overmatched. They retreated to this


building, the centre of the trade union movement, where they were then


attacked. The police were not able to hold back, the pro Kiev mob, and


Molotov cocktails were thrown. The building was set on fire and dozen


of Russians died inside that building. The official Kiev


Government figure is 31, with four pro Kiev demonstrators also killed


on streets beforehand, but some Russian sources are saying more than


50 dead. For some weeks now we have known there are many troops on the


Russian board e could this be the vent that triggers the invasion? It


has to look much more likely tonight. One Russian journalist I


saw tweeting earlier if not now, for Putin, it is never. There is a lot


feeling that this could be the trigger, equally I would differ with


the never part of that analysis. Russian troops can stay there for


weeks if they have to, to maintain this, but a couple of key things


have happened today, if we look at the map. The first as you mentioned


earlier, this anti-terrorist operation long promised. It seemed


to is have petered out. That I that two of their hecks shot down,


several people killed there today, we know, but the events not clear.


Then tonight's awful events in the town. A few weeks ago in Crimea,


people were pointing to us as it is a likely flash point. You might


think why? If Russian troops want to go there they have to go the whole


way across Ukraine. Well, that is the point. If they advance to the


town to protect the Russian community on the back of tonight's


events they create a land connection to Crimea, they also connect to a


Russian break away enclave there in the west and they cut off Ukraine's


access to the sea. It is a dangerous moment. As things stand tonight, do


you sense there is any diplomatic way out of this without further


violence? Well, there were attempts tonight in the Security Council, the


13th meeting on Ukraine, but with no clear eresult, Russia saying this


Geneva process that was launch two weeks' ago to deescalate the crisis


is now over, it has failed. I think there will be attempts still to


struggle for some international solution to this, but clearly, a


significant risk tonight, that this will tip the Russians over into


invasion. Thank you.


Gerry Adams is right now spending a third night in a police cell. After


detectives asked for more time to question him over the abduction and


murder of Jean McConville in 1972. His arrest could throw policing in


Northern Ireland into chaos, as his friend and colleague the Deputy


First Minister Martin McGuinness hinted that Sinn Fein might look


again at whether they will continue to support the Northern Irish Police


Service. Last night, Jean McConville daughter


told Newsnight she didn't fear the IRA any more and would disclose the


names of those she believes to be responsible for her mother's death.


But that conviction is not shared by her brother, or many others in the


community. If fear survive, 16 years after the


Good Friday Agreement, what does peace really mean the people on the


ground? From Belfast here is Jim Reed.


Mod developer Belfast. Young, vibrant and growing fast, with new


towers and shopping centres poking up across the city. The fruits of


the Good Friday Agreement, and the cash that flowed from the


Government, then the private sector. On the surface, a long way from this


Troubles of the past. In 1972, Jean McConville was taken from her home


in the flat, a working class Catholic neighbourhood. The leader


of Sinn Fein is still in police custody, answering questions about


her disappearance. A new wall praising him was taking shape a


stone's throw from the same estate. Things have moved on, you can tell


by the nature of people in the streets. There are still a few


dinosaurs about. Unfortunately on both side, and, but there are in a


small minority, people are worried about social and economic issues


now. The big national questions we use to paint stuff on this wall


about political issues, we seldom do it because the issues have been


dealt with for the first time in our lifestyles through a normal


democratic process. This is the modern side of West Belfast the


authorities want you to see. Smiling musician, happy sportsmen. That


means a thousand Westminster welcome, but walk round the corner


and there are signs things haven't completely changed.


In parts of Belfast, there is still deep hatred of anyone who passes


information to the police. Informant or tout in this part of the city is


still a dirty word. And this idea of grassing of a tout


in Northern Ireland, this still persists That persist, particularly


in the Republican camps that anybody who gives evidence against another


Republican, they would be classed as a tout and they have been shot


because of that. That is a fact within our history, in this part of


the world. Even if we are talking about historical crimes? Even very


historical crime, yes. That suspicion stretches across sectarian


line, in Protestant neighbourhoods new purr rams have sprung up. They


still hold sway here. Just reseently this road was the


scene of violent clash, full of angry young men, after Belfast City


Hall passed a vote to stop the Union Jack flying all year round.


People working in this community say that peace itself might have


stripped some of their sense of identity.


The reality is that for most people that I spoke to, and listened to


more importantly, they all seem to have one common denominator, that


was they felt known was listening to hem or no-one knew where they were


or who they with. What is causing that? I think, it is an identity


crisis, people trying to figure out indeed where they stand in this


whole new regime that they exists in our country.


These walls might feel like a tourist attraction, like something


out of the history books but this week is a reminder that in Belfast,


the ghosts of the past can still upset the present.


Well, with us now from Belfast is the former police ombudsman for


Northern Ireland Nuala O'Loan. Thank you for being with us. You


investigated what happeneded in the Jean McConville case, how difficult


was it to get at the truth in these very tight-knit communities. I think


it can be profoundly difficult to get at certainly the documentation


relating to these cases, I mean Jean McConville was abducted so long ago,


1972, and because of that, and because of the difficulty we have


round the various categories of people who have suffered, you know,


people are still very much afraid of the IRA I am afraid. It is still


part and there are fears about loyalist paramilitaries to. That is


part of the reality here, for people who live outside the areas which


were dominated and remain to a degree dominated by paramilitaries,


it is different. It is very different but for people who live


there it is still very tense, think, and although there is, there is one


kind of a peace, there isn't a total peace yet. This has exposed then


that people are way beyond being haunted by the past, there are still


people who fear for their lives. I think there are people who fear,


there are people who suffer terribly, there are people who were


injured, decades ago, and who have no real way of earning their living,


because of their injury, and yet who have no proper pension, there are


still the bodies of the disappeared, Jean McConville was one of 16 people


who were disappeared during the troubles, there are still seven


missing, they were all taken by the IRA, and they, or other Republican


paramilitary organisations, and those families need to get the


bodies back, so there is a huge amount still to be done. Can the


Police Service of Northern Ireland really cope with all of this?


Especially today, they stand accused by Martin McGuinness now, a senior


figure in the Government of being a cabal who are acting politically.


Can they deal with all of this? I am fairly confident, I would say that


the Police Service of Northern Ireland will have thought very


seriously before they took the action which they took. They are


duty bound to investigate crime where they have reasonable ground


for suspecting it, and clearly, that is the position in which they have


found themselves. Do you have any... Sorry? Do you have any sympathy with


this suggestion that they are a political service? Can they be


impartial? I don't accept they are a political service, think that


nothing is perfect, and certainly in a post-conflict situation there are


problems with every aspect of society, but I don't think they are


a cabal. That is inappropriate language to use, I think that what


we need above all in Northern Ireland is that the rule of law


should apply equally throughout the country. But in... I think that for


people to suggest that, you know, some people perhaps shouldn't be


arrested, is perhaps a little questionable. But in the peace


process though, was there not an imme it is bargaining chip that it


was almost worth leaving some crimes go unpunished for the sake of peace?


A number of arrangements were made, which the effect of by was that


evidence which might otherwise have been used could no be used. If


example guns were decommissioneded, if paramilitaries gave up their gun,


any evidence that was found could not be used. If they gave


information leading to the recovery of the bodies of the Disappeared the


evidence associated with recovery can't be used. If somebody is


convicted of a crime which was committed before the goof agreement


was signed, in 1998, the maximum period in jail is two years. So


there are all sorts of arrange.s, there have been a number of Royal


Prerogatives royal pardon, there are all sorts of arrangements which have


been made, in a way to try and move us on the a degree. But it is


profoundly important, I think that we continue to operate within the


rule of law and that we do investigate and prosecute. We must


leave it there. Thank you for being with us tonight.


Now, if ?63 billion isn't enough, what will tempt the UK


pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to give into the advances of the


American Viagra maker Pfizer? The US company wants to buy the British


firm to create together the biggest drug company in the world. But there


are fears that such a megamerger would mean job cuts and damage to


the UK's standing in science and research, but as for the firm's


board and shareholders, they are yet to be convinced.


Under the microscope, examining the Pfizer bid for AstraZeneca is what


is occupying politicians and shareholders. The AstraZeneca board


has already pronounced the current bid of ?50 a share nowhere near


enough. In a statement, the company said, the financial and other terms


described in the proposal are inadequate...


But should a takeover go ahead at any price? A former Science Minister


says Pfizer has form in taking over companies and then cutting back on


vital research. Its strategy is basically not to do


the R which takeover companies do and get their pipeline and drugs up


that way. -- but to take over companies. Now, if you let that


happen, it sends absolutely the wrong signal to industry, which


says, don't put money into long-term research, just shovel assets around


among yourselves. And if we do that in this country, we will not survive


long-term as a great industrial power.


AstraZeneca, on its own, accounts for a full 2% of UK exports. A


potential takeover of such a significant company is not something


the government can ignore. The decision on any merger is a


decision for the two companies and a decision for their shareholders. My


job is to protect the United Kingdom's interests. I want to see


great science here in Britain, I want to see great medicines


delivered, I want to see great jobs in these industries here in Britain.


And that is why we have sought and received robust assurances from


Pfizer, were a deal to go ahead. But is the Prime Minister right to


describe those commitments on R and location of the company's


headquarters as robust? In a letter to the Prime Minister, setting out


the commitments, Pfizer says... That means at any time, they can


say, we have a responsibility to increase profits to our


shareholders. On that basis, we are closing this research facility or


platform. So it is absolutely meaningless. That is what happened


when Kraft took over Cadbury in 2010. Assurances not to close a


plant near Bristol, only to announce its closure a week after the bid


went through. Meanwhile, opposition politicians and others are


questioning why the Government has become so involved in the details of


Pfizer's bid. Industry insiders have reacted with nothing short of


outrage that the board here at AstraZeneca has been sidelined,


whilst the Government apparently negotiates directly with Pfizer. And


there is concern that although David Cameron says it is a matter for


shareholders to decide, the Government has already made up its


mind that a Pfizer takeover should not be resisted.


But does it really matter what nationality a company is?


AstraZeneca is not perhaps as home-grown British as it may seem.


AstraZeneca is not really a British company, it is a typical global


multinational. It was formed from combining a British company, a


Swedish company and an American company. Its CEO is French, its


chairman is Swedish, and it operates in a global marketplace. That is


great and terrific that it has a base in the United Kingdom, but that


is for the market to end up deciding and, actually, for the shareholders


of AstraZeneca to decide. What matters, agree ministers and


science leaders, is that expertise and research stays in the UK and


that it is not sold off, packed up and sold overseas.


Where are they? More than 200 teenage girls were taken from their


school in Nigeria more than two weeks ago, abducted by the terrorist


group Boko Haram and spirited away to an unknown location, possibly out


of their country. Efforts so far to find them by the Nigerian government


have failed. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown is travelling to


Nigeria. I spoke to him earlier and we will hear how he is asking the


Foreign Office to help. The agonising wait. It is more than


two weeks since the girls were taken from their school in the middle of


the night and as time passes, anger with the government has grown. On


Wednesday, hundreds of demonstrators marched through the Nigerian capital


Abuja demanding the release of the girls. Their parents criticised the


search and rescue efforts, troops do not seem to be equipped for the


mission, they say. It is not just a group of five, it is over 200. How


will somebody tell me they do not know where they are? They give


reasons for information to know whether girls are. Who is given


information on the girls are taken to Cameron room? Who? There is no


such information, what have they done about it? -- Cameron room.


Abducted from their boarding school, the girls are mostly between


16 and 18. They are thought to have been taken by the Islamist


16 and 18. They are thought to have Boko Haram. It is believed they are


in a forest region near the border with Cameron room but some -- near


Cameroon but there are suggestions they may have left the country. The


name of the group means Western education is forbidden, it has grown


in prominence and an estimated 1,500 people have been killed by their


attacks. Boko Haram has not yet made a response to the accusation but


their leader Abubakar Shekau has previously threatened to treat


captured women and girls as slaves. The group is also suspected of


involvement in the bomb attack in Nigeria's capital on Thursday which


killed at least 19 people and injured dozens more.


Gordon Brown, you are travelling to Nigeria, what are you hoping to


achieve? This is a terrible atrocity. You


have got 200 girls who have been abducted from their school,


kidnapped by a terrorist group. Their parents don't know whether


they are alive, they don't know if they are being made into sex slaves,


they don't know if they have been trafficked into the rest of Africa


and dispersed. And if this had happened in Europe or America,


people would be up in arms demanding action, and knowing that there was


something we could do to help these girls. I would like to see some air


support given internationally so that we can scan the jungle area,


the forest area, to see if we can find these girls.


What should the British Government do? You say you want air support,


but should the British Government be involved?


I am not talking about British forces in the traditional way you


describe them. I have been in touch with the Foreign Secretary about


whether there could be some help with air support. The Nigerian


government have a difficult problem. It is a huge land area. This is a


huge forest area right in the North of Nigeria, very inaccessible, and


if they are going to be able to track the girls before they are


dispersed throughout Africa, which is a possibility, then we do need


some air support to be able to do that. In the longer run, however, we


need to make these girls safe. -- schools. So I am really talking to


the President in Nigeria, when I go there, about what we can do to help


immediately, but what we can do so that ten million boys and girls are


not discouraged from going to school in Nigeria.


What did William Hague say to that request?


I have been in touch with him and I am hoping that he will look at this


very carefully. I am also obviously talking to the United Nations,


because I am a Special Envoy, about what they can do to persuade other


countries to help. But clearly, it is initially the responsibility of


the Nigerian government, and they are under pressure obviously,


because there are demonstrations in the streets now. There is a petition


that has been signed by 120,000 people around the world, and that is


only in a day, and that has gathered support. I think one of the sad


things is that we've had to wait for two weeks before attention has been


given to this outside Nigeria, and we have got to find a way of helping


the Nigerian authorities stop schools being used as weapons of war


in a terrorist battle. In that terrorist battle, a couple


of years ago, you described this as being a single narrative, from the


slums of Asia, to huts in Africa, to every industrial city in the Western


world. Do you see this attack as part of a global ideology? I don't


think I put it that way. What I did say was that there is a single


demand emerging throughout the world, whether it's the Pakistani


girls that supported Malala when she was shot, whether it's girls


campaigning against child marriage in Bangladesh, or whether it's the


protests in Africa where people are demanding education. This is a civil


rights issue. Girls are demanding education, girls in particular.


What hope do you think you will be able to give to these Nigerian


families who, right now, don't know if they will ever see their


daughters again? This is unimaginable for a parent


because they don't know whether their girls are dead or are now


becoming sex slaves or married off, and they don't know whether they've


been trafficked into another country and can never be found again. So we


have got to do what we can to help them. Of course, there is only a


certain amount we can do, but we have got to reassure people that


schools will be protected zones in the future, that the United Nations


law about hospitals and schools and UN buildings can be observed, and it


may be that we have got to be far more visible in the way we identify


schools, so that they can never be targets for terrorism again. But


what is happening in Nigeria, if there is no international protest,


is that this will go on and on. We have got to stand up to terrorism


here and we have got to support the families.


Now, are you more likely to be found with a copy of Ulysses, Bringing up


the Bodies, or, well, Fifty Shades of Grey? Or, actually, are you just


as likely to have one eye on the TV screen, the other on your phone, and


have given up reading anything with fibre in it years ago? As we choose


to read more and more online, are we also increasing, just picking the


easy stuff? -- in increasingly. The writer Will Self believes that


serious works, 'difficult books', are under serious threat. He is with


us now. You say that the literary novel is dying, does it really have


no future? I think it definitely has a future that it is a future as a


minor artwork. An easel painting or on a good day, probably classical


music. That is still evolving, people are writing classical music.


But it would be very unusual for a Premier to gain the same attention


as that of a movie. What is wrong with people choosing the box more


for pleasure? Do you want people to read books that good for them that


they might not enjoy? -- people choosing books. This is not about


content and difficult verses easy. It is not directly. It is an


argument about the impact of the Internet. This is the question you


have to ask yourself if you do not believe that the serious novel is


under threat. Do you believe that in 20 years' time, the majority of text


will be read digitally, and I think most people agree that will be the


case and it is going that way very rapidly. Secondly, do you believe it


will be read on devices that can connect to the web? Yes,


undoubtedly. Do you believe that people will follow Terry disable


their web connection to read prose fiction? -- involuntarily. People


not concentrating on a serious book because they are reading yet on


their Kindle? And e-book sales fell in America last year and hard book


sales went up. That may be a status thing. It is not that I think people


are not capable of concentrating. Actually, it is! In your injured up


soon, it you cited Joyce's Ulysses. Even a well educated, intelligent


reader will not understand things on the first, second, even third


reached through the novel. Most editions come with footnotes, but


when you read it in analogue form, there is a limited amount of looking


got you can do and there is a degree of deep absorption in the text that


requires concentration that is prepared not to understand. --


looking up. It will encounter a point of information they do not


immediately comprehend and they will discover it in context. The web


connection introduces the idea it you could solve that problem. -- the


idea that you could. So is digital media making a stupid? No, I am not


attacking digital media, it is more profound about it -- of more


profound than that, it is about the human psychology. Each major


technical change in media rings a different psychology. The psychology


that produced the novel is not the same as the psychology we will


have... -- brings. You said you are reading 150 box at a time, are you


guilty as charged? -- 150 books. Are you incapable of reading without


getting distracted? Chatting to people on Facebook? I do not


necessarily do that and I have my problems. In 2003, 2004, those of us


a tiny bit older remember the dial-up connection noise and that


switch to wireless broadband, I stopped writing my own fiction on a


computer because I registered that being able to switch from labouring


on your careful prose to buying reindeer of gloves or seeing what it


looks like when somebody does something ridiculous is to tempting.


-- ovengloves. One critic is very disappointed in you and says


everybody is delivering the death sentence to the novel and he wants


to know what deathbed novel you are writing? I have just finished a


sequel to my last novel. On brow. The serious novel will continue to


be read. -- umbrella. The serious novel will continue to


not have the same range as it used to.


That is it for tonight. We leave you with the internet mystery that has


got tech journalists the world over scratching their heads. Last


September, a mysterious French YouTuber began uploading 11 second


videos of uniquely shaped red and blue blocks, each one lasting just


one second, each one with a different accompanying computer


tone. 80,000 videos later, the uploading just stopped. It has all


led to some pretty wild speculation. Is it a spy code? A video test


signal? A Is it a spy code? A video test


conspiracy theorists can now sleep easy,


conspiracy theorists can now sleep for them. See if you can spot it.


Good night.


With 31 dead in Ukraine, will Russia invade? Plus, more on the arrest of Gerry Adams, drugs firm AstraZeneca rejects a new takeover offer from Pfizer, Gordon Brown on Nigeria and Will Self on the death of the serious novel.

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