08/05/2014 Newsnight


Nigeria's battle with Boku Haram; Labour and Pfizer; army women; Ukraine; public health league; pushing education; and tapping the oceans for medicine.

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MUSIC PLAYS. insists the mass abduction of


Good evening, it is three long weeks since Islamist rebels abducted the


Nigerian schoolgirls, and today the country's President asserts, without


any evidence, that the kidnap would be the beginning of the end of


terrorism in nigh goria. Goodluck Jonathan was


terrorism in nigh goria. Goodluck Economic Forum and buoyed by


logistic and intelligence support from Britain, China, France and the


United States, to help find the girls before they are sold or


murdered by their captors, Boko Haram. Nigeria's record in


combatting the terrorist group has so far been woeful.


All we have is Nair names, the 200 abducted schoolgirls. Their


disappearance has suddenly pushed a long-running campaign of violence by


Boko Haram to the top of the international agenda. Today the


President of Nigeria dramatically declared this meant his country had


reached a turning point. I believe that the kidnap of these girls will


be the beginning of the end of terror in nigh goria. Under heavy --


Nigeria. Under heavy criticism, the Nigerian Government says it is ready


for action, perhaps, with western support. I can tell you at least two


divisions of the Nigerian army were added to the fighting force in order


to augment the operational capabilities of the military since


the girls were abducted. But, with all this attention and even the


possibility of troops going in really offer any chance of resolving


a long standing and growing crisis? Even this week the violence


escalated, as many as 300 killed in a remote village by Boko Haram. One


eyewitness told Newsnight. The attackers came, the Nigerian


military ran to the bush. Boko Haram was founded in 2002, but


its campaign of violence has been escalating over the last five years,


killing thousands. It was this video of the leader on Monday boasting in


an almost manic fashion of kidnapping 200 girls and saying he


intended to sell them, that brought international attention. The group


believes women should not be at school and should be married, even


as slaves. This goes to the heart of Boko Haram's ideology, its name


loosely translated means "western education is forbidden". It is the


Taliban of Nigeria, wanting to purge the region of outside foreign


influence, and enforce Islamic rule. The girls were taken from the


village of Chibok, Boko Haram's violence has been centered on the


north-east of the country, where three states are under emergency


rule. The group support is deeply rooted in the local grievances of


the region. Its sense of alienation of the capital which is seen as


Christian and corrupt. At times the violence has been spectacular, like


this bombing of a UN building. While there are some ideolgical and


operational links to Al-Qaeda in the region, this is a Nigerian problem.


In spite of tactical links between Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda in North


Africa, Boko Haram is a Nigeria-focussed group. It is not


just religion driving the violence that drives Boko Haram, it is a wide


array of social and economic problems that have been troubling


the north of Nigeria for a very long time. Boko Haram has been growing


increasingly bold, up to 50 boys were slaughtered at a school in


February, 88 were then killed by car bombs in the capital in April. It


was the abduction of the girls that led to protests, a campaign on


social media and the west insisting on helping. Diplomats here at the


Foreign Office, as well as in Washington spent three weeks trying


to pressure the Nigerians to accept outside help. Nigeria is a proud


country, which sees itself as the economic powerhouse of Africa. And


when those small teams of western experts arrive, they may struggle to


have much impact. As well as helping in the search for the girls, I'm


told they will also be trying to persuade the Nigerians to adopt a


more nuanced counter insurgency strategy, one that tries to win over


the local population in the north, and not just use some of the brutal


military tactics employed in the past.


Western officials privately say the Nigerian Government lacks competence


and is poorly co-ordinated, and they fear another brutal crackdown in the


north. This will do nothing to deal with the underlying problems


according to one person who has tried negotiating with Boko Haram.


Many people in the north are as much disenchanted with the security


forces as they are with the insurgents. What is very clear is


that in this kind of war you cannot win it if you don't carry the people


along. If the people have been suffering the consequences of the


intervention by security forces and I think the whole battle has been


left for the security forces, which is very difficult to fight. With


reports tonight of troops and helicopters in the Chibok region,


Nigeria clearly feels it now has to be seen to be doing something. But


the question is, what it will end up doing? And whether it will work?


We're joined now by the Nigerian Interior Minister, and he's in Ghana


in Accra where he's attending a seminar on the environment.


Minister, first of all, Goodluck Jonathan insists this is a turning


point in dealing with terrorism, you have got absolutely no evidence to


back this up? Sorry? There is no evidence to back up your President's


assertion that this is a turning point for terrorism? Well the reason


that Mr President insists that this is a turning point and the beginning


of the end of the insurgent activities in the parts of Nigeria


and the north, is the fact that for every situation there is usually a


turning point, and the abduction of these ladies, innocent, defenceless


ladies, preparing for their examinations, certainly presented a


further impetuous for everybody to get involved in the process of


ending, not just the abduction of innocent citizens, but ending this


terror war in Nigeria. That assertion is not misplaced, because


everybody in Nigeria is galvanised, there is a near consensus amongst


all the Governments and leaders, is definitely this will have to end,


this madless will have to end, and the Government is mobilising every


support. You are saying now it is galvanising action, but of course


there has not been a concerted effort against Boko Haram in the


past. Even this week on Monday when up to 300 people were killed, ones


tensably for helping -- ostensibly for helping military forces, the


military forces themselves ran away, we heard a witness say. How is this


dealing with the situation? Well I think it is an unfair comment on the


Government to say that this Government has not seriously dealt


with the issue of Boko Haram. A series of arrests have been made, a


series of activities have been carried out in the recent past that


has gradually decimated the rank and file of the insurgents and the


insurgents have been driven from virtually out of the country and up


to the north-east of the country. Of course some of the leading


commanders of the insurgents have been taking out. I think it is


unfair to say that nothing has been done. What has happened in the


recent past is the resurgence of guerrilla-like attacks on soft,


vulnerable spots. Of course you are aware that this Government and the


security agencies have responded very promptly to such attacks when


they are called. You haven't responded quickly, you


have been offered international help for the last three weeks. The US


have been offered international help the UK have been pleading to come


have been offered international help Goodluck Jonathan has said they can


come Goodluck Jonathan has said they can


action. You are being forced to do Goodluck Jonathan has said they can


this because of the international attention? I tell you something your


question is predicated on misinformation. I can tell you from


the beginning this Government and of the federal country of Nigeria, Dr


Goodluck Jonathan, has highlighted an issue that terrorism was alien to


our culture and it was an imported phenomenon that required a global


attack. Of course that terrorism has no boundaries is nothing new. The


fundamentalism in the north-east and the northern part of Nigeria that


has precipitated this action, that western education is a sin,


certainly is not in tandem with the modern trends. All along I can tell


you this that a series of meetings have been held with the


international community and other countries. We have been to our


neighbouring countries of Niger and Chad all to ensure a containment of


the situation. A series of agreements have been reached with


the neighbouring countries and, I can tell you this, there is no time


that any offer of assistance has been offered. We have sought for


assistance to curb this insurgency based on the experiences of friendly


countries. Minister I just want to make one final point. Way back last


year, just a moment, way back last year, the state department of the


United States of America offered to introduce a technology hub on our


borders to secure our borders to prevent illegal entry, especially


these people are perpetrators of this violence. The Ministry of


Interior has been working with the state department officials of the


United States of America since last year to restore this technology. It


is not true to say that Nigeria has to refuse international assistance.


What I was pointing out is what we were told in the last three weeks


they have been want to go give help and only now that help has been


accepted. Can I ask a final question. If it takes US troops,


special force, SAS from the UK, will they have a free hand in your


country to do anything they have to do to secure the release of these


girls? At the moment what is going on is the fact that the United


States of America and some other friendly countries, the UK and


France and Kenya and neighbouring countries of Cameroon, Niger and


Chad have offered to assist Nigeria with their experience. When they


come they will work in conjunction with the security agencies of


Nigeria to bring to an end the madness taking part in that part of


the country. I want to say this, the casualties and activities bandied


around are certainly not correct. I assure you the military commander in


Nigeria are providing adequate information. Thank you very much


indeed. The US pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer


is still in full pursuit of AstraZeneca, despite the British


company's rebuff. Labour has been pushing the Government hard over a


deal they say puts British jobs and British science at risk. But did Ed


Miliband come rather late to the party? Much later than he likes to


make out. I'm joined by our chief correspondent.


First of all what have we learned about Ed Miliband? This is slightly


awkward. The language from Labour has been pushing the Government for


a full assessment of the deal. Perhaps even a change in the law in


order to do so. We have been told that in fact about ten days ago, in


fact on the day the potential deal was confirmed that the chief


executive of Pfizer, the American company, wrote at some length to Ed


Miliband offering to come and have a meeting with him to explain his


version of the bid, to talk about it, to discuss it, its potential


rewards and obviously the potential risks and Ed Miliband, given that


chance, actually turned it down. And frankly, in a surprisingly short


letter from his Chief of Staff, which we can have a look at now, he


wrote to him basically saying he was too busy. "Dear Mr Reid, the chief


executive of the country. Thank you for your letter, we are entering a


preelectrical period here in the UK. This will make a meeting with Ed


very difficu because he's out campaigning at this time." At that


stage they were happy to leave it to the Shadow Business Secretary to


have conversations with Pfizer in the UK. At best it looks like Ed


Miliband was trying to distance himself, and there are good reasons


for doing that. Or perhaps they miscalculated the importance of this


deal. The biggest potentially ever of its kind. At worst it looks like


he was waiting for the bandwagon to catch up and jumped on as it passed.


Miraculously tonight he has told us he will try to meet Ian Read


afterall next week, but now it seems like a good idea. Now it might be


too late, do we know what are the chances of the deal? What seems very


likely is I have talked to one of the top ten shareholders from


AstraZeneca, the hunted, they say they fully expect the American


company to up their bid beyond the ?63 billion, but they are not


convinced at all that will mean it will go ahead. The way they phrased


it to me, "it has just landed badly", this whole thing. Much of


the science community is against the idea. But the two chief executives


will be up against MPs next week, both coming here. This is moving


very fast, things could change significantly even before then.


One of the final frontiers of female equality is the Armed Forces. Women


soldiers are already on the frontline providing logistical and


intelligence support and bomb disposal. But should they be


fighting alongside their male colleagues? The Government isn't


sure but wants to decide. Today announcing that their review of the


ban on women in close combat roles is to be brought forward. If they


are looking for change, they won't get it without a fight. Former Chief


of Staff Lord Dannett will have no truck with asking women soldiers to


kill. In my judgment the point of principle overrides what women might


or might not wish to do. To be in a unit given orders to attack a hill,


town or village, that is a role not for women. If a woman is in a combat


logistic patrol taking supplies forward and gets caught up in


fighting and does well that is tremendous, there is a different set


of circumstances from the one I'm decribing, there is a point of


principle there, it is an important one for people to reflect upon. Is


he right, with me is my guest, the most senior woman in the British


Army after a retirement after 27 years, and from Toronto the first


woman to command an all-male field force squadron. Good evening to both


of you. Is Richard Dannett right, it is not a role for women close


combat? I absolutely respect the operational views of Lord Dannett,


but I do disagree on his observations that it is no place for


women. In my experience no man is sent into battle without extensive


training, both as an individual and also within a combat team. You feel


that women can be snipers and do close-to-close combat and wield


bayonets? I think women should be judged on the basis of their


capability, not on the basis of their gender. And therefore, if


women want to step up to the challenge of service in the combat


arms, and not sure why their gender should exclude them. Surely women


are as capable as men? Women certainly have the courage of men


and it is nothing to do with that, and there are American aspects there


that I don't agree with Richard Dannett, but we are not the same. We


do not have the same physical capability of men. And I am


concerned that the standards of physical fitness will be reduced for


reasons of gender equality. And you know the British Army has a


reputation of being one of the best and the fittest in the world and I


would hate to think that to include women those standards are reduced.


So the standards are reduced? Does that mean you think for example that


the effectiveness of a unit could be compromised if women's physical


fitness, as you see it, was not sufficient to the mens'? Absolutely.


Absolutely. Yes, I mean you know we're talking about women having to


carry, or an infantry soldier having to carry a back of perhaps 65s can,


there is kgs. There is a case of a woman in America serving in both


Iraq and Afghanistan and has suffered permanent physical damage


because of the weights that she had to carry over an extended period.


And I think we have to accept that women do a fantastic job in so many


roles, yes they are on the frontline, and yes they do a good


job and there are very good careers for them, but I do not believe in


that. You say even carrier the pack was too much for us, even the roles


performed just now can be detrimental to their health? We are


talking about infantry soldiers having to carry those packs. Let me


put that back here, women are not physically as capable as men for


soldiering? I don't understand this line of argument. The last review


that was carried out by the Ministry of Defence in 2010 didn't actually


have significant concerns about the strength of women, the issue was


about team dynamics. Look at our female olympians, who wants to get


into a ring with the boxer Nicola Adams? Whether you are a man or a


woman that is actually quite a challenging prospect. There are some


women who are strong enough, capable enough, aggressive enough, some


women who have got the physical... You need aggression? You need


aggression, you absolutely do. The Secretary has made quite clear that


there is no question of lowering standards or of damaging operational


capability. What about the idea that women are as aggressive as men, is


there an emotional difference here Judith Webb? Think that argument


doesn't hold water now because women have proved in many circumstances.


But I do say why don't we have women in male rugby teams, you know. We


don't, nobody would consider having a woman playing in a rugby team in a


male rugby team, all-male rugby team, because she doesn't have the


same physical strength to withstand that, not combat, but it is almost


combat. If you apply that argument you could apply it to a lot of other


things. Surely it is very concerning to you that you actually think that


women, OK they play a different role but they actually can't play a full


role in the army is what you are suggesting? Women play a very full


role in the army. Just because you are not an infantry soldier doesn't


mean you don't play a full role in the army. There are plenty of male


soldiers who are not infantry soldiers, you play a full role. If


there is an argument to be had I think there should be more openings


for senior officers and senior roles within the army for women. I do


think that there is a bit of a Mafia and the fact that the chief of the


general staff, of defence staff has only ever been someone from a tooth


arm. Would you like to have seen close combat, would that have been


something for your career that you would have welcomed? Actually for me


personally it wouldn't, it is very difficult to answer that question,


because I joined the army 27 years ago so my thinking was very


different then, because I was excluded from so many roles. But I


think probably it wouldn't have been a route down which I would have


gone. That doesn't mean to say that I don't think that these


extraordinarily physically capable competent professional women, who


want to have the opportunity, to serve the nation in these. Is there


a frustration there? There is a frustration. Whether or not women


want to serve in the combat arms, to have an exclusion based purely on


gender for an army, one of the core values of the army is respect for


others. It is really disrespectful to women to say you can do these


things but not those things. Thank you very much both of you indeed.


You would think the one person the pro-Russian seperatists in Ukraine


would listen to would be President Putin, but today they ignored a call


from the Russian leader to postpone the referendum on self-rule,


declaring they would go ahead on Sunday with a vote that could lead


to war. But then it is likely Putin would have ignored Angela Merkel's


call to not make a visit to Crimea tomorrow. As far as Reverends geo,


Putin -- referendums go, Putin expects the rebels to defy him and


distancing himself and avoiding punitive sanctions.


We spent the day in the heartland of the rebellion and begins with


reporting from Donetsk. On the streets here they are asking what on


earth is Putin playing at? "We will decide" this man says, right now,


right here it is their decision. Many people here see Vladimir Putin


as their ultimate supporter in their struggle to break-away from Kiev.


Now some fear he might be pulling back. Inside the seperatist


headquarters this morning, there were meetings behind closed doors as


they debated how to respond. The leaders inside this building, the


party of the Donetsk seperatist Republic have had the rug pulled out


from under their feet. That is causing angst. For weeks the east


has been building up to Sunday's referendum on independence, could


they back down now? In the end they decided they couldn't. So is Putin


the puppetmaster here or is he losing control of a crisis partly of


his own making? Kiev has deployed troops, mostly around the seperatist


stronghold of Slovansk. Beyond this Government checkpoint lies the only


town fully under the seperatists' control. What do the seperatists


think Putin is up to? At the entrance to the town we met members


of the pro-independence militia, preparing for what they fear could


be an imminent attack. TRANSLATION: We didn't expect Vladimir Putin to


suggest postponing the referendum. He's a wise man and good strategist,


a clever politician, maybe he's planning something we can't yet see?


These are the people known as the little green men, one said he was a


dentist and the other a vet, all of them said they were native


Ukrainians, though they wouldn't tell me how they were recruited or


where they got their guns. These men have crossed a rubicon, with or


without Putin they told me they want their independence. TRANSLATION: For


me Ukraine doesn't exist any more, our parliament is full of fascists.


We need our own country now. In central Sloviansk, the vehicles are


paraded they captured off the regular army. Local civilians have


lost their lives here, even as Kiev continues the anti-terror operation.


Under Lenin a notice reads "we will never forget, we will never


forgive", and yet every day life seems some how to continue. But this


disguises a fundamental flaw in Sunday's referendum. This vote will


be held in only a handful of areas, on a war footing. Of course we are


all frightened because we are surrounded by our own army, and as


far as I know very hard artillery, arms, aimed to our people. As we are


talking to the school teacher a masked man approaches and demands to


know who we are and what we are doing? This whole town is on edge,


the seperatists see spies and infiltrators on every corner. Those


who openly defy them, like the town's mayor, have been locked up in


the basement of the local intelligence headquarters. Can


anyone still influence events here? Two of the people we have been


speaking to here over the past few weeks have now fled in fear of their


lives. And they have told us that masked men have been going


house-to-house, knocking on doors, threatening anyone who doesn't


support the People's Republic of Donetsk. It is in this atmosphere


some in the cue crane will vote to -- in the Ukraine will vote to split


off from the rest of the country. Even Putin appears to be distancing


himself from the referendum, fearing perhaps a conflict on his border


that he can no longer control. We will have the latest on the


crisis tomorrow, when we will report on Victory Day in Moscow.


For thousands of people in England, football is a life and death


business, metaphorically speaking, well actually literally. Using


public health England's latest data on life expectancy, our avid


football fan decided to undertake a bit of mental rather than physical


exercise. Using catchment areas of football clubs alongside the data,


he has analysed where in the country people are likely to live longer.


Now we are at the end of the season which town is in the Premier League


of health and which at the bottom of the table?


Football fans cheerfully chant they will support their team until they


die. But, how long will they live? Can we expect some fans to go on for


much longer than others? So I have crunched the numbers, I looked at


club catchment areas, within them I identified 100,000 people, close


living closest to the ground. It is a bit rough and ready, it is really


about towns rather than football fans, but I pulled out the


statistics on life expectancy, "binge drinking" and produced my own


league tables, including obesity. The results are startling. Here is


the top of the Premier League, Crawley Town are England's longevity


champion, Chelsea fans may note they are still third! Turning to the


bottom of the table, Manchester City and Liverpool do badly, as do


Birmingham City and Aston Villa. Clubs in more prosperous areas do


rather better. The idea that people living in poorer areas don't live as


long as those in richer areas isn't exactly shocking. Even so the


difference is enormous. This is Chelsea and remember we're not


talking about one street, one neighbourhood, we are talking about


100,000 people in this area, men live on average 81 years, the


equivalent figure for Birmingham City is


hard to live healthily on a tight budget, through other indicators.


hard to live healthily on a tight the Chelsea catchment area just 13%


hard to live healthily on a tight are obese. For Aston Villa


hard to live healthily on a tight high. What about "binge


hard to live healthily on a tight For men that's consuming eight


hard to live healthily on a tight prevalent in poorer areas. But


hard to live healthily on a tight are local cultural factors to take


into account. The safe drinking champions at the top


into account. The safe drinking Birmingham City, West Brom and


Bradford, you can see areas of big Birmingham City, West Brom and


Muslim populations drink less. Turning now to the bottom of the


table, for Sunderland, Bristol City, York and Sheffield United, 30% of


the catchments reported a binge in the previous week. Newcastle is


propping up the table on 41%. the previous week. Newcastle is


the way these factors interact is not straight forward. Here


the way these factors interact is Preston northend male life he can


peck standcy is just under 35, that is putting it in line with Mexico.


But the story is complicated. For example here in Preston there isn't


But the story is complicated. For a problem with obesity, it is that


complication that makes this issue such a challenge for policy makers.


So no two areas are alike. National and global forces may be the key


drivers of inequality, but the policy responses must often come at


the street, the neighbourhood or even the club level.


If you want to look at the full tables of all the information it is


on the website. Tiger mums, pushy parents, hot-house kids, education


is littered with judgmental saying when it comes to parental


involvement in education, but a leading educationalist, once a top


man in Tony Blair's team says children in the UK are being held


back in a culture which we undervalue hard work and parents


don't push. This stands in stark contrast to East Asia and he cites


as evidence the UK's sixth place in the learning curve index, the


ranking of 39 countries educational performance. Sing cor, Korea, China


and Finland are ahead of us. Remember the battle hymn of the


tiger mother it turns out she might have been right. South Korean kids


it emerges are leading the world no in cognitive skills and educational


attainment, not just pop music. Education, education, education. Now


a former adviser to Tony Blair turned education guru says we could


learn a thing or two from them. The learning curve says Britain lags


behind Asian countries because we don't teach our kids to work hard.


He says parents here don't pressure their kids to achieve because we


assume they are either clever or not clever and that the number of hours


spent in front of the blackboard won't change it. That's certainly


not the way they do it in South Korea. Where the average child


spends 13 hours a day in education. Not necessarily in dance class.


Michael Barber is here, and I'm joined from Boston by the Finnish


education expert and author of the book.


So basically what you are essentially saying is here the


attitude is you are born clever or not, and by and large parents just


accept that and don't push the kids? The tradition is very steeped in our


culture is people have said they are either clever or smart in America or


they are not, and then the education system simply rereinforces the


starting points. And the 11+ we had right up until the 70s determined


your future in secondary education. What happens in the Asian cultures


is of valuing of hard work and effort and a belief that will lead


to success, the teachers believe it, the parents believe it and it comes


through in the results. I'm not saying I want Britain to be like


Korea. With children doing four or five hours homework every day. I am


saying parents should be, and teachers should be rewarding hard


work and progress, there is very good psychological research. You


don't think that is being done now? I think there is much more of that


could be done. And many, many teachers do it every day, but we


could do more of it, and the parents, when they see good work


they could say that is a great piece of work, rather than oh how clever


you are. From your point of view and you obviously looked at the Finnish


model in the top six but further down, you don't think the Asian


model fits other cultures? I think the Asian model is culturally bound.


Many things that explain why they are doing so well. Many people don't


know that the Asian children go to school twice when in England and in


Finland children go to school only once. I think the main... Explain


what you mean by that they go to school twice? Most children in most


south-east Asian countries they go to school after the normal school


ends, nominally about -- normally 4.00 in the evening, the second


school day goes from 6.00 until midnight. It is working? But the


rankings is not measuring what the education system is doing but the


culture. The main problem with the learning curve ranking and the


OACD's ranking is the whole idea of smartness and intelligence is


limited to a very small number of academic subjects. In Finland and


many other countries you can be smart and clever by being good in


music or sports or something else, not only in maths and science. That


is in terms of your rankings you are doing it purely on academics and in


fact a lot of the Asian countries are now realising that actually the


creative skills are important and having to import them. The Scottish


Ballet is doing work with these kids because they get none of that? Sure,


that is not important, what is really important to say about this


particular ranking we are publishing today is a composite of a lot of


different rankings including success in completing university, there is a


range of things brought together. But not in the rounded person?


However what you see in schools in England, and you see research on


this, the schools that do well in the academic subjects often and very


often actually do well in all the other things. If you look at Ofsted


reports in this country you will find the schools that do well in


exams and literacy and numeracy also do well in music and art. It is a


false dichotomy to put the two things in opposition. I'm not


advocating we do what Korea does it here in England, we have to get a


rounded education. But the results represent something. It seems you


are also saying that parents have to get a grip and have to be going to


the school and pushing harder. That actually there is a much more


laissez faire attitude and we have to get rid of that? I am saying


that. I think it is very important whether you live in Finland, Britain


or Korea that you are prepared for the 21st century global economy and


the society which is fast-moving and depends on knowledge, capability and


the ability to do that. And parents are not doing enough? Lot of them


are, but we could do more. Is it your experience that actually much


greater parental involvement will improve things? I think parents have


to support the children's learning, but I don't believe we can ever do


the same things that the South Koreans or Japanese or sing support


is doing. -- Singapore is doing with the parents studying with their


children. Parents have to support their kids but there has to be life


after school and we have to respect their childhood. You are saying


culturally in Asia, would it be fair to say, and this is only an


observation of mine that actually the whole discipline and the whole


respect issue and the whole way that families operate is quite different?


Absolutely. I think the families operate is quite different?


cultures are much more built families operate is quite different?


competition and race for the good universities and good schools. We


are simply speaking about very different cultures and I agree with


Michael that there are things to learn from these countries, but they


are not the things that we should be pushing our children harder and


starting school earlier and spending longer hours in school, they are


more related to how we treat our teachers and how we help our schools


to work together. Would you say that Michael Gove is taking things in the


right direction? Overall I would say, yes, Michael Gove is taking


things in the right direction, setting higher standards through the


new national curriculum, really investing in recruiting great people


in to teaching. Taking on your work from new Labour? Taking it on, yes.


That will help. I want to make one other point, learning exactly what


was just said, we can't replicate Asian cultures, we can learn things


from them and apply them to the system.


from them and apply them to the wrong to set his face against free


schools, that is an option? Some of the free schools have clearly been a


mistake, but some of them will do really well. There is a wonderful


school in really well. There is a wonderful


question, School 21, the headteacher goes to every single parents' home


before the start and talks about the relationship, we will get great


innovation. Thank you very much indeed. The World Health


Organisation's report on the efficacy


Organisation's report on the warned unless there is a step change


into new ways to fight old diseases people will die from once treatable


infections. There is one vast unstabbed source of life-saving


medicines, the oceans, that could be the source of everything. They


include one of our most beautiful sea creatures.


It is an industry there is a about to see ?120 million of investment


from the European Union. The work can cost ?20,000 a day, but the end


products could make a difference to millions of people around the world.


But what is it they are looking for? This sciencic spot on the west coast


of Scotland might not This sciencic spot on the west coast


is at the centre of cutting-edge medical receremony. But beneath the


waves lies an incredibly rich and diverse array of life. It is here


where scientists are pinning their hopes on finding the next generation


of life-saving drugsBut beneath the waves lies an incredibly rich and


diverse Since the discovery of penicillin we


frequently turn to nature to find new medicines. But on land we are


exhausted and we are in desperate need of new drugs. In Europe 25,000


people a year die from infections that are now antibiotic resistant.


The World Health Organisation says we are on the verge of a global


health crisis. We are turning to the oceans to find


new drugs because we have very little left in the way of defences.


So in a relatively short period of time we're going to be back where we


were in the 1940s before antibiotics were used.


But it is not just antibiotics, starfish contain antiinflammatory


chemicals that scientists are using to develop new drugs for asthma and


arthritis, and unusual gene sequences in other marine creatures


could provide treatments from anything from pain relief to cancer.


Nature is a fantastic designer, it is constantly making new things. It


is also testing that it has been doing that for E.ONs, the sea is


where we came from. If something has happened it happened in the sea


first. The oceans cover more than two-thirds of the earth's surface,


yet just 5% has so far been explored, it is its untapped


potential is sparking a medical goldrush. Dr John Day is a


researcher of the Scottish Say social for Marine Sciences, they are


part of a consortium that has received ?6 million from the EU to


scour the depths. Historically this isn't place people have looked, so


they haven't exploited it. In addition there is a whole raft of


new technologies that are allowing one to screen more methodically,


more scientifically, and of course a political will. We are looking to


exploit other parts of the planet. How can we produce new industries,


new technologies. There is a lot of energy and resources going into this


new area, and that's partly because in coastal areas like this, there


are clearly defined laws about how scientists can exploit the riches of


the sea. But out there in deeper water it is a different story.


Within 200 miles of a country's coast each state decides what


exploration can take place. Beyond that boundary lies open


international waters. This area is governed by the UN's law of the sea.


Which regulates activities such as mineral extraction. But it doesn't


cover the hunt for new medicines, it is effectively unregulated.


This wild west of the seas is home to an extraordinary range of


creatures and plants. The worry is that without regulation these


fragile habitats could be damaged beyond repair. The lack of clear


jurisdiction may cause other problems too. It is particularly


important for companies to have legal clarity when they are working


in open waters, because they are making a huge investment and if they


don't have legal certainty then it means that they will potentionally


lose the right to produce that drug and that just is not acceptable to


them. And in my opinion that would potentially put a lot of companies


off investing in taking samples from the deep sea marine environment. For


now, at least, back on the shore, they are ploughing on. This Scottish


company is opening a plant to extract wound-healing chemicals from


seaweed on an industrial scale. However, it is early days. Drug


development can take 15 years and cost more than a billion pound to


bring a new product to market. This now would be a drop in the ocean. If


this new frontier in medical research lives up to its promise.


Just before the papers, a word about a special edition of Newsnight a


week on Monday, ahead of the European elections we want your


questions about the EU and the UK's relationship with it, we will use


all the wepts in the Newsnight -- weapons in the Newsnight Arsenal to


try to answer them, however naughty, everything you wanted to know about


Europe but were afraid to ask. A Newsnight special on Monday 19th of


May. Send your questions to the website. Tomorrow morning's front


pages, beginning with the That's all for tonight, I'm back for


tomorrow. As we go we remember the British planetry scientist, Colin


Pillinger, died aged 70. Best known for his 2003 attempt to land a


spacecraft on Mars, although it was failed, his enthusiasm for his


spacecraft on Mars, although it was has inspired space fans the world


over. I don't have a regret about anything


I have done, there is unfinished business on Mars.


We will have to take the rough with the smooth this weekend. Friday is


unsettled, rain and showers, the best of the sunshine further south


where bright and breezy


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