04/07/2017 Newsnight


A special report on migrants crossing the sea to Italy. Plus Grenfell, Korea, Gay Pride and the new Doctor Who (maybe).

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It's summer, and it is the season for the next wave of desperate


migrants to try and cross the Mediterranean to Europe.


In parts of Italy the strain is beginning to show.


We want to divide Europe from immigration and multiculturalism.


NGOs trying to save migrants from their precarious


boats are being accused of facilitating people smuggling.


And there's new friction between European countries.


if Europe couldn't handle migration effectively two years ago, or last


The government promised to rehouse all the Grenfell survivors.


But are residents accepting the option being offered to them?


The second one was near a very busy road and that was not sitting my


needs. Gay pride has come a long way from


THIS in the '70s to Pride in 2016. As this weekend's march approaches,


we ask a veteran of the LGBT movement what it took to get


from there to here. Hello, Europe, again, predictably,


finds itself enmeshed in arguments It is true that last year,


it did manage a deal with Turkey, that closed the eastern route,


from say Syria to Greece and beyond. But that still leaves tens


of thousands of people this year, taking the route up


from Libya into Italy. Those numbers cause


friction in Italy itself, Today Austria announced that it's


ready to deploy troops And there's a new focus


to the argument now: the role of NGOs rescuing migrants


from the mediterranean. They face accusations they're


encouraging people smuggling. Two thousand have died this year -


Looking at the numbers it seems For desperate people it can be


tempting to cross because the bulk survive. About 97%.


We have an extended report, now from Yalda Hakim


whose been in Sicily, which is on the frontline


A flimsy inflatable dinghy full of migrants is adrift in the open


sea, around 30 miles from the Libyan coast.


They have no fuel, no water, and no food.


They've been detected by a Spanish NGO.


Most of these migrants have never seen the ocean.


After hours at sea in the sweltering heat, they are


This boat has just arrived with 500 migrants who been


rescued trying to make the very dangerous journey from Libya to


So far this year, over 80,000 people from different


The vast majority are not refugees fleeing war.


Sympathy for the migrants is wearing thin.


What is the solution to Italy's migrant crisis?


This town is one of those providing a haven for recent arrivals who


These young men of 16 and 17 are from the


country which makes up the second-largest number


of migrants to come to Italy this year.


The boys told me they never intended to come to Europe, that they had


asked people smugglers to take them to Libya.


But when they got there they became victims.


Bought and sold from one


boys finally got onto the boat for Italy.


Not everyone is welcoming to migrants coming to Europe.


This is a promo video from a group calling


themselves the Identitarian Movement.


With headquarters in Austria and France, they are a small


but growing group and their aim is to campaign against immigration.


This summer, the movement tried to stop an NSF rescue ship


The stunt ultimately failed but in a few weeks the


organisation raised over 70,000 euros and they've now chartered a


ship they say they will use to disrupt


trafficking and monitor the


Their Italy coordinator, Lorenzo Fiato, has flown down


We want to defend Europe from mass immigration


We think in every city where multiculturalism is present,


there is also radical Islam and violence regarding illegal immigrant


So you want European culture to just be white?


It is not just a matter of white, it is of


This is a different kind of migration, these


are thousands of illegal migrants coming to our shores, flooding into


Lorenzo's first goal is to combat those he sees as


You say you don't want the NGOs operating in those waters, you


They say if they do stop more lives will be lost.


I think this is false because these people


are coming to Europe, they


You cannot solve this problem by helping


human traffickers doing their job because they want to transport


illegal migrants saw you are just helping them.


The next day, Lorenzo is meeting some new Identitarian


Viviana and Claudia are university students from the


All these restaurants, they are owned by


Yes, most of them, especially these, they are


easy to do and the food is not so healthy.


There are a lot of them and they continue to appear.


They are literally replacing the people


We are always less and they are always


I wanted to find out why they had joined the


So what do Sicilians think of Lorenzo and his friends, their


Lorenzo sees the chance for a bit of PR and tells


There's been another rescue, this time by


An inflatable carrying 125 people has been located off Libya.


It is beginning to deflate, it is taking on water.


One is the mother of a 15-month-old baby.


The ship comes into the port of Sicily, where a


local prosecutor is investigating whether some NGO ships are


The NGO missions are coordinated by the Italian coastguard but the


country's legal system has launched two investigations into whether they


are saving lives or assisting illegal immigrant on their journey.


Do you feel that by rescuing these boats,


the NGOs are encouraging the


There are critics who have accused NGOs of


The NGOs argue that if they were not operating in the area, more lives


Back on the quay, the Save the Children ship is preparing


Since last September, the Vos Hestia has rescued more than


4000 migrants at sea, including over 500 children.


I asked the captain what he thought of claims NGOs were


acting as a taxi service to migrants and people smugglers.


I can see why people say that but the evidence is


You only have to see the craft that they put


them in to see how utterly ruthless and cynical they are.


They are pushing these people out, come what


may, and if we are not there, they will drown.


The solution is a political solution.


It is not within the remit of a humanitarian organisation to


solve this, ultimately, but in the meantime


this tragedy will go on


unfolding and we will continue to pick up the pieces and get the blame


for something only other people can solve.


It is estimated that this year, a quarter of a million migrants will


make the perilous journey from Libya to Italy.


Several thousand will drown on the way.


While this crisis continues, so, too, will criticism


of the humanitarian efforts, and the message of intolerance.


And you can see Our World: Sicily Overwhelmed on the BBC


News Channel this Sunday at 9:30pm, and also on iPlayer.


Immigration, of course, is an issue that has led to a rise


in support for nationalist parties right across the European Union.


One of them is the German Alternative Fur Deutschland.


Their deputy leader is Beatrix Von Storch.


She is also an MEP on the European Parliament's Justice ANd


I spoke to her in Strasbourg just before we came on air.


I asked if she would also want to stop charities sending out


The NGOs are doing what the illegal migrant companies are doing.


They are helping them out, they are shipping them over


and so they are responsible for even more to come in.


I think this has to be addressed clearly.


We have to stop them from doing this.


But I suspect if you did that, more migrants would drown


Is that a price that you're willing to pay?


No, I think the contrary will be right.


If the migrants know that they will not succeed in coming


over to the Mediterranean, they will not go


They go on the ships and they try to cross the sea


because they know they will be picked up easily after one kilometre


So if they know there is no way through, they will not go


on the boats and there will be less people dying.


So this is what I, what we say, stopping taking them in saves lives.


But I mean, many of the people with experience there say it's not


that they are being pulled out by the availability of rescue boats,


it's that they are being pushed out by really very unpleasant people


smugglers and they would still be coming anyway.


Now, are you sure that you're not basically just saying, "Let people


Because what we see is everywhere where the borders are closed,


When we stopped the Balkan borders, they stopped from coming


because they knew there's no way through any more.


And that's the same thing with the Mediterranean.


If they know there is no way through, they will stop coming over


and trying to reach the goal what they are going for.


And there will be one group of migrants, there will be,


for at least a month, maybe two months, migrants


coming and drowning, before the word gets back to those


in Libya or elsewhere, that you can't come any more


What the rescue boats should do, they should pick them up and bring


We don't want to have, to see people drowning


But they, to rescue them, you don't have to take them over,


basically from the Libyan border, through the whole of


the Mediterranean and then to the Italian border.


What has to be done is they have to be brought back to the Libyan


border and then they know they will not succeed and they will


Of course, we don't want to see the people drown.


OK, now, this is very interesting because one of the problems is,


to some extent, you can do that with Turkey.


If they come out of Turkey, you can send them back to Turkey.


The worry is is that Libya is a failed state.


You can't just send people back to Libya where maybe


Are you happy to send them back to what is a non-country,


a non-functioning country at the moment?


They are travelling to that country and they are waiting there for weeks


or months and then one day, they step on the boat


Saying they can stay there for months before they leave


and then we can't send them back because it's basically


a non-country, as you just said, you realise that there is something


Even if we were taking something like maybe 5 million


or 10 million every year, it wouldn't solve the problem


of billions down in Africa who are still willing to come.


So we have to address properly the problem and then we have


to realise that our resources are limited and then let's do


the best with our resources possible, what we can do and let


But it's not, it's not very helpful to bring some over and then


realising that we can't help them all in here.


So we want to help, yes, but we want to help close


Beatrix Von Storch, thank you so much for talking to us.


Thank you. Sure.


That is the view of the AFD in Germany.


Pasquale Dellacciano is the Italian ambassador to the UK.


Some people have said the rescue ships are like a taxi service for


illegal immigrant is to come to Italy. Is that your view? In certain


occasions, they may be. If they get too close to the Libyan sure, if


they operate within the Libyan territorial water, they can create a


poll factor. And this can be dangerous in the first place for


migrant because they tend to use traffickers, tend to use very


precarious vessels because they know that after a few miles, they will be


safe but we don't want to stop NGOs operating and helping us to rescue


more migrants. Why don't you want to stop them if you believe they may be


pulling people out? Do you want to stop them very close to Libya but


not in the Mediterranean? We want to adopt a code of conduct for them.


They should not operate within the Libyan territorial waters. We want


to know the source of their financing, who is financing them. We


want to know the cruise, which are the crews of those ships. How far is


the territorial water because you can imagine... 12 nautical miles.


People might easily drown in the 12 miles, hundreds, presumably. No,


because of course, if there is an alarm and our Coast Guard is the one


who is coordinating all the rescue efforts, you would send a vessel


within the territorial waters. What you shouldn't do is wait and, you


know, stationed within the territorial waters and just wait for


summer to arrive. OK, what about the points made by the AFD spokesperson


there, that you can rescue them and then take them back to the beach in


Libya? Problem solved. No, it is not solved because as you said, Libya is


a failed state. You can do this with Turkey but not with Libya. Explained


to the viewers why you can't do that with a failed state because she


makes the point, they have chosen to go to the failed state and so, you


can take you can go to the failed state but that is not something we


are going to take responsibility for? What would actually happen if


we took people back to Libya? Of course, you cannot guarantee that


their human rights will be respected so in order to guarantee this and


allow migrants to go back to Libya, you need to set up camps managed by


the relevant UN agencies. And this is one thing that we are asking the


European Union to do. We are asking the European Union to increase the


funding for the EU Africa fund so that we can help Libya and United


Nations to set up camps where migrants can be sent and be safe and


be sure... That their human rights will be respected. Got you. The EU


has not been great. What do you think of countries like Austria


putting troops on the border to stop migrants getting in? Unfortunately,


particularly in electoral times, people tend to play to the gallery.


So this is obviously done for internal, domestic reasons. But how


would you summarise the EU reaction because it does feel, as an external


observer, we don't have a border with Italy, that everyone is very


happy to say that this is Italy's problem rather than ours? Well it is


quite extraordinary that we have an international operation to save


lives and there is not one single migrant which is disembarked in a


port which is not Italian. I mean, we have received... So a Spanish


ship from an NGO could pick them up or take them to Spain... Or France,


or malt, or new share. The rule is you have to take them to a safe port


but how is it possible that the safe port is always necessarily Italian?


It is nearest, the Italian money is always the nearest. Not necessarily,


it could be to knew the water. There could be a way of sharing. -- it


could be Tunisia or Malta. Last question, do you worry about the


pressure on Italian civic Society of such large numbers of people coming


in who are really rootless in Italy... Of course. You saw what has


happened to the character of people, getting angry... Of course, we can't


cope any more. It is not a problem, of course, we will not say Italy


closes its ports, this is not what we're going to be but the ports will


be overwhelmed very quickly. We received nearly 600,000 people over


three years. It is the population of Manchester, all to Italy. And they


tend to stay there. You know, there is a relocation scheme. Out of


160,000 that had to move to some other European country, only 6600


have left so far. A salutary thought. Thank you for joining us.


The Grenfell Tower fire struck an hour short


But it's a significant milestone because the Prime Minister did


promise on this programme that those who lost their homes would be


Here's the latest from the Grenfell Fire Response Team,


which has assessed the housing needs of 158 families, most of them


from the tower and some from Grenfell Walk nearby.


139 families have received offers for what the Response Team say


is "good quality" accommodation for at least a year.


But only nine of them have actually agreed to be rehoused


Some families do not wish to be contacted by the council,


which leaves 120 families in emergency accommodation,


seeking a more suitable offer of a place to call home.


Are the authorities letting the residents down


That is what the Labour group on Kensington and Chelsea Council has


said the night. They claim it is all to do with saving Theresa May's face


at Prime Minister's Questions tomorrow.


Newsnight's Rabiya Limbada went to meet one resident


who is still waiting for suitable accommodation.


This is the water coming through the vent in my room, you see?


It's a lot of water, pouring down through the window.


Basically, they were spraying a lot of water and from the living


room and from my room, I could see the flames


and I hoped, you know, I prayed that the flames would not


come inside because otherwise it would start the fire in the flat...


Antonio Roncollato had lived in Grenfell Tower since 1990.


He lived with his 26-year-old son on the tenth floor.


He was rescued from his smoke-filled flat by firefighters


He has been living in hotel rooms in west London


The council has offered me two provisional


One in Westminster and I declined because, erm,


I want to be near my work and near where my relatives


And the second one was a basement flat in Earl's Court,


near a very busy road and that was also not


Acceptable would be a two-bedroom flat, second, third floor,


fifth floor, obviously with a lift if, you know, that is the case.


You know, in the area where, possibly near where I work


Also for the fact that my son has gone through some trauma


because of what happened and he is looking for some


counselling as well and is receiving some.


And his mum and his auntie, you know, they want him to be


Just going back to the council, have they been in contact


with you regularly or are you having to chase them to understand


where your application is for new housing?


No, the only times they have been contacting me is to offer me those


The first time, about two weeks ago, in Westminster and the second time,


You will be aware, then, that again, there is,


there has been a lot of criticism about the way in which the council


have handled it, the way the government have handled


How would you assess how it has been handled?


Well, you see, this is unprecedented.


This is one of those things that does not happen,


It is something very, very big that has happened.


Maybe, you know, it is a little bit out of the hands of some people


in the local government, in the local authorities.


And obviously, from the top, you receive the order, "OK,


we've got to do this and we have to do that and we have


It's very difficult and, you know, it's very difficult, and,


What we ask is to be treated with respect, with sincerity,


with honesty and treat us like human beings.


There's been a lot of criticism of the council


that they haven't been able to provide suitable accommodation.


Do you accept that finding appropriate accommodation in this


I do, but you see, we did not ask any promises


OK, don't promise anything to us, that within three weeks,


We want a nice place that eventually, we will be calling home.


And we understand that it's very difficult.


There are not so many flats available, not so many, you know,


But be sincere, be honest with us but give us something, you know,


nice, that will match exactly the sort of comfort


We did ask if a member of the Cabinet


or the Shadow Cabinet was available this


The North Koreans say they have, for the first time,


successfully launched an intercontinental


They reportedly sent it up to a height of 2,800 kilometres,


which is seven times higher than the International


It flew for 39 minutes before it came down into the sea of Japan.


Interesting choice of day to do it - July 4th, US Independence Day.


Experts say this missile could in principle reach Alaska.


The US has called for a UN Security Council meeting tomorrow.


Earlier, I spoke to Dr Sue Mi Terry of Columbia University.


She is a Korea-watcher and until recently an intelligence


officer with both the CIA and the US National Security Council.


I spoke to her in the South Korean capital, Seoul.


I asked her where this leaves North Korea's nuclear capability.


Well, they are very close to perfecting their nuclear


programme, and what their final goal is, to be able to have


a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile that could hit


Right now, if this missile can reach Alaska, we are very close


to the North having that capability to reach mainland United States.


For the US, it always seemed like the goal was,


you've got to destroy any weapon system in North Korea


Clearly, it's too late now, isn't it?


Clearly, we've been working for three...


US administrations have been working towards this goal of ending


North Korea's nuclear programme and clearly it's too late.


I met North Koreans earlier this month and they've said we are never


giving up nuclear weapons, we are so close to perfecting


the nuclear weapons programme, we are very close to it,


And you don't think there's any solution from talking


to the North Koreans, discussing with them, diplomacy?


There is no political way of persuading them out of that goal?


Earlier this month, I tried to see if there was any


room for negotiations, but the North Koreans were adamant


that if you're talking about de-nuclearisation


or their nuclear programme, that subject is off the table.


They are very close to concluding their programme and achieving


this final deterrent against the United States


Nuclear weapons are no longer negotiable.


What can the US, the world do in light of this clear threat?


The Trump administration is now finding out, Mr Trump is finding


out why this is such a difficult problem.


There are not a whole lot of options despite what he says,


Really, we are now looking at more sanctions, enhancing,


broadening sanctions, and trying to pursue secondary


sanctions against Chinese banks and entities that do


lots of business with North Korea to see if China can do more


And moving into deterrents, there are not a whole lot


Do you imagine North Korea might ever use its weapons,


They are not going to just pre-emptively use it.


They know it would mean the end of the regime and the end


But if they thought we are entering regime change mode, or if military


conflict was on the way, I can absolutely see them using it.


In fact, the North Koreans have told me they will use it.


They did not spend years of hardship pursuing this nuclear weapons


programme just to perish without using them.


and talking to but not an altogether happy message.


It is Pride in London this weekend, the main celebration of all things


Rainbow flags festoon shops and offices in the city,


particularly those on the route of the parade that'll be


It is fair to say that in the course of a lifetime, social


attitudes towards homosexuality have changed very dramatically.


After all, 50 years ago on this very day,


parliament was busy debating whether it should be decriminalised.


Well, that lifetime of change has been documented in a new memoir


from a man who's been at the centre of the battle for gay acceptance


for decades over in the US, that has obviously inspired much


From the '60s, San Francisco was beginning to lead the world


By the '70s, it was the unrivalled global gay capital.


I think what we should do, what happens is what


In 1977, Harvey Milk became the city's first openly


But even there, progress was deeply painful.


Both Mayor Mosconi and supervisor Harvey milk have


The killing of America's most prominent gay politician


and the lenient sentencing of his killer caused shock,


triggered riots and it helped inspire one of Milk's proteges,


Cleve Jones, into a life of political activism.


I think, you know, this idea that, erm, gays are going to take over


I, I think it's amusing when I hear that because they say when,


when gay people walk down the street holding hands, instead


of taking that as a simple display of affection,


it is this horrendous thing we are flaunting.


In the '80s, as AIDS took so many gay lives,


it was Jones that conceived of the AIDS Memorial Quilt,


the world's largest piece of community folk art,


To remember the dead, we have sewn panels onto this ever-growing quilt.


A television miniseries partly based on Jones' memoir, When We Rise,


was released in the US earlier this year.


What happened in the US had its effect here.


The Pride march in London in 1979 was then the largest assembly of gay


But four decades on, it's blossomed into something


These days, corporate and official Britain is literally keen


I spoke to Cleve Jones and asked him if, as a teenager,


he could ever have imagined things changing so much.


No, not at all and I don't think any of us did.


In fact, I would say that many of the things we've


accomplished weren't even on our wish list.


Marriage equality certainly was something I did not


What's the lesson on how to campaign?


You worked with one of the best, Harvey Milk, who was later


assassinated, of course, as a supervisor on the San Francisco City


But you saw how you got change through campaigning.


One of the things that Harvey kept saying


over and over was that everyone had to come out.


He was mistrustful of media campaigns.


He was a believer in retail politics, going


And even today, I work primarily within


the labour movement in the United States


today and even today, I see


the power of storytelling, as we bring together workers


of different ethnicities and genders and


backgrounds to fight the good fight for the, you know,


workers are always there on the marches,


The left, of course, captured and supported the cause


Has that made you innately left-wing?


Is the LGBT cause innately a left-wing one, do you


No, I wouldn't say that but I would say that I have always


believed in the larger struggle and I have


always been grateful that the


We had to fight a long time to be included.


We had to fight the Democratic party a long time to be included in the


platform, so all of these are advances.


celebrate every time a Republican comes around.


I would say that neither the Liberals nor the


Conservatives own this issue or my community.


The book, the memoir of your life, you've kept everything


You've had a lot of love in your life.


People reading it will learn about the train journeys


where you meet somebody or walking through the cemetery and you meet


What do you think the straights will think when they read


just about how many, and how easily you have found it to have


Well, I've been delighted by the response from


I was a little afraid that the only people who would read


it were old, white, gay men who went through it with me.


And I think today, people are desperate for


strategies and answers and encouragement and hope for their


Some of them are finding it in my book and that is just a


Do you think the position the LGBT community has


arrived at in terms of acceptance in most


Western countries now, do you


I mean in the United States, President Trump,


Honestly, I would have to say that yes, everything LGBT people have won


But I would say that that's not even my greatest concern.


I think that our president has turned so many things upside down,


As a member of the LGBT community I'm concerned


but if I was living in Poland or Latvia or Lithuania, I think I


We are in uncharted waters and really,


quite frankly, I think anything could happen and I find it


I hope to continue to change the hearts and minds of ordinary


people so that they can, you know, accept and love their children.


We still have an appallingly high suicide rate among gay and


It makes me very sad because I used to be one of


those children and was considering suicide.


Do you ever see a day when we won't...


When it will be boring to read about a gay struggle?


Well, that's why I left all the sex in!


Cleve Jones, thank you very much indeed.


Before we go, if you watched Doctor Who on Saturday,


there were some pretty heavy meta hints that the next


Well, you know how I'm usually all about women and...


Well, bookies' favourite Phoebe Waller-Bridge of Fleabag fame


has denied she's going to be the first female Doctor.


But then, Joanna Lumley has already done the role, so that


And in a recent interview for Gold Derby on Youtube,


Phoebe may already have given the game away.


Not allowed to say anything about that one way or the other.


Warmer weather spreads over the UK. Parts of southern England getting


close to 30. A lot of


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