08/02/2018 Newsnight


08/02/2018

Analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Kirsty Wark. Reuters story on Myanmar killing that they say got reporters jailed; council funding; British jihadis captured.


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Transcript


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Tonight...

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Images of a massacre.

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Reuters publish the investigation

that they say led to their reporters

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being jailed in Myanmar.

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They claim for the first

time to have evidence

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from within the Burmese security

forces themselves of attacks

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on the Rohingya carried out by them.

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The Editor-in-Chief of Reuters

is here to tell us why they have

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published even while their reporters

remain in a Burmese prison.

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It's here, it's there,

it's everywhere.

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MPs are in Washington tackling

the tech giants over fake news.

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One of the few people Donald Trump

follows on Twitter is here to bite

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back against the mainstream media.

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And the power of the humble T-shirt

- remember this unique one?

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The designer, campaigner and queen

of the political tee,

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Katherine Hamnett, talks

about the day she made

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it and wore it.

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Good evening.

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The Rohingya crisis has led at least

half a million Rohingya Muslims

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to flee mainly Buddhist Myanmar

in the past six months,

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escaping from a brutal military

crackdown and the torching

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of whole villages.

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It has sullied the international

reputation of Aung San Suu Kyi

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and has also posed grave risks

for some of those covering it.

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In December of last year two

journalists for the Reuters news

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agency were arrested in Myanmar -

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oe.

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They are still in jail,

awaiting trial for allegedly

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obtaining confidential documents.

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It was known that the two

journalists were covering

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the aftermath of some of the brutal

violence against the Rohingya.

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But since their arrest rumours have

circulated around what those

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journalists were investigating.

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Tonight, Reuters have published

what they believe is the real

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reason for their arrest,

revealing the story that those

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journalists were working on -

a detailed investigation into a mass

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execution in a village

in Eastern Myanmar.

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And we've seen their report.

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Our reporter, James Clayton,

is across the story

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and is with me now.

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What has happened tonight? Watchers

have tonight decided to publish a

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story that it claims is on the

international public interest and

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why they have published is they have

been working on the story for weeks

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and they have been in touch with

those journalists in Myanmar in a

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prison there and they say they have

their consent to publish their

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story. What were they investigating?

Reuters say the investigation is the

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first to obtain evidence from some

of the perpetrators of this horrific

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violence so they spoke to police

officers in Myanmar and Facebook to

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members of a paramilitary group and

this spoke to local villagers in Inn

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Din and what they managed to amass

was testimony of really quite nasty

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crimes and they implicate the

military, they found pictures were

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given pictures of an execution

before and after and they spoke to a

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local Buddhist man who confessed to

the murder in cold blood of the

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Rohingya Muslim.

Watchers say they

have the consent of the journalists

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but they know the real reason they

might have been arrested was the

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story they were working on.

What

might the consequences be? We do not

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know, it has literally just dropped.

Clearly, Reuters are taking a

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calculated risk by publishing

tonight. On the one hand I am sure

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watchers will say, this is the real

reason why our journalists were

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arrested and on the other hand, the

Myanmar government might say,

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actually, we don't like the story,

it might anger them. And both

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journalists are being held by the

authorities in Myanmar. We will

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speak to the editor in chief of

Reuters but first of all, we have

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put together some of the claims that

Reuters are making and a word of

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warning, some of these images are

quite distressing...

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On the 12th of December last year,

two Myanmar journalists working

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for the Reuters news agency,

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo,

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travelled to a restaurant

in northern Yangon to meet

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two police officers.

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They never came home.

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They were arrested and later charged

under the Official Secrets Act

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for allegedly obtaining confidential

documents.

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They are being held

in a jail in Yangon.

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Tonight, Reuters have

published what they believe

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was the real reason

for their journalists' arrests.

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An investigation that focused

on the village of Inn Din.

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The violence that took place

here in late August and early

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September last year was echoed

across parts of northern

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Rakhine State.

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These before and after satellite

images show the extent

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to which the Rohingya part

of the village was

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burnt to the ground.

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Only the Buddhist area

to the top left was spared.

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But what Reuters claimed to have

found was even darker.

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Their journalists had been told

by a number of sources that ten men

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had been picked up from a crowd

of Rohingya Muslims -

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including fishermen,

shopkeepers and students

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- and executed.

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Reuters claim that after

a day of interrogation,

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they were led into a wood.

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Reuters say these images -

that the agency has

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published tonight -

were given to their journalists

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by a local Buddhist.

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We have decided to blur parts

of this graphic image.

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It shows the ten men

in a shallow mass grave.

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You can identify many of the men

by the clothes they are wearing.

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Reuters journalists were told

by the man who dug the pet that

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eight of the men were shot

by soldiers and two were hacked

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to death by the villagers.

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Back in Myanmar's capital,

Naypyidaw, at the same time

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as the journalists' arrests,

Myanmar authorities were themselves

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looking into the execution.

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On the 10th of January

the military announced

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on its Facebook page that they had

undertaken their own investigation

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and that soldiers and local

Buddhists had indeed taken part

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in the killings.

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But the military were forced to kill

the "Bengali terrorists", they said,

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because police stations

were being attacked by Rohingya

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militants and it was unsafe

for them to transport them.

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A decision was made to kill them,

says the military statement.

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But Reuters say that Buddhist

villagers their journalists

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interviewed reported no attack

by a large number of insurgents

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on security forces in Inn Din

or that the ten men had any

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connection with terrorism.

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The news agency claims

their journalists also gathered

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unique evidence of military

involvement in attacks

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on Rohingya Muslims.

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Speaking to not only local villagers

in Inn Din but police officers

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and members of the paramilitary.

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One man who spoke to the two

journalists described finding four

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Rohingya Muslims hiding

in a haystack.

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One of the men had a mobile phone.

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The soldiers told him to do

whatever you want to them.

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"And so I started hacking him

with a sword", he said.

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"A soldier shot him

when he fell down".

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Reuters has cross-referenced

testimony from Buddhists

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on the ground with Rohingya refugees

over the border in Bangladesh.

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Newsnight is unable to verify

the claims made by the agency.

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But Reuters claim that their account

marks the first time soldiers

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and paramilitary police have been

implicated by testimony

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from security personnel themselves.

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It is clear incarceration

is taking its toll on Wa Lone

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and Kyaw Soe Oo and their families.

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Reuters believe that the evidence

the journalists obtained is the real

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reason for their arrest.

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But the Myanmar authorities

are continuing to pursue charges

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against the two journalists.

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Will telling this story help

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo?

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We will find out in court.

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A Myanmar government

spokesman told Reuters...

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They added...

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Joining me now from

New York is Stephen Adler,

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editor-in-chief of Reuters.

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Good evening. You heard James

Clayton saying that, in fact, this

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is taking its toll on both men and I

want where you decided to publish

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tonight?

We believe this is a story

of vast global importance and we

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have a responsibility to publish,

that is what we do as journalists,

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we report stories fairly and

honestly and we publish them and we

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thought it was important enough and

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo agreed and

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you will see that their names are on

the story. Anybody can see the

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story. They fully support us

publishing.

A very brave thing for

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them and for their families to do

so. I am sure you do not do this

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lightly, what is the next step for

them?

We certainly do not do this

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lightly, but we did not take the

legal considerations into hand in

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deciding to publish. We are

concerned about security but we

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believe that when the story is known

by people that it will be helpful to

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them because it really gives a very

careful, well sourced account of

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what happened and those facts

support the idea that they were

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reporting, not violating any law.

You think you have come upon the

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real reason for the arrests, that

they had this material, and the

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authorities could go either way, as

with that statement, if these

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investigations are true, they would

move along the lines of the law that

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exists. What do you take to mean by

that?

Again, I think the point

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really is that we have to go forward

and report the story and we have to

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tell the world about it. I think it

provides a tremendously valuable

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service, our journalists agree with

that and we think that as the facts

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come out, it will be favourable to

our journalists and what we're doing

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but you must consider there are

tremendous risks doing journalism

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anywhere in the world. Reuters

journalists take that risk every

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time, like BBC journalists and

journalists everywhere. That is part

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of the job and we are hopeful and we

hope the government will release

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them shortly. I will also say that

it is very important for the world

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community to care about this and

governments all over the world will

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take an interest, representatives

from many countries attended the

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last hearing and there is another

next week and we are hopeful that

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the support we are getting and this

information coming out will be

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helpful.

What were the

considerations? You talked to the

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journalists but what were the other

considerations about how this story

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might progress?

We are going to go

forward and continue reporting on

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Myanmar, we won the Pulitzer Prize

in 2014 for reporting on human

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trafficking of Rohingya Muslims and

it is important to continue so while

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we have no certainty as to how

things will proceed, we think it is

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our responsibility to give

reporting.

For the first time, who

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not only have members of the

security forces but Buddhist, a

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villager, confessing to this

involvement?

If this is about the

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sourcing of the story...

The

significance of the information that

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has been found from the side of the

Buddhists?

I understand. What is

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important about this story is that

we heard from Buddhist villagers and

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Rohingya Muslims and members of the

military and police and what is so

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compelling about this story is the

information that comes together for

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these different places so you are

not seeing one or the other side

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presenting information but this

story is being woven together with

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people and monitoring what happened

and I think it is very important

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because I think this has often been

seen as merely a conflict between

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two sides but there are facts here

and we have established those facts

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by talking to many people on the

ground using traditional reporting

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methods, just interviewing people.

Thank you so much for joining us.

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I'm joined now by the Labour

MP Rosena Allin-Khan,

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who has visited Rohingya refugee

camps in Bangladesh.

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What is your response?

This evidence

we have seen mirrors the testimonies

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I have heard and the injuries I

experienced when I went to work in

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the camps as a doctor. It is deeply

upsetting, you have seen the images.

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This is not going to be the first

such a card that we see, more and

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more evidence that this is going to

unfold and currently we have been

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bystanders to a genocide.

These

reporters, in jail, they want the

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story out there?

Let us be clear,

this evidence marks a turning point

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because for the first time since

they started to unfold in August, we

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have heard from the perpetrators

themselves.

We cannot deny this

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evidence. What does this tell us

about what might move and change and

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also what the Burmese government

said?

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The deep disappointment thus far is

that it has been termed ethnic

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cleansing which is not a crime

according to humanitarian law but

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nothing short of a referral to the

International Criminal Court will

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bloom.

Actually from the

announcement -- will do. They do not

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deny that this might have happened

and surely that is a move forward?

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To be honest, I place very little

trust in what their government says.

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They conducted internal

investigations last year that

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yielded results that showed that

they were not guilty of any crimes.

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If they are happy to have an honest

and transparent investigation, they

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need to allow external investigators

to come into the country.

Even the

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fact that for the first time they

acknowledged the atrocities that

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have taken place, that there are

problems, that in itself is surely

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you will press forward on?

Absolutely. You are correct, but I

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think the acknowledgement is

important but it has to be followed

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up and properly investigated and

they need to allow external

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international investigator to come

and look at this because it needs a

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referral to the International

Criminal Court. This will not be the

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only grave found. Even last weekend

we heard evidence of genocide. We

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have heard of mass graves where

people have been systematically

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dehumanised by the use of acid, the

very definition of genocide.

Over

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the last few months the

international reputation of Aung San

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Suu Kyi has altered immeasurably,

and if this is the case, this will

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change it again. What will happen do

you think?

I want Aung San Suu Kyi

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to use the position she has Tuchel

for the correct thing to happen,

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this has to be investigated

properly. She has called it a fake

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news, she had a bystander, our

government also has to apply more

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pressure. We have a seat at the

Security Council, where not doing

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enough, the international community

needs to stand together, stand up

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and say, look, we have seen this

evidence, the army had admitted it

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itself, what is Aung San Suu Kyi

going to do about it? Let's have a

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transparent process of investigating

this and make sure the perpetrators

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of these he describes are brought to

justice.

Thank you very much.

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US officials have said tonight that

two British men believed to be

0:17:110:17:14

members of the Islamic State group's

most infamous cell have been seized

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by Syrian Kurdish fighters.

0:17:170:17:18

Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee

Elsheikh were the last two members

0:17:180:17:21

of the four man cell nicknamed

'the Beatles' to remain at large.

0:17:210:17:24

The alleged ringleader of the group

was Mohammed Emwazi -

0:17:240:17:26

also known as Jihadi John.

0:17:260:17:27

I'm joined by the BBC's security

correspondent, Gordon Corera.

0:17:270:17:35

This news broke this evening,

British officials are not yet

0:17:350:17:39

confirmed it but an American

national security official I spoke

0:17:390:17:41

to said that these two men had been

captured. They were part of this

0:17:410:17:47

four man group, slightly

unpleasantly called the Beatles

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really pulls the people they were

holding hostage could not see them

0:17:500:17:54

because they wore masks but they

could hear the British accents of

0:17:540:17:57

the men and they were involved in

terrible mistreatment including the

0:17:570:18:01

killing of around two dozen hostages

including British aid workers Alan

0:18:010:18:07

Henning and David Heyes. The group

were sought by the intelligence

0:18:070:18:13

agencies and authorities, one,

Mohammed Emwazi, was killed, another

0:18:130:18:19

is in jail in Turkey and now these

two captured by Kurdish forces who

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had their suspicions about the men

and approached US special operations

0:18:230:18:28

command who had access to them and

appear to have used biometrics to

0:18:280:18:32

confirm their identity and that

happened in mid-January.

And taking

0:18:320:18:37

them alive was important but what

happens next and what does it tell

0:18:370:18:40

us about foreign fighters?

What

happens next is interesting. There

0:18:400:18:44

will be people in the US who will be

preparing a case to put them on

0:18:440:18:48

trial, they had been involved in the

killing of American hostages Steven

0:18:480:18:54

Sotloff and James Foley amongst

others, and it is possible the Trump

0:18:540:18:58

Administration might want to put

them in Guantanamo Bay. That is less

0:18:580:19:02

likely but Donald Trump has talked

about it recently. It might not be

0:19:020:19:06

such an issue for the UK Government

because it is thought possible that

0:19:060:19:10

there are citizenship may have been

stripped of them, that has not been

0:19:100:19:14

confirmed but reported in the

American media.

A significant night.

0:19:140:19:17

Certainly.

Thank you very much.

0:19:170:19:22

Local councils all over England

are using words like "severe

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financial challenges"

and "a grave financial future."

0:19:240:19:26

Such is the squeeze

on local finances -

0:19:260:19:28

and most importantly

for the government, some

0:19:280:19:29

of the biggest calamity

is in staunchly Tory territory.

0:19:290:19:32

Services at risk are everything

from social care to education

0:19:320:19:35

to refuse collection.

0:19:350:19:38

Research carried out by the Local

Government Information Unit

0:19:380:19:40

and the Municipal Journal found that

80% of councils fear

0:19:400:19:42

for their balance sheets.

0:19:420:19:45

Council tax will rise

in 95% of authorities.

0:19:450:19:48

The research comes as

Conservative-run Northamptonshire

0:19:480:19:52

County Council imposed emergency

controls on its spending,

0:19:520:19:54

the first local authority in 20

years to resort to that measure,

0:19:540:19:58

and there are calls in councils

across the country for a fundamental

0:19:580:20:01

redesign of the financial system.

0:20:010:20:03

Our political editor, Nick Watt,

has been to another Tory

0:20:030:20:05

heartland facing the squeeze.

0:20:050:20:11

In one of the bleakest corners of

England's pleasant pastures, the

0:20:160:20:20

troubles of austerity should be a

world away -- LI theist. But true

0:20:200:20:26

blue Surrey has run up the deficit

to rival the Schauble in the

0:20:260:20:29

nation's books clocked up at the end

of the new Labour era. I am on the

0:20:290:20:36

Wentworth estate, the millionaires

Row of Surrey. This area was once

0:20:360:20:39

home to Sir Elton John and for a

period to the late General Augusto

0:20:390:20:45

Pinochet and it lies in the heart of

Chancellor Philip Hammond pros

0:20:450:20:50

Runnymede and Weybridge constituency

which is one of the most affluent in

0:20:500:20:53

Britain. And yet the challenges

faced across the country of an

0:20:530:20:58

ageing population and spending cuts

are leaving this area with some

0:20:580:21:03

serious fiscal challenges. Surrey

County Council is warning of the

0:21:030:21:06

most difficult financial crisis in

its history. As document showed it

0:21:060:21:10

is running a £105 million deficit.

That represent a funding gap of

0:21:100:21:18

12.4%, nearly double the English

average. The council, which spent

0:21:180:21:22

71p in every pound on adult and

children's social care, is digging

0:21:220:21:27

deep into its reserves to keep

going.

I'm not going to pretend

0:21:270:21:31

Surrey is a poor county because

accords its not but since 2010 when

0:21:310:21:35

David Cameron became Prime Minister

Surrey has lost over £500 million of

0:21:350:21:40

funding and it has meant that most

of the police station in Surrey have

0:21:400:21:44

been closed, apart from four or and

thou they are starting to close fire

0:21:440:21:48

stations. -- now they are starting

to close fire stations.

One minister

0:21:480:21:56

complained that Surrey two specific

financial challenges. In the first

0:21:560:21:59

place it spent a lot of money on

public services which this minister

0:21:590:22:02

supports but secondly it's relative

wealth means that Surrey has faced

0:22:020:22:09

what he described as stingy

financial settlement from Whitehall

0:22:090:22:13

under a funding formula that target

resources at less affluent areas.

I

0:22:130:22:18

worked for the CAA be see all the

problems that come on with lack of

0:22:180:22:23

social care. I don't blame councils

-- the CAB. They are being starved

0:22:230:22:30

for cash by the government.

We have

had experience with our mothers in

0:22:300:22:34

social care come in the Midlands and

down here, and I must admit the

0:22:340:22:38

social care was better in the

Midlands. Surrey might appear to be

0:22:380:22:42

a very affluent county but it does

not mean to say that it has

0:22:420:22:45

wonderful hospitals.

0:22:450:22:51

wonderful hospitals.

Surrey have

been seeking additional government

0:22:510:22:53

money for quite some time and

obviously that is a process of

0:22:530:22:58

negotiation between Surrey and the

government but clearly I have some

0:22:580:23:01

sympathy for them because of their

ageing demographics. But there is a

0:23:010:23:07

large number of other services that

Surrey County Council provide that

0:23:070:23:11

have to be looked at very carefully

to make sure they are structured in

0:23:110:23:14

the best way to get the best value

for money.

Surrey County Council

0:23:140:23:18

said in a statement... We have

agreed a three-year budget despite

0:23:180:23:23

the severe financial pressure we and

councils across the country are

0:23:230:23:27

under due to rising demand for our

services and fall in government

0:23:270:23:31

funding. We're been successfully

managing the growing need for adult

0:23:310:23:34

social care, children and other key

services, partly through making

0:23:340:23:39

savings of £540 million since 2010

and have made sure we keep within

0:23:390:23:42

our overall budget. In a tranquil

riverside setting where English

0:23:420:23:49

liberties were proclaimed just over

800 years ago, Surrey invites

0:23:490:23:53

visitors to celebrate its history.

Little did the county note that

0:23:530:23:58

today's politics would encroach on

this rural idle.

0:23:580:24:03

In Washington today MPs

from the Digital Culture,

0:24:030:24:05

Media and Sport Committee

were grilling Facebook,

0:24:050:24:07

Google and Twitter on -

among other things -

0:24:070:24:09

their response to fake

news on their platforms.

0:24:090:24:12

Here is the committee chair,

Damian Collins, grilling Twitter.

0:24:120:24:17

What were talking about is lies,

someone who is deciding to spread

0:24:170:24:20

lies about somebody else.

0:24:200:24:21

They're not harassing them,

they're not intimidating them,

0:24:210:24:23

they're not inciting violence

against them, they're

0:24:230:24:24

just spreading lies.

0:24:240:24:25

And they're using the anonymity

of Twitter to do that.

0:24:250:24:28

There's basically nothing

you will do about it.

0:24:280:24:30

If I could, the anonymity

on our platform is not a shield

0:24:300:24:34

against breaking our

terms of service.

0:24:340:24:42

Telling lies on Twitter

isn't a breach of the

0:24:420:24:44

Telling lies on Twitter isn't

a breach of the community guidelines

0:24:440:24:47

and wouldn't require action to be

taken against the account.

0:24:470:24:50

That's what you're saying, isn't it?

0:24:500:24:51

If that's the only ground...

0:24:510:24:52

We do not have rules based on truth.

0:24:520:24:54

So is fake news such a big deal that

it's necessary for UK politicians

0:24:540:24:57

to head to Washington for,

or is the DCMS committee getting

0:24:570:25:00

a bit overexcited about a term

that has had its day?

0:25:000:25:03

With me in the studio

is the right-wing

0:25:030:25:05

campaigner and best-selling

0:25:050:25:06

author Ann Coulter -

one of the very few people

0:25:060:25:08

Donald Trump follows on Twitter,

and joining me from LA is the writer

0:25:080:25:11

Laurie Penny.

0:25:110:25:12

Good evening. Ann Coulter, does fake

news damage society?

Yes, that is

0:25:120:25:22

why Donald Trump keeps attacking it.

We live in democracies, people are

0:25:220:25:26

to be informed.

0:25:260:25:34

to be informed. And people at

allegedly serious networks are

0:25:340:25:36

putting out lies. This happened long

before Trump, Ferguson ripped the

0:25:360:25:40

country apart the alleged shooting

of an unarmed black man and went

0:25:400:25:44

Trump came along it has gone through

the roof.

If you are in a situation

0:25:440:25:48

in an election campaign and a

website which gets hits from nearly

0:25:480:25:53

800,000 people says that members of

Hillary Clinton's campaign were

0:25:530:25:57

involved in a Satanic cult, that

matters, doesn't it? Or does it not?

0:25:570:26:04

Should the tech giants be filtering

this stuff?

The internet is the only

0:26:040:26:09

place people can get the truth,

maybe not from the website you just

0:26:090:26:14

mentioned but 800,000 viewers,

Hillary Clinton spent $1 billion...

0:26:140:26:17

This idea that what is putting likes

of Facebook swung the election is so

0:26:170:26:24

insane, that is fake news -- bots.

You believe things like CNN, CNN,

0:26:240:26:32

ABC, they've put out fake news?

Intentionally, the claim that Donald

0:26:320:26:38

Trump admitted to groping a woman's,

you know, blank, is alive. They edit

0:26:380:26:43

the tape to lie about it. You can

win that is a summary judgment case

0:26:430:26:50

in court and the editor that part of

the quote out.

If it damaging to

0:26:500:26:57

have not only fake news but actually

the idea that it doesn't necessarily

0:26:570:27:01

matter?

0:27:010:27:06

matter?

Yup hit on something quite

important, the distinction between

0:27:060:27:10

censorship and what is going on out

is important. Fake news, what we

0:27:100:27:14

have come to call that, which is

actually lies, the point is not just

0:27:140:27:19

to spread lies, it is to make people

unsure of the distinction between

0:27:190:27:23

what is true and what is false. When

people have eroded trust in the news

0:27:230:27:29

media which is what Ann Coulter is

trying to do right now, erode trust

0:27:290:27:32

in honest journalistic networks,

when people cannot trust their

0:27:320:27:37

media, they often prefer to believe

convenient lies to hard truths. But

0:27:370:27:45

there are still people out there who

believe in the power of honest

0:27:450:27:49

journalism and the power, in real

democracy, which involves people

0:27:490:27:55

being really informed and there are

people out there who believe that

0:27:550:27:58

people in power should not just to

be allowed to dictate what is true

0:27:580:28:01

and what is false. Some of those

people are sitting around you in a

0:28:010:28:07

studio right now, they are working

in a BBC studio, and some people

0:28:070:28:12

watching at home, people who believe

there is a distinction between truth

0:28:120:28:15

and falsehood and that distinction

matters. I would encourage...

Ioane

0:28:150:28:20

situation where if you are saying

that the mainstream news networks

0:28:200:28:26

readily pile out fake news, are you

not just aiding the despot who say,

0:28:260:28:31

it's all about fake news from CNN,

even the BBC, so we won't believe

0:28:310:28:35

it? You are helping people by

undermining the probity of

0:28:350:28:39

mainstream media.

0:28:390:28:44

I am citing laws that have been put

on it, it doesn't mean you believe

0:28:450:28:50

everything. I agree with you guessed

that the issue is censorship, who is

0:28:500:28:53

deciding? I have just listed... 20

lies that have been and continue to

0:28:530:29:00

be put out by the media, they claim

that Donald Trump mocked a disabled

0:29:000:29:05

man, not only was alive but the

Washington post you that was a lie.

0:29:050:29:10

Video proving that was alive. And

you're only light is some website

0:29:100:29:17

said he is part of a Satanic

cults... How about, she defended...

0:29:170:29:22

It doesn't matter if a is told...

Of

course it does! The lies that are

0:29:220:29:31

told about Donald Trump...

In a

Satanic cult? Are you finished? May

0:29:310:29:37

I speak? The word salad that you

have heard is exactly what we're

0:29:370:29:45

talking about, what she wants to do

does not make a distinction between

0:29:450:29:49

what is true and not true, it is

just to confuse people and make it

0:29:490:29:54

easier for people in power with no

scruples to just decide what is true

0:29:540:29:59

and what is false and this culture

is a troll with no credibility and

0:29:590:30:05

so is the President but we should

not take this as the basis upon

0:30:050:30:09

which what we can decide is true or

not.

Once you start essentially

0:30:090:30:14

filtering or censoring, then who are

the deciders? There is no such thing

0:30:140:30:22

as absolute truth. There are nuances

of truth.

That is why we have

0:30:220:30:28

journalism. You have worked at the

BBC for a very long time, everybody

0:30:280:30:34

in the studio has worked for a long

time, journalism is still at think

0:30:340:30:38

that exists and matters and should

be a distinction.

We already have

0:30:380:30:45

the situation where you tweeted what

reported to be a Muslim man

0:30:450:30:54

attacking a young Dutchman and you

have 1.8 million and Donald Trump

0:30:540:31:01

retweeted that and you did not even

know where that came from. Without

0:31:010:31:06

checking it. And you're somebody in

the public eye.

You regret that? I

0:31:060:31:12

have seen no proof that it is untrue

and your question is correct, who is

0:31:120:31:16

deciding what is true? I keep citing

things that are provably false. It

0:31:160:31:24

wasn't true! Your guests say that

journalists will decide, our country

0:31:240:31:31

was ruled by the Ferguson shooting

for a year and that turned out to be

0:31:310:31:37

the biggest lie ever invented by the

media.

Thank you very much. That is

0:31:370:31:42

not true!

0:31:420:31:43

Two days after the Guardian

newspaper reported that two

0:31:430:31:46

Freemasons Lodges are operating

secretly at Westminster,

0:31:460:31:50

with their members' names protected

under the rules of freemasonary,

0:31:500:31:53

the United Grand Lodge of England

has fought back with full page

0:31:530:31:55

advert in newspapers including

today's Times headlined

0:31:550:31:57

'Enough is Enough'.

0:31:570:31:58

Signed by their Chief Executive,

Dr David Staples,

0:31:580:32:00

he writes that its 200,000

plus members are stigmatised

0:32:000:32:02

and discriminated against.

0:32:020:32:04

So, the letter states,

over the next six months

0:32:040:32:08

the Freemasons will by running

a series of open evenings

0:32:080:32:10

for people who want to know

who they are and what they do.

0:32:100:32:14

Our reporter David Grossman, though,

is getting ahead of the crowds.

0:32:140:32:19

If you're like me, you haven't spent

too much time thinking

0:32:190:32:22

about the Freemasons or what goes

on in a place like this.

0:32:220:32:25

This is Freemason's Hall in London.

0:32:250:32:28

But today, the Freemasons do want us

to think about them.

0:32:280:32:30

They have taken out a full-page

advert in the newspapers.

0:32:300:32:33

"Enough is enough", it says.

0:32:330:32:34

And in this letter, they say

the Freemasons are unfairly

0:32:340:32:36

stigmatised in the media

and by wider society.

0:32:360:32:40

We have been invited in to see

what goes on here by the chap

0:32:400:32:43

who wrote this letter -

Dr David Staples,

0:32:430:32:45

the Chief Executive.

0:32:450:32:52

David, hello.

0:32:520:32:53

Nice to meet you.

0:32:530:32:54

David Grossman.

0:32:540:32:55

We have come about your advert.

0:32:550:33:00

We were told we could go anywhere,

see anything and talk to anyone.

0:33:000:33:04

Could we see a lodge

meeting, we asked?

0:33:040:33:07

No problem, they said.

0:33:070:33:09

Except...

0:33:090:33:10

Well, there was a problem.

0:33:100:33:13

We have to find one?

0:33:130:33:14

We have to find one.

0:33:140:33:18

Do you want to stay here

and I'll nip upstairs?

0:33:180:33:20

OK, thank you very much.

0:33:200:33:22

Once we found the meeting,

it was full of smartly dressed men

0:33:220:33:25

wearing aprons and sashes.

0:33:250:33:27

What is the dagger for?

0:33:270:33:28

That is a ceremonial thing to guard

the entrance of the lodge.

0:33:280:33:31

This chap here is called

the inner guard.

0:33:310:33:33

You're the inner guard?

0:33:330:33:34

Hello.

0:33:340:33:35

And what do you do

as an inner guard?

0:33:350:33:38

I knock on the door,

let people in and...

0:33:380:33:42

Make sure people

are dressed properly.

0:33:420:33:44

Do you understand why some

people will look at this

0:33:440:33:47

and go, it's sinister,

it is all cloak and dagger?

0:33:470:33:50

I mean, there's literally

a dagger there.

0:33:500:33:52

We have just not done enough to show

people who we are and what we do.

0:33:520:33:57

We have allowed members of the media

space in the last 20 years

0:33:570:34:01

to have the same old hackneyed

conspiracy theories, the same

0:34:010:34:03

old jokey things about trouser legs

and all the rest of it.

0:34:030:34:06

That is not who we are.

0:34:060:34:07

The reason for the "enough

is enough" message in the papers

0:34:070:34:10

today was a story on Monday.

0:34:100:34:11

A secret cabal of Freemasons

at Westminster involving

0:34:110:34:13

journalists and MPs.

0:34:130:34:18

David says there is no

truth behind any of it.

0:34:180:34:20

The reality is, today,

he says, that masons

0:34:200:34:22

are discriminated against.

0:34:220:34:24

I have barrister friends

and they don't want to let people

0:34:240:34:28

know that they are Freemasons.

0:34:280:34:30

Not because they are involved

in anything furtive or secret

0:34:300:34:33

but because they don't want to be

associated with the myth

0:34:330:34:35

of all the corruption.

0:34:350:34:38

And it is detrimental to them to be

a Freemason in the open.

0:34:380:34:42

There is policemen, completely

the reverse of what is reported,

0:34:420:34:46

there is policemen who I know

who are absolutely clear

0:34:460:34:48

that if they are outed

as Freemasons, that is the end

0:34:480:34:51

of their career prospects.

0:34:510:34:55

Big exposes of Freemasonry

in the '70s and '80s alleged

0:34:550:34:57

the police were riddled with secret

handshakes,

0:34:570:34:59

backscratching and worse.

0:34:590:35:00

Labour Home Secretary Jack Straw

said in 1997 that masons

0:35:000:35:02

in the police and judiciary

should be identified.

0:35:020:35:06

He eventually backed down

in the face of a legal challenge.

0:35:060:35:10

But at the same time

as being seen the sinister,

0:35:100:35:12

Freemasonry also has

a comic reputation.

0:35:120:35:17

Having once identified a Mason,

immediate steps must be

0:35:170:35:19

taken to isolate him

from the general public.

0:35:190:35:27

The final part of my tour

was the Grand Lodge,

0:35:320:35:34

a sort of cathedral of Freemasonry.

0:35:340:35:41

Lots of symbols, an all-seeing eye

to symbolise the belief

0:35:410:35:44

in a higher power.

0:35:440:35:45

The trappings of religion,

but I was told it certainly wasn't.

0:35:450:35:47

Every Freemason has to have a faith.

0:35:470:35:49

You don't have to

believe in one God.

0:35:490:35:52

You can't be atheist or agnostic?

0:35:520:35:53

No.

0:35:530:35:55

You have to believe in something

greater than yourself

0:35:550:35:58

because you have to believe that

you have to behave yourself or else

0:35:580:36:01

there is something greater

than you that is going to notice.

0:36:010:36:04

And that is what holds

people together?

0:36:040:36:07

But holds people together

to what purpose?

0:36:070:36:10

I ended my tour not fully

understanding much more

0:36:100:36:12

about what Freemasonry actually is.

0:36:120:36:15

As best as I could make out,

it's a sort of networking

0:36:150:36:18

club based on principles

of self-improvement and altruism.

0:36:180:36:22

But in the mysticism and the ritual,

there is plenty of room

0:36:220:36:26

for outsiders to see anything

they want, good or bad.

0:36:260:36:33

In this age of mass

instant communication,

0:36:330:36:36

there is still a place

0:36:360:36:37

for one of the simplest,

most powerful instruments

0:36:370:36:40

of information and opinion -

the T-shirt, or slogan tee.

0:36:400:36:44

The utilitarian garment,

which been emblazoned

0:36:440:36:51

with everything from the OZ trial

to the Rolling Stones logo,

0:36:510:36:53

ripped, safety pinned,

and ripped off from one designer

0:36:530:36:55

to another, is as much part

of our social history

0:36:550:36:58

as our fashion history.

0:36:580:36:59

It's being celebrated

at an exhibition at London's Fashion

0:36:590:37:01

and Textile Museum.

0:37:010:37:02

This unique T-shirt, though,

is only in the Newsnight studio,

0:37:020:37:05

not the exhibition.

0:37:050:37:07

It was made minutes before and then

worn by the designer and campaigner

0:37:070:37:10

Katherine Hamnett when she met

Mrs Thatcher on 17th March 1984.

0:37:100:37:14

So who better to meet me

at the exhibition than the Queen

0:37:140:37:17

of the political T-shirt?

0:37:170:37:24

So this, this is your first T-shirt?

0:37:280:37:30

Yes.

0:37:300:37:32

It actually came out

with an argument I had with Lynne

0:37:320:37:35

Franks, who I think you know.

0:37:350:37:37

Because she was doing this Buddhist

exhibition and I said, nobody's

0:37:370:37:40

going to bother to go,

it's just not putting it over.

0:37:400:37:43

I said the only way you can get

this message over is,

0:37:430:37:45

how about printing it in huge

letters on a T-shirt?

0:37:450:37:54

This whole idea of

making a statement in a

0:37:540:37:57

T-shirt, where did

you get that from?

0:37:570:38:01

Well, I was kind of frustrated,

you know, during sort of

0:38:010:38:04

Thatcher's years because we felt

we had no voice, democracy slipping

0:38:040:38:07

through our fingers,

couldn't

0:38:070:38:08

stand...

0:38:080:38:09

And I thought, well, at least

if you could do something that

0:38:090:38:12

people could read from 200 yards

on your chest, you know...

0:38:120:38:16

It gives you a voice.

0:38:160:38:19

Tell me about this one.

0:38:190:38:21

This was actually taken from a BBC

poll, taken before we decided to

0:38:210:38:25

invade Iraq and it was 91% of people

polled were against invading Iraq

0:38:250:38:28

without a second resolution.

0:38:280:38:32

And we did this the

moment the poll came

0:38:320:38:34

out.

0:38:340:38:36

It was done at a local Snappy Snaps.

0:38:360:38:44

Do you ever irk people

with the T-shirts, do you think, you

0:38:440:38:47

know, annoy them?

0:38:470:38:48

I don't know and I

don't care actually.

0:38:480:38:51

You know, be irked, you know.

0:38:510:38:54

Do you go to bed at night and think,

God, what can I do a T-shirt

0:38:540:38:58

on tomorrow?

0:38:580:38:59

What would be really good?

0:38:590:39:00

No.

0:39:000:39:01

No, they're kind of cries

from the heart, they come by

0:39:010:39:04

themselves, like this one.

0:39:040:39:05

Yeah.

0:39:050:39:06

Like, I just couldn't

stop myself I feel so

0:39:060:39:08

passionately about it.

0:39:080:39:09

You know, I thought I'll

actually wear this,

0:39:090:39:11

tell you when you came,

I'm wearing this or nothing else.

0:39:110:39:17

Use a condom, don't shoot.

0:39:170:39:20

All these, you look at those

and say these are Katherine

0:39:200:39:23

Hamnett T-shirts but of course

they're not all like that, are they?

0:39:230:39:27

I mean, the trouble is that lots

of people want to appropriate your

0:39:270:39:30

style.

0:39:300:39:31

Does that matter?

0:39:310:39:32

They were designed to

be copied but then I

0:39:320:39:35

think it's really sad if they copy

the style and just write something

0:39:350:39:38

rather drivelly, you know,

something a bit pathetic.

0:39:380:39:40

It's a shame.

0:39:400:39:41

Is there something about the T-shirt

that then creates a tribe?

0:39:410:39:44

Immediately if you have the same

T-shirt on as that person and have

0:39:440:39:47

the same sentiment as that

person in your head,

0:39:470:39:50

the T-shirt gives you

a

0:39:500:39:52

sense of belonging?

0:39:520:39:54

Well, I think you're

friends, aren't you?

0:39:540:39:57

You know, because you

have the same values,

0:39:570:39:59

and you believe in the same

things, it's nice.

0:39:590:40:04

Then when it came to the punk

movement, it was about ripping

0:40:040:40:07

up T-shirts, deconstructing them,

again, that was fashion.

0:40:070:40:10

I think punk was amazing.

0:40:100:40:12

I mean, it was fascinating

and they did the big

0:40:120:40:16

sort of anarchy, you know,

in the UK,

BLEEP

the Queen,

0:40:160:40:19

all of that, and, you know,

I think a slight

0:40:190:40:22

misunderstanding of the word anarchy

because they thought it was just

0:40:220:40:24

smashing down everything

and actually it means a leaderless

0:40:240:40:27

society, a society that is so well

run it doesn't actually need

0:40:270:40:29

leaders, like a direct

democracy maybe.

0:40:290:40:32

So, it was inspiring,

it was a very exciting time.

0:40:320:40:40

That's almost it from us.

0:40:450:40:46

Before we go, Elon Musk may have

put a car into space,

0:40:460:40:49

but now we have the first rave

in zero gravity.

0:40:490:40:51

20 clubbers from around the world

were selected by promoters

0:40:510:40:54

BigCityBeats to go up in a special

Airbus A310 to dance -

0:40:540:40:57

and float - to a set

from superstar DJ Steve Aoki.

0:40:570:41:00

So here they are getting

very high indeed.

0:41:000:41:02

Goodnight.

0:41:020:41:04

MUSIC: Signalrunners - "Corrupted"

0:41:040:41:07

# A rocket's kick

0:41:070:41:09

# A cold pin prick

0:41:090:41:12

# A missile launch

0:41:120:41:20

# Corrupted this

0:41:200:41:23

# Calculated risk

0:41:230:41:26

# Was worth a lot

0:41:260:41:33

# Corrupted was the name of the game

0:41:340:41:35

# They'll take that then

they'll give it away

0:41:350:41:38

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

Reuters story on Myanmar killing that they say got reporters jailed; council funding; British jihadis captured; fake news; freemasonry; Katherine Hamnett.


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