17/07/2014 The Papers


17/07/2014

No need to wait to see what's in the papers - tune in for a lively and informed conversation about the next day's headlines. With Martine Croxall.


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much more coverage on the Malaysian Airlines crash throughout the

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evening on BBC News. Hello and welcome to our look

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ahead to what the the papers With me here in London is Oliver

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Wright, the Whitehall Editor of The Independent and in our Glasgow

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studio, Kevin McKenna, Scottish The FT leads on the passenger plane

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crash in Ukraine, saying pro`Russian A rescuer is pictured amid the

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wreckage on the front of the Metro. The Telegraph says wreckage was

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strewn over an area nine miles wide. The Express says the incident has

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sparked outrage around the world. "Murder in the Sky" is the headline

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on the Guardian. The Star describes what happened

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as "slaughter at 32,000 feet". And a stark message on the front

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of the Mail: there'll be hell to pay

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if it emerges Russia is involved. The front`pages are dominated by the

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Malaysian Airlines crash tonight, as you would expect. We will talk about

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coverage of what is happening in Gaza with the beginning of that

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ground offensive we have been talking about. Let's look at how the

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Metro is covering the crash of Flight MH17. Blasted out of the

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skies ` and there is a man amongst the wreckage of this plane, 295

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people die as missile hits jet. Kevin, we heard in the press

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conference earlier in Kuala Lumpur that the Malaysian Prime Minister

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said this is a tragic day in what has already been a tragic year,

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referring to the loss of Flight MH370, the flight that went down off

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Australia? Yes, of course. I think also it is a very tragic day for the

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people of Holland as well, given the numbers of casualties that were

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released by the UN. You mentioned the Metro. The Metro attempts a very

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good front`page, something approaching a poster front with a

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dramatic picture of a local person, it looks like, amidst the debris.

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Ironically, the Telegraph, which doesn't have as dramatic a front,

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has a more dramatic picture and I wondered if that was probably would

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have been a better picture for the Metro. Let's have a look at the

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Telegraph. It is an unusual front`page, isn't it? It is not

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their usual layout, certainly, with that huge photograph at the top.

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Airliner blown out of the sky, that is the headline. Pro`Russian

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separatists blamed for killing 295 people on Malaysian jet. It is a

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plane that appears to be in the right place, it looks like wreckage

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and local people say they have seen bodies? These are quite restrained

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images. Some of the stuff which has been on social media, that's been on

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some of the Russian websites today, is completely unbroadcastable and

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unprintable. And it is very distressing. To be honest, these

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images are distressing enough. It is one of those occasions when people

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want words to tell them what the facts are, but the enormity of it is

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conveyed through the pictures. The suggestion that it might have been

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shot down, Kevin, by mistake. We have seen a military aircraft has

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been shot down by rebels in the eastern Ukraine and that's the

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suggestion that they might have mistaken this commercial airliner,

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but saying we don't have the capability for this, so the

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investigation continues into who was responsible? Well, I think we can be

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in very little doubt that these rebels do have that type of kit that

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can bring down large airliners at high altitude. I think also that the

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` it is natural that you would want to look at the Ukrainian, the

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Russian rebels in Ukraine, they have form in this, they have already

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brought down a couple of military jets and the initial narrative

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appears to be they have mistaken this for a military jet, which, of

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course, puts a lot of pressure on Putin, it puts a lot of pressure on

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Obama as well because initial reports in America say there were 23

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Americans and Obama is already under criticism in his own country for

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perceived inaction in the latest crisis in Gaza. The suggestion,

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Oliver, that this could be a game changer in what is happening in

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eastern Ukraine, if it only brings greater international diplomatic

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pressure to bear. As Kevin says, there were so many nationalities on

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board, it brings in so many other countries? That's one key point.

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There was also some interesting reports about a week or two ago

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suggesting that some of the separatists had managed to capture

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something called a Buk missile system, which was an old

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Soviet`based missile system. That would have the capability of taking

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down an airliner flying at 32,000 feet. I think if it is proved that

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it is separatists who have carried out this attack, President Putin is

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going to have to very quickly disassociate himself and Russia from

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anything that is going on in Ukraine. As you say, so many

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different nationalities, I suspect there will be quite a lot of

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American casualties. We have got the nationalities, around 233 of those

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people on board, so you are looking at another 60 people, quite a lot of

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those are likely to be American. You have already seen these comments

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from Joe Biden which is the headline on the Mail ` there will be hell to

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pay. A different choice of photograph as well on the Daily

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Express, looking at emergency workers examining smouldering

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wreckage of the jet. While we are talking here about the who did what

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and when and with what capability ` there are families in many parts of

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the world waiting anxiously again for news of relatives and friends `

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and for anyone connected to the Malaysian Airlines will be thinking

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how could this possibly have happened again ` twice in a year?

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Yes, the other complicated factor is that knowing that what's been

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happening with regard to military jets being brought down by these

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rebels, there's some surprise already being expressed as to why

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any passenger airliner would be flying passengers anywhere near this

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corridor. I understand that this corridor is supposed to be

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international airspace. On the other hand, there have to be doubts

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expressed as to why, or some questions, as to why it was thought

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necessary to fly a civilian jet in this hotspot, this critical area of

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Eastern Europe. Indeed. Many airlines have chosen to divert their

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flights. I think that is a very good point, too little too late, planes

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now diverting, especially when there does appear to be evidence that some

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separatists did have control of weapons that could take down planes

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and you had a track record of planes being taken down. It is surprising,

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I think, that airlines were flying over that particular disputed

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region. The other story that does feature on page 2 of the Express,

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the ground offensive by Israel in the Gaza Strip. We do expect that

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this will probably feature in later editions. Israel PM orders troops

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into Gaza. This would be, Kevin, a ground offensive of artillery and

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naval shelling of limited scope. Very much targeting tunnels, but of

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course civilians too close by to be safe? Yes, this is something that

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Israel will always be vulnerable to in terms of criticism because of the

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large amount of civilians. I think this particular story says that

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there are now 238 Palestinians who have lost their life since this

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particular battle commenced and only one Israeli. Again, a cynic would

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say that this happens periodically with Israel, they want to go in,

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they want to clear out Hamas, Hamas have new leaders every few years.

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There is no doubt, also, that Israel were spooked by the new unity

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government of last year which brought Hamas and Fatah together for

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the first time. And, again, there can be no winners here whatsoever.

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The criticism from Egypt, which tried this week ` or today ` to

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broker this ceasefire, there was a cessation of violence for five

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hours. Yes. The criticism very much levelled at Hamas for pulling the

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plug on any prospect of a ceasefire? Yes, there's one theory which is

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doing the rounds, which is part of the rationale for Israel going in

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now is that because the regime in Egypt has changed, the Muslim

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Brotherhood are no longer in power, since that happened the Egyptians

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have closed down or made it much more difficult for the supply of

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weapons to come in through Egypt. At the same time, because of the Hamas'

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close relationship with the Brotherhood, they are not getting a

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supply of weapons from Syria and indeed Iran. So, part of the logic

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to what Israel may be doing now is to get rid of the weapons on the

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basis Hamas won't be able to re`supply them. This operation has

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been planned for some time, I suspect. I do wonder at the timing

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of tonight. While the world is looking in another direction, I am

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not saying it wouldn't have happened anyway ` I'm sure it would. It is an

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interesting timing. Israel could wipe out Hamas, if they so choose.

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Then you create a vacuum in Gaza and who knows what will grow up in its

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place? Well, that is a very interesting point. It was put to me

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a few hours ago by a foreign affairs expert up here, in Scotland, that to

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a certain extent Israel needs Hamas and Hamas needs Israel. And horrific

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though the deaths of the three young Israelis were, if it hadn't been

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that, it would have been something else that would Israel would have

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found necessary to go into Gaza. While Hamas are in charge, there is

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a split within Palestinian politics. You have the President who is from

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the Fatah side of things, who isn't in control... He is in the West

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Bank. There have been attempts to merge the political sides of Hamas

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and Fatah, which has gone down fairly badly in Israel. The

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interesting question is how long this goes on for and how extensive

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it is. There is some suggestion in the last hour or so that Israel are

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planning for a longer campaign. I don't know if that will prove to be

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accurate. Clearly, if you are on the ground, it is a deeply distressing

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situation and a lot of civilians are caught up in this. That is all for

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the moment. Oliver and Kevin, thank you very much. We will all be back

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again at 11.30pm for another look at the main stories.

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Let's stay with the Gaza conflict. Hamas said that Israel will pay a

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high price for this latest ground offensive. Lieutenant Colonel Peter

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Lerner has confirmed ground forces have been mobilised

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