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This is BBC World News Today. The biggest walkout in Britain for
years. Hundreds of thousands of public sector workers come out on
strike in protest at changes to their pensions. A day after their
general strike and latest riots, Greek MPs pass a second vote on the
deeply unpopular austerity programme. Things will only get
uglier and worse than they already are. There is no future. Speaking
up and speaking out: France sees a huge increase in the number of
women claiming sexual harassment following the arrest of Dominique
Strauss-Kahn. Still not officially a nation, and
still under attack, we hear from one of the Sudanese rebel groups
posing a threat to the soon-to-be independent South Sudan.
And how to behave in front of your prospective mother-in-law: what
The largest strikes in Britain for many years are taking place as
public sector workers stage industrial action against proposed
cuts to their pensions. Unions say 750,000 civil servants, one fifth
of all public sector employees, have stopped work. The government
is disputing the scale of the walk- out, and called the strike by
teachers totally unjustifiable. The BBC's political editor reports.
Strike day. The one that saves their pensions, or the first in a
bitter battle with the government. For some, this was a protest
against the cuts. For most, it was about their retirement. They say
they should not pay more to pay for bankers's mistakes. Ministers say
their pensions are unaffordable. Here they come: Public sector Merck
-- public sector workers on of the march.
It was in schools where the main impact was felt. This, one of
12,000 which closed in England and Wales. One parent debate teacher
for the day, but he was the Education Secretary. -- play
teacher. We are here because we are very
angry, and because we see this as an assault on our pensions. Is I
did you into any office or shop, they would think your pension is
very good. They certainly would. You need to look after public
sector workers because they are doing tough jobs. How do you
explain to an office worker over there, or in a shop or restaurant,
that they should pay more tax, so that you do not have to pay more
for your pension? Pen shown are a right for people, and we should all
We have to have reform to make sure pensions are fair, sustainable and
affordable. They are now affordable. You need extra cash, and quickly,
to pay off the deficit. The cost of pensions have risen dramatically.
Over the last 10 years, the costs have increased over one-third.
The public servants union said it was the biggest strike, but the
ministers said many had ignored the picket lines. I understand the
anger of workers who feel they have been singled out by a reckless and
provocative government. I also believe this action is wrong.
Negotiations are ongoing, so it is a mistake to go on strike because
of the effect on the people who rely on those services.
That condemnation infuriated one teaching union. The response of the
Labour leader, Ed Miliband, has been a disgrace!
The police were out in force, blocking protesters from going off
the agreed you, and using stop and search powers. -- the agreed route.
The political trouble may only just have begun. This is the physical
side of the dispute. What really counts is what is happening away
from the cameras, negotiations about what the unions will except
doctor, and what ministers insist the country or a Ford. -- unions
will accept. The Greek government has passed a second austerity bill
in Parliament, a crucial step in getting the European Union and the
International Monetary Fund to release funds the country
desperately needs. The EU and the IMF will now approve a $17 billion
tranche from a package of rescue loans, saving Greece from
defaulting on its massive debt. Many Greeks are already angry at
the government's current austerity measures. And as Malcolm reports
from Athens, today's vote was met with little enthusiasm.
The final vote that saved Greece from the fort was passed by a
majority. -- the boat. The demonstration who caused mayhem on
Wednesday knew this was little more than a rubber-stamping. This
procedure will vote means Greece has done as it was told by the EU
and IMF. In return, it will receive $17 billion, and will be able to
pay its bills. The nude nor Before the vote, crews are worked
to clear the damage caused by the anarchists. Stale tear-gas was
stone the air. High-profile targets like bank, and the Post Office,
needed most of the tension. Saving Greece from defaulting may have
cured politicians in eurozone capitals, but it has depressed many
Athenians. TRANSLATION: It will not bring any results. It will only
make the situation worse. Things will only get uglier and
worse than they already are. There is no future.
An ironic poster near Parliament: With two yes votes in his pocket,
the finance minister can look forward to meeting his partners
this weekend to show what he called real proof of Greece's credibility.
Let us look at the implications of this crisis for the rest of Europe.
In terms of whether Greece defaults or not, what does this mean for the
eurozone project as a whole? think Greece will default. They are
just kicking the her and down the road. It is all ironic. -- the
burner. What does it mean in terms of the country's that should not
have gone in? Germany have done incredibly well out of the euro,
but Euro-scepticism is growing. is. The creditors are not satisfied.
The creditors do not think they will be repaid. Greece feel very
resentful. Historically speaking, no country with this debt has ever
got back from something like this. He need to cut the debt in half. A
note monetary union has ever gone into a political union. He in terms
of a political question, are we looking at some sort of the US
Federal stop political unity with the euro 1/2 off into two parts?
The countries that could have a political union with each other do
not need it. For example, the Germans and Dutch. The ones that do
need it, are poles apart. The Germans will not share their good
monetary constitution with the Greeks, and the Greeks were not put
up with all these conditions. relevant is the eurozone? How
relevant is Europe Nawal? Unless something is finalised, could you
be subsumed in the shadow of China? It will probably be anyway. Germany
is trying to make good by itself. In 2013, China will become the
biggest trade power of Germany and will eclipse France. The Germans
are still keen on Europe, but less keen than they were 10 years ago,
and less keen to pay for the faults of others. Countries which are
becoming more insolvent and irrelevant to their trading future.
Where do you see the euro in a few years' time? It will still be there,
but it will be a small and less ambitious project.
It is not just Greek debt to Europe is having problems with. The EU's
budget is also dividing the euro The European Commission hopes to
boost the budget. The plans also earmark more than $23 billion to
promote democracy and growth in Nantes EU countries.
Let us go to Brussels and speed took Patrizio Fiorilli. -- speak to.
At a time when most European countries are embarking on
austerity measures, why should the EU be immune? The 5% increase, I
have heard it, but I am not sure it is the right calculation. It is
often the case that people take figures the way they want. The way
we have calculated it is that it is at virtually 0% increase over seven
years. We have used the same method we have been using for 20 years.
According to Alan a club calculations, it is at virtually 0%
increase. The largest economies are convinced this is the not the right
time. It would be difficult get this through, won't it? If you
remember in December, there was a letter initiated by David Cameron
on the future it EU budget, in which he has said that in the
future, he would like the future budget to beat a restraint in
growth, probably under inflation rate. Fork our calculations, that
have been accepted by everybody, we are well below the inflation rate.
It is at virtually 0% increase. Robin Hood tax as it is known as
another proposal. That will be very difficult to in force, won't it?
is a very difficult one. This is mainly due to the way the EU works.
On this issue, you need unanimity between member states, but you also
need each member state to ratify it nationally. That means that it is
very difficult to find solutions that would please everybody. Our
idea rests on a few principles. Firstly, there was a survey made
across Europe that indicated that 66% of Europeans were in favour of
a taxing the financial sector. We also see that tend member states in
Europe have this sort of tax and do not suffer from it. The big
advantage from and what point of view, is that it would go hand in
hand with a reduction of member states's contributions. But it will
be very difficult to find an agreement among everybody. Coming
back to my first point, you have got 27 billion euros down for non
EU countries. This is not the right time to be doing something like
this, is it? That his debut. Our view is that in the light of recent
events in North Africa, which could happen again, you find that
probably, the best way is to invest it in those countries that are not
want a common borders so that they have reached both A-level of
democracy, but also economic and social stability. That would mean
they would be less likely to go through a people and have
immigration that is most of the time clandestine. Also sometimes in
Europe. It could be a good Now a look at some of the day's
other news. A United Nations tribunal
investigating the murder of the former Lebanese prime minister
Rafiq Hariri in 2005 has delivered a sealed indictment to Lebanon's
prosecutor-general Saeed Mirza. Mr Mirza said he had also received
four arrest warrants. The suspects have not been officially named.
Two French journalists kidnapped by the Taliban 18 months ago have
returned home. Stephane Taponier and Herve Ghesquiere have been
returned to France amid jubilation. The pair and three Afghan
associates were kidnapped in Kabul in 2009 while working for French TV.
In the last three minutes, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have
landed in Canada, their first overseas tour as a married couple.
During their nine-day stay table lay a wreath at the National War
Memorial, take part in a cookery class and a rodeo, then they will
fly on to California for a three- day visit.
Women's groups in France say they have seen a huge increase in the
number of females coming forward to claim sexual harassment following
the arrest of Dominique Strauss- Kahn. The French former head of the
International Monetary Fund was arrested in New York and has been
charged with trying to rape a hotel maid, a claim he has denied. The
reporting of the trial has lifted the lid on a darker side to French
society, as Christian Fraser reports from Paris.
Dare and yellow is a chambermaid from Guinea, a former employee of
the Park Hyatt Hotel in Paris. -- Dan Pallett. Last year, she claims
to have been sexually assaulted in a hotel room by someone within the
circle of the Qatari royal family. It has similarities to the alleged
assault for which Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested last
month. The difference is in the attitude of the French authorities.
TRANSLATION: The French police did not want to do anything. They let
me know quickly that they wanted me to drop it. In any case they said
if I did not, they would. I was shocked, in tears. I told them it
wasn't right, that because a person is rich and important he can treat
people as he likes? But the group representing her says that suddenly
the investigation has been reopened by the prosecutor's office,
although the authorities have yet to inform Diane. Perhaps it is a
result of the widespread indignation that has followed
events in New York. TRANSLATION: there has been a real impact in the
number of cases coming to us since the media coverage of the Strauss-
Kahn affair and the issue of sexual violence at work. We have had
double the number of complaints, and most of these women seem
determined to go to court. Some of the fiercest criticism is targeted
at the attitude and behaviour of the country's elite. Until now,
there seemed to exist in this country a culture of impunity,
where politicians were above scandal. Ministers rarely resign
quickly and such was the deference shown by the French media, there
was practically a conspiracy of silence protecting them. But
perhaps things are starting to change. Georges Tron, President
Sarkozy's junior civil service minister, resigned last month when
two former employees from the town halls accused him of serious sexual
assault. Last week, some four years after the first alleged incident
took place, he was formally charged with rape. His spokesman said he
denies the accusations, and he argued that France should not be
importing America's puritanical attitudes to touching in the
workplace. TRANSLATION: It is a shame that France's image has been
tarnished in the eyes of countries like the United States. There are
cultural differences about our behaviour with women, we may make
jokes and touch people with no sexual meaning at all. But,
whatever the quarter, rape should we dealt with by the law. But the
editor of Elle magazine says these archaic notions of heavy-handed
seduction are an excuse. So entrenched his sexual harassment in
the workplace that most women, she said, believe they have no option
but to go along with it. TRANSLATION: Women's mentality
needs to change, too. We need to clarify the situation so you can
still be seductive but also to say no when someone abuses their
authority. French women do not want to be feminine or feminist, they
want to be both. Dominique Strauss- Kahn, step of. Whether the
accusations Mr Strauss-Kahn faces turn out to be true or not, the
decision of several French women to go to the police after years of
keeping quiet raises an intriguing question. Have the allegations from
an African chambermaid in New York changed forever what French women
are prepared to tolerate? South Sudan will become independent
in nine days' time, following a two decade war with the North. But
while the anticipation is almost at fever pitch, already several rebel
groups are fighting the Southern government. The UN says 1400
civilians have been killed by rebel or government troops, or in inter-
ethnic fighting, in this year alone. Our correspondent in Khartoum,
James Copnall, obtained footage of one of the major rebel movements,
the South Sudan Liberation Army. Here's his report.
The party started. But these men are not celebrating South Sudan's
upcoming independence. Instead, they are in training to overthrow
the fledgling sudden government. -- seven government. Most, but not all,
come from the Nuer group, who had a troubled relationship with de Dinka.
Ethnic rivalry is one reason for the rebellion. Others said they
took up arms because they believed last year's elections were rigged.
But the soldiers say they are fighting Dinka domination, and
corruption. The group has been involved in several battles with
the southern Armenia at lucrative oilfields. Both sides accuse the
other of killing civilians -- with the southern army. The leader of
this rebel movement, a dissident Southern General, motivates his new
recruits. TRANSLATION: our problem will not go far. They go to crime
than we start the fighting. They will say that they need peace, they
told today did not want to, be rejected use. Did they know where
they were telling you to go? -- very rejected you. Their uniforms
look fresh out of the box and their weapons seemed brand new. The
southern authorities say these and other rebels are being supplied by
their old enemies in Khartoum. The North frequently armed rival groups
in the last civil war to divide the south. Analysts believe the new
country of South Sudan's ethnic and military divisions will be one of
its greatest weaknesses. In the capital of the North, Khartoum, one
of President Omar al-Bashir's officials dismisses the latest
accusations, linking his party to the southern rebels. They were not
part of the NCP, they were not part of the South Sudan Armed Forces.
They were the South Sudan Liberation Army militia, who
abandoned them following the rigging in the south. This is the
South's business. Despite the denial, the allegations about
Khartoum's involvement seems certain to continue. Whoever they
are getting their weapons from, the rebels are making a huge impact on
the south. In fact, some people feel they are the greatest threat
to stability that -- as South Sudan moves rapidly towards independence.
They can be tricky meetings, and for bride-to-be Heidi Withers, the
meeting with her mates future mother-in-law was a disaster. She
sent a scathing e-mail from her fiance's mother to friends, and it
has gone for viral. I will give you easy tips on how to
look after your pink. A bit of gardening advice from nursery and a
Carolyn Bourne. But it is her lessons in etiquette that have made
her name. -- nursery owner. A few weeks ago her stepson Freddie took
his fiancee, Heidi Withers, back to the family home in Devon. But after
which she received their e-mail from a prospective mother-in-law
apparently criticising her table manners and attacking a brash
celebrity behaviour. In the message, Mrs Bourne told Heidi Withers, or
you do not lie in bed until late morning in households that rise
early. You do not remark that you do not have enough food. And she
went on to say, you have never written to thank me when you have
stayed. It seems the e-mail Carolyn Bourne
sent from here to her daughter-in- law to be was meant to be private,
but somehow it was forwarded on to other people, who then sent it on
to more people, and then it went viral and has now been seen by
millions of people all over the world. The family were keeping a
very polite silence today, but neighbours said lessons had been
learned. To put it in a E-mail puts it in the public domain. It is not
a clever thing to do. Today, internet users have described
Carolyn Bourne as the mother-in-law from hell and defender of the
nation's manners. The wedding takes place in the autumn.
Or maybe not! That is all from the programme.
Next, the weather, but from all of Hello, good evening. Heavy showers
affecting eastern parts of the UK will die away overnight, then a
Chile night. More of the UK will stay dry tomorrow -- a chilly night.
High pressure builds over the UK, but north-western areas get more
cloud and the odd spot of drizzly rain, so a rather dull start to the
day. After early sunshine, cloud will increase, but very few showers.
This is the picture at 4pm. Down the eastern side of England, the
art, light shower might be about, but demand far between -- the odd
light shower. Only a slim chance of catching a shower at Wimbledon. In
south-west England there will be a lot of cloud in the sky, especially
over the moors, possibly rain over the higher ground of Wales and
north-west England. Count yourself lucky few seem much sunshine. For
Northern Ireland, after a cloudy start a bit brighter in the
afternoon and plenty of try weather in Scotland over the Western Isles,
but you may still catch a road showered in eastern Scotland, but