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This is BBC World News Today with me, Tim Willcox. Regrets and the
benefit of hindsight. Prime Minister David Cameron says that
now he wouldn't have employed the former News of the World editor,
Andy Coulson, as his spokesman. You live and you learn, and,
believe you me, I have learnt. not about hindsight, Mr Speaker.
It's not about whether Mr Coulson lied to him. It's about all the
information and warnings that the Prime Minister ignored.
Dying of hunger - the United Nations declares a famine in
southern Somalia for the first time in nearly 20 years.
Closing a door on the past - the last Serbian war crimes fugitive is
arrested after seven years on the run.
Classic opera performed on a floating stage. We'll see how one
production lit up Austria's famous Hello and welcome. After a week
that's seen the Murdochs and the Metropolitan Police face tough
questions from MPs about the phone hacking scandal, today was the turn
of the British Prime Minister, David Cameron. Speaking in an
emergency recall of Parliament after cutting short a trade trip to
Africa, Mr Cameron again defended his appointment of former News of
the World editor Andy Coulson as his spokesman. But he added that in
hindsight he would not have offered him the job. Labour leader Ed
Miliband said his words on Mr Coulson, who was arrested nearly
two weeks ago over phone hacking allegations, were not enough. Our
political editor Nick Robinson reports. For for a friend in need
is a friend until they become a massive political headache.
David Cameron has always defended his decision to give Andy Coulson a
second chance until, that is, to date. With 20-20 hindsight and all
that has followed, I would not have offered him the job and I expect
that he wouldn't have taken it. But you don't make decisions in
hindsight. You make them in the present. You live and to learn and,
believe you me, I have learned. Prime Minister said he was
extremely sorry for the furore Andy Coulson's appointment had caused.
But was he ready to say sorry for hiring him? Not yet at least.
if it turns out I have been lied to, that would be a moment for a
profound apology and in that event, I can tell you why will not fall
short. Few had expected him to go that far, but it simply wasn't far
enough for the Labour leader. isn't good enough, because people...
It is not about hindsight, Mr Speaker. It is not about whether Mr
Coulson lied to him. It is about all the information and warnings
that the Prime Minister ignored. The warnings Ed Miliband claimed
came up -- both before and after David Cameron moved into Number Ten.
On that day, as director of clarification is tried very hard to
keep a low profile. It was a plan that would not last long. Police
are to examine fresh claims about phone hacking by the News of the
World. Last autumn, a New York Times investigation into phone
hacking claimed that Andy Coulson knew about it, something he has
always denied the money it. Despite the paper's claims, Andy Coulson
was not fired but any left Number Ten a few weeks later with the
Prime Minister's praise ringing in his ears. The Prime Minister was
caught in a tragic conflict of loyalty between the standards and
integrity that people should expect of him and his staff, and his
personal allegiance to Mr Coulson. He made the wrong choice. There
were questions about the Prime Minister's other choice of friends,
too. His many meetings with News International bosses with Rebekah
Brooks and with Rupert Murdoch, who left London today on the morning
after the most humble day of his life. As Prime Minister, did he
ever discuss the question of the BSkyB it with News International at
all the meetings they attended? never had one in appropriate
conversation. It was the third time of asking and Labour did not like
the answer. I completely took myself at off any decision-making
about this bid. I had no role in it. I had no role in when the
announcements were going to be made. In an increasingly confident mood,
David Cameron accused Labour of having their close relationships
with the Murdoch empire. The great contrast is, I have set out all of
the contacts and meetings that I've had in complete contrast to the
party opposite. I can say this to the honourable gentleman. I have
never held a slumber party was seen her in her pyjamas. David Cameron
says he has an old-fashioned view that a man is innocent until proven
guilty, but today he tried to separate his fate from Andy
Coulson's. To discuss David Cameron's
performance, let's go to Westminster and speak to two senior
British political journalists, Jason Beattie, deputy political
editor of the Daily Mirror, and Jim Pickard from the Financial Times.
Thank you both very much. Jason Beattie, the backbenchers in the
Tory party seemed to love this. He has sent them off with their tails
high, hasn't he? I am surprised by this. David Cameron did what he is
very good at. He kind of pretence that he is in charge of something.
He gives this impression he is open and transparent. When you've tried
to do this -- digest all the headlines tomorrow, he was actually
extraordinarily slippery, particularly on the BSkyB issue.
Let's stay with Andy Coulson for a minute. He has been arrested but
not for us to have anything. The Prime Minister cannot go any
further, can he? He could have done. A few days ago, David Cameron held
an emergency press conference in Downing Street when is a Andy
Coulson was and is a friend. Now he is trying after a lot of pressure
from Labour to try to disassociate himself from this man. But he
didn't really answer all the questions on it. There were still
too much good things raised again and again, you were warned not just
by Nick Clegg or Lord Ashdown, but by a new -- newspaper articles, by
the Guardian, bat Andy Coulson's behaviour after you appointed him
and used by him bus-stop he has not yet answered that question properly.
Jim Park card, why didn't you listen to those warnings? I think
the context you have to understand is that British politics for 20 to
40 years, the News International empire has been intertwined with
the British elite. If you go but Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair,
Gordon Brown, they were all going it in and out of each other's
offices, they were having dinners and advising each other. David
Cameron wants to remain close to what is the most powerful media
organisation in the country. Hacking generally, investigative
journalism, sailing close to the world, is something quite a few
newspapers in Britain have been conducting of many years. Even the
Financial Times? The Financial Times is the only newspaper on a
list of drawn up in 2006 by the Information Commissioner showing
who had been paying private detectives for information for
various ways. I think the Mirror came up with 800 or 900 occasions.
The Financial Times was not on that list. But almost every other
newspaper was. PNE point at which the story suddenly gained enormous
attraction was when it was realised that some journalists were hacking
victims of crime, Milly Dowler, the dead teenager, when suddenly it was
realised that this was obscene and a vaulting. That Information
Commissioner's report, 305 incidents of blagging. Put that to
one side because Parliament did nothing at the time in 2006.
Specifically on the BSkyB-News International Relations, the Prime
Minister was not straight in his response, was he? Exactly. I
thought his response was very smooth in terms of generalities. He
had the sycophantic MPs behind him. Labour MPs repeatedly asked him,
have you had meetings with News International insect -- executives
where the issue Obertan to take control of BSkyB is discussed? All
he would say is that he had not had any inappropriate discussions,
implying he had had some. That made him look evasive. Jason Beattie,
the Labour Party is perceived to have done particularly well over
the past two weeks, Ed Miliband in particular. But the Prime Minister
has caused 12 or 13 separate inquiries. There is not much more
we can do. Has he not now regained control of this crisis? You are
right about the Labour Party. It has given Ed Miliband extraordinary
confidence. Just a few weeks ago, there were mutterings about how
long he could stay in the job. Those have all disappeared now. He
has banned voice as a leader. Whether he can keep going is
another question. In terms of the inquiries, they will help in some
way to dissipate the miles from around this story. There has been a
slight hysteria about it. I still think Cameron has a lot of
questions to answer. They will not go away. There was an extraordinary
claim made today in the Commons by Nick Raynsford, saying a senior
civil servant had his own act. These have been denied by the
Cabinet Office. But every time you think this story is going to calm
down, something else comes up. view would be that when you know
3000 people have been hacked, there is almost nothing left to surprise.
The fact that a government official was probably hack, I was mass of
the unsurprised. And also the fact that the MPs are breaking up for
the summer and that today Cameron basically so by the occasion means
that things will died down relative to this incredibly frenetic two
weeks. Jim Pickard and Jason Beattie, thank you both very much
for joining us from a rather soggy Westminster.
Famine will spread across Somalia within two months unless the
international community sends more aid to the region, according to the
UN. Famine has already been declared in two areas of southern
Somalia, which has been ravaged by conflict and the worst drought in
east Africa for more than half a century. The UN says up to ten
million people are affected. Our Africa correspondent Andrew Harding
sent this report. Now it is official, Somalia is
sinking into famine. It is the first time that compelling word has
been deployed in almost 20 years. The United Nations is hoping it
would Olga world into action. Thousands of Somalis continue to
three a lethal combination of drought, conflict and poverty.
Since I was here in 1992 and when I look around and icy yet again...
These are Brew resilient people. substantial aid operation is under
way. Supplies are arriving in neighbouring Kenya. But the UN is
asking for an extra �185 million immediately. The international
response has been mixed. Britain has given �23 million to Somalia
this year. The United States barely half that. Germany and France on
three and 1.6 million are among those accused of ignoring the alarm
bells. I think the contributions from other countries has been in
some cases derisory and overall dangerously inadequate. Britain is
setting a good lead and we expect others to contribute. There are
signs today that others are beginning to put their shoulder to
the wheel but we need that to happen rapidly and vigorously.
money is not the only problem here. Famine has taken hold in areas
controlled or influenced by a militant Islamist group, Al-Shabab.
They have made it too dangerous for foreign aid groups to operate
directly. Now they say a ban has been lifted, but the politics are
complicated and aid simply isn't getting to the right people fast
enough. And so the familiar images of hunger and helplessness and the
predictable scramble for money and access as famine bites into Somalia.
Joining me from Nairobi is Rozanne Chorlton, UNICEF representative for
Somalia. How bad are things? Are we looking at a similar famine --
famine to that of 91/92? numbers are certainly comparable
and comparable with other famines that have occurred in the last 10
years, but it is the worst, a severe food security crisis in
Africa in the last 20 years and it is currently the worst food
security crisis in the world. The number of children suffering from
malnutrition has doubled, and another number of those, or the
proportion of those who are severely malnourished is 50%. That
is generally much lower in -- even in an emergency situation. Our real
concern for those children is that they are nine times more likely to
die than a healthy child. For and no coincidence that famine has now
been declared in two areas controlled by Al-Shabab. The famine
is across the southern part of Somalia. Certainly, those areas are
largely controlled by Al-Shabab. They are also the areas where there
has been a crop failure, where there has been trapped and there
has been no possibility for people to benefit from their own harvest.
There has also been no food aid for a very long time. So one topple
whatever -- on top of whatever the government arrangements may be,
there are fundamental other issues to do with trout and to do with
economic collapse that are also coming into play here.
development secretary, Andrew Mitchell, has described the world's
response to this as derisory. Do you agree with that, and just as a
second thought, it is worth pointing out that there is food
there, isn't there, but it is very expensive and people are not able
to afford to buy it? That's absolutely correct. There is food
in the market. That is showing that the market is still working, but
there is not enough food and it has very, very high prices that the
majority of those who were weak and vulnerable cannot afford. What we
are hoping for is that the donors who have been present all along but
at a lower level are going to come in with much more substantial
contributions over the next month or two and that other donors who
have perhaps not yet contributed to Somalia were also see the need to
come in. This really does take a global response to manage the
enormity of the crisis. Rozanne The last suspected war criminal on
the rung after the conflict in the former Yugoslavia has been arrested.
Goran Hadzic a pipe smoking former warehouseman, was the leader of the
ethnic Serbs in the east of Croatia. He's accused of crimes against
humanity during the war. The EU has described his arrest as an
important step as Serbia's eventual step towards joining the union.
A brief glimpse of a man who'd been in hiding for the past seven years.
Goran Hadzic, the last remaining fugitive from the Yugoslav wars,
wanted by the UN tribunal in the Hague. Of 161 suspects dieted it
had been feared that Hadzic would be the one that got away. In the
early hours of Wednesday morning, he was seized in a forest near the
northern Serbian town. Announcing his arrest the Serbian President
said it had been his country's moral and legal responsibility.
Asked why it had taken so long to find him, the President drew
compare sons with another long hunted fugitive. If I have to
remind yourself about other cases, internationally very well known and
recognised, for example, the case about Osama Bin Laden, that is the
same situation. We've been working very hard. We've been working
systematically. When Croatia broke away from Yugoslavia in 1991, Goran
Hadzic led a rebellion by Croatian Serbs. He took charge of the
separatists in the region. The counts against him include murder,
torture and persecution, notably the massacre of 250 Croats in
Vukovar and the deportation of many thousands more. Here he is pictured
with the former Bosnian Serb leaders, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko
Mladic. Once they were caught in Serbia, Hadzic became the most
wanted. And so Goran Hadzic is now in custody in Belgrade, awaiting
transfer to the Hague. He says he won't appeal. The arrest the
fugitives from the 1990s had been a pre-condition for Serbia to move
towards European Union membership and the country will now expect a
date for accession talks. Beyond that, Serbia hopes this will
finally draw a line under its painful past and rehabilitate its
image within the international community.
The President of the European Commission has warned that history
will judge Europe's leaders harshly if they fail to find a solution to
the financial crisis facing the eurozone. Jose Manuel Barroso said
if leaders gathering for the summit in Brussels didn't respond
decisively, the negative consequences would be felt
throughout Europe and beyond. Gavin Hewitt is in Brussels. He says
finding a solution to this crisis will be a major challenge. This
summit is really crunchtime for the euro and the whole financial world
will be watching. There are two main challenges. First Greece needs
a second bail out and second, gros's debts which have mushroomed
to 360 billion euros and they need bringing down. Some measures are
easy to agree to, like reducing the interest that Greece pays on its
loan. In the past it's been the taxpayer who has stood behind these
bail outs. But the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, said
that's unfair. She wants private investors, the banks and pension
funds both to support the second bail out ond to help in reducing
those debts. Now, if those banks end up taking big losses, some will
say that in effect is a default and that would unsettle markets right
across Europe. Now, there is one other big fear here. Say it proves
difficult helping Greece, then what about Italy? A much bigger economy,
and one that also has huge debts, 120% of GDP. Now if they have
difficulties tomorrow, it will put further pressure on Italy. And if
Italy runs into trouble, then that could threaten the very survival of
the eurozone. Gavin Hewitt our Europe editor.
Some of the day's other news. The Libyan foreign minister said
Colonel Gaddafi's removal from power is not up for negotiation.
Abdelati Obeidi was speaking after talks in Moscow. Earlier the French
foreign ministers suggested Colonel Gaddafi might be able to remain in
Libya, if he stood down. In Britain, a nurse has been
arrested in connection with the deaths of three patients at a
hospital in Stockport, in the north of England. The 26-year-old woman
was detained in her home and is being questioned by detectives.
The Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny, has launched an
unprecedented attack on the Vatican for encouraging Roman Catholic
bishops not to report suspected paedophile priests to the Police.
Mr Kenny said a recrept report into abuse allegations showed, the
"dysfunction, elitism and narcissism" that dominated the
culture of the Vatican. International health experts say
goals to rid the world of polio by the end of next year is off track.
The World Health Organisation agreed to eradicate polio in 1988.
But it's been concluded that tackling the remaining cases will
prove the greatest challenge yet. British forces in Afghanistan have
handed over security in the capital of Helmand province to the Afghan
Police and army. Lashkar Gah city, where British forces have been
operating since 2006, is one of seven areas in the region to be
placed under government control over the next week. But as Jonathan
Beale reports, the handover has been accompanied by increasing
levels of violence from the Taliban. A moment of national pride. Afghans
taking responsibility for their own security. This ceremony designed to
send the message that they're up to the job. But the British soldiers
who've helped train them and who will now step back still have
concerns, not least about corruption within the Afghan Police.
There is certainly some elist it income generation and allegations
of corruption and it would be foolish to deny that exists. We're
trying to eradicate that from the police. If we get it wrong, the
police could push the locals away. Even if Afghanistan manages to root
out corruption, huge challenges remain. This is Bamiyan, another
province just handed over to the Afghans. Unlike Helmand, there's
been little fighting here for the past ten years. Bombs and bullets
aren't Bamiyan's biggest killers, it's diarrhoea and malnutrition.
Most of the aid agencies and NGOs will leave Bamiyan, after the
withdrawal of NATO forces. pressure's now on the government to
win the trust of its own people. They are going to be lots of
questions. There are going to be lots of concerns. We acknowledge
the concerns as legitimate. Our job is to change our institutions and
to change the perceptions. And this, in theory, is the easy phase. The
transition of just a few less violent parts of the country. For
NATO, it marks the beginning of the end, the exit strategy that will
see all British combat troops leave by 2015.
If transition doesn't succeed in Lashkar Gah or bannian -- Bamiyan,
what hope for the rest of the Afghanistan?
This is BBC World News today. The annual Bregenz Festival of arts and
music is opening in western Austria. One of this year's highlights is a
new production of the opera Andre Chenier. Our correspondent reports
from Vienna. A tale of love and death, staged on
a lake. Umberto Giordano's opera Andre Chenier is being performed
for the first time on the floating stage at the Bregenz Festival. The
action takes place both on and in the water. The opera is set at the
time of the French Revolution. It tells the story of a poet and his
lover caught up in the Reign of Terror. It's a very passionate
story with this backdrop of historical events going on. It's
written with tremendous economy and pace and drive from Giordano, so
there are no longer, I mean it is like watching a good film. That's
exactly what the experience out here should be like. The stage
design is based on the famous painting, the death of Marah by
Jacques-Louis David. It is high above the surface of the lake and
weighs 60 tones. Austria's President, Heinz Fischer, is to opt
festival and will attend the premiere.
The opera will be performed until Something quite spectacular. Our
main news: MPs have been holding a special session to debate the phone
hacking scandal, which has rocked the police, the political
establishment and the Murdoch media empire. The Prime Minister, David
Cameron, who's cut short a trip to Africa, said public trust in key
institutions had been shaken and that with hindsight, he wouldn't
have employed as his spokesman the former newspaper editor, Andy
Coulson, editor of the News Of The World, who was arrested over the
hacking allegations nearly a fortnight ago. And famine will
spread across Somalia within two months, unless the international
community sends more aid to the region. Famine has been declared in
two areas of southern Somalia. That's all from me and the team.
Next the weather. For now, good Hello. I'm hopeful that come the
weekend, most of us will be dry with sunshine and feeling a bit
warmer. But it's a struggle to get there. Tomorrow again will be a
rather cloudy day with some showers around and feeling cool as well.
The showers will be mostly closest to this low pressure, which is
crawling along northern parts of France. No sign of high pressure on
the horizon just yet. Still a lot of cloud around on Thursday. The
focus of the showers will be across southern and eastern areas. Further
north and west, a good chance of staying dry and bright. Mid-
afternoon, don't be surprised if you encounter a heavy and possibly
thundery shower across the southern third of the UK. They'll be slow
moving as well because the winds will be fairly light. A cool
feeling day, despite some reasonable spells of sunshine and
parts of the south-west will do well with relatively few showers
and some good sunshine here. So not too bad if you're off to the beach.
For parts of Wales too, it's looking OK. The showers reasonably
well scattered. Many places staying dry. It's a similar story across
Northern Ireland. You get the sense that these western parts of the UK
will seat best of the weather on Thursday. Head further east, it's a
different story. Further slow moving and sharp showers expected