03/08/2011 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today. In a cage, on a stretcher, Egypt's


former president goes before a Cairo court, accused of corruption


and ordering the killing of protesters. These accusations, I


deny them. I have not committed any such crimes.


The Syrian crackdown goes on, as the UN draws closer to a common


position on Damascus. Solvent and solid. Silvio


Berlusconi delivers an upbeat assessment of Italy's economy, but


government borrowing rates reach record highs.


Britain's hacking scandal spreads. Heather Mills claims a Mirror group


executive told her that messages from Sir Paul McCartney were


intercepted. Not quite the very model of a


modern major festival, but how the fans mark 100 years since the death


Hello and welcome. It has been an unprecedented day for Egypt. The


man who ruled the country for 29 years, Hosni Mubarak, has appeared


in a Cairo court to face charges of corruption and of ordering the


killing of Egyptians. Nearly 850 people died during the uprising


that eventually forced him from power six months ago. Mr Mubarak


heard the charges from an iron cage in the courtroom where he lay on a


hospital stretcher bed, apparently too frail to stand. From Cairo, Jon


Leyne reports on the first major trial of the Arab Spring.


From early-morning they gather outside the courthouse at the


police academy. Protesters and relatives of those killed in the


revolution demand justice and revenge. Clashes are quickly


breaking out and there is anger towards the police and the


opposition do not trust the military either. Even as order was


restored, people here did not believe the military would put on


trial their former commander and president. As they hearing began,


they filed into the caged dock. The two sons. The former interior


minister. Finally, Hosni Mubarak himself. He was brought in on a


stretcher, clearly conscious and fully aware of what was going on.


The judge refused the plea for the 83 year olds to be allowed out of


the hearing on grounds of ill health. The prosecutor read out the


charges. Hosni Mubarak did nothing to prevent attacks on demonstrators,


he said. TRANSLATION: The intention was to


kill the biggest number of protesters. For the first time in


30 years, the former leader was asked to answer for his actions.


TRANSLATION: These accusations, I deny them all. Then, an unpleasant


surprise for the current military leader Field Marshall Tantawi.


Lawyers called for him to testify. So, this is Hosni Mubarak. He was


once powerful, now on a stretcher, in a court room, facing charges


that could lead to the death penalty. The accusation is that the


former President responded to these protests by ordering his men to


open fire. More than 800 protesters were killed. Proving his command


responsibility will be a challenge. This is a moment Egyptians never


believed they would see, their former president, members of his


family and his officials in the dock, in what used to be the police


academy in his name. Certainly, the protesters outside the court were


exhilarated by the spectacle. I saw him, I felt it was the first


step to justice. It is not like they are happy because of what is


happening to him, they are happy that justice came to this country.


The question is, with -- will this heel or reopened Egypt's wounds?


I am joined by an Egyptian journalist who joins me from New


York. How significant is this today in the grand scheme of things for


those who demonstrated for change? It is absolutely significant.


Listening to his voice saying he denies charges gives me goose bumps.


This is something we lost so many lives in Egypt for. This is


something Egypt has been struggling for. Human rights activist, unions,


feminists, everybody who came together to march against his


tyranny, they never thought they would see this day. This is a boost


for everybody in the region. He is a weak man. Does it matter if he is


not present during the trial? question whether he is weak. We get


the weekly update from his solicitor, making it seem like he


was in a coma every two days, when during his years in power, it was a


crime to discuss his health. He comes into court with his hair


freshly dyed. If he wanted public sympathy, he would have gone


further to look frail. It is important for him to hear the


charges and for all tyrants across the region to see him being held


accountable. His lawyers are saying that they would like to speak to


Field Marshall Tantawi. This is a country, Egypt is on a tightrope in


many respects, would it be a good or bad thing for Field Marshall


Tantawi to come to trial? It would be a fantastic thing. I am aware


that we have replaced Hosni Mubarak with a Supreme Council of people


like him. Let us take out their dour -- dirty laundry and air it.


This trial was not a gift from the Supreme Military Council. It is the


people of Egypt who forced the army and military council that runs the


country to put him on trial. He is one of theirs and they are his


friends. They should all be held accountable. That said, it is the


military who are in control. military is in control. I just came


back from Egypt where I spent time in the square with the City in


before it was broken up. -- sit in. This trial is a result of people


pressure. This pressure will continue to remind the military


that when we enter trials, where one civilian leadership and fair


elections. I am confident people pressure will liberate Egypt from


the regime. It is an unique moment for Egypt. It is significant for


other nationalities in the Middle East. In what way? We cannot forget


the suffering of sisters and brothers are in Syria, where they


are continued to be massacred brutally. Revolutionary is watching


this should be thinking, one of these days there President will be


held accountable and face what Hosni Mubarak faces. All of them,


Colonel Gaddafi, the rulers of Saudi Arabia, they must be watching


Hosni Mubarak brought to his knees, in aid cage. They know that the


people of their country can hold people accountable.


Members of the UN Security Council agreed on the wording of a


statement that will condemn the violence in Syria. Reports from


Hama say there are tanks after days of violence that have left 140


people dead. As roadblocks smoulder on the


streets of Hama, the shelling begins again. These pictures are


uploaded to the internet by activists and show the fear of


residence as security forces continued their deadly crackdown.


Residents of the central town have told the BBC that many are fleeing


to villages. Today, about 5am, all communication, land lines, internet,


they had been dropped completely. They started firing and bombs and


tanks in all directions of the city. The government attempts to cut


communications are impossible to verify -- make it impossible to


verify what is going on inside Syria. There are protests in other


places. The unrest is blamed on armed gangs and saboteurs attacking


the troops. But, at the UN Security Council, bet is unease about the


actions of Syria's forces. required balance has not been


achieved in the course of discussions. And in the current


shape and form of the text, it may not play a constructive and


positive role. The confrontations between the President's forces and


protesters calling for freedom and democracy started in March. Still,


survival seems to be the concern of the regime. Any UN Security Council


action is unlikely to have impact on the streets of Syria.


Cocaine with a street rally at of up to $500 million has been found


inside a luxury yacht on the south coast of England. The drugs were


stashed in a secret compartment in a boat headed from the Caribbean to


the Netherlands. Officials say they were so well concealed it took six


days to find them. Six men had been arrested.


The Louise, a luxury yacht with the trappings of a wealthy lifestyle.


The Louise hadn't even -- hidden extra, the largest amount of


cocaine ever seized in the UK. This is what it looks like. 1.2 tonnes.


It was an international law enforcement operation involving


seven countries. This is a global threat and it requires a global


response with trusted Partner ships and for people to rely on the


information and intelligence they are given. It was from Venezuela


that the drugs consignments set sail. It was shipped to the British


Virgin Islands and packed inside Louise, a 65 ft cruiser. This is


where the British and French authorities were tipped off. They


tracked the Louise across the Atlantic. With her cargo she was


transported on a container ship. The next stop was Southampton. She


was going to the Netherlands but the UK became her journey's end


when law enforcement agencies began their search. It was under the


diving platform they eventually located what they had been looking


for. Cocaine and the street value was �300 million. How do you hide


such a large stash of drugs? The smugglers were clever. It took


teams working 12 hours a day six days to find all the cocaine. Often,


smugglers used a false fuel tank to hide the drugs. The Louise had a


false tank, but it was empty. The smugglers hoped to put the


searchers off the scent. But they kept looking for a cocaine, which


was 90% pure. It would have found its way into Europe and around


Europe and back to the UK in large store. We think this would amount


to in terms of street availability something in the region of seven or


eight tons of cut cocaine. This is huge. This will damage. With the


Louise impounded, the owner, his sons and two other men are under


arrest in the Netherlands. Also seized from the Gan were guns and


over 1 million euros in cash. -- gang. Australian police have


freed a young woman after ten hours in which they tried to deal with a


suspected bomb reportedly strapped to her body. Few details have


emerged about the incident in a wealthy Sydney suburb. They said


they were examining the device and the girl was back with her parents.


They said there had been interaction between the girl and


the person who planted the device. NATO is sending hundreds of


additional troops to Kosovo amid tensions over two crossings on its


northern border with Serbia. Hundreds of ethnic Serbs who refuse


to accept the declaration of independence have maintained road


blockades in the area. A rather extreme way of cracking


down on illegal parking. This is the Mayor of Vilnius in a tank


running over a Mercedes. The leader had enough of driver's parking


where they should not, so he and a public relations team took matters


into their own hands. He is an avid cyclist and hopes that by showing


the world how seriously he takes traffic offences there will be less


of them and drivers like that in The Italian Prime Minister, Silvio


Berlusconi, has told the Lower House of Parliament that the


country's economy has a solid foundation and its banks have good


reserves of cattle. He was speaking in Rome following market


speculation that the eurozone debt crisis might spread to Italy and


Spain. Earlier today, the Italian Finance


Minister Giulio Tremonti held an emergency meeting at the eurozone -


- with the routes on German Jean Claude Juncker in Luxembourg, but


details of the talks have not been released. The President of the


European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, has also commented, saying


the speculation do not reflect these true state of the Italian and


Spanish economies. In fact, a little while ago, the chair of the


European Commission felt that our market was under pressure and our


banks have also overcome on their own financial crisis. They have


been able to deal with losses on credit which were given a -- gave


rise to the recession. In the last few months they have been able to


get access to capital and sufficient funds to overcome the


stress test. Joy and in me from Rome is David


Lane who is the Italy business and finance correspondent for the


Economist. Do you buy a solve your


Berlusconi's keep Cameron carry on approach? I think it was a


disappointing performance in Parliament. I do not think he put


forward any major ideas that will bring the big change to what is


happening in the Italian economy or in public sector finances. We will


wait to see what the markets tomorrow say. Even the European


Commission President suggesting that Italy and Spain are getting a


raw deal out of the markets. would expect him to say that.


is a fair point. We are looking at a country where the Government has


introduced in austerity plan. Mr Berlusconi says that is an


indication we are moving in the right direction. The banks are


solvent and the economy is sound. The markets have said they do not


believe that story. They believe there should be more austerity and


that not enough is being done to encourage growth. I think that is


one of the major problems with the Italian economy. It has a low


growth rate about 1% and that is not enough to convince the markets,


especially where one is seeing yield of around 6% on Italian bonds.


It is over 6% now. I was going to ask you about that. At what point


do you think the Italians volunteer the Greek trap and have to start


saying, we do need a bail-out? not think they have got to that


point yet. In August, they have cancelled the auction of medium and


long-term bonds. They have decided to do that because taxes are


collected mainly in July and June. They have had such - tax-efficient


revenues and so they have said they will cancel the auction in August.


I must say that I spoke to a senior banker and they say they believe


the Treasury should should have gone through with the auction. It


might be seen as a sign of weakness. Her they might get some idea


tomorrow when the Spanish Government bonds are up for auction.


Spain in not take a similar position in terms of the cost now


of borrowing. Are we looking at some sort of eurozone Armageddon


again? It looks like it. When one looks at the their debt they Italy


had when it joined the eurozone, around 110% of GDP, it is now 120%.


That is twice what was laid out by the treaty. Perhaps Italy should


not have joined the euro. A tiny, - - finally, he is known as a man of


charisma. Could he still be the right man to bring Italy round?


remember that we wrote about Berlusconi more than 10 years ago


that he was unfit to lead Italy. I think that everything that he has


done over the last three years in Government since the firm this


Government in 2080 and what he did between 2001 and 2006, shows away


were fit to write what we did. Here in Britain, more phone hacking


allegations have emerged, this time about the prep -- Mirror Group of


newspapers. Heather Mills has made claims to the BBC that a senior


Mirror Group editorial figure admitted hacking highly sensitive


voice mails left for her by Sir Paul McCartney before they were


married. Heather Mills is a former model,


best known for her four year marriage to Sir Paul McCartney. She


was the subject of tabloid stories for years. Tonight she alleges that


the senior journalist at Mirror Group Newspapers admitted hacking


his voice mail left for her in 2001 by Sir Paul McCartney. She said he


quoted parts of the message, following an argument she had with


her then boyfriend. We had had an argument. If you do anything with


the story because they were private conversations about the issues we


were having as a couple, I said, what would you do? He said, OK. I


did hear it on you're voice messages. I will not run it.


parent company, Trinity Mirror, tonight said in response to the


allegation that its position was clear. That all its journalists


work within the criminal law and the Press Complaints framework. It


was not the then editor Piers Morgan. However, the message in


question appears to be one which Mr Morgan later admitted listening to


any 2006 article in the Daily Mail in which she wrote, at one stage I


was played the message poll have left for heather on her mobile


phone. It was heartbreaking. The couple had had if fight. He sounded


lonely, miserable and desperate and even sang We Can Work It Out into


the answer phone. If her recollection is correct, the


message he listen to had been hacked. And they fell Mirror Group


journalist had tried to use it to get the story. Piers Morgan who now


works for CNN has consistently denied phone hacking or authorising


it. This man worked for the company as a business journalist. He was


later convicted of conspiring inflated share prices. He says the


practice was widespread at the time Heather Mills claims the event took


place. It was an accepted technique for stories. The BBC has also


learned that many people also believe they were hacked by the


Mirror Group. If you like a bit of Gilbert and


Sullivan, you may want to head for Derbyshire in the North of England.


A festival is taking place to mark 100 years since the death of WS


Gilbert. Fans from around the world are taking part and it is just more


than about of that musical blend. It is 150 productions.


We are in Buxton for a celebration of Gilbert and Sullivan. It is


magic. If you like singers and good music and a good laugh. I cannot


think of anywhere else to go. everywhere you go, it is final


rehearsal time. That was HMS Pinafore. This is another HMS


Pinafore. Meanwhile, next door... They are rehearsing his the Mikado.


And here we are backstage for the Yeomen of the Guard. And it is for


the festival director, Ian Smith, a record breaker. How many


productions altogether? The in total in this festival we will have


50 full-scale productions. operas, 2000 costumes and an


audience with high standards. quite nerve-racking. There are


people sitting with scores on their laps, turning the pages as you sing


the song. Which is rather off- putting! I have been here for 18


years. Beautiful theatre. Let me show you the orchestra pit. The


fascinating piece of the Buxton Opera house. On this tour, a


glimpse of the effort and the passion in this the centenary year


of -- of the death of the composer WS Gilbert. It is a wonderful


introduction. And also to English society. And of English Umar. --


English humour. So 50 casts, some young, some not so young. All


nations, are all far operas deeply Victorian and very, very English.


Andy reminder now of her main news: The deposed Egyptian President and


his two sons have pleaded not guilty during their first court


appearance in Cairo on charges of corruption and ordering the killing


of hundreds of demonstrators. That is it from the programme. The


Hello, that was the last of the hot and humid days. Rain will push away


that humidity, bringing the temperature down. Some of the rain


will be on the heavy side. With that rain for tomorrow, heaviest


across southern areas, as much as 25 mm in places. That rain clearing


away from Western Areas with some sunshine following. The rain


pushing further east as we go through the day. This is the


picture for four o'clock in the afternoon. You can see the bright


colours indicating the intense downpours. The rain clearing away


from London at this stage. Behind the rain, brighter skies follow. In


some sunshine, some decent temperatures for the afternoon.


Getting to the low twenties in some places. There will be a fresher


feel to the weather. Still a violent end to the day. -- still a


fine end to the day. 20 degrees and Belfast. The main pushers on to


Northern Scotland where it will be quite heavy. It will hang around as


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