05/09/2011 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today. There is to the investigation into


allegations that British security services were complicit in the


illegal transfer of terror suspects to Libya while Gaddafi was The


battle for control of Libya continues, hundreds of anti-Gadaffi


fighters gather ready to attack one of his last strongholds, the town


of Bani Walid. An empty dock, the former French


President, Jacques Chirac, is too unwell to attend his corruption


trial.. As shares in the euro-zone fall sharply yet again, the boss of


Ferrari gives us his speedy suggestions on how to solve the


European debt crisis. We have to avoid becoming like Greece. In


other words, we need important structural deep reforms. And the


controversial Indian film about the caste system which questions


The Prime Minister David Cameron has been lavish with his praise of


how Libyans are dislodging Colonel Gadaffi after decades of misrule


and oppression. It is an embarrassment then that UK security


services are accused of being involved in the illegal transfer of


terror suspects to Libya while Colonel Gadaffi was in power. The


government says the allegations will be investigated.


The ransacked office of the former head of Libyan intelligence. Inside,


a treasure trove of one's secret files that revealed a close


relationship between British intelligence and Libyan spy master.


He offers Christmas greetings and an invitation to runs in his office.


Other documents raised difficult Allegations of British involvement


in this treatment of detainees have already led to the promise of an


inquiry. The Prime Minister today said the Libyan allegations would


be looked at as part of it. We have issued new guidance to intelligence


services personnel on how to deal with detainees held by other


countries. We have asked a retired judge, Sir Peter Gibson, to a poll


this inquiry and it will look at these latest accusations very


carefully. The foreign secretary at the time many of the documents were


written, said he did not know about the allegations. It was who policy


of the previous government, as is wholly to be opposed to any


complicity in torture or ill- treatment or unlawful condition.


Much of the communication involved the exchange of information. Some


of the documents suggest that Britain they have played a role in


the practice known as rendition were suspects are transferred and


often mistreated. One document relates to a member of the Libyan


Islamic fighting group. He says he was tortured in custody. The


British government has always denied any complicity in his


mistreatment or rendition. It is effectively the unlawful kidnapping


of people, carrying them across borders and putting them into


jurisdictions where it is known perfectly well that they will be


mistreated. The British government also condemns that which is why it


would be so serious if it turns out that agencies answerable to the


British government had been engaging in that sort of behaviour.


The job of intelligence agencies is to gather information and sometimes


officials said today that involves working with regimes which do not


share our standards. Joining us now is a former UK


foreign office minister in the Labour government and a former


chairman of the Commons Intelligence and Security Committee.


These allegations are deeply embarrassing, and they, for the


United Kingdom? I hope they are not deeply embarrassing. I cannot


imagine that there is any greater achievement than to dissuade


Colonel Gaddafi to give up his weapons of mass destruction


programme which hour security service played an important role in


and we needed to protect ourselves against Islamist groups like Libyan


fighting group, Members of which were in Britain as well as in Libya.


But the commander of the Tripoli forces is physically accusing the


UK of being complicit in his torture love, what you say to that,


that is a serious accusation. is something that must be


investigated thoroughly. They have been other allegations of course in


the past. We on the Intelligence and Security Committee, examined it


very carefully and we didn't find it against the agencies. We didn't


have any political axe to grind. But there was a problem there, we


would have highlighted it but we didn't find that. This man is a


former member of the fighting were up and he confesses to that. They


were an organisation that wanted to commit atrocities inside Britain.


Believe me, if M I six had not been trying to get information on people


like him, they wouldn't have been doing their job properly. Are you


suggesting the when the current government welcomes the actions of


the rebel forces in trying to topple Gaddafi, this is a man


should not be doing business with, is this what you are saying?


not at all, they have been many people who have been terraced who


have changed. What we have to wait for is to see if he really has


changed because what the fighting group wanted to do was to replace


Gaddafi's dictatorship with a very hard line Islamist government. I


soon that the noises we hear coming out of Tripoli now are for


democracy and not for setting up some kind of organisation which is


going to be run by religious On the ground in Libya, forces of


the NTC, the National Transitional Council, are sounding increasingly


confident about taking the desert town of Bani Walid, one of the last


strongholds of Gadaffi's supporters. It is around 200 kilometres south-


east of Tripoli. Earlier, according to official sources in a


neighbouring Niger, the chief of security of Gadaffi's brigades had


crossed into Niger. Let's get more now from our Correspondent in


For now at least, these rebels are not fighting but singing their


songs of the victory and liberation. Even so, they know they cannot yet


claim that all of Libya is free, not until they have dealt with the


final few pockets of Gaddafi resistance. One rebel fighter told


me that he fears sooner or later there will have to be a battle for


this time. What are you waiting for? Somebody inside he will give


us a signal to enter inside or not. We're waiting for that because we


are a new team, we have someone there already. Are you ready to


fight? Of course, we are one team. Whether many Gaddafi people in Bani


Walid? Sure, not all of them have escaped. Negotiations are


continuing but some of the rebels here appeared to be losing patience.


They said the humanitarian situation in the town is


deteriorating rapidly with food and water running out. So, the rebels


have moved closer to Bani Walid, their morale is sky-high. The


easily outnumber the Gaddafi loyalists and they are ready for a


full-scale assault on Bani Walid, the men at the order goes through


but for now at least, the leadership of the National


Transitional Council same desperate to avoid a bloodbath.


The BBC's Ben Brown is with anti Gadaffi forces on the road between


Tripoli and Bani Walid and joins us What can you tell us about what the


National Transitional Council have been saying to you about this


battle for Bani Walid? They do seem absolutely determined to give


negotiations as long as possible. The deadline that the opposition


leader had last week, but the ultimatum really for the Gaddafi


forces to surrender of this Saturday, still stood so we could


be here for more days with no action on the ground. Even then,


negotiations so far have not been productive. It has been said that


this was because the presence of two of Colonel Gaddafi's sons were


there and the tribal leaders had this duty of guests and they could


not betray them. That may be a polite way of allowing them away to


climb down, a diplomatic way of letting them back into the


negotiations. The trouble is, we had a few hundred really desperate


people, Gaddafi loyalists who may feel reluctant to give themselves


The corruption trial of the former French President Jacques Chirac,


got under way today. Mr Chirac, 78, faces charges of illegal party


funding during his time as mayor of Paris 20 years ago. Doctors


treating him say he is not medically fit to appear in court


but the judges said the trial will go ahead without him attending.


For 50 years, he was a potent force, not only in French politics, but on


the world stage. Jacques Chirac was for ever pushing the French point


of view. The zenith of his career, a bold stand against the war in


Iraq. But today in the same chamber in which Barry and when it was


tried for treason, the elder statesman was betrayed as a frail


old man with a failing memory. The lawyers who represent him and nine


other co-defendants say there is no prospect of a fair trial. The most


important person in this trial is not available to come and defend


himself. For this reason, I think this trial has no meaning. The case


relates to his time as mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995. It is


alleged he embezzled tax payers money, creating 21 ghost jobs to


pay allies from his party. The charge carries a possible sentence


of 10 years or a fine of 150,000 euros. The medical report that is


being submitted is signed by an eminent neurologist, it concludes


that Jacques Chirac is suffering from a condition that could be


linked to Alzheimer's. It affects the speech, there can be bouts of


manic loss and the sufferer is often unaware there is a problem.


Friends say the man who once spoke in such eloquent French now forgets


which party he is from but have the people forgotten what he is accused


of and how tirelessly he fought to evade this prosecution? He is too


old and so sick so there is nothing for us now. It is in the past.


two months ago, he sold the book with his memories, why could he not


answer to questions. He has lost his memory in two weeks! No! Yet,


in spite of many rearguard actions to avoid court, Jacques Chirac is


the first French head of state to face trial since the end of the


second world war. Historic, but not as significant as it would have


been had the man they dubbed the untouchable finally appeared in the


In Syria, opposition to the president Bashaar Al-Asaad, is


still gaining traction, despite months of oppression by the regime.


The International Committee of the Red Cross says authorities have


given delegates permission to visit Syrian prisoners. As the protests


continue, this funeral procession in Homs turned into a protest march


as the crowd chanted, "You will not defeat us, Assad". Here in the UK,


the prime-minister David Cameron told MP's that President Asaad's


time was up. The message to President Assad must be clear. He


has lost all legitimacy and can no longer claim to lead Syria. The


violence should end and he should step aside for the good of his


country. The European Union has been taking


a lead in putting international pressure on Syria. It has now


banned oil imports from Syria and may expand the embargo. In a moment,


we'll talk to the EU trade commissioner.


95% of Syria's oil is bought by the EU which accounts for a quarter of


the country's budget. The ban prevents EU companies from making


new trades in Syrian oil, but they can continue to invest and operate


in the country. Russia doesn't support the sanctions, and Russian


Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov believes they "bring no good". In


the long term, Syria could get around the embargo by replacing


their European trade partners with Asian markets. I'm now joined from


our central London studios by Karel De Gucht, the EU's Commissioner for


Trade. If the EU were serious about pushing pressure on, you would go


for a total trade embargo? -- putting pressure on. First of all,


as you mentioned, the most important export market for Syrian


crude oil is the European Union. Of course, he could be -- it could be


that oil experts are diverted to other markets, but we will have to


see what happens in the future. But it is a measure that has been taken


that will have considerable impact on the financing of the Syrian


regime. To be consistent, would you consider a ban on investments and


operations by oil companies in Syria, for example Chelle? As was


mentioned at the end of the statement, we will consider further


measured in the light of the forthcoming evolutions in Syria,


but when you speak about sanctions and the impact they might have, or


could have, that would be a ban on investment and that would not have


an immediate impact. We are not talking about sanctions that should


have an impact within two or three years, this is a people who are


suffering and are extremely courageous. So we have to look at


sanctions that can have an immediate impact, and I believe


that the export ban on crude oil, largely exported to Europe, can


have that kind of impact. We are talking about 10 million euros on a


daily basis, and it is a large proportion of their budget, so this


is a very well targeted sanction but we are considering further


sanctions if needed. Is the EU trying to get sanctions at an


international level, at UN level? We are, but as you mentioned,


Russia is extremely reluctant about this which means that they are


saying no. So the result of us are making sanctions at European level


is because we could not have them at a global level with the United


Nations. So the reason we have done it at European level is because the


others are not only reluctant, they are negative about it. I did want


to ask you about Libya, but we do not have time. Thank you very much


indeed. Now a look at some of the day's other news.


There have been scuffles both inside and outside the courtroom


where the trial of the ousted Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak,


has resumed in Cairo. Several people were arrested outside the


court as pro- and anti-Mubarak supporters clashed. Inside, the


session was temporarily halted when prosecution and defence lawyers had


to be separated by police. Mr Mubarak is charged with ordering


the killing of protesters during the uprising that removed him from


power. Up to 750,000 people are at risk of


dying from starvation in East Africa if the response to the


crisis doesn't improve. The United Nations also says the famine is


spreading across Somalia, the country worst hit by the


humanitarian crisis, with emergency conditions expected to continue


well into next year. Scientists have created stem cells


from two endangered species, which could help ensure their survival.


The northern white rhino is one of the most endangered animals on


Earth, while the drill - a West African monkey - is threatened by


habitat loss and hunting. The scientists report in Nature Methods


that their stem cells could be transformed into different types of


Doubts are growing about Italy's commitment to the multi-billion


euro austerity plan it announced amongst much fanfare last month.


European financial markets saw falls of around 5% on Monday as


investors worried about the ability of Italy and other Eurozone


economies to pay their debts. Measures to reduce the deficit in


Italy, including a tax on high earners, have been proposed and


quickly dismissed as members of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's


coalition government squabble over how exactly they will balance the


budget by 2013. With additional fears that the second bailout


package for Greece as some EU countries qustion the level of


support, could Italy become the next Greece? That's a question I


put to one of Italy's leading industrialists, the chairman of


Ferrari, Luca De Montezemolo. We are not Greece, but we have to


avoid becoming Greece. In other words, a week need -- we need it


important structural, deep reforms, and we have to take care of the


situation and take advantage. To put it in a provocative way, take


advantage of the situation to make the reforms. But this is not easy,


because in my opinion, we are at the end of a political phase, a


very long political phase. It will be difficult to do everything that


is necessary. Obviously the government is under pressure and


needs money. One of the key things Italy could do is get more money


through tax, and many say, let's face it, a lot of people in Italy


avoid paying tax.Unusual. You are saying rich people like you should


pay more. We have three different problems. The first one is we have


to fight with all the instruments we can against tax evasion. This is


something terrible in Italy and we have to do something even more to


combat this evasion. Secondly, we cannot ask only money from the


Italians, but the state has to do something with privatisation,


liberalisation and cutting costs, the political costs. Our country is


like a very heavy car, an expensive car. We have to cut the costs. Then


we can ask the money from the Italians, because they want to know


where the money goes to improve services and not to put money in


the public expenses. Last but not least, I think that people like me


have got a lot from our country. If the state will do what is necessary,


and only after the state does this, then it is normal for eight


solidarity and generosity that we can do more than others, because if


we are rich, we have to pay more. Briefly, to continue with your


analogy of the car, would you describe Italy as a Ferrari and the


tank is running a bit empty and that the government really ought to


be doing more, but it's difficult because they do not want the car to


stop, in other words they don't one measures that could bring -- bring


recession? Ferrari cars never stop, so this is not the right analogy!


But talking seriously, I am very seriously optimistic for the future


of my country if we can have a new political leadership, and if we


make reforms, because we have a lot of productivity. Italy has three


priorities, one is the public debt, so we have to decrease the debt,


then the Italian state is too expensive because we have too many


things to count up, and then we have to cut bureaucracy. If we can


do this, we have a huge future in front of us. That was the chairman


of Ferrari talking to me a little earlier from Rome.


The film "Aarakshan", starring some of the biggest names in Bollywood,


caused something of a stir when it was released in India - some states


even tried to ban it. The film brings to the silver screen the


issue of caste reservations or quotas in the education system for


people from lower caste or minority backgrounds. But how relevant is


this type of positive discrimination in today's India?


Rajini Vaidyanathan reports from With an all-star cast, Aarakshan


has been making headlines since its release because of its


controversial subject-matter. The film looks at India's centuries old


caste system, a social hierarchy which places people in different


class categories based on their family background. It deals with


the sensitive issue of affirmative action for lower-class and minority


people. Are you trying to accuse me of being a caste system racist?


Some have tried to ban the film, but the director thinks it needs to


be discussed. 49.5 % of all higher education seats and government jobs


are reserved for second class cast in society, which has created a lot


of turmoil. This system of quotas is known as a reservation or


Aarakshan in Hindi. It was introduced to make sure everyone in


India has access to the same opportunities. These students both


study on the same course, but even though the goal scored high marks,


she struggled to get a place because she is from a higher caste.


I couldn't get into the colleges because of the reservation. The


people who scored lower than me, their marks were really low, they


got into it and walked into the college just because they were


minorities. Ashish has benefited and says he has had it harder in


life because of his family's history as a look labourers, so he


There has been a need of reservations for us, and we need to


explore these opportunities. These is one of the many statues which


can be found across the country. He was the architect of the Indian


constitution and helped introduce quotas or reservations. That was


more than 60 years ago, so how relevant are they to today's India?


Reservations changed India dramatically. In a short space of


time it gave the lower-class an opportunity for a higher education,


so they have been able to come civil servants, doctors, engineers


and so on. It is still relevant because we are still an uneven


society. Although it is not deserved as it was as much as it


was years ago, it is still as part of Indian society. Supporters of


reservation says it provides a level playing field but critics say


it is creating inequalities of its own.


Next to the weather, but from now, from me and the rest of the team,


This week brings the return of whether we associate with the


autumn. They will be rain at times, and it will be on the cold side


with a very brisk winds. Through the night and into the Morrow,


windy weather, all due to low pressure bringing rain through the


night and into tomorrow with the isobars so close together, the


first proper blow of the autumn season. Southern England will bear


the brunt of there rain in the morning with the strongest wins.


The rain doesn't clear account until the evening. Very windy


across the south-east of Scotland and the north-east of England with


strong crosswinds on the A one. But it will be brightening up across


much of England and Wales during the afternoon but the rain is still


there in East Sussex and Kent, and the brisk winds continue across


southern England. Along with the brightening up process elsewhere


across England and Wales there will be a few showers coming in and


those will head to parts of Wales and western England later in the


day which could be on the heavy side. For Northern Ireland, a spell


of dry and bright weather, and another band of rain will sink into


northern areas. And close to the area of low pressure in northern


Scotland, across: there are bands of rain to contend with. It stays


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