05/09/2011 World News Today


05/09/2011

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

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allegations that British security services were complicit in the

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illegal transfer of terror suspects to Libya while Gaddafi was The

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

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

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of Bani Walid. An empty dock, the former French

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

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

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Ferrari gives us his speedy suggestions on how to solve the

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

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

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controversial Indian film about the caste system which questions

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

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how Libyans are dislodging Colonel Gadaffi after decades of misrule

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and oppression. It is an embarrassment then that UK security

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services are accused of being involved in the illegal transfer of

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

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government says the allegations will be investigated.

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

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

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relationship between British intelligence and Libyan spy master.

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

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Other documents raised difficult Allegations of British involvement

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

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inquiry. The Prime Minister today said the Libyan allegations would

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

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services personnel on how to deal with detainees held by other

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

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this inquiry and it will look at these latest accusations very

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

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

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

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complicity in torture or ill- treatment or unlawful condition.

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Much of the communication involved the exchange of information. Some

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

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the practice known as rendition were suspects are transferred and

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

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

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British government has always denied any complicity in his

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mistreatment or rendition. It is effectively the unlawful kidnapping

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of people, carrying them across borders and putting them into

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jurisdictions where it is known perfectly well that they will be

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

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

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British government had been engaging in that sort of behaviour.

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The job of intelligence agencies is to gather information and sometimes

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officials said today that involves working with regimes which do not

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share our standards. Joining us now is a former UK

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foreign office minister in the Labour government and a former

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chairman of the Commons Intelligence and Security Committee.

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These allegations are deeply embarrassing, and they, for the

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

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imagine that there is any greater achievement than to dissuade

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Colonel Gaddafi to give up his weapons of mass destruction

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programme which hour security service played an important role in

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and we needed to protect ourselves against Islamist groups like Libyan

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

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But the commander of the Tripoli forces is physically accusing the

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

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that is a serious accusation. is something that must be

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investigated thoroughly. They have been other allegations of course in

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

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

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

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

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

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were an organisation that wanted to commit atrocities inside Britain.

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

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

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suggesting the when the current government welcomes the actions of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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the NTC, the National Transitional Council, are sounding increasingly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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final few pockets of Gaddafi resistance. One rebel fighter told

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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They said the humanitarian situation in the town is

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

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

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easily outnumber the Gaddafi loyalists and they are ready for a

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

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but for now at least, the leadership of the National

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Transitional Council same desperate to avoid a bloodbath.

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

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

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National Transitional Council have been saying to you about this

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

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negotiations as long as possible. The deadline that the opposition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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people, Gaddafi loyalists who may feel reluctant to give themselves

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The corruption trial of the former French President Jacques Chirac,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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being submitted is signed by an eminent neurologist, it concludes

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that Jacques Chirac is suffering from a condition that could be

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The International Committee of the Red Cross says authorities have

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given delegates permission to visit Syrian prisoners. As the protests

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

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

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

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

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

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

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country. The European Union has been taking

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

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

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we'll talk to the EU trade commissioner.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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as you mentioned, the most important export market for Syrian

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

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

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

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that will have considerable impact on the financing of the Syrian

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

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

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

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measured in the light of the forthcoming evolutions in Syria,

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

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

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

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

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

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sanctions that can have an immediate impact, and I believe

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

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

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

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is a very well targeted sanction but we are considering further

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

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

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Russia is extremely reluctant about this which means that they are

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

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

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

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

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

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

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There have been scuffles both inside and outside the courtroom

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

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has resumed in Cairo. Several people were arrested outside the

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

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session was temporarily halted when prosecution and defence lawyers had

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

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the killing of protesters during the uprising that removed him from

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

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dying from starvation in East Africa if the response to the

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

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spreading across Somalia, the country worst hit by the

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humanitarian crisis, with emergency conditions expected to continue

:18:35.:18:45.
:18:45.:18:45.

well into next year. Scientists have created stem cells

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

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

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

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habitat loss and hunting. The scientists report in Nature Methods

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that their stem cells could be transformed into different types of

:19:02.:19:09.

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

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euro austerity plan it announced amongst much fanfare last month.

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

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investors worried about the ability of Italy and other Eurozone

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

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

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quickly dismissed as members of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's

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coalition government squabble over how exactly they will balance the

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budget by 2013. With additional fears that the second bailout

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package for Greece as some EU countries qustion the level of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:20:25.:20:29.

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

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

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is necessary. Obviously the government is under pressure and

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

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

:20:49.:20:54.

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

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

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

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

:21:16.:21:22.

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

:21:22.:21:26.

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

:21:26.:21:32.

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

:21:32.:21:39.

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

:21:39.:21:42.

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

:21:42.:21:48.

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

:21:48.:21:53.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:22:25.:22:31.

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

:22:31.:22:35.

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

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

:22:42.:22:48.

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

:22:48.:22:54.

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

:22:54.:23:01.

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

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

:23:09.:23:15.

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

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

:23:19.:23:24.

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

:23:24.:23:28.

of Ferrari talking to me a little earlier from Rome.

:23:28.:23:31.

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

:23:31.:23:35.

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

:23:35.:23:38.

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

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issue of caste reservations or quotas in the education system for

:23:41.:23:45.

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

:23:45.:23:48.

this type of positive discrimination in today's India?

:23:48.:23:58.
:23:58.:24:00.

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

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has been making headlines since its release because of its

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

:24:09.:24:13.

caste system, a social hierarchy which places people in different

:24:13.:24:17.

class categories based on their family background. It deals with

:24:17.:24:21.

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

:24:21.:24:29.

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

:24:29.:24:32.

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

:24:32.:24:42.
:24:42.:24:43.

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

:24:43.:24:48.

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

:24:48.:24:55.

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

:24:55.:24:59.

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

:24:59.:25:03.

India has access to the same opportunities. These students both

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

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

:25:11.:25:16.

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

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

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

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

:25:31.:25:34.

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

:25:34.:25:42.

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

:25:42.:25:46.

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

:25:46.:25:51.

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

:25:51.:25:55.

constitution and helped introduce quotas or reservations. That was

:25:55.:26:00.

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

:26:00.:26:04.

Reservations changed India dramatically. In a short space of

:26:04.:26:07.

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

:26:07.:26:11.

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

:26:11.:26:15.

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

:26:15.:26:20.

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

:26:20.:26:24.

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

:26:25.:26:27.

reservation says it provides a level playing field but critics say

:26:27.:26:37.
:26:37.:26:39.

it is creating inequalities of its own.

:26:39.:26:44.

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

:26:44.:26:54.
:26:54.:27:00.

This week brings the return of whether we associate with the

:27:00.:27:04.

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

:27:04.:27:08.

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

:27:08.:27:13.

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

:27:13.:27:16.

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

:27:16.:27:20.

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

:27:20.:27:25.

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

:27:25.:27:29.

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

:27:29.:27:32.

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

:27:32.:27:35.

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

:27:35.:27:39.

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

:27:39.:27:43.

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

:27:43.:27:47.

southern England. Along with the brightening up process elsewhere

:27:47.:27:51.

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

:27:51.:27:54.

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

:27:54.:27:58.

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

:27:58.:28:02.

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

:28:03.:28:06.

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

:28:06.:28:10.

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

:28:10.:28:16.

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