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This is BBC World News today with me, Zeinab Badawi. In the run up to
the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks in America,
US intelligence points to possible car bombs targeting strategic
points in Washington or New York. We are taking this threat seriously.
Federal, state and local authorities are taking all steps to
address it. Advancing on one of Gaddafi's last strong holds. Libyan
rebels say they will take the town of Bani Walid within hours.
The fallout from the eurozone crisis now a key official at the
European Central Bank resigns, leading to sharp declines on global
markets. Still daring to defy - President
Assad, despite the crack down in Syria, protesters call for
international protection. And rock gods up close and personal,
a candid look at U2's premiere at Hello and welcome. The US
authorities have warned a specific and credible threat in the country
as Americans prepare to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11 on Sunday.
My colleague, Jon Sopel is at Ground Zero in New York and we can
Thank you very much. Welcome to Ground Zero, where on Sunday, this
part of the city is going to fall earily and strairchingly quiet. The
west side highway will be shut beneath where we're broadcasting
now. All attention will be focused on this memorial, which will be
unveiled by the President and mayor and for the first time, the
relatives of those who lost their lives in the attack on the Twin
Towers will be able to see the names of their loved ones etched in
the stones that surround these rather beautiful pools, which mark
the footprint of where the north and south towers were. There's a
security concern. Security has been stepped up in New York, following
intelligence suggesting that there was a plot to have either a car or
a truck bomb in one of the main streets in the city or perhaps in
one of the tunnels. That has led to an air of slight twitchiness, as
America prepares to remember its dead from 9/11, ten years ago.
Let's get this report from our correspondent Laura Trevelyan.
Good Morning America, breaking news, terror plot revealed. Is Al-Qaeda
planning to set off car bombs in New York and DC? This is what
America woke up to this morning, police officers in Manhattan have
already started searching trucks in response to what officials say is a
specific, credible, but unconfirmed, threat. The measures in place
suggest officerers trying to guard against the possibility of a
vehicle bomb. The US administration justified its decision to make the
details of the plot public. We are taking this threat seriously.
Federal, state and local authorities are taking all steps to
address it. And, of course, making it public, as was done yesterday,
is intended to enlist the millions and millions of New Yorkers and
Americans to be the eyes and ears of vigilance. For New Yorkers,
going to work this morning, the increased security was yet another
reminder of how much life has changed since the 9/11 attacks.
Quite frankly, I don't think Al- Qaeda has the resources to launch a
coordinate add tack. So, no, I'm not worried. I think that were all
worried, about you we have to just move on and live our lives the way
we always do. We're an open country. You can come and go as you please.
As Sunday's tenth anniversary of New York's monumental loss aprofpdz,
it's an emotional time for the relatives of the dead. Charles'
British wifuals killed in the north tower of the World Trade Center.
miss my best friend. After ten years, you know you have to, you
continually move on. I said that they may have gotten my wife, but
they're not getting the rest of my life. I said that shortly after
9/11. I refuse to let the terrorists take over my life in a
negative way. New Yorkers are on their guard against what, it's not
clear. The exact nature of the threat is still unconfirmed.
I'm joined now by a representative from the American Civil Liberties
Union. Thomas Franklin who took perhaps the most famous photograph
of 9/11. It's going to be a solemn day on Sunday, but for you, a lot
of worry about some of the reactions taken to make Americans
safe. Yes the ACLU joins all Americans in mourning the losses of
9/11. As we reflect back on that turbulent decade, we have to
remember that the source of our strength and security is our values
of equality, justice and dew process. It's when we fail to abide
by those values that our nation goes down the wrong path. Isn't it
right that the job of an elected politician, the President, his
first duty is to protect the citizens? The first duty of an
elected President is to follow the constitution according to the
constitution. Protecting our citizens in accordance with
constitutional values is part of what the government does and we
expect it to do. It can best do so by abiding by those values and
ensuring that we don't alienate our allies or give recruiting tools to
our enemies when we fail to act in accordance with our constitution.
Isn't the problem with that is that the people who want to destroy
democracy can just take advantage of that kind of rather liberal
approach, if you like, that they can say, you know, what we can get
away with anything in this country, they're so worried about civil
liberties it gives us freedom to do what we want. I reject the premise
that civil liberties are a threat and liability instead of aness et.
The best rejoineder to those who commit violence or advocate it is
that we are stronger than you are. You are criminals. We are able to
deal with you in accordance with our values without glorifying what
you want. Have things changed, you know, with the change of
administration, have your concerns lessened? There have been very
important advances made by the Obama administration, categorically
rejecting torture, putting an end to CIA secret prison. But it hasn't
turned its back on other policies which violate the constitution and
our values, including indefinite detention at Guantanamo, including
warrantless wiretaping of Americans and profiling of Muslim Americans
in way that's are unfair, ineffective and threaten to
undermine our security efforts instead of enhance them. Let me
turn to you Thomas. I notice just before we came to us, you put your
camera on the floor. They made me take it off. You might miss a shot.
Tell me about the day. Wow, well, I mean, it's hard to believe ten
years have passed. It's you know it's a huge day in our history and
I was witness to everything that happened that day. I was keenly
aware of how important my pictures were going to be historically.
Yeah... The image that I think we can show now of the firefighters,
flag, tell me how that photo came about. Well, I was making pictures
all around the Ground Zero area. A little bit before 5pm, the search
and rescue effort was halted because World Trade Center number
seven, which was right over here, was going to collapse. All the
firemen and rescue workers evacuated west of where we are
right now. I walked back towards the Ground Zero area and saw three
firemen with a flag. I couldn't tell what they were going to do
with it. I was anticipating they were going to perform some sort of
act. Very quickly they raised the flag and I shot the photograph from
30, 40 feet away. And was it instant, the pick up for that
photo? You know, did everybody want that particular picture? Well, when
I shot the picture, it didn't immediately stand out to me above
anything else I had photographed that day. The two largest buildings
in the world came crumbling down and thousands of people were killed.
That picture seemed inconsequential to those events. By the next
morning, we were starting to get a lot of phone calls. The interest in
the picture was huge. You think of iconic images of American history,
I guess, that is, it's like iwojimo, isn't it? There's some visual
similarities. For a brief moment it dawned on me that it was similar to
that. It all happened very quickly. There was no time to replicate it
in any way. It turned out that they did visually look similar.
didn't say, you know, I'm sure a lot of people watching don't know
the rules or etiquette when you're doing these things, you didn't say
"Could you do that again, only just do it slightly differently so I can
get a better angle?" No I never talked to them at all. I didn't
meet them until months later. It was a spontaneous act. It was in
the a performance. They had no idea the picture was being taken. They
did this act of patriotism, I assume, for themselves. I was
witness to it. Yeah, and I guess why the picture is so powerful, it
looks like, it was a terrible day for America, but it was an act of
solidarity, defiance, determination, all those things. Yeah, people have
told me that's what they see in the picture and that they draw strength
from it. Even ten years later, I still receive phone calls, letters
and e-mails from people telling me how much the picture means to them.
The picture has raised over $10 million for charity. The picture
has lived a life of its own. It's raised $10 million for charity,
how? It was used as a US postage stamp, selected by President Bush
the year after 9/11. So proceeds of the stamp wents to families and
victims of 9/11. Can I ask you both this question, do you think America
is safer today, more secure today than it was ten years ago?
going to defer. That's not my area of expertise. I think certainly
that we've had poll tiz that have made us less safe because they've
alienated our allies, given recruiting tools to our enemies.
But the real possibility that we have is to become more safe, to
chart a different course and move forward in way that's we can be
proud of, in accordance with the constitution and in accordance with
the values, both security and freedom, side by side. Thomas, I
guess the paradox of what you've done is that although this
photograph is almost what any kind of photo journalist would want to
get, I suspect you pray that it should never happen again. It's a
very bitter sweet thing for sure. On one hand, as a journalist you
often times don't get to receive that kind of feed back and response
from people. And for that, I'm very proud. But I certainly wish that
day never happened. I wish I didn't have to witness this. I wish those
thousands of people who were murdered that day were still here
today. Both of you, thank you very much indeed. By the way, what do
you think of the memorial behind us? I think it's coming along. I'm
very excited to see what it's going to look like when it's finished.
Are you disappointed it's not finished yet? It's a little
disappointing. I understand that there are reasons for that. I'm
respectful of those reasons. What do you think of it? I'm interested
in an artistic and as a place where people can go and remember loved
ones? It's beautiful. The World Trade Center and the plaza was not
the most beautiful space. I loved those buildings. I shot pictures of
them from every angle all my life. The space was not a really inviting
space. I'm really excited to see they've planted trees, there's
going to be open space. I think they've been very respectful to the
families of those who died. Thank you so much for being with us here
on the BBC. President Obama will unveil the memorial on Sunday,
along with President Bush, along with the mayor of New York and the
families will be able to wander and find the names of loved ones that
surround the sunken pools that mark the footprint of the Twin Towers.
From here, at Ground Zero, in lower Manhattan, it's back to the studio.
Snfrplt That was Jon Sopel at grrz in New York in the run up to the
10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
In Libya, the chief of the National Transitional Council, rather the
chief negotiator at Bani Walid has told the BBC that forces are now
fighting inside the town and are a couple of kilometres from the
centre of Bani Walid. We can cross live to our correspondent Richard
gal pin on the outskirts of the city. What can you tell us about
the fighting that has started apparently in earnest now? Well,
essentially it's been pretty intense fighting throughout the day.
We've been here since the morning. We've seen large numbers of rebel
fighters speeding along the road behind me towards Bani Walid and
essentially, they are saying that they had no choice but to engage
with the Gaddafi loyalists inside the town, because the Gaddafi
loyalists attacked them, firing rockets and artillery and therefore,
they responded. It seems they've moved very quickly towards the town.
As you say, we were briefed by the chief negotiator saying that they
were pretty close, they were something like two kilometres or so
away from the centre of Bani Walid. We've now had word from a rebel
commander who is saying, he says, at least, that they're not going to
go any further at this stage, because they are waiting for the
full orders to come from higher military authorities, but what we
know is that there has been according to sources here there has
been hand-to-hand combat. They're describing the Gaddafi forces there
as professional fighters, but they're also saying that some of
them had literally been throwing away their weapons as the rebels
advances. Quickly remind us why Bani Walid is so important. Well,
it's important in the sense that obviously as we know, the rebels
swept into the capital Tripoli almost three weeks ago. And yet,
Bani Walid and three other towns have remained in the hands of the
Gaddafi loyalists. Therefore, it is obviously crucial for the rebels,
if they want to complete their revolution and declare victory, for
them to gain control of these remaining towns and now, we are
seeing the rebels actually moving into Bani Walid. We assume that
they may well also advance on Sirte, as well, on the coast, which is
Protesters across Syria have poured onto the streets following Friday
prayers calling for the fault of of the President President Bashar al-
Assad. Some of the biggest protests were reported in a central city.
Foreign journalists cannot report freely from serious so our
correspondent cent this report from neighbouring Lebanon. -- Our
correspondent sent this report. The Government is saying that
security personnel have been killed by armed terrorist groups. Despite
heavy violence in the City earlier this week, these unverified
pictures show large protests after Friday prayers. Protest organisers
have been trying to give the demonstration a common theme, and
this time it is the demand for greater international protection.
The Syrian government has some external support still. Most
notably, from a rash. Moscow insists there will be no foreign
intervention. -- notably, from brush-off. Russia will exert
maximum effort so that the situation in a Syria does not
follow the Libyans and area. the allies are distancing
themselves from President Bashar al-Assad. The Turkish Prime
And President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that a military crackdown
is never the right solution. Global markets have again suffered
sharp falls, this time on the news that the Chief Economist of the
European Central Bank has resigned. It is believed that Juergen Stark
opposed difference options are going on and there were meetings to
agree on a way forward. -- different options. We keep being
told that the global economy is in trouble. The last time we heard
that, this lot came to London to fix it. Today, the head of the IMF
came borrowed to say that it was time for leaders to -- came forward
to say it was time for leaders to step up. Leaders around the world
need to act now and must act boldly and must act together. She was
staring at -- sharing a stage with her friend, the Chancellor, who
think that his bonus cuts are bold enough. So does his boss.
Government is absolutely focused on taking the long-term decisions so
that we emerge with this would a strong -- from this would a strong
economy for our people. In the UK, she is not quite calling for a plan
B, and thinks that the Bank of England could inject more money
into England. The key, she said, is for Europe's politicians to resolve
the problems with the euro and shore up their banks. In America,
they have said that President Obama was right to spend money to create
jobs but agreed that America needed to cut spending overall.
companies invest and higher, there will be customers for their
products and services. You should pass this jobs plan right away.
president's 450 billion dollar stimulus plan seemed to go down
well last night. But the markets fell again today, on fears that the
Republicans would never actually pass it. The value of the euro also
fell sharply on the news that a key figure of the European Central Bank
had resigned. All of this gives the G7 finance ministers plenty to talk
about tonight. The last time, everyone was worried about the
global economy, and policy makers pulled out all stops to help make.
Now there is much less room for manoeuvre.
In Egypt, thousands of protesters are in Cairo. Organisers want a
military rulers to keep their promises of reform and are calling
for a transfer of power. A court has jailed a Pakistani border
Britain for life for trying to recruit people to fight for the
Taliban in Afghanistan. The man was captured in a police sting when
police officers infiltrated his group. The British-based human
rights group, Reprieve, says it has evidence of an underground centre
based in Somalia. The sender is said to be used by the US -- the
centre is said to be used by US intelligence personnel. Clara
Gutteridge is a veteran human rights investigator who tracked the
fate of a Kenyan who was flown to the present. He has been how
therefore more than a year without access to a lawyer or ever seeing
daylight. She joins us in the studio. You heard the Prime
Minister they are saying that there was nothing about this detention
centre near the presidential compound. How can you be sure that
it exists? We have spoken to eyewitness -- eye witnesses who had
been held in the centre and we have had many different accounts. A
number of media outlets have also covered the story. I think it is
beyond a doubt it is going on. any one from Reprieve scene this
detention centre? It is a secret present. None of these prisoners
have been allowed access to a lawyer. But you can say quite
confidently that it exists? I have spoken to credible sources and I
think the onus is now on the Somali government to open up the location
and let outsiders into have a look. Who do you think is being kept
there? There are a number of people who had been flown in from outside
the war isn't to be held there and there are children as young as 14
being held there. -- the War Zone. That is quite a serious allegation.
The former President -- prisoners speak about being taken into any
area where there were guards. There are American people who are allowed
into the present to see people and interrogate people. So you want
someone to tell you what is going on. Yes. Thank you very much for
joining us. On a lighter note, B Toronto Film
Festival is one of the big fixtures in the movie world. It has gone
under where -- are under way with a documentary on the Irish rock group
U2. But by no and the end were on hand at. -- both Bono and the Edge
were on hand. The documentary, Ynys Mon, this its
-- the documentary, From The Sky Down, this at a time when U2 was
reinventing itself with its 1991 album Achtung Baby. We went through
that moment in Berlin in 1991 where we saw it and have ended all of the
things that people loved about our band and we began afresh. There is
a kind of fate that is necessary to move from one note to the other.
The film mixes animation and contemporary engineers and shows
the band returning to the studio where they recorded Achtung Baby.
Is it strange for you to see yourself from 20 years ago? Yes! I
thought I would be taller! We do not look back as a band. This was a
moment that we forced ourselves to look back. It is the reason we are
here now. Film-maker Davis Guggenheim was given free rein to
make this film. Those who have seen it maintain there is not much in it
that might seriously tarnish the U2 brand. No uncomfortable references
to a lead in tax problems. - never alleged tax problems. The bell
marks the first time -- alleged tax problems. The film is just one of
250 pictures being screened over the next few days. Toronto operas
thumb that go on to our Oscars warrior. -- operas films that go on
to ask us glory. Last year, the King's Speech premiered at the
Festival and it won many Oscars. It is a festival that is very closely
monitored. Let's remind you of our top stories.
Security has been set up as a officials investigate a specific
threat to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in
New York. That is all for now. It will be a warm and Monday night
to come. Tomorrow, the wind will pick up, and there will be a band
of rain across the UK. The area of low pressure will turn things
whiter through the weekend but the strongest winds will come on Monday.
Some dry air and brighter weather following. Some Sunny spells across
northern England during the afternoon. It is still quite warm
and Monday here with the temperature just leaping into the
low twenties once again. We look to the west and the weather system has
nipped through and we are left with a scattering of showers in parts of
North West England. They will run into westernmost part of Wales and
Northern Ireland. Increasingly blustery. A risk of Gail's
developing during bidet in Scotland and eastern Scotland will see some