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This is BBC World News Today. An explosion rips through a Kenyan
slum in Nairobi. At least 120 people are killed after a leaking
fuel pipeline bursts into flames. The death toll is likely to rise.
The most radical reform of British banking in a generation. Will they
stave off another crisis and protect the taxpayer from footing
the bill? Meanwhile, shares in major French
banks plummet over concerns they are over-exposed to Greek debt.
Slavery in the UK. Police discover 24 people held in filthy and
cramped conditions, working many years for next to nothing. Next me
try this Again. SPEAKS RUSSIAN. As David Cameron tries to dazzle
his hosts in Moscow with a bit of Russian, how important are language
skills in modern diplomacy? Hello and welcome. Today life for
some of the poorest people in Nairobi became more wretched, after
a fuel pipeline exploded in a densely populated slum. Dozens are
being treated in hospital for severe burns. Around 120 were
killed, leaving many families bereaved. Witnesses said people had
been collecting fuel as it leaked from the pipeline into nearby open
sewers, before it exploded. Our world affairs correspondent reports
from Nairobi. After the explosion of fuel that leaked from the
pipeline, people in flames leaped into the river. The fires and
reached to the river itself. They had been built up to the pipeline,
the homes, and many were engulfed. All that was left was wreckage of
corrugated iron sheds and scattered possessions. It began when word got
around there was a leak, and people set out to scoop up what was
leaking. Many were taken to hospital. This person said she
heard a big blast and she saw people on fire. All around me were
people on fire. The Prime Minister visited. This is a terrible tragedy.
It is unimaginable that so many people can lose their lives. It is
terrible. Terrible. Terrible. the rescue work continued, there
were echoes of a similar tragedy two years ago when fire broke out
when they were scooping up fuel from an overturned tanker in
western Kenya. We can get the latest in Nairobi.
Can you give us an update? authorities confirmed at least 80
people were confirmed dead and they have been taken to the city
mortuary. They expect that number to rise. I was at the slum. I saw
officials assessing bodies that had been killed. Can you tell us more
about the slump? It is in the industrial district of Nairobi. It
is one acre in size. It is densely populated. Most of their housing is
made from corrugated iron. It is a low income area. It is not too far
from the oil refinery, which is where the spill had come from.
The most radical and comprehensive overhaul of the British Banking
system in decades is on the cards. High street banking will be
ringfenced from more risky investment operations. The
government hopes the proposals, which should come into effect over
the next eight years means tax payers are never again asked to
spend tens of billions to pay for bankers' mistakes. Our Business
Editor reports. The mighty banks, such as Royal
Bank of Scotland, perhaps facing their biggest shake-up because of
this economics professor. Sir John Vickers. Status quo is not an
option. Things have to change. what are the reforms? The most
important is the creation of a ring fence to protect parts of banks
that provide vital services to individuals and small businesses.
Retail banking would be protected if more speculative global
investment banking parts found themselves in bother. A former
Royal Bank of Scotland chairman said his old bank should not be
anxious. The separation of investment banking from what I call
commercial banking, that is more than retail, could be for the good
of the bank. Because of recurring financial crisis witnessed over
many centuries, the banks would have more rainy-day money and
borrow from those who could afford to lose in bad times to make
themselves more resilient. Around me is evidence of the boom in
banking and finance and that is over 20 years. Between the City and
Canary Wharf. The commission believes much of that boom was
poisonous. Camber poison be extracted without harming the
patient -- can it be extracted? The great banking crisis of 2007, saw
massive costs heaped on taxpayers and the worst recession for eight
years for which the UK and much of the West has not been recovered --
eight years. Billions has been spent and hundreds of jobs have
been lost. This asks the questions and provides the answers.
commission says the costs will be �1 billion per year for the British
economy and estimates the annual cost of banking crises of �40
billion per year. If the reforms work, they would represent value
for money. The chief executive of a bank said the reforms are a
disaster. What does a member of the commission think of that? It is
neither a disaster for any British bank, and it is not a disaster for
the British public. His is not just about making banks safer, it is
about promoting. Things like more competition on a high street.
Easier switching. This is what the government should introduce. A new
industry, not growing so much, perhaps, but possibly more stable
and less dangerous. Meanwhile, there've been sharp
falls across European stock markets as fears again gather strength
about the possibility of a default in Greece. French banks have been
hit particularly hard. There are concerns their credit rating might
be downgraded because of their exposure to Greek debt. Societe
Generale sought to calm fears by announcing plans to sell off assets
to raise capital. From Paris, Christian Fraser reports.
If Greece is the epicentre of the crisis, it sent shock waves to
every corner of Europe. It cannot be felt more acutely than in Paris.
Today, shares in French banks tumbled. Concerns grew about their
exposure to government debt in Greece, Spain and Italy and the
threat of a damn great in its Credit Agricole rating. --
downgrade. Markets are pricing in the need for government in --
intervention. Whether that is a capital injection, it is premature
speculation, said the finance minister.
TRANSLATION: There is no emergency for the banks. They have plenty of
means of response. They will provide liquidity. The European
Central Bank said there are 5 billion euros potentially available
for banks. The French banks hold billions of Euros of Greek bonds.
Investors fear those assets could be devalued. American banks have
begun to draw back on their loans. Societe Generale was forced to
respond. They announced cuts of 4 billion euros. Enough to cope with
reality if funding becomes more scarce. We have to recognise how
much money we have spent and how much more we we may still have to
put into the banking system. The question is how much this will cost
European banks. The head of the European Central Bank gave
assurances they could provide European banks with short-term
lending. If French banks are downgraded, it may underscored that
despite two bail-out packages, European governments are limited in
their ability to defend banking. We can talk more about this. We are
joined by a banking expert. If the French banks are in trouble, how
serious could the crisis be? anything dramatic happened, it
would not be a picnic. The question is anything dramatic will happen.
This is a rumour that they might have a downgraded Credit rating. In
France, there is suspicion day are over exposed to Greek debt. The
French government says everything is all right. They would, wouldn't
they? The French banks are over- exposed. To some degree. The
question is, what is the real chance of that blubbing up? If it
does, how badly? Can the French government do it -- blowing up. I
do not think it could happen. I suspect there are people in the
market who would quite like to see French bank shares go and there
were and would like to see that. There are speculators on the market.
Many people on the market get a profit if the share goes down as
well as up. They bet on shares going down. You think speculators
are driving the panic? Absolutely. There is evidence from a number of
places in certain situations since the financial crisis that
speculators have gone into the market and that that shares would
go down. If they do, they win the bet and make money. And the French
government calming the fears, will they succeed? Hopefully. One danger
we have with modern systems, is that contagion spreads like
wildfire. And about the British bank reforms? They are dramatic.
Are they going to work? In terms of the UK, they make the banks in the
UK for less likely for any contagion to spread. In terms of
making the global banking system safer, they do not add that much to
the bigger picture. That is what they should be doing with the G20
behind it. For the global meltdown, it is a global solution. If our
part of it is safe and the rest blows up, our part goes with it.
Banking is a global business and you need global solutions.
We can look at some of the other main developments. Staying with
France, the European Commission will help the French authorities
monitor the impact of a fatal explosion at a nuclear plant. One
person was killed and four injured when a first exploded at the site
near Nimes. The French authorities say there is no radioactive leak.
French police have interviewed the former IMF chief Dominic Strauss-
Kahn as part of an investigation into a complaint filed by a
journalist who alleges he tried to rape her. Tristane Banon says he
assaulted her in 2003. Last month, a US prosecutor dropped attempt --
attempted rape charges after saying the alleged victim was unreliable.
He denied charges in both cases. Musicians welcomed a decision by
the European Union to extend copyright for recorded music. The
decision follows a campaign by people such as Cliff Richard who
faced a loss of revenue in later In South Africa, a court has ruled
that a song calling for white farmers to be shocked at
constitutes hate speech. The song was performed by a Julius Malema, a
youth leader of the African National Congress. Defiant to the
end, this was Julius Malema, at the weekend, singing a sanitised
version of the controversial struggle song. But today in court
the maverick politician was nowhere to be seen, just a handful of
supporters amassed outside as the judge delivered the damning ruling.
The song amounted to hate speech and was banned out right.
This is not really a victory for those who oppose Julius Malema, it
is a victory for those in those communities. There ruling party may
have it on his shoes with Julius Malema, but on liberation songs it
has closed ranks. Senior figures within the party
testified that the refrain captured its country's history.
Our appeal will continue, we are journeying on, we will defend the
heritage of the African National Congress.
Not long ago, Julius Malema seemed invincible and now seems like a
broken man. Though his supporters outside court are trying to put a
brave face on -- put a brave face on things, the second hearing
tomorrow could mark the end of Julius Malema's political career.
Julius Malema's supporters clashed with police one month ago.
By if found guilty of bringing the party into disrepute, Julius Malema
could be expelled from the African It is six months since the massive
earthquake and tsunami that hit north-eastern Japan. Almost 16,000
people are known to have died, nearly 5,000 more still missing.
There are now fears the worst hit town may never recover. Our
correspondent, Damian Grammaticas, who reported from Japan in the
aftermath of the disaster, has been back to the visit one of the
affected areas. The water, you would think for a
tsunami survivor, would be terrifying.
Six months ago, Chihiro was swallowed by the waves. She saw
more than half of her swimming team swept away, but today she is back
in training and says it holds no fear.
By Japan's earthquake unleashed the tsunami, Chihiro's team were
swimming near the seashore. This is news footage of that day.
Underneath the water, their town of Rikuzentakata lies submerged. This
building is where they were trapped. The after the disaster, her teacher
showed us how it Chihiro survived. The mark on the wall shows the tiny
space where she found she could breathe.
Offered team-mates, seven died. Chihiro had been gripping one
friend's hand, trying to pull her to safety. The water tore them
apart. TRANSLATION: When I am alone, I
cannot help thinking about my friend who died. I really long to
see them again. Chihiro's town, so badly damaged,
is trying to move on, too. There is a massive effort to shift and sift
the wreckage. We now is that -- we now know 1,500 people died when
Rikuzentakata was washed away. 2,000 more have since packed their
bags and left, their homes and livelihoods gone. Getting on with
the job of rebuilding is the urgent priority for the survivors here in
Rikuzentakata. They have even started drawing up plans. They
feared nothing is done, people will leave this town and it will slowly
wither and die. The plan is to be built the town's sea walls, but
make them 15 metres high. Japan's Government promised a huge
emergency budget for reconstruction, but nothing has happened. Ranks of
prefabricated huts have been put up to house more than 2,000 families,
including cows's. Her father has lost his or oyster fishing business,
and her grandfather is one of 200 people from the Town presumed dead
but often no trace has been found. A TRANSLATION: At what do I think
about the Government? Not much. Our politicians have been fighting over
who should be Prime Minister. This is not the time for that. We have
come to expect nothing from them. Chihiro's school was destroyed, so
every morning she travels one hour of the coast to a temporary one. Or
she wants is a new school and a new home in Rikuzentakata. -- all she
wants. In the meantime, it is a swimming, she says, that teacher
from dwelling on the memories of the tsunami.
TRANSLATION: When I am swimming, I do not have to think about anything,
I just empty my mind. That is why I Damian Grammaticas with the
aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Four people in Britain have been charged with slavery offences
relating to four people found at a travellers' site. The men are all
from the same family of travellers and were charged with conspiracy to
holding a person in servitude and conspiring to hold them in forced
labour. David Cameron has been visiting
Russia today along with leading British business leaders. He said
he wanted to consolidate British political and commercial links with
Russia. When Mr Cameron tried to impress his hosts with a few words
in Russian, the Foreign Office announced today it is reinvesting
in building the language skills of British diplomats. Our
correspondent looks at language, politics and diplomacy in the
modern world. A lot has changed since David
Cameron first visited Russia 26 years ago. Then, he was on a gap
year between school and university. Now, as British Prime Minister, he
was just asking to practise Russian. Today I want to make their case
that... Are SPEAKS RUSSIAN... Together, we are stronger.
OK, it was not perfect, but just a little phrase, especially in a
language as difficult as Russian, can go a long way. After all, he
has to keep up with his polyglot deputy, who speaks five languages.
SPEAKS GERMAN. Do the famous German air is very
refreshing, says Nick Clegg. Also, Tony Blair had the French
language. SPEAKS FRENCH.
Or did he? One diplomat recalls cent meeting his one-time
counterpart whose policies he was said to envy. When he switched into
friends, Mr Blair was said to have translated his thoughts too
literally, sane, I lust after you in many different positions. --
seeing, I lost after you. The US politicians exercise their
skills with mixed degrees of success. Who in Ireland can forget
Barack Obama's visit in May when he showed off Gaelic? Hillary Clinton
delved into the Russian dictionary to try to rebuild relations with
Moscow. She arrived in Geneva clasping a symbolic but in with a
Russian word written on it. We worked hard to get the right
Russian word, did we get it? you got it wrong.
Unfortunately, there would have chosen meant, overcharged.
- Mike there were but they chose meant overcharged.
We are joined by Professor David Bellos from Princeton University
who has just written a book called Is That A Fish In Your Ear?. This
idea of reviving language skills for British diplomats, are they
needed? Everyone wants to speak English, do they really need it? It
be yes, because if they are the only people who only speak English,
they are going to be missing a great deal.
But they must rely on their translators before they can even
read the morning paper headlines, the at a disadvantage.
Do they not talk to other politicians who speak English?
Yes, of course English is a planetary language nowadays, it has
been in increasing quantities for several decades, but that does not
mean that non-native English speakers do not speak other
languages, often more than one. That does not mean that interesting
and important conversations do not go on in Chinese and in French,
German, Japanese and Arabic. Not to eat and be able to get on board at
a passive level in this sort of thing going on is not an advantage
for a diplomat or for anyone else who needs to have some
understanding of another culture. Does a little go a long way? We saw
a David Cameron trying to impress Russia with a few words? Good
people like it when the unit -- when you make an effort, or do you
have to become proficient to gain the benefits you are talking about?
That is variable according to who is doing it and what the other
society is like. I can only give a few anecdotes on this, but
certainly in Hungary so few foreigners speak Hungarian that
even trying a few words they are over the moon that you are trying.
In France, the French have a very much more self-confident view of
their language. Just the fireplace or? There are
those who say Nicolas Sarkozy would have a much greater global impact
if he communicated in English sometimes when talking about Libya.
The French, of course, speak a language which, for many centuries,
was the global language and the language of culture, and that they
wish to hang on to it, at least for themselves. We must not forget,
French is spoken not as a native nine with -- native language but as
a language of culture and communication in many parts of the
world, especially in the Middle East and Africa. It is part of the
global conversation. Thank you very much indeed for
talking to us. That is all for the programme, but Next is is the
weather. Formatted from me, Zeinab Badawi, goodbye. -- from me, Zeinab
The we have had a windy day and where every you have been, very
dusty conditions, particularly across the North and areas of the
UK. We still have an amber warning in force from the Met Office for
the strength of the winds. All centred around this an area of low
pressure across southern -- across Scotland. For Tuesday, another
windy day, perhaps not as windy as today. In the north, further heavy
rain, in Scotland further south it is showers. In Northern England to
the east, some strong gusts starting to develop. Through the
southernmost counties of England, it is hit-and-miss with the showers.
They will come through with some brisk westerly winds. Or the south-
west England and Wales Country gusty conditions where you are
exposed. There is a chance through the Irish Sea we could have more
destruction to the ferries. Across areas of Northern Ireland, Wendy