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This is BBC World News Today with Kirsty Lang. The big prisoners what
has taken place in the Middle East. Darryl emotional scenes in Israel
as Gilad Shalit returns home after being held captive in Gaza for five
years. I always believed that the day would come when I will find
myself outside prison. In return, 500 Palestinians are welcomed home
to garner has -- Gaza. More will be released over the coming weeks.
The disturbing tale of four disabled people in prisons in the -
- a basement in the United States in a plot to steal their social
security checks. Also coming up, we report from
inside Bahrain. What really happened to protesters when they
tried to bring the Arab Spring to their kingdom.
And six authors compete for the Man Booker Prize. Perhaps this award
Hello. Welcome home at last. One Israeli soldier and nearly 500
Palestinians are enjoying their first day of freedom after a
historic exchange of prisoners between Israel and Hamas. Gilad
Shalit emerged from five long years in a cellar to be greeted by an
ecstatic crowd of friends and supporters in his hometown in
Israel. A huge celebration was laid on in Gaza as families there
welcomed their sons and daughters home, some of whom have been
imprisoned for 20 years. From dawn, Palestinians were
gathering for the welcome home. Prisoners who took arms against
Israel are exulted in Palestinian society, their actions seem as
heroic. Israelis regard them as killers and accessory to murder.
His 11 year-olds is waiting for her mother, imprisoned for 10 years for
helping suicide bombers reach their targets. Her father was not being
released. In northern Israel, the Shalit family, after five years of
campaigning, was picked up from their home for the Newry Union.
Gilad Shalit, pale and thin, was released. He gave an interview.
TRANSLATION: Of course I have missed my family. He hoped the deal
would end wars between Israel and the Palestinians. He was flown to
meet his family. The Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu needed him first.
Then he had a reunion with his father, who led a tenacious
campaign for freedom. In Gaza, a big welcome is being prepared for
the Palestinian prisoners who were released as soon as is rare had
Gary Shalit back. This is a victory for Hamas. On the West Bank,
clashes started when the release took longer. There was no sign of
any new positive atmosphere, just the old one. Stones, tear-gas and
canons is shooting water. The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas,
the political rival of a mass -- Hamas, welcomed the prisoners back.
He has asked his rare many times to release them. Everyone in the crowd
knew that Hamas had succeeded where President amass had failed. These
men are being treated as conquering heroes. What freed them was a
transaction between Hamas and the Israelis. It has not get them
closer to a peace agreement, because there are still the big
issues of war and peace and the future of this land that remain.
By the evening, Gilad Shalit was back home. His last five years must
have been desperately lonely. His country and its Palestinian
neighbours will have to wait longer. Our correspondent is in Gilad
Shalit home. Tell us about the scenes there.
scenes there. They have been extraordinary scenes.
The crowds have mostly melted away, but the helicopter touched down
here late afternoon, and then Gilad Shalit was taken in a convoy of
cars from the landing pad and brought here through the village.
It huge number of people had turned out to line the roads. They were
throwing flowers at the car and opening bottles of champagne and
spraying it over the car. They were dancing and singing. Really, very
significant and moving scenes here. One person was saying to me that
this is the happiest day they have had over the past five years.
Anstey most of the people in this crowd think it was a price worth
paying? Yes, they do. But as everybody has been saying, there
are mixed feelings. There is the concern, even amongst the people
here, about the price which has been paid, which is the fact that
more than 1000 Palestinian prisoners will be released. Half of
them have been released today, and another 500 or so within the next
couple of months. People are concerned that some of those who
are to be released have been involved in some of the most
serious attacks on Israeli soil over the past few decades. The
concern is that they've -- there will be an upsurge in violence.
There are mixed emotions even here in the Shalit East home town.
Our correspondent has been amongst the thousands of celebrating
Palestinians in Gaza City. He says they are claiming a victory of
Israel. It is pretty defined and
celebratory, really. I can hear fireworks at the moment to my left,
and what sounds like gunfire, celebratory gunfire, to my right.
There was a mass rally in the square behind me in Gaza City. I
would save over 100,000 people were waving green Hamas flags and
listening to an address by it is now Haniya, the Hamas Prime
Minister, alongside hundreds of the released prisoners. They have
traded thousands of Brit -- 1000 prisoners for one man.
A bit later in this programme, we will be discussing a what the
Exchange means for peace in the Middle East. Now let us take a look
at some of the day's other news. If there has been a greater than
expected rise in inflation in Britain, adding to pressures on
living standards, due partly to shop increases in gas and
electricity. Inflation now stands at 5.2%, the highest in the last
three years. Unemployment is high and a economic growth is slow.
He European Court of Justice has banned the issuing of patents for
medical treatments using stands cells extracted from human embryos.
The ruling is based on ethical grounds and was criticised by some
scientists. Two British teenagers have been
arrested in Kenya on suspicion of having links with other Islamist
group in Somalia. The men were picked up close to the border with
Somalia. The fathers of the boys travelled to Kenya to try to find
their sons. We had this week the appalling case
of four mentally disabled adults locked in a squalid basement in
Philadelphia, while their captors cashed their social security checks.
Police discovery has led to charges of false imprisonment and
kidnapping, after the malnourished victims were found in a boiler room.
Our correspondent reports. A grim-faced detective opens the
door to a tiny, terrifying world. In this cramped underground space,
foldable adults were kept prisoner without food, without lights and
surrounded by their own waste. They barely had room to stand up. One of
the men was changed to a boiler. They had been looked -- locked up
with dogs and just a single bottle of drink. Here are three of the
alleged victims giving local television a graphic account of
their ordeal after being freed. They are painfully thin, and it is
not just the physical scars that a shocking. They all have severe
learning difficulties, making them I escaped one time to one of the
houses that we used to love him. -- live in. They got me. 50-year-old
woman is in -- charged with false imprisonment and kidnapping. She
has a previous convicting -- conviction. It is alleged that she
and two co-defendants preyed on the vulnerable to pocket their social
security checks -- cheques. When you look at these conditions, it is
something out of a dungeon. To know that you were taken at -- you were
taking advantage of a fellow human hit being is that discussed in.
incite the property, police found dozens of identification documents.
The FBI is now looking at the woman's previous homes in Texas and
Florida to see whether others may have suffered the same experience.
An independent report into allegations of beatings, torture
and murder in police custody in Bahrain will be published shortly.
It was commissioned by the king of Bahrain, following criticism over
how his government felt with the -- dealt with the failed Arab Spring
uprising there. Morning. Visitors from the
political majority protest at the killing of a teenager at a recent
clash. It is part of a movement to give the sunny people more powerful
stop to see the other side, I joined a patrol with the special
security force. They are feared and hated by the
protesters. This is what they do every night, going out to the
villages and checking out the demonstrations, the protests, the
road blocks. They confront a sporadic civil disobedience.
Roadblocks and rock throwing by Shi'ite youth's, the Government
supporters called traitors. Most people have no sympathy for these
protests. In February, at the height of Bahrain's uprising, the
security forces? Heavy-handed tactics caused international
outrage. One of those attacked was his doctor, he gave the BBC a
bedside interview at the time. beat me with sticks. I told them I
am a doctor, but that -- I believe they are not listening. They
started to beat me. They told me to get up, we will kill you and let
you die. The king of Bahrain has responded to allegations by
commissioning -- commissioning an international inquiry. The
Government is on a charm offensive. There were abuses of human rights.
We, the Government, address those mistakes. They were not just
mistakes done by the Government. They were done by the demonstrators
as well. Those issues have been faced. A but the demonstrators are
not in charge. A Yes, so what I'm saying is that abuses happen from
everyone. Were they systematic? No, they were not. They agreed to let
me see inside a police detention centre. This is not the main prison,
nor is it where most of the interrogations have taken place,
but it was the first visit by the media. Most people said they were 1
-- well-treated, although one and whispered that he had been beaten.
This country harbours thousands of human rights allegations. How the
Government reacts to the findings of an investigation will determine
More now on our top story this hour - the prisoner exchange in the
Middle East. Today's swap - the Israeli Gilat Shalit for more than
400 Palestinian prisoners is just the latest in a long history of
asymmetric exchanges between Israel and the Palestinians. But what will
it mean for Middle East peace? Mouin Rabbani is a senior fellow
with the Institute for Palestinian Studies and he joins me now from
Cairo. Daniel Levy is a senior fellow and
co-director of the Middle East Task Force for the New America
Foundation and he joins me from New York.
Mr Rabbani, a total of 1,000 Palestinians for one Israeli -
that's a pretty good deal. It would be an even better deal if Israel
did not have an additional 5000 or so Palestinians in its prisons. The
explanation for this is that Israel was able to arrest Palestinians at
will add to try them up in kangaroo courts at well I give them absurdly
high sentences. Palestinians are not in a position to arrest Israeli
soldiers or settlers guilty of crimes against Palestinians. I
think that is the short answer to your question. Part of the deal is
that they will not all go home to Gaza. What do you make of that?
think if Palestinian public opinion is probably overwhelmingly and
genuinely best tactic -- delighted. They did not expect to see so many
prisoners see the light of day. But at the same time, the intention is
that they will not be able to communicate with family in the West
Bank. I should also add that as a matter of international law,
deportation is a grave breach by the occupying powers, even if
Palestinian negotiators and prisoners have agreed to it.
David Levy, what will the political fall out be in Israel? Will this be
seen as an act of weakness by Bejamin Netanyahu? I can tell you
what an opinion poll in yesterday's newspaper said, which was that 79%
of the public supported this. Binyamin Netanyahu has one of the
issues raised against him that he does not make decisions, he is not
a leader. He will win some support by having shown leadership. He will
want to change the conversation when at the Parliament reconvenes
next month. A where this could go wrong is if any of those released
are implicated in any future action for fatalities against Israel. He
won overwhelming support in his own Cabinet, but a monster those who
-- but amongst those oppose the deal, who oppose the deal were
possible contenders for his leadership.
Mouin Rabbani, Hamas will gain from this deal, won't it, at the expense
of President Abbas and Fatah? now have this bizarre reality where
Israel has demonstrated that it is prepared to negotiate seriously,
but with Hamas rather than the movement that wants to reach our
comprehensive two state settlement. Talks and negotiations continue to
be rejected between Hamas on behalf of his surreal while Israel is
negotiating with Hamas. You are nodding during that. Do you agree
that this is bad for any future peace process? I would not say that,
because the peace process is at a dead end and negotiating with only
one part of the Palestinian Party is not going to get us anywhere. It
will now be ever more impossible to pursue that track. Binyamin
Netanyahu has shown that is a real does respond, but only when there
is pressure and the reason for responding. This undermines any
sense that they are going to negotiate seriously with mud would
have us. In the next few hours, the winner
of the most prestigious literary prize will be announced. Critics
say the Man Booker Prize has been dumbed down as the head of the
judging panel says this year's finalists were chosen for their
readability. The BBC's Gavin Esler is at the award ceremony in Central
London. Yes, we will know with them a few hours who has won the price.
-- with them back. There is a row about the short list, is it
literary enough? Let's hear from the six authors of the short list.
We live in time, it holds ask. But I have never understood it very
well. It may exist elsewhere in parallel versions. It was so cold
that there was nobody smoking in the streets. The traffic police had
been issued with old fashioned to Boots. The expected the mettle to
drop when a large spider fell to the ground on its back. My pulse
was printing and I became weak headed because I am very much
afraid of spiders and snakes and crawling things. When we came up
blinking out on to the foreshore, there was a vision of beauty, a
tall and local three-masted clapper blink t from India. -- Clipper
bringing tea Edinburgh. He did not go to my school. He could have ride
his bike with my hands. I said a prayer for him inside my head.
Think about it. German and American children growing up in Paris
between the wars making joyful music. The legend survives. That is
just a flavour of the opposite reading from their work. To debate
the bigger issues here I am joined by a former publisher. Is the fuss
good for business? It is tremendous. Nothing stops you redeem the worm
so it had been rejected from the short list. -- nothing stops you
reading of the ones that have been rejected a from the short list. I
think it is true to a certain extent that there are some
surprises. Some wonderful authors and books did not make it to the
short list. But in literature, we are always amazed at the choices of
others. The debate was partly about readability, partly about genre.
There is a thriller and a Western. You could go back to 1989 and ask
for the run-up in that here was a crime novel. Nothing is bad, but
thinking makes it so. What is a readable it depends on the
individual. Some people prefer a more literary stuff. This opens up
the prize to the most -- it to the widest audience. Julian Barnes is a
big name on the list. He is famous for saying the whole system is...
At the end, it will be the alchemy and their individual personalities
of the judges which makes their choice. All six are fabulous books.
But, yes, it is posh Bengal. Gisela is saying it is partly a lottery
because on the night, none of them know what the who is going to win
and it is awful to be in that position. They do look like circus
animals almost. Julian Barnes has a fantastic pedigree and has a
wonderful writer and has written a marvellous book. I do not see, with
him on the list, how people can say that the list is terrible.
Readability is not to do with that. People should pick the best books,
whether they are readable or not is a secondary condition. What do your
bit of the others, the less familiar names, Patrick deWitt I
had never heard of before? These are super books. The fact that they
are not known, ought known only end assure -- or only known in a small
circle, that adds a certain because it. -- a certain element. In each
year, there is a different panel of judges, and each panel adds his own
character. This year, it has been much more open and accessible.
choices they made for the short list have been more surprising than
people have expected. The books are wider ranging. The Booker, because
it picks books from that Commonwealth has always had a
variety and has always picked books that people have not heard off. It
is one way to discover brilliant writers. Ethic that is one of the
appeals of the prize. The problem is partly about discovering writers
and judging writers are on their books. In a way, your first book is
going to be your best book because there is nothing to judge it
against. After nine or 10 books, people could say that it is a good
book, but not the best book so do not put it on the list. This could
transform the lives of the authors. It could change it for them in
terms of writing, film sales, it is an international praise and the
most important one in the whole world. Thank you very much. We will
know the winner very shortly. A reminder of our main news. The
Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, held captive in Gaza for more than five
years, is now back at home after being released and reunited with
his family in Israel. The colder weather has arrived with
showers in the North and West that will continue over night. Clear
spells elsewhere. Tomorrow, we start with the showers in the same
area as but then the move south east. It was still be windy. The
wind coming in from the north-west. High pressure coming in from
Wednesday. On Wednesday morning, it is a cool start. The showers at
moving into the south-east. But plenty of sunshine across northern
England. The showers will move through the Midlands into East
Anglia and the South East. Some of these could be on the heavy side.
Just a 13 degrees in London and most of us will fall well short of
that. Sunny spells through its south-west England, showers few and
far between in Wales. Few were showers for the afternoon in
Northern Ireland. Coastal showers in Scotland, some towards the north