23/11/2011 World News Today


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Excessive violence was used against pro-democracy protestors in Bahrain


earlier this year with the torture of detainees widespread. These were


the findings of a panel of international lawyers appointed by


the King of Bahrain to look into what happened. The King was present


when the panel read out its findings and said he was dismayed


and promised reforms to prevent further abuses by his security


forces. A are unhappy overture to buy a


difficult day for the Bahraini authorities. New clashes between


youths and security forces initiated area south of the


Bahraini capital just hours before the panel delivered its verdict.


Bahrain's crooner who commissioned the panel a right to hear that


verdict, which when it came, was a stark indictment of the methods it


is claimed his security forces used in March against protesters. Severe


be eating, the use of water pipes and wouldn't and metal implements


and other forms of torture, and electrocution, exposing the


detainees to high levels of temperature and rape and


humiliation of religious groups. The violence, in particular the


authorities' crackdown, were the worst in the troubled King damp


since the 1990s and focused attention, condemnation and


pressure on the government. It has acknowledged the use of excessive


force and is promising change. should reform our laws so that they


are compatible with international laws and methods. This is the


commitment of the Kingdom of Bahrain in accordance with the


signed international agreement. The government has also said those


found have broken the law or ignored the offer Lauder's back in


March will be held accountable, something the panel found was


absent before. The commission sees that not to bring to account the


security services has led to they spread of a now accountability


philosophy and culture, which encouraged officials to mistreat


detainees and prisoners. It was the heavy jail sentences against


medical staff accused of being in league with the protesters that as


one of the most controversial official responses to the crisis.


The government says there will be a rethink here. The high there will


be a complete new retrial. It is a complete retrial in the civilian


court. Protesters show their continuing displeasure by trampling


on pictures of the Bahraini ruler. Despite this panel just might --'s


just month -- judgment, they are looking for political reform as


well. A meanwhile, another Arab dictator


has stepped down after more than 30 years in power. The Yemeni


president has finally signed a deal handing over power to his deputy


ahead of promised early elections. In exchange, President Saleh gets


immunity from prosecution. The deal, which he came close to signing


before, was signed in Saudi Arabia, the neighbouring country, but some


people are unhappy at the 69-year- old getting immunity.


After months of protests in Yemen, President Saleh has at last


formalise the agreement under which he will stand down. He is expected


to hand over power to his deputy in return for immunity from


prosecution. A government of national unity will be formed, and


there will be early presidential elections. The President had come


close to signing the deal several times in the past only to pull out


at the last minute. In the Yemeni capital, the United


Nations envoy was welcoming today's news.


TRANSLATION: The international community will continue to support


the political process, he said, and it will take all necessary action


against anyone who hinders the process.


The mass protests in Yemen began in January, and have continued on and


off all year. President Saleh had insisted on clinging to power, and


there has been a parallel power struggle involving factions firmly


established within Yemen's elite. This was Mr Saleh in September,


when he returned home to Yemen after being injured three months


earlier in a rocket attack which was widely seen as an assassination


attempt. He said he was committed to a Gulf-Arab sponsor deal for a


peaceful transfer of power, but it has taken until now to achieve it.


The un secretary-general has spoken to President Saleh iPhone today --


the UN secretary general, and says he will now fly to New York for


further medical treatment. Staying in the region, let's go to


Egypt, where the situation in Cairo remains highly volatile in spite of


promises made by a the leaders of the handover of power after


elections. Thousands of protestors remain in Tahrir Square, from where


my colleague joins me now. Tell us what has been happening


there today. Well, the crowds, as they have for


the past four or five days, have continued to grow larger and louder


as the day went on. As you can see now, it is the middle of the night


here, and the crowds, some people are coming in and out of the square,


and you can constantly see these corridors being opened up where


ambulances with blue lights flashing go through to a corner of


the square. There have been running battles between the police and


protesters, and they move the injured out. You might be able to


see behind the in the centre of the square is attentive medical


facility where doctors in white coats are continuing to treat the


injured -- tented medical facility. Even though earlier there was an


attempt to calm the square and arrange a truce, numbers are


growing and it broke down almost immediately. There is a real sense


of determination the square. They say they are not leaving until they


hear that Field Marshal Tanter are we will go.


There are parliamentary elections coming up on Monday and they have


promised elections for next summer. What more do they want?


Let me just comment on the elections. Everyone here seems to


be focused on this political space, this is the main focus, and not


just in Cairo but Alexandria and other cities, there have been big


protests. There have been reports that at least one, if not more of


the parties, is calling for a two- week delay in the start of the


parliamentary elections, which is over a three-month process.


For a lot of these people in the square, they say elections are not


the point. They want to know who will control the process, who is in


charge in Egypt. Even though the army is now setting out to find an


interim prime minister, the people here and the critics say that the


army is the one that has been controlling these caretaker


governments, and the army has been pulling the strings. They want to


sign that it will not be a military council running Egypt, but a true


movement towards a real democracy, a democracy of civilians, not by


the military. Bank apps. Let's take a look at today's other


news. The Turkish prime minister Recep


Tayip Erdogan has apologised for a massacre in the 1930s. He is the


first leader to apologise for the massacres which took place when the


military used aerial bombardment with poisonous gas to pacify Kurds


in central Turkey. The Russian President a meeting at


the dead has warned that Russia could retaliate if the United


States continues with plans to build a missile defence shield in


Europe -- Dmitri Medvedev. Parts of Italy have been devastated


by flooding. This is North eastern Sicily, some way you would normally


associate with sunshine. These incredible mudslides and flooding


killed three people. The worst affected town -- in the worst


affected town, more than 20 people have died.


Experts are warning that taking slightly too much paracetamol day


after day can lead to a fatal overdose. Researchers in Edinburgh


say they have seen more than 150 cases of what they call "starboard


-- staggered overdoses" at one of the city's hospitals.


You know the same, if at first you don't succeed, try again, which


seems to be the tactics being employed by the European Commission


when it comes to the idea of Eurobonds. This is a proposal


whereby a all countries in the Eurozone will Paul their debt and


borrow as one, strength through unity was the message from the


Commission today, but Germany remains vehemently opposed to


Eurobonds. Chris Morris reports from Brussels.


The European Commission stepping into the limelight, proposing


intrusive new laws which would give it wide powers over the budgets of


Eurozone countries. Governments could be asked to send


budget plans to Brussels before they are given to national


parliaments, and it would also be - - there would also be much closer


surveillance of countries which run into trouble. The commission argues


that commonly issued Eurobonds, what it calls stability bonds,


could be the best way to create a more stable, sovereign debt market


in the Eurozone. Stability bonds will not solve our immediate


problems and cannot replace reforms which are needed in countries


currently under pressure. But it is also important to show to public


into -- opinion, to international investors, that we are serious


about stronger governments in the euro area, both in discipline and


convergence, and stability bonds are exactly an example of that.


the proposals range from replacing national bonds completely to a much


more diluted version. Many countries are in favour, but


Germany is not. German opposition to the idea of


Eurobonds is clearly a major problem, which is why a proposal


for much tighter central control over national budgets in the


Eurozone is being made public at the same time. The idea is that if


Germany gets what it wants from that issue, then its rejection of


Eurobonds may soften over time to. No sign of that so far, certainly


not from the woman who really matters.


TRANSLATION:. I think it is an appropriate to propose Eurobonds as


a solution. They give the impression that by sharing debt, we


will solve the problems we have with the structure of the European


Union, which is simply not the case. But if the euro zone crisis


continues to worsen, could Eurobonds become the least worst


option, even in Berlin? Some EU officials believe that they could.


The news that Germany's debt agency had to retain nearly 40 per cent of


an auction of German bonds today because of a lack of demand may


suggest that Berlin is not as immune to the debt crisis as it


would like to be. Joining me now from Brussels is Jan


Techau, the director of Carnegie Europe. Can you see Germany


softening its opposition to Eurobonds in the near future?


I think it is basically a matter of time before the Germans have


decayed in, even though I would put more emphasis on the question of


whether we can activate the ECB as the lender of last resort. Germany


has also opposed to that but it is much important and -- much more


important than the euro bonds in the here-and-now in the management


of the crisis. Today as we had Germany held a bond auction and


only managed to raise half the amount of money it was looking for.


What do you extrapolate from that? If Germany has trouble raising


money, you cannot hold out much hope for the rest of the Eurozone,


can you? No, that is the lesson that German law makers and the


German government are learning, but of course, even though they are


strong themselves and look good fiscally, they cannot and couple


themselves from the economic environment they're in, which works


both ways, both in terms of the responsibility Germany has and also


in terms of the danger and risk Germany is exposed to, so it is a


nice warning shot, probably coming at the right time, and might force


the German government to rethink its position. Do you think what


will happen is that Germany will accept euro bonds first, and that


will be a natural progression to accepting the European Central Bank


as the lender of last resort? I think that is the wrong timing. I


think it should be the other way round. Even if we agree on


Eurobonds today, they would be sued for some time to come and that will


probably be too late for the price to be affected by it in a positive


way -- even if they were issued. The ECB seems to be the more


immediate thing. Of course, everything has always in Brussels


is a package to deal, so one thing you cannot get without the other,


and there is feverish activity on all fronts. The pressure the


Germans are under at the moment in Berlin must be immense. Mrs Merkel


as we saw there was taking a tough stance. That was clearly for


domestic consumption in Germany. Do you think that behind the scenes,


she is a little bit more amenable It is very difficult to mind read


her and find out where she really stands. My feeling is that she is


very much in favour of more direct. But this is not about domination of


Europe, but more integration. -- the domination. She made up her


mind before the summer break what she wanted to do with this and now


domestic consumption is one thing that keeps her from doing the right


thing. But she does not want to appear too bossy for the rest of


Europe because Double Trigger old fears of German dominance so it is


a very difficult balancing act that she is trying to pull off at the


moment. Thank you. Let's return to today's events


across the Middle East to discuss all those events in what has been a


busy day, I am joined from Cairo by a Omar Ashour, the Director of


Middle East Studies at the University of Exeter. Let's start


with Egypt. It seems that the ferocity of these protests continue


unabated. How do you see all of this panning out?


I think there is a serious problem here. The Council of the armed


forces gave a concession yesterday by saying that they will hold


presidential elections in the middle of 2012, before many of the


activists on the ground, this is not enough. They heard this 9


months ago. They heard the Supreme Council of the armed forces will


stay in power for six months and then hand over to civilian elected


leadership. This did not happen, as we know today. There is a serious


mistrust between the political activists on one hand and the


Supreme Council of the armed forces. Until now, their capacity to


modernise this country still gives them a very strong momentum. There


is also another Formula up. There is in fighting going on on the West


Side of Tahrir Square and the brutality of the police force is


leading to casualties. This leads to more people are pouring into


their streets for protesting. a vicious circle. Let's turn to


them and where we saw the President stepping down today. I was


wondering if one could seek similar things happening in Yemen as has


happened in Egypt with me about stepping down. In other words, the


President hands over power to an interim government headed by his


deputy. Are they very different situations? There are similar shape


-- there are similarities and differences. What forced the


President to step down is the power of the street and mobilisation. The


difference is that the Egyptian military establishment was intact,


it did not splinter into two sides. That is what we saw in Yemen. Right


now, there are more similarities because the protesters, the pro-


democracy demonstrators, do not see the current Supreme Council as pro


revolution all as pro-democracy. I think we may see something similar


in Yemen after the stepping down of the President if we saw a regime


merging that is trying to uphold the status quo that most of the


revolutionaries want to change. afraid that is all we have time for,


thank you. In Britain, the parents of


Madeleine McCann, the three-year- old girl who disappeared on holiday


in Portugal in 2007, have appeared before the inquiry into press


standards. They describe months of intrusion into their life. Kate


McCann said the media coverage turned sinister. She said she felt


violated when a private diary was published in a paper. This report


contains flash photography. Few people have endured the shaming


excesses of the media in the anguished circumstances that Gerry


and Kate McCann faced in the summer of 2007. They had been on holiday


at a resort in Portugal. One evening, their daughter Madeleine


disappeared from their apartment. Her parents were desperate to find


her. The media to -- the media were desperate for stories. The family


said they had never given evidence before as have come for this reason.


A system has to be put in place to protect ordinary people but the


damage the media can cause. After Madeleine's disappearance, the


media was initially supportive. But then the poor to eat -- Portuguese


police betrayed them as suspects and the worst of the press began.


There was a clear message going out throughout Europe that there was


strong evidence that our daughter was dead and that we were somehow


implicated in her disappearance. These were desperate times. We were


having to try and find out daughter our cells and needed all the help


we could get. I don't know how many times I read, body fluids in the


car. It becomes fact because it is repeated so often. Among the worst


offenders were newspapers owned by the Express group. Story after


story implied falsely that the family were involved in Madeleine's


disappears. More than a year after her disappearance, the News of the


world obtained a copy of Kate McCann's private diary, probably


from the Portuguese police. I felt totally violated. I had written


these words and thoughts that work most desperate. It was my only way


of communicating with Madeleine. One of the wild at their home in


Leicestershire, they were under continual surveillance by


photographers, even when they went out with a young twins. From Kate


and Gerry McCann, five years after Macklin's disappearance and then


the street and by the media, at a simple plea, something has to


change. There are more than 30 million


Kurds living across Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria, with the battle


for their homeland be divisive issue, no one -- nowhere is this


more clearly expressed then in Kurdish Cinema which is having a


boom at the moment. More than 100 films are being screened at the The


-- London Kurdish Film Festival. Films that expose the a raw nerve


of the Kurdish homeland -- longing for a homeland. This film tells the


story of a refugee who travels to Paris. The director is a courtesy -


- a Kurdish refugee. The lead actress is an exile. She has made


her name internationally, working in hollered what has -- as in


Hollywood. This comedy breaks many tattoos. This is the biggest


Kurdish film event in the world. 122 films are being showcased.


have films taking place in Kurdistan and in Europe about her


than stories. I think we are given many options for people to come and


see things according to their tastes. Most of the films are hard


hitting and political. They deal with the atrocities committed in


This film tells the story of the friendship of a mentally ill man


and a Kurdish boy to help his family survive in the Kurdish


region of Turkey. Based on a true story, at their carefree lives take


a sudden turn when the military takes power in 1980. Some Turkish


media have been very critical of the film, particularly a scene


where a Kurd slaps a Turkish officer. TRANSLATION: In Syria,


particularly for the Kurds, you cannot turn you cannot want to make


a film, but I am positive our dream of making a film in our homeland is


close. Since the liberation of Iraqi


Kurdistan, the region has become a safe haven for us film-makers and


actors who face censorship in in brown. There is a boom in the


region's film-making industry. Cinema is a wonderful way of


crossing cultures and boundaries. We are able to show millions of


people what Kurdish culture and history, and songs, or about 31


film, whereas as a government it might take years or decades to


express the same message. This is an important new chapter in Kurdish


film-making. It is reflected in the number and quality of the films at


the Festival, and it is a festival that proves that Kurdish film


directors are willing to shine a spot land on their home and's own


cultures and traditions. -- homeland's own cultures.


The main news: The king of Bahrain has promised reform after an


independent inquiry strongly criticised the way the government


have suppressed pro-democracy protests in February. The report's


although it said the detainees had been whipped, kicked, given


electric and -- electric shock enough to extract confessions's.


The Yemeni President has agreed to transfer power to his deputy. The


deal was signed in a ceremony in Saudi Arabia. The UN Secretary


General said he would now flight to the United States for medical


treatment. He has been under pressure to step down after months


of protests. In the last the minutes, President Obama said he


welcomed the decision. That is all. Next, the weather.


We have some sunshine across England and Wales today, cloudy


with rain further north. Tomorrow, the brain clears away and it should


be a bright and breezy day. There will be some strong winds around.


It is tied in with this deep area of low pressure developing in the


Atlantic. It is swinging north, pushing the front out of the way of


Scotland, but another one following in behind along with the strength


of the winds, there will also be rain later in the day. But away


from that, it is quiet across northern England. It should be a


dry day with sunny spells. The winds will be a bit dusty. Sunshine


in south-east England. There will be more cloud for the afternoon,


but generally a drier picture here. 13 or 14 degrees. Tried but fairly


overcast across much of Wales. Over the Irish Sea, we stick with the


dried bean, the cloudy across the Isle of Man. -- re-clad the beam.


The winds strong in the Western Isles. A bit quieter to the east,


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