29/11/2011 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today. Can Britain avoid recession?


The Chancellor of the Exchequer delivers a gloomy speech, with the


state of the economy, while vowing to continue his austerity measures.


We will do whatever it takes to protect Britain from this debt


storm, while doing all we can, all we can to build the foundations of


future growth. Protestors storm the British Embassy in Tehran, angry at


the latest sanctions imposed by the west over the Iranian nuclear


programme. Britain has responded angrily. Clearly there will be


other, further and serious consequences. Psychiatrists in


Norway have concluded that Anders Behring Breivik was insane when he


killed 77 people in July. Also coming up in the programme, is


there a viable alternative leadership for Syria. We meet some


of the exiles fighting to topple the Assad regime, facing


accusations that they aren't united enough to succeed. We will speak to


one man who thinks he has managed to replicate the world's most


Welcome, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne,


chose a good metaphor when he talked about steering Britain


through a debt storm. If the British economy is a ship, there


are plenty of dangers on the horizon, with UK growth forecasts


down to less than 1%. Mr Osbourne has redirected some money towards


infrastructure project, but he told parliament today he's not diverting


from his course of cutting the debt. Much of Europe now appears to be


heading into a recession, caused by a chronic lack of confidence in the


ability of countries to deal with their debt. We will do whatever it


takes to protect Britain from this debt storm, while doing all we can,


all we can, to build the foundations of future growth.


George Osborne's opposite number on the Labour benches, Ed Balls, was


unconvinced, saying spending cuts are bringing the British economy to


a stand still. Growth flat lining, down this year, next year and the


year after. Unemployment rising, well over �100 billion more


borrowing than the Chancellor planned a year ago. More borrowing


than the plan which the Chancellor inherited at the last general


election, Mr Speaker. And as a result, his economic and fiscal


strategy is in tatters. In a moment we will hear an assessment from the


political editor of the Financial Times, George Parker, first our


chief economics correspondent looks at why George Osborne's original


forecasts for the economy have been knocked off course.


It is the statement George Osborne hoped he wouldn't have to make. It


is a much bleaker picture than he set out in the budget back in March.


That seems like a long time ago now. There was little the Chancellor


could do to soften the blow. So what's gone wrong? Some of the


key predictions were way off the mark. The growth forecast next year


has been slashed by two-thirds, to 0.7%. That means borrowing will be


�120 billion, nearly �20 billion higher than forecast. Usually after


a recession the economy bounces back quickly, tax revenues from


companies, including those here in the City of London come flooding


back into the Government's coffers, and that allows borrowing to be


reduced bu. With growth faltering, that hasn't happened this time. The


next question is, who is to blame for the Government's problems? The


Chancellor points to instability in the eurozone, with protests over


spending cuts and fears of a recession, which could hit UK trade.


He also blames pressures on consumers beyond his control.


Global cost increases have hit food and energy bills. So Mr Osbourne


wants to stick to his course on cutting borrowing. He should stick


to his plans, he's made some cuts, which are allowing the UK to have


very low borrowing costs. We would sacrifice that if he were to change


tack now. But there are a few in the City who think he should change


tack, because his cuts are hitting growth and making things worse.


the Chancellor continues to cut spending into an economic downturn.


The risk is the Government may end up with more Government debt at the


end of it. If we go into a recession, benefits will have to go


up and tax revenues will go down. Everything hinges on economic


growth, so when will it improve? The independent watchdog, in charge


of forecasting, had this verdict. We expect the underlying momentum


of the economy to weaken further during the final quarter of this


year, but then to pick up, gradually, through next year,


assuming that the euro area struggles through its current


difficulties. But that's a big assumption. The Chancellor himself


warned that if the eurozone fell back into recession, the UK could


go the same way. If that happened the borrowing figures could get


revised up again, making Mr Osbourne's task of trying to


balance the books even harder. Graham Parker is the political


editor for the -- George Parker is the political editor for the


Financial Times, and he said there is a gloomy outlook. George Osborne


had a strategy where he would administer tough medicine to the UK


economy, and try to sort out the huge debts, then you would have go


or three years of recovery, so by the time the 2015 general election


came round, the economy would be growing again, and the next


election would be all about tax cuts. What we heard today was


something different, which is austerity, already hitting families


very hard in the UK, will be extended well beyond the next


election in 2015 and into the next parliament. But despite these


gloomy forecasts, Mr Osbourne said he was determined to press ahead


with cutting Britain's debt, regardless. His opposition


counterpart, Ed Balls, has accused him of stalling growth, of being so


obsessed by cutting the debt, he's actually shrinking the UK economy.


Has he got a point? This is the big argument at the heart of British


politic, it will rage through to the next election. George Osborne's


argument is the tough decision he has taken to drive down the debt is


helping Britain at the moment. The borrowing costs are lower than


those of Germany at the moment, eventhough the UK's national debt


is much bigger. Ed Balls, the Shadow Chancellor, is saying we


need a keysian-style economy, we need more money in the economy to


give it a boost now. George Osborne says that is a quack cure being


peddled by a dodgy doctor. That is the nature of the very fiery debate


in the Commons today. George Osborne currently recognises that


is a problem, he's injecting large sums of cash into infrastructure


projects, helping families buy their own social housing. He


recognises that there is a bit of a problem there. Particularly with


the current credit squeeze? There is a huge problem, the economy is


not growing. In fact, it could be even worse, as the Chancellor


acknowledged today, if the eurozone were to break up, things would be


much, much worse for the UK economy. The important thing to say is


George Osborne is sticking strictly to his fiscal plan, plan A, if you


like. What you were just mentioning there, the investment in


infrastructure, in youth employment schemes and so on. That is being


done within the existing fiscal envelopes, they are jigling around


with the figures. Taking money Somerville parts of the economy


where you think that is strange. They are taking a billion away from


low income families with children to help pay for the infrastructure


spending. He has been creative, some would say harsh on some of the


poor working families suffering a lot under the austerity programme.


As you say, all of this depends on what happens to Europe, doesn't it.


They are our biggest trading partners? 40% of the UK's exports


go to the eurozone, what happens just the other side of the English


Channel is absolutely vital to the British economy. George Osborne is


encouraging members of the single currency to follow what he calls


the remorseless logic of monetary union, that is to push for a full


fiscal union. The issue of eurozone bond d issuing eurobonds to spread


German discipline across the eurozone. There is a pessimistic


view in British Government circles about whether the eurozone


countries will get a grip on the crisis. That is the big shadow over


the whole UK economy at the moment. Iranian students took control of


the British Embassy in Tehran for several hours today. Smashing


windows, ransacking offices and burning the Union Flag. Embassy


workers were taken hostage for a short time, before they were freed


by police. Relations between Britain and Iran have been


difficult for some time now. This was sparked by the British


Government last week imposing sanctions on Iranian banks,


accusing them of facilitating the country's nuclear programme. On


Sunday Iran's parliament voted to downgrade diplomatic relations with


the UK. The British demoren secretary, William Hague, warned


there would be serious and more consequences. The UK takes this


irresponsible action extremely seriously. It amounts to a grave


breach of the Vienna Convention, which amounts to protection of


diplomatic premises and diplomats in all circumstances. We hold the


Iranian Government responsible for the failure to take adequate


measures to protect the embassy as it is required to do. I spoke to


the Iranian Foreign Minister this afternoon, to protest in the


strongest terms about these events, and demand immediate steps to


ensure the safety of our staff and both embassy compounds.


I'm joined in the studio now by our Tehran correspondent. Why was


Britain targeted in particular, because it is not the only western


power to impose sanctions? It was the one western power which imposed


these restrictions last week which went beyond other restrictions, the


cutting off of ties with all Iranian banks. In the iconography


of the establishment, Britain is seen as the evil mastermind behind


a lot of Iran's problems. There are only two countries that come close,


America and Israel, neither has diplomatic relations with Iran.


Iranian Foreign Ministry have expressed regrets over today's


events, how sincere is that, considering they have been behind


these kinds of things before? shows the different sides to Iran's


Government and establishment. It makes life more difficult for the


Foreign Ministry to engage with the rest of the world. Foreign


ministries have their tasks to be engagment of the rest of the world.


The Revolutionary Guard, the more conservative elements, who see the


conflict with Britain as a way to re-establish conservative


credentials. William Hague saying there will be further consequences,


what more can be done? Speaking to various people, Britain doesn't


want to act alone, but as part of a team. That team is the European


Union. We know William Hague will speak to the British Commons, we


know that EU foreign ministers will meet on Thursday, once before there


was a decision by EU foreign ministers to withdraw all of their


heads of mission, all of their ambassadors, years ago in Tehran


for one problem. Possibly we might have a step like that or more


sanctions. Eurozone finance ministers are


meeting today under intense international pressure to beef up


their bailout fund, to avert a catastrophic debt default and save


the single currency. As they gathered in Brussels, Italian


borrowing costs surged to record levels, raising the prospect that


it may be next in line for a rescue. Officials say they have agreed an


eight pill I don't know euro bailout for Greece, to prevent it


defaulting before Christmas. A former News of the World tabloid


journalists has been having his say at the Leveson Inquiry into media


ethics today. He didn't mince his words in blaming the former bosses


of the defunct paper for phone hacking. Earlier in the week the


report heard from the best selling author, JK Rowling, and the actress,


Senneff miller. One of the world's biggest airlines, American Airlines,


has been filing for bankruptcy, it says the move will make it more


competitive. Flights will continue to operate as normal. Shares will


be plunging this month. The only daughter of the former


Soviet dictator, Josef Stalin, has died at 85 in the United States.


Svetlana Stalina had a privileged upbringing, but witnessed the


horrors of her father's rule, they defected from the Soviet Union in


the 1960s and denounced her father and communism. On the 22nd of July,


Anders Behring Breivik set off a car bomb outside the Government


buildings in Norway, killing eight people. After that he went to an


island near the capital, disguised as a police officer, there he


killed another 69 people, most of them teenagers. Since his arrest,


the Norwegian authorities have been considering Anders Behring


Breivik's state of mind, and today, psychiatrists, concluded he was


insane when he committed the crime. The face that haunts a country.


Since the killings last July, Anders Behring Breivik has shown no


remorse, there has been intense debate in Norway about whether or


not he's criminally responsible for his actions. Psychiatrists have


interviewed Breivik for 36 hours already, they have poured through


his diaries, their 240-page report has a clear conclusion.


TRANSLATION: Conclusions of the forensic experts is that Anders


Behring Breivik was insane. Breivik set out his beliefs in his


manifesto. He saw himself as the head of a Norwegian resistance


movement, fighting multiculturalism. The experts said these long-held


deillusions, mean he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.


TRANSLATION: The experts examined more closely what they term Anders


Behring Breivik's grandiose delusions, where he believes he's


chosen to determine who is to live and who is to die. He, as the


perfect Knight, is chosen to save, what he always, his people.


It is hard to judge if today's report will make any difference to


the suffering of bereaved families. Anders Behring Breivik will still


go to court, but assuming the judge agrees with the experts, there will


be no prison sentence. Instead he will be given compulsory mental


health treatment, for as long as he's deemed a threat to society.


Michael Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, has been sentenced to four


years in prison. He was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter


at a trial earlier this month after a six-week process. The judge said


Dr Conrad Murray had continually lied and was caught in a cycle of


medicine madness, that violated his obligations as a doctor. Our


correspondent is at the court in Los Angeles. What's been the


reaction to this? This is the sentence, the decision that Michael


Jackson fan fans, who gathered outside the court wanted. It is the


decision many of the singer's family wanted. Although in the


early stages of the legal process, the family, or certain members of


the family had expressed doubts about the charge of involuntary


manslaughter, they believed a charge of murder might be more


appropriate. This was the maximum sentence, four years, and the


family wanted justice done, and they will be happy with this.


wasn't a surprise, were they expecting four years? It wasn't


really a surprise. It is clear from what the judge said, it was quite a


damming summing up of the behaviour of Dr Conrad Murray, by the judge,


that he clearly agreed with the prosecution points that Dr Mur was


grossly neglect -- Dr Murray was grossly negligent in his care of


Michael Jackson and appeared to show no remorse. That was in


reference to television interviews he made, broadcast on American


television and around the world. Conrad Murray seemed to blame


everyone but himself for the death of Michael Jackson, the judge said


that was a big part in his reasoning why he shouldn't be given


probation and he had to go to jail. Did Dr Murray look surprised?


didn't. He looked, he didn't really show any sign of what he was


thinking. He looked straight ahead as the decision came in. It was


really an expression that we have seen before from Dr Murray, when


his guilty verdict came in a few weeks ago as well it's a man that


doesn't necessarily show his emotions, at least in the courtroom.


Although I mentioned that television interview, he was very


emotional in that. It is not the end of the matter. Dr Conrad Murray,


through his lawyers, have already said they will appeal this decision.


But for now, he has been led off to jail. We saw him disappearing


outside the courtroom in handcuffs and he will start his four-year


sentence. The Arab League, may be looking


more united on Syria, it is a different story at the UN. There


are deep divisions within the Security Council. The US wants


decisive action on the bloodshed in Syria, Russia is sticking to the


view that political dialogue is needed. The key question is who and


what might replace the Assad regime, the Syrian National Council is the


most prominent candidate. It is based in Paris, where we have been


meeting some key figures. It is the kind of VIP security


commonly reserved for high-ranking diplomats and politicians. Hurtling


to meetings under 24-hour police protection is a diplomat or a


politician. But as part of the Syrian opposition, she and her co-


conspirators are high-value targets, in their attempts to bring down the


Assad regime. We have different working habits and come from


different professional horizons, we are physically not able to meet.


Skype is our strategic tool, both to connect with the inside as well


as to connect among each other. Then setting the mechanisms for


working is quite a challenge. They belong to the Syrian National


Council. A growing coalition of regime opponents. The SNC is


quickly building its grass roots support. Not just in France, but


across the towns and cities in Syria, where people are dying in


their hundreds. Through Skype, they send regular news and coded


information, to men like Ahmed, an But world leaders are beginning to


pay attention. Recently the SNC travelled to Russia, Britain, China


and Turkey, in its bid to win international approval, the


fledgling opposition is moving quickly, to give the appearance of


a transitional Government in waiting.


There are lessons to be learned from other groups and countries


that form part of the Arab Spring. But there are intellectuals who


believe the western powers are putting too much onus on the SNC,


and at the same time, playing into the hands of the Assad regime.


are asking it to prove that it is viable, that it is united, that it


is coherent. That it is a valid alternative to the regime. And of


course, it is not. Because no regime survives for that long by


making sure, by allowing such an alternative to survive. You but for


the French Foreign Minister, who has met twice with SNC leader,


Burhan Ghalyoun, there is a complication. The involvement of a


Free Syrian Army, the defectors who are turning their guns on the


regime. A non-reaction could provoke civil war inside Syria, and


it could be the worst situation for the country. The Free Syrian Army


is still very young. Not very well organised, it has a strong image,


has a patriotic army that refuse to obey orders for repression, but we


do not need an armed group that acts for the council, because we


have never made the choice of moving into armed struggle, so we


support their role as defending peaceful demonstrators.


As the threat of civil war looms, so the shuttle diplomacy gathers


pace. Next month, Bassma Kodman will oversee the election of a 200-


strong general assembly, with permanent staff in Paris and Cairo.


The group aims to bring together as many of the disparate factions it


can, and the greater its success, the more isolated President Assad


will become. A young Russian woman, alleged to


have been spying for Moscow, has won her appeal against deportation


from Britain. 26-year-old has told an appeals commission that she


hasn't passing on secrets from Britain while having an affair with


her boss. A Russian spy in Westminster, was she sent to steal


secrets. That is what MI 5 claimed about her. But today she heard a


judge reject that claim and throw out an attempt to deport her to


Russia, on grounds of national security. I was Distressed, I lost


a year of my life. People saying I was a spy because the British


Government said so. Mike Hancock was her boss, then a member of the


select committee. Suspicions were raised with him and a NATO official.


When it fist came up and she was first detained, she said what


should I do, shall I go home. I asked had she done anything wrong,


she said no, I said in that case, in Britain we fight those things,


we don't give in we fight it. Catching Russian spies used to be


the bread and butter work of the Security Service, MI5, in this case


they certainly had their suspicions, baseded on Miss Zatuliveter's work


in parliament. The problem was, they had very little evidence.


MI5's decision today was defended by the Home Office, who said there


had been grounds for suspicion, something Zatuliveter denies.


scariest part of the investigation was that I have seen the people


were unprofessional and paranoid. Everything they see in Russian


people is a spy, if you are Russian in this country you are a spy. They


couldn't understand how a Russian in London can speak the English


language. Katia Zatuliveter had her private life dragged into public


view, but today it will be MI5 feeling embarrassed, at their


failure to convince a judge she was a spy.


Ecuador's volcano is still spewing rock and ash two days after it


started. Scientists say the silent eruptions took them by surprise. It


is a towering 5,000ms, and some 135kms south of the capital. It has


been capital for the last 12 years. Once the popstar el visit Costello


released an album called Get Happy. His latest release, he says he


doesn't like the songs but it cost too much. The box set, called The


Return Of The Spinning Song Book, will set you back $300. The singer


says if fans hang on they will be able to buy it at a cheaper price


in a few weeks time. That is good news. Classical music, is it ever


possible to replicate a Stradivarius, they are the world's


most expensive stringed instruments, there are less than seven violins


still in place. Antonio Stradivari's instruments have


always been prized for their unique sound and quality. A unique team of


American scientists and violinists have claimed to be able to


replicate the sound using X-rays and scanners. Let's listen to the


sound of the original ones? (vi lin The beautiful sound that many say


cannot be replicated by a piece of engineering. I think that debate


will rage and rage. Now a reminder of the main news stories. The


Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has been setting out his


plans for tackling what he calls the debt storm facing the British


economy. Mr Osbourne told parliament he had spent more on


infrastructure policies and sticking to spending cuts. Mr Balls


said Mr Osbourne was cutting too fast and too deep. That is all from


Through the day today we had flooding across Scotland and


Northern Ireland. Torrential rain combined with strong winds.


Tomorrow it does stay windy and we have a few showers around,


especially for northern and western areas. We lose one weather front as


we go through Tuesday night. The showers follow on behind, yet


another low set to bring us more wet and windy weather on Wednesday


night. Wednesday morning starts off with clear spells around. The


showers soon get going, especially out towards the north and west.


Wintry showers at times. Leeds temperatures at 10 degrees. Showers


to the east of the Pennines. Much of East Anglia through the south-


east corner should stay dry. It will be windy and temperatures


reaching 12. A scattering of hours across Devon, Cornwall and west


Walesing during the afternoon the winds will strengthen through the


Irish Sea with the risk of gales. A few showers across North West


England, likely to be heavy, hail and thunder mixed in there as well.


It will be wet across parts of Northern Ireland, as we go through


Wednesday afternoon. As we head up towards Scotland, the north-east


corner staying mostly dry and bright. Most of the showers out


towards the west through the day. We will start to see things turning


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