06/12/2011 World News Today


06/12/2011

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This is BBC World News Today with me Kirsty Lang. Sectarian violence

:00:14.:00:22.

arrives in Afghanistan. These Shia pilgrims marking the festival of

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Ashura were the target. In two simultaneous attacks leaving nearly

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60 dead. Hundreds flee the Democratic Republic of Congo as

:00:30.:00:33.

fears grow that delayed and disputed election results will

:00:33.:00:40.

plunge the country into widespread violence. TRANSLATION: I'm from

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Ivory Coast, I saw what happened there. I don't want to go through

:00:44.:00:46.

the same thing here. America's treasury secretary ups the pressure

:00:46.:00:49.

on Europe to get its house in order. Arriving in Berlin, Tim Geithner

:00:49.:00:59.
:00:59.:01:03.

said the world is watching. Also coming up in the programme -

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Remembering Ted Hughes. To gold bears came down and swam like men

:01:10.:01:20.
:01:20.:01:30.

beside us, and dived and stood in deep water as on a throne. Hello

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:01:40.:01:42.

and Welcome. As if Afghanistan didn't have enough problems, the

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spectre of sectarian violence between Sunnis and the minority

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Shia community has raised its ugly head. A suicide bomber struck in a

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crowd of Shiite worshippers in a packed Kabul mosque while another

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exploded minutes later in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

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It's an ominous sign just a day after the Bonn conference promised

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to retain international support in the country once troops withdraw in

:01:58.:02:00.

2014. Let's hear from our correspondent in Kabul, Quentin

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Somerville. You can get an idea of this by the fact that President

:02:04.:02:07.

Karzai has cut short his trip to Europe, he was planning on visiting

:02:07.:02:11.

the UK and had meetings planned with David Cameron, those have been

:02:12.:02:21.
:02:22.:02:26.

cancelled. Instead he will return Afghan Shias be themselves in a

:02:26.:02:36.
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A massive explosion from a suicide He it is chaos, hundreds are heard,

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dozens dead. The dying and injured are piled up on drugs. -- trucks.

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At the City Hospital it struggles to cope. And on the pavement

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outside a mother mourns her lost son. Her -- my heart is broken, she

:03:14.:03:18.

cries. Desperate and in despair, more gathered for news of missing

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family and friends. TRANSLATION: This is a day of mourning, it is an

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attack against humanity and an attack against Islam. It was part

:03:32.:03:39.

of a co-ordinated assault against Shias, a bomb it also exploded in

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Kabul but the -- in Mazar-i-Sharif but the explosion in Kabul was

:03:46.:03:51.

bigger. The people here are very angry, there has long been tensions

:03:51.:04:01.

between Afghanistan's, Sunnis and Shias but violence on this scale is

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unprecedented. In Germany, President Kasai had just finished

:04:05.:04:10.

attending a summit on his country's future. This is the first time on

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such an important religious day that something of that horrible

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Major has taken place. We all wish the best for those who are injured,

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a quick recovery and patience to the families of those who have lost

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dear ones. As the injured were treated the Taliban issued a

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statement saying they had not carried out the attack. The

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government says they are lying. These attacks turned this Muslim

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day of mourning into a day of terrible loss, bringing a new kind

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of suffering to this already fractured country. We still do not

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know who carried out the attacks, you have to ask the question who

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would benefit from further disharmony, more violence and

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insecurity here in Afghanistan? There are a large number of

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insurgent groups, many of them based in Pakistan, who would

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benefit from introducing a sectarian strain of violence into

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this country, a strain of violence we have not seen before.

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Thousands of people have fled the Democratic Republic of Congo and

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riot police are patrolling the capital, Kinshasa amid fears that

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the election results could spark violence. President Joseph Kabila

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is reported to be ahead of his main rival after preliminary results.

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But the opposition claims there's been electoral fraud and says it

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will reject the outcome. There were several violent clashes between the

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two sides during the election campaign. Here's our correspondent

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in Kinshasa Thomas Hubert. Fleeing from the post-election violence by

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a fear is on its way in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Over

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the last two days more people have left the capital, many making the

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short journey to the neighbouring republic of Congo, results from the

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presidential election are due out on Tuesday evening but the

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electoral commission itself is not certain it will be ready in time.

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Security has been tightened amid fears the result could spark

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renewed violence. TRANSLATION: I say better safe than

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sorry. I am from Ivory Coast, I saw what happened there. I don't want

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to go through the same thing here. With two-thirds of the votes

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counted the incumbent Joseph Kabila is reported to be ahead of his main

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rival. The opposition has already said it will reject the had come.

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All these electoral documents, these bags of ballot papers, these

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results sheets are being compiled and brought together in this centre.

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This is one of 169 centres across the country where the presidential

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results are being tallied together. Tensions have only been increased

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by a slow and seemingly chaotic accounting process as well as

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allegations of vote rigging. TRANSLATION: I think the results

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that will leave this place will no way of represent the real results

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from the votes counted in the bureau's immediately after the

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official ballot. This is what people fear, even

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before people went to the polls of violence broke out as security

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forces were called upon to restore order. According to Human Rights

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Watch at least 18 people have been killed in election related violence

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so find witnesses are reporting army deployments in several cities

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around the country. These were the first locally organised and funded

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election since the official end of years of war in 2003 and were meant

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to offer hope of greater stability in the mineral-rich, crisis-ridden

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giant. But fears are mounting that the rejection of the results will

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pave the way for further bloodshed. Jendayi Frazer is former US

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Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. She's now a

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professor at Carnegie Mellon University and has co-authored a

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book Preventing Electoral Violence in Africa. She joins me from our

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Washington studio now. How concerned are you about the way

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this election was conducted? think it was conducted as best it

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could be from the point of view of the significant operational and a

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logistical challenge is that exist in a country of such a huge size

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and with such limited infrastructure. So I think the

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Independent Electoral Commission with the support of the

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international community, particularly the United Nations,

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did the best it could in terms of conducting an election. Despite the

:08:57.:09:07.
:09:07.:09:07.

images we see, it was largely peaceful, so I think they have done

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well. The country of that size will have problems and challenges.

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were involved in the Congo's first democratic elections five years ago

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following this long period of civil war, are you disappointed by the

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progress in the last five years? the contrary. I think there has

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been significant progress. In fact, there was more violence in the last

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election than there has been in this election to my understanding.

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At that time the opposition carried out major clashes in the capital

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city and we have not really seen at this time, so I think things are

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better. You have an opposition that has, even prior to the boat and

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accounting, been threatening violence and claiming a rigging, so

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they are essentially trying to deal legitimise the election and the

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process before losing the election -- prior to the vote. The thing

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that has been unfortunate. But I think the electoral commission

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should be congratulated. This is a real concern, that the opposition

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has said it will not accept the results. Presumably this is why

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thousands of people are fleeing the area, they are terrified? They are.

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And it is because they said they would not accept a result and were

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threatening violence if they do not win. That is just irresponsible on

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the part of political parties and politicians. The book we wrote on

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preventing electoral violence, one of the suggestions was there should

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be criminal charges if you incite violence prior to and after results

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because you lose. There has to be a willingness of political parties to

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accept defeat. They all want to win but they need to accept defeat as

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well. Thank you very much. Now a look at

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some of the day's other news... Police in Moscow say they have

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arrested about 250 people, including opposition leader Boris

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Nemtsov. The detentions came during a second night of demonstrations in

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the Russian capital. The protesters were holding an unauthorised rally

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against the result of Sunday's election, which they say was rigged

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in favour of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's party. Belgium

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finally has a new government 18 months after the country's election.

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Elio Di Rupo is the country's first French-speaking prime minister for

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more than 30 years. He's promised to push through tough austerity

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measures. Forming the government has taken a year and a half - it's

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believed to be a world record. Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the

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Lebanese Shia movement, Hezbollah, has made his first public speech in

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several years. He gave a short address to tens thousands of

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supporters in Beirut to mark the Shia Muslim holy day of Ashura. He

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offered his support to the Syrian government and accused the United

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States of plotting to destroy Syria. French parliament has began

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debating a law against prostitution. It will then begin debating a

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tougher new law aimed at punishing people who pay for sex. The Bill is

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seen as a test of the country's long history of liberal attitudes

:12:40.:12:50.
:12:50.:12:52.

towards sex. Eurozone leaders felt the heat from America today. First

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came the warning from the credit rating agency Standard and Poor's

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that 15 European nations - including France and Germany -

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could lose their triple A credit rating. And then hours later the US

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Treasury chief flew into Berlin to impress on European leaders that a

:13:03.:13:06.

break-up of the single currency would be disastrous for the world

:13:06.:13:16.
:13:16.:13:17.

economy. Stephen Evans reports from Berlin. Power meet power - shoulder

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to shoulder as eurozone leaders try to work out had to keep the

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currency afloat. Tim Dyke the's message was that he is reassured

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that European leaders -- leaders are acting to prevent the euro

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shattering -- Timothy Geithner. encouraged by the developments in

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Europe in the past few weeks including reform commitments made

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by the new Government's in Spain and Greece and the new steps taken

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this week about progress towards a physical combat for the eurozone.

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earlier Timothy Geithner went to the European Central Bank in

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Frankfurt at the start of a whistle-stop tour. It comes as the

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ratings agency Standard and Poor's, which assesses credit risk and

:14:03.:14:07.

which the Finance markets listen to, threatened to strip eurozone

:14:07.:14:12.

countries including Germany of their triple A rating. Across the

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eurozone there has been irritation from political leaders, the

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chairman of the -- Jean-Claude Juncker said it was an exaggeration

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and unfair. A similar annoyance in Paris - we have done much to cut

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deficit and we will do more, that was the tone. TRANSLATION: Does not

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take into account Franco-German proposals. The rating of France and

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the others will depend a lot on that. The talking continues as many

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leaders gather in Marseille for a political conference. The European

:14:51.:14:57.

Central Bank meet on Thursday with the crisis top of the agenda. And

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then at the summit in Brussels to consider the Merkel Sarkozy plan.

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In Berlin shoppers are spending but we fear of the economic future

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rising. Their ability to spend over the coming years really depends on

:15:12.:15:22.
:15:22.:15:23.

whether this summit of leaders at Tim Geithner goes from the finance

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ministry here to meet the leaders of France, Germany and Spain. His

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message is that if the euro collapses, the damage goes wider

:15:30.:15:33.

than the eurozone. He is not saying whether extra funds may be

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available to keep it afloat. In Ireland, the new austerity

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budget there has been unveiled, including more than $1 billion in

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tax increases and a hike in VAT to 23 p cent. The finance minister

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said that tough measures are necessary to tackle the deficit,

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and despite the gloom, he does -- expect Ireland to make as swift

:15:59.:16:05.

recovery if plans to ease the eurozone crisis succeed.

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It may look like Christmas, but it does not feel like it in Dublin.

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The Irish government's December Budget contained a whole new set of

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austerity measures. Hitting every section of society. For those in

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the retail business, the timing could hardly be worse. People are

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fearful to spend. Two categories, younger people, 18-25s, they are

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not saving -- spending, they are spending. 25-fortifys have no money.

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The over 55s are fearful, all they have is doom and gloom. There is no

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optimism, people is paralysed. Ireland has gone from boom to bust

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a bail-out, and still has big problems. The Government's freeze

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spending more than it is taking him. The unemployment rate is almost 15%,

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and he is now having to raise taxes, including an increase in VAT. It

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was want of a series of revenue- raising measures announced today by

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Ireland's new finance minister. He said the previous government had

:17:10.:17:14.

let the country down. The people of Ireland have paid the very high

:17:14.:17:18.

price for the mismanagement of the economy. Personal wealth has been

:17:18.:17:21.

destroyed, thousands of people are sinking into poverty. Immigration

:17:21.:17:27.

has returned, and unemployment is far too high. He said it would take

:17:27.:17:31.

another four years at least for the country to recover. In spite of

:17:31.:17:35.

Ireland's huge debts, there are still grounds for optimism. Exports

:17:35.:17:39.

are going well, and after three years of political and financial

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turmoil, the country has now entered a period of relative calm.

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The problem for the Irish people is that it looks like the cutbacks are

:17:49.:17:55.

going to get worse, before the economy get better.

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To discuss that, I am joined by a London -- Mark Hennessy, the London

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editor of the Irish Times. That is a killer statistic we heard there

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in that report, the Irish government still spending 16

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billion more than it takes in. It is difficult to see a way out of

:18:11.:18:15.

that. Yes, if you take the cuts they have made today, if they

:18:15.:18:19.

implement them it will still leave us with a told billion gap. It will

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either have to be met by growth or by increased taxes or reduced

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government spending. There is no growth of any significant form. The

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majority of that is going to have to come from extra tax and lower

:18:35.:18:39.

government spending over the next three Budgets. What we had today it

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was bad, last year it was bad, every budget we have had for three

:18:43.:18:47.

years has been pretty awful, and they will remain or four for a

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considerable period of time. Irish have been pretty stoical

:18:51.:18:54.

compared to their other European counterparts. You have not had

:18:54.:18:58.

widespread demonstrations or civil unrest. We have not, largely

:18:58.:19:02.

because we are a pretty pragmatic people and we would tend to believe

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that 500,000 of us watching on the main street of Dublin would not

:19:06.:19:10.

make any difference, we would shout but it would not fundamentally

:19:10.:19:15.

change the facts in which we have to exist. The difficulty we have

:19:15.:19:19.

now at the European level, what is happening, with the euro zone deal

:19:19.:19:23.

which has been spoken about and a new EU treaty, that is almost

:19:23.:19:28.

certainly going to have to be put before the Irish people under Irish

:19:28.:19:31.

constitutional law. That is going to be very difficult to pass,

:19:31.:19:35.

particularly if there is anything in it which is going to look like

:19:35.:19:39.

there is greater transfer of sovereignty, and there has to be

:19:39.:19:45.

otherwise there would be no point of the treaty. Has this crisis

:19:45.:19:51.

brought about more anti-European feeling in Ireland? Well, it

:19:51.:19:55.

certainly a more questioning attitude to those people who would

:19:55.:19:59.

have argued that the European Union is always to our benefit, and the

:19:59.:20:03.

euro is to our benefit. Those in the opposite camp are going to get

:20:03.:20:10.

a more considerable hearing next time round. One lessons we have

:20:10.:20:16.

from referendum in the past, people start of being asked one person --

:20:16.:20:20.

question and they end up answering another one. Our people questioning

:20:20.:20:26.

whether posterity is the right way forward? People saying, the only

:20:26.:20:32.

way to get out of this is growing the economy, so investing?

:20:32.:20:35.

majority of opinion it would accept that, where will the money come

:20:35.:20:39.

from? It would not come from ourselves, we have not got it. It

:20:39.:20:42.

is not coming from our European partners and it is not going to

:20:42.:20:46.

miraculously appear. Unless you have money coming from somewhere,

:20:46.:20:50.

it will be impossible to do a stimulus programme. There is no

:20:50.:20:55.

belief in any short-term solutions. What has been impressive is the

:20:55.:21:01.

effort by small business in Ireland to get its act together, start

:21:01.:21:04.

fighting for export markets that they previously would not have felt

:21:04.:21:09.

they were capable of fighting for, or perhaps would not have been

:21:09.:21:12.

interested in fighting for. That sort of pragmatic response has been

:21:12.:21:16.

exhibited at many levels in Irish society.

:21:16.:21:20.

I'm afraid that is all we have got time for, thank you very much.

:21:20.:21:25.

It is almost 100 years since the British explorer Captain Scott's

:21:25.:21:29.

doomed expedition into the Antarctic, and it ended in the

:21:29.:21:32.

deaths of five men on their way back from the South Pole. A new

:21:33.:21:35.

exhibition in Cambridge has brought together papers and journals, some

:21:35.:21:39.

of which have been never seen before in public, which give a

:21:39.:21:46.

vivid record of the daily life of the exhibition.

:21:46.:21:51.

Miserable. Utterly miserable. We are camped in the slough of despond.

:21:51.:21:56.

The words were written on 6th December, 1911. It was the

:21:56.:22:00.

beginning of the end, the final push by Scott and his four

:22:00.:22:06.

companions to reach the South Pole. And we know that story, in

:22:06.:22:11.

extraordinary detail, because of this. The letters they wrote, those

:22:11.:22:17.

final words that were discovered after their deaths. Had we lived, I

:22:17.:22:21.

should have had a tale to tell of the hardy heard, endurance and

:22:21.:22:24.

courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of

:22:24.:22:30.

every Englishman. These rough notes, and our dead bodies, must tell that

:22:30.:22:37.

pale. There are also drawing, this the cave where one team it lived

:22:37.:22:42.

for 21 months. A line drawn to separate the men from the officers.

:22:42.:22:46.

There are even cartoons. It is the words which are most affecting.

:22:46.:22:51.

They were starving, racked with frostbite, yet the handwriting is

:22:51.:22:57.

perfect pot of letters written for both their families and history. It

:22:57.:23:02.

veers between Scott to the tragic hero and Scott the stiff upper-lip

:23:02.:23:07.

bungler. 100 years on, what do the letters suggest? What is coming out

:23:07.:23:11.

of some of the less well known manuscript material, you get the

:23:11.:23:16.

sense of him having his public persona, being a buttoned up

:23:16.:23:19.

Edwardian. You read the letters to his wife and you realise, he is a

:23:19.:23:24.

man of real passion. And so, 100 years on, the first public display

:23:24.:23:29.

of the private letters. The words that turned the icy remains of

:23:29.:23:36.

history into a human story. The poet Ted Hughes has been added

:23:36.:23:40.

to the pantheon of Britain's greatest writers, a memorial has

:23:40.:23:44.

been unveiled in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey. The stone with

:23:44.:23:52.

his name Nye it lays -- now lies next to his mentor, TS Eliot, and

:23:52.:23:57.

alongside torso, Wordsworth and Keats. -- Chaucer, Wordsworth and

:23:58.:24:04.

Keats. Ped would be utterly honoured to be

:24:04.:24:10.

at the foot of TS Eliot's stone. And he would be indeed honoured to

:24:11.:24:17.

be in the corner, because he was a poet of England. Do you think it is

:24:17.:24:20.

important that he is in Poets' Corner? I think it is what he

:24:20.:24:26.

deserved, it is his due. Thinking of the other poets who are there,

:24:26.:24:30.

there is a memorial to the First World War poets who made -- meant

:24:30.:24:36.

everything to him as well. A memorial to Sir John Betjeman,

:24:36.:24:41.

previous Poet Laureate, a memorial to John Clare, and native poet. A

:24:41.:24:46.

memorial to William Blake, a visionary. I think he is at home in

:24:46.:24:52.

that company. How would you describe Ted Hughes's poetry?

:24:52.:25:01.

of all, I think his work is linguistically compelling. It is in

:25:01.:25:05.

a direct line from Anglo's gap -- Anglo-Saxon languages, and he is

:25:05.:25:10.

aware of that, and he was conscious of the lineage, deep, deep into

:25:10.:25:17.

English tradition. His reputation took some bashes took his lifetime.

:25:17.:25:22.

Do you think putting him in Poets' Corner put that to rest? I think

:25:22.:25:27.

his reputation as a poet did not suffer that much. Now and again,

:25:27.:25:31.

everybody gets a few whacks from that area. But it was about his

:25:31.:25:40.

life, and I think, as he said himself, his version of his life

:25:40.:25:48.

was only one version of among many. That will be part of the discourse

:25:48.:25:57.

for a while. But I think it will dwindle to an awareness of two

:25:57.:26:02.

extraordinary 20th century poets been together, Sylvia Plath and Ted

:26:02.:26:08.

Hughes. All the evidence is that they energised each other as

:26:08.:26:15.

writers. And that is the literary fact of the matter. The

:26:15.:26:20.

biographical thing will probably go on a bit. What d'you think we have

:26:20.:26:29.

lost with the passing of Ted Hughes? I think we have lost a

:26:29.:26:38.

patriotic visionary English poet. And a great poet in the language.

:26:38.:26:44.

The poet Seamus Hughes, -- Seamus Heaney, remembering Ted Hughes.

:26:44.:26:50.

A suicide bomb attack on Shia Muslim worshippers has killed at

:26:50.:26:52.

least 58 people in the Afghan capital.

:26:52.:27:01.

It has been a chilly day, we have wintry weather to come tonight

:27:02.:27:06.

across part of Scotland. Once that has cleared away, tomorrow, many

:27:06.:27:09.

places will have a windy day but there should be sunshine around

:27:09.:27:13.

with showers in the north and west. This weather front through part of

:27:13.:27:17.

Scotland is bumping into the cold air through the night, giving a

:27:17.:27:20.

spell of sleet and snow up particularly across higher ground.

:27:20.:27:25.

Strong winds, and problems of ice across the night and tomorrow

:27:25.:27:29.

morning. Through the morning, we have got some snow across north-

:27:29.:27:32.

east Scotland, a few showers elsewhere but a lot of dry weather

:27:32.:27:37.

and sunshine through the afternoon. It will be a windy day, coming down

:27:37.:27:41.

from the north-west bringing showers. Across the Pennines, we

:27:41.:27:46.

may seep sleet and snow for a time, further south, try and sunshine.

:27:46.:27:51.

The dry afternoon to come for south-west England, sunny spells

:27:51.:27:54.

here. A bit more cloud for Wales, we could see a peppering of showers

:27:54.:27:59.

through the day with temperatures at seven degrees. Cloudier through

:27:59.:28:03.

north-west England and Northern Ireland. Many places down towards

:28:03.:28:07.

County Antrim and County Down should be dry and fine, but the

:28:07.:28:10.

north coast will have frequent showers. At 3pm, most the rain

:28:10.:28:13.

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