07/12/2011 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today with me Kirsty Lang. Syria's President


gives his first interview to the Western media. A defiant Bashar al-


Assad tells American anchor, Barbara Walters, "I did not give


orders to kill." Egypt swears in a new cabinet under Kamal al-Ganzouri,


a former premier under Mubarak, so how different is to the last one?


Retail U-turn in India, as plans to allow firms like Tesco and Walmart


to buy out its supermarket chains are shelved. Also coming up in the


programme: a fair comment or a convenient smokescreen? We look at


President Sarkozy's claim that laissez faire economics and Anglo-


Saxon capitalism are to blame for much of Europe's current crisis.


And America marks 70 years since the event that brought it into


World War II, the Japanese attack Welcome. For nine months, the


Syrians have been protesting against their Government. For


thousands of them have died in that time. President Bashar al-Assad


said there was no command from him to kill or use brutality. In a rare


interview with Barbara Walters, the unelected President of Syria


claimed he was extremely popular with his people and he blamed the


violence on criminals, religious extremists and terrorists


sympathetic to Al-Qaeda. With astonishing bravery, Syrian


and the armed protesters have come out day after day to face machine


guns, snipers and armoured vehicles. The cost so far, at least 4000 dead.


In his interview with ABC, President Assad denied killing his


own citizens. We don't kill our appeal -- people, no Government in


the world kills his people alas it is led by a crazy person. -- and


last. It is impossible for anyone in this state to give orders to


kill. We saw a different picture in a week of travelling inside Syria.


Inner-city here, she catalogues her losses. Her son were shot dead at a


protest then her grandson was killed by a sniper while out


getting bread. A few days after speaking to us, she too was shot


dead in the street. But demonstrators are sick of such


denial and started off with a simple call for reform. Now they


want the President to go. A UN report accuses him of hanging on


using mass arrests, torture, sexual assault of protesters and killing


some 300 children. This will send - - they will send us the documents


and evidence. We cannot say yes. Who says that United Nations is a


credible institution? You do not think they are credible? Know. It


is a game we play. The Syrian Government calls these men


terrorists. They say they have taken up arms after months of


killings by the regime. President Assad seems to accept there has


been excessive force by his police and Trevor's best says these were


individual acts not policy. This will be scorned by the


demonstrators and Syrian is -- serious moving from a crackdown to


something that resembles a civil war.


A short time ago, Barbara Walters joined my colleague who asked her


for her impressions of President Assad. It is very surreal. It is


disconnected. You have this calm, collected man who was an opera for


Moller must, a doctor, telling you he was not responsible for the


crackdown. -- up for mycologist. There were no ground rules, he


answered every question. The whole thing is a disconnect. You are in


Damascus which was pretty calm but I found I could go anywhere. One


hour away, people were being killed. You are talking to the present he


was saying that you don't -- he didn't ordered the crackdown. He


wants to see the proof that he ordered people to die. I am


confused by what he says and what is going on in his country. Do you


think that he believed what he was saying? There is no way of mind


knowing whether he believes what he is saying but he is saying that he


didn't ordered the crackdown, that is the Government and we are going


to prosecute these people who did these bad things. He is the


Government and he is a dictator. He says we are not a democracy but I


am not a dictator. He doesn't want a DAI and St, he isn't training his


eight-year old son to take over. For -- a dynasty. It is so hard to


understand why he doesn't admit what is going on in his country and


take responsibility or apologise for it. He doesn't do any of those.


Could he have been pursuing this line of deny ability with his eye


on the future? With some international criminal process that


he might see before him in the future? I did feel he feels this


way. He says the middle, which is not the extremists, they support


him. If the middle did not support him, he would step down. You talk


about his being isolated by these countries around him. Syria is the


hub of it all. He says it doesn't matter what they say, what matters


is what happens in Syria. I don't care about public opinion. This is


not a crazy talking manner the wake Gaddafi is. He says the sanctions


his people more industrious. You don't have the feeling that he


feels they are going to come and put him in jail.


Now to another country at the heart of the Arab Spring, a new cabinet


has been sworn in in two -- in Egypt,. The military ruler said the


Prime Minister has been given new powers. This comes on the eve of


the official results of the first round of Egypt's parliamentary


elections in which the Muslim Brotherhood is claiming a majority.


The BBC's John line is in Cairo. How different is this to the last


Government? -- Jon Leyne. previous Government resigned after


huge protests in Tahrir Square. The army promised a Government of


national starvation and they have produced a similar Government to


the previous one that is still dominated by people from the


previous regime, dominated by half the members of the Cabinet. There


is a new interior minister but he is a general, somebody who was a


figure from the previous regime. It looks very similar. I think a lot


of people think this will not be about real change until after the


election has been named. Tonight, we have had the resort's of the


first round. -- results. We did have the precise details because


they didn't have percentages but it seemed as if a coalition, led by


the Muslim Brotherhood, has 48%. The more extreme assist -- the more


extremist have the rest. They have only done a third of the seats so


far. This Cabinet is an interim Cabinet. What point will an elected


Cabinet be able to take over? to be precise, the interim


Government is appointed by the military and he has then appointed


a Cabinet. It appears the information we are getting, the


military are taking an enormous role in this and are still running


the day-to-day affairs despite the fact that they are dedicating more


power. We have to go through this long electoral process that doesn't


and until March. There has to be a constitutional committee,


presidential elections and then the new president, when he is appointed


will be appointing a new Government. It is a long process and will take


many months, if not years. Meanwhile on the ground in Libya,


the revolution may be over but militias still brought large parts


of the capital city. Many of the armed groups were part of the force


that helped to bring down Vivette - - Gaddafi but an upsurge in


fighting between them has alarmed authorities who are demanding be


laid down their arms and go home. -- they laid down.


Life in Tripoli has been returning to normal in recent weeks. There is


a dark cloud over this city, the continued presence of armed men in


a country with no proper police force or army to keep things secure.


Its militiamen still control the streets, sometimes settling their


differences by force. TRANSLATION: I pro-Gaddafi's forces


had re-entered Tripoli the other night there were so much shooting.


We are suffering. Before everything was OK. Now, everything is upside


down. The Government says it will integrate 50,000 former rebels into


the new security forces and tried to provide jobs or further


education for tens of thousands of others. That is the plan but it


would be easy. TRANSLATION: I want them to go back home, even the ones


from Tripoli. They are like children. You give them a toy and


it is hard to take it back from them. At this hospital, doctors are


on strike after armed militia men dread doubt its administrator in a


dispute over patient's treatment. It is not the first time medics who


have been threatened. Now the sick and the injured will have to be


transferred elsewhere. This is the emergency room in the country's


most trawl -- trauma hospital. They say they won't work until they have


Government protection. The intensive care unit is full of


patients injured not in the liberation of Tripoli but in the


violence that has come in its wake. The sole doctor is still at work


when we visited. All the cases here are from gunshot. Don't leave Libya


like this. Reining in the gunmen responsible is perhaps the biggest


channel -- challenge facing the Libyan Government. It is critical


here that they succeed, say people here.


In the other news, the maximum could Mrs cities foiling an


international plot to smuggle one of Colonel Gaddafi's sons and


Mexico. At the height of the Libyan up rising September, his officials


uncovered the plan for the some, Saadi, and of the Sun to come in.


He is under house arrest in idea. 40% of cancers could be prevented


by making simple lifetime -- lifestyle changing. Smoking,


alcohol and nutrition or play a part. For many was eating a lack of


fruit and vegetables and for women, was overweight playing a


significant role. The armed forces of Sudan and


newly-independent South Trabant -- South Sudan have clashed. Sudan


says its troops were in control of the gel area which both sounds -- -


- Jau area which both say it is theirs.


The Italian police say they have captured the Dida of one of the


country's most powerful mafia groups -- captured the most


powerful mafia group. He was found hiding in an underground boat --


bunker near his home town of Naples. The former Israeli president has


been -- began a seven-year jail sentence for rape. He was convicted


of two counts of sexual harassment. Foreign supermarket chains won't be


allowed into India. The government has suspended its plans to allow


global giants such as Walmart and Tesco to enter the lucrative Indian


retail market, valued at $450 billion. The decision announced


last month was opposed by small traders, opposition parties and


even some members of the governing coalition on grounds that it would


4th after days of disruption and deadlock, the embarrassing retreat.


51 % of retail trading is suspended and talk a consensus -- Until at


consensus has taken place. The plan to let the big supermarket giants


in has been opposed by those who believe it will not help small


businesses. They employ some 20 million people. The fear is that if


Wal-Mart and Tesco set up shop, they will be squeezed out.


experience the world over it shows that when at large retailers come


into the market, initially to keep away the small operators, they do


keep their prices low. But subsequently, having wiped out the


market of the small operators, the large retells tend to increase


their prices. The price competitiveness does not exist when


you become a single operator. the move has dismayed Indian


business leaders, who see it as regressive. The big retail chains


were expected to herald a consumer revolution, offering more for less


and reducing wastage and improving infrastructure. With India's


economy reeling from inflation and slowing growth, it could be an


opportunity missed. The government may argue that you have to respect


public opinion, but this has come as a major setback, especially for


the Prime Minister, who is now seen as leading an administration that


is in political paralysis. It means that no reform is likely to be


announced at some time, which is bad news for India.


America's Treasury Chief says he's encouraged by what he's been


hearing on his European trip. On day two of a whirlwind visit


Timothy Geithner met the French President Nicolas Sarkozy and


Finance Minister Francois Baroin to discuss ways to solve the


eurozone's debt crisis. European leaders start a key summit on


Friday. Mr Geithner said he had faith that Europe's leaders could


find a way out of the crisis. We have a strong and productive


relationship. A lot of confidence in what the President of France and


what the minister are doing, working with Germany to bring a --


build a stronger Europe. This is not just to put in place economic


reforms across Europe, but he tried to build a stronger Architecture


for a fiscal union. Now, throughout this eurozone crisis, many French


commentators have been pointing the finger at Anglo-Saxon capitalism.


They say it was not overspending, but a lack of regulation which


triggered the banking crash. Is that their comments, or a


convenient smokescreen. Our correspondent reports from Paris.


The French President has held the view for some time that finance and


unruly globalisation should be policed. Last week he was read --


returning to a familiar theme. The root of the Sir Bruce Forsyth's


problems began with laissez faire politics. He means Anglo-Saxon


economics. Mr Sarkozy has always been willing to challenge economic


growth. France has deep suspicions of financial markets. One element


of the financial markets that has come in for criticism is the credit


rating agency. Whilst it is tempting to see it as a them-and-us


mentality, it is not only be Anglo- Saxon model that is being blamed.


Where ever you look across the Continent, blame is being


apportioned in all directions. I am joined from Paris by Pierre


Haski, a French journalist and co- founder of the internet newspaper


Rue 89. I was talking to a French banker the other day and he said


that he felt that the ratings agencies were inherently anti-


European and they were staffed by Anglo-Saxons. Is that a view widely


held in France? A yes, it is. You have to admit that Anglo-Saxon


capitalism is not popular in France and that his wife you have -- that


is why you have President Sarkozy been on the side of the criticism


of Anglo-Saxon capitalism. Remember, he is fighting for his own re-


election in just over six months time and he has to make people


forget that he was once in favour of introducing Anglo-Saxon roles in


France. That is right. In the last election it was very much, we have


to go down that road, from Sarkozy. Not only that, he had been making


his first opening trips to Washington and London and


forgetting about Berlin and now Germany is now the saviour of the


eurozone and President Sarkozy wants to be seen as Germany's best


friend. He wants everyone to forget he got it wrong initially, at least


in terms of where France is now standing. He in London we have a


lot of French bankers and financiers and it is the same in


Wall Street and there are major French banks. The French


participate in this global financial system as well. Yes, but


that is French schizophrenia that has been going on for a long time.


France is a player in the global system and is probably the best


critic of the global system. Some French companies have become big


multinational corporations, whether in banking or oil and at the same


time, France is probably the only Western country where you hear so


much criticism of globalisation. But that is something that the


French are intellectually playing with in that part of the system and


no-one is too hysterical about it. So at this is an expression, if you


like, or of French nationalism, a convenient scapegoat, rather than a


serious debate about different economic systems? Obviously we are


in the mill of the crisis, so the French want to keep hope of


maintaining their quite peculiar social system and the only way of


doing it is finding someone responsible for the crisis and the


easy target is Anglo-Saxon capitalism. To be honest, as a


Frenchman, there is some truth in it. It is a widely accepted view in


France. Thank you. Now, December 7th, 1941. It is a


date steered into American history. Ceremonies have been held in Hawaii


to mark the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The


Japanese assault killed more than 2,000 Americans and destroyed the


US Pacific Fleet. It also drew the country into World War II. Seven


decades later, veterans who were there that day pause to remember


the historic event. In Pearl Harbour today, they


gathered - the survivors of a surprise assault from the skies


that would transfer the Second World War. 7th December, 1941 - a


date that will live in infamy. words of President Franklin


Roosevelt, capturing the shock and fury of a nation under attack.


Unconfirmed reports are that almost every ship has been hit.


Japanese bombers struck at first light. 2,500 people were killed.


This shows what Pearl Harbor look like five minutes before the war


started. When the attack began, at this man was on board a ship


reading a comic. At first we thought there was a fire on the


ship and then soon discovered there were planes flying around with the


Japanese flag painting on -- painted on the side. As with 9/11


at six decades later, Pearl Harbor shattered America's sense of


impregnability. Here, too, the US would quickly be clear war and like


9/11, there were consequences on the home front. Japanese Americans


were branded enemy aliens. Among stem this man who represents Hawaii


in the Senate. All is insanity. those who survived, the very


youngest up in their early 80s. A short time ago there was a final


moment of silence for those they knew and last in a remote place


where history turned. A quick reminder of our top news


story - the Syrian President has denied he ordered and 80 protesters


-- anti-government protesters to be attacked. He said he did not feel


guilty about the violence, but he was sorry for the lives that had


been lost. That's it for now. It has been a win seats -- a windy


day to day and it is set to get worse. The Met Office had issued a


red warning and we are expecting disruption across the country. It


is due to this low pressure moving in off the Atlantic. We begin the


day with sleet, rain and some snow across Scotland. It is a windy day


for every where -- for everyone. There will be patchy rain in the


south-west and it will be milder. Behind the front, it is turning


colder. Cold and blustery in Northern Ireland. There will be


wintery showers and strong winds. For Scotland, rain, sleet and snow,


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