12/12/2011 World News Today


The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 12/12/2011. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



This is BBC World News Today, with me, Zeinab Badawi.


Justifying his veto, David Cameron tells Parliament why he refused to


sign a pact to salvage the euro. He insists Britain is still committed


member of the EU. I am a apps but it clear that it is possible to be


both a full, commission -- committed member of the EU, but to


stay at the range is when they do not protect our interests.


Local elections in Syria - turnout is low as clashes continued between


the army and opposition forces. Another demonstration in Russia,


but this time apparently in support of Vladimir Putin. The excerpts


voting irregularities but will not call fresh elections.


Also coming up, the voice of the young and unemployed.


We will report from Italy where unemployment is leaving young


people facing a very uncertain Hello and welcome. David Cameron is


continuing to face huge criticism that he has given up a seat at the


EU top table and got nothing in return. Today he told MPs that he


had acted in the UK's best interests last week by opting out


of any potential treaty changes, to establish a new agreement to help


save the UK law. But he insisted that Britain was still a fully


committed member of the EU. David Cameron must be counting down


the days until the Christmas break. His decision to veto an EU treaty


last week has left him with a painful reminder of the tensions


within his own coalition. As he took his place in the House


of Commons, there were taunts of, where his clay it? A reference to


the very notable absence of the Deputy Prime Minister. But Cameron


was adamant he had had no choice in Brussels, because his calls for


extra safeguards for the financial sector were not heeded by other


countries. I wish those safeguards had been accepted, but frankly the


choice was a treaty without proper safeguards, or no treaty. And the


right answer was no treaty. Nevertheless the Prime Minister


went on to argue that Britain was still very much part of Europe.


am asked to be clear that it is possible to be bought a four,


committed an influential member of the EU, but to stay out of


arrangements with the do not affect our interests.


The opposition leader argued that Britain had been dangerous the


isolated. We will no rue the day Britain -- This Prime Minister has


left Britain alone, without influence. He it is bad for Britain.


Last time David Cameron appeared in the House of Commons, Euro-sceptics


in his own party and told him to show some bulldog spirit. Since the


summit may have been praising him for his stance, and there was


plenty more of that today. He has stood up for democracy, and for


free markets. This is to be wonderfully commended.


But as the Prime Minister fielded questions from friend and foe alike,


the fall-out from last week continued across the Channel. And


there was still shaking of heads at Britain's decision to go it alone.


I regret that the United Kingdom was not willing to join the new


fiscal compact. I regret it as much for the sake of Europe and its


crisis response, and -- as much as for British citizens.


The bigger question remains whether enough was done in Brussels to say


the euro. If the answer is No, the row over Britain's relationship


with the EU may seem a bit of a sideshow.


As we have been reporting, David Cameron justified his veto by


saying he was acting to protect Britain's financial sector, but


business opinion in the City is divided.


Whether it is UK banking, insurance or other financial services, the


outcome of the summit could redefine the landscape. So has the


clash with the eurozone's leadership generated short term


gains because of David Cameron's stands, or other long-term losses


because UK influence is reduced. The Prime Minister said he wanted


to safeguard the City of London from further European regulations.


He could not get firm commitments so he would not sign the treaty.


Some say he was right. He played his hand as well as he could. The


UK was never going to be part of a fiscal compact of 26 countries all


tying together their budgetary discipline. Given that, he had to


do his best to try to protect British financial interests from a


slew of regulations. But there was a warning from a


senior European official that the city was not immune from further


restrictions even under the existing rule book. If this move


was intended to protect bankers and financial corporations in the city


from being regulated, that will not happen.


It is a crucial issue because financial services makes up 9% of


the UK's annual economic output. Manufacturing makes up just over


10%. When it comes to employment, financial services with just over


one million people lags well behind manufacturing with 2.3 million.


There is no doubting the importance of financial services, but there


are many other sectors across the UK economy, some with very


different perspectives, including longer term views on whether their


best interests have been served by the outcome of last week's summit.


The Japanese carmaker Honda is a major investor in the UK. The


company says its operations were not affected by Britain's political


relationships in Europe, but other industry leaders are more concerned.


It is better to be inside, working... A Sir Martin Sorrell,


told the BBC that the UK's image had suffered.


A I was talking to an Indian businessman this morning about


where he would placate his plant given the last 72 hours. The


perception would be that the UK is outside Western Europe...


Looking into the future, the big concern is the possible break-up on


the euro, and fears about that cent share price -- share prices lower.


Do get a clearer idea of whether the veto wielded by David Cameron


will help protect the financial sector here, we are joined by


Damian Chalmers, professor of EU law at the London School of


Economics. This Beatle, or will it jeopardise the City or help it? -


Mac this veto. The City is already subject to financial services law.


There is a large amount of EU regulation that applies to


financial services, most of us decided by a qualified majority of


voting. So nothing in the last week has changed that. But surely if


there are moves to, for instance, introduce a tax on financial


transactions, Britain would be protected from that? No, that is


already being proposed under the existing treaty. The commission has


already made a proposal for the financial transactions tax, and


nothing in relation to changing the treaty, any amendments, will affect


whether that gets adopted or not. Would it cost the UK billions of


pounds, as George Osborne says it would? A tax on financial


transactions, which Britain says would cost it billions and would be


a waste of time if only introduced by the European Union, it has got


to be global? There are many arguments for or against it, many


estimates are a bit speculative, and at the moment it is just a


proposal so we would have to wait and see the eventual form. There is


of course a particular problem with that tax, which is that financial


services are concentrated in the United Kingdom and this would be


decided by a body where the United Kingdom accounts for about eight to


9% of the votes. But by and David Cameron's concerns legitimate, when


he says our financial sector accounts for a bigger chunk of GDP


than other countries, and he wants to make sure it is not jeopardised?


I agree they are completely ginger tonight, -- completely legitimate,


but there are no new safeguards added in the last week to protect


them. Whether there will be in the negotiations around the tax


regarding financial services regulation, we will wait to see.


Some of the Day's other main news. And President Barack Obama has said


that US troops are leaving Iraq with their heads held high. After


talks with the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, Mr Obama said the


US would remain an enduring part the two mack even after the troops


have pulled out at the end of this month.


Panama's former strongman Manuel Noriega has returned home more than


two decades after United States forced him from power. He has


served sentences for drug offences in the UK -- US and money


laundering in France. He returns to Panama to serve 328 year terms for


the murder of political opponents in the 1980s.


Jonny Wilkinson has announced his retirement from international rugby.


He won 91 caps in a 30 year career, and memorably clinched a 2003 World


Cup for England with a drop goal in extra time. He leaves the


international stage second on the all-time scoring list.


It is almost 100 years since Roald Amundsen became the first person to


reach the South Pole. Today in Norway's Prime Minister Jens


Stoltenberg made the same journey by a rather easier means, an


American Hercules plane. He schedule to welcome around one


dozen expeditions marking the event. Opposition activists in Syria have


been boycotting the local elections in the country, saying they are


just irrelevant. The Government claims that large numbers of people


are going to the polls, but the boycott is especially in opposition


strongholds like Homs is believed to be high, suggesting that civil


disobedience is taking hold in Syria. As voting began, security


forces battled pro-opposition army defectors in clashes. Jonathan


Haynes reports from neighbouring Turkey.


Syria is a country divided. Today, between those who voted, and those


who are still fighting. And then there were those who chose to


protest. These opponents of President Assad mocked his


elections by holding one of their own. In Hammer, they protested in a


more conventional way. The general strike is in force in many


opposition strongholds. Here, almost everything is shot. The


likelihood of any voting taking place in neighbourhoods like this


is not high. These pictures are said to be from the contested city


of Homs. Ten people are reported to have been killed in the last 24


hours. A local election has little


relevance here. But in Government strongholds like Damascus, people


did come out of court. These elections are, says the Government,


the first step in its own reform programme. It says they are freer


than before and will give more power to local administrations, but


insists President Assad is the only figure who can do never bought


reform and stability. But, with perhaps half the country racked by


violence and no independent monitors, the value of this


exercise, if any, is impossible to judge.


For the millions who have turned against President Assad, reform


under his leadership is now an impossibility. Their protests have


cost perhaps 5,000 lives, but they will not stop. Once the voting is


over, the struggle for power in this country will resume.


Staying in the Middle East, the situation in Bahrain. David Cameron


has been meeting King Hamad and he urged him to bring in concrete


reforms after his Government suppression of pro-democracy


protests. After their meeting, King Hamad told the BBC he was looking


to Britain to help reform by rain's police and judiciary. Frank Gardner


reports. A controversial visit by the king


of a country racked this year by violence. By rain. -- King Hamad is


seeking Britain's help in implementing reforms. David Cameron


has urged him to act swiftly to prevent abuses.


What we are looking for to move from dictatorship to democracy, to


move forwards from a Prime Minister being in power for 40 years, to a


Prime Minister to being elected. That is what we are really willing


now to, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, to discuss this


issue with that the king. In Bahrain, the protests and the


clashes with police and villages continue. Many protesters want an


end to the Sunni monarchy, but large parts of the population do


not. Ahead of the main opposition party -- the head of the main


opposition party, says he is ready for dialogue with the king.


King Hamad, seen here receiving a damning report into human rights


abuses, tells the BBC he plans to invite in personal advisers from


all political parties, but most remain sceptical. Bahrain's


Government was hoping that report would draw a line under the


violence that has claimed around 40 lives, but political grievances


remain. This gulf state is now deeply divided between the Shia


opposition and those who support Thousands of Russians have taken to


the streets of Moscow in support of Vladimir Putin, facing calls to go.


The President, Dmitri Medvedev, announced on Facebook an


investigation into fraud allegations in the vote. But a


spokesman for Vladimir Putin said the allegations about the elections


eight days ago do not undermine the legitimacy of the vote or the


result. Over the weekend, huge demonstrations were held in demand


or fresh elections and the opposition was planning another big


protest on 24th December. Meanwhile, one of Russia's richest businessmen,


Mikhail Prokhorov, has said he will challenge Mr Putin next March. We


are joined by G blogger -- a blogger who was in protest last


week. Fair to say that the protests are an urban phenomenon. Yes, it is


a natural phenomenon. People go to the streets, naturally. The point I


was making is that these are young people, for the large part, who are


on the internet, and not perhaps typical representative of the


Russian population at large. Yes, of course, because in Russian


protests, usually, they consist of pensioners. Young people do not


like politics. That is the common thing for the Russian population.


But now, when big things happen, old people have friends in the


social networks, or they subscribe to the main leaders' opinions. They


can read that something is happening and something is wrong.


And they are interested in politics, and involved. Vladimir Putin has


said there may have been some fraud, some irregularities, but he will


not accept calls for a fresh election. What happens from here?


To protests continued? Yes, I think protests will continue. -- do


protests continue. We're waiting for her the Communist Party, to see


if they will use the amendments, and then we can have free elections.


But I do not believe that they will refuse their deputy in the States


demands. Thank you for joining us. Unemployment has joined corruption


and poverty as the most talked- about topics across the world. In a


new BBC opinion poll, almost a 5th of the 11,000 respondents said that


they had discussed job losses with friends and family over the


previous month. This week on BBC World used, we are looking at how


on employment has affected young people around the world, starting


in Italy where Ben Thomson has travelled from Tuscany in the north


to Naples in the South meeting young people facing a pretty


uncertain future. The city of Prato in northern Italy


is dominated by factories making textiles. They once employed


thousands of people. But the recession has not been kind. In


recent months, many factories like this one had been forced to close.


Italy, like Greece, Spain and Portugal, is in serious financial


difficulty. During the boom years of the 1980s, the government here


spent too much money, and now it has to pay that money back. For


students at the local college, that means jobs are hard to come by.


think that when I finish my studies, I will have problems in finding


jobs because for young people, it is more difficult to find a job.


am going to go abroad because in Italy, there are not many jobs for


young people like us. The school's Head Teachers says the future looks


bleak. TRANSLATION: I am not worried only for my students, I


worried for the whole generation. I am a father, so why am very worried.


Travel south to the rural areas and the problem is much worse. This is


Pompeii, in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, an area traditionally


known for farming and agriculture. Unemployment here has always been


high but over the last few years, it has jumped, particularly among


young people between 16 and 24. The rate of employment is now the


lowest in Italy. Here, instead of protesting about the problems, they


are making music. They say it gives them a voice. TRANSLATION: I think


the economic crisis is really huge. But we have a weapon against the


economic crisis. It is music. Sometimes I do cash-in-hand jobs to


get money, but it is so difficult. It is all about who you know.


want to leave Italy, but the crisis now engulfing Europe means that


finding a golf -- finding a job elsewhere could be as difficult as


finding one here. In our Paris studio, is a


representative from the European Youth Forum. His youth unemployment


any different from my general unemployment. -- his youth


unemployment any different from a general unemployment? Good evening.


Youth unemployment has always been higher than regular unemployment.


We have seen that since 1945. Since to designate, youth unemployment


has been accelerating at an alarming scale. -- since 2008. The


differences in be access to the labour market. The market is more


volatile and insecure in comparison to the previous times. Young people


today are much more mobile. They are better educated, they are more


driven and have more ideas that they want to put into new jobs, but


there are simply no jobs available, so there is a big difference


between winning young person wants to enter the labour market and


another regular person who is already in the market or has had


experience. It is the first job that is the main cause of problems.


It is a difficult problem. It is a hard one to Salford. All the


talking Europe is of extending the retirement age, and so on, so


people are obviously hanging on to their jobs. What does that mean for


young people? It is a major problem. As representatives of youth


organisations in Europe, we are more concerned about only focusing


on austerity measures. And not focusing on investing. You might


call me delusional, to call for investment in a time of crisis but


it is important for us that we do not focus on cutting in the wrong


places. If you invest in youth organisations and young people,


offering possibilities for young people to develop their talents, to


improve skills and capabilities, that will serve them on the labour


market, providing for them a quality internship, for them to


guarantee that within four months of leaving school they have the


possibility of training or a first job. That would very much of young


people on the path of becoming part of the labour market. We do not


believe that just because some people are going to have to work


more and harder in their late years, that that means that this means


that there will be no jobs for young people. There is not this


dichotomy. We are in favour of inter-generational solidarity.


How is this for parental pressure? Especially for those of you with


the challenge of getting children to school in the mornings, prepared


with a healthy packed lunch. Imagine if you tried to achieve the


very high standards of cuisine, but you also have to make it look good.


In Japan, it is not just about being healthy. The ancient Japanese


skills of food presentation had been brought to the humble school


lunchbox. It is lunchtime at this


kindergarten in Japan. The children are eager to see what their parents


have made for them. In this country, a sandwich wrapped in tinfoil just


will not do. The packed lunch has been elevated to something nearer


an art form. At his table, there is some great ones. This is a teddy


bear and hollow Kitty. Next to this, there is a piano. This woman is an


acknowledged master of making character into boxes. -- dental


boxes. She gives lessons to other mothers. Is the competition among


others? -- is their competition among mothers. I feel that it is


Sportsday, and the expectations are getting high. You know, you have to


sit next to other mothers, so I feel pressured. What else have you


done? The teacher has kept photographs of her best designs.


Who are these portraits? Michael Jackson. Harrison Ford. As Indiana


Jones, with the hat and stubble. How did you draw the stubble?


Little seaweed. And do you do this kind of character box every day


queue meant yes. That is very devoted. -- every day? Yes. I enjoy


doing it and the children enjoy it. Back in the kindergarten, lunch is


coming to a noisy end. It did not last very long, the colourful


characters, that took eight hours to make have been gobbled in a


matter of minutes. -- that took hours to make.


More a work of art than a lunchbox. Yes, you have been hearing it, the


rumours are true. We are in for a stormy week of weather. Stormy


conditions starting tonight with heavy rain and strong winds. Later


this week, torrential Wayne -- torrential rain is forecast. This


weather front is moving through tonight, bringing heavy rain to


most places. It will be a wet start for the south-east. Windy for all


of us. Tomorrow, some of the strongest gusts are around exposed


coasts. Across the Pennines, we could see up to five centimetres of


snow. Further south, it is a windy afternoon with frequent showers.


There could be slush and sleet across the moors. Gusty winds in


exposed areas. Snow falling across the tops of Snowdonia and maybe the


Brecon Beacons. Across Northern Ireland, we are in the firing line


for strong winds. Blustery conditions starting to develop


Download Subtitles