16/12/2011 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today. Appearing in public for the first


time in one-and-a-half years, the American soldier, Bradley Manning


and alleged WikiLeaks source, attends a military hearing.


Child sex abuse was rife in the Dutch Catholic Church, that's from


an inquiry. From the man who launched the Arab


Spring, to the protests which defined it. We look back on the


year. From basket case to vibrant economy.


On the 40th anniversary of its independence, we look at the making


and the future of modern Bangladesh. It's a highly integrated economy.


It's an integrated economy of 160 million people. That is a strength.


And the British journalist and author Christopher Hitchins dies,


Hello and welcome. The US army private accused of supplying


hundreds of thousands of secret documents to the whistle blowing


website WikiLeaks is appearing for the first time before a military


court. Bradley Manning was an intelligence analyst in Iraq when


he allegedly accessed military files F convicted, he could be


sentenced to life in prison. A traitor deserving life


imprisonment for a reckless act of disloyalty or a vulnerable young


man performing a public service. Bradley Manning is charged with


knowingly giving intelligence to the enemy, through what the charge


sheet describes as "indirect means" in other words to Julian Assange


and WikiLeaks. As an intelligence analyst, he


stumbled across this video showing an American helicopter attack which


killed civilians and journalists. It became the first of his many


leaks and caused a sensation. This was the largest leak of classified


information in American history. A quarter of a million diplomatic


cables from American embassies over the world, and half a million


military records from Iraq and Afghanistan. The scope was breath


taking. Military tactics were revealed. Afghan informants were


named. Senior American diplomats were compromised. This, for many of


us, was the first glimpse of Bradley Manning since his arrest a


year-and-a-half ago. He sat in the courtroom, in uniform, his hands


collapsed in front of him. He said only that he understood his rights


and he identified the lawyers representing him. But who is the


man at the heart of this extraordinary story? Bradley


Manning was born in the Christian conservative heart land. He


rejected religion as a child. He joined the army but fell out with


colleagues and received counselling. Outside the military base here,


some of his supporters are holding a vigil throughout the hearing.


should be given the Medal ofpsHonour. He should be released.


We should continue to bring about a transformation of our government


where secrecy is not overused. to the organisation he served and


many other Americans, Bradley Manning seems distinctly less


heroic. He faces a probable life sentence if convicted. His defence


has questioned the impartiality of the court and asked what damage was


really done by the leaks. The hearing is likely to last several


days. The former US Assistant Secretary


of State for public affairs PJCrowley has been talking to the


BBC about the case. He resigned in March this year after publicly


criticised the Pentagon for allegedly mistreating Manning while


in detention. He says he does deserve to be on trial. The case is


now proceeding. I like the prosecuter's chances. I think when


you put it all together, from various reports, Bradley Manning


was involved in chat rooms. He's provided a lot of information to


the community of computer geeks that he was linked to. Obviously,


the government has a chance to go back through computer networks.


There are forensics to help with this case. I expect after this


article two -- article 32 hearing, there will be enough evidence to


proceed to trial. I think it's a necessary prosecution in order to


remind people within government that there, this information needs


to be protected. When it's compromised, there are consequences.


And understand WikiLeaks is different than leaks that we've had


in the past. We've had leaks before. One individual, a handful of


documents, one country. It causes a problem, but you work through it


over time. WikiLeaks was about 750,000 documents, many of them


classified. It touched on every relationship that the United States


had with every government around the world. And so its impact has


been much more profound than at any time in the past. I think this is a


vital prosecution. I'm a believer in this prosecution. The necessity


to protect information, even while, as a government, being accountable


and as transparent as possible. I thought that the treatment of


Bradley Manning was undercutting the legitimacy of this prosecution,


the credibility of this case. Thankfully, for a variety of


reasons, today's hearing, I believe will be about what Bradley Manning


is alleged to have done and not about how the government has


treated him while in detention. This afternoon it's emerged that


Julian Assange will have an appeal against his extradition to Sweden.


Mr Assange is wanted for questioning over allegations of


sexual assault. Charges he denies. The High Court had approved his


extradition in a previous reading. The Catholic Church has been any


intense scrutiny over child abuse allegations for several years. This


time it's focused on Holland. An independent inquiry estimates


between 10,000 and 20,000 children have been abused in the country


since the Second World War. It says church officials were aware of the


abuse and failed to do anything about it. The Archbishop of Utrecht


apologised and said he was ashamed of the findings.


The claims quickly escalated to reveal a network of abuse aacross -


- across the country. During this independent investigation they


found one in five children were abused while in the care of


Catholic institutions. Not only that, but Catholic officials knew


the abuse was happening, but did nothing to help the victims or stop


the people who were abused them. The commission estimates between


10,000 and 20,000 children were abused between 1945 and 2010. They


ID vied 800 priests, brothers and lay people working for the church,


named in the complaints. Of those 105 are stale live. Though it's not


known if they still have church positions. Earlier, the Catholic


Church took some responsibility for what happened. I feel ashamed and I


feel deeply touched and affected by what I have read in the report, it


is terrible. Yeah. The group representing the victims has called


for justice for all those affected. What really is important today is


what the next steps will be after the bishop's. They have post poned


their actions one-and-a-half year and from now there's no excuse to


postpone any steps towards the victim. Some payments have been


issued. Last month, the church set up a special compensation system to


award amounts of up to 130,000 dollars to the victims, depending


on the amount of abuse they have suffered. Now begins the painful


process of rebuilding the Catholic Church in the Netherlands and


beyond. As part of a separate investigation,


police have arrested more than 100 people across Europe for sharing


videos of the sexual abuse of children. The the European police


agency said the operation had shown how the internet was helping


offenders share images globally while protecting their identities.


In other news, ten people have been killed, several injured, in western


Kazakhstan. The clashes were between striking oil workers and


the police. The workers have been protesting for higher wages. The


country's prosecuter said the fighter was the result of mass


disorder. Japan's Fukushima nuclear power


plant has been stabilised, according to the Japanese


government. Three reactors went into meltdown following the tsunami


nine months ago. Now the Prime Minister says the plant has reached


what, he called, cold shutdown. The party of President Ouattara has


won the most seats in the Ivory Coast Parliamentary elections,


that's the first poll since Laurent Gbagbo's arrest. Mr Gbagbo refused


to accept defeat in last year's presidential election, sparking


five months of violent -- violence. A year ago this weekend, a 26-year-


old Tunisian set himself on fire. It was an extreme act by a young


man, who had reached the end of his tether after being banned from


selling fruit to make a living. It set off the remarkable events that


became known as the Arab Spring. It's been a year like no other in


the Middle East. Some rulers have gone, others survived, other


countries are in turmoil. It started in Tunisia. A year ago,


police stopped a young vendor from selling his fruit on the street. In


protest he set himself on fire, frustrated and furious at a corrupt,


all-powerful regime. Weeks later, he died. It touched a national


nerve. People came out and dared to denounce their government, defying


the riot police sent to confront them. Abruptly the President lost


control and fled, his regime suddenly over. The touch paper of


revolution had been lit. When it spret to Cairo people asked - could


Egypt be next? The ballooning population shared the frustrations,


power concentrated in the hands of an unelected elite, a brutal


security apparatus. We are tired. They shot. President Mubarak, in


power for over 28 years, had a huge security network. Word of the


protests spread on Facebook and Twitter. The army refused to open


fire. Mubarak fled with his family. In Libya, revolt began in the east,


a region rebellious against Colonel Gaddafi's rule. He called the


rebels rats and cockroaches and vowed to crush them. Vain and


dictatorial, he and his family lived in a world divorced from


reality. For months the Civil War looked like a stalemate, until


Western air power and help from Arab states drove Gaddafi's troops


back. His end came here, dragged out of a drainage pipe and shot by


his own people. In Yemen, popular protest against the 33-year ruler,


President Saleh has been complicated by tribal. The


President has remained -- decided to step down.


Bahrain has seen the most serious violence in the Gulf, around 40


killed, thousands injured, as Shi'ites demand for rights from the


Sunni monarchy. There's so much tension in these Shi'ite villages


when processions like this meet the security forces, often it ends in


tear gas, more wounds and more animosity. Syria has suffered


terribly this year, over 5,000 killed, countless others tortured


as the country lurches towards Civil War, its President appears to


be in denial. Nofrpblgts government in the world kill its people unless,


it's led by crazy person. For me as President, I became President


because of the public support. The movement many called the Arab


awakening, has yet to run its course. What started a year ago


with a Tunisian fruit seller is now unstoppable. The Arab world has had


enough of dictatorship. In Egypt today, there have been


more clashs in Cairo between troops and protesters. Demonstrators had


been staging a sits-in outside the Parliament building, when security


forces moved in to remove them. The latest protests began three weeks


ago. 40 years ago today, after a two-week war with India, Pakistan


suffered a humiliating defeat, out of what had been east Pakistan, the


new country of Bangladesh was born. Many believed it had little chance


of surviving, despite natural disasters, military dictatorship


and an economy dependent on aid for many years, Bangladesh has not only


survived, it's experienced strong Meet this young mother of two. She


is one of millions of women working in Bangladesh's thriving garment


industry. Today, Bangladesh is the world's third-biggest export of


Ready to wear clothes, earning billions of dollars in revenue.


life has changed completely after a got a job here. We lived in our


village and we have no money and we struggled to make ends meet. With


my savings, I bought a rickshaw for my husband and now he earns some


money. We are still poor, but we are no longer starving.


Bangladesh's first President makes a fiery speech at the start of the


independence struggle. The war left the country in ruins, but the


American National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger called it a basket


case. He thought the new country would constantly need millions of


dollars in aid just to survive. said thank God it is not our basket


case. Our wish today is for a economy, but it is a highly


integrated economy. It is an integrated economy of 160 million


people. That is a strength. These children are dressed in the


national colours to celebrate Bangladesh Bols break from Pakistan


40 years ago. Since then, the country has refused independence on


foreign aid, and democracy has taken root after years of military


rule. The country has also witnessed a strong economic rise in


recent years, helping millions out of poverty. But, for a lot of


Bangladesh is, that is not enough. The biggest challenge is sharing in


the economy and we have brought down the number of poor people, but


it is still one third of the population. For these women, the


lively have also depends on what happens outside Bangladesh. The


current crisis in the Eurozone, the country's biggest export market,


could have a major impact. For 40 years, Bangladesh has defied the


dire predictions made in 1971. It has a bright -- survive. There are


uncertainties, but people are confident that their in-built


resilience will keep them going. We have been hearing that the scars


of independence will remain and disagreements continue to the day.


The Bangladeshi government saw too many people killed, they called it


a genocide. The Pakistani side investigated through a commission


which was formed and eventually they said 26,000 people were killed.


You can see the difference between 26,003 million. My view is that it


is virtually impossible to verify the figure but the fact remains


that a lot of people were killed and there was mass rape and murder


and torture. For the were atrocities on both sides. Yes, both


sides. But the Bengali separatists and the Urdu-speaking community


were considered loyal to the idea of Pakistan but there was internal


strife as villages were burned and people were killed and that was a


justification for the Pakistan army to intervene. But this could not


have been done without the help of India. They were crucial to the


success of this war. I was brought up in Pakistan believing it was an


Indian conspiracy. When I went to Bangladesh last month and spoke to


senior ministers, they accepted that without the help from India we


could not have done it in 1971. you look at the map, it was bonkers


as far as West Pakistan was concerned. The territory divided by


1,600 kilometres, with a hostile enemy territory next. It was an


absurd idea to begin with in the minds of people, but people say it


was inevitable. And when the surrender came, a moment of


national humiliation for Pakistan. I believe it is possibly the


darkest period in the history of Pakistan. When 90,000 soldiers


surrender in front of India, being taken as prisoners of war, the


country then broke up. But that fed into the Pakistan paranoia with


India and it has continued to inform the policy since then.


Looking at Bangladesh now and its future, it is making big strides.


There are a lot of challenges in Bangladesh. Overall, Bangladesh has


done well since independence. They are making efforts and improving.


They are released in charge of their own destiny now. Before


independence there was constant blame on West Pakistan and that was


exploited in terms of economics and cultural subject -- subjugation,


but one would argue even know that the democracy there has problems,


one could argue that these people are in charge of their destiny.


that hatred slowly dissipating? Bangladesh, I did meet some people


and I felt the heat of this because I am Pakistani and Pakistanis


killed their relatives, but a lot of people have moved on. People


need closure. Officially, Bangladesh has repeatedly asked for


an apology from Pakistan and the leaders have expressed regret, but


there has not been an official apology yet. Many people in


Pakistan believe it is about time that they recognised the wrongs


that wouldn't. The controversial British born author and journalist


Christopher Hitchens has died at the age of 62. He passed away at a


hospital in Houston, Texas after a long battle against cancer.


Christopher Hitchens began his career in Britain as a left-wing


journalist, but he later moved to New York and to the political right.


The BBC's James Robbins looks back on his life.


Christopher Hitchens lived hard and fast and wrote even harder --


faster. Being the right is what I am, he said, rather than what I do.


He started on the left at the New Statesman magazine in 19 some T3.


Methodical with facts, always a fierce critic, often hilarious. He


wrote to provoke, most of all as an ardent atheist. I refuse to be told


what to think or howl, let alone what to say, but most certainly not


by people who claimed the authority of fabricated works of primeval


myth and fiction. They want me to believe that they are divine, and


that I won't have. At and in debate with Tony Blair, Christopher


Hitchens told him that the leaders were slave to the celestial


dictatorship, a sort of divine North Korea. Christopher was a


total one-off. A unique character, an extraordinary polemicist, a


contrary in, often. But an incredible, inspirational writer


and figure. Christopher Hitchens revelled in fights and shows many


targets. He called Bill Clinton based cynical, C -- self-serving,


ambitious third. He scandalise many by accusing Mother Teresa of


withholding proper medical care in favour of a cult based on death,


suffering and subjection. But he was also fearless calling 9/11, the


work of Islamic fascism. I knew Christopher in the 60s and 70s. I


knew him better in the 90s, actually, when we worked together


on a number of documentaries. So why will have fond memories of that


Christopher -- I will have. But the new Christopher that emerged after


9/11, as an apologist for the United States and its imperial wars


and policies have brought, I had little sympathy for. Christopher


Hitchens's embrace of America and his support for George Bush ended


some friendships that won him new admirers as well. Then, as cancer


took hold, he started thinking and writing about dying, death, and a


certainty that it would be final. Do you fear death? No, I am not


afraid of being dead, necessarily. There is nothing to be afraid of, I


won't know. And if I find I am alive in any way a tall, that will


Christopher Hitchens who died at the age of 62. I'm joined now by


Jacob Weisberg, editor of Slate.com. The thing that struck me about


Christopher Hitchens was passion in everything he did and said. Is that


your experience as well? Very much so. He had the great passion for


whatever his view was at the time, even though it changed over the


years. But it wasn't just passion for the sake of it, it was for


things he cared about, a human rights, freedom of expression,


literature, leaving the kind of life he wanted to lead and for


having the freedom to do it. What did you first think when you first


met him? I met him 26 years ago when I was 21 years old and he made


quite an impression on me. I was taking a year of college and


working in Washington as a journalist and he had been there


are few more years having come over from London. And he sort of called


me out of the blue and asked if I wanted a cheap drink, and I had


heard of him and knew his reputation, and he really


befriended me, and what I subsequently learnt his day he had


done that with so many young journalists in a really selfless


and admirable way. He just cultivated this kind of


conversation around him and he didn't have disciples, and he


didn't like them, but he surrounded himself with a range of people who


didn't necessarily share his views or taste but who he got some


stimulation from. And he could drink, couldn't he? It was


unbelievable. The thing was not how much he drank, but how little


effect it had on him. The worst hangover remember having in my life


was after one night I went out with him early on and I learned my


lesson, but he would drink and drink and at the end of the evening


he might feel a little muzzy but basically entirely coherent, and he


could sit down and banged out a column that would be better than


anything I could do stone-cold sober. He had so many feuds, many


of them very entertaining. One less so was with his brother, Peter.


Today he wrote about the one quality that stood out in his


brother, which was courage. What do you think of that? I think that is


the right thing to pick up on, intellectual courage. The more time


I have spent in journalism, the more I have felt that the press


have a herd mentality existing, especially amongst journalists in


some ways. It was simply never true of Christopher. He followed his


principles to the logical conclusion and he did not care what


anyone thought. From Trotskyite took me a conservative, that is


quite a ride. -- to a neo- conservative. I don't think he was


a conventional liberal in the American sense, but he did have a


larger Liberal values through his life and he was liberationists. He


believed people should be free and should be free to express


themselves. He didn't think they should live under dictatorships. He


thought they should be free to express themselves sexually, to


drink, to smoke, to dress the way they want, and there is a


consistent thread in his thoughts that go from his period on the left


to his period on the right, but looked at in a certain perspective,


even his period on the right was not really on the right. He


supported the Iraq war. His reasons were different from other


supporters. Jacob, thank you for speaking to us. That is all for me


Hello, we have a cold weekend ahead. Frosty, I see, and wintry showers.


We saw an area of low pressure moving through the Channel which


skipped away into Germany and now with strong winds we are left


behind with a cold north-west airflow across the UK, which is why


temperatures are struggling this weekend. There will be problems


with ice and there will be cold accentuated by the north-westerly


wind. An RAC start to Saturday and further wintry showers. -- a cold


start to Saturday. Shell was running along the southern counties,


showers of rain, sleet, snow, hail and also some sunshine across many


inland areas with a mixture of patchy cloud and sunny spells and


if you get sunshine it doesn't make much difference to the temperature.


It is well below the seasonal average and into single figures.


The showers coming into the south- west are predominantly rain but you


could catch Hale. Those across Wales are snow on high ground but


it will not be a constant spell of wet weather because they will be


dry and occasionally bright interludes. Further scattered


showers keeps coming in through Northern Ireland in temperatures


around four or five or six degrees, held close to freezing across


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