05/01/2012 World News Today


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


foreign secretary William Hague is the latest senior western


politician to visit Burma. Is the international community moving too


soon and too fast to embrace its military-backed government?


message is, well, if you want those sanctions, those restrictive


measures, as we call them, lifted, then it's very important to show


that you are completing this process of reform. We believe now


that you are sincere about it. President Obama announces nearly


half a trillion dollars' worth of cuts to the US defence budget - and


a plan to refocus America's military effort.


We'll be strengthening our presence in the Asia Pacific, and budget


reductions will not come at the expense of this critical region.


Also coming up, the woman photographer who captured the


Golden Age of Hollywood. We look back at the life and career of the


renowned American photojournalist, Eve Arnold, who has died there the


age of 99. And the player on the London riots


last year opens in the suburb but where the unrest began. We talk to


the play's writer. Welcome. William Hague is in Burma.


He is the first British Foreign Secretary to visit the country


since 1955. It is being seen as the latest sign that the country is


open to reform. After meetings with the Burmese government, he met the


pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. She told the BBC that reforms


in Burma are not unstoppable and will only succeed if the powerful


military accepts the changes. Her party, the National League for


Democracy, had just received official recognition as a political


party in advance of the forthcoming by-elections.


These are brighter Burmese Days. A country so long isolated, now


opening to the world. Today, the first visit in half a century by a


British Foreign Secretary. He pressed the reforming President to


free more political prisoners. The president did not speak publicly,


but privately promised more reform. The president said to me in those


words that the progress of democracy is irreversible. The


words are there, but we also need to see action to release other


political prisoners and see free and fair elections. Then the world


will believe it. It is a long way from all of this. Brutal crackdowns,


shootings and disappearances. Journalists banned. It really is


extraordinary to be able to come back here and work openly as a


journalist in Burma. The most profound change that I sense is


that the essential dynamic which drove Burmese life for so long,


fear, is fading away. Change here is hugely driven by regional


realities. The Burmese have long depended on China for investment.


But the fear of being dominated by that powerful neighbour has


prompted opening to the West. With a young population, Berman needs


the prosperity only political stability can bring. The opposition


leader Aung San Ms Suu Kyi, when we first met nearly 20 years ago, now


talks warmly of the country's president, or words unthinkable in


the old days. The most important thing about the president is that


he is an honest man. He does not make big promises that he would be


incapable of keeping. It has been 17 years since I sat in his room,


listening to you speak of hope. There have been many false dawns


since then. Can we really believe that what is happening in Burma now


will end in real democracy? I have always said that hope should be


joined to endeavour. We can only hope if we work very hard to


realise your hopes, and we have been working hard over the last 23


years. This is why we have the right to hope. Will it happen in


your lifetime that we will see a full democratic election? You s, I


think there will be a full democratic election in my lifetime,


but I do not know how long I am going to live. But if I live out a


normal lifespan, yes. Tonight, the opposition leader met the Foreign


Secretary. On all sides now, there seems to be the sober political


calculation that the days of isolation much be banished forever.


Joining us now is David Williams from Indiana University in the US.


Do you think Western leaders like William Hague are putting too much


faith in the words of the Burmese President? I hope they are not


putting any faith in his words, I hope they are putting faith in


actions. There have been baby steps, but that is more than we have had


for decades. It is good that they are engaged. What kind of pressure


should they be applying? Are they doing it? They are playing a


pragmatic game. The president wants warmer relations with the West to


counterbalance China, and he wants no longer to be regarded as a


pariah nation. The only way to do that is to be able to warm up to


people like the UK and the US. This visit is a kind of pressure.


Looking at the role of Aung San Suu Kyi, it is seen as a barometer of


how far the reforms in Burma are going. But she is not the only


indicator. People ought to look elsewhere in the country as well,


for instance the ethnic tensions in parts of Burma? The ethnic tensions


are critical. Aung San Suu Kyi is concerned about them, but she is


not out there. Sometimes it is not the forefront of her concern. We


will never see real democracy unless we address that. How far do


you think these reforms that are being suggested by the military-


backed government are directed towards and elite, particularly in


Rangoon? I think they are. The president is going to talk to the


ethnic groups, and maybe we will see progress on that. But right now,


they are moving around little bits of power inside Rangoon. There is


some liberalisation, but we are far from a multi-party democracy.


more do you want to see being done? William Hague has talked about the


release of political prisoners. That is important. Sometimes it can


come to dominate the other issues. Round-table negotiations with all


the ethnic groups in the same room is critical. William Hague's


pressure can play a role in causing that to happen. Economic changes


are critical. We have seen almost none of those. As a result,


economic power remains with the military. Finally, we have to see


free, fair and monitored elections. You talked about the international


career she's need to maintain pressure on the military-backed


government. The international community does not act or speak


with one voice. No, and that is unfortunate. I think they are


speaking more with one voice now than in the past, because everybody


seems to be saying yes, there is progress and that is good, but


there is not nearly enough and we should push harder. Japan, the US


and UK are all pushing hard. Now a look at the other news. A


series of bombings in Iraq targeting Shia Muslims has killed


at least 71 people, including 44 in one city. It came hours after bombs


in the capital, Baghdad, killed at least 27. Sectarian violence has


increased recently after an arrest warrant was issued against the Sony


vice-president. In Egypt, the trial of the former


president Hosni Mubarak has heard from the prosecution that it wants


a case against him with an uncompromising call for him to be


sentenced to death by hanging. Mr Mubarak is accused of ordering the


killing of demonstrators during last year's protests which forced


him from power. Chinese airlines are refusing to


pay a carbon emissions charged to fly in Europe. The EU introduced


the fee on January 1st as part of its emissions trading scheme,


meaning that airlines now need to by pollution credits, but the


Chinese aviation Transport Association says its members will


not be forced into paying the fee. The British government is expected


to publish the findings of a review on Friday into the risks posed to


women by breast implants made up by a French manufacturer. The French


government has already recommended a 30,000 French women should have


the implants removed. The authorities there are also


investigating claims that the French company has exported in


plans for men. It is not known whether they were manufactured


using the same sub-standard silicon. A new year, and a new defence


strategy for the US. President Obama has announced defence cuts of


$450 billion, saying that US forces would be leaner, but would maintain


their military superiority. The overall defence budget will still


be bigger than the next 10 countries combined. Mr Obama said


the US will strengthen its presence in the Asia-Pacific region and


continue to invest in what he called America's critical


partnerships, including NATO. The Pentagon, the seat of American


military power, learning to adapt to this country's changing economic


fortunes and a changing world. America is turning the page and a


decade of war that started with the attacks of September 11th. The last


US soldier finally left Iraq in December. In the coming years, they


will withdraw from Afghanistan as well. But President Obama, in a


rare appearance at the Pentagon, insisted that this was no retreat.


Yes, the tide of war is receding, but the question that this strategy


answers is, what kind of military will we need long after the wars of


the last decade are over? Today, we are fortunate to be moving forward


from a position of strength. As I made clear in Australia, we will be


strengthening our presence in the Asia-Pacific. Budget reductions


will not come at the expense of that region. For America, the


future lies in the Pacific. American soldiers will soon be


based in Australia. There will be fewer of them in Europe. The US


wants to counter the rise of China, reassure its allies in the region


and maintain access to trade routes by land and sea. The overall number


of US ground troops will be cut. Washington may long longer be able


to fight two ground was at the same time, but it insists that it


remains ready for all challenges. For some, the cuts do not go deep


enough. Others worried that they undermine American power. I think


America's potential enemies will see the stated strategy change as a


sign of weakness. But whether that is seen as a true weakness over the


long term will be what capabilities the American military continues to


have. President Obama will also face criticism from Republicans in


this election year. They will accuse him of being weak on defence.


That is perhaps why he came here in person, to show that he and his


generals are on the same page. In the UK, a panel of legal and


medical experts has called for assisted suicide to be legalised


for people who are terminally ill and likely to die within a year.


Campaigners for assisted suicide commissioned the report. The bid


it'll Medical Association refused to take part -- the British Medical


Association refused to take part. Assisted suicide is when one person


helps another take their own life, as opposed to euthanasia, when the


other person, most often a doctor, end the life. A few countries allow


the practice. In Europe, it is legal in the Netherlands, Belgium


and Switzerland, where the motive of the person helping has to be


proved. Assisted suicide is also allowed in Luxembourg. There, they


failed to get Royal Assent to legalise it, so they amended the


constitution to stop the monarch from blocking it, and it was


legalised in 2009. In America, three states, Oregon, Washington


and Montana, have legalised assisted suicide, but sub-standard


conditions have to be met before it is allowed. Joining us is Dr Evan


Harris, the former Liberal Democrat MP, who is a member of Healthcare


Professionals for Assisted Dying. You know the criticism about these


proposals. Vulnerable people may feel pressurised into ending their


lives. Firstly, it is assisted dying, not assisted suicide. In all


the countries you mentioned, there are strict safeguards. One of the


things from this report is that this should be legalised, subject


to strict safeguards. The person has to be attested to be terminally


ill, not only mentally ill or disabled. They have to have the


capacity to make the decision, and it has to be repeated request.


Thirdly, there must be checks that they are not under duress.


Currently, there are no such safeguards when people who are very


ill refuse, as they are entitled to do, life-saving treatment. Even if


they are not terminally ill, they can refuse life-saving treatment


and therefore kill themselves possibly without any of those safe


guards. In countries which have legalised assisted dying with


safeguards, there are fewer pieces of the vulnerable and those who are


under duress. But you never know for sure. Research has been done,


asking doctors how often they have chosen to end the lives of patients,


which is something called non- voluntary euthanasia. No one is


arguing that that should be legal. In countries like Holland, where


assisted dying is legal, subject to safeguards, there is much more


discussion between patients, families and doctors of what


patients would have wanted and the reports of non- voluntary


euthanasia, where doctors are making decisions on patients with a


capacity, people who are unconscious, is lower than the


reported incidence in this country, where doctors are not allowed to


have the conversation about what the patient would have been wanted.


But you are in a minority, because most of the medical establishment


in the UK are opposed to assisted At least 80% is in favour of


assisted dying with safeguards. We know that certain religious people


supported. We know that it states in America supported. It is likely


that the majority of doctors would agree with the proposition that


people who have the capacity, suffering intolerably and who'll


are terminally ill, should be allowed to have assistance. -- who


are terminally ill. There should be an opt-out for conscientious


objection. I do not accept that the argument would not have majority


medical support. The British Medical Association did oppose this.


They did in other countries until it was legalised as well. There are


so many things that around known. - - are on known. Patients... How do


you know whether a person as less than a year to live? Whenever you


give a prognosis you can only give what I Dr believes is their best


judgment. At the moment it is legal for someone to go took Switzerland


where there are none of these checks, where you do not have to be


terminally ill, and where often people who do not want to die


immediately put are terrified of dying in paint, are earlier. -- go


One word for the other side of the argument. Alex Schadenberg from the


youth and a share Prevention Commission. -- Euthanasia


Prevention Commission. Why do you believe these proposals are


misguided? First of all, to allow Darren -- doctors to be directly


involved in assisting death means that you're giving doctors to cause


the death of a patient. It really does not matter... Even if they say


the rules are watertight, these rules can be changed by anybody.


You just have to open the equation and say it is OK to kill you are


patient. That is completely unacceptable. Especially when you


consider concerns about people with disabilities etc. We cannot go down


that road. Thank you very much indeed. For


technical reasons we could not come to you earlier. At least you had


the last word. Let's return to our story earlier on about the new


Defence Secretary unveiled by Barack Obama in Washington. There


are Foran that and $50 billion worth of cuts to the US military


budget. -- $450 billion. President Obama wants to focus more on the


Asia-Pacific region. We are joined by Philip Hammond, the British


Defence Secretary. Do you believe the United States is turning its


back on Europe by strengthening its role in the Asia-Pacific? Does that


worry you? I do not think it should worry us. It was always inevitable


that the US would refocus its strategic effort on the Asia-


Pacific region, responding to the phenomenal growth of China as an


economic and military power. The message I am getting here in


Washington is that people here value the North Atlantic


relationship. They want to see the Europeans shouldering a greater


share of the burden. They understand working together with us


in areas of greater stability is the to the benefit of both the US


and Europe, and that collaboration will continue. If they cut their


spending, they will expect a major European military power to cough up


more? I have given a speech here this morning with a plate -- blunt


message. The reality is that nobody can coughed up any more. We in the


UK he inherited a huge budget deficit. We have set to work


tackling it. The US is now engaged with a similar process and is


determined to put its defence spending on an affordable and


sustainable footing, as we are doing in the UK. What we have found


in the UK is that responding to what is essentially a budgetary


problem, when we have looked at how we respond to that, we look at a


our strategy, we have come up with a solution which will give us more


flexible, more adaptable, more mobile and more deplorable forces


than we had before. -- employable. Let's take the challenge of budget


necessity and turn it into a strategic opportunity, to rethink


how we do defence in Europe and North America, so that we do get


for every precious pound or dollar of taxpayers' money, the very best


Thank you very much. The renowned American photo-journalist, Eve


Arnold, has died at the age of 99. She captured images of many


celebrities, but her iconic photos of the Hollywood star, Marilyn


Monroe, made her famous around the world. Eve Arnold was born in


Philadelphia, and worked briefly in China. She lived in London for more


than 40 years, where she died just few months before her 100th


birthday. David Sillito looks back at her life.


Marilyn Monroe had good reason to look thoughtful and vulnerable


during these photographs. She had twice taken an overdose and was


drinking heavily. There was only one photographer she trusted, Eve


Arnold. We all used each other. She used me to get -- to help her to


get where she was going, me and hundreds of others. I was unique


only in the fact that she trusted me. Eve Arnold was the first woman


to work with the famous Magnum photographic agency. Born in


Philadelphia, she photographed friends and family and made her


name when Britain's Picture Post published have pictures. She hated


Studios. Her skill was capturing the fleeting intimate moment behind


the glossy the sad. It was this which attracted the attention of


Marilyn Monroe. It was the opposite of the traditional Hollywood


glamour or photograph. producers of the film's were


worried because they kept saying, you're killing the illusion. You


were building -- we're building dreams and you are giving us


nightmares. In the end when they so how much space they could command,


all of that shift it. -- saw. was open hostility to her when she


photographed black Muslim leader Malcolm X. And in her long career


she won praise for pictures of everyone from world leaders to the


dispossessed. Her most difficult subject was Margaret Thatcher, who


she said it tried to control her every move. Good pictures, she felt,


relied on have good relationships. That is what she had with Marilyn


Monroe. She might have appeared innocent and unguarded. But Marilyn


knew what she was projecting. And even Harold was the one she trusted


to protect it. -- projected. Eve Arnold, who has died aged 99. A


play about the August riots has opened in Tottenham. 'The Riots' is


based on interviews with politicians, police, victims and


the rioters themselves. In a moment, we talked to Gillian Slovo. First,


I click of the play and the monologue from the actor, Steve


Toussaint. Those kids were, to all intents and purposes, they were


suicide bombers. In our community they have been imploding as opposed


to exploding. On that Saturday the exploded. Telling these kids, stop


what you're doing, we will give you longer sentences, is like saying to


somebody strap with a bomb, stop or I will shoot. It does not mean


anything. It reinforces their cynicism, they believe.


Steve Toussaint. Gillian Slovo, Newspoll do plenty of people


preparing for this play? I got about 54 hours of interviews which


I had to calm down into a two Our Plaice. Was the one essential


message which came to you? -- was the one central message which came


to you? There were a lot of messages. I have compiled and


narrative of the riots. It is about people wondering what their causes


war. There were quite opposing understandings of that. What was


clear to me is that it started out as legitimate anger by a community


about the death of another black man in police hands, and the fact


there was misinformation. The failure of the police do properly


policed the demonstration that took place. And then as spreading into


other parts of the England, which was partly about people seeing that


the police were not going to do anything else, and going out to get


things free. The authorities talked about playing criminal activity.


Heavy sentences were meted out to those found guilty. There was


undoubtedly a lot of looting and criminality. What the Government


has failed to do is to understand that it you have a society where


there is a significant minority of people who have nothing to lose,


then you will get this kind of behaviour. It should concern us all.


How did it go down when you showed it in Tottenham? It went down well.


The question and answer session was very serious, not angry, but a very


serious discussion about the kinds of things that caused these riots.


And how to stop them in the future. Gillian Slovo, thank you. That is


all from this edition of World News Hello there. We have had some very


windy conditions in the last few days. It is set to change. The


winds will ease. It is set to be a sunny start tomorrow. And actually


won as well. We could see a touch of frost. We could well see frost


in the north. A crisp and sunny start through central and eastern


areas. The cloud will gather from the West. For much of north-west


England, patchy rain later in the afternoon. Lighter wind and


sunshine give rise to 728 degrees in the south-east of England.


Higher in the south-west. A little more cloud through Wales and south-


west England. That could produce light rain. Friday across Northern


Ireland, the winds much lighter, scattered showers. A little more


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