10/01/2012 World News Today


10/01/2012

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


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This is BBC World News Today with me Zeinab Badawi. Syria's President

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Bashar al-Assad makes a rare and defiant speech. He criticises the

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Arab League and blames external forces for a violent conspiracy in

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his country. We will not allow a bunch of people who sold their soul

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to the devil to destroy what the Syrian people have built throughout

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history. The race to win the Republican

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presidential nomination moves to New Hampshire. Can Mitt Romney pick

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up enough momentum here to finish off his rivals?

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A last minute rush for South African University places turns

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into a stampede with deadly consequences. Everybody was pushing.

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There was a lot of screaming. It was terrible, it was terrible.

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Also coming up in the programme, swapping sport for politics.

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Manchester United idol Eric Cantona says he's going to try to run for

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president in his native France. And smart television bringing TV

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:01:19.:01:27.

Hello and welcome. The Syrian government went on the offensive

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today both against its internal opponents and foreign opponents and

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critics. In a two-hour defiant speech, President Bashar Al Assad

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blamed a foreign conspiracy for the wave of violence in his country and

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pledged to regain security by hitting terrorists with an iron

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fist. His regime's been criticised for its violent suppression of

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anti-government protests. The United Nations believes more than

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5,000 civilians have been killed since March last year. Paul Wood

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:02:05.:02:10.

Business-as-usual for Syria. President Assad's speech promised

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more of the same, an iron fist, he called it. So, today, this latest

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video apparently shows a suburb of the capital, Damascus, with tanks

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on the streets. It's only the 4th speech by Syria's leader in at 10

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months of this crisis. He said the country was facing terrorism and he

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blamed a conspiracy on foreign powers. The dark ages of warmongers

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outside are now clear. He went on to attack the foreign media. They

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want to shake Syria's stability, he says, them or stoking fear to cause

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us to collapse. At the start of this crisis, President Assad was

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seen as above the fray, but street protesters they pinned their hopes

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of an to bring in reforms but now they just want him to go, and the

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opposition accuses him of pushing the country close to civil war.

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regime has learned nothing from the past 10 months. It is more extreme

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now than ever. Arab League monitors have failed to calm things down.

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President Assad attacked them. The opposition want foreign military

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intervention. But help is not on the way. Syria is at the heart of

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the Middle East, and what happens in that Syria is unlikely to remain

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in Syria. There are net any number of scenarios where there are

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significant spillover effects towards Israel, Turkey and the Gulf.

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So, on the ground, both sides seem to be expecting an escalation in

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the violence. The Arab League has condemned an incident in which two

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members of its observer mission in this area were injured in an attack

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by demonstrators. The head of the Arab League said the Syrian

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government was responsible for protecting members of its mission.

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I'm joined from Washington by Theodore Kattouf, former US

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ambassador to Syria and the United Arab Emirates. He is currently the

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:04:43.:04:44.

President of American Friends of the Middle East. This attack on the

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Arab League, what lay behind this? It took place in Latakia, a city

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which is fairly supportive of President Assad. Do you think it

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was genuine or orchestrated? can never be certain but it's very

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clear from statements emanating from leaders of the Gulf co-

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operation Council, and the head of the Arab League, that they hold

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Syria responsible for these attacks and, indeed, in his speech today,

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President Assad was dismissive of, and insulting towards, the six

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states of the council, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, set off. One member

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at least, the Gulf council, Coltart, has broken in relation to the Arab

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League, and said the observer mission is not able to do this on

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its own and it would be better if it got help from the UN. Is that

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something you agree with? It's a view I agree with. I think they

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have been at the forefront of those Arab League states, saying that

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Syria needs to be taken to task at the UN Security Council. And I

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think it's quite true that the 150 monitors who are they right now,

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are not capable of a restraining Syrian intelligence and a special

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military units from assaulting their own people. And, in terms of

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what the USA can do, that it isn't doing, what would you like to see

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Washington doing? I mean, it's not what I think, but I think here in

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the USA, we had just pulled our troops, and you have pulled your

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troops out of Iraq. We want to put our troops out of Afghanistan in a

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couple of years. Tensions are very, very high with Iran, and quite

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honestly, I don't see many people eager to see the administration

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directly intervening in a serious. But, if there was going to be an

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intervention, it would be to follow some what of the Libyan example

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where the Arab League condemns them, goes to the secluded Council, and

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then that Russia and China would have to go on, and right now,

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Russia particularly is not don't go along with any tough action. I

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think we are stay need for the on the Bashar al-Assad's rare speech.

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What do you make of that? Is he in control? Is your mouthpiece for the

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regime? Frankly, whichever the case, it's probably a distinction without

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a difference. The regime is far more than one man. His family, his

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inner circle, the circle of his protectors, and they are not going

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to give up power peacefully. They are not going to, even though he

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talked of reforms, he would have done it by now, he wants to give

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whatever he can he feels necessary to the opposition, but not until

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they are totally off the streets, and repressed and humbled.

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Ambassador, thank you very much for talking to us live or from

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Washington. The candidates hoping to take on President Obama in

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November's presidential election are fighting it out in New

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Hampshire today in the second stage of the battle for the Republican

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nomination. The former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney,

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is tipped to win. He won in Iowa last week by just eight votes. Mitt

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Romney is hoping the momentum he gains here will help secure him the

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nomination. Over to Manchester, New Hampshire, and my colleague Katty

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Kay. It's quite a feat, if he pulls this off? It absolutely is. What he

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would like to do is win and win big. So he can have secured a party's

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nomination, coast through the primaries and start a directing his

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attention to Barack Obama and the general presidential election which

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takes place in November. There's a few more hours until the polls

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close in New Hampshire and during that time, the candidates are using

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every last minute to persuade every voter they can. Paul Adams has the

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news. Mitt Romney in confident mood in Manchester. He is the man to

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beat, and moderate Republicans surrounded by more conservative

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opponents. I hope the people turn out, the entire nation is watching.

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The Republican voters will certainly to some up. The only

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questions, how big will he win and how many of his rivals will fight

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another day? The candidates have swarmed all over diners up and down

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the state, but what have they left behind and do people believe any of

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them can deliver change? None of these Republicans, I don't feel it.

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I don't know. I'm up in the air. Winter has yet to come hard in New

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England. But the ice fishermen are looking for a catch. Hoping to land

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more than just tiddlers. Jason has not decided to devote four yet, but

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thinks Mitt Romney will win. -- who to vote for yet. I think he will

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win. A lot of people are looking for him. I need votes for that and

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the underdog candidate. Huntsmann is enjoying a late surge.

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He won't win but the bomber jacket and the baby's suggest he has not

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given up for the after a lacklustre campaigner, there's plenty of

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excitement around today. This is the media surrounding Newt Gingrich,

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who was not even expected to finish in their top three. The President

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has his supporters here, too. They don't want the Republicans making

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all the noise. Primary season has months to run but Mitt Romney hopes

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to have it wrapped up rather quicker than that. Republicans are

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hoping for a big turnout in these primary elections here in New

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Hampshire. Let's get a sense of the significance of this. I'm joined

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here by Tim Stanley. Thanks so much for joining us. This is our first

:11:31.:11:35.

presidential election you have been covering. What are you making of

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the process? You really have to come here to see it and understand

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what it's like to be surrounded by these politicians and media people,

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how crazy it is and how it becomes a microcosm of a national campaign.

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What I have been feeling is this is two elections at once. A referendum

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on Mitt Romney, as a candidate, which I think you will win today

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quite handsomely. Secondly, who will emerge as his conservative

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rival, and that is split between several candidates. I have no

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feeling who is preferred more, but I can see some momentum behind Jon

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Huntsmann and Ron Paul. Hampshire has a history of

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upsetting presidential races. If Mitt Romney doesn't do as well as

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expected here, today, what does that mean for his campaign?

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really has to get over their dibber cent of the boat, preferably over

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the D5. -- 35% of the vote, preferably over 35. If he doesn't

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get over that, I think other candidates, particularly Jon

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Huntsmann, are well placed to say Mitt Romney moved her, spent so

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much money, off went on TV, met nearly every single person and

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couldn't get more than 35%. It suggests the Republicans don't

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think he's as popular as national polls suggest he is, which is why

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it's important for him to do well. You said there is a race for the

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front-runner, Mitt Romney, and the rest of the Conservative pack. Also

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who will be the best candidate to take on Barack Obama in November?

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Has Mitt Romney persuaded voters in New Hampshire, do you think, he is

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best suited to win the White House for the Republicans? Unfortunate,

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for him, the day before there was a scandal in which he said during a

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speech that he likes being able to fire people. His words were taken

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out of context but already the Democratic National Committee is

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spinning them against him all over the breakfast shows for the even if

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Mitt Romney does not win today, I suspect this primary has set him up

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for a fall in November and he could be hurt by his victory here today.

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Nationally, he's only three points ahead of Mitt Romney. -- Barack

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Obama. Ron Paul is only one point behind Barack Obama for the what

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does that say? Thank you very much. Of course, we will know does result

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later tonight and will bring you the result and looking ahead to

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what they mean for the national elections, the critical election,

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in November, when whoever is a Republican, Hasted Robert is Barack

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Obama. Thank you very much. In South

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Africa, one person was crushed to death and nearly 20 people were

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injured as thousands of students tried to get through the gates of

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the universe to Johannesburg to apply a fall last minute places.

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There's a shortage of educational opportunities in the country, and

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many families had camped outside all night, hoping to be successful.

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In a moment we'll be speaking to the deputy Vice-Chancellor of the

:14:58.:15:08.
:15:08.:15:13.

University. But first this report Survivors still looking for lost

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belongings. Thousands of applicants stood outside the camp for days,

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but there were only 800 slot in the university. They desperation caused

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:15:32.:15:33.

a frenzy. Everybody was trying to get space. Everyone wants to get in.

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I was trying to protect my son. It was not easy. There was a lot of

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screaming, everybody was pushing. It was terrible. This is where the

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stampede took place today. The parent who died was that the front

:15:51.:15:56.

of the queue. She was head, trying to find a place for her child, when

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the crowd from behind to poached the people in front. -- she was

:16:02.:16:12.
:16:12.:16:15.

here. -- behind pushed the people in front. University management

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expressed sympathy with -- sympathy for the loss of life, but said the

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:16:31.:16:33.

crowd was uncontrollable. Given what has happened, the university

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Vice-Chancellor has assured us that there will be an inquiry.

:16:40.:16:48.

unemployment rate amongst the youth is as high as 15%. There is a more

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hunger for Una -- education, but they are not enough places.

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We're joined by Professor Adam Habib, the Deputy vice-Chancellor

:16:56.:17:06.
:17:06.:17:10.

of the University of Johannesburg, who happens to be visiting Oxford.

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Are you going to be changing your procedures? I cannot take you.

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sad about this news. Are you going to be changing your procedures?

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we are not. We will have an inquiry. We will tighten up procedures to

:17:32.:17:38.

manage accounts better. We have tried to do that. But we have got a

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reason why we keep these entrants open. The poorest of the port do

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not apply early on. They do not have the educational opportunities.

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-- poorest of the poor. The schooling system does not prepare

:17:57.:18:04.

them, so we give 11,000 places in advance, and keep about 1,000

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:18:14.:18:16.

places available for last-minute entrance. That creates hope.

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Looking at the wider picture in South Africa, does everybody have a

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right to further education? principle, everyone has a right.

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But are they enough places? We have 23 universities in the country.

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Most of us have places. We take about 24% of those who do the final

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examinations, and qualify. There is not enough places available end be

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higher education system. -- in the higher education. Everybody wants

:18:57.:19:02.

to come to the universities. They see that as the only way of getting

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out of poverty. Thank you very much indeed.

:19:08.:19:11.

He's been a footballer, a film star, and some people have even described

:19:11.:19:14.

him as a "philosopher". Now the former Manchester United idol, Eric

:19:14.:19:19.

Cantona, has announced his political ambitions. He's trying to

:19:19.:19:22.

secure the support that will allow him to stand against France's

:19:22.:19:32.
:19:32.:19:38.

President Sarkozy later in the year. The Gallic shrug, the talent, those

:19:38.:19:45.

mesmerising feet. They were low points, of course - the Kung Fu

:19:45.:19:55.

kicking of the Crystal Palace fan, followed by the philosophy. When

:19:55.:20:03.

the sea gulls follow the sea, they think it is because some think will

:20:03.:20:09.

be swung into the sea. The move to acting was obvious, and popular.

:20:09.:20:17.

The Ken Loach film, Looking For Eric, was a huge success. Just the

:20:18.:20:22.

kind of profile you would need to become the President of France. He

:20:22.:20:31.

needs the backing of 500 elected officials. But, the letter he sent

:20:31.:20:37.

is more an attempt to raise the issue of the poor quality of social

:20:37.:20:47.

housing. In this advert, Ed in 2010, Eric Cantona takes the prospective

:20:47.:20:52.

tenant of a run-down council flat. The kitchen needs a bit of work, he

:20:52.:20:59.

says. So, he asks. You going to take it? Eric Cantona seems an

:20:59.:21:05.

unlikely champion of the poor, but as a footballer, he knows about the

:21:05.:21:09.

gulf between the highly paid players and the public. Eric

:21:09.:21:14.

Cantona is a brilliant and unpredictable. It is what made him

:21:14.:21:17.

a star in the first place. Now, many of you are watching me on

:21:17.:21:20.

a conventional television, but some of you will be watching on a

:21:20.:21:23.

computer via the internet. Well, whatever method you're using, one

:21:23.:21:26.

thing appears more certain - there is a move towards further

:21:26.:21:31.

integration of the two mediums. That integration is what IPTV is

:21:31.:21:34.

all about. Our technology correspondent has been speaking to

:21:34.:21:37.

some of the industry's leading players at the Consumer Electronics

:21:37.:21:47.
:21:47.:21:50.

Show in Las Vegas. San Francisco, the gateway to

:21:50.:21:58.

Silicon Valley. I have come to see how the software firms plan to

:21:58.:22:03.

transform another industry. The internet revolution has been slow

:22:03.:22:07.

to hit television. Silicon Valley believes it can change our

:22:07.:22:14.

relationship with TB. One small software company has a big idea.

:22:14.:22:20.

This is the problem - today's TV user has too much choice. Lots of

:22:21.:22:29.

material, lots of the set-top boxes, and all these remote controls. What

:22:29.:22:33.

if we took all of them away, and replaced them with one second

:22:33.:22:39.

screen, enabling us to control access to all this television?

:22:39.:22:44.

Dijit believes this second screen can make choosing what we watch and

:22:44.:22:49.

sharing it with friends a lot easier. But it was when I headed to

:22:49.:22:54.

Google's HQ that I found a phone with the biggest ambitions. Google

:22:54.:23:00.

to -- Google TV brings the Web to your living room. So far, it has

:23:00.:23:07.

struggled to attract an audience. People say that TV is a lean back

:23:07.:23:13.

experience. Their internet is a lean forward experience. What do

:23:13.:23:19.

you know about television? What we know is what Google is good that -

:23:19.:23:28.

helping users find what they want. I left Silicon Valley and the

:23:28.:23:32.

software firms and set off to Las Vegas to get another view on the

:23:32.:23:38.

future of television. This week, every big TV manufacturer is in

:23:38.:23:43.

town for the Consumer Electronics Show. And the battle is on between

:23:43.:23:49.

Samsung and Sony to be the big players in Smart TV. They believe

:23:49.:23:59.
:23:59.:24:00.

Connecting your set to the Net will naturally. When you go out and buy

:24:00.:24:06.

a TV, and bring it home, you should be connected to the internet.

:24:06.:24:11.

screens get bigger and slimmer, the pictures sharper. Now, television

:24:11.:24:21.
:24:21.:24:23.

is getting smarter. And they hope viewers will come

:24:23.:24:26.

Let's talk some more about this. We're joined by Zara Rabinovich,

:24:26.:24:36.
:24:36.:24:38.

from the website Chip Chick. Do you think they have cracked it this

:24:38.:24:48.
:24:48.:24:50.

time? Or I think they have a. -- I think they have. We heard there,

:24:50.:24:54.

our reporter talking about the main players. Who do you think will be

:24:54.:25:01.

right in it there? At the moment, the battle seems to be Samsung and

:25:01.:25:08.

L G. A lot of people are familiar with a voice controls. Both of

:25:08.:25:18.
:25:18.:25:19.

these players have got integrated cameras - you have facial

:25:19.:25:29.
:25:29.:25:30.

integration, for example. You can say hi to change the channel. The

:25:30.:25:40.
:25:40.:25:41.

Samsung is building a big store. To bes are coming in with built-in

:25:41.:25:46.

hard drives and flashed drives. Samsung are also allowing you to

:25:46.:25:55.

upgrade your TV. You can put a new chip into the TV. So going that way,

:25:55.:26:01.

are you thinking over a time frame? Months, years? If you have the

:26:01.:26:08.

money, you can't get on to it straight away. But it will still be

:26:08.:26:15.

outside most people's price range. I hope we will see a job in prices.

:26:15.:26:19.

Within three years, I'd imagine a connected to the end everybody's

:26:19.:26:29.
:26:29.:26:35.

house. And it can also work with your mobile phone. It is getting to

:26:35.:26:45.
:26:45.:27:02.

be a really multi- connected world. It was another mild day. We have

:27:02.:27:07.

had a lot of cloud, and we will stickler that overnight. Tomorrow,

:27:07.:27:14.

we still have that weather front. That will bring outbreaks of rain.

:27:14.:27:21.

It since southwards, and it could be a chilly start fall north-

:27:21.:27:27.

eastern Scotland. Damp, it shares the lead conditions initially. With

:27:27.:27:36.

the westerly wind continuing, these conditions will persist. -- damp,

:27:36.:27:42.

drizzly conditions. Sunny spells through central and southern areas

:27:42.:27:51.

of England - 12 degrees away top temperature. Those conditions

:27:51.:27:59.

reluctant to improve. -- our top temperature. But to the east, the

:27:59.:28:04.

chance of bright and as. For the Northern Ireland, glimmers of

:28:04.:28:13.

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