20/01/2012 World News Today


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Welcome to BBC World News Today. The race to decide which republican


will challenge President Obama gets personal. Mitt Romney and Newt


Gingrich lead the pack but could allegations about Gingrich's


personal life trip him up in the South Carolina primary?


I cannot accept Afghan soldiers opened fire on French soldiers.


A cautious rescue mission resumes on the Costa Concordia after the


ship moves again from the ledge of rock beneath it.


Also on the programme: Bringing a personal touch to your own funeral.


The report on the efforts to make your final ceremony a better way to


say goodbye. And we ask if Prokofiev, one of the


20th century's greatest composers, was a man of the people. A festival


of his music opens in London. Hello and welcome. In the race to


become the Republican candidate to face Barack Obama in the coming US


presidential election, one of the big contenders is at the centre of


a furious row. There is plenty of interest in this Sunday's race. The


overall leader is facing opposition from Newt Gingrich.


It was private lives, not policies, that said this did it alight.


appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like


that. The topic he said he is outraged by it is an interview with


his ex-wife and revelations about what happened when they were


married. I said to him, we have been married a long time and he


said, yes, but you want me all to yourself. What was he saying, do


you think? He was asking to have an open marriage and I refused.


wanted an open marriage? I accepted the fact that he had somebody else


in his life. And you said? No mark. It would have been the killer blow


for lesser candidates but just watch this for a masterclass in a


damage limitation. Let me be quite clear, the story is false, every


friend I have who knew us in that period says it is false. We offered


them to say it was false. I am tired of the media protecting


Barack Obama. The is the kind of red meat republicans to bar.


Gingrich has appalled well and his ratings are up. More bad news for


the man who has led the field so fair, the multi-millionaire who is


struggling to ask questions about his own private affairs. I will


take a look at what the documents are. In an election dominated by


the economy, he was ill prepared to explain where his money came from,


where it has kept and how much tax he is paying. Tomorrow will be the


third boat in this contest, and Newt Gingrich could squeeze into


first place. This race has just got a little tighter and certainly more


interesting. At Ronnie is still the man to beat. -- mitt Romney.


They are joined now by Kevin Jackson. Kevin Jackson is a well-


known author, tea party activist and spokesman for the tea-party.net.


He joins me now. Have you decided, you have until Sunday, who are you


going to vote for? Will you tell us and tell us why? I will not reveal


who is my personal choice and are certainly the tea-party does not


endorse candidates, we just say whoever survives the fray is who


will support. But I think the most cataclysmic thing to come out of


this is a battle of philosophies. Typically the Conservative


candidate has to be the goody-two- shoes, very clean, very wholesome


candidate and what came at a visit was Newt Gingrich saying, as a


candidate who is flawed, he is actually in the running and that


has typically been the liberal stance. That really is going to


send a shot to liberals that you're not going to be able to attack any


more on issues of infidelity or sexuality and things that normally


are reserved for them. I think it is also going to make mitt Romney,


of two holes and at times so we will see what happens. To use your


phrase, goody-two-shoes, is Gingrich not enough of a goody Two


Shoes because of these allegations of his wife? No, I don't think that


is the case. He got a rousing standing ovation when he went on


the attack for that and he started, that has been the death the of


Conservatives, that is they are meant to be too perfect and of a


sudden they find out some piece of evidence that says of their human,


suddenly the campaign gets derailed. What Newt Gingrich brings to the


poll is that he is flawed and this idea that the Conservatives are


admitting he is not perfect is the revelation to the left that


suddenly they have to do with a human. Is that the game changed it


as far as Conservatives are concerned, you are not going to be


that bothered about candidates's personal lives? It is not a game


ginger, is how you handle it. Newt Gingrich knows he has been


forthright about what has happened in his personal life but I believe


there has been somewhat of a watershed moment with respect to


Conservative politics, that the candidates do not have to be


squeaky-clean. We are not squeaky- clean, nobody is in the world.


led to here you have your floors! Met Ronnie has this problem with


taxation, his critics say, is that a problem for him? I don't believe


it is their problem for him, the question he was asked was, when you


like your father police have not won years. He said he would think


about it. His problem with taxation will come from the left in the


sense that he has made a lot of money. The problem we have had from


the tactics of the left is, anybody who makes money is automatically


demonised. I will tell you this, whether you live in America for the


UK, the majority of people who do not have money are probably doing


something to try to get money. There's nothing wrong with the


pursuit of money and I think he is covering up his defences for the


onslaught that he knows is going to occur when he talks about the


amount of money he has made. Still not spilling the beans about


to here he is voting for! France has suspended joint


operations with the Afghan army after a rogue Afghan soldier shot


dead four French troops and wounded at least 16 more. President Nicolas


Sarkozy said he was considering an early withdrawal of French units


and said it was unacceptable for French troops to be fired on by


their allies. North-east of Kabul, French troops


are trimming the Afghan army for an eventual security handover. It


means the troops from both nations are stationed side-by-side at


French bases. It was at one of these positions that a man in


Afghan army uniform carried out the attack, Farren on a group of


unarmed French soldiers. More than the number of casualties, it is the


manner of the killings that has angered the government in Paris. It


is the second fatal attack in three weeks, carried out by men that


French soldiers are there to instruct. The French army is in


Afghanistan to help the Afghan people in their fight against


terrorism and against the Taliban. The French army is not in


Afghanistan to be shot at by Afghan soldiers. We are friends of


Afghanistan, we're allies of the Afghan people but I cannot accept


Afghan soldiers opened fire on French soldiers. The defence


minister, in Afghanistan for the new year, is being sent back. His


mission to assess security conditions for French troops. If


they are unsatisfactory, then France may consider an early


withdrawal. Most French troops are due to remain in place like the


rest of the NATO force until the end of 2014 but their mission is


not popular in France and the to presidential election. Political


as well as military considerations may be starting to count.


Now a look at some of the day's other news. There has been heavy


fighting in the Somali capital after pro-government forces


launched a major offensive to seize territory from al-Shabab militants.


Around 1000 soldiers have reportedly captured three al-Shabab


basis. African Union forces backing the government says they have


advanced for the first time. The government of south Sudan says


it is shutting down its oil production as part of a deepening


row with its northern neighbour Sudan over revenues. Most of the


region's oil lies in south Sudan but it needs to use a northern


pipeline to exported. The two countries have been locked in a


dispute over pipeline fees. Iran's English-language television


station, Press TV, has lost its licence to operate in Britain. The


broadcasting regulator Ofcom said the channel have broken the rules


because of its editorial control came from Tehran. Press TV has


responded by accusing Britain of censorship.


The American rhythm and blues singer, Etta James, whose


passionate vocals anchored a string of hits, has died in California.


She was 83. She had been suffering from dementia and serious health


issues. Her ballad, At Last, was the song that made her a star. It


became an anthem for weddings, commercials and President Obama's


inauguration. Reports from the northern Nigerian


city of Kano say there have been a series of explosions there. Details


are still coming in but previous blasts have been blamed on the


militant group, Boko Haram. In recent months, they have carried


out several major attacks including the bombing of the United Nations


building in the capital Abuja and an attack on a Christian church on


Christmas Day. The most powerful religious leader


in northern Nigeria. Here, for hundreds of years, traditional


villas have maintained a huge influence. Christians living in the


north. A Muslim cleric has come to their church. It is a brave attempt


to build bridges between committees but efforts like these are fragile.


There is a big issue between Christians and Muslims here in


Nigeria which has once led to the historic split within the country


between the north and south. But these days there is potentially an


even more dangerous separation between the conservative Islamic


authorities in northern Nigeria and the more radical groups. The is a


must Boko Haram group said they were responsible for several


attacks including the deadly bombing of a church on Christmas


Day. I put it to a spokesman that they were killing innocent people.


I don't understand how churchgoers at a church ceremony on Christmas


The Amir of can no granted the BBC a very rare interview. I asked him


whether the existence of a violent group in Nigeria meant his


traditional power was being eroded. The perpetrators have been told of


the tenants of Islam which does not allow a anything bad to happen to


anybody so his Highness is always telling her subjects to embrace


peace and live peacefully with one another. The vast majority of


Nigerians, Christian and Muslim, said they want peace, too, but


religion and politics often get in In Italy, the rescue operation


aboard the Kung cost -- Costa Concordia or has restarted. The


search was temporarily halted for the third time because of fears the


ship could slip into deeper water. 21 people are still missing off the


island of Ji deal. -- EDL. The families of those still


missing came to Giglio today, the chance to see the wreck that still


holds their loved ones. Some laid a wreath near the carcass of the ship,


a poignant moment. It may be that some passengers did not make it out


of the ship because they were given a false sense of security. Footage


filmed by a passenger shows how a crew member tried to calm


There was some activity on the ship today, albeit on Dec. Below the


waterline had been deemed too dangerous for divers to resume


their search, because the ship had moved. But yesterday, divers were


allowed into the vessel. They came across this. The bell of the ship.


As she reflects on the week - macro the events of a week ago, this


local resident told me how she and others helped to pull people out of


the water. "I still can't believe it," She told me. "Asked myself if


it is real. Then I realise it is real. When I go home at night, I


remember the crying children, the desperate people." Today, the


captain said that if he has made mistakes he is ready to accept


responsibility. As the investigation continues into his


actions, he claimed he informed management in a phone call as soon


as he had hit the rocks. The company denied exerting pressure on


him to delay before declaring the ship should be abandoned. There are


still many questions about what happened on the Costa Concordia a


week ago tonight. Efforts by the United States to


clampdown on what it considers to be internet piracy has resulted in


one of the Web's most popular file- sharing sites been closed down.


Those allegedly behind it had been arrested. Four people from the Mega


Upload site were detained in New Zealand after an extradition


request from America. Hackers are angry. They have attacked US


It was a thriving business with high-profile musicians apparently


happy to promote it. Now Mega Upload has been closed and its


executives have appeared in a New Zealand court. The US authorities


have accused them of facilitating millions of illegal downloads, in a


criminal conspiracy. Homs belonging to the German-born founder have


been raided. Hackers retaliated, shutting down some American


Government websites for a while, to protest against the closure. It was


one of the most popular sites on the internet, with 150 million


people using it to what blood material, and to download files. -


Mega Upload material. It earned this man �27 million last year. The


FBI says it cost copyright holders more than �300 million in lost


revenue. The battle over online piracy is hotting up. This band


says it is not a crime. People have given up on paying for music. We


don't want to be rich, we just want to make a living so we can produce


another album. If we don't get revenue, how can we produce another


album? But where the freedom campaigners warn against over-


reaction. It is important to remember that a file hosts are


legitimate services. They are incredibly useful for all internet


users and businesses. We need to make sure we do not throw the baby


out with the bath water. Mega Upload, based in Hong Kong, may


have been put out of business. But aside promising something similar


has surfaced in Belize. Funerals in some parts of the world


can be colourful occasions. More of a celebration of a life than the


mournful event. There is no movement here in Britain to make


funerals more personal and meaningful to the people left


behind. None of our mates knew what it was


like to lose somebody. This is a film of a family funeral. When Jane


Harris and Jimmy Adams lost their son, they wanted to remember what


was a very personal, heartfelt and home made fare well. The film has a


message. Funerals matter. You don't have to make do with tradition.


know I personally did not want some awful funeral which meant nothing


to me. People standing around not knowing what to do. I could not


bear it to be hands off. The film is part of the first festival of


death, which tries to find better ways to say goodbye. We often


imagine our own funeral will be vivid and heart-warming. Too often


funerals are dreary and understated. We are looking at your coffin,


aren't we? Yes. Here is Ivan, a man who will be buried in a kite. A


cough and with humour and an innings. We are all floating on the


winds of chance. Do you feel uncomfortable thinking about your


own death? No. No I do not. Let nature take care of itself.


Alongside that there are other personalised coffins. This is for a


train enthusiast. This is a corker. A festival about death? It is a


Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev is one of the 20th century's


greatest and most popular composers. He remains an enigma as a person.


He renounced the artistic freedom of Paris and return home to live in


Russia under Stalin. Was Prokofiev The rehearsal of a rarely performed


Prokofiev work. The aim of the festival is to delve deep into the


work of the composer. We are trying to find out what was Sergei


Prokofiev, what kind of man, what kind of artist was he? Was the


Russian, was he a man of the world? Was he connected to an ideology?


immigrant from Revolution Tour and Russia, he found fame in the West


only to return back to Russia in the 1930s. He was forced to comply


with the rules of socialism. Some of his best music was written


during that period. compositions he wrote the first 10


years when he came back to Russia, were incredibly inspired. He really


enjoyed writing music that he loved and feeling it was reaching a wide


audience. Gabriel Prokofiev's piece was performed at last year's Proms.


He says he is strongly influenced by his grandfather's music. I am


doing something similar, taking the rhythms from the clubs and from the


radio and from people's cars, and bringing that into my classical


compositions. I feel I am doing something that really connects to


the contemporary world we live in. Prokofiev paradoxically has been


scorned by some in the West for eulogising the totalitarian regime.


But this man has condensed much of the greatness of the music is how


it reflects the tragic and dramatic times. We are more capable of


understanding our times and the past times in the 20th century.


Something which has always been an immense interest to me as an


offspring of the Soviet Russian past, which I am not denying.


Rather the opposite, I find it is a very important component of my


artistic and human integrity. Prokofiev's contemporary said in


her great poem, Requiem, I was there with my people, where my


people certainly were. Sergei Prokofiev would have said that


himself. That he was a man of the people.


Alexander can on the the great Russian composer, Sir Guy Prokofiev.


That ends World News today. Good Hello. Today's rain clears into the


North Sea tonight. The wind picks up. It will be a windy weekend.


There will be showers. Low pressure to the north. Isobars close


together, the strong wind. Patchy light rain south across England and


Wales. Showers coming into northern Scotland. Snow on the high ground.


Northern England will brighten nicely. Strong winds over the east


of the Pennines. At weather front taking its cloud and rain further


south across England. In southern England you'll be hard pressed to


find much in the where uprightness. Another mild day. Gradually


brightening up in Wales. Drily in north-west England. A similar


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