14/02/2012 World News Today


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

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 14/02/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



This is BBC World News Today with me, Tanya Beckett. Violence flares


on the state of Bahrain. Police used tear gas and stun grenades as


the proposed new government try to mark the first anniversary of pro-


democracy protests. Officials in Thailand say a man


they believe to be from Iran is seriously hurt after trying to


throw a bomb at police in Bangkok. Back to square one. Eurozone


finance ministers' council meeting after concerns over the spotlight


latest austerity plans. Also coming up in the programme: Barack Obama


welcomes to the White House, the man expected to become China's next


president, our Internet matchmaking sides all that they promised?


The science of seeking someone Hello and welcome. One year ago


today, protesters in Bahrain inspired by the Arab Spring began


an uprising, a challenge to the Sunni Muslim dominated rulers from


the majority Shia community. Today, anniversary was marked by a ten


stand off and clashes between activists and the security forces.


-- tense stand off. Thousands of riot police took up positions in


the capital, Manama. In particular, Pearl Roundabout, which last year


became a symbol of Bahraini resistance. Here is Security


Correspondent, Frank Gardner. Bahrain's uprising. Thousands of


mainly Shia Muslim protesters have tried to converge year. They are


ringed by security forces. They have several villages under lock


them, determined to stop these protesters from blocking traffic in


setting up a protest camp. Given the large numbers involved, it is a


relief to the protest is not more violent. It is still a stark


reminder that the Sunni Muslim population have deep-rooted


grievances that need addressing. it any kind of democracy that


appointed Prime Minister for 40 years? We understand that people


should be represented in the parliaments. Frustration are


amongst Shi'ite villagers is obvious. The government blames


opposition parties for the failure of negotiations. The opposition has


been calling for reform for you but it has rejected every reform


initiative since February. It is hard to see that in a productive


liked. Bahrain's King Hammett commissioned an international


investigation into human rights abuses last year. It called for


sweeping reforms which it has promised to enact. Senior lawmakers


and policemen have been brought in from outside with cameras installed


in police stations. These demonstrators say that despite


earlier promises, some of those sacked for taking part in protests


have still not been reinstated. Bahrain's Shi'ite majority does


suffer discrimination and the government has been slow to address


this. The security forces were heavily criticised last year for


excess of brutality. Despite nightly clashes with men in


government, vandals, they have issued some restraint. They have


come under constraint -- attack from Molotov cocktails and tear gas


and have not always come out on top. The attacks are set to continue.


We will speak to a reporter in just a minute. Mohammed is a resident in


Sanabis village on the outskirts of Manama. Can you tell us what


happened here today, please? though. -- Hello. We wanted to go


to the town scare but the police forces gave us a chance to do so. -


- Square. We understand that a great number of people were


arrested. Is that what you which is as well? And number of people were


arrested. Police attacking homes and knocking down doors to enter


homes to arrest people. There had been people in the streets and


people are shouting. My cousin was in a house there. There was an arm


tank and seven men were arrested. - armed. What is the protesters


immediate objective? We wanted to go into the town square but their


tanks were everywhere, seven armed tanks were moving inside the


village. Muhammad, thank you very much.


I am joined now by our security correspondent, Frank Gardner. We


were hearing their from one of the protesters. What is the government


line on this? You would probably have to ask them. In a way, Bahrain


has dodged a bullet today. It was always going to be a day of clashes


with the first anniversary of the uprising. This time last year, it


resulted in multiple deaths. The security forces were not prepared


for the massive outpouring of demonstrators and shot several of


them dead. There were then funerals with more people dying at the


funerals and a terrible cycle of violence. They seem to be much


better prepared. The deployed in force but seemed to show some


restraint, which is hard to believe given the footage. In these


villages, they have legitimate political grievances, but at the


same time, there probably undermining their cause in the eyes


of the rest of the country through this vandalism. Twitter is


absolutely alive with people on both sides of it, with the protest


are saying, help us, we're freedom fighters. The rest of the country


saying, these people are vandals. They are setting fire to property


and attacking police. They are firing darts at police. There are


two sides to this and Bahrain is a very polarised place. There is very


little common ground between the two. You have been covering the


story for a long time. Is this the beginning of a new cycle of


violence? I do not think it is. If anything, it is an enormous release


no one was killed today. -- relief. I think it is an urgent reminder to


the government that it has not much time and it needs to sit down. It


is an urgent reminder to the main opposition party that they have to


find some kind of common ground. Both sides are blaming the other.


The government have said that they have offered through the Crown


Prince's initiative, a fully elected parliament. They have


offered to change electoral boundaries to make it more


democratic and so on. The opposition are saying we're not


seeing any substantive concessions and it is all lip-service. They are


both quite a far we're part and there is no question that they are


people on the monarchy who would very much like the current state of


affairs to continue. They would like to continue the upper hand and


there is a hard line caucus within the monarchy who do not want to


give up any concessions to the Shi'ite majority, who are perhaps


not the majority of residents over all but are a majority of Bahrain


nationals. Hardliners are saying, give them nothing, and give them


the full punishment. I have seen posters saying hang of protesters.


At the same time, there are moderates within the government who


are saying that we cannot survive like this. 20 years from now, we


will be gone if we continue like this, so we have to find common


ground. Police in Thailand say a man they


believed to be an Iranian has lost both his legs and a bomb explosion.


Witnesses say the man was about to throw the bomb at police when it


exploded. The man who was taken to hospital was one of five people


injured in a series of explosions and a busy commercial centre of


Bangkok. The areas where the explosions


occurred were sealed off as the authorities tried to piece together


the train of events. The first blast had been up in a house close


to the centre of Bangkok. Then, one of the men inside had tried to fail


-- hail a taxi. It failed to stop and he appears to after a bomb at


the vehicle. There was then a third explosion. This same man had


attempted to throw another expose about police. He missed and the


device blew up causing him serious injury. We discovered the injured


man's passport. It is an Iranian passport. It shows he entered


Thailand and then to Bangkok last Wednesday. He had bombs. He used


them three times and we are trying to defuse bombs inside the house.


Officials are not prepared to speculate but these explosions, one


month after security measures were stepped up following warnings of


possible terrorist threat. Also in January, Thai authorities found a


large supply of bomb-making materials near the capital. The


American embassy said there could be attacks in Bangkok. There is no


sign of who the attackers might have been targeting, but with a


suspected link to Iran, Israel already saying this was an


operation sponsored by it Tehran. The head of the eurozone countries


has called off an EU finance ministers meeting scheduled for


Wednesday because Greece has still not met all the necessary


conditions. Instead of a face-to- face meeting, it will now just be a


conference call. What sort of assurances is he


looking for? There are two conditions he still wants Greece to


meet. They are, first of all, they have to find an extra 325 million


euros in savings on top of the austerity package that the


parliament passed on Sunday night. Secondly, the euro group once


written pledges from the main political leaders fear that they


will implement the austerity measures and cuts before elections


in April. Added pressure for Greece and the euros on is aware that if


the pressure is increased on this country, they feel, the European


Union feels, that Greece will deliver more than it has in the


past because there is a lot of frustration at the haste of pace


here in Greece. Time is of the essence here because we're talking


of 20th March as the next repayment that has to be met. Is there a


sense that this could in the end prove counter-productive and be


could be reaching that point now? It could certainly backfire in


terms of the order many great people here who feel incredibly


frustrated that the barrage of austerity cuts that had been forced


upon them. There is already a growing sense of anti-European


sentiment here and the feeling that Greece's financial future is very


much in the hands of the European Union now. Particularly in the


hands of Germany and there is a lot of anti-German sentiment around


that a lot. Yet more pressure and more demands will go down very


badly with the Greek public. The government are very aware they are


relying entirely on his bail-out and it is a vital lifeline for this


country to avoid bankruptcy next month. The reckoning is that more


pressure to implement the cuts, for them to not just the there will


simply do so, will mean that they will go along with it because the


daylight is so essential. The next take a look at some of the day's


other news. Chinese leaders have told visiting


European officials that Beijing wants to do more to help Europe is


of its debt problems. The Prime Minister Wen Jiabao did not give


any other assurances regarding money.


Italian prosecutors have appealed against the decision last year to


throw out the murder conviction of Amanda Knox and her former


boyfriend for the killing of the British student, Meredith Kercher.


At the time, the Italian appeals court said the evidence did not


hold up. The High Court is expected to issue its decision towards the


end of the year. With football, one of the world's


best-known clubs, Glasgow Rangers, has entered financial


administration. The Scottish champions have faced financial


difficulties for some time and are awaiting the verdict of a tax


tribunal. Rangers where Uefa Cup runners-up four years ago and have


won the Scottish title a record 54 times.


He is China's tomorrow man. The current vice-president is widely


tipped to take over as China's leader. As befits a leader in


waiting, he is honing his international diplomacy with a


visit to the United States. It comes when ties between Beijing and


Washington, the two worlds biggest economies, a strained because of


human rights. President Obama today welcomed him to the White House


saying the US sought the White -- China's piece for rise as positive,


although with it, comes more TRANSLATION: If nothing goes wrong


for them, these men will but the President's next year. In their


first meeting they set the tone. President Obama welcomed Wen Jiabao


with a cabinet. With power and prosperity comes increased


responsibility. We want to work with China to make sure everyone is


working by the same walls of the world when it comes to the economic


system, ensuring there is a balanced trade flow. It also means


that on critical issues like human rights we will continue to


emphasise what we believe is the importance of recognising the


aspirations and right of all people. The Chinese leader was more guarded.


TRANSLATION: At the main purpose of my visit is to implement the


important agreement that was reached and to do some work on a


work relationship and leave it in the right direction so we can build


a relationship on mutual respect. From there Oval Office meeting took


talks with Cabinet members, there was a lot of substance on the


agenda. The Obama administration went above protocol to show respect.


There was also a lavish lunch at the state apartments. For the


United States, this is about building a rapport and getting a


better sense of how the Chinese vice-president inks and operates.


For him, it is a chance to show how he operates on the world stage.


know you will be visiting I you were, where you visited when you


were a governor. I understand you are also going to Los Angeles.


it is a carefully choreographed visit to show that Xi Jinping is a


man of the people and will potentially make a good leader.


Andrew Billo is Senior Program Officer for Policy in the Asia


Society's New York Public Programs Office. One is always looking for


some sort of change in relations between China and the US, all


attempts at political one this. Are we getting there with this new


future leader? Absolutely. I think this is a critical visit, in light


of the potential leadership change in China and the US. It does bode


very well. What do you think is most important in the US-China


relationship? Trade has been there for a long time and the issue of


the currency strength, or tackled it really. Is that still top of the


agenda? Yes. The trade and currency issues will continue to be in the


political arena in the election year. Fundamentally, both countries


have the same interests, which are economically based. They had


concerns for the coming months and years. They need to look to each


other to learn and recognise that despite the differences between the


two countries, fundamentally, both share a common interest. Do you


think that there was room on the agenda to discuss, for example, the


European financial crisis and Syria, or do you think the United States


is more interested in honing its own interests and relationship with


China? At this point, given that Zayd Jin Ping is not President, it


is an opportunity to focus on their relationship. The more pressing


issues regarding Syria I think will be left off the agenda in favour of


looking at how in light of the situation, the potential of both


leaders to work together and understand each other. Did you see


a fundamental difference in personal style? Yes. The Chinese


vice-president is an insider. His father was a senior member of the


Communist Party in China. President Obama is a Washington outsider who


came from a diverse background. Once they had these differences, I


think be vice-president, whose daughter studies in the United


States, has an understanding of American culture. Thank you for


joining us. As millions of couples around the


world celebrate Valentine's Day, thousands of them will attest to


the seemingly scientific match- making abilities of internet dating


sites. Online dating is growing at a phenomenal rate with many sites


claiming their algorithms can help singles find their perfect match.


However, one American psychology professor says such algorithms are


not scientifically valid and despite some sites boasting


thousands of success stories, the science behind match-making can't


yet be taken seriously. Joining eight is the managing director of


one of our popular website. Sir, How does the process work? It is


less about the up orisons and what they don't like, it is about what


they like. So oh you are looking for a profile that is replicated?


We are not mathematical geniuses, it so weak employ a third party


tall that makes recommendations. I am joined by Eli Finkel, an


Associate Professor of Social Psychology at Northwestern


University in Chicago. Do you think there is anything in this? I think


that it is probably Banque, although I did not here at the


entirety of the previous speaker. I should make an important


distinction. Do I think an algorithm can detect who like, but


that is not the goal of online dating. But goal is to get off-line,


develop a relationship that has the potential to be long-term. So, are


you saying you don't think there is any scientific structure that can


be applied to online dating? I am not saying that it will. In fact,


over the last 80 years, relationship scientists who use the


empirical evidence have discovered all sorts of things about what


predicts relationship will bring in the long run, but that work is


being largely ignored by the algorithm matching sites. Does that


relate to a couple who are already together, or does that relate to


finding to people who fit? Where would the online dating services


dismiss this? There are three things you can use to put it


relationship well-being. Firstly, independent information about


people. Secondly, personal dynamics. Thirdly, things they have in common.


The problem with the way the current match an algorithm site


work, they rely on the first of those three, and it turns out that


although you can identify who is likely to be a bad relationship for


almost anybody using methods like that, you cannot use methods like


that to detect which two people are uniquely compatible. That is


interesting. There is information it is difficult for a website to


get access to. I agree. We do not match on hard attributes, so we go


down the behavioural algorithm. We also believe in testing and


chemistry, meeting up for a quick coffee, for example. When our


members do come to wasn't so they have found love, we do not asked


them whether or not it was the algorithm. Do you have any proof


measuring your success. We don't, but a study front end to end would


be interesting. When people meet in a bar, for example, the environment


is different. So you are a part - that so you are up against a lot of


competition. We are, but we will continue using behavioural


algorithms when it comes to matching. Thank you.


A reminder of our main news - there has been a massive security


operation in Bahrain to stop protesters marking the first


anniversary of the uprising. The authorities have sealed off roads


and deployed armoured vehicles in the capital and outside the city.


But least in Thailand say a man who they suspect is an Iranian has had


both his legs blown off after attempting to throw a bomb at


police. A man was one of by people injured in three explosions in a


busy district of Bangkok. The first occurred at a house where it is


thought that three Iranians were living. That is all from the


programme. That's it for now. Well, what does your Ballantyne --


Valentine's Day evening were the have in store? High pressure is


sitting to the West. Weather fronts will try to push in. There are


north-westerly winds. As they come in from the north-west, there will


be some brighter skies in central and eastern part as we had to the


afternoon. However, there will be cloud across the East and South


East. Three central and -- fruit central areas, it will stay bright.


Northern Ireland will be fairly cloudy with highs of nine degrees.


Download Subtitles