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This is BBC World News Today with me Tim Willcox. One injured Western
journalist is rescued from Syria - another remains unaccounted for.
The British photographer Paul Conroy is smuggled out of Homs -
but his rescuers pay a heavy price at the hands of the Syrian army.
They have a cordon of snipers, so it really was an incredibly
dangerous operation. Many activists died in pursuit of it.
Inside the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant - one year after
Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami.
There are blots here, a surgical mask, and of course, they fought
face mask to protect us from anything in the air.
Occupied - now vacated. The tented protest camp around London's St
Paul's is cleared. Also coming up in the programme: In
the final run-up to Russia's presidential vote - a musical
message to Vladimir Putin. It's loud, and it's angry - how
music is competing for the hearts A fine line between business
success and failure in the world of Hello and welcome. The injured
British photographer Paul Conroy, who'd been trapped in the Syrian
city of Homs since being wounded last week, has been smuggled out to
Lebanon - but at a great cost. The group that facilitated his rescue
said a number of its volunteers died in the process. There remains
confusion over the whereabouts of the wounded French journalist Edith
Bouvier - it's thought she too was evacuated to Lebanon, but that
hasn't been confirmed. Paul Wood reports from the Lebanese capital
Beirut. The shelling of Homs, unrelenting
today as it has been for three weeks. In the middle of this,
activists tried again and again to bring out the injured to must score.
Three volunteers died in the attempt, they say. Another 10
reportedly killed, bringing in medical suppliers to wounded
Syrians who remain. A British photographer is in Lebanon now. His
paper said he was in good shape and in good spirits. His family said
they were overjoyed and relieved. We heard he is out, we don't know
where he is. I'm happy that he is out. One week here and on the phone
or he comes in person, will be so happy. Edith Bouvier was with him
in the makeshift hospital. There is confusion over her apparent
whereabouts. There are two additional term this there as well.
They were in this area of Homs. After leaving, they had to get out
of Syria. Harassed by the government, they became split up.
This activist helped them to flee. TRANSLATION: They were coming under
a lot of fire. They had to travel on foot and move from house to
house. There were rockets and tank shells fired at them. The
evacuation took three or four hours. Despite the successful rescue,
Marie Colvin died in planes -- Homs. Her body apparently remains their,
along with that of the French photographer. His goal from pleaded
for his remains to come home. TRANSLATION: The loss of your
boyfriend is terrible, but the waiting is insufferable. All
religions recognise that to say goodbye unique a body and today we
are unable to grieve. I had promised everybody, his friends and
family, but I will not leave him there. The plight of civilians in
Homs remains desperate. Rescue workers are trying to rescue a
little boy here, trapped in the rubble of his home destroyed by a
shell. He apparently survived. Many others died today as every day.
Efforts by the Red Cross and Red Crescent to get a temporary
ceasefire have so far failed. The global campaigning group Avaaz
says it was involved in coordinating the operation to
evacuate the journalists. Earlier I spoke to the group's executive
director, Ricken Patel, who explained to me what happened.
We have a network of journalists and activists for trousered --
throughout Syria. They volunteer in this operation and over 23 of them
died over the course of it. The operation began a few days ago when
they had to run the cordon of the trench the Syrians had dark with
snipers and shelling. In that attempt, the group was split. Paul
Conroy was able to go ahead and the other journalists had to go -- a
turnaround. We are happy to hear that he has made it completely out
of Syria into Lebanon. Was this operation compromised because
people were reporting that they were being evacuated during the
operation? The operation, the riskiest part of it took place a
few days ago so at that time, it was not compromised. We were still
unhappy to see media coverage in the last 24 hours because there are
still the terrorists inside Syria and we want to get them out safely.
How difficult is it to extract people through this route? Explain
the terrain you are going through? It is tremendously difficult. Even
in peace time, Syria is a police state with spies every word. In
this situation, they have hi-tech surveillance equipment, they have a
drone that may be provided by Iran or Russia, they have a cordon of
snipers, a news around the next up the town so it was dangerous. Many
activists died. The fact that 23 activists have been killed in this
operation, does that mean that this route will be unable to be used
again? We saw that the route it was not entirely safe several days ago.
We had activists killed while using it. In acts of bravery, they still
decided to run the risk and use the route. In that particular column
that was shelled, we have breed activists die and six to die at
returning the journalists. People are still running risks and
choosing to run them. Thank you very much.
Now a look at some of the days other news. At least 16 people have
been killed in an attack on a bus in Pakistan. Gunmen opened fire on
the vehicle in the Northern district of Kohistan. The bus was
carrying passengers from Rawalpindi, the city which is headquarters for
the Pakistani military. The French President Nicolas
Sarkozy has ordered his government to draft a new law punishing denial
of the Armenian genocide. It comes after the French Constitutional
Court ruled the law was unconstitutional as it infringed on
freedom of expression. Ireland is to hold a referendum on
the treaty which would tighten EU control of its finances. It will be
the first popular vote on plans for stricter budget discipline, agreed
by 25 member European states - but not by the UK or the Czech Republic.
A crippled Italian cruise ship with 1,000 people on board is being
towed to the main island in the Seychelles, Mahe, by a French
trawler. The owners reversed an original decision to take Allegra
to a smaller island because there weren't enough facilities there.
Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are going head to head in the US states
of Michigan and Arizona to choose the Republican presidential
candidate. The latest opinion polls suggesting Mr Romney has a marginal
lead in Michigan. Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are also candidates in
both states. An independent report on last
year's nuclear disaster in Japan has accused the owners of the
Fukushima Nuclear power station and the government of being 'panic-
stricken', after an earthquake crippled the plant. It said the
authorities had only narrowly avoided a meltdown, which could
have forced the evacuation of Tokyo. Today international journalists
were allowed into the Fukushima plant for the first time since the
disaster. Reporting from inside Fukushima, here's Roland Buerk.
Every day, around 3,000 people on average work inside the figures
seem a plant. Before they going, they have to come here. This is the
sitting up room. What you have to wear to face of radiation? First,
aplastic boiler suit. I have got a double layer, plastic boots on as
well, there are blocks. A surgical mask. Of course, a full face mask.
-- there are blocks. It is to protect us from anything that could
be there. We were been taking to the planned.
The first group of foreign journalists allowed in. Through the
exclusion zone, 12 miles of abandoned homes and fields, to the
heart of nuclear disaster, a source of fear for the Japanese for almost
a year now. This is where the fight back is being co-ordinated. The
control room at the power station. Minute by minute, they are
monitoring the reactors, mouse stabilised. The air has been
scrubbed by filters to keep the radiation out. TRANSLATION: All we
have in mind is to prevent the release of radioactive gases that
leaked outside the power station which happened before. March last
year, when the power station was rocked by explosions. Beat tsunami
had triggered not down to three of the reactors. Japan's leaders
feared they would have to order the evacuation of Tokyo.
It is only when you come here that you can appreciate the strength of
the explosions. You can see a few men are belt working. These
reactors are now in a state of fault shut down. It remains highly
radioactive here. They had to decontaminate this area, dismantle
be the power station will stop it could take up to 40 years.
We were driven right past the reactors, scarred by what happened.
In places, it is too radioactive for humans to venture. Elsewhere,
the workers were busy, maintaining the cooling systems vital to
keeping the reactors under control. TRANSLATION: I worked here before
the disaster cert since my plant is in this condition, I think this
stay here. As for my health, my dose exposure is within the legal
limit. I have no concerns about health.
What they fear it is another earthquake, a second soon army. It
could tip the nuclear disaster once again. No one needs reminding now
that sitting on the edge of the Pacific, the crippled reactors are
One of Britain's biggest banks, Barclays, has been ordered by the
UK Treasury to pay almost $800 million in tax which it had tried
to avoid. The tax authorities have outlawed two types of tax avoidance
schemes, which were legal when Barclays set them up, calling them
highly abusive. Barclays has expressed surprise at the
government's decision but says it respects it. The Treasury is now
expected to earn billions of dollars more in future taxes from
banks. The man leading the race to become
France's next president is proposing a drastic tax hike on top
earners there. Francois Hollande believes those earning over one
million euros a year - that's about $1.3 million - should pay a 75%
rate of income tax. The Socialist Party candidate has promised that
if elected, he would undo tax breaks brought in by Nicolas
Sarkozy, who he currently leads in the polls.
It had been erected outside the iconic landmark of St Paul's
Cathedral in the City of London for exactly for four months and 12 days,
but in the end took just four hours to dismantle. After months of legal
appeals and counter appeals the protest Occupy London camp,
mirrored by other demonstrations against excesses of capitalism
around the world, was razed to the ground overnight, as police and
bailiffs moved in. The BBC's Jeremy Cook was there.
St Paul's Cathedral, a world renowned place of worship. For
months, it was home to the Occupy London encampment. It was on high
alert last night, expecting trouble. Police and bailiffs came in
overwhelming numbers, he to clean a camp which is -- has sharply demand
-- divided opinion. Scuffles, but no real trouble.
After months of tensions, the tents are finally been cleared away. They
are being loaded up into the dump trucks, but the protesters insist
they will remain. The message went out all all
supporters to come and join the cause. The police cordons and
blocked the way. The court order was but the removal of tents and
other structures. The City of London Corporation said it
regretted sending in the bailiffs, but had no choice. As the Terrence
continued, a few of the most committed a protesters manned the
last barricade. Ultimately the result was never in doubt. I think
that this is an opportunity for us to move aside weights and to be
creative and innovative. -- moved sideways. It is the end of the
beginning. With the new day, a combination of the landscape he had
changed. Dozens of tense gone, time for the clean-up operation to move
them. The high-pressure hoses were put to immediate work. Some local
businesses where clearly glad it is all over. It is a good day today
because business is back to normal. Be campaign has been difficult, at
times embarrassing for the Church authorities. Today this was their
response. Last night was about the removal of tense and camping
equipment. It was not about the removal of protest or debates or
ideas. Those things carry on, just as they have for hundreds of years,
but perhaps they carry on in sharper focus. Life is returning to
normal, but the court order applies to tense, not protesters. Many of
them say they and their message Let us speak to Laurie Penny, a
journalist at who joins us from a New York. It is all over. What has
it achieved? To say the occupied movement, if it is a movement, is
over is a bit premature. There are still two camps in London. There is
one in Finsbury Square. The idea that one encampment could somehow
bring down capitalism on its own, that was never the idea, that was
never going to happen. It has never been an agent of change so much as
a helper of change. It has achieved its message already. Look at the
story you ran. It is about people demanding a higher taxes on high
earners, campaigns to fight tax avoidance a month banks. Those
discussions are now in the public's fear. Are you saying the movement
has put that into the public views of politicians have a pressure to
bring about those changes? movement is certainly not the only
actor this campaign trying to bring awareness of tax avoidance and
economic injustice into the public sphere. We had the student movement
last year. Next year, it will be something different. People's
movements always change. This is not an isolated incident. It is
very incident -- very interesting here in America watching the
Republican presidential candidates used the language of the super-rich.
He avoids taxes, he earns a lot of money, this would normally be
attacked. Nobody really knows where this rhetoric has come from. The
movement has moved economic injustice onto the agenda in
America and Britain. But the trouble is, it is all a bit vague.
There is no real clarity of message or strategy. It is a field which
you can take from it what you will. Really? Just the way you are
describing it. But you look at the number of groups outside St Paul's,
there is no clarity of message or strategy that unites all the
protests around the world. This is what journalists have been using to
attack the movement with it for some time. Let us have won a single
message so we can ignore it. We are not ignoring it. What is confusing
at traditional Jenice if the lack of one key idea. -- traditional
journalists. This is about opening up possibilities of change that do
not involve a mainstream politics. You can be cynical about that or
you can be optimistic but one thing is for sure, young people in
particular are starting to think in a different way about politics. Yes,
it is they, people cannot be expected to come out of many years
of politicians to do what they want. -- they eat. This is just the spot
of what will be a political movement. It is a cultural movement.
It is quite frightening for a lot of people in power. Thank you.
It is only a few days and two Russians vote in the elections, a
process that has been controversial since last year's vote which was
alleged to be fraudulent. Vladimir Putin is expected to win. Some of
his critics have been finding unusual ways to express themselves.
They have asked us not to reveal where they are. All who they are.
It is all very hush hush. But not for long. This punk band are
rehearsing their latest song about a Vladimir Putin and you do not
need to understand Russian to realise they do not like him very
much. Here, they hope he will soon be chased from power. Why? This
singer says she believes he cheated in last December's parliamentary
election. That is why she wants him out. When they perform in public,
they select high-profile venues, like this roof opposite a jail
where anti-government protestors have been locked up. Earlier this
month, they conquered Red Square and sang Putin has wet himself.
Because it only lasted a couple of minutes before the police turned up.
A protest songs on the Kremlin was I'd do a step, it shows how the
political scene had changed. -- Kremlin APPLAUSE doorstep.
It was Knowles -- are not so long since Vladimir Putin was on top.
Milibands sang his praises. We want a strong man, they once sang. --
and girl bands sang his praises. Critics welcome the change.
more people criticise the power, the better it is for society
because that makes power realise they are vulnerable and they have
to be vulnerable. They are not invincible. But there is still one
band that is backing Vladimir Putin. These are wrapping Russian
pensioners have become an internet sensation with a song about how
clever and a -- about how clever at the Vladimir Putin is. He will be
hoping, election day Russian voters will be singing the same tune. --
on election day. The British animation industry which has
spawned favourites such as Wallace and Gromit to Bagpuss and Bob the
Builder claims it is up danger of terminal decline. Our is urging the
Government to introduce tax breaks in next month's budget. -- and
Animation UK. We asked one animator to illustrate the problem for us.
An animator in England comes up with a new idea for a programme. He
takes it to a financier who loves it. But then he started to lean the
sums. You realises if the programme came from Ireland, 28% of the cost
would come in a tax break from the Government. It came from France,
20% of the cost would be paid for by the French government. There are
similar tax breaks around the world but not in England. This means more
and more animation is done overseas so the English animator was told,
"Thanks but no thanks". Anne Wood of Ragdoll Productions co-created
Teletubbies and a recently The Adventures of Abney and Teal. She
is with me now. When you look at the figures, how on earth do you
survive? With great difficulty. We have subsidised our own work for a
long time and hope for international sales. Sometimes we
do, sometimes we do not. You are taking a huge financial risk as
well as a creative one. It is becoming, particularly in young
children, even more difficult because there is a feeling the
smaller the child, the smaller the Budget. At a time of austerity,
what chances are you offered? should be given tax breaks because
the potential... Of up to 40%? would be great. For various reasons.
Not least because of the export potential of animation from the UK.
There ought children's programmes, it is very high. -- for the
children's programmes. We are not able to find ourselves to the
extent we did now. What about copying other businesses and
outsourcing this? You think about mobile-phone businesses with call-
centre as overseas. A people forget we are doing art. It is an art form.
Of course you can find superb technicians... I tried it once. I
sent work to India and it was a disaster. What came back looked
completely different from what we sent out and then we have to send
someone to look after it. They became more expensive. The only
time I have done it successfully was years ago with Poland where we
had some animation done there. Again, we had to send someone out
there. Aid is not a used -- as a straightforward, because it is art.
Have things deteriorated over the years? Was it a better environment
years ago? My company is 27 years old. If I was trying to do it now,
I would not. In the old days, you had full production costs. You
could live. You did not have to go out there and sell toys or what
ever to raise 80% of the budget you have to raise. The most you will
get from a broadcast in the UK is 20% of your budget. Costs have
risen. It cost just as much to make animation for a small child as an
animated film. Thank you. That is We did not quite break our record
for Scotland. Nonetheless, we reached 17 in degrees. As we look
up to tomorrow, high pressure is still in charge. South Western
winds would keep it mild. A grey start tomorrow morning. The cloud
will break up. Scotland will see some of the brighter spells.
Temperatures will rise. You could see 12 degrees in Leeds. We will
see some brighter spells in the south-east corner, a top
temperatures of 15 degrees. For better breaks in the cloud in the
south-west. Up a bit more sunshine here. Still staying cloudy isn
Cardigan Bay. Moving further inland, you might see better brightness. It
will stay dry. Some at sunshine in Ireland. It will be damp in north-
west Scotland. That will move further south through Wednesday