28/02/2012 World News Today


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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


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