29/03/2012 World News Today


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This is BBC World news today. Running battles in Spain as unions


hold a strike in protest at austerity plans. 50 people have


been arrested with more been arrested with more


demonstrations plans in cities across the country tonight. Mortars


and no-shows at the first Arab League meeting in decades. What has


been achieved? The world's largest growing economies want their own


bank. Also coming up, chasing a childhood dream. Why the


billionaire Amazon boss wants to retrieve the Apollo 11 rocket


engines from the seabed. And defining the sound of country music.


Hello and welcome. The government insists the destruction was minimal


but the scuffles and arrests and cocktails met the general strike in


Spain left its mark. Called in protest at austerity cuts and


reforms there was destruction to flights and transport and workers


walked out of factories. More protests are planned for tonight.


Let's go to Madrid. Hundreds of thousands have gone on


to the streets of Madrid and other cities. The point of opposition is


the new Labour reforms which is hoped to cut its unemployment by


making it easy to hire and fire. There is opposition to the


Government's reforms which will come in the new budget tomorrow.


There have been some of violent scenes in Barcelona. Trouble on the


streets of Barcelona. Spain is not a country used to violent protest,


even in these austere times. Before the protests anger at government


cuts and reforms. Scenes like this have been isolated to the city but


there have been arrests across the country. Pickets tries to stop


businesses opening. The authorities did what they could so people could


go to work. Many Spanish commuters struggled on. As expected, other


services have been affected. For many companies, it's been business


as usual. The strike is mainly a response from the unions to the new


Labour reforms which it hopes will cut the soaring unemployment. It


comes a day before the government announces its budget. We can expect


more cuts to public services. Officials in Brussels says Madrid


must do more to reduce spending and get the budget deficit in order.


Demonstrations have been building steadily today. The unions say


Spain should stand up to Brussels are not bowed to pressure for more


cuts. The government says it is committed to its programme of


reforms and will not change anything. It says many have been


working today and tomorrow it promises an austere budget. That


will fuel more discontent. This is the biggest test for the new


government. The party to power in December but what we will see over


the months and weeks is more protest because the government is


under pressure from Brussels, it try to cut the budget deficit


recently but had to alter the target this year because Brussels


said it must do more. Cuts are needed of 41 billion euros, is it


possible? I spoke to an economist and he said there would have to be


a huge surprise in the Budget or it will not be credible. We also spoke


to one of the main union leaders on the eve of the strike and he was at


pains to say Spain must take back its sovereignty from Brussels. He


was critical of the pressure being put on the Spanish government to


cut the budget deficit to make reforms more than it would like.


There is this slight sense in Spain, it's normally a pro-European


country but there is a building sense of scepticism towards


Europe's pressure on Spain to cut its budget deficit so much.


Thank you very much. The Arab League has held a meeting


in Baghdad, the first time in 20 years. Great stuff if you consider


the security risks, fewer than half the Arab world leaders turned up.


Baghdad was in virtual lockdown, there were two explosions in the


City some distance from the conference. Top of the agenda was


the crisis in Syria and calls for President Assad to bring about


change. Its cost a fortune and a huge military effort to stage the


summit. The first in Iraq the 20th. Thousands of police and armed Swat


teams on the streets of Baghdad but also a day-long curfew. Iraq's


relations with its Arab neighbours are tense. One reason why less than


half of the League's 22 heads of state did not come to Baghdad,


particularly those from the Gulf. Others may have been deterred by


the precarious security situation. Two mortars landed not far from the


conference centre at the summit began would not have calmed nerves.


The main topic on the agenda is the crisis in Syria. Delegates formally


supported a UN plan to end fighting. The Syrian government has written


to the envoy Kofi Annan accepting his six-point plan which was


endorsed by the United Nations Security Council. It is essential


President Assad is committed, the world is waiting for commitments to


be translated into action. Even as they spoke, footage of mortar


shells smashing into buildings in Homs. The commentator on the video


appeals to Syria's Arab neighbours for help. In their absence, he


calls to God. Images showed protesters coming under fire. They


say the regime is not interested in dialogue and the opponents have


been routed. The situation in Syria is getting worse. 9,000 people have


been killed but the army continues its offensive. As the delegates in


Baghdad's departed, another lavish and inconclusive Arab League summit,


they acknowledge the situation in Syria could take a long time to


resolve. A degree of normality is returning to Baghdad but there's a


huge security presence on the streets and it cost a small fortune


to stage this summit. Iraq has declared the whole thing a success


even though on a major issue affecting the region Syria, there


has been little progress. Some other news and five African


presidents seeking to restore the government in Mali have abandoned a


visit. The plane turned around after supporters of the coup leader


took over the airstrip. The group is meeting in the Ivory Coast to


agree how to restore President Amadou Toumani Toure to power.


The body of Mohamed Merah or the extremist who killed seven people


in France is being buried in Toulouse. Mohamed Merah who were


shot last week was buried at the city's cemetery despite objections


from local officials. Algeria ejected receiving his body citing


security concerns. The French perfume maker has been


fined for making a racist insult on TV. The 75-year-old told an


interviewer he had worked like a negro to produce a new perfume. He


was ordered by a Parisian court to pay $8,000.


Two German companies have pulled out of a project to build new


nuclear power stations in Britain. The firms said they had withdrawn


because of the cost and economic crisis and the phasing out of


nuclear power in Germany after the full she met disaster in Japan.


The world's top five emerging economies have proposed forming a


bank which they hope could write -- rival the World Bank. The Brics


countries agreed to seek closer trading currency links. Who are the


Brics? Goldman's sacks coined the term for Brazilian -- Brazil, India


and Africa. They are responsible for more than a quarter of the


Thank you for coming in. How valid is the concern to set up their own


bank and will be difficult to get off there bank? It makes perfect


sense. Developing countries should have done this a long time ago. The


World Bank and IMF have come under attack for not responding to the


needs of developing countries. It's a good idea for them to start.


wanted better representation for a long time given how much economies


have grown, will be difficult to capitalise because these countries


have different agendas? Yes, they promised the five countries would


have large central reserves to capitalise but the problem with the


membership of these institutions is the issue of how to capitalise


beyond those four or five key member states. The criticism emerge


from the World Bank and IMF is it is controlled by the US. Is the


acronym Brics a fight turn given other emerging countries in South


America and Africa? Do we need a new acronym? It has worked quite


well. We would not be talking about this unless it was a huge marketing


term for Goldman's sacks. It is week to look at the five countries


as having anything in common. who were due out on to this list of


developing emerging countries and who should we be looking at in 10


years' time? I would remove Russia from the group. I think that would


add other countries which are like Chile. Chile have had huge growth,


what about Indonesia? Indonesia, Malaysia would be a good edition to


the developing countries that have development. What lies ahead for


the Brics and the problems each country has, India, for example and


the infrastructure problem, the corruption but the same could be


said for Russia. You could say think for all pricks countries.


Corruption is a huge problem, they have a huge problem in terms of


large populations with little per- capita income. I think the


challenge is to come up with a plan as five countries and I am


sceptical because they have nothing in common other than some sense


they have something in common. per capita wage, China will


overtake the US economy by 2026, the wages will be far far lower


than the United States. Right now it is of four or $5,000 per year


which is little and they are moving fast. You think they will get


there? I am a pessimist on this issue, China and India to have huge


problems of poverty. Politically, they are unstable, unstable


countries... Brazil and China will be unstable.


Thank you very much. A report into the deaths of 63 African refugees


on a small boats last year set a catalogue of errors by coast guard


and NATO meant they were never rested. The boats left Tripoli in


March with 72 people heading to Lampedusa. After 15 hours at sea,


the boat put out a distress call and run out of fuel. The boat


drifted with 11 people still alive. Two of those died soon after. Chris


Morris reports. Thousands of people took to the


seat as conflict raged in Libya. They would try to cross the


Mediterranean to reach Europe. Many of them are like these men have


made it to the Italian island of Lampedusa. According to the Council


of Europe, 1,500 people lost their lives. Attempting a hazardous


voyage on a small boat. I was quite shocked, there were many military


vessels, satellite centre and watching over the movements at sea.


Still so many people got drowned or missed. Her report focuses on one


incident on 26th March last year, this boat left Tripoli with 72 sub-


Saharan Africans on board, men, women and children. When it washed


up at Libya 15 days later, there were only nine survivors. This was


at a time when like other migrant boats like this one, it was in what


NATO declared a military zone under its control. The whole area was


being closely monitored. Survivors on the incident examined in detail


said a helicopter, military vessel and fishing boats came close to


their boat, the helicopter even dropped water and biscuits. But no


further help ever came. We conclude it is a collective failure. It's


not attractive to come up with facts were you admit you are to


blame for such a failure. In a written statement, native says it's


provided significant information to the council and says none of its


aircraft or vessels had any contact with the boats in question. But the


report says Corporation has been insufficient and it is calling for


further inquiry into a tragedy The billionaire founder of


Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos, claims to have found the engines on Apollo 11,


the historic American space mission that landed men on the moon for the


first time. The self confessed space enthusiast, who is developing


his own rocket ship to fly passengers into suborbital space,


says he's located the engines at a depth of more than 4,000 metres on


the Atlantic seabed. The five engines on the rocket Saturn-5


launched Apollo 11 into space on July 16th, 1969. Saturn-5 was the


tallest, heaviest and most powerful rocket of its kind. The rockets


were jettisoned into the sea as planned after lift-off, and these


are what Mr Bezos says he has found. Four days later, Neil Armstrong and


Buzz Aldrin stepped out onto the Keith Cowing is the editor of


Nasawatch.com and joins us from San Francisco.


He said what inspired him was watching this at the age of five


when he saw this blast-off. What sort of conditions are these


rockets going to be in? They have had 40 years in sea water.


I am at the Nasa research centre and at the back of me is a Titan


one engine. It has been outside for 40 years in California. It is in a


good condition. Being in the ocean, that is a different story. It will


have been at 40,000 ft for quite some time. One has to wonder what


is left. But we found the Titanic at much deeper depths. It will have


to do more with how fast the rocket hit the ocean when it came in than


what it has been doing for the past 40 years.


Do you think he has cut the cord and it's absolutely right? I have


just been reading that the Atlantic seabed is littered with space


debris. I am pretty sure he has. The sonar


is pretty good. You can see the ships. They find a much smaller


space craft than this. This thing is 40 metres long and over 100


kilos. It does not look like a boat. It is a big tube. They will be able


to distinguish it rather easily. Why hasn't masseur bothered to pick


this up? There is such interest in this mission.


When it went to the bottom of the ocean, the technology to find it


did not exist. Nowadays it does, but Nasser barely has enough money


to launch the new things. You would have to come up with an excuse for


why you did want to do this. When you're a billionaire, you do things


because they're fun. Exactly! Or if you're a film


director! Everybody seems to be going to the bottom of the ocean.


Exactly. Maybe that is the fact that so many people these days have


of the kind of assets that could launch a main programme! It allows


these people to go back and do the stuff like this. It really rings a


bell with me to go back and actually find that moon rocket.


When you have enough resources, fund becomes something you can


actually do. Lucky them. He hasn't had much


success with his own space rocket ship, this article take a thing,


which had a few problems last year during trials at 45,000 feet.


He lost one, but what we did not see robber success as he had. He is


probably doing a bit better than a Nasser. They lodged a lot more of


their rockets. I think he is doing well.


Thank you. The name might not be immediately


familiar, but his music is. One of America's most influential


musicians, the bluegrass star, Earl Scruggs, has died at the age of 88.


He was a banjo virtuoso whose unique picking style gave country


music a whole new sound. Critics described him as the


Paganini of Bluegrass. Among his many admirers and musical


collaborators, the Hollywood actor, Steve Martin, and singers Bob Dylan,


Joan Baez and Elton John. He was also a committed political activist,


supporting the anti-Vietnam war protest movement. David Sillito


looks back at his life. Rarely has any instrument been that


solely associated with one man, but when it comes to the banjo, we


begin with Earl Scruggs. I started playing when I was five years old.


I pretty much lived and breathed the banjo. He's three-fingered


finger picking defined bluegrass. Earl Scruggs had developed his


style while growing up in North Carolina. The 21-year-old was an


immediate sensation when he joins his first band. The sound of Earl


Scruggs and his partner, under foggy Mountain Boys, became a


musical shorthand for abolition America. No wonder. He ghost


appeared in and provided the theme tune to the TV shoots -- TV show,


the Beverly Hillbillies. It was a surprise, especially to his partner


or Leicester flat, when he took his -- playing with the stars of the


counter-culture such as Bob Dylan and later, attending a Vietnam


anti-war demonstration. I am sincere or about bringing our boys


back home. From the soundtrack to Bonnie and Clyde to his many


thousands leaves a legacy. His foggy Mountain breakdown became


June the number one in the Banja songbook. When you hear a Banja


today, you almost certainly during the sound of Earl Scruggs.


Greg Adams is from the Smithsonian Centre for Folklife and Cultural


Heritage. I assume that everybody could play the banjo like this


until I realised that Earl Scruggs had invented it. How was it played


before? The banjo as an instrument has a


history that has been around for nearly 400 years. The earliest


documentation goes back to the Caribbean basin. The documentation


that we have over time, but are 80 per city of ways in which the


instrument was played. What Earl Scruggs had done was taking the


traditions as they existed in his community and really brought it


together to make a very distinctive sound, whether you're looking at


the role patterns, the intense syncopations or the melodic ways


that he played. How difficult was it to play like


that? In terms of the difficulties, it is


really about how do you feel the music? The right hand is working


the strings in these very fast arpeggios, but people will call


patterns. With that, you have to feel the beat, the levels of


syncopation that: with that. But what really makes the Banja


distinctive in bluegrass is the way in which it can take the lead or do


a solo just like the other instruments in a bluegrass ensemble.


Presumably that makes it even more difficult, because you are having


to pick out the tune above all the other noise as well.


For absolutely. That is one of the incredible dynamics of bluegrass


music. And the way that Earl Scruggs enervated as the deadpan


to's use in the ensembles. If you look at all timed music, the violin


or fiddle was going to be the key instrument and other instruments


are going to play support. In bluegrass, everybody takes the solo,


or whether it is the guitarist, the mandolin, the violinist, or the


banjo. I think I know what bluegrass is,


but I am not 100% sure how it do we define it. How did you do find it?


Bluegrass music is a musical form that is largely attributed to Bill


Monroe. Back in the 1940s, they came out with this really fast,


driving music that was based in part on of the music associated


with country music and back then it would have been called hillbilly


music. But it also has these historic ties that, to the British


Isles. But also, in terms of African-American music and culture,


all of these things are coming together and bluegrass is one of


these musical forms that really brings together a whole lot if


moving parts. For I read somewhere that it was a


fusion of blues, jazz and a high lonesome sound. He really did


represent that. He embodied that whole country feel, the way he


spoke, the way he lived his life. Absolutely. Earl Scruggs's


playing... He gave voice to the banjo. It is amazing reading and


number of the articles that have been coming out. There is an


incredible outpouring. Just talking about the way that he could present


the banjo, his stage presence with his instrument just rising above


everything else, it has been very moving. There is an amazing reason


why Earl Scruggs has influenced thousands, if not millions, of


banjo players around the world. you meet him?


I never did. But I followed him. I knew the different generations of


people that were influenced by him. Lampard to be younger generation


that does not have the lived experience of my parents and


grandparents, but what has been really amazing for me as part of


this younger generation is to learn about what Earl Scruggs meant to


people as they were coming up. In some ways, the way that I can


inherit Dutch tradition, the oral tradition that comes along with


that and the memories of he was, it really shapes the way that people


think about the instrument and how it is played.


I think you are a banjo player, but unfortunately you left it at home,


which is a great disappointment for us! Thank you.


A reminder of our main news... In Spain, a general strike has seen


transport virtually grinding to a halt and scuffles at a


demonstration in Barcelona. Many schools, offices and factories are


closed. Protesters are angry about the government's changes to labour


laws which make it easier to fire workers. More cuts are also planned.


Well, that's all from the programme. Next, the weather. But for now,


from me and the rest of the team, There are weather changes on the


way for the weekend as the temperature begins to take it up.


For the moment, for Friday, it is more of the St. Sunshine and warmth.


But the reason why the weather is changing for the weekend, at this


area of high pressure has been right across us through and is now


slowly drifting west, a line the floor there from the North and


North West to cool the direction for us. Friday will have some more


cloud than we have recently had. Elsewhere, it is an afternoon of


blue-sky and warmth. For northern England, plenty of that sunshine


around. Some patchy cloud developing in parts of East Anglia


and the south-east. We have not had that recently. And across southern


England and South Wales. This is where they are likely to see some


of the warmest weather. Maybe 22 degrees. The beaches are in great


shape. But there is cloud hugging the coast of west and North Wales.


It is through the Irish Sea and across Northern Ireland. Just a few


holes and that cloud to. Across southern and south-eastern parts of


Northern Ireland, it will be warm. Glasgow and Edinburgh still have


the sunshine. It will still be quite warm across south-east


Scotland. In the evening on Friday, for most, the sunshine will be


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