05/04/2012 World News Today


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

Similar Content

Browse content similar to 05/04/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



This is BBC World News Today with me, Zeinab Badawi.


Tributes to the Greek pensioner who killed himself outside parliament.


The 77 year-old said he could not survive on his pension. His death


has prompted riots in Athens will stop --. He is a hero. If it is how


it is appears to be, then he is a hero.


The economy moves centre stage in the French presidential elections -


and not before time, say some. As intense fighting continues


around Damascus, the UN Security Council backs the deadline of next


Tuesday for Syrian forces to end their offensive.


Also coming up in the programme: A landmark birthday for one of the


greatest footballers, Tom Finney turns 90 today. How does the part-


time plumber compare to the superstar players of today?


He invented the Marshall amp - and rock music got a whole lot louder.


We remember Jim Marshall who died today. But he also reckoned his


amps never damaged anyone's hearing. The amount of guitarists I ate meat


worldwide, they never said to me, pardon, what did you say?


Hello and welcome. The deep desperation being felt by Greeks


struggling with the country's economic crisis has now been


defined by the actions of one pensioner. 77-year-old Dimitris


Christoulas shot himself dead in a square opposite the Greek


parliament in Athens. In a note he left behind, he accused the


government of reducing his pension to nothing, leaving him unable to


meet his debts. His death has sent demonstrators back onto the streets,


leading to some clashes with security forces. For more on this,


joining me from Athens is the BBC's Mark Lowen. Considerable anger and


shock at the actions of this one pensioner?


A lot of anger here in Athens. There is a tense atmosphere at this


evening, riot police are already deployed braced for possible second


evening of protest. Greece once had the lowest suicide rate in the


European Union but that has brought to have doubled since the financial


crisis. Still they keep coming, crowds arriving to pay their


respects, leaving flowers and candles at the spot where a


pensioner shot himself in broad daylight. 77 year-old Dimitris


Christoulas, apparently despairing for his financial future. He left a


note, I see no other solution, he said, than his dignified end so as


not to resort to vision through rubbish bins. This is a tragic


moment for Greek society, the only thing needed now is contemplation


and silence. We are all heading there, today I


got paid might Easter bonus and instead of 400 Europe, I got 180. I


cannot manage to live on this. Dimitris Christoulas was a retired


pharmacist. Colleagues said he could no longer afford his


medication duty cuts to his pension. The farmers see where he used to


work stands locked up. He should have enjoyed a comfortable


retirement but these are the middle classes hit by punishing austerity.


And Labour voiced admiration for his actions.


He is a hero, it it is how it appears to be then he is the euro.


It is not easy to do something like this. Who can do it?


The outpouring of emotion here is in part because this case seems to


represent a collective suffering of the Greek nation, a people whose


social fabric is tearing apart. Suicides, homelessness all on the


rise. And Dimitris Christoulas could yet become a rallying point


for the anger of this country. That anger boiled over on to the streets


last night. Protesters who had gathered for a vigil Major clashed


with riot police. They heard petrol bombs and officers responded with


it's done grenades and tear gas. The peer is that there could be


further eruptions ahead. -- the fear.


There were some minor scuffles in here next to where Dimitris


Christoulas took his life earlier in the evening. But for the time


being it seems relatively quiet. But passions are running high in


Greece, elections are just around the corner, at times when the Greek


people will vent their emotions. And the dominant emotion here at


the moment his anger. Joining us now from Athens is


psyhcologist Aris Violatzis, who works for a suicide hotline. The


death of this one pensioner is going to have quite an impact on


the Greek Psyche, isn't it? Good evening from Athens. It is


definitely going to have an impact but let us not lose the big picture.


This is something that I'm afraid is going to happen. Things like


that has been going on in Greece day-in, day-out. There are many


people who have died by suicide. Gallas Moore, the suicide rate we


understand has gone up something like 40%. A using a kind of pattern


among the people who are taking their lines?


There are many more men who died by suicide, six times more of them


then of women. Women try to die by suicide three or four more times


higher. Is it because the male is traditionally the breadwinner in


the family and feels unable to look after his family? That is one part


of it. And the other part of it is that Greek men are more accustomed


to violence, bodily pain and things like that. They have demystified


the idea of using a gun or taking their lives because of Greek men


joining the Army. What kind of hell do you offer people on your suicide


hotline, what kind of problems do they come to you with? Are they


almost now exclusively linked to the economic crisis one way or


another? The economic crisis is greatly associated with the


phenomenon. But there is not just one calls. -- One calls. The Greek


social environment might now is not functioning. So the phenomenon has


been on the rise. That is why many people have been calling us trying


to ask for help, trying to break the isolation that they live in.


Because all those economic difficulties make people feel


burdened. That they are burden to others and others would be better


off without them. And the feeling of social belonging is also


faltering because of the economic difficulties they face.


Another Eurozone country struggling to manage its economy is France. In


recent weeks, President Sarkozy has largely focussed his attention on


the threat of terrorism, an issue which helped him claw back ground


in opinion polls. Now, just under three weeks before the first round


of the Presidential election, Mr Sarkozy is reassuring voters that


the economy is on his agenda. In a campaign speech, he promised to


balance the budget and freeze French contributions to the


European Union. And he said he didn't want France to suffer the


same fate as what he called its European friends.


TRANSLATION: There is not a single French person who wishes that our


country should go through the same situation as that of Greece, or


that Spain is going through today. We should be aware of one thing.


Any let up on our commitments, any distancing ourselves from our


commitments, if there is any crisis of trust, we will find ourselves in


the same situation as that of Spain. I've been talking to Sophie Pedder,


Bureau Chief at The Economist in Paris. She outlined for us what she


believes are the real challenges facing the next French President.


The paradox about France is that it faces and is going to face some of


the most difficult questions about the future of its welfare state,


what it can really afford especially at a time of crisis in


the euro-zone. How it will finance pensions, child care. But these


issues are completely absent from the campaign. It will involve


difficult decisions for this next president, whoever is elected. It


will be difficult and unpopular decisions in some cases. And the


difficulty is that because they're not on the table during the


campaign, the risk is there will be a lot of disappointment and


incomprehension on the part of the French. They feel that these


questions have not been discussed and therefore where are all these


hard decisions coming from? Today they set out their stalls. Francois


Hollande said that this is what he would do after being elected. And


President Sarkozy has also spoken of his economic plans. Is this


campaign and to be fought on the economy? I do not figure it is, to


be honest. The Quested of the economy is now coming back onto the


agenda. And there is a responsible level of debate about reducing the


deficit on both sides. The difficulty is how they do it and


both sides, in particular Francois Hollande, is focused on reducing


taxes. But their cautious on public spending, cautious about having to


get across a painful message which is to say that there will be


spending cuts. So I do not think that that will be part of this


campaign at all. I think where it will be fought will be more a


question of will is the stronger leader, the more convincing present


to take France drew the next five years. Lizard that the French


really want to Trust as their next president. That could touch on


economic issues but also comes down to other things such as security


and social policy for stock --. United Nations-Arab League envoy to


Syria, Kofi Annan, says he expects all fighting there to have stopped


within a week. He reported "alarming levels" of casualties


from the government's ongoing assault on rebels, despite regime


claims of partial withdrawals from three cities. But reports from


inside the country suggest clashes are continuing and more refugees


have been fleeing into Turkey. Jim Muir reports from Beirut.


Just 30 minutes' drive from Damascus city centre, shelling and


shooting in the suburb of Douma. Just four days from the deadline


for it to call off its crackdown, the regime seems to be pulling out


all the stops to finish all resistants were ever it finds it.


Activists say there is a real state of war here. Even closer to the


city centre, a video shows large numbers of government troops. No


sign here of the withdrawal that the Syrians say they have already


begun. And defines to the regime continues. Protesters laid siege to


a local government building near Damascus and tried to raise the


rebel flag. Far away to the bourse, government forces were also in


action attacking several towns including this one. Debtor to the


Lord. But the third biggest city in central Syria continues to take the


brunt of the battling. Clashes continue. Rebel fighters displayed


tenacity. Some of them took over and National Hospital. Under the


peace plan, rebel fighters are also supposed to stop their attacks


within two days of the government seizing all by events next Tuesday.


So everything depends on the government itself complying with


that Tuesday deadline. Kofi Annan was clearly concerned at the


continuing bloodshed. All points of the planet are


crucial. But one his most urgent - the need for the cessation of


violence. Clearly the violence is still continuing. Alarming levels


of casualties and other abuses continued to be reported daily.


Military operations and civilian operations. Rasho plays a key role


in securing Sirin compliance and is critical of Western and Arab


support for the opposition, especially those calling for it to


be unarmed. TRANSLATION: even if the opposition


is armed to the teeth there will not defeat the Syrian army and


there will simply be slaughter and mutual destruction for many years.


Despite the supposedly imminent peace agreement, frightened


civilians are still fleeing across the border such as these families


Thousands of others have fled to Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. If the


plan fails, there may be many more to follow. Here with me in the


studio, is the former Foreign Office Minister, Lord Mark Malloch-


Brown, who also served as deputy to Kofi Annan when he was Secretary-


General of the United Nations. How far do you think the Syrian


authorities understand they would have to have the regime --


ceasefire? They came up with the date of 10th April which is


different. It is not an outside imposed date with no exceptions.


This was as a result of a negotiation with Kofi Annan, it


usually takes a day or so for the shooting to complete the stop


because each side test each other and there are incidents. I think


they would be surprised at this final drop deadline for fighting to


stop. I suspect they anticipated something like that. Do you think


they have been racing fast at the moment to try to mop up as much


opposition strongholds as they can? Without a doubt. If you go to


before they accepted it, it was alarming, though using negotiations


as a cover to extend the period where they could clean up pockets


of armed opposition. There is a deadline now which makes the days


before it uncomfortable but as long as they implement it and meet the


commitments it does offer a date for this phase of the conflict.


Security Council said it would consider further steps if they do


not abide by what I have said they will. But it's not clear what can


be done, what is the or else? first good news is it is a UN


security council tentatively United with Russia and China still on the


outside. A unanimous presidential statement backing Kofi and an's


deadline. An early and important result for the diplomacy has been


to get Russia and China back onside. For the Syrians who look to the


Russians as their principal ally, this is a changed again. It is less


likely they will buck the revolution -- resolution, not


certain because they have broken their word lots of times in the


past. And knowing Kofi Annan, there was a great deal of resting on his


shoulders and there was scepticism the Syrian authorities might be


buying time by saying yes and the Turks are saying it is the only


show in town but they are sceptical. Will he be able to see it through?


Scepticism is the right thing to look at this win. He himself would


describe himself as sceptical. The Syrians have a terrible track


record of keeping their word. The opposition is fragmented and it's


hard to know who can guarantee the opposition is going to stop


fighting. It's a very tricky situation. But the major criticism


being made of his plan which is it does not call for regime change and


President Assad to sit down is unrealistic. You never start


negotiation asking for them to step down. That is a political death


warrant. It was why it was impossible to negotiate with


Colonel Gaddafi or Saddam Hussein. If you get everyone around the


table and begin negotiation that is a reasonable and after the


civilians who have died, an inevitable end result but Passat


will go. It is not the right place to start if you want negotiations


to get going -- President Assad. Thank you. Now a look at some of


the days other news: The Algerian news agency is reporting that seven


of the country's diplomats have been abducted in northern Mali. The


region has fallen to Tuareg led rebel groups. Algeria's Consul and


five officials were reportedly forced to leave the diplomatic


mission in the town of Gao by an unidentified group. The town has


fallen to Tuareg led rebel groups who are fighting for the autonomy


of the area. The Libyan government has insisted


that Saif al Islam Gaddafi, the son of the country's ousted ruler will


be tried in Libya and not handed over to the International Criminal


Court. This follows an ICC ruling a day ago that Libya must make


arrangements to hand him over. Saif al Islam is wanted in connection


with the violent suppression of protests during last year's Libyan


uprising. In France, too small fires the


breakout of the country's nuclear reactor have been put out. Smoke


inside the reactor triggered an automatic shutdown of installation.


The country's utilities services say the fires are caused by hot oil


leaking from a pump on the primary cooling circuit of the reactor.


Ears ringing? Well, the man to blame might be Jim Marshall. The


famous - even iconic - Marshall Amps - were his creation. Today the


man who become known as the "Father of Loud" has died aged 88. Jim


Marshall originally owned a music shop in London before he expanded


his business. His amps went on to be used by most of the biggest


names in rock including Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain. Andrew


Plant reports. His equipment would be used by the world's most famous


musicians. Helping create some of the industry's most iconic music


and burning Jim Marshall the nickname the father of loud. How do


you feel when you hear people say electronically amplified sounds


damage people's hearing? It is over exaggerated. Because the amount of


guitarists I meet worldwide, and I meet them all, they never say,


pardon, what did you say? His first amplifier was built in a


small London shop in the 60s, before long it became required kit


for a new style of sound. Making his name around the world. Born in


West London in 1923, he began drumming during World War II but it


was the Qatada made his name. The gunfire was popular with Jimi


Hendrix and his iconic and a fire finding fame in This Is Spinal Tap.


This is what we used on stage but it's very special. If you can see,


the numbers all go to 11. Right across the board. 11, 11, 11.


that mean it is louder? Well, it is one ladder. Jim Marshall donated


several million to charities and received the OBE in 2003. The


success of his amplifiers lives on, tributes have been building up on


the internet site twitter in their thousands spanning several


Now, one of the Grail legends of English football celebrates his


90th birthday today. The forward, who devastated defences for Preston


North End his entire career, also played for England 76 times,


competing in three World Cups. But paid just �20 a week, he had to fit


the games around his job as a plumber. With his beautiful


dribbling skills and easy charm, at least one former team-mate insists


the only player worthy of comparison is current Barcelona


player Lionel Messi. So how do the legends of yesteryear compare to


the highly paid megastars of today's global game? With me here


in the studio is the sports watcher and commentator for the London


It is more like the $30, I was trying to figure it out. My


prismatic -- but arithmetic needs help. It was quite good money. It


doesn't compare to the millions of David Beckham. But, it was good


money in those days. Were their spin-offs where top footballers get


big advertising contracts, there wasn't that side to it? Tom Finney


did not benefit from that, no. And you showed a clip of him dribbling


but it is a rare club because he played when not much of it was


recorded. TV have not come about. YouTube was not known. A player


like Lionel Messi who he has been compared with, you see him almost


every day. Like Lionel Messi is a good player. Tom Finney was never


booked. He was a player he was well behaved. And his contemporaries say


he was the best player. He never won a medal, he got a loses FA Cup


medal and was part of the England team that made the debut and lost


to America, a fairly infamous match. Everybody you talk to of the era


remembers him and says he was the best player. He had the technical


ability, normally players are one footed, strong or the left or right,


he started for England on the right wing and went to the left wing. He


endlessly supplied goals including scoring goals with his head. He


played a game where you illustrated the fact he was a plumber by trade.


You wonder how he fitted the time to fit it in! When you look at the


football greats, George Best in the UK, how does he sit? Most people


say he is part of that quartet, Maradona, George Best and some


people rate him a player who has earned greater honours, Stanley


Matthews, higher than Stanley Matthews. People have a generation


talk about him and now they say it Lionel Messi is the nearest to Tom


Finney. We will be able to judge and that is the pity, you cannot


really Gedge... It is difficult to compare different eras. The top


story: vigils are being held in Athens after a 77-year-old shot


himself dead outside the Greek parliament. And that is all from


the programme. Next, the weather. The weather will take an


increasingly cloudy issue, not just tomorrow but also much of the


Easter period. Increasing cloud and occasional rain. High pressure in


the mid-Atlantic with a north-west air flow and the weather front


pushing down in the float to bring thicker cloud and outbreaks of rain.


Patchy rain sinking star puts across Scotland and Northern


Ireland, a few spots for the coast. Isolated spots for Norfolk but


otherwise drive. A cold start in the south with a widespread frost


in rural areas. It stays sunny for most of the day with patchy cloud.


Sunny spells in southern Wales, and the Midlands, clouding over from


the north and west with isolated spots in the afternoon. For


Northern Ireland, a similar picture, overcast for much of the day, the


cloud of thick enough to give light isolated showers. More general rain


Download Subtitles