25/04/2012 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today with me, Kirsty Lang. Media tycoon


Rupert Murdoch denies ever using his power to influence policy. He


says he's never asked for or received favours from any British


Prime Minister, it was the politicians who sought him out.


have want to put it to bed once and for all, that that is a complete


myth. Bad news for Britain - we're


officially back in recession with a fall in construction blamed for the


lack of growth. Norwegian mass murderer Anders


Breivik tells a court in Norway he Also coming up in the programme: Is


this man responsible for the many deaths in Sierra Leone. Everything


that happened was his doing. Celebrity names are bankrolling the


planned to mind an asteroid for precious metals.


-- mind macro. Yesterday we had his son, now we


had rip it at -- Rupert Murdoch are giving evidence. He was pretty


bullish and denied that he used his babies to put pressure on


successive British governments. He said it was natural for politicians


to seek the support of newspaper Editors but he had never asked a


British Prime Minister for anything. In the long running at Leveson


Inquiry depress standards, this was the keenly awaited witness so far.


The chairman and chief executive of News Corporation. I swear by


Almighty God that the evidence I shall give a chubby the truth, the


whole truth and nothing but the truth. Mr Murdoch, known for his


strong views, appeared reticent about his decades as a powerful


newspaper proprietor. I, in 10 years of power, never asked Mr


Blair for anything, nor did I receive any favours. This afternoon,


when he was asked about his wish to support the Conservatives, he said


there were many key media matters he had not discussed with the new


Government but the inquiry's QC pressed the point about his


influence. There was always a political freeze on with your


acquisitions. It was predictable. welcome that question because I


want to put it to bed once and for all, that that is a complete myth.


What is the myth? That I used the influence of the Sun or supposed


political power to get favourable treatment. Meanwhile, the man who


was the go-between has gone. Adam Smith described as the point of


contact between the minister and the Murdoch family, bidding for


control of the UK satellite broadcaster, BSkyB. Material


released when James Murdoch gave evidence yesterday had included


damning texts and e-mails indicating a Government bias


towards News Corporation. Facing the House of Commons, Jeremy Hunt


paid tribute to his special adviser but insisted he had acted with


scrupulous fairness in his quasar a judicial role. Transcripts of


conversations and text that we might special adviser, Adam Smith,


added News Corporation representative have been alleged to


indicate there was a back channel through which News Corporation were


able to influence my decisions. This is category not the case.


Mr Hunt needed any reminder that he remains under pressure, he had to


endure this taunt. Doesn't it prove the theory that when posh boys are


in trouble, they sack the servants. Words which echoed the theme


sundered by the lead up the opposition minutes before at a


highly charged session of Prime Minister's Questions. Her well his


Culture Secretary remains in place, while he refuses to come clean on


his and the chances meetings with Rupert Murdoch, the shadow of


sleaze will Hanover this Government. When his ego and to realise that it


is time to stop putting his cronies between the interests of the


country? He called for a judicial inquiry and that is what I have set


up. Whether it is the proper regulation of the press, cleaning


our financial system, dealing with our debts, I don't duck my


responsibilities. What a pity he can't live up to his. It is ironic


that the political leaders have spent years trying to get close to


Rupert Murdoch and his newspaper titles. Now that closeness is


proving a major political problem. There will be more at the inquiry


from Mr Murdoch on Thursday. I am joined by Michael White from


the Guardian newspaper. What did you make of Mr Murdoch's statement


that he never sought any favours from the Prime Minister? I was at


the High Court in London all day. Within pie throwing distance of Mr


Murdoch and I have never spent that much time in his company. He was


fascinating. He was very mellow. He was 81, very sharp. I felt most of


the time he was like a person that had been summoned by the local


chieftains to resolve a minor dispute. I did remember their names,


I vaguely remember the lunch or the Chequers dinner with the Mrs


Thatcher. It is full of stuff like that. Some of it was quite funny.


He was often quite funny. Did it seem as if he was not taking it


entirely seriously? Possibly so. He was pretending to. At lunchtime, he


said he was overheard to say let's get this stuff over whiff. We don't


want to come back tomorrow. -- Bothel Withe. He said he is the


controlling shareholder added is perfectly normal if you want to buy


in the shares that you don't earn. He doesn't always think of the word


monopoly and let it influence. The council, the QC, had a list of


people who said it is all very well at you saying you don't have the


influence, never asking for deals, it is more subtle than that. He


listed a whole load of people. Tony Blair, Harry Evans, Paul Keating,


ex-prime minister of Australia. Murdoch is the kind of guy you can


do a deal with without ever having to say you have done a deal. He


said Keating was a loud mouth. Don't take your word from him.


there any interesting insights into recent British history? I am


referring to the conversation he had with Gordon Brown when he was


Prime Minister. You would get confused in my business at my age.


Don't we know all this? It was alleged that Brown had e-mailed him


on the eve of his speech in 2009 before the election. He said they


had a conversation and were talking more quietly than you and I are


talking now. He was pretty cross. He said I will declare war on you.


Brown has denied this but Murdoch is a pretty good winners and when


he was asked about the baby, revealing that Fraser Brown had


cystic fibrosis. He said it was all very well but Rebekah Brooks said


how she had sensitively treated the incident and she was grateful. A


polished performance. Now the other news. The head of


Israel's Armed Forces has disagreed with his Prime Minister saying he


does not think Iran will develop nuclear weapons. In direct


contracts to a tougher statements by Binyamin Netanyahu, he said the


rage in -- Iranian leadership was made up of irrational people who


were not want to go the extra mile. US TV networks are saying that Newt


Gingrich will end his Republican bid. He said he would suspend his


campaign next week and thinks he -- Mitt Romney will win.


Soldiers kidnapped by an Al-Qaeda linked group in Yemen have made a


video plea for help. This video appears to show one of 85 captured


soldiers saying they are in danger of being beheaded.


The son of the sacked Chinese... Has said of excessive spending be


on the family needs. His mother is involved in the alleged murder of


an English businessman. Kim Britton, we have the economic


news. -- here in Britain. We are back in recession since the crash


of 2008. A double dip has happened. David Cameron did little to hide


his disappointment but said he would be sticking to the austerity


plan. The cogs in the economic machine


grind on that they could be going faster. GDP grows -- is the term


for everything the economy produces. If it falls for six months, you get


It is hard for the economy to move forward when shoppers are careful


with their cash, squeezed by rapid rises in the cost of living.


Everything is going up and wages are not. I have been on a freeze


for four years and I'm struggling. The Asda boss knows customers have


tightened their belts and doesn't expect it to change. A they are


becoming more savvy in terms of how they are shopping. When they are


filling up their car with fuel, they put round values in. That is


how much money they have got to spend on fuel. Who is to blame? The


Prime Minister and Labour my leader gave their views. Typical of this


arrogant Prime Minister who tries to blame everyone else. The reality


it is this is a recession made by him and the Chancellor in Downing


Street. This is a tough and difficult situation that the


economy is in the but the one thing we mustn't do, is to abandon public


spending and deficit-reduction plans because the solution to a


debt crisis cannot be more debt. The breakdown of the figures shows


there was a 0.1% increase for service industries including retail


but manufacturing output fell by 0.1%. Construction saw a big drop


of 3% over the three-month period. To work out whether the apart --


economy is growing, officials have to gather data from a range of


different industries including construction. There has been


criticism of the way they measure activity in this sector, with some


claiming the figures are too volatile and don't reflect what is


going on. The Bank of England says the construction numbers are


perplexing. What does the man in charge of economic policy say? You


launched growth strategy a year ago and now there is no growth. I have


never disguised the fact that Britain faces a difficult economic


situation. We have this debt crisis and they were built up over many


years. If I had some magic wand i it would waive it and the British


economy would spurting to growth. He ignored our warnings and a call


for a plan for jobs and growth and families and businesses are paying


the price. Many commentators thought the UK would avoid a slip


back into recession but it has happened. They will now have to


work out the implications. Hugh joins me now. When we hear the


words, double dip, we assume it is going to be as bad as last time. Is


it? Definitely not. There was a sharp drop in output for the UK. We


are talking about a small percentage point. The underlying


picture is a basically flat because you have a dispute over


construction and get revisions. Bumping along, that doesn't help in


the process of job creation and it is not much consolation to anyone


out there looking for a job if they are struggling with the economy as


it is. I don't think it will be lurching back to what it was years


ago. Why is Britain can -- in comparison to the rest of Europe


and America? American growth has been strong and that plays into the


old US elections situation. President Obama is happy about that.


They have to stop their austerity programme in the US and that is


another matter altogether. The eurozone is forecast on a European


Commission to go into recession and there was negative output at the


end of last year. The UK it is by no means alone and a witness in the


eurozone hits the UK because of the trading links. The UK does have


that argument to make. The Government says it is not the only


one that many critics will say it is the scale of the budget cuts


No sign of any change from veered Chancellor of the Exchequer. He is


very much sticking to the idea that he has to cut debt or borrowing.


You have to hope that growth will pick up. Thank you.


The Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik has told his trial in Oslo


that a psychiatric report that declared in insane was full of lies.


It is now up to the court to decide whether he is criminally insane.


Anders Breivik, who admits killing 77 people last July, insists he is


of sound mind. Anders Breivik came to court aiming to discredit the


psychiatrist who had declared him insane. He has accused them of


lying. The court also heard Anders Breivik makes statements that may


have strengthened the psychiatrist's conclusion. He


talked about people who should be killed in Norway. He said 98 or 99%


of the population, innocent civilians, but a small elite,


working for a multi- cultural goals are legitimate targets. He went on


to say, after the Second World War, 15 leading Nazi sympathisers and


others were sent to psychiatric hospitals for ideological reasons.


This is Norway's dirty secret. Experts are listening to this today


believe it reveals more about Anders Breivik's own state of mind.


What he said today is the closest I have ever heard from him that he


might have paranoid delusions about the way he interprets the reality


around him. To it seems he may have a history of psychiatric problems.


In the 1980s, he and his family lived here in Oslo. When he was


just four years old, they are reported to have spent weeks in


this special centre of Psychiatry for children. If ultimately the


court house here does decide that he is insane, but would mean he


would spend time in a secure or psychiatric ward. For many


Norwegians, but would not be right. They want to see him punished in


prison, not treated for an illness. The inquest into the death of a


British intelligence officer found dead inside a padlocked sports bike


has heard from a former landlady. In a written statement, she told


the inquest she had once and Gareth Williams tied to his own bed.


Gareth Williams, the intelligence officer whose body was found in a


bike. He was described as a very private person. He spent ten years


living in this house while working at GCHQ. His former landlady


describes hearing him cry for help at 1:30am one morning. She and her


husband found him alone in his underwear, embarrassed with his


wrists tied to the bed. My husband said what are you doing. He said he


just wanted to see if he could get free. On 23rd August, 2010, police


found his body in the bath tub of his London flat, near his new


workplace at MI6. He was curled up in the bag in a foetal position,


with the keys underneath them. The bike was locked on the outside,


with police believing someone else was involved. Today, the inquest


heard from a police officer in charge of liaising with the


intelligence agencies. He said his inquiries had found no evidence


that Gareth Williams's death was linked to his work. This afternoon,


former colleagues gave their evidence. His line manager said in


hindsight, he would have done more to try and establish why Gareth


Williams missed one week of meetings and appointments before


police were finally contacted. They give their evidence behind a screen


to protect their identity. Lawyers from his family also question why


spies have not signed witness statements and whether commute --


computer material had been secured before police took possession. More


evidence from former colleagues is expected to take place tomorrow.


The war which ripped apart the West African state of Sierra Leone in


the 1990s was one of the most brutal conflicts of modern time


tens of thousands of civilians were raped, murdered and mutilated.


Giles foods were stolen a small boys were forced to become soldiers.


Tomorrow, an international court in the Hague will deliver its verdict


on a man many believe was responsible for that mayhem,


Charles Taylor, the former president of neighbouring Liberia.


A decade of war and the juice Sierra Leone to a poverty it has


not escaped. In the heart of Freetown, children scavenge in a


rubbish dump for bits of plastic they might sell for pennies. This


patch of land is still known here as the amputee camp. The camp


itself is long gone. In the 1990s, it was home to attempted settlement


of men women and children who had their limbs severed by machete or


axe. This was the signature atrocity of the rebel army, known


as the Revolutionary United Front. The stamped on my foot. I was cut


with an axe. They chop it off. Not in one blow. About five or six


times. He says he had heard Charles Taylor on the radio threatening to


make Sierra Leone the taste the bitterness of war. This is my stone


conviction, that everything that happened here was Charles Taylor's


doing. Charles Taylor was President of Liberia. He has been on trial in


the Hague for the last four years, accused of arming, funding and


directing the RUF. The indictment charges him with terrorising


civilians, unlawful killings, sexual violence, abductions and the


use of child soldiers. At Yonibana, the memory of war is a roar. Rebels


swept through here in a frenzy of burning and looting. There is no


economy here to speak of. 11 and a mix of palm oil by a process


unchanged for hundreds of years. It is essentially Arran age technology.


They are at last rebuilding of the water supply. When it is finished,


it will bring Yonibana back to where it was in the 1970s. A


measure of how the war retarded progress here. But change is coming


at last and it is the Chinese, ever hungry for natural resources, who


will bring it. Chinese money is about to put a rubber plantation


here, and fast pineapple groves and rice fields. Back in Freetown,


there is more evidence of Chinese lead changed. We ran into a camera


shy technician, supervising a road- building project. It is changing


lives here. We're so happy to welcome them. They are training as.


And so glad to work with them. They are good people. One to be trained


you as? Be trained to me. The wheels of economic activity are


working again. There are vast untapped resources here. The red


dust indicates a high concentrations of iron ore. The


London mining company had just reactivated this mine. It has been


dormant and derelict since the 1960s. This land is astonishingly


rich in mineral wealth and used properly it has the potential to


transform this country's fortunes and with it, the lives of the


millions of people who live here. This has been a curse, as well as a


blessing, because this is what brought war to Sierra Leone in the


first place and this is what paid for the war to go on for so long.


It was the diamond mines, not Arran or at that it is alleged brought


Charles Taylor into that the country. The court's verdict will


be eagerly awaited. For the people, it is a milestone on the journey


back from the horrors they lived through.


It sounds like a script from a sci- fi film, a group of billionaire


entrepreneurs are planning to hunt for gold and other precious metals


in space. Film director and explorer James Cameron, as well as


Google's Chief Executive Larry Page urges two of the big names behind


the plan. There are millions of them scattered across the solar


system. Many of these asteroids pass close to earth. They are rich


in gold, platinum and aluminium. They also contain water, which


could be split into hydrogen and oxygen to produce rocket fuel. At a


news conference, a group of entrepreneurs in the US, launched a


company to mind that these asteroids. It is a plan that is


backed by James Cameron as well as the head of Google, Larry Page.


Today I am very proud, along with my colleagues here to be announcing


planetary resources. The vision of planetary resources is to make the


resources of space available to humanity, both in space and here on


earth. The plan is to send a robotic probes to collect and bring


back samples to earth. Similar missions already under way by


government space agencies have cost hundreds of millions of pounds.


Many scientists are sceptical that the company, which needs to raise


finance for its idea, can deliver. Mining on an asteroid may seem a


little far-fetched, but there is one factor that might make this


seemingly science-fiction idea into reality. That is, nearly all the


world's supply of important elements used by the electronics


industry comes from just one place, China. The US in particular feels


uncomfortable but China controls such as strategically important


resource. Asteroid mining will be expensive, but with the earth's


resources dwindling, backers of the plan say they have to try.


If they fail, they can make it into a movie.


Rupert Murdoch has told a British inquiry into media ethics that he


has never asked a prime Minister for anything. Mr Murdoch said he


wanted to end what he called the method that he had used the power


of one of his British newspapers to gain favourable treatment.


The that is all from us today. Next Hello there. We have had a wet and


windy Wednesday as we look to tomorrow's forecast, still low


pressure sitting across the country, so it does stay very unsettled for


many of us. We will have some heavy showers and more persistent rain.


It is due to this low. It is moving its way northwards and we have a


weather front sitting across parts of eastern Scotland and northern


England as we start their stay morning. Here, cloudy skies with


some persistent rain and further south by the afternoon, we have


some showers developing. Yet again, these are likely to be frequent,


heavy with some thunderstorms mixed in. When you get the showers,


temperatures will dip away, but if you are in between the downpours


and you get some sunshine, we could see temperatures of around 12 to 13


degrees. Still some gusty winds around, so a blustery feeling in


the afternoon. Temperatures in Plymouth, around 11 degrees. A


mixture of sunshine and showers across parts of Wales, with some of


the heavier showers across the northern half of the country, there


could be the risk of some localised flooding. For Northern Ireland, to


the South East corner, it is cloudy and damp, but a little bit drier


further north and west. The north- west of Scotland will stay mainly


dry and bright. It is still quite windy here, taking the edge of the


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