07/11/2013 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today with me Philippa Thomas.


Britain's three spy chiefs make an unprecedented televised appearance


together in public. The heads of MI5, MI6 and the eavesdropping


agency GCHQ say the revelations about electronic spying techniques


have been deeply damaging to their work. Our adversaries are rubbing


their hands with glee. Al-Qaeda is lapping it up.


Twitter shares go sky high after going public on the New York Stock


Exchange. But how will the microblogging site move into profit?


Also coming up - We take you inside the crippled Fukushima power station


where engineers are attempting to remove hundreds of nuclear fuel


rods. We have to get these rods out into


storage. And a new battle for the mayor of Toronto.


Hello and welcome. Britain's three spy chiefs have appeared together in


public - in front of politicians and the cameras - for the first time.


The heads of MI6, GCHQ and MI5 were questioned about whether they


intrude too far into our private communications. They, in turn,


declared that terrorist networks were "rubbing their hands with glee"


over the recent revelations from American analyst Edward Snowden Her


security correspondent was watching. Not long ago the identity of these


three men would have been secret. Their job to spy for Britain and run


its three intelligence agencies Andrew Parker is the head of MI ,


dealing with domestic threats like terrorism. Sir John Sawers is the


chief of MI6, collecting intelligence abroad. Sir Iain Lobban


is the director of GCHQ which monitors global communications. All


three warned of the threats they see, especially from terrorism. More


British citizens have been killed overseas in 2013 then the previous


years combined. Our job is hard and it is getting harder. There have


been 34 plots towards terrorism which had been disrupted in this


country. GCHQ has been in the spot light recently with questions over


whether there been using surveillance capability against


ordinary people and just terrorists. The head of agency said


it was not listening to every phonecalls, leading to a question


from Sir Malcolm Rifkind. The British public are not entitled to


hear what you have shared with the committee today? I believe certain


methods should remain secret. I do not think secret means sinister The


concerns came as a result of weeks from former Americans by Edward


Snowden. The chiefs said they had seen terrorist groups in the Middle


East and closer to home trying to learn from his revelations and


security had been undermined. The leaks from Snowden have been very


damaging. They have put our operations at risk. It is clear that


our adversaries are rubbing their hands with glee. Al-Qaeda Israelite


thing it up. -- Al-Qaeda is lapping it up. Syria is a major concern with


what is called terrorism tourism. We have seen hundreds of people from


this country go to Syria and come back, other large lubbers are still


there and get involved in the fighting. An hour and a half and the


public appearance was over. It was not a grilling. No secrets got


spilled. Those of up there and the public at large got a glimpse at


what Britain's spies are really like. Most of what they do will


however continue to be secret. Joining me now from Westminster is


Lord Reid. He's a former Labour Home Secretary and Defence Secretary and


now a Principal at the Chertoff Group. Thank you for joining us


Where you satisfied with the justification today for the scale


and surveillance we now know we are all under? Yes, I think a lot of


people will have learned from the hearing as well. There was a time


when communication between terrorists or International Criminal


Court took place between a and B along a wire which could be tapped.


The world has changed. It is not the objective of the agencies or the


legal framework, but the world has changed. People now communicate by


text, over the internets, through web pages and the key thing about


all of them is they are transnational. They are global and


go round the world, just the same way this interview can go all round


the world. The task is infinitely harder for the intelligence services


and they have to have some degree of coverage. Secondly, most of the


international plot against citizens in this country cover more than one


country. When I was Home secretary, almost every plot we tried to


investigate and prevents involve people in at least two countries and


in one case actors in 20 countries. The hearings today give an


indication of the scale and challenge which has faced by the


intelligence services and an excellent nation of why they are


doing what they are doing. It is such a change world, but the last


major piece of legislation about the way in which surveillance can be


carried out was passed in 2000, time for an update? These things have to


be kept under constant review. The fundamentals of the legislation are


still relevant. They are that if you want to discover who is in contact


with whom, when you are following a terrorist suspect, I do not mean


listening to the content of their calls, there is a ready framework


for doing that. If you want to go further and read the messages or go


into the phone call and listen to it, you have to have personal


authority from the home secretary and one other Secretary of State. We


have been assured by the Forum secretary that those two elements of


law are still applicable. They are still fundamentally principal legal


basis, despite the fact that the scale of the challenge and


operations has been enlarged. I ll means keep it under review, but


under mentally everyone is still operating under the rule of law


Remember, they are also under the scrutiny not only of the


intelligence committee, but the scrutiny of ministers because they


have to sign warrant and under the information Commissioner who can


review what the secretaries of State and the agencies are doing. And of


course now in public. There is a wide gamut of scrutiny and


accountability. Thank you very much for your time. Thank you.


One new target for security agencies will be the new leader of the


Pakistan Taliban. He's been named as Mullah Fazlullah, a hardline


commander from the Swat area and the man who planned the attack on


teenage activist Malala Yousafzai. His predecessor Hakimullah Mehsud


was killed in a drone attack last Friday.


This is the man apparently now in control of the Pakistan Taliban


Mullah Fazlullah is regarded as being even more brutal than his


predecessor. One of his more recent targets was this army general. He


was visiting troops along the Pakistan, Afghan border in


September. He and two other soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb.


Mullah Fazlullah accuses the Pakistan army, intelligence agencies


and the politicians of taking orders from what he calls infidels, another


worse the West. In 2007, his fighters took control of the swat


Valley and imposed an extremely harsh regime. Punishments from


flogging is to be were carried out in public. He and his fighters were


eventually pushed out by the army. The attacks since what still


continue. The teenager Malala Yousafzai was amongst the victims,


shot in the head for promoting education for girls. She survived


after treatment in Britain. The announcement today that Mullah


Fazlullah is to become the new leader of the Pakistan Taliban will


be greeted with dismay by the vast majority of people here. Not least


because the militants have also announced they now reject the


government's tentative proposals for peace stocks.


-- piece box. == peace talks. It was one of the year's most keenly


anticipated stock market flotations and Twitter today exceeded


expectations - its shares opening on the New York Stock Exchange almost


73% above the price set ahead of its trading debut. It's the biggest


market launch for a technology firm since Facebook went public in May


last year. Our technology correspondent Rory Cellan Jones


reports. Twitter takes flight on the New York stock exchange. Top actors


signalled the start of trading. On the floor of the exchange, one of


the founders of Twitter captures the excitement. Tweeting a video as the


share price soldiers. It is such a simple tool yet people have done so


many amazing things with that will stop the Twitter team has spent the


last few weeks explaining to investors why a company which has


yet to make a profit will be a great bet. It all began in 2006 with his


tweet from one of the founders of Twitter in now has more than 25


million users, ranging from presidents to celebrities. Twitter


even tweeted the details of its own shares feel. Now it has to prove it


is a serious business. Investors are already showing great faith that


Twitter can start making big profits. That means users could soon


find plenty of adverts amongst their tweets. With me is Lea Simpson,


Strategy Director of THINK - a digital agency that consults on


technology and social media. Are you as excited as the market is with


this share price shooting up their smack I am excited. I'm a little bit


disappointed that I did not buy shares myself. Especially when you


contrast it with Facebook. Why is the valuation is so high when there


are not yet making a profit as a company? I think the issue every


chance of making a profit. Their early days of growth is probably


what has driven the price up, their glory days are ahead of them. This


book was making a profit. So it is all about potential, what they can


do. What strategy do you think they have in mind to make revenue?


Advertising is still the biggest revenue source for Twitter. There


are lots of things they can do to make a more targeted and local.


Aside from that, they can make data please towards commerce. There is


the programme underway with American Express. Content distribution is


another way to make money. Mobile phone advertising is a rapid growth


area of residence. It is. This year shopping on mobiles overtook


shopping on computers. Exciting times for them in commerce I


imagine. There was a report this week in America which said, look at


the demographic, people who use Twitter tend to be younger and


better educated than those who use Facebook, that is a massive


generalisation of mine, but potentially there is a lot of money


on it? Yes, they are potentially more upwardly mobile. That is what


advertisers are looking for. There are opportunities still to be


capped. Ironically, they say there are more users on Facebook. At the


types of user on Twitter is more valuable perhaps in the long run. I


use Twitter, if you get promoted tweets, you think of it as a


community, not a consumer on it That is a danger all social media


can alienate their users by pushing commerce out there. Yes, the biggest


challenge for the management team will be how they balance the drive


to commercial value with their user experience and the integrity of


their platform. I talk to clients about thinking about how to promote


tweets. I wonder if Twitter could turn that into an advantage for


them. There could be a revenue opportunity where you can pay to


take adverts out of your Twitter stream. So that could be a revenue


stream as well. Thank you very much for joining us. The embattled Mayor


of Toronto, Rob Ford, faces fresh embarrassment, days after admitting


crack cocaine whilst on a drunken binge. Another recording has emerged


within the last few hours showing a mere world in an apparently agitated


state staggering and making threats. Here's an extract in which we have


edited out swearing. No holds barred! He dies I did! I'll


claw his eyes out. Make sure he is dead. It will be over in five


minutes. After that was published he had to


come out and face the media outside his office. I wanted to tell you


that I saw the video. It is extremely embarrassing. The whole


world will see it. I don't have a problem with that, but it is


extremely embarrassing. Obviously I was extremely, extremely inebriated.


That is all I have to say. We can speak to the BBC


correspondent in Toronto. You were at that news conference. I surprised


he is still the mayor. What are the people of the city seeing? Everybody


I have spoken to is surprised he is still the mayor.


But he is. He is working in his office right now behind me. As you


showed that footage, that scrum outside of his office, he came out


not for very long and responded to the video, quite quickly after it


was published. It was published by a newspaper here. That was all he had


to say. It was only other in the week that he was at a news


conference conflating that he smoked crack McCain. -- confessing that he


smoked crack cocaine. Yasser Arafat's widow has told the


BBC that the latest scientific report on his death proves that he


was assassinated. Swiss scientists concluded that samples from the late


Palestinian leader's remains showed a level of the radioactive substance


polonium 210, 18 times higher than normal. Among Palestinians, rumours


have persisted about how exactly you some of died nine years ago. --


Yasser Arafat. So little surprise at the findings by Swiss scientist that


they say moderately sub bought the idea he was poisoned with a


radioactive substance. -- moderately support. This kind of thing has


happened in the past. Whether by helicopter attacks, Apache attacks,


or poisoning. If the experts say that, why disbelieve it? It makes


even more sense. Nobody is surprised. We blame Israel, of


course. Back in 2004 it was towards the end of the second Palestinian


uprising, Israeli forces had surrounded and partly destroyed this


building when the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, suddenly fell


ill. Israel has always denied any involvement in his death. But one


year ago amidst new reports that he might have him killed, his body was


exuding and samples were taken away for tests. Palestinian officials are


not yet commenting on the results of the latest research. They say they


will release the results of their own investigation very soon.


Professor Malcolm Sperrin is Director of Medical Physics at the


Royal Berkshire Hospital and an expert on polonium. I should ask you


first, what is the lethal dose? The lethal dose of polonium is very


very small. A sub microgram. About 250,000 times more toxic than


cyanide. The lethal dose would be something comparable to a small


grain of table salt. Extremely toxic. Could the symptoms be


mistaken for something else? The symptoms, you would have to look


back and see what he was suffering from at the time. But what you would


expect from polonium, it the case with an half-life of 130 days. - it


decays with a half-life. When tests well done you we would be looking


and very much less than 1,000,0 0th of the amount of polonium if in fact


it was Kevin. Was given. There are obviously very many sources of


lead, which polonium decays to. It comes very difficult to extrapolate


back and come up with an unambiguous answer. In the Lehmans terms, it


sounds as if what you are seeing is that a suspect may have been found,


a small amount. -- is Beck -- spec. It can be found in very small


amounts. I don't doubt that has been found but it may have other origins.


There are other possibilities. They need to be taken into account. Which


is why I suggest the forensic scientist are putting caution over


this particular conclusion. It sounds like it will be hard to have


a definitive conclusion. If you were able to question these experts, what


questions would you ask? I would like to see the data they have got.


I don't suppose I will. But I would like to. Just to discuss what other


possibilities are the aha. Without being too gruesome about it, in


eight years, a body will DK substantially. -- decay. If a degree


of that has occurred, you lose that evidence. On balance of probability,


polonium poisoning, idea as it is one possibility. But there will be


others. -- I dare say. Now a look at some of the days other


news. Gay people who think they might be imprisoned in their home


country because of their sexuality have been told they can seek asylum


in Europe. The European Court of Justice made the ruling after it was


asked for clarification by the Netherlands, where three gay men


from Africa have applied for asylum. The most powerful typhoon of the


year is fast-approaching the central Philippines as thousands of people


evacuate from villages. Super typhoon Haiyan is generating gusts


of 330 kilometres an hour and it's full force will be felt on Friday.


President Aquino is warning people to leave high-risk areas, including


100 coastal communities where forecasters said the storm surge


could reach up to seven metres. It is going to be a task of


extraordinary delicacy and danger, but engineers at Japan's Fukushima


nuclear plant are beginning a key step to finally stabilise the first


of the damaged reactors. There are more than 1000 nuclear rods. No one


knows their condition or how stable they are. Each rod is a four


metre-long tube containing uranium pellets. It's essential these tubes


remain immersed in water inside casks as they are moved. The fear is


some, or many, are damaged. Removing each batch of rods will take 7- 0


days. They'll be placed in a newly built pool which has a cooling


system. Our correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes is one of a small


group of journalists allowed inside reactor building four - for the


first time since the disaster. This is really why we have been brought.


I am standing on what used to be reactor number four. It was blown


apart by a huge explosion after the sin nanny. -- tsunami. But still a


vast amount of nuclear fuel down there. Those fuel rods have to come


out. This whole building is still not entirely stable, so they have


got to get them out, into safe storage. The machine they are going


to use is currently being built Over behind this white tank. It is a


very complicated use of machinery. It has to do a very delicate task,


getting these fuel rods out. They will be lifted on the screen, built


over the top. -- this train. All of this has been built in the last six


months. The reason they can do this job is because the radiation levels


in this building are relatively low. They are essentially doing the job


that they can do to decommission this reactor. But the others, the


radiation levels are still far too high for people to even go inside.


They still don't know how they will decommission those three reactors.


When we were inside reactor number four my monitor was reading about


250 counts her second. This behind me as reactor number three. As we


drove past that the radiation readings shot up to more than 2 00


counts of a second. That is the problem. Those reactors are still


too radioactive for anybody to go inside and start decommissioning.


Thank you very much. Good evening. We have a chilly night ahead.


Further showers around. Sunshine on the way tomorrow. Let's look at the


big picture. Quite a brisk wind coming in from the west. Picking


lots of moisture and producing these showers. They will increase in


frequency overnight. Some will affect southern areas. Tomorrow a


more persistent area of rain coming into south-east England. 3pm in the


afternoon, some of the rain looks heavy, just in time for the evening


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