07/11/2013 World News Today


07/11/2013

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


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This is BBC World News Today with me Philippa Thomas.

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Britain's three spy chiefs make an unprecedented televised appearance

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

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agency GCHQ say the revelations about electronic spying techniques

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

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

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

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

:00:41.:00:44.

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

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where engineers are attempting to remove hundreds of nuclear fuel

:00:48.:01:05.

rods. We have to get these rods out into

:01:06.:01:13.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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over the recent revelations from American analyst Edward Snowden Her

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

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

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

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

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chief of MI6, collecting intelligence abroad. Sir Iain Lobban

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is the director of GCHQ which monitors global communications. All

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

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British citizens have been killed overseas in 2013 then the previous

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

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been 34 plots towards terrorism which had been disrupted in this

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

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whether there been using surveillance capability against

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ordinary people and just terrorists. The head of agency said

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Where you satisfied with the justification today for the scale

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

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

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when communication between terrorists or International Criminal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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international plot against citizens in this country cover more than one

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

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investigate and prevents involve people in at least two countries and

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

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indication of the scale and challenge which has faced by the

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intelligence services and an excellent nation of why they are

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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law are still applicable. They are still fundamentally principal legal

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

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

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under mentally everyone is still operating under the rule of law

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

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intelligence committee, but the scrutiny of ministers because they

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have to sign warrant and under the information Commissioner who can

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

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

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

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

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

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

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teenage activist Malala Yousafzai. His predecessor Hakimullah Mehsud

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was killed in a drone attack last Friday.

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

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Mullah Fazlullah is regarded as being even more brutal than his

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

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was visiting troops along the Pakistan, Afghan border in

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

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Mullah Fazlullah accuses the Pakistan army, intelligence agencies

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

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

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Valley and imposed an extremely harsh regime. Punishments from

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

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

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continue. The teenager Malala Yousafzai was amongst the victims,

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

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after treatment in Britain. The announcement today that Mullah

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

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

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because the militants have also announced they now reject the

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government's tentative proposals for peace stocks.

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

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anticipated stock market flotations and Twitter today exceeded

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

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

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

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last year. Our technology correspondent Rory Cellan Jones

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

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

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

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

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

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last few weeks explaining to investors why a company which has

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

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

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million users, ranging from presidents to celebrities. Twitter

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

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

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

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

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Strategy Director of THINK - a digital agency that consults on

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Advertising is still the biggest revenue source for Twitter. There

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

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

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the programme underway with American Express. Content distribution is

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

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

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shopping on computers. Exciting times for them in commerce I

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

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

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

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

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

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advertisers are looking for. There are opportunities still to be

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

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

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

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

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

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

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to commercial value with their user experience and the integrity of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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minutes. After that was published he had to

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

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

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

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extremely embarrassing. Obviously I was extremely, extremely inebriated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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was assassinated. Swiss scientists concluded that samples from the late

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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uprising, Israeli forces had surrounded and partly destroyed this

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building when the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, suddenly fell

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

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

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

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

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will release the results of their own investigation very soon.

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Professor Malcolm Sperrin is Director of Medical Physics at the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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is why I suggest the forensic scientist are putting caution over

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

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

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

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

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

:22:42.:22:43.

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

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

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

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

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

:23:20.:23:22.

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

:23:23.:23:26.

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

:23:27.:23:29.

asked for clarification by the Netherlands, where three gay men

:23:30.:23:32.

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

:23:33.:23:35.

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

:23:36.:23:38.

evacuate from villages. Super typhoon Haiyan is generating gusts

:23:39.:23:41.

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

:23:42.:23:44.

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

:23:45.:23:47.

100 coastal communities where forecasters said the storm surge

:23:48.:23:53.

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

:23:54.:23:56.

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

:23:57.:23:59.

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

:24:00.:24:03.

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

:24:04.:24:06.

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

:24:07.:24:09.

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

:24:10.:24:14.

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

:24:15.:24:19.

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

:24:20.:24:24.

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

:24:25.:24:27.

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

:24:28.:24:30.

group of journalists allowed inside reactor building four - for the

:24:31.:24:40.

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

:24:41.:24:48.

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

:24:49.:24:51.

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

:24:52.:25:01.

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

:25:02.:25:11.

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

:25:12.:25:14.

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

:25:15.:25:20.

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

:25:21.:25:28.

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

:25:29.:25:33.

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

:25:34.:25:44.

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

:25:45.:25:49.

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

:25:50.:25:56.

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

:25:57.:26:00.

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

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

:26:08.:26:12.

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

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

:26:22.:26:26.

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

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

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

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too radioactive for anybody to go inside and start decommissioning.

:26:44.:26:46.

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

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

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

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

:27:16.:27:21.

frequency overnight. Some will affect southern areas. Tomorrow a

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

:27:28.:27:34.

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

:27:35.:27:35.

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