26/11/2013 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today, with me Kasia Madera. Will the United


Kingdom be divided? Scottish MPs lay down the case for independence.


A blueprint is released explaining just how it would work, ahead of a


referendum next year. Opponents say the document is a work of fiction.


France scrambles troops towards the Central African Republic, amid


intensifying violence, and fears the country will implode.


Also coming up: Lebanon's liberal reputation under


threat. We uncover evidence of police intimidation towards gay


people. And until recently, no-one knew this


John Constable oil painting even existed. Just where did museum staff


find it? Hello and welcome. The great debate


about the future of Great Britain is heating up. A blueprint for Scottish


independence has been released, detailing just how Scotland would


operate outside the United Kingdom. The plan would see it collect its


own taxes but keep the pound sterling and stay in the European


Union. Scotland joined England to form the


kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. Since 1999, it has had its own


devolved parliament, which allows it to make laws in a limited capacity.


The Scottish National Party is pushing for independence and


outlined today why Scots should make the move. There will be a referendum


next September. For nationalists, the campaign has


moved into an ambitious new phase. The most significant milestone to


date on the long march to independence and the first detailed


account of the character, shape and spirit of the new nation they hope


will soon be born. An independent Scotland could have the eighth


highest economic output and the 10th highest national income per head of


population in the whole of the developed world.


So what would an independent Scotland look like? It would be a


kingdom with the Queen as head of state. It would join NATO but demand


the removal of submarine-born Trident missiles within four years.


It would keep the pound as part of a sterling zone with the rest of the


UK. This is not a final blueprint for independence. It is simply the


Scottish Government's starting point for an 18 month period of


negotiations after a yes vote. It rests on a lot of assumptions. It


assumes, for example, that the EU will accept Scotland as a


continuing, rather than as a new, member. NATO will accept a


nuclear-free Scotland without Trident. But the UK government will


agree to share the pound was an independent Scotland in a currency


union. -- that the UK government. What is the UK government refused to


share the pound? Then an independent Scotland, Alex Salmond told me, my


refused to share but's National Debtline these things follow as


night follows day. Scotland have indicated they willingness in this


document to accept the financing of some of the massive obligations and


liabilities that have been built up Alistair da and George Osbourne.


That is predicated on the share of assets. You have to share both sides


of the balance sheet. -- Alistair Darling. This is a country of two


national identities interwoven. Many here are genuinely torn. Opponents


of independence say Alex Salmond's blueprint is mere wishful thinking.


He has nothing new to say. He simply repeats the assertions and claims he


has been making for years. He says there will be a currency union but


ignores the fact there would have to be a negotiation and any


negotiation, you do not get everything you want. It takes two to


reach an agreement. The same with Europe. The idea that 27 European


countries will roll over and give him everything he wants is nonsense.


There is a danger in this line of attack. For pro-independence


campaigners see this as a battle between the somewhat promise of a


new start and the fearful caution of the status quo. Might that yet swing


it? Joining me from


Our correspondent joins us now from Edinburgh. Is this a blueprint or


wish list? That is precisely what will be debated from now until


referendum day. Some people believe that today we would see almost the


birth of a new nation, that we would see the excitement, if you like, as


the parents of that new nation, the Scottish First Minister and Nicola


Sturgeon, really revealed what it was all about. It was actually a


much more low-key event. It felt like to business executives trying


to reassure at the launch of some exercise in corporate rebranding. I


think there is a good reason for that. The opinion polls still show


that many Scots are sceptical about the case for an entirely new


country. Therefore, a great big document was produced today which in


one sense said that a great deal would change if this country became


independent and yet rather a lot would not change. It would carry on


having the Queen as its head of state, it would continue to have the


pound is currency, it would try to join the EU and join NATO, just like


the UK. Things like pensions, a cause of such concern, would be


played broadly as they are now. -- paid. At the same ten, the


prospective authors, if you give Scotland the power to make its own


decisions and choices, if, for example, this country could stop


spending money on nuclear weapons and choose to spend it on public


services instead, there are a whole series of goodies laid out before


the electorate. You could have more childcare, you could have fairer


taxes, you could have a series of changes designed to make this more


appealing to that broad mass of Scots who are not yet convinced for


an independent Scotland but are not entirely persuaded against it thank


you very much. Nick Robinson there from Edinburgh. We are going to stay


in Edinburgh because we are joined by David Torrance. David, I know


that one of the books that you have written is a biography of Alex


Salmond. You think he has made the case? Not quite. He has certainly


made more of a case on perhaps he had before. The document he unsealed


this morning with Nicola Sturgeon is certainly competence. It is slickly


produced and he can now say, one of people questions at him, but it is


in this document, look under this section. -- that he unveiled this


morning. Of course, the White Paper does not, and could not, and is


unequivocally that there is more information available Mozilla was


before this morning. One criticism was that Alex Salmond


has made lots of assumptions, that he assumes that Scotland will keep


the pound, that Scotland will stay in the EU. This is not a given.


There are lots of different factors in this. No. And there is very


little in the White Paper that could be asserted as an unequivocal fact


for all those reasons. It is dependent on a yes vote and of


course the opinion polls show that is unlikely. At least for the time


being. It is also predicated on the negotiations that would follow a yes


vote, going relatively well and the SNP heading up those negotiations,


getting everything he wanted on currency, defence and so on. It is


also predicated, certainly on the longer term, the aspirational


elements are predicated on the simply being in government in and


dependent Scotland not just for a term but probably for quite a long


time. -- on the SNP being in government.


What about the basics, this question of child care, something that lots


of people would be very pleased to hear about. Apparently this could be


done now. Why not do it now? Nicola Sturgeon was asked that question


this morning and said, not unreasonably, you need full control


of the economic levers in order to push through something on that


scale. That is half true. Much of it could be implemented at the moment.


But the presence of policy commitments like that childcare


proposal did jar slightly, not just because much of it is already


devolved but also because it seemed a little prosaic. Childcare is very


important but a very prosaic way to see this is the compelling case for


the independence of a nation. Do you think that the economy, how well off


people feel that they are, is that going to be the driving force behind


this? Anecdotally and in terms of opinion polls, that seems to be the


dominant issue. Every see people questioned about independence, that


is what they say. How can we afford it? Would be better off? Or would be


worse off? Economic 's dominated this. It is all predicated on an


independent Scotland performing economically very well and its


citizens be better off than they are now. David, at the moment, opinion


polls suggesting that a round 63% of people who vote would vote to stay


within the UK. What is your, if we are going to take a bit on this,


what do you think is going to happen? I think the opinion polls


will not change very much, not as a result of this white paper.


Certainly not until next summer, when things really kick off. Most


people expect there to be some narrowing in the polls. I think that


is almost inevitable. As many have said, many experts on referendums


and elections, in order to stand any chance of winning a referendum like


this, the side proposing a change, in this case the pro-independence


camp, needs to enter with a pretty commanding lead of around ten


points. They are nowhere near that at the moment. Perhaps the White


Paper will help them turn that around. There is little indication


as yet. David, good to talk to you. To other news now. The French


government is scrambling an additional 1,000 soldiers to the


Central African Republic. They will be part of an African Union led


force that is trying to bring stability to a country that is, in


the words of the UN, descending into complete chaos. 10% of the


population have fled their homes and one million people need urgent food


aid. The current crisis began when rebels ousted the President in


March. Damian Zane reports. There is a desperate situation in


parts of the Central African Republic, with little sign of things


getting better. Tens of thousands have sought refuge in this compound


at a Catholic mission. The aid agency MSF says more security is


needed. Right now, we have hundreds of thousands of people estimated, up


to 400,000 people, that have been reading out in the bush for the past


couple of weeks, completely on their own, without access to clean


drinking water, a difficult time for them to reach the sectors. It is a


difficult situation for them right now. On Monday night, the UN tried


to address that situation and the ambassador from the Central African


Republic echo the warnings of other diplomats. TRANSLATION: The report


of the secretary general latest development on the positions adopted


by the French and Americans, will bring about genocide of nothing is


not understand. We need free, transparent credible elections


within two months but it has been threatened within the great


instability. The president has been unable to


control his former rebel allies. The mainly Muslim and -- Muslim militias


and Christian militias have been attacking each other's communities.


There has also been a rise in sexual violence, torture and summary


executions. Without stability and an end to the law and looting, little


progress can be made. The forces need help. The plan is to bolster


their numbers and give it UN backing. Concerns remain about what


will happen to the people while they wait for more soldiers to arrive.


We're also joined by the BBC's David Chazan in Paris. David, these 1000


French troops, do we know where they're going be deployed? We do not


know exactly where but the main idea is for them to restore security in


the capital and also on the main roads leading to neighbouring Chad


and Cameron saw that supplies can be brought in because the aid agencies


are saying there is a severe hunger problem developing. In terms of


France sending troops there, the French minister was saying that if


France does not do it, nobody else will. Is that your understanding? I


think Franz's uniquely placed among the Western powers to do this, not


only is it a former colonial powers or has a good sense of what the


country is like but it also has thousands of soldiers already in


place in the neighbouring countries. Places like Cameroon and


the Ivory Coast. It has a lot of soldiers also on a ship in the Gulf


of Guinea. So France can get these troops into position very rapidly.


France is warning, and the UN as well, that the country is on the


verge of genocide. Do people back in Paris, back in France, today support


this move? This is the second time that France is sending forces into a


former French colony. -- do they support this move? That is right.


France sent thousands of troops to Mali in January in a move that has


been seen as largely successful. A lot of people feel that France will


also be successful in restoring order in the Central African


Republic. But there have already been some criticism from the


centre-right, the UN party, which is asking why the governing Socialists


are making big cuts in the defence budget but sending troops into


another African country. Some people here in France will be wondering why


the Government has decided to do this at a time when the economy is


struggling and unemployment is rising and there are cuts that the


two be made across the. Having said that, there are a lot of people who


will welcome this intervention. -- there are cuts that need to be


made. We think this is France restoring its historic role.


President Putin has hit back at criticism from the EU which has


accused Russia of putting political and economic pressure on Ukraine not


to sign a trade agreement. He said it should end what he called its


sharp words about Ukraine's apparent turn towards Russia. Big crowds


continue to demonstrate against Kiev's decision. Our correspondent


Steve Rosenberg reports on how Ukraine has been torn between East


and West. At the Kiev Opera, it is a story of


love and bitter rivalry. Two suitors, one fair maiden. It is just


like the story of Ukraine. Two world powers, the European Union


and Russia, have been competing for closer ties with Kiev. At who Ian


Bryce? Ukraine has had a big decision to make. On the one hand,


should it an historic trade agreement with the European Union


that would turn this country very much towards Europe? Or should it


look East and join Russia's economic bloc? The pressure on Ukraine to


decide one way or the other has become huge. That includes economic


pressure. Early this year, Russia banned imports from Ukraine's


largest confectioner. And it imposed trade restrictions on the Ukrainian


companies, a strong hint that Kiev should think twice before distancing


itself from Moscow. The whole world clearly understands that the real


reason for these problems is it as a form of pressure on Ukraine because


of the necessity to make a strategic decision about our future


development. But that pressure has had an effect. Last week, Ukraine's


government announced it had put on hold the association agreement with


the EU. It would concentrate instead on repairing economic ties with


Moscow. TRANSLATION: Over the last year,


trade between Russia and Ukraine fell by 25%. That is a huge blow to


our economy. We spoke to officials months ago on how they would


compensate a but all we got were compensations that Ukraine would


profit medium to long-term. The decision by the government has


sparked anger on the streets. In Kiev, pro-EU protesters have clashed


with riot police. They accused the authorities of dragging Ukraine back


to the soviet union. And they demanded the release from Trail of


-- the release from jail of their former opposition leader. If they


are not willing to embrace European standards and values than they are


not willing to play by the rules of the European Union. These protesters


say they will stay on the streets until the Ukraine government chooses


a different path, one that will lead to Europe.


Now a look at some of the day's other news.


Demonstrators in Thailand's capital Bangkok are continuing to target


government ministries, occupying some and surrounding others, in a


protest against the administration of Prime Minister Yingluck


Shinawatra. An arrest warrant has been issued for one of the protest


leaders in connection with the occupation. Meanwhile, the Thai


Parliament is debating a no-confidence motion against Ms


Yingluck. The protesters say they aim to paralyse the government in a


bid to force the Prime Minister to step down.


Here in the UK, a police officer is to be charged with misconduct in


public office. The officer is accused of falsely claiming to have


witnessed a foul- mouthed confrontation between a senior


member of the Government, Andrew Mitchell, and Downing Street police.


Mr Mitchell, who was alleged to have called police "plebs", resigned over


the affair. In total, eight police officers are facing disciplinary


proceedings. Lebanon, with its vibrant nightlife,


is often seen as one of the more liberal countries of the Middle


East. It has a reputation as being relatively tolerant of gay people in


a predominantly conservative region. But campaigners say they're


increasingly concerned that that is changing. Human Rights Watch says it


has evidence that homosexual men are being subjected to abuse by police,


as Sima Kotecha reports from Beirut. Beirut comes alive under darkness.


It's liberal and modern, lined with bars and clubs, and it is where


masculinity matches stereotypes. But this city has an underground gay


scene that is private yet very much alive. Lebanon became the first Arab


country to declassify homosexuality as a disease but it still has


legislation which could be used to criminalise homosexuals. Beirut is


often thought of as a safe haven for gay people across the Arab world. In


some countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia, being homosexual can lead to


the death penalty. But recently, much has happened here that has


revealed cracks in this city's liberal facade. There have been


claims here that police have been subjecting gay people to intrusive


anal testing. This man, who doesn't want to show his face, says he was


arrested for being gay. He claims doctors conducted an intimate


inspection on him to find out if he had had homosexual sex. It was


really demeaning. It made me feel like I don't have body rights. Eye


was repressed for a long time. I was very resentful and just alone. Human


Rights Watch says even though the government has condemned and banned


this kind of testing, it is still going on. Human Rights Watch is very


concerned about the problem of abuse and ill-treatment against gays and


lesbians, bisexual people, transgender people in Lebanon. The


way they are treated by wider society but also the abuse, the


torture and ill-treatment they are subjected to and kept in cells and


attention. We have documented very serious patterns of abuse and that


needs to end. But some people here insist that homosexuality is wrong.


It is male and female and this is the normal life. Male and female,


not male and male or female and female. Being in jail is not enough.


They should tell them they are doing the wrong thing and they should stop


all of this... Erm... This mistake. It is a mistake, after all. These


sorts of views are in line with the religious teachings of Islam but


there is an argument here that people should move with the times.


Recently we reported on a huge haul of Nazi-looted art which contained


hundreds of previously unknown works by masters. Well, now we can tell


you about another discovery. This oil sketch by John Constable has


been uncovered by staff at London's Victoria Albert Museum. They


didn't find it in some long-lost private collection, but hidden


inside another of his works that belongs to the museum.


With me is Estelle Lovatt, who's an art critic here in London. Thank you


very much for coming to speak to us. It is an incredible story, the


fact that this lovely oil sketch was actually not this covered for so


many years but was inside a different painting. Can you tell us


about how it was found? Yes, his daughter left the V most of his


works, over 600 of them, and the conservation Department there had


removed the backing and they were going to put the painting to be


included in an exhibition, and they found it behind the lining, so this


is an extraordinary find. They did see through an X-ray there was


something there but they were not sure what it was, but to find a


sketch like this. The best thing about Constable was his sky


sketches. He is more of a skyscape used than a landscape is. And it is


so beautiful. They have this lovely white quality called Constable


snows. And we in this country never really appreciated his landscapes.


They were not considered high enough or fine enough to be considered fine


art. So he had to exhibit in France. And for the French to tell us, you


have a great painter on your hands! And he was a great impressionist


because he painted an open air. So this is an extraordinary find and


I'm hoping it will rekindle our love of Constable. It is just remarkable


that for so many years nobody knew it existed, but he was known very


well for reusing his canvases or painting on the other side, so maybe


it is not that unusual to find a Constable like this? There are lots


of things to consider. He was quite a mean man, he had seven children to


bring up, he didn't have much of an income from his very wealthy family


because they disapproved firstly of his being a painter and then they


thought his wife was too young to marry, so they kept his money


limited. But also, he never sold that much. He was a contemporary of


Turner's. And then he turned his hand to portraits but they were


awful. So he never really made a living as and artist. But he made a


good living giving lectures on how to paint beautiful clouds. And we


believe these clouds are in North London, Hampstead. You are


absolutely right, yes. And he took his wife there because she was very


ill. And being 400 feet above the city, he thought this was the


cleanest air in London. And this is going to be at the VNA, so we can


all enjoy it? Absolutely. He is an artist who can work very small or


very big. Thank you for talking us through this remarkable find. A John


Constable that has been found hidden within another of his paintings. A


remarkable story. Thank you. From all of us here, thank you for


watching the programme. Don't forget, you can catch up as there is


much more on our website and you can also follow me on Twitter. From all


of us on the team, thank you for watching. Good night.


Good evening. I think we should be virtually frost free tonight as we


have cloudy skies and milder air spreading across the UK around this


big area of high pressure. A warm front is pushing southwards


introducing milder air at least for a time. But producing outbreaks of


rain as well. Fairly light and patchy, mind you, but it will stay


dull, damp and misty around the south of the UK. Temperatures will


pick up to ten or 11 degrees with some sunshine over the Pennines but


across the South,


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