14/01/2014 World News Today


14/01/2014

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This is BBC world news today, with me Philippa Thomas. Egyptians are

:00:09.:00:16.

being urged to vote yes to a new constitution endorsed by the

:00:17.:00:19.

military. We are watching the turnout and the turbulence, we will

:00:20.:00:23.

have the latest from Cairo on day one of the vote.

:00:24.:00:26.

When all the votes have been cast it looks certain to be approved by a

:00:27.:00:29.

comfortable majority. But the key issue is the turnout.

:00:30.:00:33.

President Hollande tells packed news conference this is not the place nor

:00:34.:00:38.

the time to discuss his alleged affair, private means private says

:00:39.:00:41.

the French President. Also coming up, how the booming

:00:42.:00:45.

property market in London is directly affected by economic and

:00:46.:00:49.

political crises from Spain to south Asia. We will talk to the man

:00:50.:00:53.

charting the impact of global affairs on property prices in the UK

:00:54.:01:00.

capital. Poor fellow shot dead lying in all directions. The horrors of

:01:01.:01:05.

World War I, in the words of the soldiers themselves, now their

:01:06.:01:06.

diaries are being published on-line. Hello and welcome, Egyptians are

:01:07.:01:26.

voting on a new constitution which could pave the way for the head of

:01:27.:01:35.

the army to run for President. This is the first vote Since the elected

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President Mohammed Morsi was he overthrown in July. The Muslim

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Brotherhood has been named a terrorist organisation since then

:01:46.:01:49.

and its supporters are boycotting the referendum. Since voting nine

:01:50.:01:55.

protestors have been killed. In central Cairo an eager queue before

:01:56.:02:01.

the polls opened. This is the third constitutional referendum in as many

:02:02.:02:05.

years. And many hope it will bring an end to turmoil and unrest.

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This woman, a housewife, who was one of the first in line. She told us

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she would have queued all night, because the constitution will help

:02:18.:02:25.

Egypt overcome a crisis. I want to for all the people in Egypt to come

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now and say yes and this is the best for our country. It is the first

:02:30.:02:34.

time Egyptians have gone to the polls since their elected President,

:02:35.:02:37.

Mohammed Morsi, was ousted last July. He was removed by the army in

:02:38.:02:44.

a popular low-backed coup. The military wants this vote to endorse

:02:45.:02:49.

his removal. There is steady team of people coming to cast their ballot

:02:50.:02:53.

and more queueing to get in. The referendum is a key test for the

:02:54.:02:58.

authorities. They say the constitution represents the new

:02:59.:03:01.

democratic Egypt. Now when all the votes have been cast it looks

:03:02.:03:04.

certain to be approved by a comfortable majority. But the key

:03:05.:03:10.

issue is the turnout. Especially for the army chief, General Abdel Fattah

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el-Sisi, barely visible in the throng as he inspected a polling

:03:18.:03:21.

station. A convincing result in the referendum could kick-start a

:03:22.:03:25.

presidential bid. He's already shaking hands like a politician. The

:03:26.:03:31.

constitution bolsters the economic and political power of the military.

:03:32.:03:36.

It allows military trials for civilians. But it also promises

:03:37.:03:43.

improved human rights. People were arrested because of these posters.

:03:44.:03:47.

Opponents say they have been silenced and harassed. Putting up

:03:48.:03:51.

these posters calling for a "no" vote, has meant arrest and terrorism

:03:52.:03:55.

charges for seven political activists. Moderate Islamists say

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the authorities are giving voters no option. As long as they are pushing

:04:02.:04:05.

to one direction, which is one choice only, only "yes", it is not a

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referendum or not a democratic process at all. You won't vote? We

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will not vote. And supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood are not voting

:04:18.:04:21.

either, they have been protesting in several locations. The organisation,

:04:22.:04:25.

now declared a terrorist group, has called for a boycott cott of the

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vote, saying the constitution is stained with blood. If it is passed

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as expected, it may harden the divisions here, not heel them. We

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have a Middle East expert with the Brooksings Institution and the Royal

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United Services Institute and he joins us via webcam from Cairo.

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Thank you for being with us on world news today. We heard Orla there

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talking about the turnout being key, what is your reading of the way the

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turnout is looking and how high it would have to be for the general to

:05:02.:05:06.

run for President? It is a little bit early to say what turnout

:05:07.:05:10.

actually looks like, keeping in mind that most of the coverage we have

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seen thus far is really on Cairo. It is not around the country. Polling

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has stopped for today, it is 9.00, tomorrow is still another day, it

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will be a full day and I suspect we won't really be able to tell what

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turnout is like until tomorrow. Some people are comparing turnout at

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certain polling stations and parts of Cairo today, with what it was in

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2012, but there are different numbers of polling stations this

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year as well. So I think it is early for us to start talking about

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turnout. In terms of what is required I don't really know if

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that's the correct question. Regardless of turnout over the next

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couple of days, I think that General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has made his

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calculation and will follow through with it regardless of the turnout.

:05:55.:06:00.

It has been hard to put it mildly, to campaign for a "no" vote, there

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has been repression of that campaign? Absolutely. This is

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something that people need to be very aware of, that while there

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isn't any evidence of ballot box stuffing and things like that a fair

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vote, this definitely is not. The last few days has seen people get

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arrested for campaigning for a "no" vote, and being released eventually,

:06:25.:06:28.

but still being arrested for campaigning in that fashion. The

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apparatus, state TV and private TV has been very, very clear about its

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only presenting one side of the argument, which is to vote for a

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"yes" vote as opposed to a "no", a "fair" referendum it can't be

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called. Do you have a view on whether this constitution is better

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for the people of Egypt than the last one they were presented with?

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There is some marginal differences there are some points about rights

:07:00.:07:04.

that are in this new constitutional draft that weren't there in 2012,

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the military has at least the same amount of protection and autonomous

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position that it had in 2012 as well. That is not particularly

:07:14.:07:17.

different. There are a couple of adjustments there, I don't think

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much in the way of that either. You still have military trials for

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civilian, you still have basic autonomy for the military, from the

:07:25.:07:29.

executive and so on. And the articles are not really the issue

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here. For me the process is far more important, and incidentally people

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are not voting on this constitution, yes, no or boycott, on the basis of

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the articles. That accounts I think for a small proportion of the

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Egyptian population. People who are boycotting and generally boycotting

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because either they don't recognise the legitimacy of the process that

:07:51.:07:53.

brought the vote forward in the first place, that accounts for the

:07:54.:07:56.

brotherhood and their allies, or they are voting "yes" as a sign that

:07:57.:08:01.

they support the military and they oppose the Muslim Brotherhood and

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looking for a more stable situation in Egypt. There hasn't been a

:08:06.:08:10.

referendum in Egypt over the past three years it has come near a "no"

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vote. "Yes "presented as the next stage of doability. Over the last

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few years a huge number of voters want exactly that. Thank you very

:08:23.:08:27.

much for joining us. Thank you. The French President, Francois Hollande,

:08:28.:08:30.

has faced hundreds of journalists at his first news conference since a

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magazine accused him of having a secret affair with an actress. But

:08:35.:08:37.

that is not quite the situation it seems. This was his annual

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conference in which he spoke in great detail about the French

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economy and the Press Pack chose to pose just a single question, on

:08:45.:08:50.

whether his official partner remains the French First Lady. The glamour

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of the big screen, Julie Gayet, the French actress who has stolen the

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heart of the President. Cast in this drama as the femme F atale. Today it

:09:04.:09:11.

was Mr Hollande's turn in the spotlight with the annual meeting

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with the press. The official subject was the economy, cuts of 50 billion

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years in public spending -- euros in public spending. But the big

:09:22.:09:26.

question, what will become of the First Lady, Valerie Trierweiler.

:09:27.:09:29.

TRANSLATION: Everyone in their private life goes through difficult

:09:30.:09:33.

periods. It is true, these are difficult moments, but I have one

:09:34.:09:37.

principle, private matters should be dealt with privately, that's the

:09:38.:09:41.

same for everyone concerned. So this is not the place nor the time to

:09:42.:09:47.

discuss it. But so long as the confusion surrounds the First Lady's

:09:48.:09:51.

position it is likely these questions will continue. Valerie

:09:52.:09:56.

Trierweiler is still in hospital, still "resting". We don't know how

:09:57.:10:00.

many of these secret nights there were, but photographers who tailed

:10:01.:10:05.

Mr Hollande, on his moped, say no-one ever tried to stop them.

:10:06.:10:10.

TRANSLATION: We were there every night, the President was in an

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apartment without any security. Even outside. I even saw the President

:10:15.:10:19.

walk around the block. The public and the private, boundaries blurred

:10:20.:10:24.

by the unnecessary risks Mr Hollande is said to have taken. Right now it

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is the President's judgment that is being debated, not his choice in

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women. Now also in Paris for us, the French cultural commentator. Thank

:10:38.:10:45.

you for joining us, when President Hollande gave his non-answer,

:10:46.:10:49.

answer, at the news conference, was that appropriate to French ears? It

:10:50.:10:55.

was certainly not surprising. We didn't expect him to suddenly open

:10:56.:11:05.

his heart to the French people. We did expect, perhaps a statement,

:11:06.:11:09.

before the press conference, just to clear the way, a way to clarify his

:11:10.:11:15.

position. But because his partner, Valerie Trierweiler, is still in

:11:16.:11:18.

hospital, that was deemed not the right moment to actually issue that

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statement. It did, however, and that's probably the most interesting

:11:23.:11:27.

point on that topic, during his two-and-a-half hours of press

:11:28.:11:35.

conference, that he would clarify his personal situation before going

:11:36.:11:38.

on an official visit to Washington. That is in three weeks time. We

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should know very soon if indeed Valerie Trierweiler remains France's

:11:45.:11:50.

First Lady. Will the public mind or care whether he goes alone to

:11:51.:11:56.

Washington? No, of course not. And perhaps, you know, perhaps he

:11:57.:12:00.

regrets having introduced his partner to the nation at large. She

:12:01.:12:06.

could, probably should have remained in the shadows. It would be easier

:12:07.:12:16.

for him, also don't forget that the concept of First Lady is viewed as

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an American concept in France, and doesn't have any clear status and is

:12:23.:12:27.

a very ill-defined position. It depends on the President in exercise

:12:28.:12:38.

whether to give the first partner any staff or any public function.

:12:39.:12:42.

And yes, let's get to the issue that may well matter more to the French

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people themselves, much of this lengthy news conference was about

:12:47.:12:49.

the economic programme for the country and we're talking about cuts

:12:50.:12:54.

in public spending, cuts in taxes, is this what was expected or does

:12:55.:12:59.

that come as something of a shock? I'm very glad you mentioned the most

:13:00.:13:03.

important part of his press conference. Because he had prepared

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a lot for the third press conference of his presidency. And yes, he did

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announce some interesting policies. You know, there has been talk that

:13:16.:13:21.

for a long time that he's not a socialist really, but a social

:13:22.:13:26.

democrat. I think that was the first policies, Social Democratic policies

:13:27.:13:29.

that he was announcing for the first time since being elected to power.

:13:30.:13:37.

Indeed he has announced 15 billion euros of cuts in public spending.

:13:38.:13:44.

But also a big chunk of social charges that are quite hefty in

:13:45.:13:50.

France and paid by employers that would be simply scrapped. So a lot

:13:51.:13:57.

of things. He also talked about Europe, he talked about

:13:58.:14:02.

unemployment, about anti-semitism in France and also about military

:14:03.:14:08.

operations in Mali and Central African Republic. Let's give you a

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brief look at some of the day's other news. Reports from south Sudan

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say at least 200 people have died in a ferry accident. They boarded the

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overcrowded boat while trying to escape fighting in the city. Rebels

:14:25.:14:29.

loyal to the former deputy President claim they have since captured

:14:30.:14:34.

Malakal from Government forces. A new survey of lions has found they

:14:35.:14:39.

could face extinction in west Africa, fewer than 400 are left in

:14:40.:14:43.

the region. The research was carried out in 17 countries, from Senegal to

:14:44.:14:48.

Nigeria, taking more than six years. With fewer than 250 lions of

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breeding age left, there are concerns the entire population could

:14:53.:15:01.

disappear. A doctor in northern China has been given a suspended

:15:02.:15:05.

death sentence for stealing new born babies and selling them to child

:15:06.:15:08.

traffickers. The obstetrician convinced the parents that their

:15:09.:15:11.

babies had serious health problems and should be cared for by the

:15:12.:15:22.

state. Paraded in front of a courtroom, Dr Zhang Shuxia was

:15:23.:15:27.

convicted of selling seven infants to a child trafficking ring. She

:15:28.:15:32.

received a suspended death prison, usually changed to life in prison

:15:33.:15:35.

after two years of good behaviour. It was at this hospital where the

:15:36.:15:38.

respected obstetrician had lied to new parents, telling them their new

:15:39.:15:41.

borns were seriously ill. If they handed their children over to the

:15:42.:15:44.

state, families were told, the babies would receive the expensive

:15:45.:15:48.

medical care they needed. When police broke up the ring, seven

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healthy new borns had already been sold, leading to multiple arrests.

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And several triumphant home Cummings, as police returned the

:15:58.:16:02.

abducted children to their rightful parents. All except one child, sold

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for just $165, abandoned by the traffickers. Some outraged Chinese

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citizens argued that the doctor should die for her crimes. In this

:16:16.:16:19.

country where child trafficking is relatively common, a suspended death

:16:20.:16:25.

sentence is too lenient, they said. The Nigerian authorities say 30

:16:26.:16:29.

people have been killed by a bomb explosion in the north eastern city

:16:30.:16:33.

of Maiduguri. The blast ripped through a packed market in t early

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afternoon, causing panic as people tried to flee the scene on foot and

:16:39.:16:43.

by car. Some reports suggest the bomb was planted in a motor Rick

:16:44.:16:48.

saw, or a sack abandoned by a stall. The Islamist group, Boko Haram said

:16:49.:16:53.

it carried out the attack. The British Government has ordered an

:16:54.:16:55.

urgent investigation into whether the UK was involved in deadly raid

:16:56.:17:03.

on a Sikh temple in the Indian city of Amritza in 1984. Recently

:17:04.:17:08.

unclassified documents suggest that an SAS officer advised Indian

:17:09.:17:13.

authorities prior to the storming of the Golden Temple where hundreds

:17:14.:17:20.

died. The storming of the Golden Temple in the area angered Sikhs

:17:21.:17:24.

around the world, who blamed Indian troops for violating their holyist

:17:25.:17:31.

shrine. Now documents released under the 30-year rule, apparently show

:17:32.:17:34.

the British were involved. One Foreign Office letter says "with the

:17:35.:17:39.

Prime Minister's agreement, an SAD officer has visited India and drawn

:17:40.:17:42.

up a plan, which has been approved by Mrs Gandhi". There appears to be

:17:43.:17:48.

a typing error that should read SAS. The letter warns it could increase

:17:49.:17:52.

violence in India and warns it might also therefore increase tension in

:17:53.:17:56.

the Indian community here. Particularly if knowledge of the SAS

:17:57.:18:00.

involvement were to become public. Some MPs believe all the evidence of

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British involvement must now be released. I think there are further

:18:05.:18:09.

documentation, what we want is a full, candid, disclosure of all

:18:10.:18:16.

explanations so we can get to the bottom exactly what happened here.

:18:17.:18:20.

Even after 30 years Sikhs here in Britain want to know the truth about

:18:21.:18:25.

what happened at Amritza, we are told neither David Cameron or the

:18:26.:18:28.

Foreign Secretary, William Hague, were aware of the documents

:18:29.:18:30.

suggesting Britain's involvement until they were published. But that

:18:31.:18:34.

they do understand the very legitimate concerns that will be

:18:35.:18:38.

raised by the revelations. At the largest Sikh temple outside India,

:18:39.:18:42.

in Southall west London a community leader welcomed the Prime Minister's

:18:43.:18:46.

decision to ask the cabinet secretary to investigate. This is a

:18:47.:18:55.

holy place. For any religion, it is a heart-breaking thing. These things

:18:56.:18:59.

do not go out from your mind. It is not a small thing. That is why if

:19:00.:19:05.

the truth has come out, at least people know. Last year David Cameron

:19:06.:19:10.

became the first serving British Prime Minister to visit the Golden

:19:11.:19:17.

Temple. He is keen to focus on the historic and cultural ties with

:19:18.:19:21.

Sikh, but now he's under pressure to uncover more about Britain's role in

:19:22.:19:25.

an event which is seared into their history. London is a property hot

:19:26.:19:33.

spot, viewed by many around the world as a safe bet when it comes to

:19:34.:19:37.

real estate, now a new study has found that conflicts, turmoil and

:19:38.:19:41.

general instability outside the UK have a direct impact on the price

:19:42.:19:46.

paid for bricks and mortar here in the British capital. The study was

:19:47.:19:53.

put together by the Business Cool of the University of Oxford, they found

:19:54.:20:01.

that property here recorded the largest increases. The same patterns

:20:02.:20:05.

can be seen with troubles in Egypt and Greece, another part of their

:20:06.:20:09.

research looks at London's wealthiest areas, places like

:20:10.:20:12.

Knightsbridge, the study concluding that China had the biggest impact on

:20:13.:20:17.

the city's highend real estate prices. Instability in Russia and

:20:18.:20:22.

Libya also pushed prices up in London's premier property market.

:20:23.:20:29.

With me is a representative from the Business School of the University of

:20:30.:20:33.

Oxford. You co-authored the report, we know about the idea as property

:20:34.:20:37.

as a safe haven and safe investment, you go beyond that don't you? That's

:20:38.:20:42.

right, our launching off point is London is not a big non-know lithic

:20:43.:20:46.

eptity but composed of many little region, because we all live in parts

:20:47.:20:50.

of London, we don't live in the whole place. You can link and map

:20:51.:20:54.

particular parts of London to particular foreign countries, either

:20:55.:20:58.

by using things like the language, the principal language spoken in the

:20:59.:21:02.

regions or the share of residents that originate from those countries.

:21:03.:21:07.

That is our launching off point for this particular thing. Some of the

:21:08.:21:11.

research that you have come up with, for example, looks at southern

:21:12.:21:15.

Europe, Italy, Spain, Greece and normally people talk about maybe the

:21:16.:21:19.

Chinese or Arab money, but southern Europe and the euro crisis features

:21:20.:21:24.

highly? One of the ways to think about this is when political

:21:25.:21:30.

uncertainty went up in Spain, the prices came up in London across the

:21:31.:21:34.

board, but specifically regions linked to Spain, such as high-income

:21:35.:21:41.

areas, such as St John's Wood, would have appreciated. But areas like

:21:42.:21:45.

King's Cross would have appreciated at the same time, they have also a

:21:46.:21:49.

high share of Spanish residents. So it is an uncertainty, as you say, in

:21:50.:21:54.

southern Europe, because it is a large factor in the real estate

:21:55.:21:59.

prices. It is not just the real estate priority, looking at the

:22:00.:22:03.

Shard in London, it is owned by Qatar, but you have also looked at

:22:04.:22:07.

lower income areas, and they are still influenced by nationalities

:22:08.:22:11.

who tend to cluster. Absolutely, that's right. You do see the usual

:22:12.:22:14.

effects that you would have expected to see in Mayfair or Knightsbridge

:22:15.:22:19.

or the popular areas and wealthy areas, but you also see effects in

:22:20.:22:26.

areas which are also inhabited by clusters of regional communities.

:22:27.:22:29.

One of the reassuring things of the research is we show the effects are

:22:30.:22:32.

not permanent. One of the things people tend to think about safe

:22:33.:22:35.

haven effects, that they push prices up and prices stay up forever. That

:22:36.:22:39.

is not the case. When political uncertainty rises prices go up, when

:22:40.:22:44.

the uncertainty dissipates prices go back down over one or two years.

:22:45.:22:48.

That suggests a pattern of people moving their capital in and out of

:22:49.:22:54.

London and not taking up residence in London. Which means you get back

:22:55.:22:58.

to what Londoners say that a lot of homes are not actually homes? That I

:22:59.:23:02.

suppose is a very true statement that you are making there. Another

:23:03.:23:06.

way to sort of portray that, perhaps, is the fact that while

:23:07.:23:10.

these effects are temporary on the prices of houses. It reaches the

:23:11.:23:17.

local community which is the internationalisation of London,

:23:18.:23:19.

which perhaps is a very nice thing about this. It is fascinating,

:23:20.:23:24.

London is one of those global cities, thank you very much for

:23:25.:23:27.

coming to talk it all through with me.

:23:28.:23:31.

Now it was called the war to end all war, those who fought it lived

:23:32.:23:35.

through brutality that was almost impossible for families back home to

:23:36.:23:38.

imagine. But now, for the first time, many of the diaries written by

:23:39.:23:43.

soldiers written on the frontline are being published by the National

:23:44.:23:48.

Archives here. 300,000 pages of personal testimony released so far.

:23:49.:24:00.

A picture of the war itself. "Here I sit outside our headquarters' trench

:24:01.:24:04.

in the sun. All should be nice and peaceful and pretty what it actually

:24:05.:24:09.

is, is beyond description. Trenches, ammunition tool, caps et cetera, et

:24:10.:24:14.

cetera, everywhere, poor fells shot dead are lying in all directions."

:24:15.:24:21.

Thousands of war diaries, 1. 5 million separate documents. Once the

:24:22.:24:26.

fodder for authors and researchers, now they are available for the first

:24:27.:24:31.

time at the click of a mouse. "The order to retire was at last given...

:24:32.:24:37.

" These are the last days of the men in a giant army, the attacks, the

:24:38.:24:43.

food, the horrific casualties, neatly typed on to official military

:24:44.:24:48.

forms and stored away for decades. The names carved on to our local war

:24:49.:24:53.

memorials are the most obvious reminders of the war, all of us will

:24:54.:24:56.

have a direct connection with somebody who served in this

:24:57.:24:59.

conflict. The hope is that these diaries released into the public

:25:00.:25:02.

domain will give more and more people the opportunity to follow a

:25:03.:25:11.

personal trail. This is Operation War Diary, under way at a school in

:25:12.:25:16.

Southampton. Students reading the unseen documents are tagging names

:25:17.:25:19.

and events, adding to their own knowledge and improving the

:25:20.:25:23.

archive's search engine. They talk about their supplies from the battle

:25:24.:25:29.

for their cooking. From the sounds of it they are getting quite annoyed

:25:30.:25:32.

because their supplies aren't reaching all the way through. It

:25:33.:25:36.

just shows you what happens behind the scenes and how these men

:25:37.:25:39.

actually lived and what the quality of their lives were at that time.

:25:40.:25:43.

You read it and you take it in but when you then have to specifically

:25:44.:25:47.

point out things, it again just immerses you even more. Holes where

:25:48.:25:53.

shells had struck, branches torn off trees by the explosion. Everywhere

:25:54.:25:58.

the same hard, grim, pitiless sign of battle and war. I have had a

:25:59.:26:04.

belly full of it. Ghastly, absolutely ghastly.

:26:05.:26:08.

The eyewitnesses have left us, but they survive through the curling

:26:09.:26:15.

pages of their final observations. Just time to remind you of our main

:26:16.:26:19.

news, Egyptians are voting on a new constitution that could pave the way

:26:20.:26:23.

for the head of the army to run for President. It is the first vote

:26:24.:26:27.

since General El-Sisi overthrew Egypt's elected President, Mohammed

:26:28.:26:33.

Morsi in July. Muslim Brotherhood supporters are boycotting the

:26:34.:26:37.

referendum. And we have been reminded on the programme that it

:26:38.:26:41.

has been very difficult for those opposed to the new constitution to

:26:42.:26:45.

air their views in public. Thank you for joining me on World News Today.

:26:46.:27:01.

Much more cloud across the country, outbreaks of rain for

:27:02.:27:02.

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