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This is BBC World News Today. The trial of four suspects in the
assassination of the Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005
begins. He was killed in a bombing explosion in Beirut. The defendants
linked to Hezbollah are being tried in absentia.
We never seek vengeance. Hopefully by the end of this trial we will
find out the truth and we will get the justice for Lebanon.
One of the most senior officials at the Vatican is questioned strongly
by a special UN panel on its failure to protect children from abuse by
East 's. Also coming up, three films top the
nominations for the Oscars and we look at their chances of winning
those prized trophies. And depression and how to survive
it. That advice was offered by the late comedian Spike Milligan. Now it
seems he wasn't alone as new research links comic genius to
mental illness. Hello and welcome. It has taken
nearly a decade is to get to this stage. Mine lay a special UN
tribunal in the Hague has begun the trial in absentia of four defendants
linked to Hezbollah or the assassination of Lebanese Prime
Minister Rafiq Hariri nine years ago. He did love with 21 others when
his convoy was blown in Beirut. Each of the four suspects have been
identified but not apprehended. We ask what chances there are of them
ever being brought to justice. A long-awaited trial has begun but
none of the accused are in sight. The special tribunal is the first
international court since the Nuremberg trials to try suspects in
absentia. For individuals associated with the Lebanese party Hezbollah.
The prosecution says it is confident they are responsible for the killing
of the former Prime Minister of Lebanon, Rafiq Hariri, and 21 other
people. The attackers used an extraordinary
quantity of explosives, far more than was needed to kill their
target. Clearly the intention was to spread a message and panic among the
people. Among those present in court was the son of the former Prime
Minister. He told journalists that he came to
seek justice, not revenge. We never seek vengeance and
hopefully by the end of this trial we will find out the truth and we
will get the justice that we called for an Lebanon.
This is only the start of what is expected to be a long trial. The
onus is on the prosecution to prove the guilt of the suspects in the
first international tribunal ever to try individuals on charges of
terrorism. The defence team seems ready to hit back.
TRANSLATION: The first unexpected thing will be the words of the
defence lawyers on Monday because you can imagine they have lots to
answer for. Since the killing of Rafiq Hariri
many others have been killed in Lebanon. Many hope this tribunal
will put an end to the trouble. But others fear it has become and others
-- another source of political turmoil.
Let us discuss this more. Faysal Itani is a fellow with the Atlantic
Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. If these four men
have been identified and people know who they are, we not been
apprehended? Simply put, the Lebanese
institutions are too politically weak to have the will to go after
them. Going after them would most likely require a violent
confrontation and they have no appetite for that or possibly even
the capabilities. Could the forces could actually go
into the Hezbollah-run areas and arrest these men?
Probably not given the balance of power between the security forces
and Hezbollah. They're in mind also that the security forces are
multi-sectarian, made up of some Hezbollah members.
It sounds like you don't really think that these suspects will ever
be brought to justice. I think whether or not they are
brought to justice depends very much on Hezbollah's security situation
within Lebanon and the situation of its allies abroad, the Syrian regime
and Iran. I don't see a scenario where they will be brought to
justice by force. Is there an element of perhaps if
they ever were arrested, it would cause such instability between
Hezbollah and the central authorities that these interests
have two trump the ideas of justice?
I wouldn't quite put it that way because you have to remember that
Hezbollah is a significant influence on the political goings-on in
Lebanon. Opposition to Hezbollah would have to come from a political
rival in Lebanon itself. I think it is the impossibility of the task
rather than the resulting literal instability.
So when Rafiq Hariri's Sun says that they will find out the truth, that
is wishful thinking on his part? Not necessarily. If the accusations
are accurate and there are bindings of guilt.
How important is all this to the wider population in Lebanon?
I think it is quite important. A significant proportion of the
Lebanese have rejected its legitimacy outright, mostly
supporters Hezbollah. A political assassination which happens often
and never gets this level of trial is receiving an unprecedented level
of trial so it is an improvement. We have heard John Kerry calling on
the Syrian opposition to vote in favour of attending the Geneva peace
conference. We know there is a great deal of opposition. Sorry to put you
on the spot but just give us your reaction to that.
Given how much emphasis on US policy has placed on the talks, I can
understand why they would take that position. But from the perspective
of the opposition, they have two problems. Firstly, they don't have
significant support in Syria itself and are not seen as having the power
to negotiate on the behalf of Syrians. Secondly, rebel forces who
do have influence have a great rejected these talks. They are in an
impossible position. If they do refuse to go, on the other hand they
will lose whatever US support which they have had so far, which isn't
much. Thank you for that.
A suicide bomber in northern Lebanon has killed self and three other
people in Hermel near the Bekaa Valley. More than 20 people were
injured. It is the latest attack in Hezbollah -dominated areas.
After years of allegations of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church,
the Vatican has been given strong public questioning. Senior officials
are facing robust questions by a special UN committee in Geneva to
try to find out why the charge won't release its full data on the abuse.
Victims and their families accused the Church of a culture of secrecy.
For years, victims of clerical sexual abuse struggle to be heard.
No campaigners are pleased that at last the Vatican is being
investigated by a UN committee. At the hearing in Geneva, the
Vatican's seemed contrite. There is no use for violence or
exploitation of children. Such crimes cannot be justified, whether
permitted in the home, schools, sports programmes, religious
institutions. In a brutal session, it was said
they were only responsible for abuse inside Vatican City, a much
criticised assertion. The Catholic Church has 1 billion
followers and his influence over a lot more children's lives than just
these few that the mentioned. This man has had to fight hard for
justice. He was abused as a teenager I and Italian priest, he claims.
I think it is time to stop the secrecy.
There has been mounting evidence of abuse in different countries. In
2009, the report found that sexual and psychological abuse was endemic
in Ireland. In 2010, the Bishop of Bruges resigned after a sex scandal.
In Germany there were 280 counts of sexual abuse.
Laws have been strengthened and Vatican -- victims offered help.
Let us bring you some of the other news.
Early indications about Egypt's new constitution are that it will get
overwhelming backing. The Muslim Brotherhood boycotted it in protest
at the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi. Tonight was reported at just more
than 50%. The actress linked with President
Francois Hollande has taken legal action against Closer magazine over
the allegations. It is alleged that Francois Hollande spent the night at
her flat. The Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone is to go on trial charged
with bribery. It is to do with payments made to
German banker Gerhard Gribowsky. Bernie Ecclestone is stepping down
from the Formula 1 board of directors.
Let us update you on an exclusive story we brought you this time
yesterday. Organised paedophiles in Western countries are paying for
children to be abused in the Philippines and then watching that
abuse live via webcam. Some of those were based in the UK and five people
have already been jailed for the activity.
This is Operation Endeavour in action. Philippine police raid a
house and rescue 12 children. The youngest was just six years old. He
had been sexually abused by their own parents in front of the webcam,
directed from thousands of miles away in Britain. The raid was
launched after the arrest of this man, Timothy Ford. He offered other
paedophiles the chance to watch the abuse, men like Thomas Owen. Records
released today show that he was offering live shows and described
some children as really cute. Police arrested 29 people in 12 countries
and have identified many more suspects.
There are over 700 suspects around the world, over 100 of which are in
the UK. That's shocking, isn't it?
Very shocking. It will need to realise. Let's call this what this
is. This is not an Internet crime, this is a crime facilitated by the
Internet, this is child sexual abuse.
This is a new crime could by rising demand in the West and is a growing
problem, especially in the Philippines.
In some of the poorest areas, whole communities have been taken over by
this trade. Amylase are forced to perform sex acts in front of
children -- on children in front of cameras for paying Westerners.
This girl was 15 when she was forced by her own hand to work on what she
calls a cybersex then. The operation has been a success but charities say
that the police must do much more to protect the tens of thousands of
children who remain at risk. A special report there.
It is movie awards season. Today we found out who is in the running for
the Oscars. Gravity, American muscle, and 12 Years A Slave lead
the pack. -- American Hustle. You will have seen all of them?
I have. It is quite exciting. Let's start with the Gravity and
American Hustle. I love to Gravity. And American
Hustle is a disco era film. Gravity, Sandra Bullock and George
Clooney, adrift in space. A spectacular movie that did so well
at the box office globally. Critically lauded also. And a
British film, strangely enough. Yes, they had to shoot it in
Pinewood and Shepperton. Special effects, of all the magical
experiences, this here is like a Michelangelo ceiling!
And American Hustle, about a con artist?
Nobody is quite sure what it is about, but it is a real story about
the left early episode. Amy Adams and Christian Bale, almost
unrecognisable. An FBI episode. And 12 Years A Slave, I think that is
the best picture. The one that is kind of capturing the conversation
going on at the moment. Slavery, never really been addressed by
cinema. And Chiwetel Ejiofor, nominated for
best director, -- actor, with Steve McQueen nominated for best director.
Yes, to go from some austere arthouse pieces to one of the big
directors in the world, only his third film. Alongside Martin
Scorsese. John Singleton was nominated that -- nominated but did
not win, Steve McQueen would be the first black director to win. And
Bruce Sterling is a big favourite, Leonardo DiCaprio, a fourth
nomination, never one, playing a terrible character, but a brilliant
performance. Bruce Dern, in the film Nebraska, he has a lots of love from
the Academy. There he is, playing a deluded pensioner who believes the
trash mail he gets to his letterbox telling him he has won $1 million. I
would love Chiwetel Ejiofor to win. But Matthew McConaghy, playing an
AIDS victim, he is the hot favourite.
The woman, Kate Blanchette, danger to Dench. -- Dame Judi.
Yes, Philomena was brilliant, but as good as she was in that film, a
lovely, clerical anger of a film, but I cannot see anybody beating
Kate Blanchette. A deluded woman who cannot believe her world has fallen
apart. That will be the Oscar. We will see who wins and Mark you
out of ten. A new treatment for blindness offers
hope to millions of evil with sight problems across the world. It
involves injecting genes into the eye. -- millions of people. Wine has
a rare genetic condition. -- Wayne. He was told he would lose his sight
in ten years. But he had a pioneering operation, which we
reported two years ago. It has improved his vision.
I looked at the night sky and saw stars for the first time in 15
years. That is something for me. Because of a faulty genetic issue,
cells die, but doctors found a way to inject new working copies. And
some of the cells they thought were dead have since revitalised,
improving his vision. Doctors have been amazed at the improvement. It
shows the therapy is safe and effective. They believe it could
potentially be used to treat more common forms of likeness. --
blindness. He was initially told he would not see his doctor grow up. --
daughter. Following this therapy, he hopes to see his grandchildren.
Spike Milligan was renowned for his wit, humour, and style. He was also
very candid about his battle with mental illness. He helped make big
show one of the most popular the last century. -- the Goon Show. But
he grappled with depression. Now a new study based on comics from
around the world has suggested many may suffer from mental illnesses and
psychotic or smell to trade. -- personality traits. Susan Murray,
comedian, joins me now. Mental illness is no laughing matter, but
this link between psychotic disorders and comedians, doesn't
strike a chord? It does not take a genius to work
out that it is not normal to stand on stage seeking love for telling
jokes. If you ask any stand-up comedian, a UN little bit unhinged,
they will answer, of course I am! I don't know quite why they even did
the study. Because it is so obvious? Absolutely. Because comedians are
both introverted and extroverted? Yes. It is quite a hard thing to do,
but it is a creative outlet. I get to moan for a living. Then you get
somebody who works in an office for 50 years, hating their job, that is
more insane than what I do. But do you think people with the
personality traits we are talking about might be drawn to the world of
comedy because it offers self-medication almost? There is a
bit of that. But the study is a bit misleading. Psychotic traits? From
500 comedians I know, two have had a psychotic episode. The figure would
be smaller than the general population. So I think this is
sensationalist, really. But there has always been a widely held view
linking instability with creativity. You know, Vincent van Gogh off.
Absolutely. But I would make the point that to do the job I do, you
must be balanced, mentally tough, physically tough, it is 24/7,
driving everywhere, writing jokes, it is nonstop, and you must love
what you do. You don't have to be mentally ill to work here, blah,
blah, but I work for the News quiz and once wrote 80 jokes in two days.
Just from thoughts that come into my head, you might be in conversation,
generally that. Do you have a short, favourite joke? That is acceptable!
Broadcast quality? Maybe not! When I first got the call I thought this
was about psychopathic tendencies, and I wrote a joke about it, but it
is not the same as psychosis. We are a little bit twisted, it is the most
childish job in the world, apart from being an actual child. Children
are brilliantly bonkers! I have four of my own and agree with you on
that! Thank you very much indeed. That is all from this edition. Next,
the weather. Good evening. Hello. A day of sunny spells and
scattered showers. Heaviest to the West. Similar tomorrow. Some subtle
differences, perhaps showers easing in eastern areas. But low never far