17/01/2014 World News Today


17/01/2014

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This is BBC World News Today with me, Zeinab Badawi.

:00:00.:00:10.

The fallout from the Edward Snowden affair:

:00:11.:00:13.

President Obama says he will change US spying operations. He defends the

:00:14.:00:16.

intelligence community but accepts there is potential for abuse in the

:00:17.:00:25.

way data is gathered. Heads of state and government, with whom we work

:00:26.:00:31.

closely and on whose communication we depend, should feel confident

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that we are treating them as partners and the change of the

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ordered do just that. The wife of Shashi Taroor, a

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high-profile Indian politician and former UN official, is found dead in

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a hotel in Delhi after rumours of his infidelity. -- changes I have

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ordered. Also coming up:

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His first visit to the First Lady after those affair allegations,

:00:50.:00:51.

France's President Hollande visits his partner in hospital.

:00:52.:00:54.

And as Egyptians await the results of the referendum on a new

:00:55.:00:57.

constitution, polls suggest strong backing for the army chief. We ask

:00:58.:01:01.

why some prefer rule by a strongman to democracy.

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Hello and welcome. The revelations by the former CIA contractor Edward

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Snowden about US intelligence operations caused controversy at

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home and abroad when it emerged that millions of phone calls and email

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traffic were being monitored, of both private citizens and leaders of

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allied nations. In the past few hours, President Obama has responded

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to these concerns. He said surveillance had helped America

:01:40.:01:42.

repel threats for decades but he accepted there needed to be checks

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and balances to make sure the liberties of ordinary people were

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not sacrificed. Rajini Vaidyanathan sent this report.

:01:52.:02:03.

Protecting the public or prying into their private lives? The US

:02:04.:02:07.

government has been collecting the details, phone calls and Internet

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use of millions of people but have they got the balance right? After

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months of consultation, and criticism, the president's promising

:02:17.:02:22.

change. I have approved a new presidential directive for our

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intelligence activities, both at home and abroad. This guidance will

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strengthen executive branch oversight of our intelligence

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activities. It will ensure that we take into account our security

:02:37.:02:40.

requirements but also our alliances, our trade and investment

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relationships, including the concerns of American companies, and

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our commitment to privacy and basic liberties.

:02:49.:02:53.

The way personal data is stored and accessed will change. The president

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has ordered a 60 day review into the process. The issue was thrust into

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the spotlight after this man, former intelligence contract Edward

:03:05.:03:10.

Snowden, wheat details about the US government's surveillance schemes.

:03:11.:03:13.

His disclosures also revealed that foreign nationals and leaders were

:03:14.:03:18.

being monitored. There were claims that even German Chancellor Angela

:03:19.:03:21.

Merkel's phone had been bugged. The US says it will no longer was to

:03:22.:03:26.

conversations of friends and allies. Opinion polls suggest that while the

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majority of Americans are comfortable with the mass collection

:03:30.:03:33.

of data, they're not completely against it if it is needed to

:03:34.:03:36.

protect the country against terrorist threats. -- are not

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comfortable. I think it is fine if it is for national safety. Business

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or national security. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to

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worry about. Have to get used to it. It is a big, wide world and we have

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always looked at other people to see what is going on generally. I think

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it is wrong because it is privacy and we have that right as citizens

:04:03.:04:06.

to have privacy. At the same time, it could be helping good terrorists.

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I think it would rather have my own privacy. -- helping catch

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terrorists. Protesters say that the president has not gone far enough to

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protect the liberties but the White House said surveillance is still

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misery to deal with the threads America faces a a post middle of the

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world. Germany was just one country that

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was unhappy about the phone tapping of the Chancellor Angela Merkel

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about intelligence services. Let's get an idea of what kind of reaction

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I've been in Germany. We can go to our correspondent in Berlin. The

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Germans were very cross when those funds tapping revelations came

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about. They going to be a bit happier? I don't think much

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happier, entered. Expectations were low within the Government and

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certainly from the opposition, the left and the Greens. One MP tonight

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said, "my expectations were low and they have not been met. " All are

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focused on this paragraph in the resident's speech. " The leaders of

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close friends and allies must know that if they want -- I want to learn

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about an issue I will pick up the phone and call them rather than

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conducting surveillance. " A newspaper after that was made noted

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a caveat, except in urgent issues of national security. This same

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newspaper, a centre right newspaper, in other words, said that the

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foreign minister is often but the foreign policy may still have our

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friend listening in on the phone. That is the tone of the reaction and

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not, if you like, from the usual suspects. People who are naturally

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or often anti-American. From government circles. Expectations

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were low, no sign that those low expectations have been exceeded.

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Behind-the-scenes, Stephen, what kind of things do you think the

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German Foreign Ministry, the German authorities, are going to be sent to

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Washington, in the light of this? Well, they have already said, Angela

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Merkel has, to President Obama and Washington that she was shocked by

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the news that her phone was being bugged. She said it reminded her of

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the Stasi. That has all been said. The tone since then has been, " --

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has been, look, the transatlantic elation ship between Europe and the

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United States is crucial, certainly to Europe, and we move forward, they

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would say, to make sure that is not broken irreparably. In other words,

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they do not like what has happened but they make the best of it.

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Thank you very much, Stephen. Lets talk to Stephen Vladeck, a

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national security law expert from the American University. He joins us

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from Washington. It seems as though the devil is in the detail, when you

:07:13.:07:18.

look at what Obama was saying? That is exactly right. The president had,

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I think, a number of very nice rhetorical flourishes about the

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importance of rejecting Agassi, the importance of staying on good terms

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with our friends and partners overseas. -- of protecting privacy.

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So much that he is leaving out is what happens next, how much is

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Congress going to have to say, how much of this is going to happen by

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executive order and how much is going to be something where six

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months from now, we're still having the same conversation?

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What do you think will happen in Congress? You think they will try

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and steal back the activities of the NSA to try to introduce greater

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checks? This is the big fight in Congress right now. This was about

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that Congress has been having for most of the last six months, long

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before President Obama ever gave his speech today. There are at least

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some groups, some constituencies, that are very much inclined to scale

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back the NEC's collection authorities to take a bite out of

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how much data via collecting on Americans and foreigners. -- the

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NSA. There is a bill that has been introduced that would go a long way

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in that regard. There are also plenty in Congress who really are

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inclined to tweak at the margins, to maybe impose a few more checks and

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balances on these programmes, little more oversight, but to actually not

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change the authorities. I would have expected the president to see a

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little more about which of these positions he favours, in his speech

:08:44.:08:46.

today. Instead, it seems that he is leaving it for Congress to see which

:08:47.:08:51.

side have more votes. There were two aspects to the

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allegations that Edward Snowden brought about. The revelations,

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rather. The one was about how much of an infringement on the civil

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liberties of American cities has been and how much -- American

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citizens and how much they have upset allies and that is a different

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matter. Can I ask you about that from? To what extent do you think he

:09:14.:09:18.

has assuaged the concerns of foreign powers like Germany? As you say, the

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devil will be in the detail. There was more in the President's speech

:09:23.:09:28.

about foreign relations and assuaging Angela Merkel and other

:09:29.:09:31.

partners overseas. For example, I think the president said quite a bit

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about not engaging in foreign intelligence collection simply

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because we can only engaging in foreign intelligence collection when

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there is a specific nationals based need to do so. Now it is going to be

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a question of how often that is going to be utilised. Or we going to

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see the same degree of surveillance but with better justification? Does

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this in fact represent a drawing down of not of the volume of

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surveillance but the identity of those who are being surveilled. The

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president seems to suggest that he is going to want better, tighter

:10:02.:10:05.

controls on this programme. It remains to be seen whether that will

:10:06.:10:08.

in fact happen. The fact that he has acknowledged

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that there is potential for abuse in both the targets of who has their

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phone tapped, Angela Merkel example. Do you think he has perhaps nodded

:10:21.:10:25.

in the direction of the critics? There is no doubt that this is a nod

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in the direction of the critics but the real question for us going

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forward is whether it is anything more than a nod. The president

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certainly suggest that he understands the objections, both at

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home and overseas, that he realises the quite negative impact they are

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having on American foreign policy and our partners in Europe. Again,

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things the real question is going to be, and this has been the case time

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and again with this president, how much is actually going to follow

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from these beaches, from these very lofty, you know, progressive visions

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he offers in his national security speeches. -- from these speeches.

:11:02.:11:07.

And how much signifies nothing. Thank you very much for your

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analysis. In Thailand, the political unrest is becoming increasingly

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volatile. Many people have been injured in an anti-government

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protest in Bangkok. An expose of device was thrown from a top of the

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building and the target was the leader of the anti-government

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protests. He was unhurt. He will not give up. And he still

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pools enthusiastic crowds, though somewhat smaller now. He kept up his

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microphone street march for a fifth successive day, trying to maintain

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some momentum. -- marathon on street march. After months of this, without

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movement on either side, violence has become an everyday occurrence.

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Here, close to Thailand's most prestigious university, he narrowly

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avoided injury when an explosive was thrown, apparently from the second

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story of a nearby building. Newly 30 protesters and guards were injured.

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There was gunfire at a protest site north of Bangkok also. But at the

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military office, outside the city, the Prime Minister said there was

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still no dialogue between the two sides. My door is open for

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negotiation every time. I would like to ask for the protesters. I think

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they can open the way. So I think someone can find a way to talk.

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The cheery faces they show on their marches are deceptive. There is

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intense hostility towards the Prime Minister's family, here, stirred up

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by weeks of fiery speeches. I asked her whether she believed it would

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help if her family retreated from politics. Nobody wants to stand but

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I told you that this is the job that I have to respond. If I do not

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respond just because somebody complain about me and I stepped

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back, I do not think what will happen with the democracy of channel

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and dumber -- of Taiwan. We have to keep democracy.

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So Thailand lurches towards a general election disrupted by

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endless protest and one now unlikely even to produce a new government. It

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is a frighteningly uncertain outlook for a once stable and promising

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country. Unrest in Thailand.

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President Hollande of France has made his first visit to see his

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official partner, Valerie Trierweiler, in hospital, seven days

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after she was admitted there. His visit comes at the same time that

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the French magazine, Closer, printed more claims about President

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Hollande's private life, linking him romantically with the actress, Julie

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Gayet. The magazine is facing legal action from Miss Gayet, who's

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seeking damages for the invasion of her privacy.

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The BBC'S Christian Fraser is in Paris and brought us up to date a

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short time ago. We are told that it started as far

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back as 2011, which would suggest it was ongoing during the presidential

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campaign stop we are also told that they were using two apartments in

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Paris to hide this secret affair and we are also told that during the

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summer last year, President Hollande gave his excuses to avoid a summer

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holiday with his official partner, Valerie Trierweiler, so that he

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could head off to join up with Julie Gayet. Lots and therefore the press

:14:45.:14:48.

to get their teeth into, which will come as a disappointment, of course,

:14:49.:14:53.

to the palace, who are trained to contain the story. Interestingly,

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they put out a statement today that he had been to the hospital where

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Valerie Trierweiler is being treated for the first time since she was

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admitted last Friday. Robert went to stop the rumours that he had

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abandoned her but the timing is very significant, coming just hours

:15:11.:15:15.

before the publication of Closer magazine. Also, in the official

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statement, no denial of the latest revelations in Closer magazine.

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Police in the Afghan capital Kabul, say a suicide bomber has blown

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himself up near a restaurant popular with foreigners and government

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officials - killing at least thirteen people. There are reports

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that the explosion was followed by bursts of gunfire. The Taliban have

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now claimed responsibility for the attack. Excavation work is under way

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at a mass grave recently discovered by construction workers in northern

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Sri Lanka. Four more human skulls have been

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discovered there, bringing the number of skeletons or partial

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skeletons that have been found to 31. It's the first such site to have

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been unearthed and examined in the island's former war zone since the

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war ended in 2009. After nearly three years of conflict

:16:03.:16:05.

in Syria, President Assad's government has said for the first

:16:06.:16:09.

time that it is prepared to agree a cease-fire with the rebels. It's

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asking Russia to organise a suspension of hostilities in Syria's

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largest city, Aleppo. The move comes after a meeting between Syria's

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foreign minister, Walid al-Moallem and his Russian counterpart in

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Moscow. Well, another Arab country in the midst of upheaval - though

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fortunately not as violent - is Egypt.

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Egyptians are waiting for the result of a referendum on a proposed new

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constitution to replace the one introduced under the Islamist

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government in 2012. The authorities say turnout was over fifty percent

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and that the new constitution was approved with a clear majority. They

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also say the result is a test of how people backed the removal of the

:16:50.:16:54.

former President Morsi. Many think it will encourage the army chief and

:16:55.:16:57.

Defence Minister Gen Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to run for President in the

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forthcoming elections. The revolutions of the so-called Arab

:17:01.:17:03.

Spring in countries like Egypt saw the fall of the strongmen like Hosni

:17:04.:17:07.

Mubarak and Colonel Gaddafi in Libya, also other authoritarian

:17:08.:17:10.

regimes like the Asaad one in Syria is obviously under strain. -- Assad.

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To discuss this issue further, we're joined by one of the world's leading

:17:20.:17:23.

experts on the Middle East, Professor Roger Owen who's recently

:17:24.:17:26.

published a book "The Rise and Fall of Arab Presidents for Life". He

:17:27.:17:29.

joins me now from Harvard University.

:17:30.:17:38.

How come one strongman, Hosni Mubarak is removed through popular

:17:39.:17:41.

will and now there is popular support for him to be replaced by

:17:42.:17:47.

another military strongman, General Al-Sisi. Popular will is right. It

:17:48.:17:54.

was a mass movement in the streets. The people, when they come to the

:17:55.:18:00.

fore in now way then quite quickly they have to be shepherded towards

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elections and it's not surprising if one thinks of the French model under

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Napoleon that a military leader feels enough is enough and people

:18:11.:18:18.

should be tidied away, a referendum should be established and you have a

:18:19.:18:23.

controlled democracy after that. Are you suggesting that you need some

:18:24.:18:27.

kind of transition period after you have had the fall of one of these

:18:28.:18:34.

presidents for life, a long-standing authoritarian rule, you need a

:18:35.:18:41.

transition period? No, it is difficult. You go via a constitution

:18:42.:18:47.

with the people and their representatives involved in the

:18:48.:18:50.

constitution and is a great deal of difficulty and confusion because you

:18:51.:18:55.

go to basics and say what country are we and what role should religion

:18:56.:19:00.

play and after a while that is deemed by the power and the state to

:19:01.:19:09.

be too unruly and then you get an authoritarian intervention. Does

:19:10.:19:11.

that suggest stability is more desirable than real democracy with

:19:12.:19:18.

Democrats running in elections if the democracy is a bit messy and

:19:19.:19:23.

chaotic and violent as we have seen in a Ratko? Well, that is true. And

:19:24.:19:30.

particularly when you have so many people involved and old grievances

:19:31.:19:36.

and all kinds of new alliances it becomes untidy and there is a desire

:19:37.:19:42.

by a large number of people for stability rather than a continuation

:19:43.:19:47.

of what they regard as a messy popular process. Now we have Syria

:19:48.:19:52.

coming up and everyone is focusing on these forthcoming talks, the

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Americans urging Syrian opposition to attend the talks and we have had

:19:57.:20:01.

the possibility of a cease-fire discussed, how do you see Syria, how

:20:02.:20:06.

do you analyse that in the framework, Bashar al-Assad, is he

:20:07.:20:14.

good as a former stability to stop Syria deteriorating into sectarian

:20:15.:20:18.

violence which many fear? Well, the Arab world is so divided at the

:20:19.:20:23.

moment and most people who have studied it will say 2013 was as bad

:20:24.:20:30.

as it could get. We are seeing some kind of move back from that, a sense

:20:31.:20:34.

one cannot go one simply with this language of good and bad, for me or

:20:35.:20:41.

against me, and we have to find some middle ground and even Assad's

:20:42.:20:46.

advisers have decided it has gone too far and you cannot continue to

:20:47.:20:54.

try and address people as though they are evil forces from outside.

:20:55.:21:01.

Quickly, John Kerry has said there's no future for al-Assad in Syria,

:21:02.:21:07.

that doesn't preclude his staying there in a transition period. That

:21:08.:21:13.

remains to be seen. It is up to him. I think he will hang on but in his

:21:14.:21:19.

own community they have decided that he should step aside or step up but

:21:20.:21:25.

he would be replaced by something -- somebody like him and possibly from

:21:26.:21:31.

his own family. Professor, thank you very much. Thank you for your

:21:32.:21:43.

analysis. Reports from India say the wife of a well known cabinet

:21:44.:21:46.

minister, Shashi Tharoor, has been found dead, following reports that

:21:47.:21:49.

he was having an affair. Indian media say Sunanda Pushkar's

:21:50.:21:52.

body was discovered at a hotel in Delhi. It comes just one day after

:21:53.:21:55.

the couple were embroiled in controversy over a series of Twitter

:21:56.:21:58.

messages that appeared to reveal his alleged infidelity. The couple

:21:59.:22:01.

insisted they were happily married, blaming "unauthorised tweets" for

:22:02.:22:15.

the alleged scandal. Our correspondent is in India and joins

:22:16.:22:22.

us now. A sad situation. Not only known inside India but also to many

:22:23.:22:26.

of Earth in international circles, give us the background to this

:22:27.:22:37.

tragedy. Absolutely, he is a high-profile politician here in

:22:38.:22:42.

India but also the candidate for the top post in 2007 when he fought

:22:43.:22:47.

against Ban Ki Moon at the UN. The couple, high-profile, well-known,

:22:48.:22:53.

she is very glamorous, outspoken and a strong lady giving media

:22:54.:22:56.

interviews until early this morning when she was telling the media she

:22:57.:23:01.

had more to say on this Twitter controversy which erupted this

:23:02.:23:05.

week. The couple did come out and say they were happily married and

:23:06.:23:11.

intended to remain like that but he also said she was ill earlier and

:23:12.:23:16.

was hospitalised and requested the media to respect their privacy, that

:23:17.:23:20.

was one of the controversies, the role of the media, social media

:23:21.:23:24.

pressures on the couple because it was so high profile and surrounding

:23:25.:23:30.

the controversy. Thank you very much indeed for filling us in on that

:23:31.:23:37.

story in Delhi. The death of a Japanese soldier who refused to

:23:38.:23:41.

accept the end of the Second World War has been announced.

:23:42.:23:43.

Hiroo Onoda, who was ninety-one would not surrender after the War

:23:44.:23:45.

ended and hid This is the moment in March 1974

:23:46.:24:06.

when Lieutenant Onoda finally walked out of the Philippine jungle. 29

:24:07.:24:13.

years after the end of World War II. For nearly three decades, he

:24:14.:24:17.

resisted all attempts to persuade him the war was over. Leaflets were

:24:18.:24:22.

dropped from the air, messages poured cast over megaphones, all to

:24:23.:24:28.

no avail. Finally, his wartime commander flew to the Philippines,

:24:29.:24:32.

walked into the jungle and ordered Lieutenant Onoda to surrender. Many

:24:33.:24:36.

years later, he explained why he resisted so long.

:24:37.:24:42.

Every Japanese soldier was prepared to death but as an intelligence

:24:43.:24:47.

officer I was ordered to conduct gorilla warfare and not to die, I

:24:48.:24:50.

had to follow my orders. In Tokyo Lieutenant Onoda was met by

:24:51.:24:55.

cheering crowds. At the bottom of the steps, his father and mother.

:24:56.:25:01.

The last time they saw their son he was 22 years old. Now, he was 52.

:25:02.:25:08.

This surrender made headlines around the world anti-was welcomed home as

:25:09.:25:14.

a hero. The Japan he returns to had completely changed. The emperor was

:25:15.:25:18.

no longer the God he promised to die for and Tokyo had become a massive

:25:19.:25:22.

metropolis, 20 million people. He did not like it at all. In year

:25:23.:25:29.

later, he headed to Brazil where he bought a cattle ranch. He came back

:25:30.:25:35.

to Japan often, at 90 he was still teaching schoolchildren his secrets

:25:36.:25:39.

of survival. Lieutenant Onoda was the last relic

:25:40.:25:43.

of another age. To some, a fanatic, to many more a hero.

:25:44.:25:53.

A extraordinary tale. A quick look at some other stories.

:25:54.:25:58.

Here in Britain the Queen's granddaughter Zara Philips has given

:25:59.:26:02.

birth to a baby girl. Zara is the daughter of Princess Anne and also

:26:03.:26:04.

an internationally renowned horse-rider. You can see her here,

:26:05.:26:07.

at Prince George's christening. Her own new baby will be sixteenth in

:26:08.:26:13.

line to the throne. And another of the Queen's

:26:14.:26:16.

grandchildren Prince Harry - who's fourth in line to the throne - is to

:26:17.:26:21.

take up a new role with the army. He's returning to London, where

:26:22.:26:23.

he'll help organise major commemorative events. Prince Harry

:26:24.:26:26.

has spent more than three years flying Apache helicopters.

:26:27.:26:28.

A reminder of our main news. President Obama has announced a

:26:29.:26:31.

series of reforms to American spying operations at home and abroad. In a

:26:32.:26:35.

speech in Washington, he called for an end to government control of bulk

:26:36.:26:38.

phone data from hundreds of millions of Americans. He also told the

:26:39.:26:42.

leaders and citizens of US allies that his country would no longer

:26:43.:26:44.

eavesdrop on their private communications.

:26:45.:26:49.

That is it. Next is the weather. Enjoy your weekend. Goodbye.

:26:50.:26:51.

Hello, more rain to come in a forecast with the worst of the

:26:52.:27:01.

weather over the weekend perhaps likely to be on Saturday. A spell of

:27:02.:27:06.

more wet weather in the south and west. Quieter by sender, sunshine

:27:07.:27:13.

and showers. But for the time being, an area of rain in the south-west

:27:14.:27:17.

will nudge towards us over the next few

:27:18.:27:18.

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