04/06/2014 World News Today


04/06/2014

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This is BBC World News Today, with me, Philippa Thomas.

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President Obama marks 25 years since the fall of communism

:00:07.:00:09.

in Poland by condemning Russia's 'dark tactics' in Ukraine.

:00:10.:00:23.

25 years on from Tiananmen Square, we look at how the protests -

:00:24.:00:27.

and the crackdown - are viewed by young Chinese today.

:00:28.:00:30.

Venice feels the pressure of a new political scandal - is the

:00:31.:00:36.

And the prestigious Bailey's prize for fiction is moments from

:00:37.:00:43.

being announced - we'll bring you breaking news from the ceremony.

:00:44.:00:57.

Today's top level diplomatic summit was supposed to be the G8 in Sochi.

:00:58.:01:08.

Instead it's the G7 in Brussels - with President Putin out

:01:09.:01:11.

in the cold, following his annexation of Crimea.

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It's the crisis in Ukraine which is expected to dominate these

:01:15.:01:17.

discussions - after President Obama's speech in Warsaw earlier

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today, marking 25 years of Polish democracy, and warning against what

:01:22.:01:25.

he called Russia's dark tactics to destabilise a democratic Ukraine.

:01:26.:01:32.

But are the seven leaders meeting here

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tonight agreed on how to deal with Russia and the Russian president?

:01:37.:01:39.

A place and a moment rich with symbolism,

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the Polish capital where 25 years ago the citizens of the old Eastern

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America's president, among foreign leaders marking the anniversary.

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For the history-loving Barack Obama, this was a chance to celebrate,

:01:55.:02:00.

but also to draw parallels with today and Ukraine.

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The days of empire and spheres of influence are over.

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Bigger nations must not be allowed to bully the small or impose their

:02:10.:02:14.

will at the barrel of a gun or with masked men taking over buildings.

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And the stroke of a pen can never legitimise

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the theft of a neighbour's land, so we will not accept Russia's

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occupation of Crimea, or its violation of Ukraine's sovereignty.

:02:27.:02:30.

Our three nations will stand united so that further Russian provocations

:02:31.:02:33.

will only mean more isolation for Russia.

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Earlier, a first meeting between Mr Obama and Ukraine's newly

:02:39.:02:42.

elected president - Washington promising greater assistance.

:02:43.:02:49.

The United States has already stepped up in a number of ways -

:02:50.:02:52.

we're supplementing the assistance the IMF is providing with $1 billion

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in additional loan guarantees and we have discussed additional steps that

:02:57.:03:01.

we might take to help during this reform and transition process.

:03:02.:03:06.

With the Americans pushing for a meeting between Mr Poroshenko

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and the Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Ukraine's new leader

:03:10.:03:12.

We are ready to present a plan for a peaceful relation

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We think that the next several days will be very

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important, crucial, for history from the Ukrainian perspective.

:03:27.:03:32.

In eastern Ukraine, the fighting continues.

:03:33.:03:35.

At a border guard camp in Luhansk, pro-Russian rebels helped themselves

:03:36.:03:38.

to guns and ammunition after government forces decided to leave.

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Elsewhere, the government is still on the offensive.

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Plenty for President Obama and his colleagues to discuss

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This week of diplomacy now reaching a critical phase.

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This gathering was of us to be hosted by Vladimir Putin in Sochi.

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Now world leaders must agree with what they will say, separately or

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together, when they bump into the Russian leader at D-Day

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We will take you to Brussels just now. We will go to James Robbins

:04:09.:04:31.

just now. What is your view on whether the leaders will agree on

:04:32.:04:47.

how to deal with the Russians? Russia excluded from this meeting.

:04:48.:04:54.

Prez-mac is what into the building in the last minute or so. They are

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going into a working dinner. They have voted. They are going to be

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discussing what Russia needs to do and what signal they want to send to

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Vladimir Putin. As a minimum, of course, they want him to pool more

:05:18.:05:22.

forces back from the border with Ukraine. They also want Russia to

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stop, as they also want Russia to stop, as these with eastern Ukraine,

:05:27.:05:33.

encouraging separatism is, as well as they hope to persuade the Russian

:05:34.:05:38.

president to get involved in dialogue with the Ukrainian

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president. What is really interesting is that as soon as this

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meeting in Brussels is over sometime tomorrow afternoon, several readers

:05:52.:05:55.

are heading out to France for the commemorations of the D-Day landings

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in 1944. The first person to see President Putin will be David

:06:00.:06:07.

Cameron. He will have a one-to-one meeting with ladder near Britain and

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Paris and will convey a strong message from this meeting for

:06:12.:06:21.

President Putin two digests. Dash-mac Vladimir Putin.

:06:22.:06:27.

Well just hours before the G7 was set to get under

:06:28.:06:30.

way Germany announced it is to investigate allegations that the US

:06:31.:06:33.

government bugged Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone.

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Ms Merkel publicly requested an explanation of

:06:35.:06:36.

the alleged spying by the National Security Agency when this news broke

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To shed a little light into why this is only just being

:06:41.:06:44.

investigated, I'm joined by the German journalist Imke Henkel.

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Seven months on. It is a technical process. One prosecutor said he will

:06:49.:07:04.

start an enquiry. It is very much a traditional process. It is not a

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government process. She has been hesitant at the beginning to show

:07:12.:07:18.

any reaction to the news that her phone calls were hacked or worse by

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Don. Dash-mac spied upon. Then she slowly became more stern and her

:07:36.:07:43.

reaction. Recently the government thought, the interior minister has

:07:44.:07:48.

been to the United States. Although he has been someone who was in the

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beginning quite strict and said this is outrageous and we cannot have our

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friend spying on us, he has now said, he has said... It is not in

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their interests. Do you think this enquiry might change intelligence

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cooperation between them? I do not think so. Anglo-American would be

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interested with getting closer cooperation with United States.

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Dash-mac Angela Merkel. Germany is not included, France and

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Belgium is. They would like to move closer to that, yes. Today we have

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been talking about the G7, of course. It is awkward timing even if

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it wasn't meant to be announced today. It is a parallel process. It

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is an independent authority that does it. There was no pressure from

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the government. There will be a debate within the authority. We will

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have to watch and see what they come up with and how the German public

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response. In Hong Kong there have been demonstrations. We wondered

:10:17.:10:20.

what the young generation of Chinese think about an event that

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This crowd weren't even born 25 years ago.

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Different flags, different slogans, different lives.

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This generation of students at a Beijing music festival,

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not trying to be the conscience of China or to change the world.

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Just enjoying what freedoms they do have.

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Life goals for these friends, buy a house and buy a car and get married.

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It is an open secret they tell me but

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they're too busy looking for a job to be thinking about those things.

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But the picture of aspiration doesn't include everyone.

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Protests and riots a daily reality for those

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with no stake - exploited workers, neighbours to polluting factories,

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This is a much richer country than in 1989, but also more unequal,

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more corrupt and much less likely to trust its government.

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So how to keep the post-Tiananmen generation in line?

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Beijing is marching them towards a middle-class future.

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Outsiders often marvel at China's achievements over the past 25 years

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but no one here takes their urban lifestyle for granted.

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Life's a daily struggle - for education, health care,

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for an apartment, for a job and even for the means for actually...

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Even for the means to actually get that job.

:11:54.:12:04.

These young people are trying to grow a different China.

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On the Righteous Path Farm, the message is harmony with the planet.

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They say their movement is growing as others

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Radical, idealistic, but they now to steer clear of politics.

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There will be no repeat of the Tiananmen generation.

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They wanted freedom, democracy, equality.

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But their method was rebellion and criticism and getting out

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Our attitude is positive, we are building a better society,

:12:34.:12:39.

25 years on from Tiananmen, this is a generation

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But it doesn't always want the government's song book it is given.

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They want to voice their own China dream and I find it hard to imagine

:12:54.:12:57.

that 25 years from now, they'll still be putting up with the

:12:58.:13:01.

For many of them who do not know what happened 25 years ago, it is

:13:02.:13:34.

hard for them to find any relevance. Their parents would not tear to

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share their experience or their views with their children. I think

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it is difficult for many of them, unless they come out of the

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country, and perhaps they will have the access to the information. Then

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they might think about it. For the parents, they do not want to raise

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personal consciousness which might lead to their children being

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punished. Although it is 25 years ago, the Tiananmen incident is still

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a big incident in China. So you can imagine how much fear those parents

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may have for sharing their experience with their children. It

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has been very hard to talk about this online in China, have you seen

:14:29.:14:33.

any evidence of references is creeping into social media?

:14:34.:14:37.

Actually, my colleagues and I have been following a Chinese social

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media platform, a Twitter equivalent in China. We found some changes

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throughout the day. Some terms were totally banned in the morning. But

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now, just a moment ago before coming to the programme, we found terms

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like today tonight... Is this June the 5th? That is right. Some other

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key terms are still banned on social media regarding June the 4th. While

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it may not be in the mind of a 20 something now, she finds hard to

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believe that 20 years on that things. These thing -- so repressed.

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For many people in China, they cannot believe what happened 25

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years ago. They may not believe such little change has taken place in

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China over the last 25 years in terms of politics. I think they

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appreciate the economy -- economic achievement done by the government.

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But at the same time they are increasing the voice for the

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government to bring in democracy. Finally, it has been interesting to

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watch and Hong Kong, where there is one country and two systems, there

:16:06.:16:08.

is more freedom, there have been thousands of people out there. It

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happens every year, it is very big tonight. In Chinese culture, any

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anniversary involving the number five or ten is significant. I think

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that is the reason why we see more. Of course another reason is there

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are more people in Hong Kong who realise that Hong Kong needs to

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fight for their own democracy if they could survive in the future.

:16:36.:16:38.

Thank you very much Raymond Li. The Taliban have released

:16:39.:16:43.

a video showing the moment when they The footage shows Sergeant Bergdahl

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wearing Afghan clothing and being searched,

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before he boards a helicopter. He was returned to the Americans

:16:51.:16:52.

in exchange for five Taliban The prisoner swap has caused

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controversy in the US. Our North America Editor,

:16:56.:16:59.

Mark Mardell reports. Inside this truck

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on the remote Afghan/Pakistan border, a man who has been held

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captive for five years. Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl blinks

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repeatedly, perhaps unused to sunlight, perhaps close to tears.

:17:17.:17:19.

Certainly overwhelmed by the prospect of freedom.

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He is told, don't come back to Afghanistan,

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next time you will be killed. Something reinforced in English

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on the 17 minute home video. They spot the helicopter.

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US forces ask them to light a flare but they only have

:17:40.:17:41.

a white flag and they are jubilant. Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl looks tense.

:17:42.:17:56.

For 13 years, US special forces have been trying to kill each other but

:17:57.:18:01.

on this day, a quick greeting, brief handshake and a pat down to check he

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is unarmed and not carrying a bomb. The commentary says the US soldiers

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were nervous and in a hurry. He gets another search before he

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is allowed in the helicopter. Then finally off to freedom

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but some claim the President has handed the enemy a propaganda coup.

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The Taliban are using this victory narrative that they have now to

:18:25.:18:28.

strengthen the recruiting, strengthen the position because they

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are looking at a major military offensive this summer to dent the

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confidence of the Afghan forces with the goal to

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kick over Afghanistan in 2017/2018. The release

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of this gloating video will only add to the storm surrounding the swap

:18:46.:18:49.

but the President seems unrepentant, arguing this is the way wars end.

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a ceremony that is always rich with pomp and pageantry.

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It was the last Queen's Speech before the next general election,

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The speech outlined the government's programme until then.

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The 63rd state opening the speech.

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The 63rd state opening is over and the household cavalry

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have galloped back and the is over and the household cavalry

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returned in gilded carriage and so what are we left with?

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returned in gilded carriage and We are left with the start

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of what promises to be a truly fascinating, potentially

:19:31.:19:34.

historic year in British politics. First up

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in September is the referendum on whether Scotland should remain a

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part of the United Kingdom or not. If they chose to leave, that would

:19:42.:19:44.

be the biggest shakeup in Britain's constitution in 300 years.

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In a year from now, we have the general election to decide possibly

:19:49.:19:51.

a very different kind of government from the one we currently have.

:19:52.:19:59.

With the Queen's Speech, we have a flavour

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of what that campaign is going to be about with the Conservatives

:20:05.:20:06.

and Liberal Democrats saying we have made progress on Britain's

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mountain of debt and deficit. Stick with us,

:20:10.:20:12.

we are on the right track. The Labour Party response saying

:20:13.:20:16.

this is not a government that knows what it's

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doing or knows how to manage the problems of modern Britain.

:20:22.:20:24.

The Queen has set it up nicely. It is highly nonpolitical

:20:25.:20:27.

from her point of view but no doubt the year ahead,

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plenty of potential excitement. In Italy, the Mayor of Venice is

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among 35 officials arrested on suspicion of embezzling money

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meant for the city's multi-billion They're alleged to have taken

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the equivalent The project WAS due to be completed

:20:42.:20:54.

this year Venice at its magnificent best but

:20:55.:21:06.

this beautiful city is in trouble. It's gradually sunk deep

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into the mud and now floods come much more frequently.

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High tides drown the ancient piazzas.

:21:12.:21:14.

But there is a plan to save Venice from the sea.

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Flood barriers are being built in the lagoon at a vast cost and the

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city's mayor blessedthe project when it was tested for the first time.

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TRANSLATION: It is an emotional moment

:21:28.:21:30.

and will change the vision we have of the city and its lagoon.

:21:31.:21:35.

But the mayor himself has now been arrested, accused of corruption

:21:36.:21:40.

in connection with the scheme. More than 30 people have been

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detained altogether and 100 more have been investigated.

:21:45.:21:48.

Police suspect funds were siphoned off from this colossal seven

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billion-dollar project and that millions were paid

:21:53.:21:56.

in bribes to politicians, accountants and businessmen.

:21:57.:21:59.

This crucially important project aimed at preserving

:22:00.:22:03.

the splendours of Venice is now immersed in a major scandal.

:22:04.:22:19.

In the last few minutes the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction

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The ?30,000 prize is awarded to any woman writing

:22:23.:22:27.

in english whatever her nationality, age or subject matter.

:22:28.:22:30.

With me is Claire Shanahan. She's head

:22:31.:22:35.

of arts with the reading charity Booktrust, which manages the Prize.

:22:36.:22:46.

A book called a girl is a half formed thing has one. It is her

:22:47.:22:53.

first novel and a fantastic accomplishment. It is a coming of

:22:54.:23:01.

age story, innovative set in rural Ireland and quite innovative and

:23:02.:23:08.

original. It is really a stream of consciousness where we are inside

:23:09.:23:12.

the girl's head and she describes things as they happen to her. The

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language is played with. Punctuation is a bit misplaced, ideas are half

:23:20.:23:29.

formed, sentences are fragmented. It is perhaps a challenging read for

:23:30.:23:32.

some readers but incredibly rewarding. There we have it. The

:23:33.:23:40.

fact that she has won this prize brings her more attention. It is her

:23:41.:23:46.

first novel so she will be getting used to fame. There is an

:23:47.:23:50.

interesting story. She wrote this book in six months which is quite a

:23:51.:23:54.

short period of time to write a novel but it took her ten years to

:23:55.:23:58.

get it published. She has been plugging away with it and it was a

:23:59.:24:04.

very small independent press based in Norwich who eventually took it

:24:05.:24:09.

on. It was only their second book that they published. This is about

:24:10.:24:13.

the power of the small publishers. You sometimes hear them being

:24:14.:24:19.

swallowed up by the juggernauts. For the writer, her perseverance and for

:24:20.:24:24.

the publisher, it is fantastic to have this claim. The book has

:24:25.:24:28.

already been celebrated quite widely. It has found success with

:24:29.:24:34.

two other prizes and is on a number of other short lists. Good things

:24:35.:24:38.

are in store for her. I should mention one of the names that didn't

:24:39.:24:43.

make it, Donna Tart, the American juggernaut. Not to get it, that is a

:24:44.:24:53.

statement. The Goldfinch was tipped as the favourite. This prize has a

:24:54.:25:02.

history of not rewarding the favourite. It has already won before

:25:03.:25:11.

and it is an incredible accomplishment in itself. It is 800

:25:12.:25:15.

pages so maybe challenging in a different way from regions. Both

:25:16.:25:21.

books and also -- all six books on the short list of a rich experience,

:25:22.:25:26.

something different. There has been a worry that the Man Booker Prize

:25:27.:25:31.

going global might mean American domination. It is a global list and

:25:32.:25:42.

global attraction. Regardless of where writers are based and where

:25:43.:25:47.

they are from, a lot of writers tend to write international fiction. We

:25:48.:25:54.

live in a global world. We are a UK-based charity and promote reading

:25:55.:25:58.

from all around the world. For us, the power of a book for an

:25:59.:26:04.

individual reader is what is important and that personal

:26:05.:26:07.

collection. It is thrilling when it is a first novel. There were three

:26:08.:26:17.

debut novelists on this list so you did have more established names up

:26:18.:26:27.

against the new people. That is what they really can achieve, they can

:26:28.:26:31.

bring writers to the reader's attention. Thank you for coming in

:26:32.:26:33.

to talk about the box. Don't forget you can get

:26:34.:26:37.

in touch with me and some But for now, from me and the rest

:26:38.:26:40.

of the team goodbye. Hello. It has been a cloudy day for

:26:41.:27:01.

much of the country. Much of the rain will move northwards but by

:27:02.:27:06.

tomorrow things will improve across much of England and Wales with the

:27:07.:27:11.

sunshine coming out. It will feel warmer also. We starts Thursday on a

:27:12.:27:18.

cool note across the south-west. That's brighter

:27:19.:27:19.

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