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This is BBC World News Today with me, Tim Willcox.
The headlines - more fallout from the Panama Papers.
President Putin dismisses them as western propaganda as his close
associates are linked to offshore accounts.
In Argentina, President Macri is now under criminal
investigation after revelations from the leaked documents.
Brussels police release new security footage of the man in the hat -
the surviving prime suspect in last month's terrorist bombings.
Also coming up - French prostitutes criticise a new law making it
But its backers say it will help tackle trafficking.
Finding the Bard in unexpected places.
Why the discovery of a new First Folio in Scotland has
With the Panama papers continuing to cause global embarrassment
for many of the world's richest - and political death
for some like the former Prime Minister of Iceland -
focus has now shifted to Argentina, where a federal prosecutor has
opened an investigation into this man - President Mauricio Macri.
According to local media, Mr Macri is listed as the director
of an offshore company in the Bahamas.
He denies it, saying he has no shares in the company.
Well, another leader distancing himself from allegations
is the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
He has denied any element of corruption over the leaks,
dismissing it as Western propaganda, accusing his opponents of trying
It's the first time Putin has spoken since it was revealed close
associates of his owned a number of offshore accounts.
Do you know what a product of the news means? They tackled the
offshore accounts and your humble servant was not clear. There is no
topic to discuss. They made a product for the news. They found
some of my acquaintances and friends, dug into something and put
it together. I saw those pictures and many unspecified people in the
background. The photo of myself is placed in the foreground. The idea
has been developed that the president of Russia has a friend who
did something with possibly an element of corruption but which
element? Beard is none. The fact that the establishment, for example
the USA, are behind the story, was already shown by Wikileaks.
The practice of off-shore banking has been thrust into the spotlight
Tax authorities in Germany, Spain, Britain and France have all said
But what about Panama, the country where this all started.
With me to discuss what is being done there is Daniel Fabrega,
Ambassador of Panama to the United Kingdom.
Thank you for joining us. You have announced an independent commission,
too little, too late? First of all, thank you for having me. I would
like to start by saying it is unfortunate that the title of the
news is Panama News because it is not only about Panama but 21
jurisdiction is. Panama has made significant advancements in
transparency and tackling corruption. Is that correct, because
when you look at the actual banking laws, these have been entrenched in
recent legislation in terms of secrecy and confidentiality? It is
not as if Panama has gone out of its way for transparency but laws have
been changed to create even more secrecy. We have actually, first of
all on this issue in particular, the Attorney General started a formal
investigation and the president stated twice this week, first that
he is hoping for the international community to do any investigation on
Panama, and also for the international community to work
together, and second, in the state of the rain address, he appointed a
special committee of legal and financial world experts who will
help evaluate this crisis. So it is a crisis? Any reform that needs to
be done will be shared with the international community. It is a
crisis not for Panama but the entire world, and President Obama stated
clearly this week it is not unless issue about Panama but about the
world. Countries need to lead by example. But Panama doesn't have any
tax treaties with other countries so that stiffens the treaties? We
actually have nearly 30 double taxation agreements with countries
such as the UK and France and we believe in transparency. We have
done an unprecedented set of reforms. But there is only one court
order as I understand that the first the Panamanian main court to
actually look into and breakdown this, and that is associated with
terrorism but nothing else. It is directly they waited to this
particular law firm which has the allegation at hand. But any law firm
or any irregularity in the legal or financial system will not be
tolerated by this particular administration, and we have been
clear what the international community. And yet, Panama is one of
just a handful of countries that didn't sign up to the full CCD
commitment to transparency, why not? We believe in exchange of
information and that goes on hand with double taxation agreements that
we have with members of the OECD. But why didn't you sign up to that?
Every other country it seems has and the others are countries like
Vanuatu and Bahrain. First, we are sovereign country, we believe in
competitiveness, and also the US has not signed up to the reporting
standards. Isn't the problem that Panama has made a lot of money and
this is very important to the GDP of your country, and to lose that would
cause a severe dent in the economy. I think Panama has made major
advancements. We were recently added to the list of the service industry
representing a large part of our economy like it does in the UK. The
legal and financial sector is very important, but in these
investigations for allegations that have arisen this week, none of the
money that was used in this company was challenged by the financial
system. Panama is actually a role model in terms of its economy. It
has the fastest-growing economy Latin America and we have been able
to build the hub of the Americas, and actually we are country of
honest, hard-working folks, and we are in June inaugurating the
expansion of the canal which represents nearly 6% of the world
economy. And yet the OECD said recently that people who want to
hide their money offshore, Panama is still the place people believe they
can do that without found? That is not true because Panama is a
responsible citizen of the world and they will demonstrate to the entire
world that we can handle this issue in a very responsible manner. But
there are no limits on the funds involved. If some dictator comes to
you with billions of dollars, it appears no questions asked. The
issue at hand is not about Panamanian corporation. The 21
jurisdiction is under financial system was not used to follow this
money. It is not a thing about Panama but about the international
community and it is an indicator that Panama together with the
international community needs to work together in order to avoid this
happening again. And the Chinese, any concerns about that coming
through Panama as well? We are open and working closely with the
international community and have made major advancements since the
previous administration in order to raise any irregular activity or
money laundering and financial terrorism activities, and this has
been done in an unprecedented manner. So we'll Panama sign up to
the OECD rules? If there's a legacy we want to leave, it is but back yes
or no? Will you sign up or not? Right now we're looking at that and
are having a diplomatic approach and we are sovereign country and we
believe in automatic exchange and we will not today comply with CRS
standards. The US has not done the same. The vast majority of the
jurisdiction is being investigated are not from Panama. Is it
complicated also by the fact the president of Panama is close friends
and said in a TV interview he was a friend of Fonseca. It does not
complicate things at all. We are transparent country, the judicial
system is very different from the executive and legislative branch and
Mr Fonseca is a part of the same political party as the president
which has the hundred 50,000 members and was a miniature adviser until a
couple of weeks ago and he presented his resignation which was accepted
by the president and the president has put full force into this
investigation which was handled by the Attorney General. But of the
214,000 offshore companies that are registered, 48,000 are registered on
Panama. Does that not suggest Panama is a very keen player in this world?
You have to take into account that these leaks that took place were
almost half a century ago. The world has changed tremendously. Not all
have a century ago, some go back just a few years? Most of the leaks,
the companies that have been leaked in this investigation, are almost
half a century at all. The vast majority again are not from Panama.
The world, the entire world together with Panama is trying to avoid this
happening, and we have been clear about this and have made significant
process. Just a couple of things. Mr Fonseca is the fourth-largest firm
doing this sort of work, what else is there to, there are leaks from
the other three? Again, we will not tolerate any kind of corruption. The
Attorney General has started this investigation and I am here on the
half of the government of Panama. Are you angry about the way this is
being portrayed? Of course, because the image of Panama is being painted
and we are country that believes in diplomacy and that is the way to
handle this. This is not an issue about Panama, it is an issue about
the international community together and it is a call for everyone to
work together for the same cause. Thank you very much indeed. If you
could just a funny moment we will carry on with some other news.
Iceland's new cabinet has formally assumed power in Reykjavik.
The new Prime Minister, Sigurour Ingi Johannsson -
a former minister for agriculture - is set to take Iceland
His predecessor stepped down after being linked
to offshore accounts in the Panama papers scandal.
Public protests were led by the libertarian Pirate Party,
which is calling for an immediate election to capitalise
Prosecutors in Belgium have made a fresh appeal for help in the hunt
for the man in the hat -the prime suspect seen on CCTV
footage in the Brussels airport attack last month.
He's seen alongside the two suicide bombers and then, after the blasts,
running among people trying to escape from the scene.
Newly-released video and still images show him walking
into central Brussels, talking on the phone.
Residents are being urged to come forward with any more
pictures they may have which would help identify him,
as James Reynolds reports from Brussels.
These are the moments after the airport explosions.
Amid the confusion, the only surviving attacker got away.
The police have now put together this video of his escape,
a security camera picks him up on the outskirts
He is wearing a distinctive hat and pale jacket.
At this point, no-one has any reason to notice him, but he
The authorities are desperate to find more footage
We especially appeal to people who may have filmed are taken
a photograph of the suspect if they can provide
An hour after the explosions, a security camera films they suspect
Later in town he crosses a busy road.
At 9:49 a.m., almost two hours after the bombs went off,
he is seen again, possibly talking on the phone.
The cameras lost the third man at about this point
This is a quiet neighbourhood near the centre of town.
He could have gone anywhere from here.
This is the best shot the police have of their suspect's face.
But they still don't know his name nor where he may be hiding.
The French parliament has voted to make it illegal to pay for sex.
People caught buying the services of a sex worker could be fined up
Supporters of the new law say it will offer protection to sex workers
But many women who work in the industry say it will drive
Taina Bien-Aime Executive Director of the international NGO
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women based in New York,
The organisation advocates for the same type of law that has been
introduced in France and yet it seems a lot of French sex workers
don't want it? Thank you for having me on, and the question is, who are
these self identified sex workers? Not a term that we use. What the
French government did yesterday was following in the footsteps of
Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Canada to some extent and Northern Ireland and
the number of other jurisdictions that recognise the systems of
prostitution as a system of violence and degradation and discrimination
against women and girls. And yet I have been speaking to a member of
the Norwegian groups that represent prostitutes and they say they are
against it as it derives it underground and makes men more
reluctant to show the appearance because they face a bigger risk of
being caught out and find, and it leads to more violence because the
men obscure their identities. They are there's absolutely no evidence
of that and prostitution itself is stigmatising. It is itself violence.
We are looking at a transaction where one individual has the power
and the money. This transaction happens in a private space, Web of
the back of a car or a hotel. There is nothing that guarantees safety
and prostitution. What the law does and what France is doing is looking
at the systems of exploitation, the systems of trafficking. There is a
link between the sex trade and trafficking and it is a simple
economics issue. Every country that has legalised or decriminalise
prostitution, Germany and the Netherlands, has seen an exponential
increase in sex trafficking. Countries like Sweden, in the last
16 years, during which the law has been in action, there has not been
one more Dorothy prostituted woman by a client. In Germany, you have
organisations counting women's bodies, women who are being
murdered, mutilated and tortured by purchasers of sex. Other people
would claim that the New Zealand model is perhaps the best one which
is the legalising of all things to do with prostitution, just bringing
it out into the open? Prostitution is never brought out into the open.
It is a system of oppression and the exchange of money is not consent to
sexual harassment, to sexual violence, to denigration. The system
in New Zealand is called the criminalisation which is the worst
form of legalisation because basically there are no restrictions.
Everything in the sex trade has a green light to exploit women, the
most marginalised women in New Zealand are in prostitution, and if
you look at brothels in Europe, up to 80, 90% of women in brothels come
from the poorest countries of Eastern Europe and the global South
and Asia. You are looking at a multibillion-dollar sex trade that
preys on the most vulnerable individuals on the planet and what
the government of France has done is really coached this in the framework
of human rights and dignity which is a fundamental principle of the
universal declaration of human rights, and in the framework of
democracy and equality. I think that is the self identified sex workers
very often either have an interest in the sex trade or our supporters
of the sex trade and the represent 2-3% maximum of the prostituted
population. We inform our work on international law and more
specifically on survivors of the sex trade to informing us about the
violence of the sex trade and the violence they have suffered. Sorry
to cut you short but I am afraid we're out of time.
It is being reported that militants in Syria abducted people this week
just west of Damascus. The factory says as many as 250 workers are
still missing. Let's get the latest. Let's take you live to the BBC's
Lina Sinjab who is following They are saying officially know that
at least 300 workers and contractors have been abducted by an Islamic
state militants. The Observer for human rights said contact was lost
with the dozens of workers this Monday after IS attacked the area.
There had been heavy fighting. They had managed to escape but still were
not able to confirm from a second source and they are waiting for more
confirmation from the Syrian government. In another breaking
story. In northern Syria, rebel fighters have managed to push IS out
of a strategic town, a town in Northern Aleppo. It is a crossing
between Syria and tacky and this is a very big piece of news in pushing
IS forces out while the Syrian government is still continuing to
battle IS in the South. Now a look at some of
the day's other news. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko
has insisted his country will continue its movement
towards the EU despite a rejection of the partnership deal
by the Dutch voters. Voters in the Netherlands rejected
the EU partnership deal to remove Prime Minister Mark Rutte said
the government may have to reconsider the deal,
although the vote is not binding. Here in the UK, two teenage girls
have been been given life sentences with minimum terms of 15 years
for the torture and murder The girls, then aged 13 and 14,
used weapons including a shovel, a TV and computer printer to inflict
more than 100 injuries on Angela They were found guilty of murder
following an eight week trial. Nelson Mandela's ex-wife Winnie has
lost her legal bid for ownership of the former president's rural
home in South Africa. A High Court dismissed
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's application and ordered her to pay
all legal costs. She argued that the house
in Qunu village belonged One of the world's rarest and most
sought after books has been discovered in a private library
on the Scottish island of Bute. The First Folio of William
Shakespeare, published in 1623, contains copies of some
of his most famous plays. When shall we three meet again,
in thunder, lightning or in rain? When the hury-burly's done,
when the battle's lost and won. Verses from Macbeth,
one of the many plays that would have been lost
but for the first collection A rare copy of the first Folio
came to light. Rebound in three volumes in 1932,
it is one of the most valuable books in the world and has remained
here undiscovered for more They are in our climate controlled
stores which is where we keep most But obviously we had no way
of knowing at that point Dost thou forget from
what a torment I did free thee? The Tempest, another play that
would have been lost, performed recently at
the Globe Theatre in London. As part of the national
commemorations to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death,
the Globe Theatre is producing ten minute versions of every
one of his 37 plays, but it is probable that had it not
been for the first Folio in 1623, Shakespeare would have remained
so unknown we would not even be It is often errors that
are important marks of authenticity. Professor Emma Smith identified
the Bute copy by identifying She says it was the act of gathering
Shakespeare's work in one volume Folio means the size of a book,
a big book, and it is the size of book that we associate
more with Bibles, really important significant works
you will not throw away. If you publish plays in a format
like this you are saying it is going to last,
these are worth keeping. Another edition of the first Folio
sold recently for ?5 million. Its cultural value is
impossible to calculate. We have just been speaking to the
Panamanian ambassador of the UK and he says Panama is being unfairly
maligned for the so-called Panama papers Revelations. He said it was a
global problem and Panama is transparent and will co-operate with
other authorities to remove the stigma of offshore banking and
people moving billions of dollars around the world without any
transparency. That is our main story. See you soon.