07/04/2016 World News Today


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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.


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