Transcript in the news of
February 19, 2007
>> Sabotage. More than 65 are dead as explosions
tear apart a train traveling from India to Pakistan. Talks reaffirm peace
between Palestinians and Israelis. This is bbc world. I'm Jonathan Charles. Also
on this programme, thousands displaced by the flood. We're in Mozambique. And a
very American debate. Could the state of Maryland set the tone?
>> An act of sabotage and terrorism, an attempt to damage the peace process
between India and Pakistan. That's how the Indian government is describing the
series of explosions and the subsequent fire which tore through a train
travelling from Delhi to Lahore in Pakistan. At least
65 people are dead and dozens more injured. The accident happened at pan platt
some 80 kilometres north of Delhi.
>> These carriages quickly became deathtraps for
passengers headed for Pakistan. An hour after it left Delhi low rail station,
two low intensity explosives triggered a fires, turning the train into an
intense, burning furnace. Most passengers didn't have a chance. They choked or
burnt to death. Survivors were taken to nearby hospitals, their injuries
testimony to the appalling horror they suffered. The express is the most visible
symbol of good relations between India and Pakistan. Officials from both sides
have condemned the attack, vowing that it would not jeopardise the ongoing peace
>> I can't say who is behind this, so I have asked the Indian government to
please investigate as soon as possible and let us know that who is behind this.
We condemn this and we won temperature this and we believe the Indian government
is going to look after our injured people and they'll make all the arrangements
to give the dead bodies to us.
>> Police say they recovered two large suitcase full of homemade explosives,
the kind of devices used to set off the fire and help it spread through the carriages.
Victims from both Indian and Pakistan are now living under the lurking shadows
of more terror. Bbc news, northern India.
>> Joining me now from Islamabad is our correspondent Barbara
Met. Barbara, there seems to be a fair amount of unity
if you listen to the words coming from Islamabad and from Delhi.
>> Well, the Pakistanis have condemned the attack as a horrendous terrorist
attack and a heinous crime, but they've also just as much said this must not
derail the peace process. They've said it should strengthen efforts to find some
sort of durable peace. Those are words at every level, even from the
President himself, and the foreign minister is going
ahead with plans to visit India by the end of the week to continue with the next
round of talks. That's very much the public message coming out of Pakistan. Of
course, there's a humanitarian private one, as well, which is that most of the
dead were Pakistanis. Most of the people on the train were Pakistanis. Now
efforts have to be made here to deal with the dead and injured to help the
relatives at Lahore station. The station has been put on alert. The relatives
are expected shortly. The survivors who have made the
of the journey, people are gathering at the station to meet them, many people
not knowing yet whether their loved ones are dead or alive.
The Indian high commission has also put on an emergency visa station to help all
those who want to travel to India quickly. That will be preoccupying the nation
for the next few hours and days.
>> All right. Barbara met in Islamabad, thank you. In about ten minutes I'll
be giving a live update from the Pakistani foreign ministry. The rest of the
main news. No sign in the breakthrough in the united states' effort to revive
the middle east peace talks. Talks in Jerusalem between the secretary of state,
Condoleezza rice, and Israeli and Palestinian leaders have just ended. It was
the first three-way meeting for almost hour years, but America is nation it may
boycott a new Palestinian government unless it recognises Israel. Dr. Rice said
all parties were committed to peace.
>> We called for respecting the ceasefire declared in December. The president
and prime minister also discussed issues arising from the agreement for the
formation of a Palestinian national unity government and the position of the
quartet that any Palestinian government must be committed to non-violence,
recognition of Israel and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations
including regarding the road map.
>> Let's get more from Bethany Bell who is in
Jerusalem. Sound problems seem to be the least of the difficult in that meeting.
I didn't get the impression there had been any breakthrough, did you?.
>> No certainly not from what she said in public at all this.
Goes along with what many officials were saying before these talks
took place, that expectations for any kind of breakthrough were pretty low, and
all the indications we had was just that Condoleezza rice said the two leaders,
Israeli leader and the Palestinian leader, would meet again soon and also that
she would return to the region again soon. But in terms of any sort of concrete
ways in which peace negotiations might be revered we had no indication of
anything like that.
>> All right, botany, thank you. Thailand's prime minister has been holding
an urgent security meeting after a series of bomb attacks on Sunday left seven
people dead in the south of the country. About 30 bombs went off where a
separatist insurgency has led to nearly 2,000 deaths in the past two years. The
bombs exposed as karaoke bars and hotels and there were extensive power cuts. A
commission set up by Indonesia and east Timor to promote requisitionuation has
begun its first hearing. The commission of truth and friendship was set up to
investigate the violence which surrounded east Timor's vote for independence
from Indonesia in 1999. Land slides on the central Indonesian island of java
have killed at least 12 people. The worst incident occurred in the magaland
district where the side of a kill collapsed burying a group of people working
nearby. Dozens have been injured in Iraq after a series of explosions across the
capital of Baghdad. Five police officers were killed near the city of ramadI.
Detectives investigating a series of letter bomb attacks in Britain have
arrested a suspect in Cambridge. Several people were injured in the blast which
targeted offices linked to motoring and forensic agencies. A total of seven
letter bombs have been spent across Britain over the past month, but police have
said they believed the bombs were intended to shock,
kill. Tens of thousands of people who have been flooded out of their homes in
Mozambique are in desperate need of shelter and food and an emergency appeal has
been launched to help those displaced after the Zambezi river flooded its banks.
Karen Allen is in central Mozambique.
>> More than 100,000 people have been affected by the flooding here in
central Mozambique. Many are now flocking to emergency cams and we visited
villages that are virtually a and stray dogs running around. There has been a
huge operation by boat to bring people out and take them to the safety of camps.
To find out more I'm joined by a representative from the red cross here in
Mozambique. What are conditions like at moment at the camps where people are
>> There's a greee people haveas blans for the boatload. Many of them are
arriving with just the items that they're standing in. How difficult has it been
to persuade them to actually leave their villages.
>> We have problems in many places. What people
normally would tell us is either they don't want to leave their belongings or
because it is their land, it's for cultural reasons. They don't want to
live in Mozambique after the floods.
>> Definitely. These floods are teaching us a lesson. Many have been replaced
or resettled in higher ground, safer ground. We see now the same population is
again affected. So that is something which tends to happen.
>> Let's update some breaking news we brought you about an hour ago. Police
have ended their security operation at the Canadian embassy in Paris where an
employee fell ill after opening a suspect letter. Initial tests show it
contained no toxic substances. Now, Tanya's here with a cure for your congestion
>> Probably inhale or don't exhale in London.
You will have to pay over drive west london.Eod on Monday the zone was
doubled. Traffic levels have dropped by one-fifth. Since the introduction, the
scheme was aimed at cutting congestion and pollution. Opposition groups say it
costs jobs. And the social mkefoat inpull off I money that congestioning raising
to pay for public transport infrastructure so that actually people have a choice
about where to go, and some of the other cities that are looking at this issue
are looking at that as a key factor. I mean, there are... there are
a couple of cities on British style or London style congestion charging
zone, there are lots of areas in which different kinds of road pricing ke a-380
is putting the final touches to financial restructuring plan on Monday. The
announcement is due on Tuesday. There's already some angst over j save more than
$6 billion within three years. The superjumbo has faced massive setbacks like
cost overruns and major delivery delays.
Heels in its row with the E.U. Brussels says the tax regime gives the country
an come so attracting foreign investment and is not come patible with
35-year-old agreement between Switzerland and the E.U. Switzerland is standing
firm and they say it's an issuerance. Y that's the
>> Still to come in this programme, an American state on the verge of ending
the bbc survey has found most people don't believe in the notion of a clash of
civilisations between Muslims and non-Muslims. The poll was conducted in 27
countries. Russell trot reports.
>> The survey looked into what ordinary people were talking about on the
streets of the world's towns and cities. And what they think about themselves
and their religious and cultural differences. It found that more than 50% of
people said the tensions were more likely to be due to conflicts over political
power and interests. Nearly 30% feel it's due to religion and culture. The poll,
jointly conducted by globescan and the university of Maryland for the bbc
interviewed around 28,000 people in 27 countries. In the U.S.,
as many as one-third of those interviewed saw violent
conflict between Islam and the west as inevitable. Elsewhere the figure was much
lower, although a sizeable 39% of Germany was the highest figure in Europe.
Egypt's 43% was the highest in
middle east and Indonesia's 51% the highest figure of all those countries
polled. Overall most Muslims and non-Muslims living in countries as diverse as
Nigeria or Mexico didn't believe in a so-called clash of civilisations or that
violent conflict is inevitable between Islam and the West.
Good news, say the pollsters, for the politicians.
>> What's going to be clear is that the likes of the new defence secretary
gates in the U.S. Are going to be the new breed. I think it's clear that more
moderate leaders have the support and on both sides likely peacemakers are going
to come to the fore.
>> Perhaps the strongest finding, say the pollsters, is that so many people
across the world blame intolerant minorities on both sides for the tensions
between Islam and the west. Russell Trot, bbc news.
>> This is bbc world. The main news this hour: More that 60 people are killed
when explosions tear apart a train travelling from India to Pakistan. Middle
East talks reaffirm the commitment to peace. The U.S.
Secretary of state meets Palestinians and Israeli leaders. Let's get more now on
our main story. More than 60 people have been killed, of course, in that fire
bomb attack on a train travelling from India to Pakistan on the line from
Islamabad. We're joined by a spokesperson for the Pakistani foreign ministry.
Thank you for joining us on bbc world. Most of the people on board this train
were Pakistanis whom do you think might have wanted to attack this train?
>> Well, I won't prejudge the motive. I won't prejudge the investigation that
we expect Indian authorities to carry out, but this was a despicable act of
terrorism in which many people have lost their lives. We know of ten Pakistanis
who have been sent to a hospital in Delhi, and we still do not have any
confirmed numbers of Pakistani dead, but the figures that we have according to
those, 553 out of 757 passengers on this train were Pakistani citizens.
>> Is there any doubt in your mind, though, that this was an attempt to try
disrupt the peace process with India?
>> Well, I can't say that. We don't know if it was meant to target that. It
could be, as we said, that terrorism has internal impulses. Terrorism has
international dimensions. It could have been some internal thing, but our
position is very clear. There is an agreement between the leaders of Pakistan
>> The fact that you and the Indians are saying more or less the same thing
points to the underlying strength of that peace process today.
>> It's the underlying strength of the peace process, as well as the approach
Pakistan has adopted because the victims are Pakistani. We still maintain that,
one, we would not like to indulge in accusations and allegations whether
Pakistanis were targeted, one. Number, two I hope this will be an example for
the Indians not to do that in the future. We do not want them to immediately in
because Pakistani element.
I hope the example would be followed in the future because we have to realise
that terrorism is a global menace. We all face it. It's everywhere. And it's a
>> All right. Thank you very much indeed for joining us here on bbc world.
Most American states have resisted efforts to ban the death penalty, but now
opponents of capital punishment believe that's changing. Almost one-third of the
states that permit the death penalty have placed temporary bans on execution and
now one could go further.
>> What are we going to do? Here we were taught that hatred is a sin.
>> On a dark winter night at the lady of mercy church in Maryland,
campaigners have braved the cold to hear the chilling tale of an early death.
>> To lose family member to murder is a tragedy of unimaginable proportions.
>> Vicki's daughter was brutally raped and murdered in her student hall and
residence, but she isn't campaigning for the death penalty but against it. She
resisted pressure from state prosecutors to call for her daughter's killer to be
>> It was against every principle that we were raised. We wanted only life
without the possibility of parole.
>> The death penalty here has a long history dating back to the English
colony of Jamestown four centuries ago and polls suggest that across America
support for capital punishment has been strong but not unchallenged. Individual
states decide whether to have a death penalty and 38 of the 50 still do so, but
almost one-third of those have placed temporary bans on executions with concerns
about wrongful convictions and more recently about whether lethal injection
could be seen as cruel and unusual punishment. Now one state could go further.
The new democratic governor of Maryland says he wants a law that will end the
death penalty completely. A state senator is proposing just that and says
support for capital punishment is now in decline.
>> Questions being raised about the death penalty across the country suggest
to me other states will say it's more trouble than it's worth and we need to
>> The future of the death penalty will be decided here in Maryland's
statehouse, but advocates of capital punishment say such a momentous
the decision shouldn't be left to the politicians. It should be decide by the
people in a referendum. That's because in recent years every individual state
which has held a popular vote in the death penalty has spent a majority in their
residence in favor. Supporters of capital punishment
say these campaigns allow voters to focus on the state of the victims and not
>> The typical person in Maryland doesn't know all the ins and outs of the
Maryland death penalty. Right now child killers, most child killers are exempt
from the death penalty in Maryland. Serial killers provided they don't kill
people in the same day are exempt from the death penalty. In fact, the death
penalty is underutilized in Maryland.
>> Vicki and her fellow campaigners want the death penalty to be consigned to
history here in Maryland, but they'll face equally emotional opposition, and
there is still no hard and fast evidence that the rest of America is ready to
rewrite the law. Ian Watson, bbc news, Maryland.
>> Stay with us here on bbc world. Still to come on this programme. The
antidote to computer games. How Koreans are toughening up their children with a
different kind of virtual reality. Today marks the start of Oscars week as
Hollywood gears up for the premier night in the film industry calendar, the 79th
annual academy awards will choose the best from a selection of over 300 films.
Former Oscar winners Nicole Kidman and Reese Withspoon
are amongst those presenting awards. Our man in los angeles has been looking at
what's likely to happen. Here is David Willits.
>> It's Oscars week in Hollywood, a week of speculation, anticipation and
excitement in the run-up to the 79th academy awards. Now, those nominees that
haven't yet arrived will be doing so over the next couple days, and the
organisers will be unfurling the red carpet that runs all the way up the steps
of the Kodak theatre where the awards are actually handed out. Now this year
there are more than 300 films from a total of 61 different countries that are
actually up for awards. It's a very international field, and that spelt -- that
is spelt out in the contenders for the big award of the night for best picture,
"the queen," "letters from iwojima," the Clinton Eastwood
film and "Babel" starring brad pitt and cate blanchett are all films made
outside of the united states. That eclectic, international feel is maintained in
the nominees for best act thres, one of the big awards of the night. Four of the
five nominees are from outside the country, and the favourite is our own dame
Helen mirren for her performance in the film "the queen." As far as best actor
nominees are concerned, the raging favourite, Forest
Whitaker for his performance in "the last king of Scotland." "Dream girls" has
eight nominations for most of any film, but the big question, who will be
lifting the golden statuette come Sunday night? It's not just Hollywood that's
agoing to. There will be several hundred million people around the world
watching the telecast, eagerly waiting to see how who gets the Oscar. David
Willits, bbc news, Los Angeles.
>> Now, do you think children these days have it too easy? That's the view
held by some parents in south Korea who enjoyed hard times in their own youth.
They decided to toughen up their kids to prepare them for future challenges and
they've called on the country's ministry to help. Charles Scanlon reports.
>> An amphibious assault on a beach south of Seoul. This is the unit that
would spearhead a drive into Communist
North Korea. Today the storm troopers are nervous
teenagers. They've been sent by their parents for a week's rigorous military
training. The idea is to toughen them up and break idle habits. The drill
sergeants complain kids are getting softer. They say they're spoiled by
affluence addicted by computer games. It's the second
day of boot camp for these teenagers, and some say they've had enough already.
In the hands of the marine corps, the toughest branch of the
South Korean military. Marines say their training methods are designed to
form a new type of human being. There's real stress and tear, but that's all
part of the service. The parents are expecting results. This 17-year-old says
she used to spend all night at her computer.
>> ( Translated ): I don't usually get up until 6:00 in the afternoon in the
school holiday. My parents wanted me to experience some hardship. And I suppose
they'd be pretty happy to see me here now. It's been really tough.
>> Military rations add to the Spartan atmosphere. A taste for the boys of
compulsory military service to come.
>> ( Translated ): I really miss my mom's food, and I don't like all the
shouting. I really didn't want to come, but my dad said he'd pay me $10,000 for
every day if I agreed.
>> The marines hope these courses will improve their image and counter
growing disenchantment with national service. The programme may be a shock for
some, but it's been a huge hit with parents.
>> Right now our economic situation is very... Not very good. So they want to...
they want their children to overcome the harshness of the society of picking up
the experience from our marine corps.
>> The training seems to be having an effect. No one flinches at plunging
into the icy water. But what about the future.
One student told me he'd sleep for a week when the course was over. Charles
Scanlon, bbc news, Pohang, South Korea.
>> Teenagers all over the world must have been watching that report
absolutely horrified. You can get more detail on that on bbc world.Com. A lab
tests by king's college lond treated sperm stayed fertile longer than untreated
sperm. More information on bbc world.Com.