Transcript in the news of
February 26, 2007
>> In the last hour, the international court of justice at the Hague has
ruled that the massacre of Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica during the 1990s does
qualify as genocide. But the court is continuing to pronounce that those are
live pictures from the Hague where chief judge Rosalind Higgins is about to
decide whether Serbia, the country Serbia as a whole, can be said to be guilty
of genocide for the massacre of 200,000 Bosnians during the Balkans war. It's a
very difficult and contentious issue before the court. Let's get the latest now
from our correspondent, Geraldine Cokklin. When are we likely to find out
whether the judge thinks Serbia is guilty of genocide.
>> We're expecting this some time in the next hour. You can see the chief
judge is continuing to read out this lengthy state. Srebrenica survivors and
their supporters are still protesting outside the court. Up to now the court has
ruled that the killings at Srebrenica in Bosnia in 1995 did constitute genocide,
but it said in other mass killings of Bosnian Muslims in other parts of Bosnia
the court wasn't convinced that there was the intent to commit genocide there.
The court's also said so far that Serbia was making military and financial
support available to the Bosnian Serbs, and we're waiting to
hear whether the court is thinking the state was
>> This is really new territory, isn't it, for an international court
to judge if a country can be responsible for
>> It's a historic case because it is the first time the world court that's been in existence
for 60 years is handling a genocide case. As you say, it's whether or not it can
be regarded as a state policy of genocide against an ethnic group. What the
international experts are really interested in here today is will we see a
change in the definition of genocide in international law, and will it be able
to be applied to individuals, or a state, as well, from now on.
>> Geraldine from the Hague, thanks so much. Of course we'll go straight back
to Geraldine as soon as we hear whether the chief judge Higgins, has decided on
the key question of Serbia's guilt or not on the issue of genocide. Now one of
Iraq's vice presidents has escaped what appears to be an assassination
attempting bomb attending a conference. It was a government building. He was
taken to hospital suffering bruises. Media sources say the blast in an up-market
area of west Baghdad killed at least test from Baghdad a little later in the
programme. A radical Muslim cleric has lost his appeal against deportation from
Britain. The case of the Jordanian national who came to Britain in 1993 is seen
as a key test of rtations to countries accused of torture by securing special
agreements that deportees will not be ill treated. The man has spent most of the
past five years in prison where he's been held under
laws. Six countries trying to get Iran to hold its -- to halt its nuclear
programme are meeting in London. The U.S. is hoping for tougher sanctions after
Iran failed to meet a deadline for stopping its uranium enrichment programme.
It's thought Russia and china will be resisting anything other than token
measures. The meeting is seen as a first step towards getting Iran back to the
negotiating table. Israeli military operations are continuing in the west bank
city Nablus a day after Israeli forces launched their largest incurtion in the
area for months. Several people have been wounded. Israeli troops is been
conducting house-to-house searches. They say they found two explosives
laboratories. There have been a number of arrests, too. The governor of Nablus
says the incursion is an unjustified aggression. Supporters of the president of
Senegal say he's won the west African presidential election. His campaign
manager said partial results gave him 57% of the vote. Opposition candidates,
however, say that no contender could gain the 50% of the vote required to avoid
a run-off contest without electoral fraud. In Bangladesh, at least three people
have been killed and dozens injured in a fire that's blazing through a multistor
building in the capit. Oftims died of burn injuries in hospital while ie after
sixth floor of the building to escape the flames. More than 100 people have
already been rescuany are feared to be trapped inside building. It houses two TV
channels and a newspaper, as well as other commercial offices. There you can see
the military helicopters that were drafted in to rescue so many of the people in
there. The operations are ongoing. And Tanya's here now to tell us what's what
in the world of business.
>> There was a buyout, leverage buyout is a deal that requires a lot of debt
instead of there being takeover, which is 20% or 30% debt. It's probably 80%
debt. It involves a lot of risk. That's why people get excited because risk is
exciting. The largest level buyout in history is poised to take place, guess,
where merkel. Texas power company T.X.U. has agreed to be acquired for about $44
billion. The deal could mark a turning point for the image of private equity
firms in a move to appease environmentalists. The perspective buyer says it will
cancel plans to build most of T.X.U.'s 11 coal-fired plants under development.
And the private equity firm Texas pacific is also involved in attempts to buy
out Australian airline Qantas. It's way has been partly cleared. John Howard
announced today he will not step in to block the $8.8 billion takeover of the
national carrier. Howard said he will ensure the
abides by current laws on foreign ownership but no further conditions would be
imposed. Canada's onux and mcsquarery bank are also interested in Qantas. And
battle over booze. It's about new security measures that ban liquids being
brought on to plane. Australia says the sale of duty-free goods are falling and
plans to retaliate. We have more from Brussels.
>> Since last November Europe has some of the strictest rules for carrying
liquids on board aircraft. Any liquids including wine, perfume and even some
types of cheese need to be clearly displayed with proof it was bought at the
>> So I have my nice bottle of wine in its see-through, tamper-proof plastic
bag. I can take it anywhere I want now, but it would be confiscated if I bought
it in a non-you you country and was transited on to a third country elsewhere in
Europe. What's the point of buying wine or Europe in Montréal, Dubai or Sydney
if you know you're going to lose it on the way to your destination? And European
airports are seizing goods in vast numbers. 20 tons of liquids are confiscated
every week and an estimated 1500 litres every day in Amsterdam. Overall
duty-free sales are down 40% since the new rules came in, and now Australia
wants to retaliate by banning E.U. goods arriving at their airport from next
month. Other major destinations from Europe like Canada and new
are considering consumer measures. That's annoyed consumer groups and now E.U.
>> This is chaos over the global airspace because it doesn't need to arrive.
It's each country doing its own thing. We should have compatibility. I believe
we can. We've had it in similar circumstances in the past. In the interest of
security and in the interest of the public.
>> The matter will be discussed this week by the U.N. Watchdog, the
international civil aviation organization. It will need to find a solution soon
before Europe's strict security measures creates a global stink. Bbc news,
>> I'll be back joining you with world business report in 20 minutes' time.
Do join me for that, bye-bye.
>> We look forward to it. Thanks so much, Tonya. Let's get the latest now
from Iraq. Remember I was telling you about an Iraqi vice president who appears
to have been the victim of an assassination attempt. Let's get the latest from
Jane peel live in Baghdad. What can you tell us, Jane?
>> Well, this was a bomb at the ministry of public works where one of Iraq's
vice presidents was having a meeting with the minister of public works. We
thought at first that it may have been a car parked in the garage close to the
building or maybe a roadside bomb, but police have just confirmed to us that the
bomb was actually inside the building. We know that at east five people have
been killed... at least five people have been killed and more than 30 injured.
Initial reports suggested the vice president was unhurt, but there are now some
reports that he may have suffered injuries, and there's no confirmation on the
condition of the minister who he was with. Whether this was an assassination
attempt specifically against one or the two members of the government is
unclear, but it would seem more likely now we know the bomb was inside the
building rather than outside.
>> Jane, from Baghdad, thanks so much. Our correspondent Jane peel there. Do
stay with us on bbc world. Here's what's coming up: We'll take a closer look at
the international court ruling. What would it mean if Serbia was to be found
guilty of genocide in Bosnia? The Indonesian authorities are investigating how a
damaged ferry being in themed bir safety officials sank killing one person. A
group of 16 inspectors and journalists had gone on board following a fire on the
vessel last week in which 42 people were killed, but then the vessel, which was
moored off the coast of Jakarta, sank, killing a TV cameraman. Search and rescue
teams were also looking for three other missing people. This report from Louis
Williamson in Jakarta.
>> This is a ship that's been marked by disaster. It looked blackened and
charred by the time it sank. Fire had been raging aboard the ship for several
hours on Thursday, and it seems at least to be pretty unstable by the time it
went down. Investigators and journalists had only been aboard the ship for a
short time when it sank, really very quickly. Eyewitnesses describe seeing it go
suddenly over on the its side and sink bethrow waves in a matter of seconds. A
marine police official who was close by at the time said he had seen up to 20
people on the upper deck of the ferry and had issued a warning to them via a
megaphone saying the ship was about to sink. He said that he saw several people
jump off into the water to be picked up by boats and taken back to shore, but
the problem is that many people rescued are in a bad condition. Some in a
critical condition. Of course, there may be other people on the lower deck of
the ferry went it went down who has yet to be accounted for. This ferry has
already claimed more than 40 lives. The fire that engumped it on Thursday lasted
for several hours forcing the hundreds of passengers aboard to jump into the
sea, but the naval boats and other boats sent to pick them up took some time to
arrive. More than 40 people didn't survive that experience. In fact, there may
be many more who died as a result of the disaster because the ferry was believed
to have been carrying
more people than it was officially listed as carrying.
>> This is bbc world. A reminder of the main news: A U.N. court at the Hague
has ruled the Srebrenica massacre does qualify as genocide, but Serbia was not
responsible for carrying it out. The court is continuing to pronounce. Let's get
some comment now from our Balkans analyst Tim judo, author of "the Serb's
history myth and the destruction of Yugoslavia." Thanks so much for joining us.
Tell us about how you see the significance of what's going on at the Hague and
this ruling they're in the process of making.
>> Well, it's very interesting that they've talked about Srebrenica, but in
legal terms, we already knew that Srebrenica was genocide because across the
road at the Hague, so to speak, is the tribunal, the U.N.'s international
criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in which individuals have already
been convicted of genocide for Srebrenica. Now, of course, as we've just heard,
Serbia's not been linked as a state to Srebrenica, but we're talking about a
whole war from 1992 to 1995. So we're going to have to wait until the end of the
judgment to see exactly what it means. But what's important about this judgment
apart from the fact that it's of interest to sort of lawyers and for future
cases, is its reifications within Bosnia, within Bosnian politics.
>> What are the repercussions if indeed Serbia were to be found guilty or if
indeed the court were to clear them of this very momentous charge? What
repercussions would there be in Bosnia hearse dpoaf itself -- Herzegovina
>> There could be tremendous repercussions. Bosnia Herzegovina launched this
case in 1993. The problem is this judgment is coming almost 14 years too late.
What it would do or what it is already doing is fanning the flames within Bosnia
politically speaking. It's increasing political tensions. People are again
coming to the question of what was this war all about? If in f Serbia is
convicted, so to speak, if the state is imikted, the ramification within Bosnia
are tremendous because it means the leaders of Bosnia's Muslim community will
say to the Serb part of Bosnia, the so-called republic of Srebrenica, a part of
this federal state, founded on genocide, therefore should be abolished.
>> Tim, I'm going to interrupt you there and tell our viewers that there
appears to be confirmation that the U.N. court has cleared Serbia of legal
responsibility for genocide and complicity in genocide in Bosnia. Your reaction,
>> Well, no one's going to be happy, and if that is, of course, the case,
then Bosnia's Muslim community, its leaders will be extremely angry. They will
believe there's been some form of conspiracy. Indeed, the papers in Sarajevo
have been saying over the last few weeks that if this is what happened, if this
is what's going to happen that Serbia's been cleared, then, in fact, the court
has been lent on by the powers that be and this is all related to Kosovo and
Serbia is being give an clean bill of health because it wants to smooth... the
international community wants to smooth the pain of Serbia perhaps losing Kosovo
this year, whether of course that's the case or not, who can say. It's probably
unlikely to be the case, but that's the way that many people will read it in
Sarajevo and in Bosnia today.
>> Tim, thanks so much for giving us your immediate reaction to that breaking
news. It appears that the international court has ruled that Serbia is not
guilty of genocide. Now, news from Pakistan. U.S. Vice president dick Cheney
made an unexpected trip there and held talks with President Musharraf. It wasn't
announced for security reasons. The talks focused on the progress of the
campaign against the Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan. Washington has been
alarmed by what it cease as the growing strength of the Taliban and al Qaeda in
Pakistan's tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. Let's get the latest now from the
Pakistani capital, Islamabad. Here's the bbc's Barbara met. So more American
pressure on President Musharraf to tackle this.
>> Yes. We didn't get very much information about the content of Dick
Cheney's visit. What we're told is that as expected he expressed U.S. fears
about what's happening in Pakistan's tribal areas near the border. He expressed
apprehension about the possibility that al Qaeda was regrouping there, and he
expressed serious U.S. concerns about an expected surge of Taliban fighting this
spring and the support the Taliban were allegedly getting from sanctuaries
within the tribal areas. But he also said that President Musharraf was playing a
pivotal role in the fight against terrorism and these are the kinds of views we
hear regularly expressed from Washington. On the one hand, public recognition of
President Musharraf, important as an ally in what the U.S. Calls its war on
terror. On the other hand, real concern among Americans on what the actual
situation is on the ground in tribal areas.
>> Briefly, Barbara, anything been said unofficially about the new York times
report that perhaps the U.S. is threatening to cut aid to Pakistan unless it
>> No, nothing here has led to that report to which you referred, that
perhaps the newly democratic congress might push to cut aid against aid for
Pakistan if it doesn't take more aggressive actions against the militants here.
Certainly what we hear from Pakistanis is that's not what they're being told in
meetings with officials, however, in the American press, you do get quite a lot
of pressure about Pakistan's actions or lack of actions with regard to the
Taliban and al Qaeda.
>> Barbara from Islamabad, thanks so much. Barbara plett report, for us. It
may have take an while, but martin Scorsese finally triumphs at this year's
Oscars. Now, we've been hearing a lot, haven't we, about polar bears being
threatened by global warming, but inside Sweden's arctic circle, it's the
reindeer herds which are under threat from exceptionally cold weather which has
frozen access to their food.
>> Everyone expects Scandinavia to be freezing cold at this time of year, but
for the indigenous reindeer herders of northern Sweden, this winter is proving
potentially disastrous. The early snow falls were heavy and wet. Now rapidly
falling temperatures have seen it turn to ice, so thick that the reindeer can't
dig down to the lichand they need to survive.
>> ( Translated ): It's extreme. The last similar winter was in 1966, but
none of us can remember anything this bad. If we don't do something, many
reindeer will die.
>> After a recent visit to Lapland by Sweden's minister of agriculture, the
government has announced a rescue package for the Sami people whose arctic
existence is heavily dependent on reindeer. More than $5 million has been set
aside to pay for winter fodder and high-protein foods. The difficulty is getting
it to them.
>> ( Translated ): It's hard work feeding them like this, but satisfying
knowing they'll survive. When reindeer can't get under the snow to food, they
tend to spread out over vast areas and many end up starving to death.
>> There's almost 250,000 reindeer raised in Sweden alone. The meat is
considered a delicacy across in orderric countries while the skins and horns are
used for clothes and handicrafts. Without them the ancient Sami lifestyle and
culture will find it hard to survive. Michael Voss, bbc news.
>> It was an emotional night at this year's Oscar ceremony in Hollywood.
Martin Scorsese, who has been overlooked several times previously, finally
triumphed, scooping the best picture and the best director awards for "the
>> It may be the most glamourous night of the year for America's film
industry, but this red carpet had a distinctly international feel to it. Spain,
Mexico and Japan. This year's nominations reflected the globalisation of
Hollywood. And in a year in which many awards seemed foregone conclusions, some
of the nominees seemed remarkably relaxed.
>> It's great to have been here once before because it's quite intimidating
and scary if you've never done it before. Now actually I enjoy it. It's the bit
I almost enjoy the most, the parade. It's lovely.
>> And Dame Helen Mirren was just one of around 20 British nominees, a fact
acknowledged by this year's host, Ellen degeneracy.
>> You don't really know who is going to win unless you're British, and then
you know you have a pretty good shot.
>> And the evening did in many ways follow the predictions.
>> Oh, my god. I have to take this moment in. I cannot believe this.
>> Jennifer Hudson provided the tears as she won best supporting actress for
her role in "dreamgirls." And in the year the Oscars said it had gone green, al
gore's film about global warming, "an inconvenient truth," won best documentary.
>> I'm going to take this opportunity right here and now to...
>> (Wrap-up music starts).
>> The awards had a royal flavour, Forrest Whitaker winning for the best king
of Scotland, and dame Helen mirren dedicating her Oscar to the woman she played,
>> I salute her courage and her consistency and I thank her because if it
wasn't for her, I most certainly would not be here. Ladies and gentlemen, I give
you the queen.
>> Martin Scorsese's road to the Oscars began in 1956.
>> But for those who thought it wasn't an Oscars without a disappointment for
Martin Scorsese, well, this time, on his sixth nomination, he did finally get
his Oscar for best director and also best film, "the departed."
>> Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Please. Please.
Thank you. Thank you. Could you double check the envelope. ( Laughter ).
>> David Threslettoe, bbc news, Hollywood.
>> The hero of the night couldn't believe he'd finally done it and won not
just one by two Oscars, two of those little golden men at the big Hollywood
ceremony. You can find out more about who got what and find out exactly what
they said. We've got all of the speeches of the winners on our web site,
bbcnews.Com. More seriously, on the breaking news coming through from the Hague,
a U.N. Court has ruled that Serbia was not directly responsible for genocide
during the Balkans wars in the 1990s. The ruling still going on. It will move
very controversial. <