Transcript in the news of
February 8, 2007
>> A raid on the Health Ministry
in Baghdad. The Deputy Health
Minister is arrested. Promises of progress at
six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear programme.
NATO ministers meet in Spain. Will they come up with enough troops to fight off
a Taliban swing offensive? This is bbc world. Welcome. Also in the programme,
protests in Jerusalem as Israel restarts excavations at Al-Sadr
mosque. And the stage is shared with a sport once considered a symbol of British
oppression. Amili is a senior member of the group
loyal to moqtada al-sadr. He's been accused of being a central figure in
infiltrating militias into the ministry. The bbc's Jane Peel
is in the Iraqi capital with more details.
>> This happened around 9:30 local time.
We're told by spokesman for
the Ministry of Health that both American and Iraqi forces were involved in
the raid. It's said they broke down doors to get into the ministry
building in central Bagdad. As you say, he's closely
connected with this political group linked to moqtada Al-sadr, the anti-American
Shiite cleric. Involved in helping the mehdi army, the militia which is also
connected with Al-Sadr and
that specifically he arranged to transport weapons that he
was arrested on
>> Just shows, doesn't it, All of this just as the new
U.S. Commander gets his feet on the ground there.
>> That's right. General David
arrives in Bagdad today. He
doesn't officially take over the commander until Saturday, but his job is to quell the violence
by which the Iraqis are suffering
so much. One
of the aims when they bring in these new American and Iraqi forces is to tackle
the militias and the death squads in a successfully in the past. That's said to
have the support of the Iraqi government and the Iraqi Prime
Al Maliki. Perhaps he has been seen in the past as giving some protection to the
Shiite militias. There are many supporters of the militia in the governing
coalition. This time, it's said, they are going to be targeted. So it will be
very interesting to see what happens when this new security surge finally gets
under way with some 21,500 American troops and many thousands more Iraqi troops
into Baghdad to try to quell this violence.
>> Jane Peel. Well, staying in Iraq, three bombs have exploded, killing at
east 28 people. Separate devices going off in Baghdad, 40 kilometres south of
the capital and a further 40 kilometres south. Police say all the explosions
were roadside bombs with up to 70 people also injured. The military chief of
NATO is expected to urge its member states to commit yet more troops to
Afghanistan. 2,000 extra troops are needed to defeat the expected spring
offensive by the Taliban in the coming weeks. Well, general Karadzic is
attending that meeting of NATO defence ministers. It's being held in the Spanish
city of see seville. NATO commanders want to deploy
the troops on the border with Pakistan and in the south where fighting is
heavier. Now, you end your hostilities towards us and we'll consider an end to
our nuclear programme. That seems to be North Korea's message. Six-party talks
have begun in Beijing. Christopher Hill, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State,
defied report that a deal between Washington and Pyongyang was actually signed
during a meeting with his North Korean counterpart in Berlin last month. Our
correspondent in Beijing is James Reynolds. He told me there really is great
pressure on both sides to ensure some sort of positive result.
>> Both on the American side and on the North
Korean side, they're using exactly the same phrase. Their talking about first
steps or first stages. I think that gives you an indication of exactly where
these talks are. They've been going on, on and off, for more than three years,
but so far they have not achieved anything tangible, anything lasting. Almost
now they're starting right from the beginning looking at the very first steps
towards North Korea's disarmament. At least from the
American side, there is a very real question mark as to whether or not
North Korea really does want to disarm. At the end of
the last round of six-party talks in December, Christopher Hill
said he doubted the north Koreans had come negotiate in good faith. This next
round of talks, I think the Americans will be looking closely to see if the
north Koreans are willing to make any kind of concessions.
>> Presumably they're not using that language now about raising questions as
to whether the North Koreans are there in good faith?
>> No. Christopher Hill has said that America should be cautious. He's
looking at first steps. He's looking at trying to reemployment an old agreement
which was signed but never implemented about a year and a half ago. The
North Korean negotiator who is here has said that he's
neither optimistic nor pessimistic, but he says in public he wants the
United States to stop any
kind of hostile policy towards north Korea. So I think there will be some pretty
sharp exchanges, perhaps in private at the talks, but fundamentally they go back
to this problem of this: These talks began to try to stop north Korea from
developing nuclear weapons, but north Korea has done so. It has developed
nuclear weapons. It has carried out a nuclear test. It believes it is a full
nuclear power. And so really the task facing negotiators now is almost harder
than it was at the beginning when they started several years ago.
>> James Reynolds there. Aaron's here with more bad news for B.P. It's a
company learning it takes a long time to build up a reputation, no time at all
to knock it down.
>> Absolutely. A lot of work in front of them. Hello, everybody. Europe's
second biggest oil producer faces yet another probe into its operations, this
time in Alaska. B.P.'s own watchdog is investigating
claims that workers cut corners in the maintenance of its pipe fliens pruhdoe
bay. The group was forced to stop pumping oil from America's biggest oil field
just last year following a serious oil spill there. The field produce around
400,000 barrels of crude oil a day. Hutchison telecom is cape cod.
He is formally asking for its bidders to submit
bids by tomorrow, that's Friday. They're expected to bid according to the
"business standard newspaper." Hutchison telecoms of Hong Kong is currently in
control. Australia's flagship carrier, kwan tax is reporting a stronger bottom
line. The airline says that cost custs and strong demand have helped boost
profits to $280 million. A buyout group held by Macquarie bank is building $8.7
billion for the airline. Shareholders are being advised to accept the offer, and
the Australian government says it will scrutinize the offer to make sure Qantas
stays in Australian hands. South Korea has decide to hold the bar and crosses
steady, keeping interest rates at 4.5%. They're trying to ensure that Asia's
third largest economy continues to grow. South Korea is heavily dependent on its
exports. Later this year Koreans will be electing a new president and analysts
say there's likely to be no change in rates before then. And here in Europe,
major job cuts for the world's top car parts maker as the German group is to cut
more than 1,200 jobs at its factory in Stuttgart. It's blamed the loss to the
large Volkswagen contract to supply diesel fuel pumps. A tough time for B.P. And
>> Very cold out there for them. Aaron, thanks for that. Stay with us on bbc
world. Still to come, anger in the Muslim world at Israel's decision to start
another archaeological dig at Jerusalem's holiest mosque. Here in Britain, one
of the men arrested over an alleged plot to kidnap a British Muslim soldier has
been talking about the seven days he spent in a police sell. Abu
Baka who works for the buck shop targeted in the
antic-terror records in Birmingham was one of nine men arrested. He and one
other man have been released without charge.
>> Abu Baku was arrested in raids in four different areas of Birmingham last
Wednesday. He was taken to a high-security police station in coventry. He was
subjected to hours of what he called random questioning and described it as
bewildering and a charade.
>> Why was I detained in the first place? I wasn't even told what did I do.
What are the allegations against me? Why has my family suffered? Why have I
suffered? For seven days, having your life disrupted. My father said to me and
my mother that we have aged ten years in this last week. Now, who is going to
>> He accused the police of fishing around to find something to charge him
with. He questioned the reliability of the intelligence and said the
investigation was amateurish and its name "operation gamble" was laughable.
Magistrates have given the police another three days to question the remaining
seven about the alleged plot. Bbc news.
>> An author with a fear of open spaces has won a major prize for her first
book which is set in the land of open spaces, Canada, even though she's never
been there. She won Britain's book of the year award for her first novel set in
ontear owe in the 1860s. The reward is worth $50,000. She developed agoraphobia
after she left youth. All the research was done in the British library in
London. You're watching bbc world. The main news: The deputy health minister of
Iraq and supporter of moqtada al-sadr has been arrested in a raid by U.S. And
Iraqi forces on his ministry. China hosts another attempt to resolve the dispute
over North Korea's nuclear programme. Six-party talks
have started with some hopes of progress. There's growing criticism in the
Muslim world of Israel's decision to start a new phase of excavations near
Al-aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. Palestinians have reacted
with anger. Their prime minister, ismail haniya, is calling for people to rise
up to protect the mocks. Chris Morris has this from Jerusalem.
>> Scuffles on the streets of Jerusalem. Palestinians, Muslims are angry.
Among those arrested, the leader of the Islamic movement in Israel. This is the
focus of their anger, construction work and archaeological excavations close to
the Al-aqsa mosque compound, a site holy to both
Muslims and Jews. The Palestinians are convinced that the mosque is in danger.
The Israelis emphatically deny it.
>> As you can see by your own eye, it is completely outside the area of the
temple mow. It does not create any damage to the walls of the temple mount. It's
a routine work.
>> They don't think so. There have been calls for big demonstrations. Israel
says passions are being deliberately inflamed. But it doesn't really matter what
the Israelis say. When it comes to Al-aqsa,
the Palestinians simply don't believe them. It's too symbolic, too important.
You've got religion, politics and dispossession all rolled into one. It makes
for an explosive mix, and it's not just the Palestinians. There has been
criticism for leaders across the region. In Jordan King
Abdullah described the action as a blatant violation not acceptable under any
pretext. King Mohammed of Morocco said Israel was
distorting the hallmark and symbols of Islamic civilization. There have been
Egypt, Saudi Arabia and beyond. In the back of everyone's mind, events have
called trouble before. Ariel Sharon's visit seven years ago sparked the second
intifada. So the number of police in Jerusalem this week has been doubled. The
site is closely guarded. But even some Israelis say the construction work is
needlessly provocative. You don't have to dig very deep here at the most
sensitive place in the Holy Land
to unearth all the bitterness and mistrust of the Israeli Palestinian conflict.
Chris Morris, bbc news, Jerusalem.
>> All right. Day two of crisis talks in Mecca between leaders of
Fatah and Hamas. They're
trying to resolve the differences which have brought them very close to civil
war. The meeting, which is carrying on now, is focusing on the platform of a
unity government which would have to honour past agreements with Israel, an
agreement could also end an international blockade of Hamas.
Factional fighting has killed more than 90 Palestinians since December. Alan
Johnson, our correspondent in Gaza, is following the talks. He joins us now by
phone. Alan, in terms of specifics, is there any sign of much
>> We know they talked until about 3:00 a.M. This morning and resumed again
midmorning. A lot of hard talking clearly going on. It breaks down into two
areas, the composition of the cabinet, which parties will get which, and then
the really key issue of what the new government's political platform may be, and
if you just take a step back for a moment and remember the current
Hamas-controlled government has been shunned
economically by the west and Israel, economic sanctions imposed, the question
is, when they form this coalition government, drawing Hamas
and Fatah into a new government, will that government
platform be more moderate in terms of its approach to Israel? That's the
question. Will hamas have shifted enough on this recognition issue? The
West will be looking at the wording that comes out of
that new government platform, political agenda.
>> Yeah, a lot to gain, a lot to lose for both of these rival group,
Alan. In terms of a time frame, though, I know
they've said they're going to stay until they've done it. Time has to be an
issue, doesn't it?
>> It does. They can't simply talk forever. We hear that they talk in terms
of it taking three days to arrive at an agreement, but it is really possible
that it could go on longer than that. But they have to have an eye on the
situation here on the ground where there are simmering tensions and the deal
does have to be struck. Both sides say that.
>> Alan, for now, thanks very much. And the mayor of the U.S.. City of los
Angeles has called for international efforts to deal with gang crime. He was
speaking at a meeting between central and north American police chiefs in
Los Angeles. A three-day conference it is aimed at
improving cooperation and intelligence-sharing to stop cross-border gang crime.
The bbc's peter Bose is in Los Angeles.
>> This is a response to a dramatic increase in crime levels internationally,
especially in central American countries, El Salvador,
Guatemala. There have been officials at this conference from Mexico, as well,
and also Canada, where they say crime levels directly linked to gang, gangs with
roots in this city of Los Angeles, is in a sense
spiralling out of control. Here in los Angeles the crimes figures linked to
gangs up 14% over the last 12 months. And, of course, this is a city where gang
culture has existed for a long time. You can take it back to the 1940s when the
Mexican mafia was certainly very strong in certain parts of the city. Then you
have the African-american gang, the crypts and the
bloods, which came along later. Today there's the M.F.
13 gang, which has huge numbers, 80 to 100,000 it's estimated, and many more
overseas. And this is a problem that the police chiefs from the different cities
want to try to get a grip on by working together. Resources are short, and they
say if they can pool those resources in terms of communication, especially try
to get handle on how the different gang members talk to each other in different
international cities, how they organize themselves, they may go some way towards
controlling the problem. The police chief of Los
Angeles, officer Bratten, said they don't aim to
eradicate it, but at least bring it under control so it stops dominating, it
such a serious impact on communities where gangs exist.
>> Peter Bose there. We have a development on the violence in Italy over the
football last week. Reports say a 17-year-old youth is under an investigation by
prosecutors over the death of a policemen during a clash between football
supporters. It was pretty heavy stuff as you can see from the pictures. It was
last Friday and it resulted in the suspension of all Italian professional
football at the weekend. Stay with bbc world. Still to come, tradition gives way
in Ireland at the home of Gaelic football as it prepares to welcome
international sport. Now, it's not just Los Angeles
that's been suffering from gang warfare. There's been a fresh wave of violence
in brazil's commercial capital, sao Paulo, intel. In the latest incident, gangs
set light to buses and shot at police. Several people have died in fighting in
the course of the last week. Human rights groups are accusing the police of
running their own paramilitary group. We have this report.
>> Passengers on this bus were ordered off at gunpoint and then it was set
alight. Not far away, gang members open fired on
>> ( Translated ): We couldn't even find our dies to leave. We were a -- find
our keys to leave. We were afraid something would happen.
>> Four suspects arrested by the police, just one more incident on the
troubled streets of brazil's biggest cities. It's believed the violence is being
organized from behind bars, prisoners using mobile phones. The violence has
grown and authorities fear an explosion. Similar attacks last may left around
200 dead. How far to police go to combat this violence? There are accusations
officers are running their own paramilitary groups, fighting out of uniform in
shantytowns. A senior official was suspended last month. And this amateur video
shows officers kicking and hitting suspects arrested in an anti-drug operation.
Officials say these images may lead to suspension or dismissal. State police say
they're on high alert.
>> Now, some fairly grim pictures here. 11 people have been killed in three
separate road accidents in various parts of Russia on Tuesday. Police have been
saying five people were killed, more than 20 injured after a truck collided with
a bus. According to Russian traffic police, this year is likely to see a record
number of deaths on the road. They believe the poor state of the infrastructure
will be a determining factor. Ireland is a country proud of its traditions, and
nowhere is that more obvious than in the nation's sporting heritage. In fact,
one of the biggest stadiums in Dublin is normally reserved for Irish games only
like hurling and Gaelic football. In major break with history, though, it's now
going to be playing host to international rugby, prompting some mixed feelings.
>> A Gaelic football training session at croak park. It's fast and it's
skillful, and along with the other Irish sport of hurling, it's hugely popular.
Soon for the first time Ireland's rugby and soccer stars will also get to play
on this hallowed turf. There's enormous excitement
according to the Irish prime minister, who comes from the area and is an avid
>> It is good for sport. It's good for the country. I think it's great for
the Gaelic association because I think when people in so many countries would
see the facility, they I think will be pleasantly surprised about the standards
that is Croak Park today.
>> This is where the players will walk out for the first-ever rugby match
here at Croak Park. Not only
is it a sporting venue with a rich and checkered history, but it's also one of
the most impressive, modern grounds in the world. Croak
Park is the revered home to amateur sports which are
played right across this country and which have a special place in Irish
consciousness. The stadium's museum shows why. In 1920, prior to Irish
independence, British forces fired into the crowd during a match here. 14 people
were killed. Rugby's arrival at Croak
Park is being heavily promoted, opening up to what
were once referred to as foreign sport produced much debate
over tradition. Some worry the Gaelic games are now competing with the
richer professional sports to attract young players.
nearby the St. Vincent's club is that riesmg each week
more than 600 young people come here to play the Gaelic games. This is the
women's version of hurling, and the coach is Ireland's best-known sportswriter.
>> The numbers are still coming. They want to play in croak park. That's
their dream. That's why there are mixed feelings when croak park opens up
because it has been special for kids who grow up with this sense of place and
sense of culture, that the games give them.
>> This legendary Irish sportsman favored the change and sees it as a boost
for all sports.
>> We're competing against drugs and drink in this country. They're our
enemies, not other sports. I want to see the profile of Croak
Park and Gaelic games and rugby and soccer lifted
throughout this country.
>> Final preparations for the new tenants with stadium steeped in history and
for a new era in Irish sport. James Helm, bbc news,
>> A couple other stories here. There has been an exchange of fire to be
border between Israel and Lebanon. This is a picture from the area. Now the
Israeli army say that Lebanese troops fired on Israeli forces as they searched
for explosives. The Lebanese version is an Israeli army bull doadz across the
border. This is the first shooting across the border since the end of the war
last summer. Former separatist guerrilla leader irwandi yusuf has been sworn in
as the first separatist governor of Aceh. It came after a peace agreement
between the government and a free Aceh movement. Its
first focus will be the economy, still battling to cope with the aftermath of
the tsunami in 2004 which killed 170,000 people in ache province alone. For more
detail about the new stories you've seen in this programme, go to our web site,
bbcnews.Com, more stories, as well, analysis and background, as well. The main
picture there focusing on the north Korea talks, but also on the top Iraqi
official being held in a raid and a tour de France story for you there. Plenty
more sports stories to go with it. You can also have a chance to have your say
if you log on to the web site. Bbcnews.Com. <
transcription on this site is occasionally not without minor errors.