Transcript in the news of
March 20, 2007
>> Senior police commander in Iraq tells the bbc one third of his officers
have links to militias.
>> Zimbabwe, a turning point, the opposition says police have stepped up the
>> Moon walker buzz aldrin tablings a stroll over the grand canyon.
>> In London, also in the programme, hamasw -- raid on the mafia.
>> Fighting malaria,. .
>> It was four years ago today that coalition forces march into Iraq. Since
then a key objective has to give Iraqis control of their security. One Iraqi
police chief has told the bbc that one-third of the officers in his province are
linked to illegal militias. Dhi Gar, in southern Iraq, was one of the first
provinces to assume control of its own security just last year.
>> Dhi Gar province, an Iraqi success story, as the coalition, but the
capital Nazrea is still judged too unsafe. The Iraqi
police run things here now. They are a bit nervous, another station has been
attacked overnight by the militia. Some police are said to have colluded in this
attack. I asked the commander how many of his own men he couldn't trust.
>> One third he says, one third is links to a militias. It is an astonishing
>> Can I ask what measures you are taking taking to eradicate that third?
>> They have political protection, says the Iraqi official in overall charge,
we have been forced to hire 400 officers who are completely illiterate, senior
officers, colonels and we can't sack them.
>> One was allegedly caught smuggling weapons. He was -- he was reinstated.
The security hand over means the British army cannot do anything about this.
>> There are issues that we have to grapple with, and what we have to do with
the coalition forces is to give them as much as we can without taking about the
responsibility of security, because it is very clearly theirs. They understand
>> Iraqi security in Iraqi hands, the coalition literally over the horizon.
>> Weapons smuggled in ambulances, illiterate officers in senior positions.
If all of that sounds like a bit of a mess, British commanders believe it is an
Iraqi mess, a problem for the Iraqis alone to solve.
>> The bbc's Andrew north is spending the week with American troops in
Ramadi, a strong hold of the suny insurgency. Recently officials say there have
been improvements in the region.
>> It is a mixed picture. You could almost talk in terms of two cities here
in Ramadi because during today, there has still been fighting going on in the
city for much of the morning. There was gunfire in the main parts of the city,
explosions, as U.S. Troops were still involved in operations against insurgents
trying to clear areas of the city. But there are other parts of ra marchdy where
things appear to have quieted down for the moment. The key question is will it
last? What is happening Americans say some tribal leader vz turned against the
insurgents, they have tartstarted to get their people on side and push out the
insurgents. Earlier today I was in a quieter area of the city, they say they are
in effect in control. They say only four or five months ago there was an area
where all Qaeda was very much in control. The question here is will it last?
What has happened before is that al-Qaeda and the insurgent groups have then
intimidated these tribal leaders, killed them in many cases, and about is about
bolstering their position.
>> In a Sunni area like that, what has the response been to the execution of
former vice president Ramadan?
>> There hasn't been much reaction that we have picked up, and I think given
that there was less reaction than was eks petted after the execution of Saddam
Hussein, although there was certainly awill a lot of anger about how it as
carried out, there was less concern about that this time. Certainly there is
still a very strong mood of opposition towards the Americans, which is something
that they have to overcome. They really have a long way to go to try and win
people over here, and also there is still a lot of suspicion of the government
in Baghdad. People regarded as a Shia government. This is an overwhelmingly
Sunni province, and some refer to the government in Baghdad as a government of
Iran, because Iran is also majority Shia.
>> Andrew north in Ramadi. The funeral of Ramadan has taken place north of
Baghdad. Ramadan was the third of Saddam's top aides to be hanged since Saddam's
own execution back in December. The Russian foreign minister has criticized the
>> Our position towards this execution is similar to the one we had about the
previous executions. It adds nothing positive to the efforts being made to
resolve the situation in Iraq. This country needs national conciliation.
>> America's envoy to Zimbabwe believes the country is at a turning point.
The ambassador said Zimbabwean's are no longer afraid of intimidation and
violence. Even as he was speaking, Zimbabwe's main opposition has accused the
police of stepping up their attacks. The bbc is banned from report in Zimbabwe.
>> Tsangaris still recovering from the beating he took week at the hands of
police, says the state is trying to crush all democratic resistance. Youths from
the ruling party, agents from the central intelligence organization have been
targeting known opposition activists taking them into custody and assaulting
them. No one has been charged or brought to court, but more opposition members
have been admitted to hospital in Harare, some with gunshot wounds, others with
fractures, internal bleeding and severe bruising, and according to the bbc,
similar report are coming in from centres all over Zimbabwe.
>> He has been beating opposition members since 2000, it is just that now he
wants the whole world to know that he is beating them up, so he beats them up
and then shows them to the cameras.
>> The wave of repression has alarmed the international community. An
international mp was beat enat har ra airport last weekend. He may have been
attacked by robbers. He no doubt this is another act of violence by the state.
Zimbabwe's latest warning that foreign diplomats could be kicked out of the
country if they interfere with politics has been met with a response.
>> Evidence of the severe economic and humanitarian crisis facing ordinary
Zimbabweans now is entirely the fault of the misguided policies of president
Mugabe and his government.
>> Likewise the United States says it will speak and act steadfastly in
support of the people of Zimbabwe's right to democracy.
>> Despite every effort of the government to build that fear over the last
eight years, what I think we have seen in the last week is that the people have
turned a corner. They're not afraid anymore.
>> President Mugabe's immediate neighbors are concerned about the crisis and
are urging dialogue. He remains defiant and increasingly isolated.
>> I will be back later on in the programme with more on Iraq. We're speaking
to a democratic congressman about his parties position on the war.
>> Naples, mafia, possibly have heard linked before, but there are new twists
in this tale. Italian police have arrested nearly 200 people in a dawn raid in
the centre of Naples on Tuesday. It was one of the biggest anti-mafia operations
in a city notorious for organized crime. They wanted to break up the drug
business controlled by two clans, in particular, who make up the Naples mafia
known as the camorra.
>> The business of thea often impregnable, but when the boss becomes a turn
coat, this is the result. These arrests stemmed from the information of just one
man, the boss who has turned state evidence. With his help police have brought
down two families, who together control the lucrative drug market in the
historic centre of Naples, so well organized were these families, they even have
their own surveillance cameras. Few ever dare to defy the mob, on days like this
the true feelings come to the surface. These are the ordinary people left
impoverished by the extortion on their streets. A notice that some of those
arrested were women. While females are still rare here, they believe the wives
and girlfriends play a much more central role.
>> What has emerged of many women. All were in charge of transporting the
>> This has been a particularly violent period in Naples. There is no
godfather figure. Families join forces and break ranks on a regular basis, and
when turf wars start, as one did a few months ago, they're difficult to stop.
The government has sent extra resourced to the south and this is an
extraordinary success, but the mafia is nothing but resilient, and this is
surely only a setback.
>> Journalists in Gaza have held a one-day strike for Allen John Stone
missing for more than a week. The bbc has again called on everyone with
influence in the Palestinian territories to intensify their efforts to ensure
>> Russian authorities believe a failure to follow safety procedures is the
most likely cause for an explosion in a Siberian coal mine that killed at least
one hundred mean. Most of the mine's managers were among those who when methane
gas caused sharp roofs to collapse 300 metres underground.
>> 62 people killed, 30 injured in a fire that swept through a nursing home
in southern Russia. 97 people were in the brick building when the fire broke
out. It is reported that a night watchman ignored two fire alarms before
reporting the blaze and it then took firefighters from the nearest town almost
an hour to reach the nursing home.
>> A woman in Poland denied an abortion despite warnings that given birth
might destroy her eyesight has won damages of $33,000 at the European court of
human rights. She had been told by specialists that childbirth could endanger
her sight. She eventually had the child but suffered a hemorrhage of the retina
which severely affected her eyes.
>> Still with bbc world, frank words about the war in Iraq, we speak to the
first democrat to call for an immediate withdrawal. Let's get all of the
business news from New York.
>> Well, fiery words for BP in the latest report on the Texas refinery
explosion. A strong day for the market. Numbers coming up.
>> U.S. authorities have slammed BP, the oil company, of putting cost cuts
before worker safety. The chemical safety board published the findings. 15
people were killed in the fire, 100 were injured. The 300 page report claims
that cost cutting was a failure at all levels of BP management contributed to
the disaster. Also slammed the occupational health and safety measure for
failing to enforce safety measures.
>> President Bush toured plants in the Kansas city Missouri area today. The
former oilman from Texas --.
>> Consumer giant proctor and gamble has won nearly $20 million against Amway
distributors. They also used a voice mail system to tell thousands of companies
that if they bought Duracell batteries their money would go towards --.
>> The results from the world's biggest data based software make maker --.
>> Good news for the markets, and as a result, the DOW and the NASDAQ ending
in positive territory. As for the European markets, they, too had a good trading
>> A quick reminder of the hdz here. A senior police commander in southern
Iraq tells the bbc one-third of his officers have links to the militias. The
Zimbabwe opposition has there has been an escalation of police violence against
>> Reports from Cuba suggest Fidel castor who has been recovering from
intestinal surgery for eight months to be ready to return to lead the country
again soon. The news agency quoted a top minister saying he is making progress
and his outlook was very good and very favorable and I'm quoting there. Mr.
Castro handed over power for the first time in more than four decades in July to
>> Here in Washington, the Iraq War has thrown the Democrats into confusion.
The vast majority supported the invasion. Now the war is unpopular, the
democrats have failed to come up with a unified position on Iraq. The party's
most outspoken critic is John Murtha. We asked what he thought America has
accomplished four years on.
>> The majority people of Iraq think we're occupiers, the majority of people
in Iraq believe it is already to kill Americans, the majority of people in the
periphery don't agree with what we're doing in Iraq. The polls show the United
States credibility as dropped significantly in the last four years. In addition
to that, we have reduced our ability to respond to a real national security
threat by reducing the ability of our reserves, ground reserves to react. We're
stretching our military very thinly. That is the actual results of what has
>> You voted for the war. Of course that's a decision that you now regret.
How does that make you feel?
>> I voted for the war because I thought that they were threatening our
national security. Now I know better. Now I know that we were misled. It makes
me work harder to get this thing resolved adequately. One of the things they
talk about wanting to my crow manage the war. We will have spent a trillion
dollars in one year. They have mismanaged this so badly that we need to do micro
management. We need to find ways to reduce our presence in Iraq.
>> If America withdraws from Iraq by the spring of 2008, is it not possible
that America will be perceived as a loser in this, perceived as weak, and
doesn't that land you with many more problems than you have at the moment?
>> It is a different situation here. The United States has tried to avoid
this kind of thing. It is the first time we have ever gone into an independent
country without provocation. I think you will see a dramatic change in policy
with a new presidential election. I think every president, republican, democrat,
will be saying no more things like this are going to happen under my watch. No
president will go to war without concrete evidence. One of the things had that
this has done to the benefit of the future of this country, you go to war on
intelligence. You have to be sure there is a threat to the national security.
>> Stay with bbc world still to come on the programme, walking on area, a
bird's eye view of the grand canyon, and it is not for the faint-hearted. .
>> Teachers in England are being told they can ban items of religious
clothing, such as vails, if they believe they're a threat to security or get in
the way of teaching or learning.
>> A third of the pupils at this community college in west London are Muslims
and the school prides itself on how it treats them. There are two prayer rooms
and a dress code that allows all of the girls to wear head scarves. Suggesting a
full veil might prevent teachers telling whether pupils were taking part in
>> It is important when you're talking to children that you can see their
facial expressions. The interaction between young people is also very important,
and being able to see one's face is a means of gauging one's reaction to
something we may be discussing.
>> The government's guidance in no way represents the -- given how symbolic
the veil has become, that is a significant step. It is one supported by pupils,
including Muslim girls.
>> Other people, they don't feel that we're different to them, but inside
we're all the same.
>> The French government prompted noisy protests three years ago with a ban
on religious symbols in state schools. Even the head scarf was banned.
>> We're afraid what is going to result in is the student is going to be
withdrawn from the school, being taught at home, or go to a Muslim school, they,
themselves, actually want to be part and parcel of the rest of the community.
>> The government says school should be sensitive to the needs of different
religions, but today it empowered them to decide how far that should go.
>> Scientists at John Hopkins
University in Baltimore in the U.S. believe they have made a break through in
the fight against malaria. They have a new mosquito that cannot pass on -- the
possibility that mosquitoes can be prevented from passing it on to humans.
>> Malaria is spread by a parasite that can be passed to humans through
mosquitoes. Each year it makes 300 million people ill and causes a million
deaths. Now a genetically modified strain of the malaria resistant mosquito has
been created by scientists at Johns Hopkins University in the United States. In
the laboratory, equal numbers of genetically modified and order wild type
mosquitoes were fed on infected mice. After nine generations, 70 percent belong
to the malaria resistant strain.
>> When they put that resistant mosquito in a cage with normal mosquitoes,
and if they constantly feed them on infected mice, they are constantly taking in
the malaria, then the resistant one is at a slight advantage and over a few
generations it increases in proportions.
>> The -- inserted green fluorescent protein in the mosquitoes making their
eyes glow. Malaria kills more than a million people a year. In Africa, a child
dies of malaria every 30 seconds. Today's news that the gm chltm mosquito can
>> Now, if your head for heights isn't the best, you might want to look away
at the next report. Here in America, you can walk out across the gand canyon to
get a bird's eye view from 4,000 feet up.
>> Poking out over the edge of one of the great wonders of the world, a
horse-shoe shaped observation platform known as the skywalk. Made to with stand
100 mile an hour winds, it has a floor made of glass, five layers nearly three
inches thick. This is what you see when you look down. Your feet and beneath
them the bottom of the canyon some 4,000 feet below. A former astronaut aldrin
was the first to cross the skywalk. He described it as an unforgettable
>> Fantastic few.
>> What can you see?
>> You can see beauty, beautiful America history.
>> It really is a breath-taking experience looking down on what's been called
one of the most magnificent landmarks on the world, you almost feel as though
you're walking on air.
>> The skywalk cost nearly 20 million pounds. The major challenge now attract
sufficient tourists to pay for it.
>> It looks very precarious to me. I am not sure I could attempt that one.
>> Quick reminder of the main story. The police chief in one of the Iraqi
provinces handed over to local security controlled by the British has told the
bbc that one third of his officers owe their loyalties to illegal militias. This
meant they couldn't be trusted but neither could they be sacked because they had
political protection. The British have held up the province dhi Gar in southern
Iraq as a success story. The officer responsible for it was concerned by the