BBC World Service News
09:00 GMT Saturday 21st May 2011
Newsreader: Zoe Diamond
Tens of thousands of people are continuing their protest in the centre of the Spanish capital, in defiance of a ban on demonstrations on the eve of local elections. The protests began six days ago, as a spontaneous sit-in at a main square in Madrid by young Spaniards, frustrated at youth unemployment. They filled the square with tarpaulins and banners demanding an end to what they call the dictatorship of the markets. One protestor, Juan Lopez, said unemployment was affecting an entire generation. (TAPE) “For the general population, it’s already 21.3% that is unemployed, which is almost five million people. And for the young people, it’s 43% of our generation that is unemployed. So we are already starting to speak about a lost generation of Spanish people.”(LIVE)
The World Food Programme says that it’s having to cut the rations being distributed in Somalia, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without any food at all. Our Africa editor Martin Plaut reports. (TAPE) The World Food Programme says a lack of funding has forced it to cut rations to Somailis since February, to eke out supplies. The WFP told the BBC it only has about a third of the food it needs to feed one million people. 40% are getting nothing at all. Even those being fed are getting less than half the food they need. In the next few weeks the WFP will be meeting international donors, to try to find $53 million to meet the needs of Somalis until the end of this year. (LIVE)
A suicide bomber is reported to have blown himself up in a military hospital canteen, in the Afghan capital Kabul. There are known to be a number of casualties, but details are still coming in.
At least sixteen people have been killed in North West Pakistan, after a NATO oil tanker delivering fuel to Afghanistan was set ablaze by a bomb. More from Ali Maqbool. (TAPE) Pakistani officials say the NATO supply trucks were initially set on fire in the town of Landi Kotal, close to the Afghan border, where they’d stopped for the night. They say locals later tried to collect leaking fuel when one of the tankers exploded. Several members of one family are reported to be among the dead. The NATO supply route into Afghanistan through the Khyber Pass, close to where this incident took place, has for the moment been closed. There are frequent interruptions, in this the most important route for fuel, clothing, spare parts and other supplies to Coalition troops stationed in Afghanistan. (LIVE)
The High Court in England has ordered the social networking site Twitter to provide the names of users who’ve published confidential details about a professional footballer. The player wants to stop some Twitter users commenting on his private life. The case has put Twitter and other social networking sites at the centre of the privacy debate in England. But some legal experts question the wisdom of the case, arguing that the website, which is based in California, is not covered by English law.
A protest against a hydro-electric dam project in Chile has brought tens of thousands of demonstrators onto the streets of the capital Santiago. Protestors say the five dams that the Government wants to build across two rivers in Southern Chile will have a disastrous effect on the environment. The protests were mainly peaceful, but reports said police used teargas and water cannon against people throwing stones.
At a meeting with President Obama in the White House, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has flatly rejected the President’s call for a peace deal with the Palestinians, based on pre-1967 borders. Mr Obama formally adopted the principle on Thursday, in a speech setting out his new vision. Our State Department correspondent is Kim Ghattas. (TAPE) It was an unusually awkward and undiplomatic moment between two world leaders. Barak Obama tried to sound cordial in front of the cameras, acknowledged there were differences between him and Benjamin Netanyahu, but did not repeat his line about the 1967 borders. Still a defiant Mr Netanyahu clearly and publicly rejected the new American position about the 1967 lines. Israel, he said, would not be able to defend itself. The prospect of peace talks, remote before the visit, has not improved, to say the least. (LIVE)
Vietnamese officials say that fifteen people, including five children, are missing and feared dead, after a tour boat in the Saigon river sank on Friday night. Hundreds of soldiers and police had been mobilised in a search and rescue operation.
The United States is sending a delegation to North Korea next week, to assess it’s request for food aid, and to discuss human rights matters with North Korean officials. The U.S. State Department said that the delegation will be led by the U.S. Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues, Robert King. American officials said that they’d received assurances that the team would have proper access beyond the North Korean capital Pyongyang.