BBC World Service News 09:00 GMT Sunday 22nd May 2011

world newsBBC World Service News
09:00 GMT Sunday 22nd May 2011
Newsreader: Jonathan Izard

President Obama has indicated that he would be prepared to order another covert operation against Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders in Pakistan, despite the row with Islamabad that followed the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Mr Obama was speaking in a BBC interview. Steve Kingston reports from Washington. (TAPE) The discovery and killing of the Al-Qaeda leader in Pakistan shattered relations between Washington and Islamabad. But Mr. Obama says that if the target is right, he’s prepared to do the same again. He was asked by the BBC’s Andrew Marr whether he would order a similar strike against the Taliban leader Mullah Omar. Continue reading “BBC World Service News 09:00 GMT Sunday 22nd May 2011”

BBC World Service News 09:00 GMT Saturday 21st May 2011

world newsBBC 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)
Continue reading “BBC World Service News 09:00 GMT Saturday 21st May 2011”

BBC World Service News 05:00 GMT Friday 20th May 2011

world newsBBC World Service News
05:00 GMT Friday 20th May 2011
Newsreader: David Legg

President Obama’s statement of support for a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with Israel has received a cool response. In a major Middle East policy speech, he said a continguous Palestine should be the goal, after mutually agreed land swaps. (TAPE) President Obama: We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines, with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognised borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their full potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state. (LIVE) The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, called the speech “empty words”. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the 1967 borderlines as “indefensible”. President Obama also said that in the wider Middle East region, the United States’ top priority was to back democratic reforms. He expressed support for those who took part in recent uprisings, and he outlined a region-wide initiative to support economic development.
Continue reading “BBC World Service News 05:00 GMT Friday 20th May 2011”

BBC World Service News 05:00 GMT Thursday 19th May 2011

world newsBBC World Service News
05:00 GMT Thursday 19th May 2011
Newsreader: Julie Kantor

The detained head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Khan, has resigned with immediate effect. He’s been in custody in New York since the weekend, accused of attempted rape of a hotel chambermaid. Nora Trevelyan reports. (TAPE) Dominique Strauss-Khan says that it’s with “infinite sadness” he feels compelled to resign as managing director of the IMF. In his statement he denies, with the greatest possible firmness, all of the allegations agsinst him. The former IMF chief states that he wants to protect the institution he’s served, and devote all his strength and energy to proving his innocence. Later today, Mr Straus-Kahn’s lawyers will try once again to convince a judge to release him on bail. They’ll argue that he’s prepared to be electronically tagged, and confined to a Manhatten location.(LIVE)
Continue reading “BBC World Service News 05:00 GMT Thursday 19th May 2011”

BBC World Service News 05:00 GMT Wednesday 18th May 2011

world newsBBC World Service News
05:00 GMT Wednesday 18th May 2011
Newsreader: Sue Montgomery.

The United States Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said Dominque Strauss-Kahn, who’s facing charges of sexual assault, is obviously not in a position to run the International Monetary Fund. Mr Geithner urged the IMF to formally designate an interim head. Mr Strauss-Kahn has been detained in a New York prison, following his arrest on Saturday for the attempted rape of an hotel maid. A prison official, Norman Seabrook, said Mr.Strauss-Kahn was being monitored to ensure that he didn’t attempt to take his own life. (TAPE) “He is in protective custody. He has a suicide watch on him, done by a mental health evaluator. When you come into the system you are evaluated by doctors, psychologists. And they deemed it necessary to put a suicide watch on him. So he is watched and monitored 24 hours a day whild he’s in the custody of New York City Department of Correction.” (LIVE) Meanwhile, a lawyer for Mr.Strauss-Kahn’s accuser, a 32 year old from the West African nation of Guinea, says she’s going through an extraordinary trauma. Mr.Strauss-Kahn denies the allegations. Continue reading “BBC World Service News 05:00 GMT Wednesday 18th May 2011”

BBC World Service News 05:00 GMT Tuesday 17th May 2011

world newsBBC World Service News
05:00 GMT Tuesday 17th May 2011
Newsreader: Jonathan Izard.

The Irish Republic is mounting its biggest ever security operation at the start of the visit by Queen Elizabeth, the first by a British head of state since the country gained independence from Britain 90 years ago. The trip comes amid a fresh threat from Irish Republican dissidents, who oppose the peace settlement in Northern Ireland. Gabriel Gatehouse reports: (TAPE) The UK and Ireland are, to adapt a well-worn phrase, two countries divided by a common past. The Queen will visit a number of controversial historical locations, including Croke Park Stadium, site of the 1920 Bloody Sunday massacre, and Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance. The memorial commemorates, in its own words, “those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish freedom”, many of them fighting against the British. The aim of the visit is to demonstrate that the two countries have moved beyond the troubles of their past. But it will also inflame the passions of some, who believe that Dublin should not welcome the British head of state while Ireland remains divided. (LIVE)
Continue reading “BBC World Service News 05:00 GMT Tuesday 17th May 2011”

BBC World Service News 05:00 GMT Monday 16th May 2011

world newsBBC World Service News
05:00 GMT Monday 16th May 2011
Newsreader: Jonathan Izard.

A court appearance in New York by the head of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been postponed for a day. Lawyers for Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who’s accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid, say he’s agreed to a physical examination. From New York, Laura Trevelyan reports: (TAPE)
Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been seen in public for the first time since he was accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid. He was taken away from a Harlem police station in handcuffs. Mr.Strauss-Kahn still hasn’t appeared in front of a judge and formally entered a plea. The delay is due to investigators asking for a warrant to check the IMF Chief’s body for scratches. When the IMF Chief does finally appear in court, the judge must decide whether or not to grant him bail. Mr.Strauss-Kahn is expected to plead not guilty to the charges against him.(LIVE)

European Union finance ministers are meeting in Brussels later today to discuss the debt crisis threatening the Eurozone. They will do so without Mr.Strauss-Kahn, who was instrumental in securing IMF support for the struggling Eurozone economies. More from Chris Morris in Brussels: (TAPE) Another full agenda for European finance ministers in rather extraordinary circumstances. They’re likely to approve the terms of a bail-out for Portugal worth €78 billion. And they’ll discuss what to do about Greece, where it now seems that last year’s even larger bail-out hasn’t been enough. Final decisions won’t be made before a team from the EU and the IMF submit their latest assessment of Greek austerity and reform measures. But the realization that one way or another Greece needs further support is furrowing brows in many European capitals. (LIVE)

Libya has poured scorn on an attempt by the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court later today to seek approval for the arrest of three top Libyan officials, including Colonel Gaddafi, for crimes against humanity. Libya’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khalid Kaim said ICC practices were questionable, and were designed for prosecuting African politicians. (TAPE) “This is from history. We can see all the indicted figures and persons, they are from Africa. And the target now for another African, they will be targeted by ICC. So this is for the African Union for agreement. It’s decision was taken last year to withdraw from the ICC.”  (LIVE) The ICC arrest warrants are thought to include Colonel Gaddafi’s intelligence chief Abdallah al-Sanusi, and his son, Saif al-Islam. The Libyan Government says it will ignore the Court, pointing out that like the United States, it has not signed up to it.

The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned against further protests on Israel’s borders, following violence on Sunday which left at least twelve people dead. He said Israel was determined to defend it’s sovereignty. Tens of thousands of Palestinians and their supporters marched towards Israel from Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.