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tv   [untitled]    February 2, 2012 4:00pm-4:30pm EST

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the. british intelligence. a spy saw the u. turn the father of a former f.s.b. officer poisoned in london six years ago says accusing vladimir putin of being behind the death was a mistake or to get the story first time. the u.n. considers a new draft of a resolution on syria which softens calls for president assad to step down following criticism from russia. and dejection from these parts of the group of protesters the people the security forces handling a riot at a football match on wednesday which left seventeen dead all top stories this hour.
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international news and comment live from moscow this is. in an unexpected change of heart the father of a former f.s.b. officer poisoned in london in two thousand and six has backtracked on accusations that then russian president vladimir putin was responsible for his son's death walter lippmann in co said his claims were driven by hatred saying he had no idea his son alexander worked for british intelligence. went to meet him. this is how we found mike that leads me and co bringing his tiny italian apartment no electricity no gas no water. what if the if it wasn't for the help of various people i would have died from hunger or frozen to death the last time i took
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a bath was on christmas eve. we expected more because six years ago after his son former f.s.b. officer aleksandr litvinenko was poisoned in london he will stay can carol by some very powerful patrons like self ixil tycoon boris berezovsky and ahmed zakayev and a tourist former chechen militant both hiding in the u.k. . three of them we brought. yet you get extremist young dorsett there are. just give me a yes but here doris you would be. one vicariously namco sent a letter asking to be interviewed by russian television we expected more of the same but instead. we're going to be made not the meat of it if you watching this program please forgive me for all the slander the thai said and wrote about all the hatred i had even only i had known my son worked for british intelligence i
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would not talk about his death he could easily have been shot as a double agent the choice should be short of story what else can i answer the. only risk of. the u.-turn vaulters says came when his sons we don't know rina revealed to the british media that her husband had worked for and i six further details followed when a newspaper launched its own investigation alexander litvinenko was receiving a retainer of around two thousand pounds a month from the british security services at the time he was murdered it is understood that sir john scarlett now head of m i six and ones based in moscow was involved in recruiting him to the secret intelligence service. at first by turnitin and cole like many others claimed his son had been poisoned with polonium to town on put in the full the f.s.b. officer and fierce critic of the kremlin alexander litvinenko spent twenty three days in a london clinic slowly dying from
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a toxic substance possibly consumed through a cup of tea even before police in london started questioning suspects the victim's father was actively kissing the russian government today by their at me it's he was saying only what the west wanted to hear. of course i realize russia's f.s.b. and the idea you have to take polonium to london brink over some heads and leave traces everywhere and they suspect. you're not a fool either way it was anger and blind hatred speaking inside of me viper and now believes his son fell victim to his own game of double agents now he wants his words to be heard but the media outside russia which once beat down his door for interviews now won't even reply. to his requests. why is that. because. of the real team i was a root treasure for the movie the whole there are very few people who would say as many horrible things are. going to. be in two thousand and eight but the only thing
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young call flat russia or sanctuary needs healing is settled in the sleeping quiet town of sydney got it offered a new anonymous life the man claimed putin was his number one enemy so hiding in europe he believed was the only safe solution today by the lithuanian co is still afraid to open this door not because of putin though but because of his landlord to whom he owes a lot of money this miserable life has made him a slave of his sanctuary but surely the namco sold everything he had in russia to come to italy he opened a small business several years ago but it went bankrupt things got worse after the seventy three year old had buried his wife but are now fears her casket could be removed because he hasn't paid the cost of a barrel plot and it's been months since the electricity was shut off to his flat he was lost for two euros went on
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a gas canister and that is gone to. this is how most of us spoke. to let the southern wind in sight. there is east only as russia your mother who learned from a tourist i want to go home to russia. through i don't want to stay here. r t c golly i'm eternally. well discuss this now with journalist neil clark is a contributor to the guardian newspaper in the u.k. well as we've just been hearing me a little. farther says he was wrong to blame his son's death on putin and he also admitted her husband was working for british intelligence while six years ago she actually denied it it's a job to know what to believe in this case isn't it. but it is an x.
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thing back it actually could in november two thousand and six or five years ago now and we still don't really know exactly what happened what we do know is at the time of the murder there were all kinds of conspiracy theories floating around russia and putin for this there was a real campaign in the west which without any evidence. of this in the russian services but what about the press reaction now in the u.k. do you think the. comments will be covered in the british press after no i just said no i don't and that tells the story because it seems that the british media and i'm talking about serious newspapers they don't seem to want to cover stories when they don't fit the narrative and the dominant narrative of course back in two thousand and six was the evil tyrant putin and ordered the f.s.b. to come to london and kill. without any evidence and when you think about it you know there are lots of explanations for this moment and actually the least likely
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is that it was ordered by president putin because. you know the idea that well first of all that banker wasn't exactly a major threat to him he was a very minor figure he wasn't as if he'd said he was going to stand for president and so the idea that the russian government would order this to take place and to use polonium. as the murder weapon that's a very theatrical dramatic way it's quite fanciful quite absurd really well as you say this mystery has been going on for some years now but now the coroner in charge of the investigation into his death as a result of m i five and i six to be classified documents in this case that so i haven't quite recently to think russia could benefit from that and indeed would it help to unravel this mystery i think it would benefit russia because i think we've got to get to the truth and what happened and what was really despicable was without any evidence neo-cons people with agendas against russia because of the why
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didn't it. the world wanted to discredit the russian government and use this. gracefully and they were like articles with the libelous about president putin and the person who ordered this and i think of the let's have the truth let's. release their files let's find out the truth about so many russians. into the u.k. living in london we know that this has been a diplomatic problem between moscow and london but do you think as the years go on this won't be a problem in the future or just how significant could this case affect relations well there there are people called the neo cons i think they're right wing thinkers who really resent russia's revival under president putin and medvedev and these people who use anything to discredit russia russia really is a counterbalance to u.s. global domination russian. intervention in syria as i speak
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and so there are a lot of people. in the upper echelons of power in the west who are very keen to discredit russia and they will do anything bill to do that so i think there are always be there always be this and it comes out in the newspapers which on the papers the murdoch press and they basically but in this i think in britain. pretty stories and we're using anything here so i you know i think the. have about the information we have the better and just finally miller course all newspapers media love a spy story don't we know that litvinenko was working for british intelligence and of course the m i six m i six is now very embarrassed over the saga of the high tech fake rocket spying in moscow in two thousand and six that some other story we could talk about right now but just how active do you think spying is between britain and russia these days. i think it will go back to back to the rock at the time m i six the british government laughed it off and said the russians are
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being paranoid instead of a cold war mentality and yet the russians were not being paranoid is actually was spying i mean who is still stuck in the cold war i'm a british taxpayer and i really don't know why m i six is working against russia russia should not be the enemy. we've got a lot in common and i think that's a major scandal what our security forces are doing and you know there's evidence of that's going on it's wrong i would like to see more democratic control over our security services and i don't want to see these sort of things happening because i don't think the very constructive new clark journalist and contributor to the guardian newspaper in the u.k. thank you very much and if your thoughts were it's good to know how much thank you thank you. the draft resolution on syria under discussion at the u.n. security council is being softened to take into account russian concerns it's likely to have references to president assad stepping down and an arms embargo removed from the text and started checking out has the details now from new york. moods definitely seem to be shifting over here at the united nations headquarters
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you know amidst screams trying to attack russia for being counterproductive for blocking this arab and western resolution it looks like russia has really been a game changer behind closed doors and it looks like its voice has definitely. changed the game altogether we're hearing that considering the fact that russia and china have been very expressive in saying that they would not support every change resolution against syria that a new document has been circulated among members of the security council this is according to the permanent representative of togo at the united nations the country which is presiding at the security council this month that this document is now being considered in thursday's negotiations and it's important at this entire time russia has been seeing what's key is for both sides of the conflict to get together for talks and in statements made earlier today the representative of togo said that the international community believes this to be very important in finding
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a solution to the crisis that the sides sit together and talk and this is exactly what russia has been calling for all along now there are no deadlines in terms of when any sort of documents would be voted on we are hearing that it's possible that monday is being considered as one of the days when a vote might take place the arab league observers mission documents basically accused both sides of the conflict of being responsible and this is something that the west and the arab league have kind of been turning a blind eye on and trying to not really bring to light some of these facts such as the observer mission seeing that they've witnessed a civilian bus killing eight people a bombing taking place that killed eight people as well as a bombing of a train bringing diesel oil as well as an explosion of the of a police bus and this is something that the mission put in their report on the west and the arab league have kind of tried to brush aside and russia's been saying it's very important that this document acknowledges that armed forces and armed groups exist on the ground and this is something that seems to be taken into account now
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with this possibility of a new documents being considered at the u.n. . police have reportedly fired tear gas at a group of protesters in cairo they've been running against the way security services handle the rot of the football match on wednesday in which seventy four died fans rushed on to the field in the seaside city of course of the home team egypt's top city of clashes and the stampede a professor of international relations from bill kent university in turkey has told me earlier that there are forces in the new egypt that clashes to erupt. the police are very demoralized they took a beating if you like. they were defenders of his regime and the army eventually got rid of him and much of the social order problems in egypt attacks on tourists attacks on ordinary people. often i went on the fact the police seem to be demoralized to do much and many people have said to the police in court so you've said had we acted with
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a heavy hand stop this as it were going we would be being reactionary on the other hand there are also people say the police of course protecting just like we. who were. crowds back in general very last year maybe people who want to use this for their own purposes but on the one hand the muslim brotherhood is accused the government of failing at being in some way responsible for the riots they won the elections to fall that they want to put transfer to them on the other hand quite a few of the people in the streets protesting aren't happy about the muslim brotherhood literally elections and they may feel this old on the streets might give them more instruments the way have actually will be electrically launched and then as i say that maybe people will say we need a hand and we can provide it but either way it's not a happy prospect transition to a better egypt. professor mark almond talking to a little earlier here in r.t. remember you can always find more on our website dot com online all the time is what's there for you right now frozen water pipes inside japan's crippled fukushima
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nuclear plant despite warnings made months ago that exactly this could happen. is the spontaneous protest that started on twitter the arab revolutions may actually have taken a decade of expertise to prepare and millions of dollars to fund this story along with many others available right now on our website dot com. the u.s. has made the surprise announcement that it will shift from a combat to a support role in afghanistan earlier than expected u.s. defense secretary leon panetta said the switch to backing up and training local forces will take place next year seen as a year earlier than expected before american forces plan to pull out and twenty
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fourteen well i'm joined now by derek crow he's of the brave new foundation now working on the war cost dot com who for many spearheaded the rethink afghanistan work now. afghan officials claim the decision has ruined the whole transition plan and forced preparations to be rushed through clearly they are not happy about this have a good reason to be to be worried about this latest news. well i think they have good reason to be worried about the entire u.s. strategy from the beginning actually i mean and you should keep in mind that the afghanistan's government has spoken with two voices about this kind of thing for years karzai has gone back and forth saying he wants troops out of mediately he wants combat operations stop saying he wants them to stay so it's hard for the u.s. to interpret what the afghan government thinks on any given day about this but i will tell you what it does show is that finally years of public pressure on american officials are starting to break through i mean sixty three percent of americans oppose the war outright and fifty eight percent of them want troops
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brought home as soon as possible and given the very dim prospects of success for a military first strategy i think that's absolutely the right thing to do really so that is the reason you think the u.s. authorities have actually changed and changed their minds and decided to go ahead with this plan because of political pressure then really i think that and paired with a second reason and that's that they have seen what we have been saying on our side for a long time that the military first strategy is a very dim prospect for success i mean you saw a leaked nato report earlier this week talking about the taliban's strength and the fact that they are not considering themselves on the verge of defeat and that just shows you that the president's escalation early in his presidency was a mistake that was not the right move to weaken the power of the taliban that the correct moves would have been political moves to put an actual legitimate government that had the support of the people in place in afghanistan so what does that mean then the taliban could actually come back into power and it's all a waste of time well i certainly think that the lives and the resources that were
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spent on the military first strategy were absolutely a waste what you've seen people say in the southern regions of afghanistan that they want is a fair elections process and aside from the corruption issue that means that you can't have people who are are blatant war criminals be allowed on the ballots in those regions just because they're u.s. and kabul allies while blacklisting people who have stents away are. but of our much lower offenders on those rankings there's not a just bar set for who's qualified to serve in elections and what disqualifies you from that and what they have said when they've been talked to by nonprofit groups and international aid organizations is that they want fair process if if there's something that disqualifies you from standing for election let that take place across the board so they can get candidates from all sides who are at least sim i get operators in the terms of human rights and let those people stand for election they can actually represent the will the people of afghanistan not fair process be achieved all the efforts that the u.s. and the military have achieved in afghanistan. i'm sorry i didn't quite understand
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the question would almost if it's the military in the u.s. presence in afghanistan resulted in that process of elections and indeed a better life for the afghan people well i would certainly say that the president's throwing his support behind homma karzai theft of several elections in a row certainly undermines our ability to some to operate as least to be seen as good faith operators in afghanistan i mean when you see the kind of theft and rampant election took place in the various elections that cars i stood for it's really hard for us to then sit with president obama saying that that was an imperfect but democratic process certainly is our standing just quickly you're talking about this is all as a result of the pressure of the people of sentiment in the us really want difference will switching from the role of combat troops to support and training really mean is that's just window dressing isn't it because the troops are still
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going to be there it means we have work left to do i mean hopefully what this means is panetta said something like this on the plane when he made this surprise announcement that it would mean troops moving out of communities and on to bases first like they did in iraq and then eventually be pulled out so you're right that absolutely does not mean that we have a date certain for all troops to be out of afghanistan and that's something that our community. it's working to end the war and get the troops home has to has to be very clear and we do need to keep continuing to pressure the government but this is a big step in the direction of getting those troops and those resources there and crow great to talk to you thanks so much your thoughts thank you. well next here on ars he would talk to the senior editor of new statesman magazine who told r.t. the finding a solution to the crisis in syria will be easy and won't be seen as legitimate without a u.n. resolution and after that interview i'll be back with a summary of our main you stories in about eight minutes from now.
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today i'm talking to mehdi has his the senior political editor for the new statesman magazine where to me talking about the violence that's going on in syria at the moment and also the developing situation in iran that he has on thank you very much for talking to me today now we've seen observers being sent into syria who seem to have done nothing to stop the violence in fact the death toll has risen from twenty to thirty people that day how good do you think the observers are implementing that monday i think in the very good given of how one of the leaders
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of the mission what it originally went in was a sudanese general who's been accused of carrying out. a doll for which slightly hobbled both the legitimacy of the mission and the trust of a lot of syrian opposition groups in the arab league mission since the saudi arabians have complained about the mission they've pulled out their observer the pulling out there a bus about the arab league has really been all over the place in. in syria on the one hand it's condemned syria was praised for the first time condemning a fellow arab nation and putting the resolution in a few months ago since the mission has been criticized for among other things the personnel it's deployed and its inability to stop the violence i think the real issue is the syrians need to allow in a much much more neutral a much more wide ranging a much more forceful international observer mission if they've got nothing to hide if it's if they're genuinely not killing innocent people what have they got daryn and what about sanctions the u.k. recently proposed tougher sanctions on syria things like travel bans asset freezes what effect if any do you think that have it depends how targeted the sanctions are
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more on the fence over sanctions given the experience we have with iraq for over a decade of sanctions which cause more suffering to the people than to the saddam regime i support sanctions targeted against regime members that targeted against people who are indicted for human rights violations or war crimes find if they squeeze the country from the people who've done the trick on them i think that's a mistake i think we have to think much more creatively about syria i'm not one of those who support military action in syria isn't libya it won't be easy it would be legitimate without a u.n. resolution and more and more innocent people will die than will have already died but that doesn't mean you just turn a blind eye to the violence that's going on more than five thousand people have died according to the un's own figures and our side is a man who clearly is not backing down you look at some of his interviews you know he's not as bonkers as colonel gadhafi but he says some pretty crazy things about how it's nothing to do with me not my orders these are all armed rebels everyone who's dying and let's talk about the opposition for a little bit there appear to be three some distinct blocs there's the free syrian army there's a kind of external opposition there's people in the streets do you think they'll be
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able to form any kind of case that going well that's one of the objections a lot of people are having against any kind of external military action which is where is the legitimacy in libya you had a opposition movement which despite being consisting of different groups secular religious etc indigenous those outside the country they did for a united opposition for the purposes of getting rid of gadhafi and they controlled territory bengazi that's what prompted the into. and to begin with in syria they don't control any territory they don't control any cities or towns and there is this division between the external opposition figures like the leader of the syrian national council is based in paris and those who are on the on the streets who have said again and again to western reporters to human rights groups that we don't want military intervention we are opposed to both syrian president were opposed to the assad regime and were opposed to western intervention we saw what happened in iraq and the syrians what's interesting about the syrians is that they saw up close and personal the effects of western intervention iraq because hundreds of thousands of iraqi refugees fled into syria they know the consequences of the ill ill timed ill
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thought out heavy handed western intervention which just exacerbates the violence and the free syrian army as far as you can see what are they fighting for does it look like genuine democracy there's a huge debate about the f.s.a. and how much first of all how many defections there are going on because they claim to be getting dozens and dozens of defectors every day every week from syrian armed forces and yet all those independent observers not just the assad regime but its apologists say well actually it's a trickle and they're exaggerating their own strength in order to again justify a western intervention if you look at the history of western interventions so-called humanitarian interventions you always see there's an equivalent to the f.s.a. on the ground whether in libya or if you go back to kosovo in the k.l.a. which also said you know give us the guns give us the support and we'll do the fighting and in afghanistan you have the northern alliance and actually it turns out that these groups tend not to have as much legitimacy as they claim and be not as much military strength as they claim and the free syrian army is accused of killing people itself isn't it do we have any idea of the number of casualties well
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again without wanting to overdo the composer delivery and syria one of the things you see when you do support rebel groups sometimes unsavory groups you know my enemy's enemy is my friend you support people who are perhaps not the greatest defenders or advocates of human rights themselves in afghanistan we supported all sorts of unsavory warlords and still do in libya the opposition groups and the national transition council there libya who's accused. by human rights which during the conflict of carrying out all sorts of killings and abuse of prisoners which still haven't been resolved will probably come to full don't even want to look into a syrian conflict where again we are ignorant of what's going on on the ground we're not experts on who these people are what these groups are for and the f.s.a. of course if you consist of defecting soldiers from an army that's carried out human rights abuses then a lot of those defectors will be part of those human rights abuses that's just a horrible reality of the world we live in and in terms of the actual people do you see a link between the libyan islamists and stays on the ground in syria well there's been reports about as you know as with all these conflicts you know very gray and
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there murky that libyan is louis groups fighting in libya finished fighting in libya have transferred over to help some of the syrian opposition groups and do you see an accidental move towards intervention since the new year my position is changing and i can imagine a scenario where we are where nato is asked or the british government american governors are asked to enforce a no fly zone to enforce some kind of safety corridor or look which which would be would be ostensibly of protecting the rights all well and good but would push us into all sorts of areas of the middle east we don't want to be involved because syria for example is a much bigger player in the israel arab conflict it's a much bigger country and tougher to overcome and beat militarily if it took us that long to beat libya how long did it take us to syria and he has and i very much thank you.
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