tv BBC World News WHUT April 20, 2012 7:00am-7:30am EDT
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>> a leading chinese journalist claims a british businessman was murdered last year, but that this was covered up. he claims that when police in chongqing found neil haywoode dead, they panicked because much his connections to top politician, bo xilai. >> hello and welcome to "g.m.t." also in this program -- with more anti-government protests in bahrain during the grant pricks, we ask, how far should sports and politics mix? >> i'm live in paris, where it's the final day of campaigning ahead of the presidential election on sunday. >> it's midday in london, 7:00 a.m. in washington, and 7:00 p.m. in china, where a senior
journalist working for state media has claimed that police in chongqing covered up the murder of the british businessman, neil haywoode, because of his family connections with the now disgraced local party chief, bo xilai. the chinese authorities originally said that mr. hey wood died from excessive alcohol consumption. his body was subsequently cremated. well, our correspondent, martin patience, is in chongqing, where neil heywood died, and he's following these latest allegations. can you tell us, what have we learned today from what this chinese journalist has been saying? >> well, i spoke to this former chinese journalist last night. he's very well connected in the city. state-run newspaper of the communist party, the mouthpiece of the communist party, if you like, and he said as soon as the police entered neil hey wood's room, but he said the
pressure was brought to bear on those police, and as soon as the police discovered that this was connected to the family of bo xilai, bo xilai was the man that used to run this city. they were absolutely terrified, and three of them asked to resign. they didn't want anything to do with this investigation. so the death of neil heywood was apparently covered up from day one. it triggered the downfall of bo xilai, who ran this city, and subsequently the biggest political scandal in china in recent years. >> i feel very much in pain. i have no solution. because even though they're no longer in power, they were in charge of chongqing for four years. their group of associates still had a massive number of people there. they're all in crucial parts of the government, all doing evil.
even now, my family is being persecuted by them. my company is persecuted by them. >> i hope one day i can go back to my home and spend time with my family. i hope china will become a democratic country ruled by law, and then i can continue to run my business. people like bo xilai are still around, i don't dare go back. >> well, martin, when you hear what people like lijun there, that businessman, has been saying, you get the impression when it comes to bo xilai, the plot is rather thickening. >> well, that's right. certainly when you speak to people here, people either love him or hate him. certainly bo xilai was a hugely charismatic politician, but he was also highly controversial. the people did that support him was the working class because he raised his salaries. the people that didn't, generally speaking, were the
middle class and wealthy businessmen, the type of man we just had from there. the reason for that is that they believe that bo xilai carried out a campaign against organized crime, and he didn't follow the rule of law. he used that campaign to eliminate political rivals. so many of them are glad to see the back of bo xilai. awe martin patience in chongqing, the murky death of neil heywood last november, more developments there. now let's look at other stories making headlines today. of course, france, one of the biggest economies in the world, is preparing for presidential elections this weekend. the incumbent, nicolas sarkozy, is suffering from the lowest approval ratings of any president, and he's in real danger of a humiliating loss to his chal learning. there were 10 candidates standing in this first round, with a second round due two weeks later. my colleague is in the thick of it in paris. john, what's been going on
today? what have been the major campaign rallies? >> well, as you say, it's the final day of campaigning. they get a day off tomorrow from the campaign, and then the voting in the first round on sunday. but here in paris, it is blustery. it is cold. it is overcast. it is rainy. so much for paris in the spring. that sums up the national mood, if you like. there was a reeblet poll taken -- there was a recent poll taken, and it said that the french felt more gloomy about how it looks here. that plays into how people are going to vote on sunday. the extreme left, the extreme right are picking up a lot of votes. there are also an awful lot of undecideds in the middle. that makes making a prediction pretty tricky. here's our paris correspondent, christian fraser. >> the image that defines every election, democracy at work.
but how many french people will vote in this sunday's first-round ballot? polls predict a record low turnout with over 30% of voters abstaining. principally, it's the young, those under the age of 24, and those in the most deprived suburbs, particularly the unemployed. this week, an activist group transported a group of potential voters from the gray apartment blocks to the guilded corridors of the national assembly, hoping to inspire them. francois allande has mounted an unprecedented door-to-door operation to get out the socialist vote. president sarkozy has also been out pressing the flesh, but his focus is as much the factory floor as the housing estates of the suburbs, and with good reason. >> the working classes are disaffected, too. back in 2007, 53% of them voted for president sarkozy.
back then his slogan was work more to earn more. the other side of his five years in office, this is how his critics interpret the new order -- work less, to learn less. in recent months, mr. allande has found huge sympathy around france. his success in transforming that support into votes will determine what momentum he carries into may 6's crucial second-round vote. christian fraser, bbc news, paris. >> well, i'm joined now by the hugely distinguished and famous french broadcaster journalist. lovely to have you with us. thank you very much. how do you see it? here we are, voting on sunday, last day of campaigning. >> yes, it's high time it's over, because, frankly, it's been going on and on and on. everybody complaining it's boring, and at the same time, very predictable. now, allende is obviously running pretty much ahead, but strangely enough, there's no enthusiasm.
even people on his side reckon that. they say, ok, there's no enthusiasm but we're going to win. >> why? why is no one feeling -- do they not believe he can build france a greater future? >> first of all, as you said earlier, there's a general gloom, high unemployment, high uncertainty about the economy. everybody understands there's need for major structural reforms, which are very scary to people used to a very generous welfare system and used to having what we call, the lovely phrase, what we got through so many fights, through so many years, should not be touched upon. and, of course, that means pension reform and also some rather unpleasant things to come. so, on the whole, people know
there's not that much of a margin. they know that hollande has no magic wound. so, you know -- >> but should we write sarkozy off? he's a brilliant campaigner. i mean, all that energy and all that liveliness, which may not be very presidential, but i wonder whether, during the course of a presidential campaign, makes him kind of a formidable opponent. >> he certainly is, and he showed it, because he was even lower when he started back in february. he actually entered the campaign rather late, probably too late. that being said, sarkozy has antagonized a lot of antagonism against him, because he wanted to be like sheeba, so many arms, do everything. well, doing everything, then you're responsible for everything that's done and for everything that's not being
done. he promised a great deal. there was a great deal of enthusiasm actually when he was elected five years ago. and people really believe that things would change, and then he didn't have any luck either, you know, major financial crisis back in 2008, and then last year another major financial and economic problem. >> and there was something else, isn't there? there seems to be -- hard to explain, but almost a personal hatred of sarkozy, a lot of people, you talk to them, they really dislike the man. >> they don't like him. i think maybe because they believed in him at the start, and he's disappointed him. also, he shocked his own conservative base very early on, because he didn't become presidential -- the french believe they are
revolutionaries, but they believe in the pomp and circumstances, and so, sarkozy thought, quite candidly, that he had to be modern, and so he could talk like anybody else and he could actually insult people who would insult him. well, that's not how the french, particularly the conservatives, believe the president should behave. but also, i think that his policies have been so hectic that people felt the base was not right and how the guy was doing too much at the wrong time. >> fascinating. christine, thank you so much. i know you're going to be with us on sunday night when we're considering those election results. of course, full coverage from paris here during the day and, of course, on sunday as well for the first round of voting. for now, back to you in the studio. >> thanks very much indeed, jon sopel with the lovely eiffel tower behind him. as jon was saying, we're going
to have special coverage of the results of france's presidential election starting on sunday evening from 1730 g.m.t. and, of course, don't forget, you can also keep up to date on the web on the bbc website. u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton is calling phone an arms embargo for syria. mrs. clinton says a hard line needs to be taken with the assad regime, though she admits that tougher measures at the u.n. could be vetoed. in egypt, a large protest is taking place by demonstrators who are unhappy about the disqualification of prospective candidates from the presidential elections there. protesters range across political views, but they're all united in their opposition to different elements of the new constitution. the ousted president of mali has reportedly left the country and flown to senegal.
apple adow toumani toure was overthrown last month. he only emerged to hand in his resignation. still to come -- we hear from inside norway's courthouse, as anders breivik faces questions over his killing on utoya island. police in new york have launched a renewed search for a long-missing change, etan patz, who disappeared in 1979. his case contributed to the launch of a national movement which put the faces of missing children on milk cartons. >> it's 33 years since etan patz was last seen in manhattan after leaving his family's sojo apartment for the short walk to catch his school bus. this photo, taken months later, shows his parents, stan and julie, on the fire escape of theirs loft overlooking prince street, where he vanished.
now the search has resumed. investigators prepare to dig in a basement over building along his route. >> since about 7:00 this morning, the f.b.i. and the nypd, the forensic experts from both law enforcement organizations, have been searching a basement area on prince street where etan patz went missing on fifth street on may 25, 1979, when he was 6 years of age. >> criminal charges have never been brought over etan's disappearance. but in 2004, his family won a $2 million civil judgment against a friend of the boy's babysitter, who's denied any involvement. police haven't said what led them to the prince street site, but an football dog is understood to have detected human remains there.
etan's disappearance drew national attention to child safety, giving momentum to a movement to publicize the cases of missing children. president ronald reagan declared may 25 the day of his disappearance, national missing children's day. three decades on, his parents will be hoping finally to find out what happened to their son. >> you're watching "g.m.t." from "bbc world news." these are our top headlines -- allegations in china that the police covered up the murder of a british businessman last year because of his link to a high-flying politician. and a final day of campaigning in france before the first round of the presidential election on sunday. let's get the business news now. so, now, olympus, the company
that's had a great deal of problems. shareholders got a big meeting today to decide on a new board. they're going to have to draw a line with that scandal, aren't they? >> yes, and the meeting is taking place now. they did hope that the line would be drawn, but it was a very fiery shareholder's meeting. much of the anger coming from the former c.e.o., british michael wood ford. he was dismissed back in october. his demiffle led to the discovery with a whistle blower , the discovery of a $1.7 billion accounting fraud at the company. now, he said the board should be reshuffled. there was a reshuffle, but he was clearly unimpressed with the shakeup at the company. >> it's a mockery. this is why the world looks on and continues to see this country works in a completely different way. it's an alice in wonderland. but how dare they insult the intelligence of people. >> you can see how angry he was there. during the meeting, he and
others tried to ask questions about his demiffle, and they weren't answered. now he's saying after the meeting he might even take legal action to get the meeting annuled. >> all right. well, very dramatic events going on in olympus. now france. of course, as we've been reporting, french presidential elections. how could anybody not realize they were going on? the economy, of course. now, setting out the clear stores, the top two candidates, sarkozy and hollande. >> of course, the economy has taken center stage in these presidential elections, and both nicolas sarkozy and france with a hollande are saying they will be the one to halt the decline. sarkozy has attacked francois hollande's pledge to renegotiate the terms of the eurozone fiscal pact. really to get some better agreement on fiscal discipline, a treaty that was set, and it took a long time to negotiate. since then, hollande's team has backpedaled a bit about
renegotiating this fiscal pact. >> what they've suggested now is that they're not really looking to reopen that part of what was already agreed, but what they very much want to do is to add to it, measures that will inject more growth into europe, measures, again, in line with what he's saying about, for france, most in line with investing more in infrastructure across europe, in the green economy, unleashing investment funds on the european level to really give a boost to growth, because what he's saying is that austerity is one thing. yes, we have to control the public finances, but there has to be a way as well to generate growth across the continent and, of course, here in france. >> interestingly, sarkozy in the last few days really has turned his focus on to growth as well, in particular saying that the european central bank should take a much greater role in promotion growth rather than just ensuring price stability. there's no doubt stimulating growth is key for france. actually at the moment, many
economists do believe the growth forecast of both hollande and sarkozy are overoptimistic. >> great for lots of economies. thanks very much indeed for bringing us the business news. now, in norway, anders breivik has resumed giving evidence in the fifth day of his trial for killing 77 people last year. he's facing detailed questioning over his gun rampage on utoeya island. we get details of what's been happening in court this morning much >> well, day five of this trial began with the defense lawyers asking breivik whether he understood isn't that his shocking testimony he gave yesterday had caused distress to people in the courtroom. he said he had understood that, that he acknowledged he'd committed a gruesome and barbaric act. i can't begin to conceive, he said, what it must be like for others to listen to this. he spoke about how he tried to deemotionalize himself, to
distance himself from the horrific acts he'd committed, and to use a technical language in describing it. he claimed that he was a nice person in other circumstances. his defense team asked, could he feel sadness or grief for other things? he replied yes. he gave the example of the funeral of a friend's brother, which he went to, where he cried more than anyone else. he said that was the saddest day he had experienced. remarkable comments from the man who had killed 77 people. >> steve rosenberg there covering that trial there in oslo. now, the second practice session ahead of the formula one grand prix of bahrain is now underway. the race on sunday is set to go ahead, but the controversy around it hasn't gone away. they're only doing a limited run in practice because of safety fears. four of the team members were caught in street battles on wednesday, and today there have been fresh demonstrations
reported in shia villages around the capital, m ooh nama. >> another protest in bahrain. on the streets, men, women, and police. the demonstrators have a clear message, and they want god to hear them. gatherings like these in majority shia neighborhoods have been familiar themes since the pro-democracy movement rose up last year. some of the people who joined in are now in jail. among them, sportsmen, like this woman's son, a volleyball player. >> your sportsmen, look at the suffering of other sportsmen, look at their suffering. they are not criminals, not killers, all they did was express an opinion. >> the protests are now directed at the grand prix organizers and competitors. on wednesday night, a firebomb
exploded in central manama close to a band carrying members of the british team. last year protests forced the cancellation of the formula one. now there's external pressure for that to happen again. >> it shouldn't go ahead. i don't think british drivers should go. i think the formula one should not go ahead in bahrain. the fact that you've got violent demonstrations that have been -- demonstrations by democratic protesters who have been violently suppressed. >> bahrain lies in the persian gulf. its government appointed by a sunni monarchy sees things differently. >> there is a small minority that's against it, saying that hosting the formula one would give the government the opportunity to whitewash what has been done and present everything as if it's fine. but if you look at the news coverage, you look at the reality on the ground, it's quite the opposite. >> with the countdown underway, the bahraini government, along with formula one organizers, want this lucrative event to go
ahead. but if that's to happen, many people in the country want something in return. tom esselmont, bbc news. >> let's get a response from the bahraini authorities. we're joined by a spokesman for the bahraini information affairs authority. no doubt many people in bahrain want the grand prix to go ahead, but as we can see from those demonstrations, quite a few people or so don't want them to go ahead. what are you saying to them? >> well, again, the vast majority, even the most staunchest of the opposition, have expressed support for the formula one race, stress would the importance on this economy, and many have stated they will not use the economy as a weapon, and that they will not stand against the race. i think as i said earlier in the segment, the argument, the main argument against having the race, it would give the government the opportunity to, you know, present this facade
is everything is well and good. as you can see from the coverage over the past 10 days, bahrain has been under microscope. you know, at the center of world attention. i don't see that this argument, the hardliners argument against hosting the race, stands really. it's not consistent with the reality of the situation. >> all right. well, what do you make then of the fact that we are seeing these pictures? granted, we don't know the exact numbers of people protesting and how extensive they are, but threfrls, there is a sizable number of people protesting, wanting greater political rights in the country. the genie is out of the box, isn't it? you're going to have to address these concerns. >> these concerns are being addressed. i mean, yes, there are people on the streets, but that is getting to them so long as theyer and sight peacefully, and according to the guidelines. again, the vast majority are very strong. you know, today we've had the first practice. i think it's very successful. it's gone off without a hitch,
and we're very confident about the coming days. visitors have been pouring in, and we really look forward to having a successful grand prix. i mean, while their views are noted, they're not just presented among the majority. >> thanks very much indeed for joining us from manama, the capital of bahrain before. we go, we're going to bring some news that's just been coming in. the president of south sudan has ordered the immediate withdrawal of his troops from the contested leige oil field, which his troops seized on april 10. this, of course, has sparked fears of a wider war between the two countries. that's news just coming in, the south sudanese president has ordered his troops to withdraw from leige. stay with us here on "bbc world news." lots more to come. for the moment, goodbye.
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