tv BBC World News PBS July 19, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm PDT
a wide range of companies. what can we do for you? >> and now, bbc world news. >> welcome. the headlines. brought down by the people he trusted. rupert murdoch denies personal responsibility for the phone hacking crisis but says sorry for the victims. >> i would just like to say one thing. this is the -- day of my life. >> drama and chaos as a protestor tries to attack the media tycoon. the i.m.f. calls on euro's own country to tyke decisive action to stop the debt crisis action. and war in somalia. the recruitment of child soldiers is said to be systematic. it's 9:00 a.m. here in
singapore. >> it's 2:00 a.m. here in london. broadcasting to viewers on pbs and around the world, this is "newsday"." >> the british prime minister david cameron will make statements to the house of commons later, the start of an all-day debate in the latest developments in the phone hacking scandal. it follows the dramatic testimony on tuesday by rupert murdoch. appearing before m.p.'s, the media tycoon said it was the most humble day of his life but he refused to take personal responsibility for the crisis which engulfs the news world. he appeared before a select committee by his son james. nick robinson reports. >> end to britain's most powerful, most feared media going you will.
the policemen are there to protect rupert and james murdoch, not take that -- them into questioning. that fell into a crew of m.p.'s. his wife was behind him. offering physical and emotional support. his son and once heir apparent sat anxiously at his side throughout. >> i would like to say how sorry i am and how sorry we are. >> rupert murdoch was determined to deliver one key line. >> i would just like to say one sentence -- this is the most humbling day of my life. thank you. >> they were sorry, they were humble but whose fault was the criminality in their company? >> do you accept that ultimately you are responsible for this whole fiasco? >> no. >> who is responsible? >> the people they trusted to run it and then maybe the
people they trusted. >> who that was he wasn't say. >> this is not an excuse. maybe it's an explanation. news world is less than 1 -- news corp is less than 1% of our company. i employ 53,000 people around the world. >> at this point his wife patrolleded him to stop banging the table. from then on when asked questions the sound heard more often was silence. >> that question about when he saw internal emails revealing widespread hacking took 10 long seconds to answer. he hesitated on every question of adam. >> i forget but i expect with my son, i was in daily contact with them both. >> in recent days, news international, which ran the news of the world was run day-to-day by james murdoch. today he blamed the police and
a failed internal inquirery. >> if i knew then what we know now. with the benefit of hindsight we can look at all these things. but if i knew then what we know now we would have taken more action and moved faster to g.t. -- get to the bottom of the delegations. >> which has not stopped a payment to this man. >> i don't know the details of the civil action you but i do know that certain legal fees were paid for him by the company and i was supplied and shocked to learn that. >> how different today was from the days rupert murdoch was feted by -- prime ministers. his children, he said, used to play with gordon brown's. what about the current occupants of number 10, never
photographed with mr. murdoch. >> you went through the back door of number 10. >> yes. >> why would that be? >> to avoid photographers, i imagine. i don't know. i just did what i was told. >> he was looking relaxed then. but then mayhem, as it turned into a circus. >> nick, what can you tell us? >> i was sitting just a few feet away from mr. murdoch and it was just a half a second before he was hit in the face with that plate of what i assume was shaving foam. the foam was delivered by a member of the public and rewarded with a right hook from wife wendy. the police arrived sometime later. it's the type of story rebecca brooks would have loved when he edited the sun or "news of the world." now the exchief followed the murdoches into the committee
room and matched their contrition. >> it seems like you were so unaware of such fundamental issues -- >> in some ways i think the opposite. i don't know anyone in their right mind who would authorize no sanctioned approval, anyone listening to the voice mails under those circumstances. i don't know anyone who would think it was the right and proper thing to do. >> but someone did it, approved it and covered it up. when rupert murdoch swept out of westminster we were no closer to knowing who. we do know this was a day he did not enjoy. >> well, the impact of rupert murdoch news corporation reaches far beyond the u.k. his company was born in australia in 1952 as news limited which today is about 70% of australian numerous.
we're joined by a professor at the university of sydney. he joins me now. thank you for joining us. what did you make of the hearings? >> it was like late-night football here. i thought the statement i know nothing was interesting. murdoch in australia has for a long time had a reputation of having an intimate knowledge of what's run in his newspapers. locals rightly or wrongly basically believed that from across the other side of the world he has a pretty good idea of what he's doing. he's a senior executive, runs a very large organization and he had no idea about the criminal activity that was going on. interesting. >> it is an interesting point you raise. many people that have worked for him said 20 or 30 years ago
he was very much hands on. this perhaps an indication of how he's let things maybe slip or even on account of his age. would you agree with that? >> yeah, it could be that. in which case you'll ask have to ask how does he justify such a massive salary? if this is the degree of supervision that's going on, what else is happening? >> how is it being reported by the murdoch eastern -- owned papers there? >> it's on the front page of "the australian." if flagship murdoch newspaper here. the headline is "this is the most humble day of my life," and there's a big photograph of the hearing ipts. there's murdoch touching his son on the arm and wendy in the background looking contrite. the c.i.d.ny any morning her --
sydney morning's headline is "they were shocked, appalled and shamed that murdoch is denying blame." you have a photo of murdoch and his son looking grim and wendy sitting behind looking none to -- too happy. when you get into the coverage, the lead is the following sentence "rupert murdoch aaccused his commercial rivals in britain of whipping up a stir of the wrongdoing for their own commercial reasons. ." >> we're going to have to leave it there but thank you very much. it's very interesting to see how it's been -- being reported there. professor knight. we just want to show you some of the headlines that are coming up for us here. "murdoch's humble pie." that seems to be be -- the
predominant headline on most of the u.k.'s papers. reference to him stating it was the most humbling day of his life. and a photograph of the protestor with the plate of foam and much being said about his wife who defended him by slapping the assailant. she is pictured on the number of the pages. the daily tell grasper, pictures of her as well. wendy defending her husband and again the headline "murdoch eats humble pie." just want to show you the "times" newspaper. that's what murdoch set up to salvage his reputation. there are photographs of him and his wife as they were driven away.
just want to show you some of the tabloids as well quick lip. "the "daily mirror" foam waxes the headline on their newspaper. and finally, "the sun" reporting the headlines there "the most humble day of my life." we were earlier speaking to the public, max accepted a cash settlement from news of the world bank in 2010. after he discovered his phone had been hacked by someone working for the paper. when i spoke to him earlier i asked him whether he accepted murdoch's claim that he knew nothing about the hacking. >> yes, i certainly accept that rupert murdoch had absolutely no knowledge at all and i do think that his answer that the news of the world represented about 1% of his media empire worldwide and therefore, it was
totally understandable and justifiable in my own experience of dealing with industry. there were many stories, many exclusives on a much smaller scale that i negotiated with the "news of the world" and with other papers when i dealt with the news editor or a senior reporter that the editor had no knowledge of. a lot of it made a lot of sense to me. >> jim is one of the select committee members. you questioned rupert and james murdoch in parliament on tuesday. earlier he gave me his reaction to what he heard at that session. >> i think the important thing in terms of the "news of the world" in the u.k. that rupert murdoch made it perfectly clear that he put his trust in the senior management. and i think he's lost that
confidence and that trust in those people and he made that perfectly clear. so i think that was one of the most important things, and i think he said at one stage that he -- he was sort of disappointed at the performance of senior management. >> it was interesting to see how you and other members of the select committee were very keane to focus very much on rupert murdoch himself and bringing the question back to him whenever his son tried to intervene. was that a deliberate move on your part or was it something that you discussed with your colleagues beforehand? >> no, certainly not. at the end of the day, rupert murdoch is the head of the news international group. but to be perfectly honest with you, my individual sort of
perception of today's proceedings was i don't think rupert murdoch had any idea whatsoever what's going on in the u.k. and i think his son, i think that rebecca otherwise kept him out of the loop. i don't think he knew what was going on in the u.k. and that's why the man felt so humbled. >> you're watching "newsday" on the bbc live from singapore and london. still to come, the latest international reaction to rupert and james murdoch's appearance before british m.p.'s. >> conditions worse than a famine will be officially declared in parts of somalia. half a million children are at risk of death. >> security forces in syria has
killed at least 13 people in two days as the government continues to suppress protests. >> mourners under fire in the city. it's all part of the syrian cycle of violence. 30 dead at the weekend here and protests, shootings, funerals, shootings. these unverified video images come as some residents say they're stuck in their homes listening to gunfire. as well as the opposition, the syrian government faces pressure from changes from abroad, including now from the arab league. >> i went to the city and talked to the president about the need for reform. i gave him an example of what happened in jitcht and he promised that he would work towards that. >> that's what the european
union wants to hear, a broadening out of syria's diplomatic isolation. >> in our view it's necessary that the international community are -- and not just europe, clearly speaks out against the syrian government and condemns the repression and to make clear that the dialogue is what we want to bring forward. >> while the european union calls for dialogue, that's been rejected outright by the street protesters and in cities throughout the country. it's a stalemate between a determined opposition and a government willing to use force to stay in power. and in some places, such as near the border with lebanon, some people are seeking safety by getting out of syria all together. "bbc news," beirut.
>> this is "newsday" on bbc. >> the headlines. "news international" owner rupert murdoch has described his aappearance before a copy of -- committee of m.p.'s as the most humbling day of his life. >> the proceedings were briefly interrupted when a protestor threw a plate full of shaving foam at mr. murdoch. the threat of debt crisis is threatening europe and the world. joining me live from boston is a former chief economist for the i.m.f. harvard professor ken roguff. do you think the call for bolder more swift action from the i.m.f. should have come a little sooner? >> well, it certainly should
have come a little sooner. it's not just necessary to be bolder. it's also necessary to be realistic. the europeans have been trying to have no european country default but greece especially and probably ireland probably also need to reorganize their dealt. if you don't have money you're not credible no matter how much money you throw at it. >> there has been some disagreement on this such. who from and what would you do to try to prevent the crisis? -- from getting out of control? >> it is getting harder and harder but i think we've reached the point where we have to have a realistic plan which allows restructuring of the private debts of greece, portugal, and possibly ireland then cast a very big safety net over spain and italy, at least the central government debt.
the germans have to be prepared to do this. they can either realize it now or later. if they don't cast a net over spain and italy, i don't think they will indefinitely survive. maybe weeks, maybe months, but the whole thing is spinning out of control. i think that's very clear. they've been trying to kick the can down the road, but i think a betterage is they've been -- analogy is they've been rolling a snowball down the mountain. >> at the moment there are awer thety measures. do you think that will -- austerity measures. do you think that will continue for some time and problem is the austerity measures in the peripheral countries are not politically sustainable. they're not just going to have low growth and suffer for all those years to repay debts where at the end of the day bay
might not do it anyway. so i think the current strategy that calls for years of austerity and registration in the periphery countries is not tenable. you're seeing it in greece. it's so clear. but i think even in portugal and ireland, which are awash in money for the moment, because they've been given a lot, we're going to see problems there also. so you have to have a realistic strategy. >> ok. we'll have to leave it there. professor, thank you. now over in somalia and the region, an estimated 10 million people have been affected by severe drought. but conditions have deteriorated so badly that the united nations is expected to announce tomorrow that famine has returned to east africa for the first time in 19 years. at least half a million children are thought to be at risk of death. we have more from johannesburg.
>> it's been getting worse for months. emays yailted families dragging themselves out of somalia in search of food. tens of thousands crowding into camps like this one in ken yafment now a famine is about to be theired in at least two regions of somalia. conjuring images like this. either yopa, 1984. this year's crisis is not yet on that scale. but snola has crossed a -- somalia has crossed a grim threshold. famine officially occurs when a third of young children are acutely malnourished and four out of every 10,000 children are dying daily. >> the figures are -- as a result of declaring family or completely different from those
for declaring emergency. it's a completely different scale to help the disaster victims on the ground. >> the horn of africa is prone to drought and crippled by poverly but its conflict made somalia special. two decade worth of anarchy. it's hardly a sanctuary and yet people are now coming here in search of food. militants control most of the countryside. last week they announced they were lifting a ban on the foreign aid organizations, but the u.n. says too many obstacles remain. british charity says the "f" word, famine, will promote a new surge in donations. but the short term looks bleefpblgt longer term, not much better. >> children in somalia are
being systematically recruited as child soldiers by islamic insurgents. the human rights grouped urged international action to protect the rights of children in the country. mike woolridge has more. >> the impact of the humanitarian energy in somalia as day in and day out hundreds of families seek help, for their children especially, in a country physically torn apart by war. heightened threats to the civilian population that comes from various forces involved in the long-running conflict. the recruitment of child soldiers. children are often victims of the conflict but their commitment into armed groups is also rife. usually between 10 and 17 but some as soon as 8. the methods range from luring children, promises of mobile
phones and money, to abductionings and raids on schools. somali refugees pouring across the border into ethiopia and also into kenya, say the conflicts and impact on their lives like child recruitment are reasons why they've fled. along with the drought himself -- itself. >> most of them have no contact of education. the fact they're facing a crisis of course reduces their ability to recruit. they sometimes have to go to desperate measures to feed themselves and also their families. parents have been killed in attacks and they have to fend for themselves and we've seen that children situated from their families are also being prime targets for recruitment. >> declaring that parts of
somalia are now experiencing a family, officials help it will help to ramp up the response and stem the flow of refugees. but amnesty wants to go further in attacking the root problem of the crisis for children. mike woolridge, "bbc news." >> you've been watching "newsday" from the bks. i'm in singapore. >> i'm in london. let us bring you a reminder of our main news this hour. the head of news corporation, rupert murdoch was questioned before a committee. he said it was the most humbled day of his life. the british prime minister david cameron will make a statement to the house of commons later today on the latest developments in the phone hacking scandal. you've been watching "newsday" here on the bbc. thanks for watching.
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