Archives for April 2011

On TV: The Royal Wedding

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Sarah Holmes Sarah Holmes | 19:29 UK time, Friday, 29 April 2011

On the day of the Royal Wedding, World Have Your Say broadcast from outside Buckingham Palace in central London hearing your reaction to the day's events. If you missed the programme, here it is again.

WHYS at the Royal Wedding

Krupa Thakrar Padhy Krupa Thakrar Padhy | 16:27 UK time, Thursday, 28 April 2011

Robyn's got her big, black fascinator out. And I'm going to have a chunky white flower in my hair. There will be no shortage of weird and wonderful head gear around central London tomorrow, as thousands gather to celebrate the wedding of William and Kate.

We'll be down on The Mall where we'll be able to see up the road to Buckingham Palace and ahead to the Horse Guards Parade. A privileged position.

Chloe and Fiona will be weaving in and out of the crowds outside Buckingham Palace capturing that instant reaction.

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On air at 17&18GMT: Have William and Kate got the guest list right?

Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 14:50 UK time, Thursday, 28 April 2011


The Syrian Ambassador to the UK will have some unexpected time on his hands as he's been uninvited because of the repression taking place in Deraa and elsewhere. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown won't be there either, though we're assured there's nothing but protocol in the decision to ask them. Not everyone is so sure.

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On air at 17&18GMT: Does the Fatah Hamas deal change anything?

Nuala McGovern Nuala McGovern | 09:23 UK time, Thursday, 28 April 2011

fatah hamas leaders

Hi. Ros here. Just updating Nuala's post. Israeli spokesperson Mark Regev has confirmed for the show. We're trying to arrange Fatah and Hamas guests as well.

Nuala's original post:
The Fatah party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas, which governs Gaza, have agreed a reconciliation deal, officials say.Under the Egyptian-brokered deal, an interim government will be formed and a date fixed for elections.
What do you make of this development? Israel says the Palestinian Authority could not have peace with both Israel and Hamas

Here's what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "I hope the Palestinian Authority will make the right choice - peace with Israel."

The BBC's Wyre Davies in Jerusalem says the Netanyahu government has repeatedly said it will not sit down and talk about a two-state solution if Hamas is any way involved.

Hamas has carried out bombings and rocket attacks against Israel for years and does not recognise its right to exist.

The US responded to the news by saying that any Palestinian unity government would have to renounce violence and recognise Israel.

What does this mean then for the chances of an independent Palestinian state? What will this mean for peace in the region?

On air at 17&18GMT: Stories of the storm

Nuala McGovern Nuala McGovern | 08:44 UK time, Thursday, 28 April 2011

storm devastation


Hi this is Ros updating Nuala's post. The death toll now stands at at least 193. We'll find out more about the situation in Alabama and neighboroughing states with the help of some of you there.

Nuala's original post:
The New York Times is reporting 83 dead in five states after severe storms and tornadoes swept across the States from Texas to Georgia yesterday. These photos show some of the devastation caused by the severe weather which began early in the week culminating in a tornado in Alabama yesterday.

President Obama has declared a state of emergency, we know more than 350,000 are without power and many are still trapped in buildings. As daybreak begins in the United States, emergency crews are just starting to assess the extent of the damage. If you would like to speak to us, please do get in touch.

ChuckLofton tweets: My heart goes out to the folks in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia who suffered so much loss in the twisters last night

On air 1100GMT: Barcelona v.s Madrid -- the fallout from the match

WHYS Team WHYS Team | 16:41 UK time, Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Lionel Messi


UPDATE: Hi Nuala here, last night, Pascale discussed the match with some of you and there was pre-game excitement and nerves. Well it happened and the the result we are looking at is not only a win for Barcelona but also got allegations of corruption, racism and violence.

We'll be discussing this again at 1100GMT. Please do get in touch. in the's what the Spanish press has to say about it.

Hi there, Pascale here, looking forward to hear from you Barcelona and Real Madrid fans in anticipation of the big match at the Bernabeu tonight.

Join me for the 1800gmt, for my first time presenting the programme. And I better declare an allegiance straight off...I carry a picture of Lionel Messi in my wallet, and it's not for his looks. I am a Barca fan, since the days of Stoichkov, and I want to know -- whether you'll be watching in Ghana or New York -- do you feel the rivalry? Is the enmity between La Liga's giants about more than football? And who's won the pre-match psyche-out, Guardiola or Morinho?

We'll be getting the atmosphere straight from the streets of Madrid and Barcelona.


On air 1700GMT: Obama's birth certifcate

Nuala McGovern Nuala McGovern | 15:14 UK time, Wednesday, 27 April 2011

obama birth cert

Click here to see US President Obama's long form birth certificate.

This topic was discussed on 27 April 2011. Listen to the programme.

Mr. Obama just released it with a statement and wow has the conversation erupted online in the past hour!

Mr. Obama's birth certificate is a document that has been the subject of heated debate for years, most recently since Donald Trump revived it while mulling a run for US president. Mr. Obama released it to try and put a stop to debate over where he was born and arguments over whether he was in fact eligible to be president.

Here's a little of what President Obama said:
"We do not have time for this kind of silliness" and "We have better stuff to do. I have better stuff to do. We have problems we have to solve but we're gonna have to focus on them, not on this."

And , here's a little of what you are saying:

Ajordat‎ tweets if you think Obama was born elsewhere... long-form certificate has been released. There are far better reasons to attack him

chrislehmann‎ RT @thejlv: The fact that Obama HAS to put out his birth certificate to validate a guy with a fake reality show proves the US' racism.

johncleaver‎ tweets Yes, Obama has a birth certificate, publicly viewable on his website. Does anyone actually believe the birthers will shut up now? #nope

panopticon13‎ tweets I will not be satisfied until Obama releases the long-form video of his mother giving birth. #NewBirther

What do you make of it? Good move? Suprised? Was it necessary? Do you still have doubts about his country of origin? Wherever you stand on the issue, we'd really like to hear from you.

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On air 1700GMT: Why are so many of you fascinated by the Royal Wedding?

Nuala McGovern Nuala McGovern | 14:13 UK time, Wednesday, 27 April 2011

royal couple

An estimated 2 billion people are expected to tune in to the Royal Wedding on Friday.
Whatever way you look at it, it's a lot of people. We just popped the question (so to speak) a few minutes ago on our Facebook page and you are responding in droves already. Here's a few answers already in:

Julie says simply: Wealth, pomp and pageantry

Abigail wrote I will be watching it from Bahrain. I think it is exciting and just what Britain needs to cheer everyone up. Some people are griping about the costs but it's not like we have a royal wedding every month and weddings are expensive at the best of times even for the average couple

Priyam in India doesn't agree, here's her take:While I wish them the best, I can't see why everyone must see this as a public event. After all it is a private thing and the thing about monarchy doesn't work with me. There are more issues to tackle in the world.

Tell me where you are on this one? Fascinated? Indifferent? Totally tuning out and turning off? I want to hear from you.

On air 1700GMT: A rough guide to Syria

Nuala McGovern Nuala McGovern | 13:42 UK time, Wednesday, 27 April 2011



It's been difficult to verify exactly what is happening in Syria. There are reports that anti-government protests continue despite the Syrian government crackdown. Yesterday Owen Bennett-Jones described why there are no correspondents in the country and why it is difficult to ascertain what is really happening there. What we can do is talk about how the country came to this point. Today, we are going to have some Syrian experts to answer your questions about the country.

What would you like to know? Maybe you have a question about Syrian President Bashar al- Assad or his father before him? Would you like to ask about religion or power structures in the country? What about media there and press freedom? Do you have a question about Syrian society and culture? Or maybe you'd like to give your opinion on Syria and how you see it? Please do get in touch and we'll try our best to answer you.

On air at 1100GMT: Sony PlayStation Network Hacked

Ben James Ben James | 08:46 UK time, Wednesday, 27 April 2011

PlayStation gamers in Shanghai


How do you feel if you're a Sony PlayStation gamer today?

Around 70 million people around the world use an online network to play games with each other - but the company has revealed the network has been hacked.

This topic was discussed on 27 April 2011. Listen to the programme.

The network was suspended a week ago, but it was only yesterday that the company blogged details of exactly what had happened on the PlayStation blog.

It's one of the most talked about stories around the world at the moment and you're raising a number of points.

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On Air: Privacy and Syria

Jill McGivering Jill McGivering | 18:00 UK time, Tuesday, 26 April 2011



This topic was discussed on 26 April 2011. Listen to the programme.


Jill McGivering here, looking forward to presenting the 1700 and 1800 GMT editions of WHYS today. I'm covering for Ros who's presenting on BBC World TV. I worked over the weekend so I'm also looking forward to a few days off with my family after today and we're planning to... Too much information? How much should I be telling you anyway? I'm asking because privacy is on my mind. It's a hot issue in the news.

BBC journalist, Andrew Marr, is at the centre of a debate about UK privacy. He's gone public about an earlier decision to get a court order to stop the media reporting about his personal life. Now he says he's embarrassed. Court orders are now being used so much that some people say they're out of control. So where should the balance lie between privacy and press freedom? And who should decide?

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On air 1100GMT: Is it a good thing there's less privacy now?

Nuala McGovern Nuala McGovern | 09:54 UK time, Tuesday, 26 April 2011



This topic was discussed on 26 April 2011. Listen to the programme.

One of the most trending topics on twitter is Andrew Marr. He's a high profile BBC presenter who won a High Court order so that the media couldn't talk about his extramarital affair. These so-called gagging orders (and there have been a spate of them recently from footballers and actors in the UK) bring up quite a few questions about freedom of speech and freedom of information, not least for a journalist who takes out one.

Today, Mr. Marr is in the news because he has become one of the first famous figures to waive his right to secrecy, he says it's because he was embarrassed by the injunction and that the use of these types of court orders by wealthy celebrities has got and in his words 'out of control' So now that's one type of privacy, what are your thoughts on it? Should celebrities be afforded this type of privacy? Max Clifford in the Telegraph calls it 'a privacy law for the rich'

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On air 1700GMT: Does Wikileaks prove Guantanamo should continue?

Nuala McGovern Nuala McGovern | 13:05 UK time, Monday, 25 April 2011



@davidleigh3: Got a Casio watch? That makes you a #Guantanamo Bay terrorist, says the leaks to the #Guardian (keep reading to find out what this tweet's about)

It's one of the most-read stories around the world and we have so many details to discuss. Wikileaks released documents about Guantanamo last night. They offer new insights to the men that the United States consider terrorists, their interrogations, and the evidence against them. They also reignite the debate over whether Guantanamo should remain open.

From the files, we know there are 172 prisoners at Guantanamo and the United States considers them a rated as a "high risk" posing a threat to the US and its allies. They also show that about 200 prisoners already transferred to other countries, were also designated "high risk" before they were freed or passed to the custody of other governments. So it's difficult to know how the assesment is made on who should be released and then whether Guantanamo is an effective prison system.

However, the Detainee Assessment Briefs obtained by Wikileak (DABs) show certain inmates were more dangerous than previously known to the public.

Here are a couple of snippets from the release.

"Detainee is an admitted member of al-Qaida who developed specialized improvised explosive devices (IEDs) for the use against US military forces and civilians.

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On air 1100GMT: Sai Baba - holy man or fake?

Ben James Ben James | 09:27 UK time, Monday, 25 April 2011



This topic was discussed on 25 April 2011. Listen to the programme.

The Indian guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba has died at the age of 84.


His million of followers around the world have been paying their tributes to a man revered across the religious divide, with both Hindu and Muslim followers.

But he also attracted controversy, with some accusing him of being a charlatan, faking his so-called miracles.

How will you remember him? If he funded free hospitals and inspired people, do his alleged faults matter?

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Parents, don't dress your girls like tramps

Gabriela Pomeroy | 19:30 UK time, Friday, 22 April 2011


American sports journalist LZGranderson recently spotted an 8 year old girl at an airport with long blond hair. She had a tanned midriff, halterneck top and trousers with "juicy" on the backside. In a column for CNN, he writes: "She was "the sexiest girl in the terminal, and she's not even in middle school yet .....What in the hell is wrong with us?"

More than 400,000 people shared the article on Facebook and there were 6,000 comments on his article.

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On TV: The future of the Arab Spring

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Sarah Holmes Sarah Holmes | 14:00 UK time, Friday, 22 April 2011

Here's the broadcast of World Have Your Say on BBC World News from 21 April 2011 in case you missed it.

We discussed whether the Arab Spring is losing its momentum with guests from across the region offering their comment.

On TV at 1500GMT: The future of the Arab Spring

Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 12:17 UK time, Friday, 22 April 2011

Hi there. We're a quarter of the way through another four-show Friday. Here's the rundown for the next three...

In no particular order we'll consider:

- if NATO is experiencing 'mission creep' and if that's a problem if it does occur

- if more should be done to help civilians in Misrata, and if so what

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On air: 1100GMT Are doctors in Bahrain targets?

Nuala McGovern Nuala McGovern | 10:47 UK time, Friday, 22 April 2011


Doctors have become the center of the story in Bahrain.

A report by the campaign group Physicians for Human Rights has called for an international investigation into the use of 'excessive force'

It says at least 32 medics are among those arrested since the protests began

The government denies the reports and that it was false to suggest that doctors were being indiscriminately arrested or targeted.

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On air: 1100GMT US Drones in Libya

Nuala McGovern Nuala McGovern | 09:04 UK time, Friday, 22 April 2011



This topic was discussed on 22 April 2011. Listen to the programme.

Hello,  Nuala with you this morning as Chloe takes a well-earned break for a few days.

The hashtag #drones has been trending heavily on twitter over the past couple of hours. It's a big talking point from The Phillipines to Senegal.

That's because the US has decided to deploy armed drones in Libya. US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James Cartwright says drones can fly at a lower altitude than conventional fighter jets and are "uniquely suited for urban areas", providing improved visibility of tanks and other potential targets.

The Libyan deputy foreign minister doesn't agree, he told the BBC:
"They (drones) will kill more civilians and this is very sad"

An article in The New York Times said the addition of drones is a move that seems to be aimed at ending the deadlock. Could this action be a game changer in Libya?

Some fear 'mission creep' . Mitt Romney  (who may run for US President as a Republican) had this to say: "What we are watching in real time is another example of mission creep and mission muddle."

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Nigeria's future and do some lives matter more than others in war?

Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 15:17 UK time, Thursday, 21 April 2011

This topic was discussed on World Have Your say on 21 April 2011. Listen to the programme.

We've two subjects today...

Here's the top of the story: 'Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has said the violence following his election is a "sad reminder" of events that plunged Nigeria into civil war. He said Nigeria was still struggling to come to terms with the suffering of the 1967 conflict when the south-east tried to establish the state of Biafra.'

We'll discuss if his assessment of Nigeria's post-election problems is as fair as it is grave.

You'll have seen the many tributes to the photographers Tim Hetherington and US photographer Chris Hondros. Both were killed in Misrata.

Among those tributes though, there's discussion if it's right that their deaths should receive so much coverage and attention than almost everyone else who's been killed since the Libya conflict began.

It often happens during war or protest that one person's loss can become the focus. Should we accept this as human nature, or does it reveal a lack of commitment to learning about and paying tribute to all those who are killed?

The role of war reporters

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:22 UK time, Thursday, 21 April 2011


This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 21 April 2011. Listen to the programme.

Amongst the civillian deaths and suffering in Misrata, the news has reached us that two news photographers have been killed whilst working in the beseiged city.

Tim Hetherington who was 40 and British and US photographer Chris Hondros who was 41 were killed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack. Two others, including British man Guy Martin, were injured.

Both excelled in their field, winning awards for their work. Tim Hetherington, co-directed the Oscar-nominated war documentary Restrepo.

Chris Hondros won the Robert Capa Gold Medal for war photography.

Tim was an active tweeter, here are some from when he was covering wars

19th april 2011

"In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of NATO."

27th sept 2010

Understanding what motivates us determine what we can & cannot reasonably expect from them

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Does the treatment of Bradley Manning bring shame on President Obama?

Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 15:57 UK time, Wednesday, 20 April 2011

This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 20/04/2011. Listen to the programme

This is a debate that's been simmering for months, and has been brought to the boil by news that the chief suspect in the Wikileaks investigation is being moved to a different prison. The story may have shifted, but the core question remains the same and we'll discuss it on air and of course here on the blog as well.

On air at 17&18GMT: Pride and its limits

Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 15:20 UK time, Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Julius Malema is, as you'll know, the head of the ANC Youth League and he's been in court today. Some Afrikaaners want an apartheid-era song with the words "shoot the Boer" to be banned and Mr Malema is the man best known for singing it. In the witness stand, he argued that the song is not meant to be taken literally. Here's how the story is being reported in The Star in Joburg. At the art of the debate is the extent to which pride in one's past and one's identity should be expressed, even if it offends and alienates others.

In Scotland, we're seeing a related discussion after the revelation that parcel bombs have been sent to Celtic manager Neil Lennon and two high profile supporters.

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On air at 1100GMT: Is sectarianism still Scotland's shame?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:30 UK time, Wednesday, 20 April 2011


It's just football, but to some people it is so much more. Celtic manager Neil Lennon is one of three people to be sent parcel bombs in the post. They were originally thought to be elaborate hoaxes designed to scare, but after further examination police say they had the capability to maim or kill.

For people outside of Scotland, or not followers of football, they can sometimes struggle to understand the passion felt by supporters of both Celtic and Rangers - Glasgow's two main clubs. Known as the old firm - they have deep religious roots and divisions. Celtic fans are traditionally Catholic and Rangers fans predominately Protestant.

Although both clubs attract support from other sections of society, it is this religious divide which has come to define the fixture's 100 years plus history.

Brian Ponsonby, a BBc Scotland reporter says,

"For many Celtic fans, their club is an integral part of the Irish diaspora, and embodies a unique Irish Scots identity that has overcome discrimination in employment, housing and education to fully play a part in modern Scotland."

Both clubs fans frequently sing sectarian songs, which would never be accepted in any other context. Why are they at football?

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On air at 1100GMT: Should Gaddafi be allowed to leave with dignity?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:16 UK time, Wednesday, 20 April 2011


Libya could hold free elections, supervised by the United Nations, within six months of the end of the conflict engulfing the country, its foreign minister has told journalists.

Abdul Ati al-Obeidi, who took over from Moussa Koussa after his defection from Libya last month, said discussions about reform would include "whether the Col Gaddafi should stay and in what role, and whether he should retire".

Speaking in his Tripoli office to various media organisations including the BBC, he said "Everything will be on the table."

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On air at 17&18GMT: Syria 'ends' emergency laws

Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 14:57 UK time, Tuesday, 19 April 2011

This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 19 April 2011. Listen to the programme.

Hi there. We've some stories which may happen, others that definitely will.

We've reports that security forces opened fire on protestors in the city of Homs. And as I'm writing this, several news wires are saying that the state news agency is reporting that emergency laws in Syria have been lifted.

Thousands of people are fleeing their homes in the north of the country. We'll get the latest with the help of some of the many of you who listen to WHYS in Nigeria.

We'll also do our best to cover....

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On air at 1100 GMT: Libya - humanitarian crisis

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:11 UK time, Tuesday, 19 April 2011


For days now we've been told that a humanitarian disaster is unfolding in the city of Misrata. Thousands of people are trapped and they are claims that Col Gaddafi's forces are attacking civilians and there are fears of a massacre being carried out .

But now the Libyan government has promised aid workers it will allow them safe passage into areas they control, according to the UN. As i write the UN's World Food Programme said that it has opened up a new humanitarian corridor in western Libya, allowing it to send in enough food to feed about 50,000 people for a month.

Yesterday 1,000 people who were evacuated from Misrata arrived in the rebel base of Benghazi. We'll be speaking to people inside the beseiged city and to people working on getting them out.


On air at 1100GMT: Cuba- End of an era?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 09:59 UK time, Tuesday, 19 April 2011


For the first time since it's creation in 1965 Fidel Castro is no longer head of the Communist party. He has stepped down, passing power to his brother Raul. So is this the end of an era, or simply dotting the i's and crossing the t's? After all Raul has been President since 2006 due to Fidel's failing health.

Things are already changing. Cuba says it will allow people to buy and sell their homes for the first time since the communist revolution in 1959. For the past 50 years, Cubans have only been allowed to pass on their homes to their children, or to swap them through a complicated and often corrupt system. The move is aimed at breathing new life into the communist system.

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On air at 1700GMT: What does Misrata need now?

Nuala McGovern Nuala McGovern | 14:52 UK time, Monday, 18 April 2011

misrata people leaving

This topic was discussed on 18 April 2011. Listen to the podcast.

@LibyaInMe: Revolutionaries in Misrata are saying that #Gaddafi forces are burning the bodies of of their own dead mercs & men...

Thousands demonstrating in Misrata today and asking "What is the world going to do about Gaddafi's use of cluster munitions" #libya

These are just two areas that tweeters that are against Col. Gaddafi want to talk about as the UN meets in New York to discuss Misrata.

The BBC's Caroline Hawley has this report about Misrata, some of the images are disturbing. She calls it 'a city of fear'. 17 people were reportedly killed there on Sunday.

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On air at 1700GMT: Is this the most successful Nigerian election in decades'?

Nuala McGovern Nuala McGovern | 13:39 UK time, Monday, 18 April 2011

nigeria votes

Fade1 tweets: Rioting in Kaduna, Zaria, Abuja and now Kano. Well done Nigeria, this must be the 'change' we are seeking, right? I pray4the innocent.

Well that's Fade1 pessimistic take on Nigeria's election this weekend but the African Union observer team said it was Nigeria's best poll for decades.

#Wuse, #Kaduna are all trending on twitter and that's because there is violence breaking out right now in those areas of Nigeria, in the aftermath of this election.

purefoyCNN‎ Kaduna : witness : Emir of Zaria's house ablaze, youths looting and no police #Nigeriadecides

With nearly all the votes counted, it looks like Goodluck Jonathan will become president.
The supporters of his main rival Muhammadu Buhari, who is popular in the north are now angry and disputing the results.

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On air at 1100GMT: Finland going to the right

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:07 UK time, Monday, 18 April 2011

This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 18 April 2011. Listen to the programme.

It's been described as a total collapse of the centre. The True Finns, a nationalist party, has taken nearly a fifth of votes in Finland's general election. The True Finns finished just behind the conservative NCP and the Social Democrats on around 19%.

Although they haven't won enough seats to becoming the ruling party, the strong showing for the True Finns means the anti-euro party will at least "get an invitation to talks" on a new government.

ErkoRintala tweets,

Goodbye international,open,modern Finland.Welcome to the dark ages where nobody different is accepted.Sad day for my dear Finland.

But across Europe their strong showing could have wider implications. While the Social Democrats have called for changes on EU bail-outs, including the planned Portuguese rescue, True Finns opposes the plans altogether and could re challenge Europe's plans to rescue debt-ridden economies.

Theoretically a hostile Finnish government could veto the package because unlike other eurozone countries, Finland's parliament can vote on whether to approve the measures.

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On TV: Libya & Nato

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Ben James Ben James | 20:00 UK time, Friday, 15 April 2011

If you didn't get chance to see the programme on BBC World News TV today, you can watch it here.

We discussed Nato's involvement in Libya.

On air at 1700GMT: Vittorio Arrigoni & NATO's next step in Libya

Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 13:18 UK time, Friday, 15 April 2011


We've just finished our TV programme on BBC World News, Ros will be back on air with you, in a couple of minutes, this time on the radio. And we'd like your views on two stories: the death of Vittorio Arrigoni and Nato's next step in Libya.

Vittorio Arrigoni was an Italian pro-Palestinian activist. He was found dead hours after being seized on Thursday by a radical group in conflict with Hamas, called Salafists.
The outpouring of grief online has been tremendous, and has become more pronounced as the day unfolds, vigils are been held for him around the world as I write.

Mohammed Suliman tweets: We lost another Palestinian martyr today. Only he was braver than many others

Lots of people are retweeting:Unbelievable how many lives #Vittorio touched, #Gaza is in shock, bereaved, mourning, missing his kind smile, unwavering courage & booming laugh

We will have guests on who knew Vittorio well, if you would like to share your reaction to Vittorio's death or chat with those who knew him please do get in touch.

We will also discuss Nato's next move. The French defence minister has just suggested a new UN Security Council resolution may be needed for Nato allies to achieve their goals in Libya. Will that help bring peace to Libya? You are very welcome to get in touch in all the usual ways.

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On air at 1100GMT: What are acceptable public displays of affection?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:04 UK time, Friday, 15 April 2011


A gay couple in London have been thrown out of a pub in Soho for kissing. James Bull and Jonathan Williams were asked to leave after a woman claiming to be the pub's landlady said they were being "obscene". For people who aren't familiar with Soho it is home to London's main gay village, so for some it surprising that it happened there.

gorevette_42 tweeted

A kiss-in is being organised at the pub in Soho where yesterday a gay couple were thrown out for kissing.

It's sparked quite a debate, not just about gay kissing but how affectionate people should be in public.

Whys does it offend?

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On air at 1700GMT: What makes a good immigrant?

Robyn Bresnahan Robyn Bresnahan | 14:30 UK time, Thursday, 14 April 2011

Authorities checking a passport

British Prime Minister David Cameron says he wants to see "good immigration, not mass immigration" in the UK.

In a speech today, Mr Cameron said "we want to welcome people here, but we want people here to integrate, to learn the language, to build a strong country together."

He said the recent influx of more than two million people a year was straining communities and services throughout the country.

But what exactly makes a "good immigrant"?

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1100GMT: What's the attitude to mental illness in your country?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:14 UK time, Thursday, 14 April 2011


It's one of the most read stories in the US and UK, Catherine Zeta Jones has been treated for Bipolar II disorder after struggling to cope with the stress of husband Michael Douglas's battle with throat cancer.

Bipolar disorder is the technical term for manic depression, and involves wild mood swings from high to low, though in Bipolar II the "up" moods never reach full mania.

Many people see the admission by Catherine Zeta Jones camp as a brave move, like the people posting here. For many they experience the stigma attached to mental illness.

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On air at 1700GMT: What lessons have been learned from fallen dictators?

Robyn Bresnahan Robyn Bresnahan | 13:21 UK time, Wednesday, 13 April 2011



This topic was discussed on April 13 2011. Listen to the programme here.

Hi, I'm Robyn Bresnahan, taking the baton from Jill and presenting the late edition of the programme today.

On the early edition there was a massive response to the question of how we should deal with deposed leaders.

This follows the news that Egypt's ex-President Hosni Mubarak has been detained. His sons are also being held amid allegations of corruption and violence.

The same question could be asked of the Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo. The phone has been ringing off the hook with your comments about him. Also today, a summit has begun in Qatar asking what to do about Col Gaddafi.

In today's Guardian, Brian Whitaker also ponders what should happen to leaders in Yemen and Tunisia. What lessons have been learned from fallen dictators?

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On air at 1100GMT: How should we deal with deposed leaders?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:10 UK time, Wednesday, 13 April 2011



This topic was discussed on April 13 2011. Listen to the programme.

Hosni Mubarak in Egypt,

Laurent Gbagbo in Ivory Coast, some will say in the future it could apply to Col Gaddafi in Libya. What should happen to a leader once they've been ousted from power and there are allegations of corruption, wrong doing or violence hanging over them?

Egypt's prosecutor general has ordered the detention of former President Hosni Mubarak, ahead of an investigation into corruption and abuse allegations. It follows tens of thousands of protesters staging weekly Friday protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square, demanding that he stand trial. But is that always the solution?

Is it more important to ensure that a leader who is oppressing his people steps down? If that means allowing him to go into exile, without standing trial, would that mean more dictators would be willing to relinquish power? Would it be for the greater good of the country?

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On air at 1700GMT: Libya - should Nato do more?

Jill McGivering Jill McGivering | 14:09 UK time, Tuesday, 12 April 2011


Hi, I'm Jill McGivering and looking forward to presenting the late edition of the programme today. Bitter divisions within Nato. French foreign minister Alain Juppe is calling for tougher action, accusing Nato of failing to do enough. France - and the British - want Nato to target weapons which are being used by pro-Gaddafi forces to attack civilians in Misrata.

Moussa Koussa - who was Colonel Gaddafi's foreign minister until he defected less than two weeks ago - says he feared Libya could become the new Somalia unless dialogue starts soon.

Nato said it IS vigorously enforcing the UN mandate to protect civilians. Some countries are clearly reluctant to step up the action and dragging their feet about committing more resources.

Should Nato do more? Or will it face accusations - as France did just yesterday when it played a key role in the arrest of Laurent Gbagbo in Ivory Coast - that it's interfering, even being "neo-colonialist"?

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On air at 1700GMT: Your reaction & questions on Japan's nuclear crisis

Nuala McGovern Nuala McGovern | 14:07 UK time, Tuesday, 12 April 2011


Fukushima continues to trend across the world as the severity of Japan's nuclear crisis is upgraded to 7. This has got you talking, tweeting and texting us because 7 is the highest level for a disaster, much of your discussion centres on the fact Chernobyl was also rated a 7. Some are arguing this time it's different.

But confusion continues over what that means. How dangerous is it? How far can radiation spread and if it does spread, should you be concerned?

Here are some of your questions and comments:
Michelle Ho tweetsWhy was the level of the Fukushima Daiichi incident raised to 7?

Word Bandit tweetsIf they are saying it's as bad as Chernobyl, I'd bet a hundred bucks of my food budget it is worse. A lot worse.

Lisamacuja tweets Let's pray for Japan's fast recovery. Funny how all other problems pale in comparison, really.

We will have a couple of expert guests this evening to answer your questions and also hear from you, wherever you are, on your reaction.

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On air at 1100GMT: How serious is Japan's nuclear disaster?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 09:59 UK time, Tuesday, 12 April 2011


You open the newspaper's or see the headlines and it's a terrifying read. Japan has now raised the severity rating of its nuclear crisis to the highest level, the only previous accident to be given a level seven status was the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. However the radiation leakage in Japan is a tenth of that from Chernobyl. It's a confusing picture, not least for the people around the stricken Fukushima plant.

The explanation for the sudden rise is not being put down to a massive escalation in the amount of nuclear being emitted, more that the authorities have examined the data and got a clearer picture of what has gone wrong.

Where it leaves us is less clear. Officials say level seven signifies a "major accident" with "wider consequences" than the previous level. Minoru Oogoda of Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (Nisa), the government's nuclear watchdog said,


"We have upgraded the severity level to seven as the impact of radiation leaks has been widespread from the air, vegetables, tap water and the ocean,"


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On air at 1700GMT: Is France setting an example for the world?

Sarah Holmes Sarah Holmes | 14:22 UK time, Monday, 11 April 2011

Hi, Sarah here posting Jill McGivering's blog post. Jill's looking forward to presenting the late edition of WHYS today.

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: The former president of Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo - who had been refusing to hand over power to his rival Alassane Ouattara - has been arrested. A French defence ministry official said he had been detained by Mr Ouattara's troops backed by those of the United Nations and France. Earlier those forces advanced on Mr Gbagbo's residence where he was holding out in a bunker. Mr Gbagbo has been taken to the UN-secured Golf Hotel with his wife and son. Ivory Coast's ambassador to the UN said he was alive and would be brought to justice.
Please get in touch with your reaction to the latest development.

France is at the centre of three top stories today - and its role in all three areas is controversial.

Facebook and twitter (hastags #voile and #niqab) are humming with debate about the French ban, imposed today, on women covering their face in public with the niqab or burqa.

The first arrests have already taken place after a small group of women - who were wearing veils - staged a protest in Paris.

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On air at 1100GMT: Should you embrace the culture of the country you live in?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:14 UK time, Monday, 11 April 2011


From today women in France are banned from covering their face in public. It has been brought in to stop Muslim women wearing a face-concealing veil such as the niqab or burqa. They can be stopped by police and given a fine.

Writing in an official government newspaper explaining the law the French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said, "The French Republic lives in a bare-headed fashion,"

The fine is more symbolic than anything else, a 150 euro fine, that's £133, $217. However people forcing women to wear the veil face a much larger fine and a prison sentence of up to two years.

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WHYS on TV: Crisis in Ivory Coast

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Sarah Holmes Sarah Holmes | 18:24 UK time, Friday, 8 April 2011

This programme was broadcast on BBC World News TV on 8 April 2011. We discussed the latest situation in Ivory Coast and put your questions to spokesmen for Alassane Ouattara and Laurent Gbagbo.

On air 1700GMT: Countdown to a US government shutdown?

Nuala McGovern Nuala McGovern | 16:00 UK time, Friday, 8 April 2011

Tea party rally

Unless something dramatic happens in the coming hours, the US government is expected to shut down at midnight tonight due to vastly different opinions on what should and what should not be in the federal budget.
The New York Times says it's not about spending it's about abortion and the environment. Rich Lowry from National Review Online has a different take, he says it's about healthcare.

Whatever you believe is stalling decisions on the budget, your opinions on the supposed reasons and of course the repercussions have got you talking. If you want to follow latest developments the twitter hashtag is #govtshutdown

Here's just a smattering of what you are saying:
Kathryn_McGee‎ tweets possible #GovtShutdown is ridiculous!!!! My husband is in the military and serves this country, and we may not get paid! #unacceptable

richdom‎ tweets Is there any reason we can't just stop paying congressmen and defund their health insurance till the govt is working again?

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On air at 1700/1800GMT: Violence in Ivory Coast

Ben James Ben James | 16:00 UK time, Friday, 8 April 2011


Damaged houses in Duékoué on March 29th, 2011 - ZOOM DOSSO/AFP/Getty Images


It was grim listening on WHYS at 1100GMT as Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, detailed the latest discoveries of bodies in Ivory Coast. (You can listen to the early edition here.)

He told us many hundreds have now died; in one town, Blolequin

"... the human rights investigation team went in by helicopter yesterday and they found the town totally deserted. They described it as a dead town and there were around 40 bodies just lying in the streets."

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On TV at 1500GMT: Supporters of Gbagbo and Ouattara take your questions

Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 13:10 UK time, Friday, 8 April 2011

Outtara and Gbagbo

Hi from BBC Television Centre. All week long you've been concerned about the situation in Ivory Coast, and you've wanted two things from WHYS. First, you've wanted to hear the stories of people caught up in the conflict. And second, has been to put your points to the two men at the heart of this crisis. We'll aim to do both on the TV today.

Understandably Alassane Ouattara and Laurent Gbagbo are both a little busy to join us for an hour on BBC World News, but we've two Europe-based Ivorians to speak with you.

Topla Balliut, a spokesperson for Mr Gbagbo in Paris

Jacques Ndouba , the London representative of PDCI which is one of the political parties supporting Mr Ouattara

They'll both be live on BBC World News at 1500GMT to answer your questions. You can post those queries here, or tweet me with your number if you'd like to come on air.

On air at 1100GMT: Does Africa have a problem with democracy?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 09:59 UK time, Friday, 8 April 2011


In recent weeks we have spent a lot of time on World Have Your Say speaking to people in Ivory Coast, frustrated by Laurent Gbagbo's refusal to step down as President, despite losing November's elections.

And this isn't the only example of a challenge to democracy in Africa.....

* Elections due to be held tomorrow in Nigeria have been postponed twice before, and even tomorrow 15 per cent of districts won't be able to vote, delaying it for a third time.



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Meet the team: Gabriela Pomeroy

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Gabriela Pomeroy | 17:16 UK time, Thursday, 7 April 2011



I've been working at the BBC for seven years, and have just arrived at World Have Your Say.

After studying history at Cambridge, I started my life in journalism in the usual grimey way with a series of reporting jobs in local and trade magazines ... mortgages reporter at a Financial Times business trade magazine, that kind of thing. For a whole year I wrote about nothing but mortgages.

Eventually I snuck in to the BBC where I started working for Radio Four's Today programme and Radio Five Live Breakfast, producing the economics and business news.

I then moved to BBC Radio Five Live's Victoria Derbyshire programme, a daily news show which has just been nominated for 3 Sony awards. I spent lots of time producing big politics OBs ("outside broadcasts") all over the country where politicians were grilled by an audience of 200 people live on the radio.

It was all about hearing the views of "real people" and it's the same idea at World Have Your Say. On many programmes professors and pundits dominate the airwaves but I like finding new voices for the radio. I'm always searching around for new Chinese bloggers, housewives in Mumbai with opinions about everything, people tweeting from the streets of Yemen and chatty teenagers telling us on the phone what they're seeing and hearing from their windows as they lie low in their homes in Tripoli.

Outside work, I play classical cello and play regularly in string quartets. I sing and adapt music for various world music acappella groups. I've been deeply involved in a number of creative, artistic and community projects in London, but that's a WHOLE other story. Favourite writers: Chinua Achebe and Doris Lessing. Favourite magazine: The New Yorker. Currently reading: Iran Awakening by Shirin Ebadi, a biography of an Iranian human rights lawyer. Favourite country: Ghana, because they put sound systems on the pavements and dance on the streets!

On air at 1700 & 1800GMT: Libyan rebel forces killed by Nato air strike

Sarah Holmes Sarah Holmes | 15:57 UK time, Thursday, 7 April 2011

Picture showing injured men in hospital beds

This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 7 April 2011. Listen to the programme.

With fighting still going on in cities across Libya and the no-fly zone still being enforced by Nato, reports from rebel forces in eastern Libya say that a Nato air strike has killed at least 12 rebel fighters.

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On air at 1700&1800GMT: Gbagbo clings on in Ivory Coast

WHYS Team WHYS Team | 14:00 UK time, Thursday, 7 April 2011

In Abidjan, the fighting goes on.

There's been speculation for days now that the besieged Ivorian leader Laurent Gbagbo might surrender - and yet he's still there, deep in his bunker in his residency as the siege goes on.

We want to find out more about how he's managing to put up resistance and why this whole standoff is taking so long to resolve.

We'll hear too from locals trapped in Abidjan. As many of you know, we've been hearing on a daily basis from people in the city who are struggling to cope with the curfew, the violence, the looting and, on top of everything else, dwindling supplies of food and water. As the days pass, how are they coping?

And at the same time, refugees are continuing to pour over the borders into neighbouring countries, including Liberia. Some have walked for days to escape. Oxfam has shared some of their dramatic stories with the BBC. We hope to have more.

On air at 1100GMT: Should the rest of Europe bail out Portugal?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:22 UK time, Thursday, 7 April 2011


So Portugal is the latest eurozone country to ask for a bail out. The Country's caretaker Prime Minister Jose Socrates followed Greece and the Irish Republic in seeking financial help. Jose Socrates had put off a bail-out request as long as he could, having stepped down as prime minister after failing to pass austerity measures.


"I always said asking for foreign aid would be the final way to go but we have reached the moment. Above all, it's in the national interest."

EU finance ministers will discuss the request when they meet in Budapest later.

It's a complicated picture. It's not clear how much aid Portugal will ask for. Negotiations will now be under way and the BBC's business editor Robert Peston said rescue loans could amount to as much as 80bn euros ($115bn; £70bn).

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The people I hear: Attack on Abidjan

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Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 05:21 UK time, Thursday, 7 April 2011

'The People I Hear' is a column I write about some of the conversations I have and hear on WHYS. Here's this week's:

For days, the world waited keenly on news from the cellar of the presidential compound in Abidjan. For months, I've spoken to people in Ivory Coast who've shown us the polarisation of their society; their passion for their man matched by their certainty of his claim to the Presidency.

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On air at 1700&1800GMT: Latest from Ivory Coast

Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 14:12 UK time, Wednesday, 6 April 2011

This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 6 April 2011. Listen to the programme.

Alain Juppe, the French Foreign Minister, has called it 'absurd stubbornness. Call it what you will, but Laurent Gbagbo is, we think, still holding out in his Abidjan residence. This despite it coming under fierce attack from forces loyal to Alassane Ouattara. This is what we're aiming for on the two later editions of WHYS:

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The surrender that wasn't

Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 13:53 UK time, Wednesday, 6 April 2011

I wouldn't have minded being a fly on the Reuters wall as the inquest began into why the news agency flashed that Laurent Gbagbo had surrendered (according to a 'UN internal document') at just before 18GMT yesterday. A few minutes later, a second flash appeared on our screens saying that Mr Gbagbo was considering surrender. As my colleagues on the Live page memorably put it: 'it's row back time'.

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On air at 1100GMT: Ivory Coast - How long can Gbagbo refuse to surrender?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 09:54 UK time, Wednesday, 6 April 2011


This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 6 April 2011. Listen to the programme.

UPDATE: The French government says that Laurent Gbagbo is refusing to surrender, according to the AFP news agency. There are also reports of heavy gunfire around the Presidential compund.

His residence is surrounded by opposition troops - but the Ivorian President, Laurent Gbagbo, denies he is negotiating his surrender. Speaking by phone from his bunker, he said his military were only negotiating a truce - and insisted he had won November's presidential election.

France, however, believes he could surrender within hours. The French armed forces chief, Edouard Guillaud, said while he saw no breakthrough for now, strikes against Mr Gbagbo could resume if he refused to go. The UN says Gbagbo lost the elections and Alassane Ouattara is the elected President.

It's a confused picture in Ivory Coast, but speaking to residents of Abidjan this morning, many say it is calm and quiet with some feeling safe enough to venture out to get supplies before the 12 o'clock curfew.

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On air at 1100gmt: Should you embrace the culture of the country you live in?

Ben Allen | 15:19 UK time, Tuesday, 5 April 2011

From today women in France are banned from covering their face in public. It has been brought in to stop Muslim women wearing a face-concealing veil such as the niqab or burqa. They can be stopped by police and given a fine.

Writing in an official government newspaper explaining the law the French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said, "The French Republic lives in a bare-headed fashion,"

The fine is more symbolic than anything else, a 150 euro fine, that's £133, $217. However people forcing women to wear the veil face a much larger fine and a prison sentence of up to two years.

If you want to join the discussion, you can call country code 44 20 70 83 72 72, text country code 44 77 86 20 60 80, email us, or post here. Thanks for taking part.

On air at 1700&1800GMT: Gbagbo in 'a bunker'

Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 13:27 UK time, Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Whatever I write in this post about Ivory Coast is likely to be out of date within minutes. So I'm better off directing you to the Live Page for the latest. What is certain is that Laurent Gbagbo is coming under unrelenting pressure.

On today's late edition we'll attempt to speak to the following people in Abidjan:

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On air at 1100 GMT: The latest from Ivory Coast

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:09 UK time, Tuesday, 5 April 2011


Some commentators are suggesting these could be the final hours of the Gbagbo Presidency in Ivory Coast. Troops loyal to the UN recognised President Alassane Ouattara say they have captured the Presidential palace, where it's thought Laurent Gbagbo has been holed up.

The significant turning point came hours earlier when UN and French helicopters attacked targets near the presidential residence.
Throughout the morning we've been speaking to people in Ivory Coast and a number of them say they fear civillian casualties. Jerome in Norway will be on the show at 1100GMT. He's been speaking to his family in Abidjan who say many Gbagbo supporters took refuge in military camps that were later bombed and shelled. We can't verify whether this is true. But it does show the fear amongst civillians.

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On air at 1700GMT: Is now the time for intervention in Ivory Coast?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:03 UK time, Monday, 4 April 2011


We discussed this in our earlier programme at 1100GMT and we're coming back to it at 1700GMT.

Was it a massacre? Some aid agencies put the number of dead in the town of Duekoue in Ivory Coast as high as 1,000. Last week, the ICRC said 800 were killed. But the UN has quietly disputed it and scaled down the number. Whatever the figure, the number of body bags rounded up by Red Cross workers is into the hundreds.

Militias supporting the UN recognised President of Ivory Coast Alassane Ouattara, swept through the region last week seizing territory from troops loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, who refuses to give up power. The finger of blame is being pointed at Ouattara supporters, although they deny this. Whoever is to blame is irrelevant for the hundreds of people who have lost their lives.

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WHYS on TV: Deadlock in Libya

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Xavier Zapata | 18:47 UK time, Friday, 1 April 2011

This programme was broadcast on BBC World News, 1 April 2011

We discuss the key questions about the situation in Libya.

Oil Spill One Year On: What's Changed?

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WHYS Team WHYS Team | 14:11 UK time, Friday, 1 April 2011

Louisiana oil spill mural

Hi folks, Robyn Bresnahan here.

The one year anniversary of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is just around the corner. I've come back to Louisiana to catch up with many of the fishing families I met just after it happened.

Just the other day, I reconnected with fifth-generation shrimper Charles Robin. When we first met, he broke down in tears and told me he felt useless without being able to fish.

A year later, I asked him what had changed.

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WHYS on Friday: Libya, Ivory Coast, Yemen and Syria

Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 12:30 UK time, Friday, 1 April 2011

We've four editions on a Friday now (Chloe's just finished the first). Here's what's planned:

ON TV AT 1500GMT: LIBYA, SYRIA, YEMEN, IVORY COASTWe'll discuss the key questions about the situation in Libya.

1) Have the past two weeks justified the military intervention?

2) Should the West arm the rebels?

3) Is the threat of prosecution hindering efforts to get Col Gaddafi to go into exile?

4) Do those who are declaring a deadlock need to be patient?

We'll also have a BBC correspondent in Libya to answer your questions.

And we'll get your reports on the protests in Syria and Yemen, and on the fighting in Ivory Coast.

We'll continue the TV subjects on the radio, and we'll be live Louisiana with fishermen rebuilding their lives after the BP oil spill.

More time for those of you who ring in during the main edition.

If you've comments, questions or experiences that you want to share, please post here. If you leave your phone number, we won't publish it. Thanks.

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Is this the end for Laurent Gbagbo?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 09:40 UK time, Friday, 1 April 2011

Troops loyal to the UN recognised President Alassane Ouattara, appear to poised for a final push to oust his rival Laurent Gbagbo.

In the main city, Abidjan, pro-Ouattara forces have launched an assault on the presidential residence. There has also been fighting around the state TV building, which went off air.

Moha from Somalia posted on our facebook page,

"i think this will create problems coz Gbagbo is one person and if he goes he leaves behind hundreds of armed youths. It is far from over"

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