Archives for May 2011

ON AIR 1700G: Fifa and No Tobacco Day

Jill McGivering Jill McGivering | 14:08 UK time, Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Sepp Blatter, Fifa President


ON AIR: How can football fans influence the way football is run?

The debate about Fifa continues - and it's clear from the volume of comments and calls to yesterday's programme that this is a topic many of you feel passionately about.

The President of the world football body, Sepp Blatter, faces re-election - unopposed - on Wednesday. Despite allegations of corruption, concern about transparency and the suspension of two senior figures, he insists there's no crisis.

There are growing calls for the election to be postponed, coming from the English Football Association and others. What do you think? Should sponsors use their influence? Whatever they think, how can fans make their voices heard?

ON AIR: On World No Tobacco Day: Should the world give thanks for tobacco?

It's World No Tobacco Day. And yet no government bans tobacco.

That's got lots of you talking. Some want rid of tobacco, saying smoking is a filthy habit. Others highlight the impact on health. The World Health Organisation says nearly six million people will die this year from tobacco use.

But if smoking's so bad, why not just ban it outright?

Besides, plenty of people sound fed up with the endless criticism. They point to the huge revenues tobacco brings - some of which support governments through taxation. Governments may condemn smoking but they've never actually banned it. And then there's the question about whether tobacco companies should be allowed to offer sponsorships and other forms of cash support... What do you think? Should we condemn smoking - or give thanks for tobacco?

Look forward to talking later.

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Meet the team: Robyn Bresnahan

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Robyn Bresnahan Robyn Bresnahan | 13:13 UK time, Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Robyn by Big Ben

I always get a good laugh when people hear me on air and email in to ask where I'm from.

Maybe it's the last name, but I've been mistaken for being Irish, American - even Polish.

In actual fact, I grew up in the foothills of Calgary, Canada. I don't say "aboot" but do certainly fall into the national stereotype of loving snow and anything with maple syrup.

I made my presenting debut on World Have Your Say from New Orleans in 2010 where I spent a month reporting on the toll the Gulf of Mexico oil spill was taking on fishing families.

It was one of the most rewarding assignments of my career.

Robyn with Doctor John

Growing up in a family of jazz and blues lovers, it also led to my most star struck moment as a journalist. While covering a protest against BP in Jackson Square, I found myself interviewing the legendary Dr John. I nearly fell down with excitement.

Before joining the BBC, I was a journalist with the CBC in Canada.

My most (un)memorable moment happened while reporting from the Calgary Stampede festival and rodeo. As I was recording an interview, an 80-pound teepee pole fell on my head and knocked me unconscious.

My tape kept rolling throughout the whole incident and it's become famous within the CBC.

It's a horrible listen. When my husband first heard it, he turned a pale shade of green, gave me a giant hug and thanked the stars I wasn't more seriously hurt.

Outside of the office, I'm a food fanatic. I write a food blog, love discovering new restaurants and taking cooking courses.

Robyn in silhouette

I've recently mastered the art of Vietnamese summer roll, Cajun chicken and an Italian ricotta cake. My sushi-making skills, however, need a little fine tuning.

I'm thrilled to be joining the team as one of the new WHYS backup presenters.

As I learned from my time in Louisiana, hearing the stories of people directly affected by events is incredibly powerful. WHYS does this like no other programme.

On air at 1100 GMT: Ecoli cucumber outbreak, should we be worried?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:07 UK time, Tuesday, 31 May 2011


Fourteen people have died in Germany and hundreds are ill from infections linked to contaminated cucumbers. It's thought the origin of the outbreak is Spain, although the authorities there deny this.

One scientist has told the BBC that the number of seriously ill patients is expected to rise, because it can take up to 10 days for symptoms of infection to appear.

In Sweden, authorities said there have been 36 suspected E.coli infections, all linked to travel in northern Germany. Cases have also been reported in Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK.

Suspicion has fallen on organic cucumbers from Spain imported by Germany but then re-exported to other European countries, or exported directly by Spain.

Stephen in the UK emailed the BBC

"The Spanish salad industry has long been an accident waiting to happen. Many of the growers use waste water from sewage plants to irrigate and fertilise the crops. This practice is illegal here, rightly so."

Mercedes tweets

"First possible case in Spain caused by cucumbers. How scary, don't eat cucumbers."

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On air 1700G: Fifa and nuclear energy

Jill McGivering Jill McGivering | 13:14 UK time, Monday, 30 May 2011

FIFA vice-president Jack Warner

FIFA: do you trust FIFA to clean up football?
What a few days it's been for FIFA, the governing body of world football. The head of Asian football, Mohammed bin Hammam and FIFA's vice president Jack Warner
have both been suspended pending investigations into corruption allegations. Both deny wrongdoing.

That leaves the current President, Sepp Blatter, confident of re-election on Wednesday - but it also leaves widespread concerns about FIFA's shattered reputation. And the allegations just keep coming.

Clearly there's a crisis of credibility... But what comes next? Does FIFA have the political will - or face enough pressure - to reform itself? Or is it time it was scrapped altogether?

Sepp Blatter is expected to address the press in a few hours time - what can he do or say that would make a difference?

Also On Air: Does your country need nuclear power?

German has announced that it's scrapping its nuclear power reactors in eleven years time. That makes it the first industrialised economy to turn its back on nuclear energy.

Earlier, in the 1100G edition, we talked about how realistic that was for Germany.

Now we're keen to move the debate on. Would a non-nuclear energy future be best for your country? Or is nuclear energy the "least worst" option, compared with coal-fired power?

And what about the developing world and energy-hungry economies like India and China? China is prone to earthquakes - but, according to the World Nuclear Association, it has 14 nuclear power reactors operating and is already building another 25.

Look forward to talking soon.

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On air at 1100GMT: Is Germany right to give up on nuclear energy?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:17 UK time, Monday, 30 May 2011


In just 11 years time Germany will have shut down all of it's nuclear power plants. The decision by the country's ruling coalition came after Chancellor Angela Merkel set up an ethics panel to look into nuclear power following the disaster at the Fukushima plant in Japan.

While nuclear only accounts for 23% of its energy, Germany is the first major industrialised power to turn it's back on nuclear power.

But the announcement which came in the early hours of today, raises many more questions than it answers. What will replace nuclear energy? Can that be achieved by 2022? What will the cost be to to the German economy? Is this just knee jerk reaction to the disaster in Japan? And could a change of government in Germany bring a u-turn?

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Champions League Special - on air straight after the game!

Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 19:07 UK time, Saturday, 28 May 2011

THE NUMBER TO CALL I COUNTRY 44 20 70 83 72 72Hi everyone. Can't remember the last time I was this excited about a club game (an as an Argyle fan, believe me excitement is a close friend).

You can listen to the final on the BBC World Service. And you follow it all on the live page too.

WHYS will be on air as soon as the winning team has its hands on the trophy. For various reasons we're a person down tonight so we won't be moderating the blog, so head to our facebook page to comment as you watch or listen.

Settle in - it should be a treat of a match.

Radko Mladic Arrest

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Xavier Zapata | 15:30 UK time, Friday, 27 May 2011

Here's the World Have Your Say broadcast on BBC World News on 27 May 2011 if you missed it.

Ros spoke to people from across the Balkans and around the world about the arrest of the most wanted man in Europe - former Serb general Ratko Mladic.

We also talked about the corruption scandal sweeping FIFA.

On TV at 1500GMT: Fifa's ethics proceedings against Sepp Blatter

Nuala McGovern Nuala McGovern | 11:41 UK time, Friday, 27 May 2011

"I cannot comment on the proceedings that have been opened against me. The facts will speak for themselves."

They are the words of Sepp Blatter, Fifa president who now faces an ethics inquiry by Fifa. We're getting ready to discuss the proceedings against Mr. Blatter on World TV beginning at 1500GMT. What's your reaction to the news? We hope you'll get in touch.


We discussed this topic also on the lunchtime edition of World Have Your Say on 27 May 2011. Listen to the podcast.

The governing body of world football, Fifa, has opened ethics proceedings against the organisation's president, Sepp Blatter as part of a widening inquiry into alleged bribery.

The action follows a charge by Mohamed Bin Hammam, his rival in next week's presidency election, that Blatter knew about alleged cash payments. You can read Fifa's statement here.

Mr Blatter is to appear at a hearing of the organisation's ethic's committee on Sunday, following a complaint from another board member.

Bin Hammam and vice-president Jack Warner will also be at Sunday's hearing to answer charges of bribery. They face allegations from executive committee member Chuck Blazer that they offered bribes at a meeting of the Caribbean Football Union on 10/11 May. What's your reaction to this news, get in touch for our 1100GMT show.

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On TV at 1500GMT: Is it worth prosecuting an 'old broken man' like Mladic?

Ben James Ben James | 11:30 UK time, Friday, 27 May 2011

Mladic following his arrest


UPDATE:  Ex-Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic has been declared fit to be extradited from Serbia to face trial in The Hague.  Gen Mladic's legal team say he is in poor health and that they will appeal on Monday. They have requested that he be admitted to hospital over concerns about his health.

Do you think Mr. Mladic's health should be taken into consideration in relation to this trial? We hope you'll get in touch.



Our first glimpse of Ratko Mladic following his arrest were TV pictures of him shuffling into court in Belgrade, apparently stooping and somewhat withered.

According to the BBC's John Simpson - who met him while covering the Bosnian war - he looked like an 'old, old broken man'.

Doctors are now assessing his physical and psychological condition as part of the extradition proceedings.

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The arrest of Ratko Mladic

Xavier Zapata | 13:02 UK time, Thursday, 26 May 2011

This topic was discussed on 26 May 2011. Listen to the podcast.

Police in Serbia have arrested Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb military commander who's been on the run for more than fifteen years, after being indicted for war crimes. In a news conference the Serbian president, Boris Tadic, said General Mladic had been detained on Thursday morning and the process was underway to extradite him to the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague. Serbian media said he was arrested with false identity documents in the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina. In 1995, he was indicted for crimes during the Bosnian war, including the genocide at Srebrenica.

The news of his arrest broke just before our early edition. We gathered reaction from the region and spoke to journalists who had covered the Bosnian War back in the nineties. You can listen to the earlier programme here.

But the discussion continues, and the internet has been flooded with comments on Ratko Mladic...

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In Madrid's Sol Square: Will the 'Spanish Revolution' achieve anything?

Ben Sutherland Ben Sutherland | 22:22 UK time, Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Protesters in Sol Square

It started nearly two weeks ago, on a Sunday in Madrid; a gathering of disaffected young people staging a spontaneous sit-in in protest at levels of youth unemployment up to 45%.

It has spread to become a nationwide movement, as broad - in aims at least - as it was sudden. No-one expects the Spanish revolution.

When do they want it? Now. What do they want? Well, it depends you ask; that's the main reason World Have Your Say are here in Madrid's Sol Square, where the protests began to turn into a full camp that fills the entireity of the area.

What is here now is part market, part peace march, part Glastonbury-in-the-sun. As well as the tents and the peace zones, there is a library, a creche and a massage area. The Spanish middle class want a different future too.

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On air at 1700 GMT: Are boys more valuable than girls?

Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 15:16 UK time, Wednesday, 25 May 2011

This topic was discussed on 25 May 2011. Listen to the podcast.

An article in the Independent

that has been retweeted a lot begins: 'Some call it India's "gendercide". In the past three decades up to 12 million unborn girls have been deliberately aborted by Indian parents determined to ensure they have a male heir.' The reason the paper ran the story is that the results from India's latest census were released this week and revealed a serious decline in the number of girls under seven.

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On air at 1100GMT: Volcanic ash cloud

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:03 UK time, Wednesday, 25 May 2011


500 flights across Europe were cancelled yesterday as the ash cloud from the volcano erupting in Iceland hit Norway, Denmark and the UK, with Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England especially badly hit.

Today as it moves east and south, Germany has grounded air traffic across its northern airspace. Bremen and Hamburg airports closed earlier with traffic at Berlin's airports due to stop later.

M2Esq tweeted

may be stranded in Europe for a bit longer than expected. Damn Icelandic volcano. All flights canceled. What a pain in the ash!

Experts say the eruption is on a different scale to that of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano last year, when millions of travellers were stranded amid concerns about the damage volcanic ash could cause to aircraft engines.

But it's not without controversy.

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Should children under 13 be on Facebook?

Ben James Ben James | 19:18 UK time, Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Town Hall meeting with President Obama - Getty Images


You might have heard us touch upon this subject on Tuesday's programme - we'll talk about it at more length on Wednesday.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg wants younger children to use his site.

We'd love you to join us if you're a family who can talk to us with your kids at 1700GMT / 1pm EDT about how you use the internet  ... or maybe you're a teacher who might be able to get your class involved in speaking to the programme? (if you're either, please email me)

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On air at 1800GMT: #eG8, the Internet and us

Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 14:48 UK time, Tuesday, 24 May 2011

This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 24 May 2011. Listen to the programme.

President Sarkozy is hosting a major two day conference about the internet. It's called e-G8, which many of you will know as it was already trending as a subject before it began. We're putting together a four person panel of our own to chew over some of the same issues facing the delegates at the conference. And as reaction to what's being said in France evolves online, we'll let that filter into our discussions.

Five areas that are already featuring are:

REGULATION: Is it possible or desirable to regulate the net?

NET NEUTRALITY: Is it important? Can it be protected?

PERSONAL INFORMATION: Are we too willing to share info about ourselves? Are there better ways that companies and websites can protect the information we give them?

FREEDOM OF SPEECH: Is the net a place where what we say should not and cannot be restricted? Or do the same legal and moral rules apply? Is the net different to the other places where we express ourselves?

CHILDREN: How do we allow children to enjoy and benefit from the net while protecting them? What's the priority in this area at the moment?

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On air at 1100GMT: Is the US UK relationship essential?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:00 UK time, Tuesday, 24 May 2011


They say it is no longer a special relationship but an essential one. David Cameron and Barack Obama have written a joint article in the British press saying,

"It is a perfect alignment of what we both need and what we both believe. And the reason it remains strong is because it delivers time and again. Ours is not just a special relationship, it is an essential relationship - for us and for the world"

But is it essential?

Writing for the BBC Steve Clemons from the New America Foundation says Obama has been keen to play down any kind of special relationship with Britain since taking office...

"Mr Obama has been incrementally de-emphasising the UK-US relationship as the place to start in the international community, not because Mr Obama doesn't like or appreciate the Brits but because the world is changing and he needs other key stakeholders to feel the love too."

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On air at 17&18GMT: Is there anything we can do about the cost of living?

Sarah Holmes Sarah Holmes | 13:37 UK time, Monday, 23 May 2011

Photo of the tent camp in Madrid

This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 23 May 2011. Listen to the programme.

Thousand of protesters have been camped in Madrid for the past week demonstrating about the government's failure to solve Spain's ongoing economic problems.

Carlos in Madrid, told the BBC

We are not just asking for jobs. We are asking for a change in the political system. We have no option but to vote for the two biggest parties in Spain, who are more or less the same. They are unable to solve any problem, it is just a nest of corruption. We are tired. In short, we want a working democracy. We want a change.

In Uganda, there are plans today asking for people to honk their car horns in protest at the rising cost of living there. This follows the walk to work movement which has been going on since April.

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On air at 1100GMT: Karachi naval base attack

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:08 UK time, Monday, 23 May 2011


An audacious siege of a Pakistan naval base has ended, after the raid left at least 12 soldiers dead. Government troops have now taken back control of the Mehran naval aviation base in Karachi.The attackers were said to have taken hostages after storming the base overnight. it's thought ome militants may still be in the compound.

Eyewitnesses say the militants used rocket-propelled grenades to damage and destroy several warplanes. These included the Pakistan navy's premier anti-submarine attack jet - the US-made P-3C Orion. At least two of these multi-million dollar aircraft were set ablaze.

The Pakistan Taliban told Reuters that the raid was to avenge Osama Bin Laden's killing earlier this month,

"It was the revenge of martyrdom of Osama Bin Laden. It was the proof that we are still united and powerful,"

Is this part of Pakistan paying the price? If so, is it a price worth paying? And is the country a less safe place since bin Laden's death?

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On TV: Your Questions to ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo

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Sarah Holmes Sarah Holmes | 16:30 UK time, Friday, 20 May 2011

Here's the World Have Your Say broadcast on BBC World News from 20 May 2011 if you missed it.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court answered your questions ranging from the calls for an arrest warrant for Colonal Gaddafi to his plans to carry out an investigation in Ivory Coast and everything in between.

The ICC's Luis Moreno Ocampo takes your questions

Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 12:22 UK time, Friday, 20 May 2011

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

As many of you will have seen, the International Criminal Court's prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo announced on Monday that he wants Col Gaddafi arrested for crimes against humanity. Today he'll join me on WHYS' TV edition to answer your questions about that decision, and about any other part of the ICC's work. If you'd like to speak to Luis Moreno-Ocampo, please leave your comment and your number here (don't worry, we don't publish your number), Otherwise, just leave a question and I'll do my best to read out as many as I can. Thanks.

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Has President Obama "betrayed" Israel?

WHYS Team WHYS Team | 10:44 UK time, Friday, 20 May 2011

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

US President Barack Obama and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu

There has been some strong reaction in the US to President Obama's speech on the Middle East on Thursday, particularly regarding his call for a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians based on the 1967 borders.

Leading Republican Mike Huckabee, who was a candidate in the 2008 presidential primaries, said the president had "betrayed Israel and made a grievous mistake" in promoting a policy that's an "outrage to peace, sovereignty of Israel, and a stable Middle East."

Mitt Romney, who was also a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2008, said Mr Obama "has thrown Israel under the bus".

Several other figures on the right have made similar comments.

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Is Obama's speech a turning point in Israeli American relations?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:18 UK time, Friday, 20 May 2011

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


"Let's get started on a conversation about territory, and about security". President Obama's words from a speech directed at Israelis and Palestinians where he's endorsing a Palestinian state based on the pre 1967 borders, but with some "mutually agreed swaps"

President Obama said,

"The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state."


Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu immediately rejected his comments saying those borders, which existed before the 1967 Middle East war, were "indefensible".

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On air: Your reaction to President Obama's speech on the Middle East

Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 16:22 UK time, Thursday, 19 May 2011


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

President Obama will address some of the various issues in North Africa and the Middle East. Follow it live. We'll be on air just afterwards and will devote the hour to your reaction. As well as that, we've invited people from the region who live in London to join me in the studio, and it looks like we're going to have a full house.

As you watch or listen to the speech, if you put the #whys on your tweets we'll pick them up. Or post at

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On air at 1100GMT: DSK has resigned - your reaction

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:11 UK time, Thursday, 19 May 2011


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

Less than a week after it's claimed Dominique Strauss-Kahn raped a hotel maid, he has stood down as head of the IMF. He strenuously denies the allegations, but says he wants "to protect this institution"

It comes after Timothy Geithner, the US Treasury Secretary, told New York's Harvard Club that Strauss-Kahn is "obviously not in a position to run the IMF" and should be formally replaced as the fund's head.

His resignation raises a number of questions.

We are still in the middle of a serious financial crisis, being felt hardest in Portugal, Spain and Greece. His supporters think without DSK at the helm of the IMF, there will be consequences for the global economy. Should the crisis have taken precedence and he remained in the job?

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Should women stay with unfaithful men?

Gabriela Pomeroy | 14:17 UK time, Wednesday, 18 May 2011




Should women stay with unfaithful men? Arnold Schwarzenegger's wife Maria Shriver has left him after he revealed he fathered a child with a member of his household staff. Many people stay with their partners after they have been unfaithful. Journalist Jane E Allen writes about why many  "wives of unfaithful high-powered men grin and bear the infidelities" while other women leave. 


Malibu Cookie‎ tweeted: "Women think "trice" before you "stand by your man" don't b so quick to defend him.

Rhoda posted on the LA Times blog: "Arnold had lots of affairs during his marriage, hidden with the support of Maria no doubt to armor their own children together."

And S Gayres posted: "Everyone is assuming that Maria did not know until now.  You really believe she is blindsided by this at this time? There's a saying that says "a woman always knows".  This was in the same house,  C'mon."

Can you forge ahead with a marriage if trust is broken ? We're talking about this at 1700 GMT.

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On air at 1100GMT: Dorothy Parvaz is free

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 09:52 UK time, Wednesday, 18 May 2011


She disappeared 19 days ago after arriving in Syria to cover the uprising against the Assad regime. Now Al Jazeera journalist is Dorothy Parvaz is free.

She holds U.S., Canadian and Iranian citizenship, and was detained in Damascus and then in Iran. She had no contact with outside world in that time.

Iran said she had tried to enter Syria on an expired Iranian passport. Iran does not recognise dual nationalities. An Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson also told reporters in Tehran that Ms Parvaz "did not have a work permit". Ramin Mehmanparast said she had attempted "to enter a country on two illegal counts".

Foreign journalists have been banned from entering Syria during it's crackdown on protestors.

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On air at 17&18 GMT: Stephen Hawking - "Heaven is a fairy story"

Sarah Holmes Sarah Holmes | 14:43 UK time, Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Image of the physicist Stephen Hawking

This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 17 May 2011. Listen to the programme.

In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, Stephen Hawking has said that there is no heaven. He said it is "a fairy story for people afraid of the dark"

His comments are being blogged about and tweeted all over the world.

Elizzie in Ohio tweets

Stephen Hawking, you couldn't be more wrong. It's because heaven IS real that we do NOT fear death.

Writing in the Huffington Post, Rabbi Brad Hirschfield disagrees with Stephen Hawking

"Whether he is correct or not is not something anyone can know for sure. We can believe as we choose, but we cannot "know" as a matter of fact, either way."

This article in Live Science argues that his comments don't matter. It's because of what a belief in heaven offers that people are inclined to it.

Daniel Kruger, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Michigan said:

"The idea of an afterlife offers some hope in a world where, historically, life has been pretty harsh. Thoughts of heaven may also stave off fears of death."

But some people agree with his argument.

Melissa posts on Facebook

Mr. Hawking is right. Heaven is a fairy tale and god is a mythological creature. Our world would be so much better without religion.

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On air at 17&18GMT: Should Ireland welcome the Queen?

Sarah Holmes Sarah Holmes | 13:49 UK time, Tuesday, 17 May 2011

A picture of the Queen smiling

The Queen today is visiting Ireland for the first time since the Republic was formed in 1916.

Not everyone is looking forward to the British head of state's arrival.

Tom writes on the Irish Times:

"Conflicts are still unsolved. When they are rectified we can welcome her and give her a cup of tea, but she is not welcome at the moment. It's also hypocritical of the queen to visit the Garden Of Remembrance on the anniversary of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings; everybody in this town has a story of a relative who was killed or nearly killed when the British birds descended on Dublin."

But some people do welcome the visit:

Sean in Navan also posts on the Irish Times

"I think we have to bury the past and look forward. If we can welcome the English rugby team to Croke Park then we can also welcome the queen."

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On air at 1100GMT: What does the DSK case reveal about France?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:15 UK time, Tuesday, 17 May 2011


This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 17 May 2011. Listen to the programme.

Despite the offer of $1million bail Dominque Strauss-Kahn, the head of the IMF, was forced to spend last night in the tough New York Rikers Island jail. He was arrested on Saturday boarding a plane after being accused of trying to rape a hotel maid. The court said for this reason it was a risk he would skip bail. He denies the charges.

He faces seven charges and could be jailed for up to 25 years if found guilty. Is Rikers Island jail the right place for him? Should a prisoner like DSK get special treatment?

It's a huge turn round of events. He was seen as a frontrunner in next year's French Presidential election, the Times newspaper reports a former close colleague of Strauss-Kahn saying (subscription only)

"He is on the same level as the head of state of any of the G8 countries. This is why his arrest has come as such a shock. When you are in that position you think about every move you make"

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On air at 17&18GMT: Luis Ocampo calls for Gaddafi arrest warrant

Sarah Holmes Sarah Holmes | 14:13 UK time, Monday, 16 May 2011

Man holding a Libyan flag next to a wall covered in graffiti

This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 16 May 2011. Listen to the programme.

Luis Moreno Ocampo, prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, has called for an arrest warrant for Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi and two others for crimes against humanity.

On Sunday, the head of the British Armed Forces, General David Richards, told the Sunday Telegraph that the efforts by Nato member forces in Libya must intensify to ensure that Gaddafi goes.

Will an arrest warrant make any difference to the effort to remove Gaddafi from power? Is this the right approach to take? Should more be done against the Libyan leader?

We'll be discussing these questions on this evening's programme. Let us know what you think by posting your comments here.

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On air at 1100GMT: The fall of Dominique Strauss-Kahn?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 09:53 UK time, Monday, 16 May 2011


Two days ago Dominique Strauss-Kahn was the head of the International Monetary Fund and a potential challenger to Nicolas Sarkozy for the French presidency in 2012. Now he has agreed to a medical examination after being arrested and charged with attacking and attempting to rape a hotel maid.

Correspondents say he has been central to efforts to stabilise the finances of struggling eurozone member states and his detention is likely to complicate the process.

This article in the Guardian says his fall is a blow for France's Socialists - and a boost for for the far right,

"Although DSK, as he is known in France, denies the accusations, he's clearly now out of the IMF, out of the French presidential race and, most likely, out of politics altogether"

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On TV: Pakistan Taliban claim revenge for Bin Laden

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Ben James Ben James | 18:15 UK time, Friday, 13 May 2011

Here's the broadcast of World Have Your Say on BBC World News from 13 May 2011 in case you missed it.

We discussed the revenge attack for Bin Laden in Pakistan and the current state of the
Arab Spring.

Our guests were Jan Egeland, former UN head of humanitarian affairs and Nick Kristof of the New York Times who over a million of you follow on Twitter.

On TV at 1500GMT: Pakistan Taliban claim revenge for Bin Laden

Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 12:48 UK time, Friday, 13 May 2011

This topic was discussed on 13 May 2011.

Our two main guests on TV today will be:

Jan Egeland, form UN head of humanitarian affairs. Many of you will have heard him speak to the BBC and other media over the years.

Nick Kristof of the New York Times who over a million of you follow on twitter.

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On air at 1100GMT: Iran acid attack - an eye for an eye?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:43 UK time, Friday, 13 May 2011

A man who blinded a woman by throwing acid in her face in Iran, after she rejected his marriage proposal is preparing to face the same fate.

Iran's Supreme Court has upheld the controversial sentence against Majid Movahedi, who attacked Ameneh Bahrami six years ago. Amineh has demanded that Majid should be blinded too. She told the BBC's Persian TV she wants to carry out the sentence herself.

"They told me there will be a doctor who will carry out the sentence but I said no I really want to do it myself. Let me do it first and if it didn't work, the doctor can complete the operation"

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On air at 1100GMT: Is Australia's migrant swop the way to tackle people smuggling?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:31 UK time, Friday, 13 May 2011


Australia has announced a groundbreaking deal to exchange asylum seekers for refugees. Malaysia will accept 800 asylum seekers who entered Australia illegally by sea, in return, Australia will resettle 4,000 registered refugees living in Malaysia. Australia says it is an operation to try and tackle people smuggling.

Explaining the move Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said,

"The truth is, if you spend your money, you get on a boat, you risk your life - you don't get to stay. You go to Malaysia and you go to the back of the queue . . . We will take people from the front of the queue, people who are already in Malaysia and already processed as refugees."

Critics say it doesn't tackle the problem

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On air at 17&18GMT: What purpose should justice serve?

Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 14:34 UK time, Thursday, 12 May 2011

We ask this question because two of the most discussed stories in the world both raise the issue of what justice means to us, and what we want the administration of justice to achieve. Where do punishment, vengeance, holding someone to account, and keeping society safe fit into your view of its role?

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On the road again

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Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 14:31 UK time, Thursday, 12 May 2011

WHYS deputy editor Simon has just texted my from Cairo airport very excited about venues he's been looking at for a big debate we may be hosting about the Arab Spring. The date's yet to be set, but it looks likely to be in June. I'll keep you posted. And there's more...

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On air at 1100GMT: Latest on the Spanish earthquake

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 09:46 UK time, Thursday, 12 May 2011


This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 12 May 2011. Listen to the programme.

Thousands of people in Spain have slept outside overnight after an earthquake hit the town of Lorca in the south of the country. The quake measured 5.2 on richter scale and it's thought at least 8 people have been killed and dozens injured.

Spanish TV captured incredible pictures of a church bell tower crashing to the ground, landing just metres from a cameraman.

Rafael Gonzalez Tovar, from the central government in Murcia Rafael, said.

"The population is scared and are very afraid to return to their homes. There are thousands of very disorientated people."

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On air: Is China on a 'fool's errand' in trying to 'stop history'?

Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 14:20 UK time, Wednesday, 11 May 2011

This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 11 May 2011. Listen to the programme.

There's been a huge pick-up on what Hillary Clinton has had to say about China and its efforts to stop democratisation. With reference to the Arab Spring, she's told Jeffrey Goldberg, "They're worried, and they are trying to stop history, which is a fool's errand. They cannot do it. But they're going to hold it off as long as possible." Here's the full interview.

Do you agree with the Secretary of State? Or has she failed to understand the importance of economic growth and stability to many Chinese? This blog post explains why some Chinese do want democracy but only a very different pace to what happened in Egypt and Tunisia. Is it naïve to believe that rapid change will come and is even desired in many parts of China?

You won't be surprised that the Chinese government is not impressed with what's been said. Vice-Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai has said that China is making progress on human rights and is at a different stage of its development to America. Is that a reasonable point?

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On air at 1100GMT: Is now the time to pull out of Afghanistan?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 09:36 UK time, Wednesday, 11 May 2011


This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 11 May 2011. Listen to the programme.

"Now is not the time to blink", so says General James Bucknall, the commander of British troops in the country. In his first interview since becoming
second in command of the International Security and Assistance Force (isaf) he says the west must not abandon Afghanistan after 2014 or it risks a resurgance of Taliban.

Since the death of Osma bin Laden a week ago there have been some calls for the US to pull funds and pull out of the country sooner. To put it into context the US has been bankrolling the effort with up to $100bn (£61bn) a year.

The Guardian quotes a military source that doesn't want to be named as saying.

"Afghanistan has been the centre of the world for the past 10 years. It isn't anymore and the purse strings from donors will soon tighten. The international military drawdown will begin. There will then be a limited period where there is some money available for non-military efforts.


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On air at 1700GMT: 'SlutWalks': Was the Toronto police officer right?

WHYS Team WHYS Team | 13:53 UK time, Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Canadian protesters taking part in a 'SlutWalk'

This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 10 May 2011. Listen to the programme.

A new protest movement sparked by policeman Michael Sanguinetti's advice to women students to "avoid dressing like sluts" to stay safe on the streets has taken off in the US and Canada.

Thousands of people are taking part in marches, or 'SlutWalks', whose aim, organisers say, is to highlight a culture in which the victim rather than rapist or abuser is blamed.

Some 3,000 people took part in the first "SlutWalk" in Toronto last month. The SlutWalk Toronto website said the aim of the movement is to "re-appropriate" the world slut.

A march took place in Boston on Saturday, whilst other cities in the States and in Argentina, Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Sweden have hosted the protests.

A march is planned for London next month, and 'SlutWalks' a growing movement online.

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On air at 1100GMT: Is the US Pakistan relationship damaged beyond repair?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:09 UK time, Tuesday, 10 May 2011

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

The relationship between the US and Pakistan has often been compared to a troubled marriage. A week on from the killing of Osama bin Laden under the noses, and seemingly without the knowledge, of Pakistan some people are suggesting the relationship is heading for breakdown. Some US lawmakers are threatening to suspend billions of dollars in annual aid. Some commentators, like the Author Salman Rushdie say Pakistan should be declared a rogue state.

It's not looking good. Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani announced an inquiry into how Bin Laden came to be hiding in "plain sight" then in the next breath exonerated its military intelligence service, the ISI - the body seen as most likely to have known about it.

The name of the CIA's station chief in Islamabad has also leaked - for the second time this year. That's being seen as ISI retaliation for its embarrassment over the night-time US raid.

This article in the Guardian newspaper claims US forces were given permission to carry out a raid inside Pakistan, if they knew where Bin Laden was hiding, without approval from the Pakistan govt.

Afterwards, both sides agreed, Pakistan would vociferously protest the incursion.

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Can you control what people write on twitter ?

Gabriela Pomeroy | 16:03 UK time, Monday, 9 May 2011

This topic was discussed on Monday 9th May. You can download the podcast here.




A twitter user has been revealing the names of footballers, actors and TV hosts who use gagging orders which stop newspapers reporting their private lives. Some have been inaccurate. Should social media be controlled ?

Emma Barnett  writes in the Daily Telegraph that anyone "who tweets or re-tweets a piece of information they know is protected by an injunction, is actually in contempt of court," but it's unlikely the authorities will begin "a witch hunt of thousands."

Danvers Baillieu, a social media lawyer at Pinsent Masons, says "unless we want to a situation like Iran, where we block off whole swathes of the internet, we cannot silence the thousands of people publishing anything they like online all of the time."

The Guardian reports that journalists' twitter feeds could be regulated under the Press Complaints Commission later this year. And Roy Greenslade has more about the complexities of controlling twitter here.


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On air at 1100GMT: Who do you trust to tell you about the Arab spring?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:46 UK time, Monday, 9 May 2011


Following on from our post below - we'll be discussing how easy it is for journalists to operate in these challenging environments.

From Syria, where foreign journalists are banned, to Libya where reporters aren't allowed to approach people freely instead being moved around by minders.

In Bahrain, journalists face similar pressure.

Can you trust news organisations to bring you the truth when they are so restricted? Is social media the only place where free and accurate recording of events take place? Or is that too focused on supporting protestors?

We'll be discussing this later.

Missing Al Jazeera journalist

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:12 UK time, Monday, 9 May 2011


Dorothy Parvaz arrived in Syria just over a week ago to cover the protests against the President Assad regime. In recent weeks reports have been emerging from the country of government troops opening fire on unarmed protestors.

The Al Jazeera journalist was detained as she got off the plane in Damascus on Friday the 29th of April. She has had no contact with the outside world since.

The Syrian government has confirmed that they are holding her.

She is one of the few foreign journalists who have attempted to enter Syria to cover what's happening there. A huge facebook and twitter campaign is underway demanding her release. After the power of social media during the Egyptian uprising, many feel this will exert the necessary pressure on the Syrian authorities

But will it?

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ON TV: Osama bin Laden - Has justice been done?

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Sarah Holmes Sarah Holmes | 17:38 UK time, Friday, 6 May 2011

On BBC World News 6 May 2011 we discussed the questions being raised by people around the world following the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

On air on TV and radio: Has justice been done?

Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 12:37 UK time, Friday, 6 May 2011

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

We're on BBC World News TV at 1500GMT and 1830GMT and on BBC World Service radio at 1700 and 1800GMT. So no shortage of space which is just as well considering the myriad of moral issues being raised by the raid that led to Osama bin Laden's death.

Osama bin Laden wasn't armed when he was shot dead. The Archbishop of Canterbury says he's 'uncomfortable' with what happened, suggesting that it's hard for 'justice to be seen to be done' when someone is killed in such circumstances.

Do you agree?

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On air at 1100GMT: The latest on the arab spring

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:09 UK time, Friday, 6 May 2011

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


Just a few months ago the governments of Tunisia and Egypt fell with what is now being seen as relative ease, and already changes are being seen in those countries. Tunisia's ex-leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and his wife are to face new charges linked to the killings of some protesters during January's uprising.

And in Egypt a key man in the Mubarak regime, former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly has been sentenced to 12 years in jail on charges of money-laundering and profiteering.

Yet elsewhere across the Middle East the fight to overthrow regimes is facing greater resistance. In the next few hours Syrian activists are preparing to take to the streets for what they are calling a "day of defiance". More than 500 Syrians are thought to have been killed during attempts to quell seven weeks of protests.

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On air at 1700GMT: Should President Obama be visiting Ground Zero today?

Robyn Bresnahan Robyn Bresnahan | 12:34 UK time, Thursday, 5 May 2011

This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 5 May 2011. Listen to the programme.

Ground Zero in New York City

Later today, the American President Barack Obama plans to visit Ground Zero in New York City to lay a wreath in memory of the victims of the 9/11 attacks. It comes on the heels of the killing of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan.

Obama's supporters say the visit is fitting and appropriate. His opponents say it has more to do with politics than compassion.

What do you think?

Republican strategist Brad Blakeman lost his nephew on 9/11. He says today's visit is a mistake.

"It's certainly not an anniversary; it's not a cause for celebration. It's manufacturing an event and he's doing this because he's a candidate for President in 2012."

But on Facebook, Scott Olsen disagrees.

"It's our President bringing to a close a chapter in our nation's history. It is a right and honourable thing for him to do."

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On air at 1100GMT: What can we learn from the wars of the past?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:12 UK time, Thursday, 5 May 2011


This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 5 May 2011. Listen to the programme.

The world's last known combat veteran of World War I, Claude "Chuckles" Choules, has died in his sleep in an Australian nursing home at the age of 110.

Mr Choules was declared the last known male survivor of more than 70 million military personnel during WWI, after American veteran Frank Buckles passed away earlier this year, also aged 110.

He led an incredible life, lying about his age to join the Royal Navy and saw action in the North Sea at the tender age of 17. Mr Choules remembered WWI as a "tough" life, marked by occasional moments of extreme danger.

But despite his military record, Mr Choules became a pacifist and refused to march in the annual commemoration parades.

Here are some tributes,

Crashlington posted,

"how would it feel to be the last person out of 70 million left standing. RIP Claude and all the past soldiers for there are no more."


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On air at 17&18GMT: Should the photo be released?

Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 13:54 UK time, Wednesday, 4 May 2011

This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 4 May 2011. Listen to the programme.

First things first, this is the BBC Livepage if you want to follow the latest updates on the story. And in no particular order these questions are the most discussed at the moment:

1) Should a photo of Bin Laden's body be released however graphic it is?

2) Should America and other countries continue to give aid to Pakistan?

3) Should America continue to work with Pakistan in countering Islamist extremism (clearly Leon Panetta didn't like the idea when it came to this operation)?

4) Is Pakistan right to call this a worldwide intelligence failure, rather than a failure of the ISI?

We'll talk all of through on the radio later. But you can get posting here on the blog now.

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On air at 1100GMT: Is it acceptable for a state to carry out an assassination abroad?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 10:06 UK time, Wednesday, 4 May 2011


This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 4 May 2011. Listen to the programme.

The death of Osama bin Laden is still the biggest talking point around the world. Lots of people have got in touch with World Have Your Say over the last couple of day celebrating bin Laden's death, saying killing him or capturing him made no difference to them they just want the threat removed.

But is it ever OK to go into someone else's country to carry out such a killing? This columnist thinks it's a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty - something former President Musharraf has also argued.

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On TV: The death of Osama bin Laden

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Krupa Thakrar Padhy Krupa Thakrar Padhy | 17:59 UK time, Tuesday, 3 May 2011

WHYS broadcast a TV special on the death of Osama bin Laden. If you the missed the show on BBC World TV, you can watch it again here.

On TV and radio: Ongoing coverage of Osama bin Laden's death

Ros Atkins Ros Atkins | 14:17 UK time, Tuesday, 3 May 2011

We're on BBC World News TV at 1500GMT, then have two editions on the radio at the usual times of 1700 & 1800GMT. And of course we'll just continue what we've done ever since we got the news. We'll mix your comments and questions with the latest developments on the story (which you can follow on the BBC News livepage). Speak to you soon.

On air at 1700& 1800GMT: Osama bin Laden's death, who do you believe?

Sarah Holmes Sarah Holmes | 13:42 UK time, Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Photo of bin Laden in a Middle East newspaper

This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 3 May 2011. Listen to the programme.

Since we heard the news of Osama bin Laden's death, speculation around the circumstances has been rife, with many people refusing to believe that he is actually dead.

Some feel their questions are going unanswered.

Osibox tweeted

How could Pakistani authorities not know that bin Laden was hiding there?

This person is sceptical about the whole event:

Muhammad posted on Facebook

I'm a Pakistani citizen and honestly it doesn't matter if he is dead or not, lost or found. The only thing making sense is that this is absolute nonsense!

But, not everyone is as prone to doubt:

Mary in the US writes on Facebook

President Obama is a smart man, he would not say OBL was dead unless he was 100% certain. It would ruin his career.

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On air at 1100GMT: What does bin Laden's death mean for Pakistan?

Chloe Tilley Chloe Tilley | 09:59 UK time, Tuesday, 3 May 2011


The world's most wanted man seemingly lived just a short distance from a Pakistan military academy for years. Although Osama bin Laden is now dead, the questions his death raises come thick and fast. Is the Pakistani government soft on terror? How could they not know he was there? In an opinion piece in the Washington Post, Mr Zardari said his country was "perhaps the world's greatest victim of terrorism".

The US launched the operation on bin Laden's compound in the dead of night without even telling the Pakistani authorities, so did they feel they couldn't be trusted?

The British Prime Minister David Cameron says Pakistan has questions to answer over how Osama bin Laden was allowed to live so close to the country's capital and alongside a military academy.

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Osama bin Laden is dead

Ben Sutherland Ben Sutherland | 09:57 UK time, Monday, 2 May 2011

Osama bin Laden

He was the world's most wanted man, the mastermind of 9/11, the man whose acts triggered the war on terror that has defined the century so far. And now he is dead.

Osama bin Laden was reportedly shot in the head during a firefight in a compound in Pakistan. President Obama announced the news at 2330 Washington time, saying it was "the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al-Qaeda".

We've already seen some of the reaction as people in the US have taken to the streets to celebrate, gathering outside of Ground Zero in New York and the White House in Washington.

But there have also been warnings that in the short-term, people should be on high alert and look out for the risk of reprisal attacks.

So what's your reaction to his death?

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