The BBC has been criticised for failing to prevent Jimmy Savile from sexually abusing 72 victims on the premises.
An inquiry found that Savile abused his victims in studios, dressing rooms, lifts and canteens at the BBC between the late 1960s and 1980s. Former Appeal Court judge Dame Janet Smith, who reported on a three-year inquiry into the affair, said that some BBC staff members were aware of the abuse, but did not report it. “There was a feeling of reverence for them and a fear that, if a star were crossed, he or she might leave the BBC,” said Dame Smith.
The BBC’s director-general, Tony Hall, will now launch an independent audit of the BBC’s whistleblowing and child protection policies. Mr Hall has promised the BBC will learn from the scandal and Dame Janet’s 793-page report. He expressed regret in apologising to Savile’s victims. “I accept its conclusions and recommendations in full and equally important we have read, we have heard, we are listening and we understand,” he said.
Indonesian Defence Minister speaks out against gay community
Indonesia’s Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu has likened the influence of the gay community to modern warfare. “It’s dangerous as we can’t see who our foes are, but out of the blue everyone is brainwashed,” Agence France-Presse reported him as saying. Homosexuality is publicly taboo in Indonesia, which hosts the world’s largest Muslim population, but in recent months there has been a concerted campaign against the country’s small openly gay community.
Obama says Assad must go to ensure peace
US President Barack Obama believes a truce brokered by Russia and the US will be critical for Syria’s future. He warned that all parties had to abide by the ceasefire if it were to bring peace to a country riven by sectarian divisions and civil war and he insisted that any solution to the war required that President Bashar al-Assad step down. “[After] years of barbarity against his people, many will not stop fighting until Assad is out of power,” Mr Obama said. “The coming days will be critical and the world will be watching.”
China responds to Defence White Paper
The Chinese Foreign Ministry is unhappy about the Australian Defence White Paper’s criticism of Chinese expansionism in South China Sea. A spokeswoman accused Australia of harbouring a cold war mentality. Speaking on the ABC’s 7.30 program Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne acknowledged that the South China Sea developments had become a “point of difference” but stressed the importance of maintaining relations. – Compiled from web sources by Ashleigh Cant and Ben Rochlin
Screengrab of the BBC boss Tony Hall from The Guardian.