Saving Privat(izing) Ryan: Mitt Romney selects a running mate

By Glenn Altschuler, Cornell University

On Saturday, August 11, “before the press and just about everyone else” was notified, the Mitt Romney campaign used a mobile phone app to inform supporters that Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan would be the Republican candidate for vice president.

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Romney’s choice is significant. No vice presidential candidate has been a deciding factor in an American election since Lyndon Johnson carried Texas for John F. Kennedy in 1960. Since then the operative principle for Republicans and Democrats in selecting a VP has been the political equivalent of the Hippocratic Oath for physicians: Do No Harm. Romney was widely expected to make a “safe” choice—of former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty or Rob Portman, U.S. Senator from Ohio. Instead, he has, uncharacteristically, rolled the dice.

The forty-two year old Ryan is an experienced, articulate and influential legislator, a vigorous campaigner, and the darling of conservative Republicans and Tea Party activists. A key factor in his selection is his ability to energise the party’s base, which has been less than enthusiastic about Governor Romney, a former Massachusetts moderate. Ryan’s supporters suggest as well that he will help the GOP win the 10 Electoral votes of his home state, which has been carried by the Democrats in every presidential election since the 1980s.

But Ryan’s presence on the ticket also gives President Obama an opportunity to change the conversation from the fragile, and some say faltering, economy, to a federal spending plan, authored by Ryan, that Newt Gingrich (of all people) called “right wing social engineering.” First introduced in 2010 and known variously as The Path to Prosperity and The Roadmap, the Ryan budget proposes radical changes in the role of government in promoting and protecting the welfare of American citizens – and an attack on Social Security and Medicare, two of the most popular programs in the United States.

In its current version (which passed the House of Representatives with support from all but four Republicans and died in the Democrat-controlled Senate), the Ryan budget would cut $6 trillion in discretionary spending over ten years, reducing the deficit to about 3 percent of Gross Domestic Product by fiscal year 2014, three years ahead of the White House plan. Favorable to the wealthiest Americans in virtually every provision (Ryan has signed the “no tax” pledge of lobbyist Grover Norquist, who famously aims to shrink the federal government until it’s small enough to be drowned in a bathtub) it collapses individual income tax brackets into two rates— 10% and 25% —and promises to clear out “the burdensome tangle of loopholes that distort economic activity,” without identifying any specific loophole. And it cuts corporate tax rates ten points to 25 percent while eliminating (as yet unnamed) exemptions.

Unlike a previous iteration of his plan, Ryan would not now privatise Social Security. But Democrats will surely remind voters of his earlier views — and will ask Governor Romney if he agrees with them. The latest Roadmap does phase out Medicare, a government guarantee of health care for senior citizens, in favor of vouchers, which would be used by individuals to pay for private insurance premiums – but which, according to critics, will not pay the full freight.

The Roadmap is not popular with voters. When Ryan discussed it at town hall meetings in his home state, he was shouted down. Fearing dire consequences at the ballot box, conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer characterized the Ryan Plan, which weighed in at 73 pages with 37 footnotes, as perhaps “the most annotated suicide note in history.” Until recently, Romney, who has endorsed The Roadmap, kept his distance from it.

He will not now be able to do so. And so, the selection of Ryan will make it far more difficult for Republicans to carry Florida, a must-win state with many senior citizens – and 29 Electoral votes.

As Democrats assert that, by jumping on Ryan’s Express, Romney has demonstrated that he is a hostage to Tea Party extremists, they may also take note of Ryan’s record during the presidency of George W. Bush, when he voted for sweeping tax cuts, a costly prescription-drug entitlement for Medicare, two wars, and the multibillion-dollar bank-bailout legislation known as TARP, and in so doing, helped add $5 trillion to the national debt. Ryan now claims that the experience made him miserable. The GOP faithful will give him the benefit of the doubt, but mainstream voters may be less forgiving.

Whether Ryan’s presence on the ticket proves a boost or a bust, it could inject a substantive discussion of the issues into what hitherto has been a dispiritingly vicious contest. Congressman Ryan could save both Romney’s campaign and his own efforts to privatize the economy. He could also sink them both.

Glenn Altschuler does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

How ethical are hymen restorations?

Because they have had pre-marital sex and risk being ostracised by their family; because they are victims of rape; or because they “want to achieve a sense of a clean slate”.

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These are just some of the reasons why some women are asking cosmetic surgeons like Dr Les Blackstock to restore their hymens.

“I’ve done women from most cultures and most religions; I’ve done women who have been victims of rape, I’ve done women who have no sexual interest, they’ve been returning to be a nun,” he tells SBS’s Insight.

“They want to very much achieve a sense of a clean slate.”

Hymen restoration is the surgical repair of the hymen. There are no hard data on hymenoplasty rates in Australia, but surgeons say there is a steady demand for the procedure in Australia.

CULTURAL DEMANDS

In some cultures, having gynaecologists ‘inspect’ hymens is not uncommon. Sydney-based gynaecologist Dr Wafa Samen often issues doctor’s certificates in English and in Arabic certifying that a hymen is intact.

“Culturally and religiously, it is important to preserve the virginity and that applies to woman and men,” says Dr Samen.

In cultures that place a high value on virginity there may be serious consequences for the woman and her family if her hymen is not intact, including being outcast from the community, beatings, mutilations and honour killings.

“One of my standard questions when I interview the woman is: will they be at physical risk?” says Dr Blackstock. “Because in some the cultures the women have told me that they may be physically harmed and there have been deaths reported for lack of virginity.”

He adds: “I know that my hymens have passed inspection in Australia and overseas and not been detected.”

 

WATCH: The audience receives mystery packages. Can you guess what they are?

ETHICAL DILEMMAS

Surgeons are faced with a moral dilemma: on one hand, they can help women avoid social and mental consquences through hymen reconstruction. On the other hand, performing such an unnecessary surgical procedure might contribute to persisting gender inequality.

One paper published in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics writes:

“Gynecologists may oppose hymen reconstruction on grounds that it is deceptive, not medically required, or that the requirement of evidence of virginity discriminates against women and the procedure supports holding them to higher standards of virtue than are required of men.”

However, the paper also writes that gynaecologists “may justify the procedure” if the hymen reconstruction preserves “mental and social wellbeing”, especially if the woman faces violence or death.

So what happens when a gynaecologist, who certifies intact hymens, like Dr Samen, detects a restored hymen?

“As a doctor I should keep the confidentiality of the patient,” she tells Insight.

What do you think about hymen reconstructions? How do you define virginity? Watch the Insight discussion on virginity tonight at 8.30PM on SBS ONE. The program will also be streamed live here.

Join the discussion by using the #insightsbs hashtag on Twitter or by commenting on Insight’s Facebook page.

 

WATCH A PREVIEW

Srebrenica: Massacre victims reburied

Bosnians buried 520 victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, with the two alleged masterminds of the slaughter finally on trial for genocide.

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About 30,000 people gathered at a special memorial centre in Potocari, just outside Srebrenica, for the mass funeral on the 17th anniversary of the worst single atrocity on European soil since World War II.

After speeches and the Muslim prayer for the dead, people began hoisting the simple coffins covered in green cloth to carry them to the freshly dug graves. Clouds of red dust rose over the vast cemetery as relatives covered the caskets with earth under the sweltering afternoon sun.

Mujo Salihovic, 30, had come to bury his father and one of his brothers — his other brother was already among the 5,137 victims already laid to rest there.

“I haven’t told my mother that they will be buried today. She is sick and still believes they will return,” he said tearfully.

“If I tell her, it would kill her. I cannot lose her, she is all that I have left”.

It is the first anniversary being commemorated since the massacre’s alleged architects, Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic and political leader Radovan Karadzic, went on trial before the UN war crimes court.

In all, around 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered by Bosnian Serb troops who overran the UN protected enclave on July 11, 1995, in the only episode of the 1992-95 Bosnian war to have been ruled a genocide by international courts.

US President Barack Obama in a statement slammed moves to downplay the scale of the massacre in a clear swipe at Serbia’s new President Tomislav Nikolic, who said last month that the killings in Srebrenica constituted “grave war crimes” but not genocide.

“The United States rejects efforts to distort the scope of this atrocity, rationalise the motivations behind it, blame the victims, and deny the indisputable fact that it was genocide,” he said.

Holocaust-survivor and US rabbi Arthur Schneier, who spoke at the commemoration, condemned the massacre and also the international silence in the face of grave injustice that allowed it to happen, drawing a comparison with events in Syria.

“Silence is not a solution; it merely encourages the perpetrators and ultimately it pays a heavy price in blood,” he said.

“It is a lesson that the world must learn again today as we witness the massacres being perpetrated by the regime in Syria against its own people. It is time again for humanity to say with one clear voice: these crimes must end,” he urged.

Many survivors and relatives in Srebrenica said Wednesday the trials at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague are too little, too late.

“It hurts me to watch broadcasts of the trials… it does not comfort me. (Karadzic and Mladic) plead not guilty, they say this was not genocide,” Muniba Cakar, who buried her husband, said bitterly.

“It should be enough to come here and see the thousands of graves. If that is not proof, we should give up,” the 63-year-old said, gesturing at the thousands of simple white headstones around her.

The trial of Mladic, who commanded the attack on Srebrenica, resumed in The Hague this week with the first prosecution witnesses testifying, a little over a year since his arrest in Serbia after nearly 16 years on the run.

Karadzic is due to start presenting his defence in October. His trial opened in 2009 after he evaded justice for 13 years.

Both men have pleaded not guilty to genocide charges for masterminding the massacre and all other charges against them over the Bosnian war that left around 100,000 people dead.

So far 38 former Bosnian Serb military or police officials have been convicted, including some for genocide, for their role in the Srebrenica killings, both by the ICTY and Bosnia’s own war crimes court.

In the past 17 years, the remains of 6,800 victims have been identified, but the search goes on as excavations of mass graves continue.

The Grim Reaper died in the 80s: Time for a new approach to HIV?

By Jennifer Power, La Trobe University

The Grim Reaper television commercial is infamous in Australia.

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Reminiscent of B-grade gothic horror flicks, the cloaked reaper stands in a foggy bowling alley poised to strike down a group of deadpan, but “ordinary” looking, people. As the people are bowled down, a voice booms, “at first only gays and IV drug users were being killed by AIDS, but now we know every one of us could be devastated by it”.

The Grim Reaper appeared on Australian television in April 1987. It was a phenomenal marketing success. Some 25 years on, just about everyone who saw it remembers it. In my mind, the Grim Reaper was part of pre-bedtime viewing throughout my childhood. In reality, the ad ran for less than three weeks. I probably watched it only a handful of times.

The Grim Reaper has come to symbolise HIV/AIDS in Australia. It captured the fear and uncertainty of a time when people were not sure what would happen with this virus. It wasn’t clear how large the epidemic might grow in Australia; there was certainly no sign of a cure and available treatments at the time were not particularly effective.

The Grim Reaper campaign was not without controversy. In some communities, gay men came to be associated with the Grim Reaper and were seen as a threat to the community, rather than being victims of the disease.

The campaign was immensely effective at drawing attention to HIV/AIDS. Politically this was important. The Commonwealth government had directed a lot of funds toward HIV prevention and, although the Grim Reaper was not devised as a political tool, the response to it justified this spending.

The Queensland government has decided to resurrect the Grim Reaper imagery in a soon-to-be-screened television campaign designed to inform Queenslanders that HIV infection rates are again on the rise. The ad features an actor dressed as the Grim Reaper costume while the voice-over laments, “we shouldn’t be having this conversation”.

The Annual Surveillance Report indicates that in 2010 Queensland recorded its highest ever rate of new HIV infections, having more than doubled in the past decade, from 2.8 per 100,000 people in 2001 to 5.4 in 2010.

The Queensland government has responded to this with a new HIV strategy, beginning with the Reaper ad. But at the same time, it has withdrawn funding from the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities (QAHC, the former Queensland AIDS Council) – the very organisation that leads HIV prevention targeting gay men in Queensland.

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In Australia, the vast majority of HIV transmission occurs between men who have sex with men. This has always been the case. While heterosexual transmission accounts for several hundred new diagnoses each year, a large proportion of these occur among people who have come to Australia from high-prevalence countries, or whose partner does.

A population-based HIV prevention campaign makes no sense if the flip side includes withdrawing funding to the organisation that targets people most at risk.

The government argues that de-funding QAHC was a response to rising HIV rates — evidence of QAHC’s lack of effectiveness — not an anti-gay agenda. But it would be a concern if HIV prevention in Queensland was to become more conservative, with little acknowledgement of the needs or interests of gay men.

Australia is known as a world leader in HIV prevention largely because the federal government at the time had the foresight to see that community-led organisations such as QAHC were best placed to deliver targeted HIV prevention campaigns to the communities most at risk.

Alongside this, state and federal governments (for the most part) have resisted heavy censoring of safer-sex messages. Health educators have been able to talk openly about sex and produce sex-positive education campaigns. This has been more effective — particularly with lesbian and gay communities — than conservative or morally-driven strategies, such as abstinence education.

The Grim Reaper campaign worked at the time because of its shock value, and because it was accompanied by funding for targeted, community-led prevention campaigns.

The recent rise in HIV rates has occurred in a very different context. A complex combination of issues are contributing to increasing HIV infections, including “safe-sex fatigue” or people’s lowered perception of “risk” in an era where anti-viral treatments are so effective.

The Queensland government may have some success in putting HIV/AIDS back on the public agenda. But debate alone will not curtail HIV infections. What’s needed now are sophisticated prevention campaigns, driven by people and organisations, such as QAHC, that understand the complexities of HIV transmission patterns in Australia at this point in history.

Jennifer Power currently works on project funded by the Australian Research Council, VicHealth, Relationships Australia (National and Victoria) and ACON. In kind (non-monetary contribution) partners on this project include the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities and Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria.

Fyfe stars as Dockers down Crows

Fremantle midfielder Nat Fyfe put on a five-star performance as Adelaide’s finals hopes went up in smoke in Saturday night’s AFL clash at Patersons Stadium.

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Fyfe booted four goals from 29 possessions to inspire Fremantle to the 22-point win – 11.9 (75) to 7.11 (53).

In an added blow for the Crows, forward Josh Jenkins was stretchered off in the final quarter with what appeared to be a serious ankle injury.

Jenkins was left writhing in pain after his ankle twisted at a bad ankle after he landed awkwardly following a marking contest.

Fellow big man Shaun McKernan was also left nursing an ankle injury and was subbed out at three-quarter time.

The defeat means Adelaide (7-10) will end the round at least two wins and percentage adrift of eighth spot.

That gap will be three wins if Port Adelaide beats Brisbane on Sunday.

Adelaide enjoy a soft run home with games against Port Adelaide, North Melbourne (home), Bulldogs (away), Melbourne (home) and West Coast (away).

But they will need to win all of them and rely on other results to fall their way if they are to scrape into the top-eight.

Adelaide only had themselves to blame for the loss.

They won the inside-50m count 45-33, had more tackles, more disposals, and won the clearances 34-25.

But their return of 3.8 from set shots was their undoing.

Fremantle’s 12th win of the season brought them back to within percentage of fourth spot, although Sydney can extend that gap with a win over Richmond on Sunday.

Fyfe was simply sensational throughout the match, with the 21-year-old particularly important when Adelaide threatened to take the lead in the third quarter.

The Dockers led by 23 points at half-time, but saw that advantage whittled down to five points on the back of an inspired performance from Crows midfielder Rory Sloane, who tallied 10 disposals in the third term.

However, Fyfe was up to the challenge, booting two crucial goals late in the quarter to give Fremantle vital breathing space.

Sloane finished with 30 possessions and seven clearances, but it was Fyfe who snared the honours as best afield.

Dockers defender Michael Johnson was also important in the win, while midfielders Michael Barlow and Stephen Hill also played their part.

Crows midfielder Bernie Vince was counting his lucky stars after escaping with just a minor cut despite copping a knee to the head while running back with the flight of the ball.

Dockers tagger Ryan Crowley restricted Richard Douglas to just 16 possessions in the absence of star Crows midfielder Patrick Dangerfield (shoulder).

Jenkins was sent to hospital for scans to determine whether he’d broken either his ankle or leg.

Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson conceded his team’s wayward kicking for goal cost them dearly.

“They weren’t really hard shots either. That’s the thing that was most disappointing,” Sanderson said.

“Fremantle won the game, but you shouldn’t win a game when you have 33 inside 50s.”

Dockers coach Ross Lyon thought his team made the most of their chances.

“I thought we counter-punched them really well,” Lyon said.

“Both teams had a number of players back all night, so it was whoever used the ball best would be able to find targets inside 50.”

Indian opinions towards Australia warm: study

The Lowy Institute and Australia-India Institute opinion poll shows 75 percent of those surveyed believe Australia is a good place to be educated, ranking second only to the United States.

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A further 60 percent of the 1233 adult respondents also said they would like India’s government and society to be more like Australia’s.

Overall, Indians ranked Australia among the top four countries they felt closest to, with the United States, Japan and Singapore taking out the top three.

“It reveals that ordinary Indians quite like Australia despite all the trouble that’s happened,” said the study’s co-author and Director of the Lowy Institute, Professor Rory Medcalf.

“All the trouble” refers to series of much-publicised attacks on Indian students, studying in Australia, in 2009 and 2010. And these events have still left their mark on Indians’ opinions of Australia.

The poll found 62 percent of Indians still considered Australia a dangerous place for students, and 61 percent also felt the attacks were racially motivated.

“There’s still some fragility in the relationship and if there was another crisis it wouldn’t take much to raise these ghosts about racism and danger,” said Professor Medcalf.

According to Professor Medcalf, the main difference between Australia-India relations now, compared to five years ago, is that “champions of the relationship” have emerged.

The poll also found Indians wouldn’t be nearly as interested in Australia if it weren’t for the countries’ mutual love of cricket.

Three-quarters of those surveyed said the game projected a positive image of Australia and helped the countries grow closer.

“It shows the Australian cricket team is still good for one thing, and that is projecting a positive image of Australia in India.”

Aust science prepares for pandemic

Australian researchers are joining forces with scientists overseas to prepare for the next human pandemic.

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A new SARS-like virus has emerged in the Middle East and killed 45 people, and in China a new strain of bird flu is killing people instead of chickens.

CSIRO Biosecurity Flagship Director Gary Fitt will tell Australia’s leading biosecurity researchers on Thursday recent global events highlight the need to ramp up research into viruses that spread from animals to humans.

“We now know that 70 per cent of new diseases in people have originated in animals,” he says in a statement.

“We are lucky to have a strong biosecurity system, backed by world-class science, but we live in an increasingly connected world with trade and people movements putting us at greater risk.”

He says CSIRO and Duke-NUS (an alliance between Duke University in the US and the National University of Singapore) have signed a relationship agreement with a view to forming an International Collaborative Centre for One Health.

That $20 million partnership would take a new approach to tackling these deadly viruses, he says.

The virus in the Middle East has already killed 45 of 82 people infected since September 2012. Dr Fitt says it is still unknown how the new strain in China of the highly pathogenic bird flu, known as H7N92, is spreading undetected.

CSIRO Science Leader and Director of the Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases at Duke-NUS, Linfa Wang, says responding to the emerging threats needs a new approach that integrates medical, veterinary, ecological and environmental research.

“Bringing all of these disciplines together to develop a One Health approach rather than working independently is what our new international partnership is all about,” he said in a statement.

They are already combining CSIRO’s world-leading bat virology research with Duke-NUS medical expertise in the development of new and more effective methods for the discovery, treatment, prevention and control of new and emerging diseases in people.

Ricciardo given Red Bull warning

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost has warned Daniel Ricciardo to be prepared for “a rough ride” should he become Sebastian Vettel’s new teammate at Red Bull.

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Ricciardo is firmly in the running to fill the void to be left by Mark Webber when his fellow Australian retires from Formula One at the end of this season, alongside Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen.

Although Tost is convinced Ricciardo has the talent to succeed, he also feels such a move would come “early” given the 24-year-old’s lack of success to date.

Overall, however, Tost claims Ricciardo – or any new teammate – “has to bring a lot to the table” if he is to compete with Vettel.

“Let’s have a look at Seb: he’s a three-time champion – at least per today – which indicates his huge talent,” said Tost, speaking to the official Formula One website.

“He’s extremely disciplined; he’s a sharp technical understanding – probably one of the best in the paddock; he can fight ferociously – he’s proven that time and again, and he is established in a winning team that he has built up with.

“Remember, when Seb left Toro Rosso to join Red Bull Racing the team was in no way the winner that it is today. Seb has contributed a lot to make it happen.

“So if you want to be the new kid on the block you better have all these facts in mind and show even more commitment to come at least close to Seb. That will be a rough ride.”

If Ricciardo does get the nod, with an announcement expected at the end of this month or early next, Tost will urge him to “prepare mentally” up until finally going head to head with Vettel next year.

Asked as to how Ricciardo would achieve that, Tost added: “That in the second half of the season he is inhaling that amount of self-confidence that he needs to survive in a team like Red Bull Racing.

“A simple example: if the car is not perfect, you override it and don’t lament. You work with what you’ve got as what you got is probably down to your own mistake – so go out and fight.

“You start to understand all the others are also putting on their pants one leg at a time – even a Sebastian Vettel.

“That he is moving over with a high fighting spirit and not settling for a passive role. Our talks move alongside these topics.”

It’s fun, fun, fun for clubhouse leader Jimenez

The pony-tailed Spaniard stole a march on the youngsters after mixing two birdies and two bogeys in a level-par 71 that gave him a three-under tally of 139.

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“Being on top of this major championship field makes you feel a lot of pressure but that’s what I like to feel,” he told reporters on another glorious day of sunshine at Muirfield.

“I like to feel the pressure. As long as you can handle that, it’s no problem. I feel comfortable.”

Jimenez said he always felt relaxed because he had a job that he adored.

“Enjoy yourself in what you do in life,” added the cigar-smoking, Rioja-drinking Spaniard. “That’s the secret and that’s what I’m doing.

“I love what I’m doing. I play golf, I do this for a living and I’ve kept doing the same thing for 25 years.

“Sometimes maybe you will say to me, ‘That’s too many years’ but you’re wrong. It’s the only thing I like to do in my life.

“This is fun to me,” added Jimenez. “Having fun does not mean you have the biggest smile and you fall on the floor laughing – fun is when you enjoy what you’re doing.”

Jimenez has still not fully recovered from the broken leg he sustained in a skiing accident in December and is also suffering from tennis elbow.

Yet the former Ryder Cup player believes he is capable of becoming the oldest major winner of all time, eclipsing American Julius Boros who was 48 when he triumphed at the 1968 U.S. PGA Championship.

“I keep elastic and flexible,” said Jimenez. “I’m still training and walking and still able to shoot low.

“If I cannot shoot low then I will not be here anymore, don’t worry about that. I wouldn’t waste my time travelling around the world kicking my backside,” he said to howls of laughter.

Asked how he was leading the British Open at the age of 49, he replied: “Why? Have I not the right to do it? Is it only the young people who can do that?

“I’ve been on the tour 25 years, I have 19 victories, and I would love to have a first major in my career. Why not this one?”

Jimenez warms up for half an hour before he takes to the course and not for him is the lifting weights regime that many of the young generation of golfers adopt.

“You have to do the same things you do every day, you don’t need to change anything,” he said. “As soon as I finish here I’ll go and be with my girlfriend, my sons, and we will have dinner like I do every day.

“I don’t need to do anything special because I’m leading and I won’t be going to bed at 10 o’clock… I’ll go when I feel like it… after I smoke my cigar,” he said with a big grin.

(Editing by Toby Davis)

BBC boss quizzed Savile on assault rumours

As police revealed Savile’s alleged catalogue of child sex abuse could have spanned six decades and included around 60 victims, Derek Chinnery, BBC Radio 1 controller from 1978 to 1985, admitted that he quizzed the presenter directly about the rumours.

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The scandal has mushroomed since ITV screened a documentary in which five women alleged they were abused by the late broadcaster, with Scotland Yard saying there are allegations spanning 1959 to 2006.

Chinnery, who was Savile’s boss at Radio 1, told BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House: “I asked, ‘what’s all this, these rumours we hear about you, Jimmy?’

“And he said, ‘That’s all nonsense’. There was no reason to disbelieve (Savile).”

Savile worked at Radio 1 from 1969 to 1989 presenting a show of chart songs from previous decades.

Speaking about his acceptance of Savile’s denial, Chinnery told the BBC: “It’s easy now to say: ‘How could you just believe him just like that?'”

He added: “He was the sort of man that attracted rumours; after all, because he was single, he was always on the move, he was always going around the country.”

Scotland Yard is pursuing 340 lines of inquiry in the Savile abuse case and so far 12 allegations of sexual offences have been officially recorded but this number is increasing, police said.

Metropolitan Police detectives are in contact with 14 other forces as the number of allegations against the former DJ continues to rise.

The BBC has been sucked into the scandal after it emerged that Newsnight abandoned an investigation into the alleged abuse. The organisation has also come under fire with claims that staff were aware of

Savile’s behaviour and failed to take action.

On Friday, BBC director-general George Entwistle offered a “profound and heartfelt apology” to the alleged victims of Savile’s sexual abuse as he announced that two inquiries would be launched.

One will look into whether there were any failings over the handling of the abandoned Newsnight piece.

A second independent inquiry will look into the “culture and practices of the BBC during the years Jimmy Savile worked here”, Entwistle said.