tv BBC World News BBC America May 7, 2014 6:00am-7:01am EDT
hello. i'm nik gowing with bbc world news. our top stories. the thai prime minister leaves office. she's been found guilty by abuse of power by a court. a ruling welcome by anti-government protesters. >> they're happy for the judge verdict. especially for her to stop working. she get out from ruling our country. hundreds of rebel fighters in syria evacuate last positions in the battled city of homs under a cease-fire deal struck with the government. ruling anc widely expected
to win south africa's general election. the president urges voters to exercise their democratic right. >> among the rights that we have is one of the most important rights. to vote. and i hope all people will do so. and what's likely to be the biggest share sale in history. the chinese internet giant alibaba files documents for stock market flotation in new york. hello, everyone. we begin with the latest stage of political turmoil still engulfing thailand. the prime minister yingluck shinawatra has resigned. she was ordered to stand down by the country's constitutional court. it found her guilty of abusing
her how power. she also violated the constitution. the court said she must resign. her supporters describe this decision as a judicial coup. the court ruled she acted illegally when she transferred her national security adviser in 2011. nine of her cabinet members are also implicated. they are resigning, too. yingluck shinawatra is the first female prime minister. she's sister of the exiled prime minister thaksin shinawatra. he was ousted by an army coup in 2006. he lives in self-imposed exile to avoid jail in thailand on corruption convictions. this triggered mass demonstrations and battles in thailand twin shinawatra's followers, the red shirt and opposition yellow shirts. yingluck shinawatra was elected in july 2011. she imagined to maintain an uneasy truce between the two opposing sides. unrest erupted last november. that was when an amnesty bill to allow thaksin shinawatra to return failed to pass in
parliament. a snap general election was held in february this year. but protesters disrupted the polls and the court ruled the polls were invalue lad. the bbc's jonathan head is following events for us in bangkok. >> reporter: well, this was always going to be seen as a political verdict. this is a court, although it is the highest court in the land, that has a long history of questionable rulings that go against ms. yingluck's party and is being seen very much by her supporters as one of the instruments that the elites, the traditional elite is using to cripple her. that's their view. they will see this as nothing less than political intervention. the judges did give a long legal explanation as to why they reached this verdict. they said in their view, her transfer of this official did benefit one of her husbands. therefore violated the constitution. they did not, as some people expected, try to get rid of the whole cabinet. they only implicated those cabinet ministers who supported that decision. they have not actually finished
her government off. remember, this is a government still in a care taking capacity after an election that was annulled back in february. we've got something of a political steal maalemate anywa. she has to go. nine of her ministers have to go. we've got basically a rump cabinet left limping on in this caretaker capacity. they've already announced a replacement for prime minister yingluck. that's commerce minister poon so -- boonsongpaisan. he's a thaksin supporter. what they hoped the government would do was for the entire cabinet to be forced out and appointed government to be offered in its place. that hasn't happened. to some degree the stalemate is still there. the government is still committing itself to the idea of an election in july. but that also looks implausible given the likelihood that it will be as badly disrupted as the one we saw in february. >> jonathan head outside the
constitutional court. zblmpblts let let's go to tokyo. i'm joined by a legal adviser. you've been examining the role of the constitutional court. particularly looking at its encroaching on executive power. are you comfortable with what the constitutional court has decided today? >> well, i wasn't comfortable at all four years ago when the same court ruled to remove the former prime minister. equally, if not more disuturbed by today's position. presenting itself as one step closer to rule by the judges in thailand. i think what we've seen and what we've heard from jonathan is correct that we are starting to see that the stalemate will continue. perhaps there might be violence on the streets if all sides don't stop to play these types of games any time soon. >> let me be clear. you are saying this is not a judicial ruling by the
constitutional court. it is political as well. >> i wouldn't go that far. but i would say it's not legal anymore. there is some sort of element added to the decision. for example, if you look at the decision today, the court couldn't come up with a single piece of evidence which showed in direct effect there is a conflict of interest between the prime minister and the person who filed the case in the first place. the court simply made an assumption that because one person is related to one person who's related to the prime minister, therefore this is the whole corruption scheme of some sort. i believe that for someone to claim that the prime minister must be removed, there has to be evidence here. we've seen from several cases in the past this particular court has been able to make important rulings without much weight of evidence. so i believe that there's a problem there. >> could i just intervene and say, you've already written in the last couple of hours since
the decision, quote, that this is driven by suspicion, not by law or facts. quickly, what do you mean by that? >> well, like i said, when i listen to the reading of the decision today, i was hoping for some sort of clarity on the law and the facts. how the court applied the law to the facts in this particular case. but what i've heard from the court in my honest opinion is that the court was suspicious of things that were going on. i have to admit that people can be suspicious at times, but people who are suspicion cannot simply have the power to rule that the head of the executive has to relinquish its power. what we're trying to figure out right now is how to return, how to -- how to make the court a trustable court. a court that people can trust again. this is becoming a larger, much larger issue, compared to a good executive branch. once we have a judicial branch which people cannot trust anymore, which rules cases based
on suspicions or based on assumptions or predictions, we have a serious problem there. >> legal adviser joining me from tokyo. thanks very much indeed for that legal judgment on the judgment of the constitutional court in thailand. let's go to syria where rebel fighters are abandoning the last opposition held enclave in the city of homs. that's after a deal between the regime and rebels which has been brokered by the russian and iranian embassies. arriving in rebel held territory the north of homs, buses are carrying a number of fighters with their weapons. let's go to the bbc's paul wood who knows well what life is like in syria, having been to places like homs. paul, you also have worked with the fighters, the rebel fighters. is this a surrender? >> it's not a surrender because they've been allowed to keep their weapons. that's why it took so many months for these negotiations to take place.
but it is certainly a defeat for them. this is a place that they hung on to for two years in the center of homs in the old city. and they have been forced out by what the syrian army calls privately a promising of surrend surrender. they couldn't hold out any longer. they were literally according to activists we've spoken to on the point of starvation. the mood is very disappointed, bitter and angry. the activists we've spoken to close to the fighters say they feel betrayed by their own political leadership, so called the syrian national coalition in turkey, by the international community and by other rebel groups just outside homs who they feel did not come to their aid over the two years of this siege. this is a very bad day for them. >> a bad day for them in homs. look more broadly, paul, to aleppo and elsewhere. is it likely or possible the same will eventually happen to rebel fighters in other places? >> reporter: it's tempting to see this as one in a string of
government victories to think things are going the government's way on the battlefield. to some extent that's true. part of this deal in homs was for the rebels to lift sieges of to alawite or shiite villages in aleppo province. we're hearing credible reports they have been dropping chlorine bombs, for instance. a lot of activists are saying that. there has been some very credible youtube footage which appears to be this. i don't think you can simply say the regime is winning. things are going the regime's way. think about three years ago, 2 1/2 years ago. a lot of people were giving president assad weeks in office. now he's looking stronger than ever. >> the bbc's paul wood currently in beirut. thanks for that analysis. voting is taking place in south africa in the country's fifth general election since the end of apartheid two decades ago. the country's first democratic election saw nelson mandela's congress win by a landslide. ever since, the anc, the once banned national african congress
is expected to win. signs are it'll be weaker after political scandals and increasing popularity for the main opposition party, the democratic alliance. president jacob zuma has cast his ballot in his hometown. he spoke to the press outside the polling station. expressing hopes for peaceful elections. >> all political parties have been conversing. voters for a number of weeks. it's been good that i've just voted. and i hope that all voters will cast their vote free, without any problem. because this is our right that we fought for. among the rights that we have, it's one of the most important rights. to vote for the government. and i hope all people will do so.
because it is absolutely important. my wish is that the voting will be as peaceful as it is supposed to b. >> of course, we'll give you fully coverage directly in south african. move on to business. ali baba. is it going to be that valuable? >> one of the biggest ever tech shares valuewise, certainly. ali b alibaba. after months of speculation -- hold on. do you know what he did there? do you know what he just did? nik gowing threw to me for the very last time after all these years. i'll talk about that. china's alibaba talked about documents that outline plans to list shares in new york. that's still to come. look at these numbers. according to bloomberg the company plans to sell a 12% stake which could mean a value of the company will -- i should
say raise this much. $20 billion. that would top the $16 billion that was raised by facebook and certainly be pushing visa which raised $19 billion. apparently the commerce company is valued at that. staggering. $168 billion. making it the second most valuable internet company behind google. its valuation seems justified because last year alibaba sold more than ebay and amazon combined. last year they took 11.3 billion orders. what does the listing mean for the global e-commerce market? that's something we're going to talk about on "gmt" coming up in just under an hour's time. i want to talk about this bloke right here. the big boss. the ceo of the newly created -- we knew he wanted to show he had big ambitions for the company. boy, he certainly did that. according to him the company will see global sales rise by
60% as the company rebrands towards more luxury cars and increases its focus on sales in asia and latin america. the key pillars of his new strategy. this is what they include. to sell nearly 2 million jeeps in four years' time. that more than doubles the 732,000 it sold last year. to invest $4.2 billion in the relaunch, yes, of the alfa romeo grand coming back with eight new models. there's losers. it's going to drop the dodge mini van from the lineup. the company will start to build jeeps in china and brazil. again, we're dpoigoing to focus that story on gmt. can they stick to those targets? german numbers or results from siemens. net income on the quarter up 12% from last year. $1.6 billion. the company also recently bought rolls-royce's energy gas turbine and compressor business. it circles the french group
alston's power business along with general electric. we've been talking about this possible takeover. we'll keep our eyes on that. follow me on twitter. tweet me right back. get me @bbcaaron. i'm in trouble for doing this. i've got to do it. i've got to come around. mr. gowing, come here. muah. i for one am going to miss you. it's been a pleasure. >> do you want to explain to the viewers live on air. >> we're going to miss you. good luck with everything. i don't think you're going to be a stranger. >> no, no. that's because i'm doing my last bulletins in this hour here on bbc world news. alibaba was also the first to discover the 40 thieves and use the phrase open sesame. in ukraine government forces say they're backing control of the city hall in the town of mariupol as they try to wrestle back occupied administrative centers in the east of the country. a tense standoff follows sporadic clashes overnight in slovyansk and donetsk with roads and key buildings barricaded
off. russia reiterated its call for an immediate end to the ukrainian forces' operation. the british foreign secretary william hague is in kiev and described the conflict as the most serious crisis in europe possibly since the cold war. stay with us here on bbc world news. still to come, after 750 gold medals, 70 years of competition, what drives this nonojenarian, that's a 90-year-old, athlete? you are feeling exhilarated with front-wheel drive. you are feeling powerful with a 4-cylinder engine. [ male announcer ] open your eyes... to the 6-cylinder, 8-speed lexus gs. with more standard horsepower than any of its german competitors. this is a wake-up call. ♪
i got more advice than i knew what to do with. what i needed was information i could trust on how to take care of me and my baby. luckily, unitedhealthcare has a simple program that helps moms stay on track with their doctors and get the right care and guidance-before and after the baby is born. simple is good right now. (anncr vo) innovations that work for you. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. you're with bbc world news with me, nik gowing. i have the latest headlines for you. thailand's prime minister steps down after being found guilty of abuse of power. yingluck shinawatra is replaced by the commerce minister. syrian rebel forces begin a final withdrawal from the besieged city of homs under a cease-fire deal with government
forces. the united states has sent a team of eight military and civilian experts to nigeria to help find more than 200 schoolgirls abducted three weeks ago. president obama says the kidnapping is, as he put it, heartbreaking. he described the militant islamist group boko haram as a horrendous organization. the bbc is in the nigerian capital in abuja. i asked him about the impact there of the international condemnation now of these mass abductions. >> reporter: well, if you look at nigeria in recent times, the country has been growing economically. it's now the top economy in africa. the government here has been keen to push that side of things. on the other insurgen insurgency, this violence going on for a few years now. that's also growing. that doesn't seem to be ending. so the government is torn between promoting itself as a growing economy, but also how to deal with this particular issue of the insecurity. and if you look at this particular case, more than 200
girls who have been kidnapped more than three weeks now. their whereabouts are still unknown. >> what's your assessment, though, of a government which has put a massive amount of military hardware and personnel into the northeast? said it was going to control everybody, has shown it can't. will it allow foreign advisers and boots on the ground into the country to try and help them? >> well, it's been almost a year now since the president declared a state of emergency in the northeast of the country where this violence has been going on. and so far the heavy deployment of troops has not been able to stop the violence. that's why the president has been calling to the u.s., to the uk and other western allies, international allies, to help in this situation. now that the u.s. has promised it will send a team to assist, i think that will be very much welcome by the nigerian government. the president has welcomed this offer. so it's to see whether this will
achieve anything. >> the view there from abuja in nigeria. let's go to india where the leader of the govrping congress party is defending his own parliamentary seat on the day of voting in the general election. mr. gandy's con tistituency is pradesh. more than 95 million people alone are eligible to vote in today's election. the gandy dynasty has always been central to the country's governing congress party now led by the fourth generation of the family, raul gandy. as the bbc explains, the family is battling for its political survival. >> reporter: this is the headquarters of india's governing congress party. as we enter this decisive final week of voting, it's beginning to feel the heat. all eyes are on its young leader, raul gandy, who faces a tough political battle in his own parliamentary seat in northern india. it's a seat that's always
returned to gandy since 1980. under the sustained opposition campaign, mr. gandy is fighting hard to retain his family legacy. >> all of us in the congress instinctively understand that. those of us not in the congress pray for the day when there won't be a gandy. because they instinctively realize that when there isn't a gandy, there's going to be no congress. >> reporter: why are the gandies so powerful in india? all you need to do is look at their family tree to see how they've dominated india's politics. the patriarch of the family. an independence leader who became first prime minister in 1947. his daughter became india's third prime minister. serving for 15 years. until her assassination in 1984. her son succeeded her as prime minister. until his own assassination in
1991. his italian born widow, sonia gandy, has been the congress party president for the past 16 years. her son, raul gandy, is, as we've seen, the congress party face in these elections. his sister has been active politically. but has never run for office. but that could change. in the past few weeks, prianka has joined her brother on the campaign trail. drawing a massive response. some now want her to play a bigger role. are the gandys too relevant in today's india? >> it's a huge challenge for the gandy family. the kind of politics they represent or seem to represent is under serious challenge for the first time. they're being questioned not just as a family, but for brand gandy and what it is seen to represent. i think that has never happened in such a sustained manner as it
has. >> reporter: so this election could well be a decisive one for the gandy dynasty. as they fight to regain their influence and their identity. bbc news, delhi. >> the results due a week from now. some people find keeping fit as they get older a real challenge. that's not the case for 95-year-old olga godelko. she discovered her passion for the sport later in life. the retired teacher from canada first took to the athletics track at the age of 77 and hasn't looked back. this year she became the oldest recorded female indoor sprinter, high jumper, long jumper, triple jumper at the world masters athletic championships. she told the bbc that age should not stop people getting into sport. >> after 17 years of competition, i have over 750 gold medals. and in my last age group, which is 90 to 94, i made 26 world
records. and records are made to be broken. 100 meter. 400 meter. i do high jump. long jump. triple jump. and i do five throws. shot put, discus, javelin, hammer and weight. your age is just a number. and it's how you age which makes the difference. if you're active and you're working and you're aspiring to be better, that's helping you grow. i just want to keep on going.
i'll keep on going until i drop. >> wonderful. what success brings you at that age in the mid-90s. stay with bbc world news. a full program of news coming up shortly. plus, of course, the headlines. stay with me. [ salesman ] congrats on the new car. [ woman ] thanks. the dealership reviews on cars.com made it easy, but... [ man ] we thought it might be a little more tense. you miss the drama? yeah. [ technician ] ask him whatever you want. okay. ♪ do you think my sister's prettier than me? ♪ [ laughs ] [ male announcer ] research, price, find. only cars.com helps you get the right car without all the drama.
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hello. i'm nik gowing with bbc world news. our top stories. anti-government protesters celebrate in bangkok after a thai court forces prime minister yingluck shinawatra to step down. hundreds of rebel fighters in syria evacuate last positions in the battled city of homs under a cease-fire deal struck with the government. the ruling anc widely expected to win south africa's general election. the president urging voters to exercise their democratic right. >> among the rights that we have, it's one of the most important rights. to vote for your government.
and i hope all people will do so. also, why are the stars of hollywood boycotting one of its most famous hotels? hello, everyone. we begin with the political turmoil still engulfing thailand. the prime minister yingluck shinawatra is resigning. that's after being ordered to stand down by the country's constitutional court. the court found her guilty of abusing her power. it also found her guilty of violating the constitution. the court said she must resign. a decision her supporters describe as a judicial coup. the court ruled that she acted illegally when she transferred her national security adviser in 2011. nine of her cabinet members are also implicated. and they are resigning, too.
yingluck shinawatra is the first female prime minister. she is sister of exiled prime minister thaksin shinawatra. he was ousted by an army coup in 2006. he lives in self-imposed exile to avoid jail in thailand on corruption convictions. this triggered mass demonstrations and battles in thailand between shinawatra's followers, known as the red shirts, and the opposition yellow shirts. yingluck shinawatra was elected in july 2011. she had managed to maintain an uneasy truce between the two opposing sides. but unrest erupted last november. that was when an amnesty bill to allow thaksin shinawatra return failed to pass in parliament. a snap election was held in february this year, but protesters disrupted the polls and the court rules that the polls were invalid. for now, the new caretaker prime minister is the commerce minister. the bbc's jonathan head is
following events in bangkok. >> reporter: this was always going to be seen as a political verdict. this is a court, although it is the highest court in the land, that has a long history of questionable rulings that go against ms. yingluck's party and has been seen very much by her supporters as one of the instruments that the elite, the traditional elite, is using to cripple her. that's their view. they will see this as nothing less than political intervention. the judges did give a long legal explanation as to why they reached this verdict. they said, in their view, her transfer of this official did benefit one of her husbands, prime minister thaksin's relative, and therefore violates the constitution. they did not, as some expected, try to get rid of the whole cabinet. they only implicated those cabinet ministers who supported that decision. finished her government after. a government in a care taking capacity after an election
annulled in february. she has to go. nine of her ministers have to go. we've got basically a rump cabinet that's left limping on in this caretaker capacity. they've already announced a replacement for prime minister yingluck. that's the commerce minister, boonsongpaisan. he's a known thaksin loyalist. something of a polished performer and problem sol ver. the government limps on. to some degree, the stalemate is still there. the government is still committing itself to the idea of an election in july. but that also looks implausiblele given the likelihood that it will be as badly disrupted as the one we saw in february. >> jonathan head in bangkok. let's go to south africa where voting is taking place in the country's fifth general election since the end of ar par tide. two decades ago the country's first democratic election saw nelson mandela's afternational
congress win by a landslide. in power ever since, the anc, the once banned african marble congress, is expected to win. but the signs are it will be weaker after political scandals and increasing popularity for the main opposition party. that's the democratic alliance. president jacob zuma cast his ballot in his hometown. he spoke to the press outside the polling station, expressing hope for peaceful elections. >> all political parties have been conversing. voters for a number of weeks. it's been good that i've just voted. and i hope that all voters will cast their votes free without any problem. because this is our right that we fought for. among the rights that we have, it's one of the most important
rights, to vote for the government. and i hope all people will do so. because it is absolutely important. my wish is that throughout the country, the voting must be as peaceful as it is supposed to be. >> well, the bbb is at another polling station in the orlando area of soweto. i asked him how much the future of the anc now depends on the voters' view of president zuma. >> reporter: people here do tend to separate jacob zuma from his anc. even though he is -- of the anc's election campaign. what people think this issue in the news for the last three -- few months and has damaged the anc's campaign and also damaged president jacob zuma's reputation. but what people are telling me here as they walk out of the polling booth, when i asked them how they voted and what they are
expecting to get from their vote, they say they're voting for history, nik. they're not voting for material gain. they're aware there's corruption and there are problems of high unemployment, inequality and poverty. but they also remember the days when black people here were not allowed to vote in the country of their birth. and that's what they're voting for. they say they want to reinforce their democratic correction which was made 20 years ago. >> quickly, milton, how many are actually moving from the anc to, say, the democratic alliance? >> reporter: the numbers are very difficult to gauge at this point. but all surveys are showing that anc will get at least 60% of the vote. and the d.a. will move up from about 16 towards the early 20s. >> there in soweto. now to syria where rebel fighters are abandoning the last opposition held enclave in the city of homs. buses have been living the old
city following a deal between the regime and rebels. it's been brokered by the united nations and also the russian and iranian embassies. arriving in rebel-held territory to the north of homs, buses are carrying a number of fighters with their weapons. i'm joined by chief international correspondent lyse doucet. >> you remember a few months ago the u.n. helped arrange evacuation of civilians from the besieged city of homs. much to their surprise hundreds of young fighters also came out of the old city exhausted and saying they were basically starving because of the siege. and they wanted to come out. they said they would die of starvation. better to come out even if they were going to risk being sent to jail. these last few months have been very difficult. negotiations, every detail fought over with the rebels wanting to keep some of their guns, wanting to go to certain parts of homs and not others.
they have finally seen to have been able to come up with a compromise. the deal was hanging by a thread when we were in homs, so just a few weeks ago. i don't think the rebels would call it surrender. i don't think they've lost their will to fight. but they're exhausted. they're running out of weapons. the government clearly has the upper hand. >> you were there in homs. you saw some dreadful scenes. it's a terrible, terrible sight, what everyone is experiencing, those in the city. what, therefore, lies ahead for homs? and also other cities? are the government -- do they have the upper hand at the moment elsewhere? >> we must emphasize what's happening in homs is not only significant for homs. it's symbolic as well. when the uprising started homs was held up as a mosaic of syria. then it was calleded the capital of the revolution by those seeking to remove president assad from power. there are still some pockets under severe bombardment by government forces. there are still some pockets in there where the fighters are
holding out. but negotiations are going on. if the main battle is now over for homs, it sends a signal of we do know fighting is intensifying and will continue to intensify in other areas. >> what does this mean for a place like aleppo, for example? where the rebels are still pretty active? >> the conflict in syria is fought governor by governor p. sometimes village by village. sometimes street by street. there are different fighters fighting in different parts of homs. many, many rebel groups are now arrayed against the government forces. both sides have an army. both sides have been involved in much more intense fighting over the last few weeks. and we expect it will continue. >> where does this leave, now, the power of the military? the security system within syria and ultimately the president? >> well, president assad's forces, of course, will say this is a victory. it comes, remember, just weeks before syria is to hold presidential polls. the president will be -- and his supporters will be able to say, see, we were able to hold these
kinds of elections. they will try, of course, to hold polling in those parts of homs still left standing. homs is tragic to see. it is a symbol of the revolution and the cost of this war. you go from street to street. some lie in utter complete ruin. the next street you go to it looks as if it's normal. but you will drive mile after mile after mile in homs and see nothing but destroyed buildings. behind those destroyed buildings is the fabric that has been ripped apart. that doesn't end with an end of the siege of the old city. >> quickly, lyse, can you imagine that there will be rehabilitation, people moving back in? is there anything to move back into? >> wait to see what the first images will be, what we will see when people go back to the old city of homs. it will be heartbreaking to see. no one can live there now. it's a place of death. >> chief correspondent, lyse. thank you, lyse. now, there has been a strong turnout in the penultimate
elections in india. voting is taking place in seven states including ander pradesh. that's where rahul gandhi is defending his seat. i'm joined by correspondent andrew north who's in the northeastern state of assam. that's where recent violence has marred the election. andrew? >> reporter: that's right, nik. and the death toll from this violence, the worst there's been in these elections, is now likely to go above 50. at least 42 people confirmed dead. but they're still finding bodies who are washed -- people who were washed away when they tried to escape from the government. i saw one pulled out from the river near where we're standing just a short time ago. and behind me you can see this relief camp that's been set up for hundreds of those who fled. and all of them are muslims who
were targeted because of the way they voted. so in effect, they're election refugees. amina is 3 years old. and scarred for life. gunmen attacked her village last weekend. and fired on anyone they saw. amina was hit in the stomach. her mother was shot dead. hundreds have now fled to makeshift relief camps. and they're all muslims, targeted because the government said they voted for the wrong candidate. in one of the tents, we find amina's two older sisters. she has a terrifying story. >> translator: it was afternoon. and all the men were across the river in the market. and we heard gunshots. i ran to my mother, and then we
all ran. but then she was hit and fell with amina. my mother told us to run. if i die, she said, i will die with amina. you run and save your life. >> reporter: we make the journey to her village. crossing the river that many jumped into in a desperate attempt to escape. the bodies of those who didn't make it are still washing up on the banks. this was the village. more than 400 people lived here before the attack. all of them muslims. because the men were away, almost all the dead were women and children. this village has been totally destroyed. virtually every hut has been rai raized to the ground. the people living here were targeted specifically because they are muslims. but what's striking, though, is
that there's been relatively little sympathy for the victims. instead, they've become pawns in india's election battle. with some even calling for them to be deported. security personnel are now out in force. but many indians dismiss those they're protecting as being illegal immigrants from neighboring bangladesh. even before the killings, the front-runner to be india's next leader has been raising the rhetoric against them. >> translator: you can write it down. after the election results, these bangladeshis will have to be prepared with their bags packed. >> reporter: it all makes the muslim community here increasingly fearful. >> translator: our people have been killed for voting for another candidate. but even though we were born here, they call us bangladeshis and want to deport us. what can we do?
>> reporter: but instead of moving the country on, many fear these elections are helping to make these old hatreds worse. as you see, nik, 50 or so tents here behind me. there are hundreds of people here. their village totally destroyed. they can't go back. and one senior government official who was here a short time ago told me that what people like modi have been saying may not have contributed directly to the violence. but it has, in his words, polluted the minds of the people. this is to some extent linked to a local dispute as well. but it has increasingly become sucked up into this wider fear, particularly among muslims, about what kind of country it could be for them if narendra modi becomes president. >> all the polls suggest he will
be running a coalition government. given what happened in gutarat ten years ago, deep in many people's minds against the muslim community, is there an impression left that he can somehow bridge the gap, which is there between the muslim community and other communities? >> reporter: opinion is divided on this. some people say that narendra modi has done enough to account for what happened in 2002. the authorities, investigations here have given him in india a clean shift. many keep saying, why can't he say sorry? why can't he show remorse? and when things like this happen, the attacks here, again, narendra modi has said nothing directly about it, but has said that anyone he calls illegal bangladeshi immigrants, and that by indian standards means these people, when he says things like that people think he's still trying to hit the same kind of buses. still trying to win support
among his hindu nationalist base. and that is what gives many muslims concern. and others about what kind of country this is. and perhaps to some extent, he is trying to rise to power on the back of communal tensions. >> the bbc's andrew north in assam. thanks for joining me live from there. stay with us here on bbc world news with me, nik gowing. still to come, who is in control of the city hall in ukraine's mariupol? we'll have the latest on the tussle in parts of the east of the country occupied by pro-russian separatists. ground-up paper, lad!thatf scotts ez seed uses the finest seed, fertilizer, and natural mulch that holds water so you can grow grass anywhere! seed your lawn. seed it!
final withdrawal from the besieged city of homs under a cease-fire deal with government forces. to ukraine where government forces say they are backing control of the city hall in mare pol. the government is trying to retake administrative centers in the east of the country occupied by pro-russia separatists. russia has repeated again its call for an immediate end to the operation. what is the latest? sarah rainsford gave me the latest from donetsk. >> reporter: it seems there were no major clashes around slovyansk last night. some fighting reported apparently as the anti-government mill lish shah there tried to breakthrough the cordon around the city of slovyansk. as far as we can tell no major clashes for more than a day now, almost two days around slovyansk p p the situation in the rest of donetsk region here in eastern ukraine is extremely tense. the latest reports that we're getting suggest that in mariupol, a big port city to the
south of here, also an industrial city here in donetsk region, there we understand that pro-russian forces, anti-government groups who were holding the city administration building there in mariupol, we understand they've now left the building. and that pro-kiev groups or local people there are dismantling the barricades around that building. so suggesting the situation has changed on the ground in mariupol. the circumstances of how that happened are not clear yet. so we don't think that there was much, if any, shooting in the center of mariupol last night. so it appears that for some reason those anti-government groups in mariupol city administration building left there without major clashes. here in donetsk, we also saw some very heavily armed men on the streets in donetsk yesterday. it appears they believe that military base here was under threat from pro-kiev groups. that brought heavily armed men on to the streets in donetsk p p
they briefly surrounded the military base here in donetsk. very tense, potentially troubling times here away from the fighting in slovyansk and further afield in the region. >> sarah rainford there. let's go to nigeria. president obama says the kidnapping is heartbreaking as he put it. he described the militant islamist group boko haram as a horrendous organization. tomi olidepo. >> if you look at nigeria in recent times, the country has been growing, for example, economically. it's now the top economy in africa. and the government here has been keen to push that side of things. on the other hand, you have the insurgency, this violence that has been going on for a few years now. that's also growing. that doesn't seem to be ending.
and so the government is torn between, you know, promoting itself as a growing economy, but also how to deal with this particular issue of the insecurity and if you look at this particular case, 200 -- more than 200 girls who have been kidnapped more than three week now, and their whereabouts are still unknown. >> what's your assessment of a government who's put a massive amount of military hardware and personnel into the northeast. said it was going to control everything. has shown it can't. will it allow foreign advisers and boots on the ground into the country to try and help them? >> well, it's been almost a year now since the president declared a state of emergency in the northeast of the country where this violence has been going on. and so far the heavy deployment of troops has not been able to stop the violence. that's why the president has been calling to the u.s., to the uk and other western allies, international allies, to help in
this situation. and now that the u.s. has promised that it will send a team to assist, i think that will be very much welcomed by the nigerian government. the president has welcomed this offer. so it's to see whether this will achieve anything. now to california where the city council of bever wi eerly passed a resolution for condemning brunei for introducing sharia law. it also urged the sultanate to sell the beverly hills hotel. the council move came after a growing number of celebrities called for a boycott of hotels owned by the government of brunei. >> i'd like to think that all people are basically good. when they realize this is going on, hopefully they will do something about it. i mean, this is not -- you know, there's nothing extreme happening here. these aren't crazy feminist wackos. they're women who want to protect other women. >> in response to the protest the chief executive of the do
chester collection chain said those protesting ignored local hotels owned by countries with poor human rights records. a group of florida treasure hunters have recovered more than $1 million worth of gold off the coast of south carolina. the treasure is from the sf central america which sank in a hurricane in 1857 with more than $50 million worth of gold onboard. it was first discovered in t late 1980s by tommy tommison who grabbed some of the gold, sold it and disappeared with the money. after years of battle the search is on for what's left onboard the sunken ship. finally some personal news which my bbc editors have asked me to share with you. this is the last time i'll be presenting news to you on bbc world news. over 18 years i have presented world news today, news desk and the hub. i have chosen this moment to step back. don't be shocked or surprised. the channel is in fine shape and at the top of its game. i leave you in the hands of my wonderful colleagues, both on
your screen and especially in the newsroom. my thanks to you, the audience, for watching and being so appreciative. i'm not disappearing completely. but for the moment, for me, nik but for the moment, for me, nik gowing, good-bye. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com without standard leather. you are feeling exhilarated with front-wheel drive. you are feeling powerful with a 4-cylinder engine. [ male announcer ] open your eyes... to the 6-cylinder, 8-speed lexus gs. with more standard horsepower than any of its german competitors. this is a wake-up call. ♪
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and it looks like he's craving italian. ♪ [ male announcer ] the four-door fiat 500l. it's a lot bigger than you think. [ godzilla choking ] check out the whole fiat family at fiatusa.com/godzilla. hello. you're watching "gmt" on bbc world news pm i'm tim willcox. top stories. guilty of abuse of power. thailand's constitutional court forces prime minister yingluck shinawatra to stand down in the latest twist to the country's political crisis. rebels start withdrawing from homs, the cradle of the syrian revolution in a deal brokered by the u.n. south africa goes to the polls in the first election since the death of nelson mandela. i'm in johannesburg.