tv World Business Report BBC News September 8, 2017 5:30am-5:46am BST
this is bbc world news, the headlines: hurricane irma has left a swathe of destruction as it sweeps across the eastern caribbean. it's already destroyed almost all buildings on barbuda. deaths are reported in the us and british virgin islands, and anguilla. haiti and the turks and caicos islands are the latest places to be hit by the storm. cuba and florida still lie ahead. the red cross estimates that up to 26 million people in total could be exposed to the destructive winds and torrential rains brought by irma. more than 160,000 rohingya muslims have now fled violence in myanmar. the exodus across the border into bangladesh was sparked by a crackdown by burmese security forces. pope francis has urged colombians to set aside any desire for revenge as they come to terms with a peace deal signed last year with farc rebels. he was speaking to huge crowds
in bogota on the first full day of his visit to the country. now it's time for world business report. weathering the financial storm. harvey could overtake katrina as america's costliest hurricane, but will irma prove even more expensive? we look at the spiralling cost of extreme weather and who pays? plus, contingency plans. the boss of virgin atlantic tells us how they're helping customers in the caribbean and aiding the recovery effort. welcome to world business report. i'm rachel horne. also coming up: china's trade surplus with the us jumps in august. we'll have the details for you. but first... as you've been hearing, it's one of the strongest storms ever recorded and aside from the human cost of the disaster,
experts warn it could also be one of the most expensive. much depends on what happens when it reaches densely populated miami but estimates range from $70 to $190 billion. the financial cost of this year's hurricane season is already spiralling to record levels. let's show you the numbers involved. there's no official figure yet for hurricane harvey, which caused severe flooding and displaced more than a million people in texas last week. but some including the governor of texas are estimating costs of around $180 billion. if that figure is accurate, it would put harvey ahead of hurricane katrina in 2005, officially the costliest hurricane in us history. katrina did damage of nearly $160 billion. until this year, nothing had come close to katrina, although hurricane sandy in 2012 caused more than $68 billion in damage.
but it's clear the economic damage from extreme weather is on the rise. since 1980, the us has experienced 212 major weather disasters with costs totalling $$1.2 trillion. so is climate change behind this spiralling bill? "one of the things we know about climate change is that a warmer atmosphere can hold more water. so that means when a hurricane does hit, more rain can come out of that hurricane and cause a lot more flooding. that's one thing we definitely know. another thing is that warmer oceans feed the hurricane, they are the energy source, so a warmer ocean means stronger hurricanes. in this particular basin it's particularly hard to see a past event where so many hurricanes have occurred in such quick succession. it's notjust the number of hurricanes, it's the magnitude. bronek masojada is chief executive
of the hiscox insurance group based in the city of london. thank you for coming in. those figures we were talking about, those are the total costs, when we talked about the costs the insurance companies will pay out, that will be a smallerfigure, but companies will pay out, that will be a smaller figure, but even after that this is shaping up to be one of the most expensive years so far for the most expensive years so far for the insurance industries? 50 the most expensive years so far for the insurance industries? so far we have spent between $10 billion and $15 billion in houston, it is much less tha n $15 billion in houston, it is much less than the actual cost because few people in america purchase flood insurance. the real cost is much higher. in terms of irma, we expected to be a bigger cost. most people buy insurance against wind damage and so the economic cost because of the insurance costs could because of the insurance costs could be anywhere between $50 billion and 100 $50 billion, so a bigger
proportion of the total cost. lots of people don't have insurance against flooding, white, our premiums too expensive? it's the way the industry has evolved. —— why. it's very seldom... wins are more frequent than floods. it's available either from private frequent than floods. it's available eitherfrom private insurers or national insurance —— wins. many people think it is too expensive. many insurance companies did a dry run of many scenarios, a cyber attack, a hurricane hitting miami, all within a two—week period to learn lessons about how to cope when seismic events like these come in quick succession. what lessons did you learn from that drive run and has it helped for you to prepare for the hurricane season —— dry run. the last big event was katrina in 2005 so we are last big event was katrina in 2005 so we are out of practice. what the
dry run made us realise is we need to update our contingency plans and actually last week after the floods in houston we invoked that plan and it's really working. it's making us pay claims faster, it means we're getting muggy to the people who need it when they need it most quickly —— money. it's been incredibly helpful. do you think the record claims we will see from this season will have an impact on the future of the insurance industry, our premiums going to rise or will people be unable to get insurance? -- are the premiums. i doubt people would be able to get insurance, this is why we are here, we expect to pay all these claims. 0vertime will premiums go up? i expect we will see small to medium—sized increases —— over time. the exact impact will depend on exactly where irma goes and into days, it will be the weekend before it hits the mainland florida coast and the actual hurricane path makes
and the actual hurricane path makes a big difference. 100 miles to the east to west will make a big difference to the ultimate economic cost but this is a big one. thanks for your time. we are also looking at the response of the airlines to hurricane irma. they're putting on extra flights to get tourists home from florida and the caribbean, but some are also starting to play a role in the recovery effort. the chief executive of virgin atlantic, craig kreeger, told the bbc‘s theo leggett how they are responding. we've already started with today's like taking water and blankets on with us. on tomorrow's flight we will take building materials and roofing materials —— today's flight. we anticipate this being a long rebuilding process and we are committed to the region. we've been encouraging customers in florida to come back early and we might we will put an extra air plane on if we need to to help them get back on friday instead of waiting until the weekend. if we need extra flights on monday to take things there or bring
people back then we will do so. these are situations that as an airline we have an important role to play, and no role we both recognise and take very seriously. how prepared are you for events like this? -- and a roll. with whether particularly we stand up a team that sta rts particularly we stand up a team that starts looking at the forecast and assessing whether we should change schedules and make adjustments for customers and offer them the capability to change bookings and we did that sometime ago this one and then obviously when it hits, we figure out what we can do to help. there have been reports from the united states about some airlines engaging in price gouging, lifting their prizes for people trying to get out of areas likely to be hit by the hurricane. how do you react to that? i'm not familiar with those reports —— prices. if they are not uncomfortable going to these destinations and they want to delay a month or so, we will do that without charge. these are difficult
events and obviously it would be great for virgin atlantic but that's not the important part, the important part is for customers to be safe and for us to get our people and our be safe and for us to get our people and oui’ customers be safe and for us to get our people and our customers where they need to get to. the chief executive of virgin atlantic. let's go to asia now and the controversy over china's trade imbalance with the us is likely to be rekindled. china runs a big trade surplus with the us, in other words it's selling more to us than it buys from it. the latest figures show that surplus widened in august. sharanjit leyl is following this for us in singapore. give us the figures. that's right, rachel. the world's factory seems to be at it again and that massive trade surplus with the us came in at over $26 billion for the month of august. that's a rise from the previous month. essentially taking the january to august numbers to about $168 billion, a whopping figure that's unlikely to make president donald trump too happy and it's going to raise trade tensions
againi it's going to raise trade tensions again i suppose. we know china's trade numbers for august also posted strong growth so we saw experts rising about 5.5% in us dollar terms, imports were up 13%. all of this seems to show china's trade performance seems to be something of a rebound this year after several lea n yea rs, a rebound this year after several lean years, that's really due to much stronger demand you're seeing at home over there in china as well asa at home over there in china as well as a broad, exports appear to be contributing to china's economic growth, it's re—establishing its role as the factory to the world and it's really gone back to a lot of its old ways with its very strong appetite for industrial commodities, the likes of iron ore and coal, which is really boosting resource prices worldwide as well. sharanjit leyl, thank you for that. in other news... the american credit rating giant equifax says its computer systems have been hit by hackers potentially affecting 143 million customers across the us.
the company says the hacking took place between may and july of this year. the hackers stole data including names, addresses and social security numbers. some british and canadian accounts could also have been affected. let's see how the markets have been getting on and asian markets are still currently trading, they are a bit mixed, there they are, the hang seng up, the nikkei down because the yen is still strong and the nikkei is stuffed full of exporters were the strong yen makes their items more expensive for foreign companies. let's look at wall street, it held steady yesterday, not a lot of movement. waiting to see what happens with the hurricanes. that's it from me. don't forget you can get in touch with me and some of the team on twitter, i'm @bbcrachelhorne. a review of the criminaljustice system in england and wales has concluded that people from black, asian and minority ethnic backgrounds are still facing bias and overt discrimination. the inquiry, commissioned
by the government and led by the labour mp david lammy, makes recommendations such as assessing the maturity of young offenders and sealing criminal records of reformed youths. elaine dunkley reports. noel—williams was 11 when he first got involved in gangs. by the age of 13 he was imprisoned for robberies and drug dealing. i'm in and out of the system, been there three times. a lot of bullying goes on and as you say prison officers don't pick up on certain things, people are so farming, if they don't cut their arms they kill themselves... farming, if they don't cut their arms they kill themselves. .. he's 110w arms they kill themselves. .. he's now turned his life around but he believes race and ethnicity plays a pa rt believes race and ethnicity plays a part in how you're treated and punished within the criminaljustice system. it's unjust, of course it's unjust, and if you look at the sentences we get, they are longer, they are harsher and people are
coming out not rehabilitated, sometimes they come out and reoffend atan sometimes they come out and reoffend at an accelerated rate to their cou nterpa rts at an accelerated rate to their counterparts too. the lambie review makes a number of key recommendations such as removing identifying information about ethnicity when cases are passed from police to investigate is so racial bias doesn't risk influencing decisions. i'm worried about our prison system, i think there are still prisons where there's clearly over discrimination going on and some of the treatment is just unacceptable. it's one of the largest reviews of its kind and highlights that radical reform is urgently needed to bring fairness to the justice system. urgently needed to bring fairness to thejustice system. elaine dunkley, bbc news. coming up at 6am on breakfast, naga and charlie will have all the day's news, business and sport. they'll also have more on the second day of debating a bill in parliament to undo the european communities act. this is bbc news. the latest headlines:
hurricane irma has left a swathe of destruction as it sweeps across the eastern caribbean. it's already destroyed almost all buildings on barbuda. deaths are reported in the us and british virgin islands, and anguilla. haiti and the turks and caicos islands are the latest places to be hit by the storm. cuba and florida still lie ahead. the red cross estimates that up to 26 million people in total could be exposed to destructive winds and torrential rains. more than 160,000 rohingya muslims have now fled violence in myanmar. the exodus across the border into bangladesh was sparked by a crackdown by burmese security forces. pope francis has urged colombians to set aside any desire for revenge as they come to terms with a peace deal signed last year with farc rebels. he was speaking to huge crowds in bogota on the first full day of his visit to the country. time now for our daily news review.
let's have a look at what is making headlines around the world. south china morning post is leading on china supporting tougher sanctions on north korea, following pyongyang's nuclear test on sunday. analysts say beijing may support a partial ban on oil supplies. the new york times is featuring a picture from the puerto rican capital san juan, showing the incredible 185 mile per hour winds lashing the region, as hurricane irma churns toward florida. the eu bank battle is headlining the daily telegraph's business section, where frankfurt is sweeping aside rivals to become the dominant financial centre of of the eu, as paris falls behind in the quest for post—brexit spoils.