tv BBC World News PBS January 21, 2011 2:30pm-3:00pm PST
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>> and now, "bbc world news." >> tony blair is called for questioning about the iraq war. this time he says he has regrets. >> of course i regret profoundly the loss of life from our own armed forces and those of other nations, civilians and iraqis themselves. >> three-night in albania in protests against -- 3 die in albania in protests against the government. welcome to "bbc world news," broadcast on pbs in america and around the globe. coming up later, footage of television, a teenage boy who has been tied to a wall in a psychiatric unit for three years. goodbye to the gas guzzler. one man's mission to turn the gulf region free.
>> great britain's former prime minister tony blair is facing his toughest question of yeah -- question yet about the idea to go to iraq. he admitted ignoring advice from his senior legal adviser that it might be legal. he pledged to support the u.s. one year before the invasion. he said he deeply and profoundly regretted the loss of life in iraq. >> there was no slipping in through a side door. tony blair walked in through the main entrance. it was two hours before the hearing started and there were a dozen protesters. at 9:30 he took his place at the
witness table. foremost among the matters were the private letters mr. belair sent to george w. bush. what exactly had he committed britain to? >> what i was saying to president bush was simple. you can count on was -- count on us but here are the difficulties. i was persuading him to take a few radically different from any people in his administration. i was saying i will be with you in handling it this way. i will not push you down this path and back out with a gets too hot. because it will get hot politically. i did this because i believe in this. i thought it was the right thing to do, but all the time he was making promises to george bush the legality of an invasion was being questioned by his own
attorney general. >> on -- no, but i was in the situation where he was giving this advice and there was a debate going on. >> he said he was uncomfortable with the language mr. blair used about the lawfulness of an invasion. >> i was making a political point, but i accept entirely there was an inconsistency between he what -- what he was saying and what i was saying. >> there was one section of his testimony from -- from one year ago he wanted to correct. >> at the conclusion of the last hearing you asked me whether i had any regrets. i took that as a question about the decision to go to war. i took responsibility. that was taken as my meaning that i had no regrets about the
loss of life and that was not my intention. i wanted to make that clear, that of course i regret deeply and profoundly the loss of life. whether from our own armed forces, civilians to help those in iraq or the iraqis themselves. i wanted to say that because it is what i feel. >> quiet, please. >> from the public gallery the mother of one pilot killed in iraq showed it to late. mr. blair's head was down and did not look around. moments later the hearing concluded. the former prime minister departed. the questioning was more detail than it was last year but at no point was mr. blair comforted. his answers once again were robust and confident.
>> a put his case not enough to persuade his critics bud answers which the inquiry will pour over as they start to decide on their findings. >> three people have been killed in clashes between protesters and police in albanian. demonstrators say the government is correct -- corrupt and they allege the ruling party stole the latest elections. >> the albanian capital overcome with violence. thousands of supporters of the socialist party gathered outside the office of the prime minister demanding the resignation of the government. an calm demonstration turned into chaos. police responded with tear gas. three people were shot dead and several others were injured.
four hours coming police fought running battles with the protesters who say the government is mired in corruption. albania is in total political stalemate. this is a country that has a history of street violence and undisputed elections. but it now has its sights on the european union membership. this crisis is damaging and albania's eu hopes. >> in jordan thousands of opposition sources gather to protest against food protesters -- against food prices. they are calling on the prime minister and his government to go. they promised at least $250 million in investment to improve the economy, but are criticized for not doing enough to reduce poverty. in tunisia, the government says
it has freed all political prisoners. the country has begun three days of national mourning for those who have died. >> the people who lived through a revolution living the rituals of daily lifecdailyafes are front-row seats for protests that still go on. are you going to keep coming? >> it is my country. it is my country. we defend our country. every person loves this country. we ask the country [unintelligible] >> just around the corner, it is [unintelligible] at the oldest newspaper, de kick out there editor in chief. journalists are free to defend
human rights. you can't even hear the sound of protests through their windows. -- you can even hear the sound of protests. last week front-page, the president had the responsibility of citizens. this week, power goes to people. i found the international editor. what is it like coming to work now? >> the difference is between the day and the night. between last week and this week things are changing so rapidly that we did not realize until now. many people are asking themselves are we training? >> but it is -- are we dreaming? >> most of these senior officials are on the run or resigning. we went to meet one man calling
for reform. we finally found a senior member of the party willing to talk to us. he says don't film me at the party headquarters. don't show anything about my office. >> he is on the defensive now. how can we build a democracy if we eliminate [unintelligible] there must be reformed and reunification. those who commit mistakes must be judged and pay. those who did not should have the right to serve their country. >> these are the issues being debated now. central avenue had been a place for violent clashes. now there are forceful arguments. >> you cannot underestimate how extraordinary this is. one week ago this would have been impossible. all these people would have been a arrested. now it has become part of normal
life. it feels like a speakers' corner. people make their views known. from this, a new tunisia will emerge. >> palestinian protesters had attacked a convoy of the french minister michele alliot-marie on her visit to gaza. demonstrators were furious about remarks referring to a detention of an israeli soldier as a war crime. in an audio message, osama bin laden has apparently demanded the withdrawal of french forces from afghanistan. this suggests a continued french presence will endanger the lives of french hostages held in afghanistan. the afghan president is making the first visit to russia by an afghan leader since the soviet invasion.
karzai is traveling with a large delegation of business leaders. he is looking to build a stronger investment links with china -- with russia. david kamron's media cheek has resigned -- david cameron's media chief has resigned. this is because of a phone hacking scandal. the affair is still making headlines. the italian prime minister silvio berlusconi is under even more intense pressure and of allegations that he paid for sex with underage prostitutes. pope benedict entered the controversy and said public officials must rediscover their moral roots. the young woman at the center of the accusation insists they are untrue. >> while parties, underage sex,
payments to prostitutes. no wonder silvio berlusconi books under pressure. facing the most damaging accusations of his career. this is the girl at the center of the claims. her facebook name is ruby. prosecutors say the prime minister paid to have sex with a 17-year-old. >> ruby has told interviewers she never had sex with him work was paid for sex. the 6,000 pounds he gave her was because she needed help. mr. berlusconi has twice been on television this week to deny the claims. >> i did not pay prostitutes and did not have sex with ruby. it was a lurid rebuttals from the leader.
but phone conversations secretly taped by prosecutors reveal a different version. ruby is recorded as saying she would receive as much money as you want if you kept quiet. one girl was ordered to put on a stethoscope and nurse's uniform. you know how much he likes that sort of thing. today, pope benedict reference the scandal during an audience in the vatican. the pope spoke of italian society losing its soul and spiritual roots. other figures in the catholic church have gone even further with bishops calling the scandal a devastating tornado. political opponents of the prime minister say he must now resign. even in the face of such pressure he says he will not need prosecutors to answer their questions.
>> much better news for congresswoman gabrielle giffords shot in the head. congresswoman giffords has been taken from tucson to a rehabilitation hospital. doctors are warning despite a good early recovery it is too early to assess her long-term outlook. stay with us on "bbc world news." the electric car comes to the spiritual hub of the gas guzzler. will people really want to try it? -- will people want to drive it? >> south korean navy commandos had stormed a ship in the indian ocean. they killed eight pirates. >> as the sun crept up above the horizon, a commando swept across
the seat with small boats. their initial target is up the stairs to the steering house. hostages are led to safety after a seven day ordeal. this is evidence of a fire fight early this week. it was for the military leader is back in south korea to break the news, mission accomplished. >> the unit rescued 21 crew of of the boat that were hijacked by the pirates. it was a perfect military operation which did not damage our unit. >> the south korean government said this operation shows a result which many people said was lacking in their response to north korea's sinking of a south korean island. a seemingly successful military raid and tough words from the president today. >> the most important thing for us is to -- the life and safety
of our people. i will not tolerate any actions threatening our people's lives. >> these pictures show the commandos on an earlier training exercise. other countries were sent to patrol the seas off the east african coast where pirates have become a menace. they demand millions of dollars in ransom thought to be secretly paid off most of the time. today was different. it was a risky operation with no guarantee that innocent lives would not be lost. >> the latest headlines this hour. a former british prime minister tony blair has been facing his toughest question about the decision to go to war in iraq. three people have been killed in albania with protests against government corruption.
the netherlands has been plunged into a debate over how to deal with violent psychiatric patients. the trigger of this is pictures of a teenage boy who has been tethered to a wall for three years. >> this is 18-year-old brandon filmed at the institution where he has been tethered to the wall for three years. the length of the leather strap attached to his harness allows him some movement, but not much. this was done with the permission of a judge in 2007 after staff became afraid of his violent movies. mental health experts say this is not an isolated case. there moret -- maybe 40 patients held in similar circumstances. when these pictures appeared on television this week there was widespread shock. brandon's mother says he lives like a caged animal.
>> it really hurts to see your own child like this. he never gets any fresh air. even the windows are sealed shut. >> politicians were among those expressing concern. this was an emergency debate in parliament when the practice of restraint came in for criticism. but the government defended the late brandon had been treated. the deputy health minister is seen visiting the institution where he is confined. he described the images as heroin, but sometimes you need to protect people from themselves -- she described the images as harrowing. >> for the latest round of nuclear talks have ended in
istanbul. negotiators are describing this discussions as possible. western diplomats plan to provide a proposal to swap nuclear fuel. it would mean iran giving up most of its uranium. but one official insisted the country will not discuss suspending in richmond. a spokesman for -- not discuss suspending enrichment. one officer was arrested for leading the rape of multiple women. human rights groups have condemned the execution of the suspects robbers by the police in kenya. britain is assisting with police reform but will now review that program. police have been accused of killings which the government has done little end.
our correspondent has this. >> a plainclothes police officer -- the robbers appeared to pose no threat but moments later they are dead. this apparent executions by the police had been widely condemned. >> it is appalling. it is something that does not necessarily shocked us because we see this. [unintelligible] to just lay some suspects on the ground in broad daylight and just execute them. >> great britain is helping to train the kenyan police force. this is why they have a police -- have a reputation for using brutal tactics. in 2007 dozens of people were shot dead by police. no investigation and no trials. the inhabitants of this slum
were terrorized. the un's investigation concluded the kenyan police were a law unto themselves. executions were systematic and widespread. when kenya was taken to the brink of civil war after the last elections, more than 1000 people were killed. hundreds of them were shot by the police. with no justice, the international court moved in. a man who was heading the police force is one of the six kenyon's the prosecutor wants to see over the election violence. great britain is now reviewing its commitment to help reform the police. it is clear ending decades of impunity is a massive task. >> i think what we need to do is push responsibility. it is important that [unintelligible] for the british government to
continue demanding that. [unintelligible] >> a kenyan government says three policemen have been suspended and are being investigated over the killings. but the police force has gained a reputation for being somewhat above the law. few people expect these investigations to lead to prosecutions. >> the golf gloves its big cars banks to cheap fuel,t -- he gulf loves its big cars but they are anything but the green. the big car makers have ambitious plans to launch their electric cars. can they win over drivers? we will find out. >> this part of the world loves its cars. the bigger the better. but that has left this region with a problem. the gulf states have the her it -- highest carbon emissions
anywhere in the world. that is a good opportunity for this man. he is on a mission to encourage more people to use electric cars. this family company has one a green car program. they are converting their company vehicles to electric technology. electric cars here arerare. the plan is to raise awareness and convince skeptical drivers electric cars have a place on the roads of this region. >> when i drive these cars on the roads many people asked questions, why is it so quiet? they have many questions. >> the largest motor show as traditional diesel cars still dominating. the climate and geography have its own conditions. the soaring he could reduce
battery life. long distances between cities have left drivers unconvinced electricity is reliable enough. before they can make the switch to electric, there is much more work to do. >> the climate is one of -- un like anywhere else in the world. we want to make sure our products can perform to customer expectations. >> winning over drivers is not just the job of car makers. government also needs to invest in infrastructure. there is still one challenge. despite several fuel subsidies, filling up here is still relatively cheap. at this station it will cost you less than $30 for a full tank. convincing drivers to ditch the cheap -- pitched the big cars could mean carmakers have to change the way day sell their cars.
in a country where you don't need to need -- need to leave the comfort of your car to fill up, encouraging drivers to make the switch will not be easy. >> this is serious but still staff at an aquarium in ukraine are growing concern for the health of one of their crocodiles. the reptile 88 mobile phone accidentally dropped by a visitor last month. -- the reptile ate a mobile phone. the crocodiles may yet need surgery. just briefly the main news. eight former prime it -- , british prime minister tony blair said he disregarded the idea that attacking iraq could be illegal but it came from the senior the legal adviser. you can get all the international news any time?
bbc.com. -- get all the news any time at bbc.com. >> hello and welcome. >> see the news unfold, get the top stories from around the globe and click-to-play video reports. go to bbc.com/news to experience the in-depth, expert reporting of "bbc world news" online. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. new man's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its global expertise to work for a wide range of companies, from small business to major corporations.