tv BBC World News America PBS May 24, 2011 4:00pm-4:30pm PDT
♪ barack obama is giving a royal welcome by london but tough issues aren't far away. the president away, the u.s. has a forceful case over what it will take to achieve middle east peace. >> the border will be different than the one that existed on june 4, 1967. israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967. >> and ash, ash, go away a volcanic plume causes hundreds of flights to be cancelled but passengers hope that aviation officials have learned lessons from the last time.
welcome to bbc on pbs around america and around the globe. it is not just a special relationship but an essential one, how barack obama described the ties between britain and america as he and first lady michelle kicked off their two-day visit in london. it is only the second time during the queen's reign that the u.s. has a full state visit. the obamas attended a star-studded banquet at buckingham palace. our royal correspondent has been following all the day's events. for years, the americans shied away from this kind of palace pomp and ceremony, which is why remarkably, this is only the second state visit by a u.s.
president, but this evening, a relationship between two nations which have done so much together was celebrated at the palace in style. >> mr. president, i'm delighted to welcome you and mrs. obama to london. >> at a state banquet, the queen recalled how the united states had come to the aid of europe in two world wars. she said america remains britain's most important ally. >> ladies and gentlemen, we are here to celebrate the tried, tested and yet special relationship between our two countries. >> thank you for your -- >> in reply, president obama paid tribute to the united kingdom. >> it is a great honor to join you again in this great country as we reaffirm the enduring bonds between our two nations and reenforce this special relationship. >> the president recalled the attacks on america on 9/11. >> on that day to this, you have been our closest
partner in the struggle to protect our people from terrorism attacks and violent extremism around the world, despite very heavy sacrifices. >> president obama had arrived at the palace in the heavy armor of a u.s. presidential motorcade. when he's in town, security concerns rule out carriage rides. the full ceremonial welcome of a state visit was assembled within the safety of the palace grounds. ♪ after the american national anthem, president obama inspected a guard of honor, a scot's guardsman until eleven months ago was serving alongside american forces in afghanistan. inside the palace, there was a short meeting with prince william and the duchess of cambridge, the first time they have been seen since
they went off on their honeymoon. why such a brief encounter? the couple had prior commitments, more credibly to underline that they are not yet full-time working royals and to avoid any distractions from the guests of honor. after lunch with the queen, a visit to westminster abbey and a reminder of how often u.k.-u.s. alliance has found expression in sacrifice on the battlefield. most recently, the abbey was the scene of a joyful royal wedding. this afternoon, though, it was where president obama laid a wreath at the grave of the unknown warrior in memory of all those who lost their lives in the world wars. in downing street, president obama offered the prime minister a lift in the presidential limousine. they went together to a school in south london where pupils found themselves watching the president and prime minister playing a
game of table tennis, shoulder to shoulder, of course, and celebrating success. state visits are all about marking friendships, which tend to be warm and positive in one sense, president obama's remarks tonight bring a new appreciation which perhaps weren't there before of a very old alliance. tomorrow the leaders of that alliance will get down to the serious business of addressing world issues which a matter to them. >> >> look foremore on the business end of the obamas' visit we turn to our political editor. >> nick, special in terms of a relationship sounds pretty wonderful, warm and fuzzy, reassuring but it raises all sorts of questions, doesn't it? >> just imagine it projected into your own life if late at night you turned to your loved one and say, am i still special? and they replied you are
essential, i think you would feel the emotion that may be drained from that relationship and it was purely based on practical toy and in a sense that is a point. this is a phrase first used by david cameron and he or at least his aides persuaded the white house to sign on to it and they may have concluded there is no use trying to sell to barack obama the nostalgia and history of the special relationship. he seems immune to that. instead they want to sell a much more practical version of the relationship in which david cameron says to the president, look, we have still got the intelligence. we've still got the military hardware. we're still, above all, got the willingness to use it. we need you. you need us. that's good for all. >> if it is pragmatic, more sober than it used to be, what is in it for david cameron and what could be in it for barack obama, especially on issues like libya, for instance? >> well, i think david cameron is extremely anxious still, that that initial
hesitance that we saw from the president about military involvement in libya might be repeated in the future. in recent weeks, ministers here in london say to me, no, look, the americans are taking a backseat, but nevertheless, there is a lot of military hardware, a lot of military help, on surveillance, for example, on air refueling, on support when it is needed, in other words, but there is still an anxiety that if gaddafi does not fall and it has been a long wait, will the americans still be there? to some extent this is mirrored by anxiety coming from the pentagon across to the u.k., which is what this language that cameron uses about afghanistan, getting the troops out beginning this year, ending in 2014 or '15, does that signal his unwillingness to persist for the long haul? i think both men will look at each other in the eye tomorrow and say what are you really thinking on those issues? and in terms of how to fix the world economy and keep it afloat, i mean, their
positions were famously quite far apart not so long ago. is that still the case? >> well, david cameron and number ten here would love to be able to claim that the white house, that barack obama, a democrat, a man who is praised for reflatingth american economy, that he is now on the side with deficit reduction. my sense is that the americans are likely to be very reluctant to do that. they want language in a joint article the two men wrote in the times about the need to deal with deficits, the fact that governments couldn't create jobs that businesses did, but i think it is very unlikely that the two will hold hands on this issue, even though ministers in london point out that after a year or two of very different approaches, it is now the case that washington is engaged in real and tough deficit reduction. our political he editor who is essential. thank you very much, indeed. >> president obama announced today that the european trip
ends this weekend and he will visit joplin, missouri which was devastated sunday night by the deadliest single tornado in u.s. history in 60 years. for the latest, i spoke to the abc correspondent t.j. winick in joplin. >> t.j., i mean, they have extraordinary stories today of recovery. tell us more about that. >> well, that's right, matt. 17 people pulled so far from the rubble today and yesterday combined. obviously rescue crews are hoping more folks are out there. right now, there are unconfirmed reports of three people being pulled from one of the big home depot stores across the way here. again, those are just rumors at this point, not confirmed but three survivors allegedly pulled from a big store here in joplin. i'm actually standing in front of one of the 17,000 -- excuse me, 7,000 homes in joplin that was either damaged or destroyed during the tornado. the owner of this home told me he was actually ten miles
away at the time when the twister struck at about 5:00 on sunday. now, you see his home is relatively intact, despite suffering a lot of damage. well, take a look at his neighbor's home. absolute devastation. this is really and a apocalyptic landscape. it used to be suburbia and is now more of a forest. search and rescue went through monday morning looking for survivors. they came through again today. obviously they want to make sure they're not missing anyone and this area is expecting another line of storms here tonight that could bring more tornados and that has made the search and rescue effort even more urgent because they don't want any more survivors spending time out in the elements there. >> t.j., very quickly, do you think that this community with so much destruction can actually rebuild itself? >> well, you know, when you come here and you see the scope of the devastation, you think how can they ever recover, but time and time again, there are communities, especially across the midwest here, greensberg, kansas is
probably the best example of that. a few years ago they suffered a horrendous storm that basically leveled the entire town, and they have rebuilt, and so you just don't want to underestimate the folks here, because they say they are going to rebuild and i believe them. >> indeed. t.j. winick, thank you very much, indeed. >> you bet. >> and on the ground, 500 flights are cancelled as ash sweeps over northern europe. parts of german airspace will close tomorrow morning. thousands of passengers are affected by the fresh travel nightmare, barely a year after another eruption in iceland forced the biggest closure of the european airspace since world war ii. authorities hope this time things won't be quite as bad. our correspondent has been tracking the ash cloud. >> a satellite view of the north atlantic, the bright pink area swirling across the mid is the volcanic ash, not easy to follow exactly where it's going. >> there is no mistaking the
cloud rising in iceland, but once the winds take hold of the ash, there is no guarantee of tracking it. this is the latest estimate by the weather office, the red areas is where it is most dense, but there aren't enough instruments to give a precise picture minute by minute, so how are they keeping watch? >> here at the office in exiter, this is one of a network of 20 or so devices up and down the country used to try to keep track of the ash cloud. it fires a laser beam straight up and the type of reflection indicates whether volcanic ash is in the sky. this is what a laser in scotland detected this morning. the red spots are the volcanic ash in the air. it is a challenge for the analysts here, because the ash is not evenly spread. >> because of the random nature and the patchy nature of ash within the forecast, we cannot predict exactly where the ash will be. what we're doing is
predicting the broad zones in which there is a risk of encountering arc, and all of the professionals we work with understand that. that's the best anybody can do. >> so planes could take off in clear air and then at 20,000 feet encounter ash before reaching their normal cruising height. scientists say the threat is real. >> it could cause a lot of ash but just the evidence that we have suggests that this particular eruption may well not go on for as long as last year's which went on for about two months. >> the good news is that the eruption is slowing down. it's not finished but researchers in iceland say the worst seems to be over. bbc news, exiter. >> the ousted egyptian leader hosni mubarak and his two sons are to face trial for alleged murder. the charges relate to the shootings during the uprising which ousted him from power in february and also will be tried for
corruption. >> the israeli prime minister, benjamin netanyahu, received a warm reception before a joint session of the u.s. congress. his words were not as warmly received by palestinians. the two sides are literally miles apart in joining the borders of the future palestinian state and there is a gap tooth between israel's government and the obama administration. our middle east correspondent reports. >> his excellency, benjamin netanyahu, prime minister of israel. prime minister netanyahu can only dream of getting the kind of reception at home that he had in the u.s. congress. >> israel has no better friend than america and america has no better friend than israel. [applause] his speech was punctuated by around 30 standing owingvations. -- ovations. some of the most applause came when he talked about what some of the palestinians have to accept for peace.
>> jerusalem must never be divided. jerusalem must remain the united capitol of israel. >> palestinians want a capital in the city's eastern half. he spoke of painful compromises for peace but is a long way from offering what would be necessary for a deal, even talk of giving up occupied and illegally settled land was put defiantly. >> you have to understand this, in judean times, the jewish people were not foreign occupiers. >> it was a big contrast with a public disagreement with president obama before he left for europe over the future of the territories captured in the 1967 middle east war. the president wants israel back to the boundaries it had before then adjusted by land swaps. mr. netanyahu's rejection of that idea today didn't leave much room for a deal. >> i think the direction that we will go is that realities will be driven in the region and in the
international community but not by israel and probably not that much by america either. >> mr. netanyahu feels comfortable here in washington, seeing the sights and playing politics in the president's backyard. his critics, israeli as well as palestinian, will say he is deepening ition real's isolation and putting it on a collision course with the new middle east. >> the speech shows the gulf between mr. netanyahu's acceptable peace deal and the one that the palestinians have. his reception by the u.s. congress shows why he feels politically strong enough to reject president obama's view of the way ahead. with a middle east that is changing fast, mr. netanyahu is changing with what he believes has always worked for israel and he is avoiding any new thinking. bbc news, washington. >> you're watching bbc world news america. still to come on tonight's program, is the u.s.-british relationship special or essential? whatever you call it, let's
hope it is as good as the obama team thinks. >> he used to be russia's richest man but then he was found guilty of stealing oil from his own company. he said he was politically set up but today the court of appeal upheld the conviction. from moscow, our correspondent daniel sampson >> when he stepped into the glass enclosed room, it was his last chance to avoid a lengthy prison sentence. he has already served eight years and after the second trial last year, that was extended to 14. in an angry statement he told the judges that the verdict was wrong and encouraged them to overturn it. >> it is not possible to make corrections to this verdict because many changes will look foolish, so i will
join the people who accepted this law. >> but it took a little over five minutes for the judge to dash any hopes he had. they adjusted some details but the guilty verdict remains, though they did reduce his sentence by one year. although the verdict will be a disappointment, it will hardly come as a surprise, and so russia's most famous serving prisoner returns to jail. he once ran russia's giant oil company that he had been convicted of defrauding. throughout these trials his family has said he was being prosecuted for political reasons because he funded the opposition. >> everybody knows that somebody wants it to be this way, so it will be this way. >> despite the move, protests were outside the court and many believe that he deserves to be be in prison. his mother knows the international community
remains deeply concerned about the case and what it says about the rule of law in russia. bbc news, moscow. >> the giants of internet world went head to head with politicians at the e summit hosted by the french president sarcozy who even as he hailed the achievements of the internet insisted it must be regulated. our correspondent reports from paris. >> ordinarily, they might have met in an on-line forum. this week, the internet industry has come together the old fashioned way, to debate the big issues at the highest level, and on the guest list, google's eric schmidt and wikipedia's jimmy wales, two of the titans of the worldwide web. the french president nicolaus sarcozy acknowledges a huge gap of income prehension between the techies and the policy
makers, but that doesn't mean that the internet can be allowed to grow unfettered. >> the universe that you represent is not a parallel one, free of the rule of law, free of morals, and born generally of the fundamental principles that govern social life in democratic countries. >> president sarcozy is known for his tough line on internet privacy and proposing to put taxes on global internet companies, the kind of regulation that creates great anxiety within the industry. >> why are you here? >> well, i think, you know, it's a good idea to be present when someone wants to take away some of the values you cherish. >> both sides agree they need to encourage more growth. the disagreement is on how much control there should be, but the one view inspired by the likes of google and facebook who would like to see a hands off approach versus the other view adopted by and
increasing number of european countries who would like to regulate the industry and control it. the question is, where is the balance? privacy is a hot topic in the u.k. at the moment. this past week, tens of thousands of people on twitter named a footballer who used the internet to hide an affair and twitter played an seismic role in the upriseings in tunisia and egypt. >> people should be held responsible for what they publish. >> is it really the job of politicians to gamble with a social revolution? it could lead us to a heated debate this week. french and u.s. presidents are known to sit at opposite sides of the table. president obama thinks knowledge and internet access of the trump cards in alleviating world poverty and knows all too well the importance of this industry for the future of the u.s. economy. bbc news, paris.
>> we will end tonight's program where we began with president barack obama's visit to britain. he and david cameron published a joint article today proclaiming the relationship between britain and america is special but essential, so why do words and labels like these matter so much? maybe it is as much about psychology as it is about diplomacy. here is our north american editor. >> beaming and hugging, kissing and talking like old friends, the leaders of the most powerful country of the world visits with a smaller one. they would like to say that they see eye to eye and that their relationship is not just special it is essential. the two men write of their shared approach to the economy and the middle east, security in schooling. they say the relationship between america and britain is founded on a deep emotional connection by sentiment and ties of people and culture, but they say it thrives because it advanced a common interest and shared
values. they say it's not just a special relationship. it is an essential relationship to us and the world. some say thank goodness for the change. >> it's about time this phrase, special relationship was put out to grasp. it has exhausted its usefulness. it is too closely associated with the kind of needy, desperate bunch of brits longing for american approval and for the relationship to be called special. i'm glad that is out of the way. the essential relationship is much more -- has a much more pragmatic and realistic feel to it. >> but the phrase has been around for a while. the praise has been around for a while. church stressed it during the war. ronald reagan and margaret thatcher were soul mates and bush and blair are are with less likely allies that pushed on over iraq, but obama and brown, they didn't get on and the new man in the white house describes himself as a specific president who turns his attention to india and china. >> his heart is not in these
relationships with other leaders and other countries, but i think he does it and sometimes quite skillfully, but everyone can kind of sense this is not number one on the agenda. >> but you wouldn't know it from the president's progress around town with the prime minister, the white house does realize it made a mistake in the early days. they point at needlessly offending allies. if these two men have not just a special relationship but an essential one, then of course it underlines its importance to make britain feel better about itself, but it doesn't just do that, and it implies a sense of duty and obligation and that's exactly what the president wants. >> the attacks on libya are the prime example. obama hesitated about the operation because he doesn't think it is a vital american interest. he is happy to see the british and french take the lead. in washington, there is a recent day when the embassies all opened their
doors and americans tell us they still value the links with britain. >> i think it's still strong. what we're doing in libya is an example of that. when push comes to shove, we're pretty much on the same side working towards the same goals. the message, we're really close. tomorrow there will be essential talks about special problems that crop up in any relationship. bbc news, london. >> diplomatic vows redefined, and you can find more about president obama's visit to britain on our website along with all of the day's news and video at bbc.com/news. that does it for tonight's program. from all of us here at bbc world news america, thanks for watching. see you tomorrow.
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