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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  September 9, 2011 2:30pm-3:00pm PDT

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>> this is "bbc world news america." funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank.
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>> union bank has put its financial strength to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news america." this is a special edition of "bbc world news america." we are reporting live from ground zero in new york. the final battle, the libyan grabble said there on the verge of one of colonel gaddafi's last stronghold. america remembers 9/11. a new threat to cut new york and washington and high-security mud. 10 years on, we hear from the
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man who delivered the news to president bush. >> i whispered into this right here, at a second plane hit the second tower. america is under attack. >> welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the world. we're coming to you live from ground zero. 10 years ago this sunday, the world trade center was attacked by terrorists. we start tonight with a developing story in libya. it seems the final battle is beginning. the rebels' chief negotiator and a town -- in the town of bani walid says their forces are fighting inside the talent. we go there live to our correspondent, who was on the
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outskirts of bani walid. how close are the rebels to taking the time? >> they are pretty close. they are still about 2 kilometers from the town center. a little while ago, we were told by one rebel commander in that they had halted at that point and they were still waiting for orders from higher military authorities before proceeding to the town center. since then, we are not clear whether it those orders have come through. certainly, at the battle is not over. want rebel source was saying to us that he thought there could be anything up to 700 fighters loyal to colonel gaddafi who are putting up resistance in that area. he describes the fighters as professional.
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he is saying that there are snipers, which would mean that it could take some time to clear the town. the rebels are confident that they will take control of bani walid in the near future. >> how critical is it for them to get this town? >> you know, it is very important. the rebels swept into the capital almost three weeks ago. yet, four towns have remained in the hands of colonel gaddafi's fighters. for them to declare victory, they need to take control of these four towns. if they take bani walid producing, that is a very significant step. the rebels are saying that they take bani walid and then the
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other three towns will fall fairly quickly. >> thank you so much for joining us. the hunt for colonel gaddafi is continuing as well. as the fighting continues, there is growing concern about the disappearance of thousands of highly sophisticated missiles and other weapons that are still being lifted from on guarded compounds in tripoli. western nations feel they could fuel and iraqi-style conflicts inside of libya. >> in a tripoli warehouse, at an alarming discovery. >> no security at all here. >> we have come to see one of colonel gaddafi's secret weapons stores, but the looters have gotten your first. >> this is a very dangerous weapon, and it is gone. >> this exact model.
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>> in the past few days, thousands of highly sophisticated weapons have been stolen from this one warehouse. no one knows it has them or where they will end up being used. you have to wonder, almost three weeks after tripoli fell, why no one has taken the trouble to secure weapons like this. some of those weapons have been taken by libya's rebels. the war is not over yet. there are reports that others have been offered to sell abroad. >> it is a serious problem. the key thing is to try to track them. try to bring them under control. to assess the scale of the problem. >> paris and tripoli today -- mass prayers in tripoli today.
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the authorities are racing to find the lifted weapons before they fuel a new insurgency. >> i think they need help. i think they need to coordinate among all the factions to try to stop the population of these weapons. >> another warehouse, and another cache of weapons. >> inside, 100,000 land mines, up for grabs. >> in other news, and thousands of protesters gathered in cairo today. organized wants egypt's military rulers to keep their work for reform. in syria, the thousands of people have taken part in anti- government protests across the
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country. hundreds marched with the coffin of a 15-year-old boy. in damascus, activist to -- activists demanded that russia and china stop supporting bashar al-assad. now to ground zero. a terrorist threat has washington, d.c., and new york city on high alert. a major security operation is under way to prevent what intelligence suggest could be a car bomb plot. >> breaking news, the terror plot revealed. is al qaeda planning to set off car bombs in the new york and d.c.? >> this is what america woke up to this morning. police officers in manhattan have already surpassed --
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started searching trucks. the measures in place, officers are trying to guard against the possibility of a bomb. >> we are taking this threat seriously. federal, state, and local authorities are taking all steps to address the. of course, making it public, as was done yesterday, is intended to enlist the millions and millions of new yorkers and americans to be the eyes and ears of vigilance. >> for new yorkers going to work this morning, the increased security was another reminder of how much life has changed since the 9/11 attacks. >> i do not think al qaeda has the resources to launch a coordinated attack. >> i think we are all worried, but we have to just move on and live our lives. >> people have to worry about
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people looking to disrupt our way of life. >> sunday's 10th anniversary of the monumental loss approaches, it is an emotional time for the relatives of the dead. his wife was killed in the north tower of the world trade center. >> i miss my best friend. after 10 years, you move on. i said they may have gotten my wife, but they will not get the rest of my life. i said that shortly after 911. i refuse to let these terrorist take over my life. >> new yorkers are on their guard against what, it is not clear. the exact nature of the threat is still unconfirmed. >> the warning, of course, has been reported over the last 10 years. back then, everyone struggled to
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comprehend the magnitude of what was happening. george bush was visiting a school in florida when he was given the note -- the news by his chief of staff. we went back to the school to talk to those who were there. >> and other plane has just it. >> i think we have a terror attack of proportions that we cannot begin to imagine. >> the day when a murderous assault kills 2753 people. a day when history pivoted and the president looked at the world through a different lens. george bush was at the florida school and listening to seven- year-old reading. >> it could not have been an accident. i made a decision to pass on to facts and make one relatively obvious. i walked up to the president and leaned over and whispered into his right ear, a second plane
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had hit the second tower. america is under attack. >> bush stayed put, a range of emotions passing across his face. some say that it was odd that he did not leave at once. >> he did nothing to introduce fairer to those very young students. there were second graders. he did nothing to demonstrate fear to the media. it would have translated to the satisfaction of the terrorist around the world. >> this is the school where president bush was when you heard that fateful news. it also shaped the lives of those seven-year-old he was visiting that day. >> one of them is now 17. >> i remember looking out and seeing the president's face, his expression changed completely. it was almost downtrodden. it was a look of dismay. >> i think it caused me to
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become open-minded. it did not change me immediately, but over time, as i begin to understand why, i began to -- i began to gain perspective about the world. >> one of the teachers it was there should be a corner of the school devoted to that day. >> these kids now have a loss of innocence. we were under attack. i did not have to grow up with that, why should they? >> of the president left the classroom and spoke to the head of the fbi on the fund. -- phone. bush wanted to head back to washington, but his chief of staff told him it was too dangerous. he told -- the day gave shape to
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the presidency with a new purpose. >> it was gone to be how he responded to an attack on our homeland. yes, it was a very significant day. it changed my life, it changed the president's life, it changed america's life. >> it was the day the president was seized by a new sense of mission. he led an america into to foreign wars. >> much of the focus this weekend will be centered here in new york. ceremonies are also being held in pennsylvania and at the pentagon. i have to start by asking you where you were when the plane crashed into the pentagon. >> by the time the plane did the
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pentagon, i was in this command center where several senior officials and i were trying to connect with their colleagues at the various agencies, get more information. secretary ron salad was still in his office. -- rumsfeld was still in his office. we felt this enormous thump. that was the plane hitting the pentagon. >> did you realize immediately what had happened? were you kind of thinking, the pentagon is such a symbolic building, we might be next? >> we verso focused on the task at hand -- we were so focused on the task at hand. and try to prevent further attacks. you were not thinking about yourself. we were not thinking about the building. when i felt it and fired the explosion, i was not completely surprised. >> i was at the pentagon after
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the plane went end. i remember talking to soldiers who were visibly shaking. the american military would have to change. whether discussions about that in the days that followed? -- were there discussions about that in the days that followed? >> it was within minutes of the attack. you remember because you were paying attention. in the months leading up to 9/11, the secretary and all of us were talking about for the need to the u.s. military to transform. it was more likely be would have a symmetrical threats. you would need a much faster, mobile force. what we have been talking about in theory became reality on 9/11. >> around the world, it seems like that was the moment where america's military became more interventionist. the nature of it had to adjust. >> when you mean the nature of
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it, yes. the u.s. military philosophy for decades was to take a blow, sustained a blow. we will not go out and punch you in the face, but we will deal with it if you attack us first. instead, we had to go out and find them where they were. in the days in which jetliner's could crash into the sides of buildings, you cannot wait for that kind of blow. you have to stop it before they do that. >> ok, former pentagon spokesman. thank you so much for joining us. you are watching "bbc world news america." iconic image as from ground zero, the photographer chosen to capture the scene after 9/11 talks about how the assignment lives with him today. it was just months after the 911 attacks that michael bloomberg took over as mayor of this
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shaken city. recently, my colleagues sat down with them to get his perspective on how much has changed. >> 9/11 defined the world differently and from that point on, that was the main focus. we still had to keep the streets safe and pick up the garbage and educate our kids and have an economy. you cannot walk away from those responsibilities. the rest of the city still had to go on. if you fast forward 10 years, lower manhattan has doubled the population. the greatest population we have had downtown since 1920. we had seven hotels and now we have 26 hotels. we have a lot of parks, 4000 more seats. it has become a real 24/7 community. more business is down there than there were before 9/11. >> many people say, i am a
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muslim american and i am living in this country and i feel less welcome. >> of course it does, but most muslim americans do not get stopped. most muslim americans in new york are middle class, hard- working, own businesses. >> more than half of muslim americans say policy singles them out. >> there are demagogues to go out and say, this religion it equates with terrorism. that is not true. that is one of the battles that you constantly have to fight. if you give in to racism, if you get into -- given to stereotyping, the things you're trying to fight against are exactly what you are facilitating. you cannot do that. >> if you happened to walk
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around this area today, you will be struck by the number of firefighters. for them, this anniversary ways particularly heavy. more than 300 firefighters were of lost when they rushed to respond to the attacks on the world trade center. the on this was just 23 years old. he followed his father into the profession. joining me now are his parents. thank you so much for joining me. i am so sad for your loss. i want you to take me back to that morning 10 days a -- 10 years ago. where were you? >> my first date of retirement. we were at home. i was a schoolteacher. we saw the first tower had already been hit. as we looked out the window, we saw the second tower. we knew this was a very serious
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situation. >> chris was not meant to be on duty that day, right? >> he had worked the night before. he was due to come off that morning at 9:00. everybody that was still on duty responded. >> did you know that he would be called in for this? >> we got a call at about 9:15. the lieutenant from the company that called told me he never came home. at that point, they assumed that he was down there. they had no way of knowing. that is the way the day unfolded. >> what were you feeling at that point? >> i kept expecting to get a call that he had had a concussion. i was not able to process the fact that my 23-year-old son
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could possibly be dead. i just could not believe it and i was not able to accept it. i kept waiting and i watched the tv. we were not able to do much calling out. people called us. we tried to get as much information as possible. and the beginning, i was convinced he was going to be found. >> you went down to the world trade center to help out your former fireman yourself. >> initially, you could not get down into manhattan. everybody was trying to evacuate the area. i went to shea stadium where they had a staging area. i did that for about three or four hours. i realize that i was not really doing much.
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i decided i would try to get down here. i went home and change. i had a friend of mine come with me in the car. i was able to get over the bridge. he dropped me off next to the millennium hotel. i told him, take the car and go home. i spent the next 12, 14 hours looking, trying to do what ever i could do. >> now is the 10th anniversary. you have written a book, you say that we must forgive and not hate. you can read it around new york. thank you for joining us. people around the world this sunday will bring back the memories for watching events unfold in real time a decade ago. some of the most iconic images were captured by this photographer. he was chosen as the official
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photographer for the ground zeroth sight. he spent months working alongside the firefighters. he talks about his experience and the power it still has today. ♪ >> we just had a plane crash into the world trade center. >> i had no idea what was in store for me. i shot images from that day. and then i directed -- erected a free website. i was documenting the city and the areas around ground zero. this website caught the eye, of a manhattan trusty. he needed to send a photographer in to ground zero on behalf of the union to document every area and aspect.
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he wanted to have photographs of the flight -- flag that draped the victims bodies to give to widows. the mood was always very somber down there. a a lot of anger. they always had what was called block. it was very difficult to gain their trust. there were spooked by my camera. they thought they were being exploited. sometimes they would walk up to me -- one time i had a very angry firefighter stick a lit cigarette right up to my cheek and said, i lost 60 friends and i do not care if you are authorized to be here or not. i do not like you being here and i do not like you taking photos. these are some of the obstacles that i had to face. on the good side, i made a lot of wonderful friends. they took me in and adopted me into the ground zero
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brotherhood. they let me partaken the most private of moments. this is really how i was able to capture the most sensitive and the most intimate of moments. when the recovery of ground zero ended, i had this very special collection of images. no one is ever going to see them. i thought, why don't i turn my commercial photo studio into the biggest little museum in new york? all the images were photographed. we have tourists, family members, relatives of people who passed away, burn victims, you name it, they come here. we are very sensitive and the way that we've laid out the museum. we stay away from that because we do not want to horrified people. we feel this museum is an important catalyst to healing.
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>> talking about his powerful engines ahead of the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. we're reporting live from ground zero, this brings us to the end of the broadcast. thank you for joining us. >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank.
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>> union bank offers unique insight and expertise in a range of industries. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news america" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
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