tv BBC World News America PBS June 1, 2012 4:00pm-4:30pm PDT
>> and now bbc world news america. >> this is bbc world news america reporting from washington. more violence and more division in syria. the international community fails to speak with one voice. but the outlook is grim. >> syria is on the edge of a catastrophic situation. if we can imagine one even worse than the current situation. >> bad news for the american economy. new u.s. job numbers paint a gloomy picture as the unemployment rate rises. and preparing for quite a party. london puts the finishing touches on a holiday weekend packed with events to celebrate the queen's diamond jubilee.
>> welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and also around the world. for the third time in a week, we're getting reports of execution-style shootings in syria. the latest accounts come of people being shot on the way to work at a factory. diplomats are now talking about an apparent pattern of attacks against syrian civilians. indeed, the u.n. says the massacre of more than 100 last week in houla may amount to a crime against humanity. but the international community still can't agree on what to do to stop this bloodshed. the bbc's diplomatic correspondent bridget kendall starts our coverage tonight. >> more disturbing images from syria posted on the internet by opposition activists. factory workers, murdered, they said, by pro-government militias. an account u.n. observers inside syria haven't verified yet. but they did confirm the massacre last week at houla and
today the u.n. human rights council blamed syria for it. urging an inquiry to investigate possible war crimes. >> these acts may amount to crimes against humanity and other international crimes. and maybe indicative of a pattern of widespread or systematic attacks against civilian populations. >> syria's envoy denied his government's involvement. blaming the massacre on rebel fighters. >> it is now a familiar pattern for armed terrorist gangs to carry out massacres, timed deliberately to lead to special sessions, hostile to syria like this one. >> from several parts of syria today, there's been video suggesting renewed shelling. here in homs. around houla where the massacre was, one activist from houla
told us what being under siege felt like. >> the shelling was a horrible thing. you feel like earthquake under you. when the bomb fell, you felt like earthquake under you. >> not much left of the u.n. cease-fire. no wonder kofi annan is despondent. >> we are all frustrated by the violence, by the killings. so am i. i think perhaps i'm more frustrated than most of you. because i'm in the thick of things. >> meanwhile, meeting the syrian opposition in turkey today, william hague warned of imminent civil war. >> syria is rapidly becoming less stable, not more so. and there is a great danger of a collapse in syria. >> so what can the outside world do about it? it's clear syria is unlikely to turn into another libya. involving western military action. in the first place, russia will probably block it at the u.n.
security council. but even without russia, there's no appetite for intervention. syria is a well armed state in a volatile region. and all-out war would involve its neighbors and western powers are distracted. the united states, the presidential election, europeans with the euro crisis and all of them worried about withdrawing from afghanistan. in paris tonight, president putin was digging in his heels. refusing to consider sanctions on syria and pointing out opposition fighters are also killing people. and the u.n. peace plan, he says, is still worth backing. bridget kendall, bbc news. >> for a closer look at russia's pivotal role in this crisis i spoke earlier with matthew reginsky, deputy director of the program for international peace. over the course of the last week, the more people i speak to about syria, they tend to be saying the best chance we have
of avoiding total civil war in syria is to get the russians to put pressure on president assad. do you think there's any chance of russia doing that? >> i think the problem for russia is they see the sequence as exactly the reverse of that. rather than there being abuses by the government that might provoke civil war, they believe there's already civil war. and that it's the government's responsibility to keep the violence under wraps. they do support the annan plan but their position is if we don't approach this thing in an evenhanded way, that is, you pressure the government but you also pressure the rebels, right? everybody lays down their arms. then the government isn't going to cooperate anyway and they wouldn't have any more leverage than anyone else would in that situation. >> there are mixed signals coming from russia. we have people at the united nations on the one hand saying that the russians are coming closer perhaps to the rest of the united nations position because of massacres we've seen during the course of this week but we also have the russians blaming foreign intervention and foreign meddling for the massacre at houla. which is it?
what's russia thinking of doing here? >> the russians are stuck between a rock and a hard place. on the one hand you have russia's principal division as they see it that there shouldn't be international intervention and it should be solved diplomatically with russian leadership and there will not be another libya. a red line in the sand if you will. but on the other hand you have the fact that it is increasingly looking like the early moral leadership position taken by the united states and the broader west is looking right. and that's really a problem for russia. i mean, had it not gotten as bad as it's gotten the russians could have hewed to their original line but they're feeling political and moral pressure now that they have to agree with the west. that's very awkward for them to do at this point without appearing to simply surrender. >> we had the french president saying the only solution is to get rid of president assad. do you think that this diplomatic isolation that russia is feeling is reaching some or the of a critical point? >> no. i absolutely think that removal of assad at this point is off
the table for the russians. one, the russians have significant financial interest there. the arm sales that were mentioned, energy deals, energy services deals, all those invoices if you will have bashar assad's name on them. nobody will pay them and nobody will say we'll compensate moscow for that. think of the folks that you're compensating. russian arms sellers, state oil companies. it just isn't going to happen. so yause has major incentives to keep assad in power. by the same token russia is only player in this advice vee its relationship with a-- vis-a-vis its relationship with assad. as soon as assad knows russia would even contemplate such an outcome they don't have leverage with him anymore anyway and they're out of the game. >> very interesting. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> well, while the government of bashar al-assad clings to power, a court in egypt is set to deliver its verdict in the trial of one of the most important leaders to be ousted by the arab spring. former president hosni mubarak has been charged with ordering his security forces to fire on
protesters during the uprising. as rupert winkfield hayes reports jippingses expect the ruling with mixed -- egyptians expect the ruling with mixed emotionings. >> it takes some bravery to openly declare your love for hosni mubarak in egypt these days. but these young men are preparing to do so loudly and in public outside the courthouse on saturday. >> president mubarak should be treated as a former president with a proud military record. he gave us 30 years of peace. we should honor him. >> this is mubarak as they would like to remember him. as the soldier and a statesman. not as he is now, a sick old man laid out on a gurney in court. but for abdel hamad there is only bitterness and hatred for mubarak, the man she says took away her son. >> he was shot in the chest.
and this is the blood. you can see on his trousers. >> mustafa was one of the first martyrs of the revolution. cut down by police bullets as he marched on tahir square. >> i will not rest until i have -- my heart is still burning. until what they did to my son is done to him. >> tomorrow's verdict was supposed to be about bringing a definitive end to the mubarak era. but egyptians today remain as deeply divided as ever about what to do with their former president. about the only thing that unifies people here now is a common fear of the post-mubarak future. on the streets and in the tea shops, the topic on everyone's lips. the year since the revolution has been traumatic. >> you have a fear. your kids are feeling fear.
the up in a and news and -- the newspaper and news and the tv speaking about crime and the criminals and that's why the atmosphere is so -- >> there is an irony here. last year, hundreds of people died on the streets of cairo to get rid of mubarak. now many here are yearning for a new strongman to take control and make them feel safe. rupert winkfield hayes in cairo. >> the complicated fallout of the arab spring in cairo there. unemployment is a scourge on both sides of the atlantic and today, there were numbers to prove it. the jobless rate in the euro zone stayed at 11% in april. that is the highest level since the single currencyy was introduced. here in the united states, meanwhile, there was similarly depressing news. the unemployment rate rose last month up to 8.2%. this is the most important number in this year's presidential election. and both candidates were seizing on the issue.
♪ >> a carol scripted campaign moment -- carefully scripted campaign moment, one of thousands to come, disguising shock and disappointment that's rolling across america. mr. obama visited a factory in minnesota. talking about jobs for military veterans. and any mention of jobs today was going to be tricky. the latest figures show job creation in america way down. and the headline unemployment figure rising to 8.2%. this is not what the president deep in his re-lerks campaign needs now. >> -- re-election campaign needs now. >> we are still fighting our way back from the worst economic crisis since the great depression. the economy is growing but not as fast as we want it to grow. >> some of america's problems he said simply aren't america's fault. >> and then most prominently, most recently, we've had a crisis in europe's economy. that is having an impact worldwide. and it's starting to cast a shadow on our own as well.
>> some economists maintain that these jobs figures are affected by seasonal factors and aren't actually as bad as they look. the markets didn't care. for them, and most americans, it's dismal news. but for republican presidential candidates, not so much. mitt romney pinned the blame for the poor joshes figures not on europe, not on oil prices or any other external factor, but on mr. spame. >> the issue is the president in a position to lead america and get us out of these economic doldrums and put families back to work? i don't think he is. i think he's proven over the last 3 1/2 years he's not up to the task and he's over his head. >> mr. romney has a real opening now. if he can persuade americans that mr. obama's economic policies have failed them, his campaign for the presidency could gain momentum. just a few months ago, the economic winds were at mr. obama's back. it looked like the u.s. economy was really picking up pace. now that's all changed. the economy is still growing. but it looks sluggish. the president looks to be on
the defensive. mitt romney smells blood. five months to go until the presidential election. adam brooks, bbc news, washington. >> for more on these important jobs numbers, i'm joined now by "the wall street journal." the white house has said it's one month's numbers but at what point do we start seeing a trend which suggests to you that the recovery is over? >> that's exactly right. people who follow these numbers obsess about this idea you don't want to overreact to a single month's jobs numbers. there are all sorts of things that could go wrong and undeniable now that this isn't is a single month problem. we've seen for the last few months a slowing in the u.s. economy. a sputtering of the u.s. job market. and it's all coming to a head the third straight year we've had these kinds of problems. and you're having the u.s. pull back. at the same time, the world's second largest economy, china, is slowing. and at the same time, europe, one of the biggest players in the world, is on the verge of an economic meltdown.
so the fact that you have the u.s. trend moving in this direction even before you really get to the worst of what could happen in europe, is really troubling and frightening point. >> and what could policymakers do to try to reverse this trend? >> for president obama, there's little he can do. it's a lot of a political message right now for him. there are some things that central bankers here in the united states and around the world can do. the federal reserve is probably going to start discussions again about doing something to boost the economy. we're going to see next week the european central bank talking about potentially taking some steps. and over the next two weeks, between now and the greek election, there are going to be some very heated discussions in europe about trying to arrest the sharp decline in this troubling problem we're seeing between now and the greek elections and the g-20 meeting that's coming up. and all of these things have to happen very quickly in the next two weeks to prevent what could be another global crisis. >> we have a lot of confidence in politicians of course being able to act very quickly to do the right thing.
>> exactly. >> this is a problem. >> this is a problem. >> we had the beginnings of recovery but we have politicians both here and in europe not able to make the decisions that they need to make. >> that's exactly the problem. and we've seen in prior years where we've gone through the same cycle, even if you see some sharp drops in markets, which is usually what it takes to get the politics to catch up to the economics. even once you see that, it takes a little bit of time once those policies are agreed to to take effect. for the u.s. you're looking at least a couple more months of trouble before you can even see that we might have pulled back from this. if you get all of these pieces to come together. so for president obama, he's looking at a summer of having to make this argument that other problems abroad are creating our difficulties and we're going to just slog through this. and that's really -- >> and if you're an american voter you don't care where these problems come from. you just know you don't have a job. >> president obama came into office as a turnaround man and people are going to be making
their decisions based on whether they feel better off. and whether the economy is really on a sustainable path forward. and if you keep sliding back, as you head toward the election, you're going to be in an irreversible political position where president obama can't even rescue that. especially in the fall when everyone is paying attention. >> and the most important number is going to be october's unemployment number. and it will come out five days before the presidential election. so be ready. thanks very much for coming in. and in a quick look at other news now from around the world, voters in the republic of ireland have backed a treaty drawn up in response to that euro zone crisis. official results showed just over 60% of voters approved the agreement. the treaty is intended to introduce greater financial discipline among countries using the euro and prevent the currency's collapse. a judge in florida has ruled that the man accused of shooting dead an unarmed 17-year-old must surrender himself. george zimmerman's bale has been revoked after the prosecution argued he misled the court. the neighborhood watch
volunteer is accused of shooting travon martin as he walked home from a convenience store in february. you're watching bbc world news america and still to come on tonight's program, bracing for floods in pakistan. as monsoon season approaches, a stark warning that the country isn't ready. aung-su-chi's re-emergence on the world stage has taken a step forward and received a standing ovation when she arrived for a speech in bangkok. she shifted to the needs of those in burma calling for healthy skepticism regarding the changes taking place there. bbc's jona fisher has all the details. >> after 24 years in burma this was a first appearance on the global stage. there will soon be many more. it was her chance to remind the
world that it's still early days in burma's reform process. >> and coming across a lot of what i would call reckless optimism. that is not going to help you. it's not going to help us. so we need a balanced report. a little bit of healthy skepticism i think is in order. >> ms. su-chi told the world economic forum she was convinced the burmese army backed the stages and said the goal of full democracy was still a distant one. for those in the audience considering investigate in burma, she said their money was badly needed but have this warning. >> we have to try to eradicate corruption and inequality as we proceed to greater investment. we do not want more investment to mean more possibilities for corruption. we do not want investment to mean greater inequality. we do not want corruption to
mean greater privileges for the already privileged. we want investment to mean quite simply jobs. >> earlier in the trip, aung-man su-chi met with burr niece migrants who live in tie loaned. if they are to go back burma's sluggish economy has a lot of catching up to do. >> for the past two years, monsoon rains have thrashed pakistan. prompting huge donations of international aid. now pakistan's disaster management chief has admitted to the bbc that floods are likely again in just a matter of weeks. because there have not been adequate steps taken to prevent them. among the worst affected areas last year was the province of sind and from there we receive this report. >> pakistan still bears the scarf last year's floods.
-- the scarf last year's floods. vast areas of valuable crops were destroyed. tens of thousands of livestock drowned. over eight million people were affected. in a town of pungrao, people are trying to move on. but the horrors of what happened last year are hard to forget. the place was inundated with several meters of floodwater after the heaviest rains ever recorded here. then on a rescue mission with the army, we found this family. stranded. they lost their home, all their farm animals and only managed to save a couple of chickens. we managed to trace them again now to find out how they had recovered. but the news was bad. since we last saw them, the mother of the family had died.
we stayed in a camp for three months. we ate the stale bread they gave us and boggle got weak and i will and we closed the camp and she got worse and she died. remarkably more than nine months after they were first flooded some areas are still under water. and we soon found out why. this is supposed to be a drainage channel for or five foot deep but you can see what's happened to it. it's completely blocked and that's because -- and it's because of that the people say when the new monsoon rains come in just a few weeks' time, this entire area will be submerged again. one gofment official admitted to us, not enough has been done to stop flooding again this year. >> it's a lengthy process and takes a lot of engineering and re-designing work. and it can't be done in a year or two. >> so you're saying that
basically flooding is inevitable in that area because the drainage canals haven't been cleared out? >> well, yes. >> so those still having to live in tents thanks to last year's flooding will have to brace themselves. because the next disaster looks guaranteed. bbc news in sind province. >> fearing the rains there in pakistan. in britain, it is the start of the diamond jubilee long weekend. and over the next four days, there will be parties and special events to mark 60 years since queen elizabeth came to the throne. this evening, remarkable footage was broadcast for the first time. showing the queen returning to britain just hours after she rose to the throne. >> flying home to face her destiny, an image from 60 years
ago seen publicly for the first time today. this is the queen's private footage taken aboard the aircraft which brought her home to britain after learning that her father had died and that she was now queen. >> so these must be the first pictures after our madam knew she was queen. >> featured in a jubilee tribute to his mother by prince charles. 60 years after elizabeth flew home as queen, britain is gearing up with its jubilee tribute. while much of london slept, a full-scale rehearsal toob took place at the carriage -- took place at the carriage procession which will conclude on tuesday. then the streets will be crowded. this morning, there was barely a spectator to be seen. giving the foot guards a chance to measure out their positions as street liners. and the household cavalry to
familiar themselves with the routes the carriages will take. and along the wall to buckhingham palace. on the thames boats are being marshalled for the river pageant the main event on sunday afternoon. the main uncertainty seems to be the weather. some rain is forecast. around the victoria memorial, a huge stage has been constructed. this will be the setting for monday night's diamond jubilee concert. in his tribute to his mother tonight, prince charles spoke of the queen's contribution over 60 years. >> it's been a constant feature on the scene as provided -- has provided that sense of continuity. in a time of immense change in the last 60 years is one of the most important things to celebrate it seems to me. >> of course not everybody will be cheering this weekend. republicans believe the jubilee is misconceived.
>> 60 years is not an achievement. it's a job for life and no accountability. it's simple mathematics. given a job for life at 25 and now you're 85, 86, you've done it for 60 years. >> yet the fact tell us across the 60 years of the queen's reign, the monarchy's popularity has remained remarkably resilient. the stage, quite literally is set for a weekend when i think we can fairly say a clear majority of people in this country will indicate their support for the institution and their gratitude to the person who heads it. nicholas witchal, bbc news at buckhingham palace. >> it is going to be a great diamond jubilee weekend back in britain. that brings the program to a close. but if you would like to see what our staff and correspondents in the united states are working on, do check out our twitter feed @bbcnewsus. for those of us here at bbc world news, thanks for watching and have a great weekend as
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