tv BBC World News America KQED September 17, 2012 4:00pm-4:30pm PDT
what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news." >> this is bbc world news america. there -- we are on the ground with government forces and a steady air strike. >> it is a nerve shredding experience. >> tensions heat up between china and japan. a divide over a small group of an uninhabited islands can have a big impact on business. we will take to the edge of the
arctic circle. one team is preparing for the call this journey on earth. we did the coldest journey on earth. -- one team is preparing for the coldest journey on earth. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and also around the globe. the syrian conflict, both sides stand accused of a sharp increase in human rights abuses. the united nations said the number of violations by the assad regime is so great that is impossible to investigate every case. at the same time, the organization human rights watch has accused torture and carrying out summary executions. dred scott has traveled to aleppo or the sustained fighting has lasted almost three months. >> it cannot afford to lose
syria's biggest city. this goes on all day. there is another bomb. in those parts of the city held by the rebels, a jets can then spits fire. the planes returned to straight again and again, dropping their bombs. the pilots make slow and leisurely turns. they note of the rebels have almost nothing, no ground to air missiles to shoot them down. that is the plane making a low pass over us. we have had many weeks of this here now.
civil war best describes what is happening in syria. an air strike a ground this -- an air strike on this neighborhood a few minutes ago. a woman flees barefoot from her home. how many dead, she asks. bashar, you pig, yeah enemy of god, he shouts. these were civilians. there were no emergency services to speak up. neighbors come out to do what they can. then, some good news. real-world are pulled alive from the wreckage of the building.
it is incredible -- three little girls are pulled alive from the wreckage of the building. it is incredible they survived. at 3-year-old boy was buried inside. two girls were playing in the street. god is great rises from the crowd. then they run. another plane is coming. rama is one of the girls we saw rescue. three family members and two friends were killed in the attack. her father is still too afraid of the regime to show his face, but he criticizes the rebels, too. that put an anti-aircraft gun on the next building, he tells us. i ask the commander to move it, he tells me. the bomb seems to have gone through the building with a gun
in place, then exploded in the family's house across the road. a neighbor says that is what happened. they also accused the regime of bombing recklessly, or of deliberately killing civilians. the rebels said they have no choice but to fight. why is the whole world watching and doing nothing, he says. the dead are lying in the streets. we very people in gardens. why is the world protecting bashar? the turmoil elsewhere in the middle east makes intervention here less likely still. on the front lines, the struggle always seems uneven. but they inch forward against the destructive power of artillery and jets. for the time being, at least, syria's rebels know that here on the ground, they are on their own.
>> for more on the unfolding events on the ground in syria, i spoke with our chief international correspondent just a brief time ago. he has gained rare access in damascus. >> you have described damascus as a bubble, insulated from the wider civil war. >> that bubble has been absolutely shattered. the first thing we saw going into damascus today on a sunny day was a huge plume of black smoke rising from one of the neighborhoods, where there is now shelling night and day. we also heard for the first time as night fell, helicopter gunships taking to the skies. there are many more check posts coming into the city and across the city. there are a few places where traffic is brisk, the shops are crowded, and the streets are
open. some are going on about their day as if life was normal, but life is not normal here. as one friend said, we are smiling, but inside, we are burning. >> the fine that the many efforts to resolve this conflict or making any headway at all? >> every single person i have met today, whether it is a syrian intelligence person, someone manning a checkpoint, young people in the street, government officials asking, what do you think is the mission? do you think he can succeed where kofi annan did not? they sort of raise their eyes and put their tongue and say at least four government supporters, it depends on the opposition support, that is countries like qatar and saudi arabia. you talk to the opposition,
because this is a city that is deeply divided, they will say it is the government's fault, it is on them to stop the violence, otherwise this will continue to unravel in all the very bitter and bloody ways we are seeing across the country. city by city, neighborhood by neighborhood. they say we are not just defending our territory, we are fighting back. >> anger over american made video that mocks the profit mohammed has again inflamed the muslim world. a rare appearance in beirut. he said the u.s. must understand there would be dangerous consequences if the complete film is broadcast. in kabul, 1000 afghans held violent protests, burning cars and tires and shooting at police. in indonesia, hundreds of
protesters threw bombs and rocks outside the american embassy in jakarta. with tensions flaring, foreign policies are suddenly being brought to the forefront of the u.s. presidential campaign. for more on international and domestic concerns, i spoke a brief time ago with washington post associate editor bob woodward, author of the new book "the price of politics." following this controversial film about islam, known the president has to do, what is going through his mind as he weighs the response of the administration? >> what can be done about it that is effective? you try to contain them, you try to mollify them as much as you can, but there is not a whole lot, quite frankly. >> in your book, you reflect on
the white house's obsession with the campaign and when -- winning the messaging more. how do you see this latest event playing into the presidential campaign? >> we just cannot tell. it may go on for some time, or it may subside, but what they are doing in the white house is saying what is the second and third downs of this? is it going to go into october, the early part of november before the election and had some resonance? i think because they know they cannot control it, they are crossing their fingers. it is the sort of irrational, angry behavior that obama detests more than anything. >> in your book, you are right in a very disspiriting way about the high wire negotiations over the debt ceiling last summer. if the price of politics this function? >> there is a lot of this
function in all of this, but what has happened this, the united states has 16 trillion dollars in outstanding ious in the world, and we are spending a trillion dollars more each year than we have. so we have to go into the debt market regularly, and it puts everything in jeopardy, in peril. the treasury secretary, tim geithner, here in the u.s., is running around hollering fire. we've got to do something about this. the simple fact is that the politicians have not been willing to come up with a plan that would involve paying for republicans and democrats, something that is a compromise. so we head into this election with the financial house that is not in order. >> you are very clear in this book that this president, unlike
previous presidents, has not worked his will. what are the consequences of that? >> they may be very substantial. president reagan in and president clinton, you can criticize them, and a lot of people would, but they had a way of carrying things over the finish line and getting their way. obama is still distant, somewhat removed from this. he has not engaged on a personal level enough with people, so you see obama reacting intellectually, sometimes with passion, but never to the point, my god, we've got to solve this problem. when i interviewed him for the book at length, he pointed the finger right at the opposition party, the republicans. >> bob woodward, thank you very
much indeed for joining us. what started as a dispute over a small group of uninhabited islands in the east china sea has escalated into a standoff between china and japan. the two countries both claim the territory as their own, and now violent demonstrations have led some of the biggest global brands to shut down the chinese operations. >> anti-japanese protests across china showed no signs of abating. in the southern city, thousands of demonstrators surround the japanese consulate. there anger was in full public display. these are being filled by an escalating territorial dispute between the two countries over islands in the east china sea. demonstrators have been targeting japanese businesses operating in china. we are a few hundred meters away from the japanese embassy and
they say -- and this area -- many of the businesses here are taking protective measures. they are applying the chinese flag in order to stop attacks by angry demonstrators. the flare-up and tensions between china and japan comes as the u.s. secretary of defense visits the region. in japan, leon panetta warned against an escalation of tensions. >> we are concerned by the conflict that is taking place over the islands. the message i have tried to convey is the message that we have to urge calm and restraint on all sides. >> the also announced an agreement to place a second missile defense radar system in japan. the u.s. says it is designed to contain the north korean missile threat, but beijing may not see it like that. china has sent six surveillance
ships to the disputed islands. for now, neither beijing are tokyo appears willing to back down. the worry is a miscalculation by either country could further raised tensions. >> one more note regarding china. president obama filed a complaint against beijing and the world trade organization over what the u.s. says are illegal subsidies. he made that announcement at a campaign speech in ohio after mitt romney accused him of being too soft and china's economic policy. china hit back by launching its own back, challenging u.s. duties on billions of dollars of chinese goods. still to come on tonight's program, the right royal battle in court. lawyers for the duke and duchess of cambridge want the french authorities to stop their magazine publishing intimate
photos of kate. spain's two biggest cities have had disruptions of transport services. subway workers went on strike in madrid and barcelona. hundreds of city services were canceled. welcome thisnoisy morning in madrid. the police faced up to rail workers and protested against possible plans to privatize spain's rail network. elsewhere, things went quiet. some services were canceled as those working on the railways went on strike. >> it is complicated. >> i think the strike is there. they want to privatize the rail sector, and i don't think that
is right. >> spain has one of the best high-speed rail networks in the world. the unions fear the government plans to -- they believe it would mean job losses and rising fares. over the weekend, thousands of public-sector workers and others demonstrated against the spanish government's austerity reform. the unions warned of more protests. but the government here in madrid shows no signs it is ready to change its agenda of the austerity. in fact, towards the end of this month, the economy minister will announce yet more economic reforms and they could include plans to privatize the railways. privatizing the railways would be a crime for some, but for the government it would provide vital revenue as it tries to balance its budget, a task that
is made tougher as the economy is in recession. >> the did conductors of cambridge have begun legal action in paris, trying to halt -- the duke and duchess of cambridge trying to halt pictures showing at the dutchess topless that appeared in a magazine. our correspondent reports. >> a pauper r.o.t.c. scrap in the courthouse of the french lawyer, arriving. he asked the three presiding magistrate to put themselves in the position of the duchess. the magazine had shared without her consent a private moment of intimacy. the balcony in which the royal
couple were relaxing could not be seen with the naked eye. could only be seen with a long telephoto lens. the lawyer acting for the magazine claims there was nothing shocking about the photos. it is an ordinary holiday scene. before the hearing began, papers were filed with the public prosecutor relating to a separate criminal complaint that will take longer to resolve. the trouble is, within the criminal complaint, there is as yet no name. the royals don't know the name of the photographer who intruded on their privacy. in france, the protection of sources is taken very seriously. far away from the court room, the royal couple were concentrating on their continuing tour of the solomon islands. the duke and duchess were each presented with a gift by a group of topless ceremonial dancers, perhaps an awkward moment.
the couple hopes it will serve as a warning, and tonight there were repercussions for the editor of the daily star in ireland, who has been suspended. in italy, in spite of williams' request for restraint, the controversial fios have been reprinted again, this time in a gossip magazine, at over 26 pages. in espartero -- it has sparked a row. the answer is simple, it is a journalistic scoop, an important scoop. why publish them? we are talking about the future rulers of the united kingdom. this is of interest to our readers. inevitably, the publication of these photos will evoke memories of the treatment encountered by williams late mother diana, princess of wales. the truck -- a couple will
discover tomorrow whether they have been successful with their injunction. any redress they do find in france will probably be of limited, symbolic value. >> now for an adventure which must surely be the coldest journey on earth. he has already been to both polls, across the antarctic, and climbed mount everest. what could be left on his list? he is going to cross antarctica in the southern winter. matthew price took on this decidedly brigid assignment. >> they strode, man and machine, for the deep freeze of the arctic night. their breath turn to ice crystals almost as soon as that left their lungs. fingers numb, toes hardened by
the extreme cold, this is exploration at the limits of human endurance. >> this is the way i make my living. this is what i do. you could die out there. >> yes, but more people die on the motorway. >> there is ice on my eyelashes, and yet they will have to cope with temperatures as low as -70 in a car to get today. for up to four months of this track, it will be pitch black. if they finally get across the continent, it will be an astonishing achievement. no one has ever crossed the antarctic but in winter before, so for months, two bulldozers
will drag three industrial sleds. a science lab, living quarters, their supplies and fuel. but there are problems, even here. the almost lost one of the bulldozers. the crosses in the antarctic ice sheet could prove fatal. this is precisely why they do days of testing here. the bulldozer there is pretty firmly wedged in. is stuck at the moment. they could be in big trouble. what is the effect of -70 on the human body? placese all been warm and one of the things that happens as you begin to get cold, very quickly your body says we will shut off the blood supply of your hands and feet. they are not getting more from the body.
freezing of your hands and feet is a real problem. >> night falls, and with it the temperature. but if any of this is to succeed, it is sir reynolds who must make a cross on foot. >> you just must not think about getting old. if you still are lucky enough to be able to walk around, the modest well go for it. >> so the pensioner will push himself to the limit again. matthew price, bbc news, northern sweden, on the edge of the arctic circle. >> the final, freezing frontier. that brings today showed to close. you can find constant updates on our website. to see what we are working on at any time, simply vit our facebook page. for all of us here at bbc world news america, thank you for watching. we'll see you back here tomorrow.
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