tv BBC World News America PBS September 26, 2014 3:59pm-4:31pm PDT
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>> taste, listen, feel. discover the best memories of your life. >> and now "bbc world news america." >> this is "bbc world news america." the british parliament overwhelmingly approved airstrikes on islamic state targets in iraq adding to a growing coalition. on the frontline, kurdish fighters say the airstrikes are making a difference. but more is needed. we have an exclusive report. american football battling with the scandal of domestic abuse.
we look at the impact in texas where the sport is king. welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. today, the british parliament voted overwhelmingly to support airstrikes in iraq. prime minister said it was vital to take on the clear and present threat of islamic state to the vote comes on the same day belgium and denmark also joined the coalition. but all stopped short of agreeing to any action in syria. the bbc's diplomatic correspondent looks at how the effort is shaping up. >> a mission to damage and ultimately defeat isis fighters will be difficult and could take years partly because they have exploited weaknesses in syria and iraq to seize large areas. but now the international
military response is growing more powerful by the day with britain only the latest to join the global coalition. already they are hoping more than 200 strikes against isis in iraq and syria, with british contributions attacking targets but only in iraq. the missions will be run from u.s. central command on orders coordinated with london. france is already carrying out strikes in the country with belgium and the netherlands each pledging six f-16's. denmark announced its connection, seven f-16's they are seen going into action here in libya three and a half use ago. perhaps most important is the active involvement of arab states and the united arab emirates. arabia and the uae struck oil refineries controlled by isis in eastern syria earlier this week. that is vitally important because oil the extremists so
brings in up to $100 million a month from some estimates. it is their largest source of revenue. >> i don't think the military force of any type is enough to the kind of terrorism isis displays. this will take a more concrete is a strategy that involves diplomacy, education, informational efforts and by a very large country know -- coalition. >> how can any military success be measured? partly on maps showing areas where they have control or influence. airstrikes in both countries have forced isis to scatter and give up some land. ul is seen as a crucial test. effectively done, some see it as a queue for david cameron to push for airstrikes in syria, too. there could be a downside to western military action. an au official warned today more
than 3000 europeans may be involved with jihadist and airstrikes increase the risk of retaliation on european soil. the future of the war on the self-stylede best islamic state is unpredictable. increasingly major military powers in europe believe they have to get involved. >> as the military commitment to build the later strikes have targeted isis fighters on the frontline in iraq, from there, our respondent has just sent this exclusive report. >> the front lines between iraq and the so-called islamic state stretch for miles. it is near these winding trenches the british planes will sue me bombing. , the two sides are dangerously close. less than 100 meters away. again and again, the black flag thoughts the skyline -- dots the
skyline. in the past few days, the fight has changed here. the kurdish peshmerga say isis have gone to ground thanks to american aircraft. just the sound of american planes is enough to send fighters scurrying for cover. british tornadoes will soon be joining them. airstrikes are already making a difference. yesterday afternoon on the other side of the river, three local commanders were killed in an american bombing. the peshmerga are telling us when they have defensively pushed them back, they will need more than air support. new guns are at the top of the list. burton has sent new supplies. >> you may have heard the news we are receiving weapons. i am telling you we have not deceived as much as promised. to everyone listening, please send support quickly. >> more than one million have
been displaced here. iraq's people have been divided. if the country is to be pieced back together, it will need outside help. >> we just want to go back to our city, this man told us. whatever drives them out, we just want to be able to take our family's home. >> there is no work, no money. everyone is miserable. if they attack isis, it will be good for the poor people. have faced the islamic state, but this is now britain's fight too. it will be short or easy. >> the latest islamic state offensive has focused on the strategic border town of the bonnie -- kabani inside syria.
the fighting has sent at least 140,000 people fleeing that border into turkey because they fear a repeat of the atrocities committed in northern iraq. our correspondent as the first western journalist to get into kahbani. here is his report. >> turkish territory and safety is agonizingly close. they have been changed here by islamic state. the kingdom of further. --but can go no further. several thousand syrian kurds are stuck on the railway that marks the syrian-turkish border. the problem is as refugees, they cannot take their animals, their livelihoods with them. they believe they will be killed if they turn back. this man says the world has abandoned them. where is the international community? where are our humans rights? where is your conscience? look around you.
behind them lies the town of kob ani, is holding up but only just against islamic state. shops and homes are scattered. the front lines are just 10 minutes drive away. the kurds are likely armed. this is a homemade armored vehicle. but they aren't defiant. but they are defendant. kobani is defended by female forces. quickly fight for our land. no matter what weapons the tomies have, our will fight is stronger. they are closing in on the made in road to kobani. the kurds know they must stop them here or lose the town. the kurds say airstrikes have not stop islamic state from
moving forces up to confront them. pleading for a more decisive western intervention. fighters build themselves on the road to kobani, happy and relaxed. they believe victory is within their grasp. jihadis began a new offensive. we left just as the battle was getting underway. the kurds hope airstrikes will take some of the pressure off of them. but every night, islamic state fighters have been attacking. on this part of the frontline, the jihadis remain as ambitious and dangerous as ever. for more on the growing coalition to take on islamic state, i spoke to the middle east editor in beirut. obviously the u.s. is pleased
with the way things are going. how is the coalition unit in the region itself -- viewed in the region itself? >> inside syria, it is interesting at the moment. the bombing is affecting people in different ways. some are not going in the way the americans or british would like. there has been more support expressed for islamic state. one of the reasons has been the ,ombing of a jihadi rival the al qaeda affiliate, which is more popular on the ground, quite popular in fact. they were fighting islamic state. now there are people in social media saying they should get together and jihadis should stick together at a time like this. as well as that, one of the big weaknesses of president obama's strategy which is trying to get local fighters to do the ground americans, one of the problems is it would be reliant on sunni rebels.
they have a priority of trying to get rid of the assad regime in damascus, not necessarily fighting islamic state, so the americans have to win some trust. questions are being asked about where the americans were when chemical weapons were used, where were the americans and allies when sunnis around damascus were starving? there is a trust element as well. i think all this means the americans, the british, and allies have plunged into the very complicated politics of the war in syria and what is happening in iraq as well. that is something not going to be an easy ride for them because it is desperately convoluted and deadly. our middle east editor in beirut. for more on the vote in britain to join the u.s. led airstrike in iraq, i spoke with the former assistant secretary of state.
he joined us from boston. ambassador, thank you for joining me. the u.s. has military power. it has other allies. what is the significance of today's vote in parliament to join strikes in iraq? >> it is highly significant because the united kingdom is our most important and valuable ally in the world. the fact we will have the assistance of the united kingdom and france, which has been striking isis targets, is very important militarily. i think it is important symbolically. this is an arab coalition. it is north american and now european. >> you won't have british support for targets inside syria, which you have described as the same battlefield as a rock. does that matter? same is certainly the battle space because isis has headquarters and most infrastructure in syria. the battle has to be taken to them in syria. the united states is doing that. it would have been preferable
for the united kingdom and france to have agreed to have been active in syria. if they cannot, it is vital to have them with the united states in iraq because isis has taken over a large portion of the western and northern parts of iraq including mosul. i think it is a very positive decision by u.k. parliament. >> does a question the legitimacy, the fact that the u.k. will not back strikes? >> no, i think it says more about domestic politics in the u.k., france, and europe than it does about the u.s. decision. the u.s. has been encouraged by many countries to strike at isis, many arab countries, inside syria. you have not seen a protest this week by the russians or chinese. certainly not the syrian government. syria is in a terrifying civil war. isis is one of the major contributors to that civil war. i think most reasonable people around the world would agree if isis can be defeated or
contained in syria, it is going to help the refugees in syria. it is certainly going to allow the international community to think about a cease-fire in syria. i think this has been a major reason why there are so many refugees in the northern part of syria. >> we are being told this is nothing like the last campaign in iraq. it is nothing like 2003. there are no boots on the ground. how much has that specter of 2003 affected the way the fight has been taken to islamic state? i think president obama has made the correct decision for us. we are quite willing to be part of or even lead an international coalition against isis through air power. but most of the work has to be done by the arabs themselves, by moderate syrian rebel groups, the iraqi army in northern iraq,
the peshmerga kurdish forces in iraqi kurdistan. the key battle will be whether or not the tribes in embarq province-- and bar will rise up the sunni tribes against isis. when the sunni tribes rose up against al qaeda in iraq in 2007 and 2008, that is why the surge was so effective back then. the surge of u.s. forces. i think president roo obama will beat resistant to ground forces because of the bitter experience between 2003 and 2011 in iraq. >> thank you for joining me. .> thank you >> about 200 demonstrators in hong kong have stormed a government compound over how to elect the next city leader. protesters broke through barriers and climbed over fences to get into the forecourt
outside the city government headquarters. some have been injured. others detained. hong kong students have been on strike this week to demand china's leaders give the territory more democracy. you're watching "bbc world news america." still to come, american football is coming under pressure to change after high-profile problems. the impact is going far beyond the pros. leader is one who loves the spotlight. when he disappeared from public view recently, the speculation started. now we have an answer for why he is lying low. state media says he is suffering from an uncomfortable physical condition. steve evans reports. >> it is the empty chair which is significant. this is a supreme meeting of the rulers of north korea, minus the supreme ruler of the mall. it is the first time since kim
jong un inherited power from his father three years ago he has not been present. the north korean authorities said he was feeling discomfort. how serious an admission of ill health that is remains unclear. it is more than three weeks since he last appeared in public with a limp. kim jong un has been a thorn in the side of the west as north korea develops nuclear weapons and missiles to deliver them. he rules and isolated country squeezed by sanctions. anyway, kim jong un dominates the life of the people in south korea. he has used bloodcurdling threats. he is developing nuclear weapons aimed at this country and the united states. this place buzzes with speculation. having said all that, not much is to be made of the speculation. after all, he vanished from public view for two weeks last year.
kim jong un is not a man who shuns publicity. he usually travels the land he rules with cameras nearby. he is a man to be feared. last year, his uncle and political mentor was executed. the official statement from north korea about his illness says he continues as later. but this must raise questions about the seriousness of the illness and his ability to continue. bbc news, seoul. college football in america is a multibillion dollar sport. the top 10 largest sport venues in the u.s. are all university football stadiums. not nfl. with the professional league hit by abuse scandals and the behavior of its athletes under the scrutiny, some are wondering if college and even high school football might be partly to blame.
we have this report from waco in texas. on thisootballers training field might be the most valuable assets of the university or town. since the baylor bears started doing well five years ago, the number of people applying to study at baylor skyrocketed. it has brought profile, attention, and huge amounts of cash. team like-and-coming this has spent nearly $270 million on its new football stadium. even though it has the capacity of over 45,000, it managed to sell out every ticket for every game at the beginning of the season. footballrity, college now rivals the american professional league, the nfl. televised college games have made young athletes like alar's -- baylor's big stars. >> just the atmosphere, to see
the fans happy cheering us on, it is an amazing atmosphere. it is electric. it is part of the reason we are so successful is 18 now. --is how college football how is cause the ball reacting to the nfl? some high profile players have been suspended for domestic violence. ray rice was caught on camera punching his fiancée in the face. college players at baylor are already being coached to turn -- learn lessons from what happened. >> is something we want to make sure we don't get in the headlines for. we had a meeting the other night with a broad and a speaker to talk about violence against women to make sure we stay ahead of the game. >> there are many, even on the campus who feel players star status from an early age has contributed to the problem. >> people treat them like celebrities in college even. they think they are higher than
everybody else and can do whatever they want. >> i feel like it starts in high school. the mentality is probably built up. once you get away with something one time, you're like, i can get away with that always. >> they might not look it, but these are teenagers. this is not a college game, but a high school one. the players are already very much in the spotlight. if the nfl is serious about dealing with abusive behavior, many feel they have to start here, taking a look at the elevated status given even to the game's youngest stars. bbc news, in waco, texas. >> for more on the culture of college football in america and the scrutiny currently plaguing the nfl, i'm joined by the sports columnist for "usa today." very interesting points raised in that piece. do you think college and even high schools are partly to blame
for this culture of impunity among football players? >> absolutely. i think we could go down to junior high and middle school. everyone who has been to an american high school knows the quarterback is going to be treated fairly than the other kids in the school. it happened at my high school with her was no hope of anyone: professional. it happens anywhere. there's something about our adoration of the athlete and much more than the girl athletes . football is our national pastime. it seems to work its way up through the system. >> it is also about business even at that level. when you have a team that can make or break the college itself, how do you change that culture? >> i don't know how you do a story like this can become such a watershed moment that everyone is talking about it. the young men in the piece saying they have had the conversation about this and don't want to be in the headlines for this, of course they don't. you don't want to treat people this way.
but the fact this nfl news, the domestic violence story, is permeating our society in such a way that college football players are talking about it, that is one positive out of a horrible story. >> let's talk about what the pros are doing. you have interviewed the nfl managers, including the team of women they have brought on as advisers. what are they doing? >> one of the first things they did was help fund the domestic violence hotline, which was overwhelmed with phone calls in the wake of the ray rice video. a terrible video. a positive development. women calling in talking about abuse or allegations. nfl is putting money toward that. the fact they have brought in some heavy hitters, real leaders in the fight against a must violence and are bringing them into the nfl, i also think that is a good thing. many of us have been dissatisfied with the reaction, the fact it could take months before something happens. on the other hand, the nfl is doing something.
other pro leagues are doing nothing. at least the nfl seems to be trying in the wake of the scandal. >> he says it could -- you say it could be months before anything happens. how do you measure progress on this issue? >> more phone calls and reports. the question is, will they do that in the wake of ray rice losing his livelihood and his wife saying how horrible it was he was punished in this manner. it might have a chilling effect, which would be a terrible thing. the bottom line is to get rid of domestic violence. it will never happen completely. but if yothis shines a light on it and experts can say these things are not happening now in a few years, i think that would be progress. >> i have been amazed by the fact some women are still supporting these players. do fans care? >> fans are fans. but it is mind-boggling they are doing that. >> thank you for joining me on
what continues to be a very highly debated issue. that brings today's broadcast to a close. you can find much more on all the day's news at our website. to reach me and most of the bbc team, simply go to twitter. for all of us at "world is america," thank you for watching and have a great weekend. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits to charity and pursuing the common good for over 30 years, kovler foundation, beijing tourism, and union bank. ♪ >> taste, listen, feel.