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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  February 10, 2015 3:59pm-4:31pm PST

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>> this is bbc world news. >> funding of the presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation. the newman's own foundation, giving all profits to charity and pursuing the common good. kovler foundation. mufg. >> the oldest trees bear the sweetest fruit. at mufg, we believe in nurturing banking relationships for centuries.
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strong financial partnerships are best cultivated for the years to come. giving your company the resources and stability to thrive. mufg, we build relationships that build a world. >> now, bbc world news america. anchor: this is bbc world news america from america. i am a katty kay. assad denies the army has dropped their old bombs on the people. assad: when you shoot, you aim. you cannot have a war without casualties. katty: the white house confirms the death of a hostage and
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thousand her killing will be avenged. meet the women of afghanistan's national cycling team. they are breaking down stereotypes. katty: welcome to viewers on public television and around the globe. as the conflict in syria enters the fifth year assad says he has support of the people and is not responsible for a humanitarian crisis. his comments come among fighting that has claimed 200,000 lives. the fighting continues. he spoke to jeremy. reporter: the officials promised an interview in autumn. with americans tom and islamic
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state, they said that the events were moving too fast. his appearance in a guesthouse at the presidential palace in damascus is a sign he feels more secure. jeremy: i have spent time on the front line with soldiers from the syrian army who insist that they are patriots, not cold-blooded killers. i have interviewed people and other journalists and other human rights people, who have said that they have suffered badly at the hands of syrian soldiers. they cannot have all been line. assad: how sure? why are you sure? jeremy: the weight of testimony. human rights watch has said that the forces loyal to assad have deliberately and viciously attack civilians using indiscriminate weapons,
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notoriously barrel bombs. assad: this is childish. again, if someone was against his people and the regional powers and the west and survived -- jeremy: what about barrel bombs? assad: the army uses all its -- bullets and bombs. i have not heard the army using barrels or cooking pots. jeremy: they explode with devastating effect. assad: they are bombs. we have bombs, missiles, and bullets. jeremy: you would include this under the category of "bombs." they are indiscriminate. assad: when you shoot, you aim. when you aim, you aim at terrace to protect civilians. if you are talking about casualties, that is war.
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you cannot have one without casualties. jeremy: that is a legitimate use of force? assad: of course. there are no barrel bombs. it is like talking about cooking pots. we have bombs, missiles, alerts -- bullets. jeremy: in the fight against islamic state and al qaeda the u.s. says you cannot be a partner in the fight. would you like to be a partner? assad: with who? jeremy: the countries attacking islamic state. assad: definitely, we cannot and do not. we cannot be allied with a country that supports terrorism. jeremy: do you talk to americans? there are american planes in the air all of the time. assad: they do not talk to anyone. they easily trample over
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international law and our sovereignty. they do not talk to us and we do not talk to them. jeremy: i'm serious -- i'm curious that there have not been any incidences between the two. no shots have been traded. no planes shot down. jeremy: correct -- assad: correct. there is no direct communication. through a third-party. more than one party. sometimes, they convey a general message. nothing tactical. jeremy: is that a continuing dialogue through third parties? assad: there is no dialogue. information. no dog dest ilog. -- no dialogue.
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we do something in our territory and we do not tell anyone. jeremy: there are hundreds of thousands of people dead. you have been the commander. you must have responsibility for some of that. assad: according to the constitution and the ethics of the job it is to prevent the country -- defend the country and not run away. jeremy: what keeps you awake at night? what he's the awake at night is the reasons that could affect any human. -- keeps me awake at night is the reasons that could affect any human. it could be personal. jeremy: your job? assad: like any human. jeremy: have you thought about the casualties and felt or understood the pain of the people wounded and killed? assad: this is something we live
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in every day weather from the other side or our supporters. we live with the casualties on a daily basis. they are family. i lost members of my family. i have lost people i have worked with. it is something you live every day with in pain. jeremy: not long after the interview, the air force was attacking a rebel-held suburb of damascus. civilians still live here, short of food and medical supplies. the president rejected the complaint that had blocked relief aid to other besieged areas. the war is made up with layers of conflict. ending the killing it gets more complicated.
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katty: a short time ago, jeremy joined me from beirut. why did the president give you the interview now? jeremy: he is feeling more confident and i have been asking for a few years for the interview. it became clear that we get it in the early part of the ottoman and about september or october. that is where american started calming islamic state. -- bombing islamic state. they said that people are moving too fast and they want to feel more confident. the fact that they are doing it now suggest that they are feeling more secure. katty: did he put any restrictions? did his team put any restrictions on the kinds of questions you can ask? jeremy: no. i said that i would ask some hard questions. you have not given us an interview since 2010 and i have
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a lot to catch up on. he said, "anything you want." he is prepared to answer anything. that speaks to a self-confidence within the man. he is confident he can handle things. whether or not he can -- and thinks he have said -- things he has said have been criticized -- he feels able to take on questions and to try to answer them. katty: there has always been speculation that the president was not the main power in syria. when you interviewed him, did you get the sense that you were speaking to a guy who was running things? jeremy: he sort of -- the way i think of syria is that it is a family business. he inherited the presidency from his father, who had been president since 1970-1971.
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so his father handed the business over to him as the eldest son. he is the chairman. he has a brother who is a high-ranking soldier. there is a sister and cousins around the apparatus. as a result of that, he has to rule by consensus with the inner circle. he is the man out there and we have to assume he is the man at the top. because it is a family business, what goes on around the dinner table, the rest of us will never know. katty: ok. thank you very much. for more on president assad i'm joined by a senator. what did you make of assad.
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he seemed confident. >> it was stunning, the delusion involved in his denial of the barrel bombs and the indifference to the suffering of his people and the millions displaced. nearly 200,000 casualties, largely instigated by his regime. they are responsible for using chemical weapons, darrell bombs, torture, every possible weapon. not just a war against extremists. it began with peaceful demonstrations against his regime. it is a striking denial of responsibility or knowledge of the techniques used by the army. katty: in march of last year, you wrote a letter along with other senators to obama saying that you needed to alter the calculus so the assad no longer believes that he can remain the ruler.
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our efforts have failed. >> our core national interest is in preventing syria from becoming a failed state from where terrorists can attack. i will say that our long-term goal as a country has been to secure a negotiated settlement for the civil war that includes the departure of assad. it has become more impacted and difficult. the emergence of isis is a result of the actions against his people and have calculate -- complicated and further. -- it further. ending the killing for a secure future for the syrian people is admirable and necessary. katty: as you know, many of the allies in the region see assad as a bigger problem than the united states does.
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>> that is a real problem. as long as we remain focused on the fight against isis, the coalition will be strong and successful. the suggestion that there is coordination with the u.s. military has been debunked by the administration. they are not coordinating with a side in the war against isis. the united states people are united in supporting our administration and the hard work in the months and years to come. katty: would you say to the president that he still must go? jeremy: i think assad has the blood of hundreds of thousands of people on his hands. i think a moderate and peaceful future for syria has to include departure. i think that a core lesson of our long war in iraq is that, to
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completely destroy all military, civil, and civic infrastructure, would be deadly. we have to have a scenario that leads to a responsible transition away from assad and his brutal military. katty: thank you for joining me. the white house confirmed that the american aid worker is dead. she was taken hostage by islamic state in syria back in 2013. obama said that she epitomized all that was good in the world. north american editor reports. >> she had gone to help those affected and, like many others found herself in the wrong place at the wrong time and was captured by islamic state fighters. two years earlier, she recorded this.
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>> i am in solidarity with the syrian people. i rejected the brutality and killing that the authorities are doing. reporter: i is claimed she was killed in a jordanian airstrike. -- i.s. claimed she was killed in a jordanian airstrike. she wrote i have a lot of fight left inside of me. i am not breaking down and will not give in, no matter how long it takes. the hope of reunion is the source of my strength. do not fear for me and continue to pray. by god's will, we will be together soon. the president has issued a statement that says the united states will hunt and bring to justice those responsible, no matter how long it takes.
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it also says the horrible action stands in contrast to people like kayla. >> she dedicated her life to serving others. not just serving other people. serving those who are in crisis situations who faced dire circumstances and were relying of the generosity and kindness of fellow human beings to meet their needs. reporter: in her hometown family and friends gathered to pay emotional tribute. >> her calling was to help those who are suffering in her hometown or the other side of the world. she has done more in 26 years than many can ever imagine doing in their lifetime. >> she was my closest friend and my kindred spirit. i'm going to miss her more deeply than words can express. reporter: they prayed until the last moment that this would end in a different outcome. it was not to be.
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she was understood to be the last u.s. citizen held by islamic state. others are still missing in the region. bbc news, washington. katty: as violence at the -- as violence escalates, obama called vladimir putin to urge him to accept a peace deal. the white house as the leader spoke on the phone about the necessity of finding a political solution to the ukraine crisis. you are watching bbc world news america. still to come, after being switched at birth 20 years ago two french girls and their parents are awarded compensation for the swap that change lives. -- changed lives. niger president says that boko haram will be defeated.
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the bbc has the latest for us. reporter: niger's parliament voted to send soldiers over the border into nigeria as part of a regional offensive against boko haram. there have been several attacks. soldiers will join 9000 troops expected from the region. >> boko haram have become a monster and we need to organize ourselves to put an end to the threat. they have no future, god willing. we will beat them. reporter: there is a growing humanitarian crisis. thousands flee the attacks in nigeria. it is getting harder for help to reach them.
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they have been dragged into a conflict that nigeria has failed to deal with decisively. chad has sent troops into the north of nigeria to fight the jihadists. cameroon has been forced to join in the fight. at least 20 people were kidnapped as they headed home in a bus from the market. some of them were dragged from the vehicle and executed. the latest video shows jihadist fighters attacking in broad daylight. they stroll around the compound of a. the video shows how vulnerable some parts of the northeast are. will ross, bbc news. katty: being switched at birth
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has fueled movie plot lines. for the people in our next story, it is a reality. they have been awarded over $2 million in damages after discovering their children were accidentally swapped at a hospital 20 years ago. the girls shared an incubator while being treated for jaundice. reporter: half a million pounds for raising the wrong daughter. sophie spotted the signs after the baby she had given birth to was put in an incubator to recover from john this. -- jaundice. the one she got back had differences in hair and skin. >> she had more hair. i asked what was going on. i could not imagine what had happened. it was odd. i mentioned it.
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the nurse said it was the year of the -- the uv rays. reporter: evidence grew that she was someone else's child. there were local jibe's that she was the post man's daughter. >> i was afraid. was she ok? was she being looked after? i was petrified. reporter: it was a question of gaining a family and losing and identity. >> i found myself with two mothers, two fathers, several brothers and sisters. i could not work out where i belonged. there was my mother. she was not my birth mother. reporter: in france, there is a sense of horror that the mistake
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went undetected for so long. both families have tried to stay in contact. it was difficult\ one mother said -- it was too difficut. lt. one mother said, "too distressing." the verdict mattered. if feels good that this was over. -- it feels good that this was over. there is the relief of knowing who she really is. lucy williamson, bbc news, paris. katty: amazing story. a group of young women in afghanistan are destroying stereotypes. they are members of the national cycling team. they make up for it with massive enthusiasm. reporter: a group of young women
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share a breakfast of bread, jam, and cream cheese. behind the veils and modest dress, they are overturning conceptions of what is possible here. afghanistan's only professional cyclist gives the team a pep talk. every one of the cyclist has had to argue with mothers, fathers uncles to be allowed to join the team. cycling remains scandalous for a majority of evil who follow traditional behavior. the coach was once beaten up. >> my hope is that they can fly the afghan flag. afghanistan should not be seen as champions of drugs. reporter: it is nothing like the
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tailor-made precision machinery. what they lack in the equipment they make up with enthusiasm. competing against pakistan and bangladesh, these girls do not expect to be the world champions. they -- it is the taking part that counts. they are learning a sport from scratch. careers are short. many marry at 20 and drop out. >> we want to become heroes one day. reporter: for those who dare to dream of a different afghanistan from the one that was 20 part i wore, -- torn apart by war, the backdrop of the hindu kush. katty: i love that story.
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the afghan national team. that brings our program to a close. thank you for watching. we will see you back here tomorrow. ♪ >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding of the presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation. the newman's own foundation, giving all profits to charity and pursuing the common good. kovler foundation. mufg. >> build a solid foundation and you can connect communities and commerce for centuries. that is the strength behind good banking relationships.
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at nusmufg, we believe financial partnerships should enuddure the test of time. with time comes change. what matters is that you are strong enough to support it. would build relationships that noble world.
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- we can't bring them with us. - can we have them? - sure. - hands off our chairs! - they said we can have them. (all screaming) - it's showtime! - what kind of mission is this? - i don't have time to explain! my is - odd squad is made possible in part by... - ...a cooperative agreement with the u.s. department of education, the corporation for public broadcasting's ready to learn grant and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. agent olive. this is my partner, agent otto. this is what i had for dinner last night. but back to otto and me. we work for an organization run by kids, that investigates anything strange, weird and especially odd. our job is to put things right again.
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(moaning) who do we work for? we work for odd squad. - i'm so glad you're here, odd squad. - what seems to be the problem? - donny and i were having a picnic and then... this happened. - (both): whoa! - odd squad, i'm so glad you're here! - i already said that, donny. - how am i supposed to know? i'm in a picnic basket! - don't make this about you! - this is not about me! - donny this! - hey! - you want us to help you fix this or not? - (both): please! - how'd you know we'd need the picnicanator gadget? - i didn't. i always carry it. stand back! - donny! finally, brother! i'm glad you're okay! thanks, odd squad! - happy to help.
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- enjoy your picnic. let's go. - they always come through, no matter what. - brilliant. - hey, what do you say we have that picnic? - let's do it, man. ha-ha! - oh no! - (both): our only sister! connie! odd squad! (boat whistle) (phone ringing in background) - so that's how we don't know which one came first the chickenator gadget or the egganator gadget. - hi olive, hi otto. just wanted to stop by and say goodbye. - goodbye? - yeah, we're being transferred to another odd squad office. - wow! i feel like i haven't seen you guys in, like, forever. - me neither. have i seen them before? - you know oda and odelis. their desk is in the hall. - oh yeah! the guys with the chairs! (angel music) - yeah. unfortunately, we can't bring them with us. - mr. o has a strict no-fancy-chair policy. - wait! can we have them? - sure.

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