tv BBC World News America PBS February 15, 2016 2:30pm-3:01pm PST
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>> welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. the crisis in syria has claimed yet more civilian victims today. the u.n. says close to 50 people were killed when air strikes hit military facilities and schools. one of the attacks was on a field hospital. carried out by russian forces. the claims and counterclaims come ahead of a scheduled pause in the fighting. our correspondent reports. >> in northeast syria workers scramble over the rumble of a hospital in syria to find survivors. russia is being widely blamed. trying to win it back for president assad. >> the hospital is completely
destroyed. we report at least seven deaths among the personnel and the patients. at least eight personnel are killed. >> to the north a missile hit a children's hospital and a school apparently sheltering refugees, fleeing from the joint russian offensive. this is meant to be the week hen fighting winds down. tonight, president assad has been on sirenian-state television pouring buckets of very cold water on talk of a ceasefire. a week to prepare is not enough, he said. it means stopping terrorists, strengthening their positions and doesn't mean each side stops using weapons. russia is making clear in this conflict it has no intention of giving up the bombing and see the pattern of its strike, let's
ok at a map showing most areas. note the extremists here in red that washington believes are the legitimate targets. russia sees no distinction and hopes president assad can win. so why? russia has its own naval base in syria. partly because putin and former president and president assad's father was allies and wants the alliance to survives and has been suggested that putin is enjoying the migration crisis in europe dividing and weakening the european union. >> the russians can end this and make this by scaling back their bombing and redirecting against the real terrorists rather than bombing the moderate opposition. if you they think moderate
opposition are going to lay down their weapons, they're wrong. that's not going to happen. reporter: russia shows no change of course. they are in a war of words with turkey. washington is urging cooler heads. but the crestation of hostilities can hardly be relied on. anchor: to more on the situation, i spoke to p.j. crowley. cessation of hostilities cannot be relied on, can it? >> no. in a very fluid like this one, it's several conflicts. not surprising that everyone is jockeying to try to grab as much territory and leverage before the next round of negotiations. anchor: president assad said that a ceasefire doesn't mean an
end to using weapons. so what does a ceasefire mean? >> whatever consider happen, if you can get humanitarian aid delivered to any of the syrian people, that's a positive. by the same token, this is a limited ceasefire and doesn't include the islamic state or al-nusra and obviously you have in the syrian regime momentum on their side. they are trying to encircle the city. so this will be obeyed in part, but the vial ns will continue. anchor: the white house condemned in the strongest terms the intense bombing we are seeing. but isn't russia the dominant player in the region because of its role supporting president assad? >> i don't think russia is the dominant player in the region but one has to acknowledge that their strategy in syria has
worked. they were afraid of the collapse of the syrian regime. now we have to live with the prospect that assad will survive for the indefinite future and complicates the ability to get to a political resolution because while we look for a resolution, most of the players within syria, those are connected and you are not likely to end the conflict without getting rid of assad. anchor: isn't that a strategic mistake that the americans are focused on to focus on assad? >> they do not see syria by itself as a vital interest and because of iraq, it's not prepared to insert itself to impose a solution and in the process or own whatever happens after assad goes. and that's the dilemma for the united states. it's a rational policy but
obviously one that leaves the syrian people. >> angela merkel said she is in favor of a no-fly zone but has that idea or time has passed? >> i don't think so. but the dilemma is someone is going to have to enforce it and there is a lot of talk about ground forces that may crystalize at a point and the one value if you can get a pocket of stability you have the ability to insert ground forces to zablize it but that will be the leap that the administration has not been able to make up to this point. anchor: this weekend, the unexpected news that supreme court justice scalia came as a shock to the nation and for his conservative views and rulings, he had friendships that crossed ideological divides. it was politics as usual. the republicans saying that
president obama's successor should choose the next justice while the white house says it successor.te a professor gonzalez before we turn to the politics of this, you knew justice scalia. how significant a figure was he on the u.s. supreme court? >> very significant. people viewed him as the corn stone of the conservative vement and he was very influential on the court and sheer talent and his intellect was renowned. a brilliant mind, energetic and a justice of great consequence. anchor: turning to the question of who replaces him. president obama has 300 days left in office. does he have the constitutional
authority to nominate a new supreme court justice? >> there's no question about that. under the constitution, the power has the power to fill vacancies on the supreme court. and if the shoe were on the other foot and republican in the white house and democratically controlled congress i would expect the republican president to make a nomination and have a qualified individual and the president would do his job and rely upon the senate to do their job and that's the thing people need to understand around the world. the senate is going to be very careful and deliberate before doing anything here, even under normal circumstances. and obviously, these are somewhat unique circumstances in america with the presidential election coming up this november. we'll see how politics affects the politics of senate going forward even if president obama nominates someone. anchor: is it dangerous of the authority of the supreme court
the way it has become politicized, the question of the next justice? >> for quite some time, the argument or selecting the justice has become politicized. i'm not sure it is good for the court. even if. and hopefully the new justice serves on the court sets politics aside and sets aside their own personal biases and makes decisions according to the constitution or best interpretation of the statutes passed by congress. that's the ideal situation. i would like to hope that could continue even though we are operating under unusual circumstances with respect to this particular vack cansy. anchor: the next justice could shift the power on the court. sn't that way this is so
politicized? >> absolutely. one of the factors i considered is the confirmation calculus and where we are trying to fill a vacancy that was a swing vote on a coat and a court divided by idealogically, republicans are going to try to hold on to this conservative seat and president obama has different views based upon my experience in terms of what a supreme court justice or how a justice should discharge their constitutional responsibility. what's at stake here is a shift in the balance of the court. anchor: thank you very much for joining us. >> it's my pleasure. anchor: the president of the -- e.u. could break up if the u.k. decides to leave. talks in britain are at a
critical moment. the british prime minister has been demanding concessions before a referendum is held. pe francis has asked mexican indigenous people for the way they were excluded from society. after a new decree, the pope used the open-air service to say the world faces one of its greatest environmental crisis. $21 million worth of jewelry mrs. ce belonged to marcos will be up for auction. mrs. marcos has long tried to prevent the sale. the authorities are selling now in case the couple's son wins an election to become vice president. it has been 17 years since the massacre at columbine high
school that left 13 people dead. but the images of that dead are seared into the minds of many americans. two students shot teachers and students. one mother is speaking out, writing a book about her experience and hoping to help others. she sat down with bbc. reporter: columbine high school lies 50 miles south of denver. in 1999, it's name became infamous when two students calmly drove their cars packed with explosives, guns and grenades into a school parking lot and set about destroying the school. this wasn't a moment of madness, it was a cold-blooded massacre, months and months in the planning. >> the high school turned into a
killing field. >> he shot the girl and shot her in the head in front of me. >> this was clearly the most devastating and traumatic scene i have ever seen and hope to never see it again. >> i don't think i really knew anything until that evening. it was such a day of confusion. we had police come to our home. we were asked to leave our home and sat outside and sat on the ground all day. >> you must have thought that it was more likely that your son was involved in the shooting as opposed to being shot. >> we could hear through the window the television had been left on and one point we heard 25 people are dead. and i remember at that point thinking, if dillon is really
doing this, he must stop. and at that moment is when i really -- i prayed for him to die. i thought something has got to stop this whatever is going on. it took me a very long time to believe, months to believe that my son was actually responsible for killing and hurting people. up until that time i believe i was living in an extreme state of denial. >> it must have been a strange thing to compute between them. dillon and eric were going to blow up the whole school. >> that was one of the most difficult moments of this entire process because i had to go through so many phases of accepting this and accepting that they were there and hurt people and it was purposeful and it was planned and it wasn't impull siffness and after the police report to learn that
their plan was to kill everyone in the school and when i thought of that and thought of the magnitude, i really didn't think i was going to live through it. >> do you think there were signs there that you missed? >> i think there were. in particular, the fact that in his junior year, several things happened to him. we had all those issues. he got arrested. he got in trouble at school, he had scratched a locker at school. i did not recognize that those things meant that there was a potential life and death situation and i didn't recognize these were possible signs of a mental condition. that's why i wrote this book because i wanted people to understand that when children act out or show anger, it may not be that they're just being difficult and need a lecture.
it may be that they are ill. >> people are going to read this book and interpret it in a lot of different ways and a lot of different groups, victims' families, survivors, what would you say to them? >> i have this feeling of wanting to say over and over again i'm sorry. i'm sorry. i'm sorry. and i know that such a thing is so completely inadequate. i'm just so sorry what he did. >> sue klebold speaking there. you are watching "bbc world news america." hundreds of letter between pope john ii and a female philosopher
revealed after years. police in australia made a drug bus. officers seized about a billion worth of methamphetamine. the drugs were hidden in push-up bras. we have reports from sydney on the police action. >> in one of the biggest drug raids in australian history, the police went in with force. today, they released footage of the moment the suspects' houses were raided. under a news conference, officers declared a major victory in australia's war on ice. a tool, padded bras were an unlikely device. hundreds of millions of pounds worth of liquid methamphetamine.
>> the operation began last year when they observed a shipping container out of hong kong. the shipping container was found to contain bra inserts and nside was 190 liters of liquid methamphetamine. >> they raided warehouses where they found further drugs disguised as art supplies. australia has the highest use of methamphetamine in the world, smuggled down from asian china. >> this is a devastating blow. and it shows you if you target the australia market. we have the resources to prosecute you. in this case because of the large quantities of these drugs, they could be imprisoned for life. >> four men from hong kong have been arrested and charged with
drug offenses. anchor: hundreds of letters written by pope john paul ii have emerged. uncovered by the bbc, the letters were hidden in the national library of poland. our religious affairs correspondent reports there is no evidence or suggestion that he broke his vow of celibacy. reporter: this is the story of the pope's letters with his closest female friend. pope john paul ii was writing to a married woman, professor tymieniecka. >> when you have a strong man and attractive woman in a very intense relationship that is cultivated and which engages
mind at a high level of intensity, there's danger everywhere. reporter: the letters have been hidden away. pope john paul let their friendship grow, writing god gave you to me, made you my vocation. the future pope invited to join him and others on country walks, skiing holidays and camping trips. she invited the then cardinal to stay with her family in new england in 1976. after the trip, the man was struggling to make terms of his friendship. one from 1976 says, my dear, i have received all three letters. you write about being torn apart, but i could find no answer to these words. later his letters looked back to that trip in new england like this one saying, i'm thinking about you and in my thoughts i come upon fret every day.
and her letters are not publicly available. >> i do believe she completely fell in love with him during the first phase of their relationship. it is reflected in the correspondence. >> john paul ii died in 2005 and the extent of her role in his life has until now have remained hidden. there is no is suggestion that the pope broke any vow, but the letters show the human side of a much loved pope being one of the lonliest jobs on earth. anchor: read an extended article on the letters exchanged between the two on our website as well as background information on the former pontiff. go to bbc.com/news. the greats in the music world will gather for the grammy
awards. four-handed pianists took the music to an art form. twin sisters started playing together in iran and now in canada. wife their story. piano music playing] we were playing ballads. we started playing piano when we were eight years old in tehran, iran and started to play classical music. and our grandfather played. . r father also played
some people ask us if it is easier to play together in terms of communication and in terms of us being twin sisters. it's not a matter of being easier. ometimes you have emotion. have this fusion and playing and it should be as if it is one erson. anchor: brilliant twins. maybe i could get my trouble to do that. that brings us to a close. find much more on our website.
go to twitter. i would love to hear from you. from all of us here, thank you for watching and please, tune in tomorrow. >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good, kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs, and sony pictures classics now presenting "the lady in the van." >> an educated woman and living like that.
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. gwen ifill is away. on the newshour tonight: what the death of justice antonin scalia means for the future of the supreme court, and the race for the white house. also ahead, we look at justice scalia's three-decade legacy on the court. and, why the residents of freddie gray's baltimore neighborhood don't trust the city's big hospitals. >> it takes a long time, i think, for people to understand that the days of hidden experimentation are over. >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour.