tv BBC World News America PBS May 23, 2016 2:30pm-3:01pm PDT
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and now bbc world news america. katty: attacks inside the syrian government stronghold so-called islamic state claiming responsibility for bombings in two cities on the mediterranean coast area. president obama starts his trip to vietnam by lifting a long-held arms embargo. china's science revolution is going forward on a massive scale. we will take you to the radiotelescope that dwarfs all its rivals. simply colossal. bigger is better when it comes to astronomy because the larger the dish the more signals can be detected from space. ♪ katty:
welcome to our viewers on public television in america. syrialamic state group in says it infiltrated president assad's coastal heartland and carried out deadly bombings in two cities. syrian state media say 70 people were killed but independent monitors placed the toll much higher at around 150. your simultaneous explosions in the cities where russia has a naval base shocked residents because until now this area has been relatively peaceful. compared to the rest of the country. syria struck today in places many thought safe. for bombs set by the so-called islamic state. ripped through these coastal towns. killing dozens. >> the explosion happened just
as i was parking this is not destiny is a terrorist acts frank: hitting these towns is significant. it is the heartland of president assad's stronghold. very close to the syrian and naval airbases. this attack could intensify the syrian civil war. to the advantage of the islamic state. >> we will continue our efforts to destroy them. we understand that they represent a threat that is palpable to all. frank: islamic state is coming under pressure on the battlefield. it is a long way from being defeated their active across the middle east. they certainly lost ground across the last 12 months. their control of the syrian turkish border has shrunk dramatically.
these latest attacks show that i.s. is still capable of striking in unexpected places. over in falluja jihadis start digging in for a long fight. government has sent its forces to try to retake that city from i.s.. it won't be easy. if the group does lose falluja it is likely to lash out elsewhere. including europe. >> isis today's not as strong as it was in 2014. when it took over much of iraq. however it is able to claim a tax in places like yemen and to libya. frank: the fight for falluja could take months. while it rages, i.s. is likely to continue striking in unexpected places. katty:
for more on this battle i spoke to an official from the state and defense departments who is now at the center for american progress. how significant is it that islamic state has managed to hit these towns? brian: these are cities that are strongholds of this shot machine. -- assad regime. many people flocked there because they were relatively safe. weretargeted areas that able to kill as many civilians as possible. not military targets. it sends a signal that the assad regime may not be as strong in these places as we thought. it could be infiltrators. also a message to the russians. we've seen several messages from the islamic state focusing on russia. the russian jetliner was taken
down in egypt. russian interventions in this region, some cost to them. the weather says is urging the russians to put pressure on president assad. to stop hitting civilians. majority ofast civilian to of been killed have been killed by the assad regime. probably no success. if you look at the most recent efforts. the white house imploring russians to do something and not seeing any success. that is a big flaw in the strategy. winning so heavily on the russians when they are not willing to cooperate. katty: this battle is taking place in falluja. we don't know exactly how many civilians but somewhere between 50000 and 100,000. brian: that would be a difficult battle. falluja was the first city to fall to and one half years ago.
it fell after the iraqi army attacked sunni protesters. it is not fertile ground for a shiite led military force. they may retake the city but the bigger question is will they be able to stabilize it and create the sort of political consensus. katty: is it looking more likely that islamic state gets moved out of iraq over the course of the next few months? brian: the trend is breaking against the islamic state. iraq and syria was much more of a stronghold. there could be a new offensive coming. islamic state is feeling military pressure. that is why they are reacting with the strikes. also in baghdad. katty: president obama has
lifted a 50-year-old ban on u.s. weapons trade with vietnam. in a bid to counterbalance the strength of china in that region. he called a lingering vestige of the cold war. president came here to bury historical and to cement what would once have seen in a possible friendship. the war that killed millions of vietnamese and nearly 60,000 americans and ended with a humiliating american withdrawal 41 years ago. it is no longer an obstacle. hands with vietnam's president in front of the statue of ho chi minh. the man who once symbolized resistance to u.s. power. it is the rising power of vietnam's neighbor china has brought these enemies together.
announcing an end to the embargo. is fullye states lifting the ban on the military embargo to vietnam but has been in place for some 50 years. with all our defense partners, sales will need to meet strict requirements. including those related to human rights. this change will ensure that vietnam has access to the equipment it needs to defend. and removes a lingering vestige of the cold war. the president isn't just dismantling the last vestige of america's war in vietnam. he is also showing that in today's dynamic region the old concerns about human rights and democracy are now trumped by these strategic and commercial diamonds to build new partnerships even with a one-party communist state like vietnam.
china's expanded military presence on an island claimed by vietnam has sparked fears. a robust u.s. presence in the region will curb chinese power perhaps. vietnam's young population of 90 million is eager for the opportunities provided by trade with america. growth years driven by exports. many of those go to the u.s.. in the final months of his presidency obama hopes the foundation he is laying will survive the change in administration in washington next year. future. must look to the not the past, he says. katty: the court has found a police officer not guilty in the case
related to the death of freddie gray in baltimore. his death in custody set off several days of protest. he was the second officer stand trial. the first trial ended with a jury that could not reach a verdict. freddie gray drew -- died last year. candidatendent alexander vander beland has narrowly won austria's presidential election denying his rival the chance of becoming europe's first far right head of state. he was to clear the winner by less than a single percentage point. the former leader of the green party says he hopes to build a new political culture. historiccis has held talks with the grand imam. the vatican said the meeting with the head of the group helped held in great significance for dialogue between catholics and muslims. five years after it froze talks
with the vatican in protest of the comments made by the popeous hope -- benedict. mercury contamination caused by illegal gold-mining is causing deaths. they found mercury levels were above the maximum pollution levels. the government said the area would be suffering from pollution for the next 80 years. the united nations wants to investigate disturbing evidence of civilian deaths by this turkish security forces. they are fighting kurdish militants in southeast turkey. up to 160 civilians have been the turkish foreign ministry denies the allegations. >> in a beautiful place these
are dark times. war has come back to the mountains of southeastern turkey. long fight between turkey and the pkk the armed kurdish group is on again. when the church lifted curfew and pulled back local people went into three basements. looking for traces of at least 100 and women and children who stay there. only a few charred own frack's were left. local forces massacred them. >> on the 30th of january kurdish mps were on the phone
promising and evacuations. they stormed into one of the basements. before the troops left they bulldozed to ruins of the area. they had been pkk strongholds. no crime investigators were able to get to the basements for they were filled with rubble. the army took bodies away. he took me to the side of the basements. his father was killed there. turkeys european allies are letting it get away with murder. turning a blind eye to get turkish help with the wider middle east in crisis.
you have blatantly watched all those atrocities because of the refugees. i am not bothered about europe anymore. what they did or didn't do. the whole world is responsible for what happened here. >> the united nations wants to send human rights investigators into this area. there is no physical trace left of the lives of thousands of civilians, kurdish civilians who lived in this part of town. this is about much more than personal tragedy. turkey matters. it is deeply involved in the war in syria. and a leading member of nato. the eu hope that turkey will be a big part of the solution to the middle east refugee crisis. so instability in turkey is a a problemr europe and for the middle east. in ankara the capital of the government denies any massacre of kurds. violence has spread here too.
the government blames the pkk for civilian deaths in this town. >> what they did was they held them as a human shield. they did not allow people to leave their homes. turkey without kiloton citizens. it is never done it before and it would not do it now. >> many kurds would disagree. turkey's military operations have moved on. from this town to other kurdish areas. the turks say they're going to finish the pkk once and for all. she is listening.
her 20-year-old son was killed in the basement. politics change. heartbreak stays the same. katty: a lot of questions there. you're watching bbc world news america. the economic and political crisis in venezuela is taking a heavy toll. basic services even at hospitals now in short supply. the popstar katy perry is locked in a battle with a group of elderly nuns. over the sale of a convent. a court is expected to rule on the matter on tuesday. it feels more like a castle that a convent. this imposing bill has 21 bathrooms and some 60 bedrooms. heart ofrty is at the
a bitter battle. 87 sister catherine rose finds herself locked out of her own home. fighting the church's she spent a lifetime serving. -- sisters of the immaculate heart sold their house to a restaurateur. katy perry: i kissed a girl and i liked it. >> katy perry thought she had bought the property for $50 million. the church is now fighting in court. that has left the nuns feeling badly let down. has not givene their order a single penny of the profits. >> i feel sad and betrayed. to think that our age we have to be fighting to keep our own
property. this property is spectacular. you can see why there is competition for it. unfortunately that competition has turned into a rather tawdry and unholy dispute. even the sisters who once lived here are no longer united. whatever the courts decide for the convent and appeal is likely. the nuns involved are not planning on ballot silence. katty: the state of emergency continues in venezuela. the economy is spiraling out of control. lines for basic necessities are growing. so is the tension between the president and the opposition. weekend there were military
exercises to prepare the country against what authorities call threats of foreign invasion. >> we have never been more prepared to center -- defend our borders, he said. this weekend they completed operation independence exercises to prepare the country for imminent invasion. it's very much part of the president's rhetoric. this is a crisis made in venezuela and the people are suffering. a few shortages and power outages. they told me they can only have operations if they provide their own supplies. parents having to biennial fitting mask to keep a child alive.
a makeshift emergency room is near an open sewer. doctors say the system is close to collapse. have deaths every day and we have not had basic supplies like saline solution for months. i have purchased medicine with mild money to treat patients. >> venezuela has become a nation of lines. for basic household goods that are now scarce. on country became dependent oil revenue and could not cope when the price crashed. this woman needed nappies for her child. she couldn't even save she could find them. these days there's also nothing on the shelves, she says. he blames the chronic shortages on business elites and foreign
governments trying to destabilize his socialist government. these lines are getting longer and the shortages more acute and attention and foreboding even greater. usegovernment says it will the security forces to defend the revolution at all costs. denouncing opposition protesters as stooges for business interests. venezuela feels primed to explode. international mediators have urged both sides to talk in latin america's most unstable nation. >> and economic situation has been going on too long for venezuelans. is focusingk, bbc on science revolution that took place in china. years ago the nation barely featured in the rankings of science.
now it stands just behind america. one project that illustrates construction of the world's largest radio telescope. rebecca: hidden in the remote mountains of china. a new giant of science is taking shape. this vast construction is the largest radio telescope ever built. because ifpletion you like no other. you get a sense of his things scale. simply colossal. bigger is better in astronomy. the more signals can be caught you from space. deeper into the universe than ever before. we are far behind the world.
i think it is time to build also welcomedhina the international forces. this radio measures 500 meters across. for fans rivals. just over 300 meters wide. the telescope north of england measures 78 meters. fortelescope will listen radio waves emitted in the cosmos. it will help us to see the first stars and galaxies and hurt for -- hunt for signs of extraterrestrial life. it is taken the chinese just five years to build. ita cost of 100 million have is part of the country's unprecedented investment in science on the verge of outstripping even the united states. valleys, this push for
progress is causing problems. these villages will soon have to live in a radio quiet zone where mobile phones and wireless networks will be banned. the government offered the money to move. some are unhappy. >> the compensation is not enough. we haven't moved in. it might be good for the country but for us if we are so sure. >> the telescope is on track to be completed by september. china hopes this supersized project to a world science leader. katty: it is extraordinary how fast china is moving. more news on our website. thank you so much for watching. ♪
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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. >> sreenivasan: and i'm hari sreenivasan. gwen ifill is away this week. >> woodruff: on the newshour tonight: >> it is my responsibility as commander-in-chief not to stand by, but to make sure that we send a clear signal to the taliban and others. >> woodruff: calling the action an important milestone for peace, president obama confirms a u.s. drone strike kills the afghan taliban leader. what this means for the fight against the terror group. >> sreenivasan: also ahead this monday: as candidates head west, our politics monday team breaks down the latest in the race for the white house. >> woodruff: plus, during president obama's trip to vietnam, we take a look at the generation who moved back after escaping the atrocities of war with their parents. >>