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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  August 12, 2016 2:30pm-3:01pm PDT

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>> this is "bbc world news america." 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 aruba tourism authority. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here, in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the island with warm, sunny days, cooling trade winds, and the
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crystal blue caribbean sea. nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at aruba.com. >> and now, "bbc world news america." anchor: this is "bbc world news america." a wave of bombings target cities in seaside resorts in thailand. four people are killed in what the thai government calls acts of sabotage. hillary clinton releases tax last year's tax returns and challenges donald trump to do the same. we hear from another candidate who decided to run this week. and michael phelps's ruling in rio. back in his native baltimore, many young athletes are dreaming of following in his winning strokes.
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welcome to our viewers on public television in america and also around the globe. a number of tourist resort towns across southern thailand have been the target of attacks. 11 last triggered by made explosives and fire bombs have killed four people and injured dozens more, including foreigners. thai police described the attacks as sabotage but ruled out international terrorism. our bangkok correspondent jonathan head has this report. jonathan: the bombs were small but for those nearby, they were deadly. this is a sedate seaside resort popular with retirees from europe. 2 explosions shook the town center on a busy thursday evening just before a long weekend. >> about six of us, number of
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them on holiday from the u.k. we were enjoying a good time, the music was quite loud, and all of a sudden we saw a commotion. we left the seats where we are here and headed around the corner and people were shouting "bomb, bomb." there were obviously chaotic scenes. no flashing lights or anything to indicate the presence of an ambulance. there was eight to 10 bodies on the floor. i could see that. jonathan: it turned out hua hin was not the only part of thailand being attacked. there were 11 blasts in all in five provinces. but why, and who was responsible? thai police say it is too soon to speculate. but they insist it was not terrorism. they are describing it as just domestic sabotage. but an operation on this scale hints at an experienced group making a political point. perhaps the separatist insurgents who have been fighting the thai army in the
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deep south, or groups out to embarrass the military government. the unnatural quiet on the main road in hua hin on what should be one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year is a very worrying sign for the thai government, because more than at any other time, the country depends on tourism for its economy, and that is exactly what the bombers were targeting. the tourist industry has proved remarkably resilient for three decades. and will probably bounce back again. but that may depend on how well the thai authorities investigate these attacks and whether they can prevent anymore from happening. jonathan head, bbc news, hua hin, thailand. rajini: for more on these attacks i spoke a brief time ago with a specialist on southeast asian politics and security. he is a professor at the national war college in washington. thanks very much for joining us. thai officials say it is too soon to speculate on who is
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behind us but say it could be domestic sabotage. what is your take on that? >> it is too soon right now. there have been no claims of responsibility. i think it is clear that we can write off foreign attacks such as isil. this is clearly domestically motivated. but that still leaves 2 broad categories of suspects, southern malayan insurgents who have been fighting for their own homeland for 13 years now, or it could be radical political opponents of the military regime that came to power in the coup of may 2014. rajini: which of those do you think it is likely to be? >> i honestly cannot say right now. i could argue it both ways. if it is in the insurgents, it is in their technical means to do it. it would be a bit beyond them logistically to do this.
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most of their targeting in the past 13 years has been confined to the three southernmost provinces. but that said, they certainly are able to do something like this and they have the motivation to do so. violence has been dropping steadily in the deep south over the past few years. it is much harder for them to operate and carry out attacks, and at the same time, the military has really halted any peace process and the new just-passed charter makes any devolution of powers impossible. rajini: a lot of these were tourist destinations. 11 different blasts. what was this designed to do, to cause maximum impact on tourism? >> yes, the ied's were quite small and where they were placed was not meant to maximize
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casualties. this was an assault on the thai economy. i think we have to understand that the military junta, they feel themselves legitimate rulers of the country, but they have a lot of political opponents. the country still -- this is a very divided society. and their achilles heel in all of this is their management of the economy. foreign direct investment has plummeted since they took over. exports are anemic. so the last key to the economy is tourism. 10% of gdp. and so going after tourists is a way to put pressure on the regime. rajini: thanks very much for joining us. >> thanks very much for having me. rajini: in a surprise move, vladimir putin has fired one of most powerful men in the kremlin, his chief of staff. and has replaced him with an
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envoy on environmental issues. mr. putin is quoted as saying that sergei ivanov left of his own request, which has been met with skepticism. the two have been close collaborators since soviet era. mr. ivanov has been replaced by his former deputy. this comes amid a week of rising tensions between russia and ukraine. today russian prime minister dmitry medvedev threatened to break diplomatic ties with kiev. over reported security incidents. russia says it deployed an air defense system to crimea. the territory was annexed from ukraine two years ago. comes after russia accused ukraine of mounting an incursion into crimea. for more on what this escalation could mean, i spoke a brief time ago with a former state department official, now at the mccain institute. why is this flaring up now? >> the russians claim the
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ukrainians are trying to launch an incursion and stage terrorist acts in crimea. the ukrainians have denied this. let's remember that a little over two years ago russia a nnexed crimea from ukraine. they invaded it rather stealthily, annexed it and moved further into eastern ukraine after the success in crimea. this is recognized by the international community as ukrainian territory. but it is currently occupied by russia. rajini: things are escalating. could this be the brink of war? >> tensions are certainly heightened, no doubt about it. we have seen military movements. it could be a normal rotation of forces by the russians in crimea, but the ukrainians have upped readiness of their forces along the crimean border and the eastern part of ukraine. there is reason to be worried about this. we have to understand that putin is looking at this not just
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vis-à-vis ukraine in its own right but given the domestic realities inside russia. you mentioned the change today, the removal of his chief of staff, and this is the latest in a number of personnel move we have seen in russia in the past few months and putin has to keep that in mind, too. rajini: how significant is the demotion of his chief of staff? >> i think this is a pretty serious move. he was with putin for many years, including when he went to be prime minister 2008 to 2012, he was his deputy prime minister. also seen others who were moved out of their beenions, people who have close to putin over the years, including the customs chief and others. there is a lot going on inside russia, and putin is looking at
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parliamentary elections on september 18 and there does seem to be nervousness about that. the economy remains pretty stagnant. rajini: i've been reading that vice president joe biden spoke to ukrainian officials earlier. what is the u.s. likely to do? >> frankly, it should be president obama, not the vice president of the united states. i know president obama is on vacation but this is an issue that requires his attention and leadership in the message should be that we stand with ukraine. and the united states will support ukraine during this crisis and any other crisis. but the key is to make sure the west stands up against further russian aggression and keeps the sanctions in place and warns putin that further sanctions will be imposed if russia launches another military act against ukraine. we need to keep pressure on moscow as much as possible. rajini: thank you very much, david kramer. >> thank you. rajini: in other news from around the world, a senior u.s. defense official told the bbc
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that the leader of the so-called islamic state in afghanistan and pakistan has been killed in a u.s. drone strike. the afghan ambassador to pakistan has said other i.s. commanders were killed in the attack. andident santos of colombia a nicolas maduro of a venezuela have reached an agreement to partially reopen their borders on saturday. pedestrians will be able to cross 5 designated spaces for 15 hours a day. venezuela close to the border a year ago on security grounds. hasfrench resort of cannes banned for body head covering swimsuits on its beaches. the ban on the so-called burkinis follows a series of extremist attacks in france. the mayor of cannes said ostentatious displays of religious affiliation could disrupt public order. anyone wearing the government could face a fine of $40.
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a top american diplomat has apologized to one of india's most famous actors after he was detained at los angeles airport. it is the third time the star has been held while trying to enter the united states. washington previously denied allegations that the actor was singled out because of his name. today hillary clinton released her tax returns from last year , revealing that she and her husband earned $10.6 million and paid a federal tax rate just above 34%. the release was a challenge to her rival, donald trump, who has refused to release his findings, saying they are under audit. it is the latest twist in the campaign that has been full of them. this week, former c.i.a. officer evan mcmullin announced he is running as a conservative alternative to mr. trump. the bbc sat down with him to
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learn more. mr. mcmullin: donald trump was losing to hillary by 10%. polls show he is doing worse in certain states that are important for the election. donald trump is a weak candidate, a weak person, and he has no chance of beating hillary clinton. reporter: at what specific point during his campaign did you think, this is not the guy for me? and is never going to represent me? mr. mcmullin: there have been so many points i don't know where to start. anytime he attacks someone based on their religion or race or where they came from -- reporter: his talking about banning muslims from coming to this country. what upset you about that? mr. mcmullin: so many things. that is not who we are as a country. we welcome people of all faiths, people of all skin colors, ethnicities to this country. that is who we are. our founding fathers started the country so we could have the
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freedom to worship the way we want. the reality is muslims -- what donald trump doesn't know because he has never had any national security experience -- the muslims play key role in our efforts against isis. they are key partners. we cannot be as effective as we can be and are at times without the help of muslims. reporter: you experienced that yourself in your former life as an agent? mr. mcmullin: i have experienced that firsthand, absolutely. reporter: if you had to have a choice, in a word, would it be trump or clinton? mr. mcmullin: i really believe they are both not right for this country now and i have a lot of conviction around the idea that this country needs a new generation of leadership. reporter: how is you standing going to change that? at least those two candidates have a clear goal, donald trump to get in the white house and hillary clinton to get in the white house. mr. mcmullin: our goal is the same.
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reporter: for the next 3 months, the successful campaign will be you in the white house? you heading to the inauguration in january? mr. mcmullin: yes, we believe that can happen and we are going to work very hard to do it. obviously, we recognize the timing is not optimal. we got in at the last moment when we realized no one else was going to do it. but we are going to fight hard. and it has been amazing how many americans -- we have been at this for 4 days and it has been absolutely incredible how many americans of all types have reached out and supported our cause, both with donations, volunteering to help, and on so many levels. reporter: really, what chance do you think you have? mr. mcmullin: i think we have a chance. there are many paths to victory here. each candidate in order to win, myself and the others, need a majority of the electoral college. the other thing is that i don't know that donald trump is going to be able to make it through this race. he is collapsing right now.
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and he is not coming back. he is down for the count. when that happens, all kinds of new opportunities -- people on the republican side are looking for something new. this is a new age, and we believe it is possible -- we wish we had more time but we are going to work very hard and rally americans across this country to support us. rajini: you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's program, fidel castro gets a celebrated 90th birthday. we look back on some of the influences on the longtime cuban leader. now, we know it is in the icy arctic waters and feeds on fish, but what isn't known about the greenland shark is how long they live, until now. a new method to determine their age has led to amazing results. reporter: large, slow, and
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mysterious, the greenland shark, a great survivor of the natural world. hunted for its oil in the last century, the species somehow kept going. but no one knew how long these creatures could live. now some caught accidentally in fishing nets were analyzed with astounding results. one was about 400 years old. which researchers say makes finding one all the more exciting. >> it has always been amazing to see a greenland shark, no matter the size, but catching this extremely big shark and knowing that it was hundreds of years old, that was an absolutely amazing experience. reporter: the oldest of the sharks analyzed was brought back and analyze during the reign of king james i and reach sexual maturity when washington began the fight for american independence 150 years later. by contrast, this whale previously thought to hold the
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record only appeared at the time of the battle of waterloo. and the oldest giant tortoise, nearly two centuries old, was born shortly after that. there are sponges and trees that are much older, but vertebrates, creatures with a backbone, this shark is the oldest. scientists initially thought they got it all wrong about this strange creature of the arctic. but then they confirmed that the sharks really were centuries old. the task now is to track them with satellite tanks, a grim process but the only way to understand how these creatures live and to improve the chances of their survival. rajini: for decades he was washington's nemesis and survive countless assassination plots. but on saturday, fidel castro
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turns 90. the leader of the cuban revolution still provokes strong feelings in both countries. even now he has chimed in with his opinions on the thaw in relations between washington and havana. from cuba, a look back on casters early influences and his enduring impact. reporter: "i wasn't born political," fidel castro once wrote. "but from very young i observe things that helped me understand the realities of the world." he observed them here in the rural poverty of his birthplace. his former home is now a museum, painstakingly preserved for tourists and left-wing pilgrims keen to see castro's roots. his father was an immigrant and a wealthy landowner and it is said that it was seeing the exploitation of haitian sugarcane workers first influenced young fidel's fledgling worldview. his half-brother still lives in the town. "he would go over to the haitians' homes," he remembers.
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"and give them vouchers for credit he had taken from our father's store." that rebellion saw him expelled from school and he was sent to study under the jesuits, first in santiago and then here in havana. >> the jesuit priests were very concerned with teachings about human dignity and character and tried to instill hard work ethic and discipline in students. reporter: of course, the havana of castro's youth was very different from today. gambling and prostitution characterized the cuban capital in the 1940's and 1950's, something castro tackled in power. cuban academics say it was here at havana university that fidel castro finally came of political age. in a speech he made in late 1947 he railed against what he called the country's wealth in foreign hands, and he urged fellow
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students to militancy, saying "a young nation can never say we surrender." that young student is now the great survivor, one of the world's last cold war leaders. recently, to applause and tears, the elder statesman of cuban politics appeared to bid the national assembly goodbye. mr. castro: i will be 90 years old soon, soon like all the others. the time has come for all of us but the ideas of cuban communists lives on. reporter: every year cuban celebrates castro's audacious 1959 attack on the barracks, the start of the revolution. fidel remains the watchword for socialist hardliners opposed to some changes on the island and they find solace in the words of
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the man who hashaped modern cuba more than any other. rajini: from cuba to brazil and where day seven is underway. there has been a shocker with the women's soccer team being knocked out by sweden. simone manuel became the first african-american swimmer to win an individual gold medal, tying with canada's penny oleksiak, who is just 16 years old. and michael phelps claimed his record 22nd gold. perhaps nowhere were they more excited than his hometown, baltimore. david willis reports. david: at the swimming tool to which he lent his name, they are cultivating the next generation of olympic champions. michael phelps first dipped his double-jointed ankles into these waters when he was six years old and he has been coming back ever since.
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>> this place is kind of a sanctuary for him. so he doesn't have the press, the people wanting autographs or photographs. it really doesn't happen that much here. david: raised on the outskirts of this gritty east coast city, the man they call the baltimore bullet is an inspiration to many of those unfortunate enough to have grown up on the wrong side of the tracks. >> he is an incredible inspiration that someone can achieve so much. and it was here in this pool. so that definitely a big inspiration. >> a lot of the kids want to be just like him. kids are joining the swim team when they are very young, looking forward to a chance to see him and watch him swim. he is of huge factor in the sport. david: they, like phelps, must be glad he changed his mind about retiring after winning 4 gold medals at the 2012 olympics in london. he announced he was packing up
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his goggles and calling it quits, only to return to the water two years later and rack up even more medals. to the delight of fans at the baltimore ravens national football league game who cheered his victory on the big screen. in the course of his olympic career, he has rarely disappointed, and at the age of 31, he has the support of cheering fans who will see him all the way to the end. if, as many suspect, rio is his last olympic games, the baltimore bullet will live on in legend here perhaps more than anywhere else for years to come. david willis, bbc news, baltimore. rings: michael phelps today's church to a close but you can find much more on all the days news on our website and
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to reach me and most of the bbc team, you can go to twitter. from all of us here at "bbc world news america," thanks very much for watching and have a wonderful weekend. >> 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 aruba tourism authority. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here, in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the
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island with warm, sunny days, cooling trade winds, and the crystal blue caribbean sea. nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at aruba.com. >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: donald trump meets with republican officials after backtracking on his controversial isis remarks, while the world gets a look at l hillary clinton's tax returns. then, we sit down with journalist scott anderson on hi epic report in "the new yorkw times" magazine on how the arab world came apart after the 2003 u.s. invasion of iraq. >> i didn't want to write a 40,000-word essay. to tell this story i reallyea needed to focus on people. >> woodruff: plus, from refugee camps to the world stage-- how t the first ever refugee olympic team is bringing awareness and hope to a global audience. and it's friday, david brooks

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