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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  December 13, 2016 2:30pm-3:01pm PST

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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,
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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 >> and now, "bbc world news america." katty: this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i am katty kay. aleppo has fallen to the syrian government after what is being called a complete meltdown of humanity. there are reports of mass slaughter. meet rex tillerson -- oil executive, boy scout fan dealmaker, and it now the pic , for secretary of state, is his ties to putin don't upset the process. and david beckham uses his star power to help children around the world.
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his famous tattoos are part of his unicef campaign. katty: welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. aleppo is quiet for the first time in months. the fighting is over and the syrian government has one. -- has won. a deal is being done to evacuate thousands of fighters who are trapped in rebel-held areas. the international community is condemning syria and russia for the brutality. the u.s. is calling the -- the u.n. is calling the violence modern evil. there are graphic scenes. this will be remembered as a crushing victory. after 4 years of fighting, these men, women, and children can resist no more. the rebellion against president
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assad in aleppo is over. the final push, three weeks of it, broke through. city's squad, the british-backed white helmets, have given up. they will be evacuated. one rescuer says yesterday we found children under the rubble crying for help, but we could not help them because the regime forces had advanced and the bombardment was intense. the army had help here. russian warplanes and fighters collapse. they have been accused of war crimes, shooting women and children in the streets. >> these reports are untrue. the syrian-arab army would never do such things. the army is securing the evacuation of civilians and the
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departure of any fighters that surrender. this is an attempt to tarnish the image of the syrian army after its victory. >> it has been three weeks of .ell for most of it and activist has been with his crew day and night. he climbs out of the rubble after his home was hit by a parachute bomb. he watched them fall in other neighborhoods. tonews broke, we were able reach deep inside eastern aleppo before leaving the city. " it is quiet here. people are in the streets. happyg can describe how the people are. it made the people who suffered a lot, happy."
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the victory is president of -- president asaad. aleppo is his. tonight, the city is quiet. much of syria is divided and far from peace. bbc news, istanbul. katty: for more on the situation, i spoke to the chief international correspondent, lyse doucet. she is in beirut. what are you hearing from aleppo? lyse: a huge question. it has been a charcoal with no international organizations on the ground. it is difficult to get a picture. the area came under intense bombardment. including russia and an array of
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militias. there were reports of 100 children stock in a building under bombardment. without of children their parents who needed to be evacuated. hundreds of the too ill, too weak. now when the area is cleared, the aid agencies can finally try to give these people the care that they have so desperately needed. what we will be watching early in the morning is at 5:00 a.m. the pullout will begin, what amounts to a surrender by rebel fighters who will leave with their families heading to the opposition controlled city and others further north toward the turkish border. katty: lyse doucet with the latest from beirut. thank you. aleppo came to symbolize the horror of the war agree watched it on our television screens. the world held to intervene.
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jeremy bowen reports on the history of the conflict and why the international community did not do more to protect the people of aleppo. jeremy: syrian state tv has followed the advance of government troops and their militia allies into what was rebel-held eastern aleppo. the reporter, like authorities, aimed his anger at every trace of control by what they call terrorists. for the regime, this is the biggest single victory of the war, but it doesn't mean the war is over. instead, it is changing shape, and has much more killing left in it. none of this would have happened without the intervention of the syrian state allies russia, iran, and hezbollah, the lebanese shia militia. on top of aleppo's historic citadel a reporter for the , iranian tv station flew has
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hezbollah flag next to the syrians. this, he claims, is happening all over the city. another part of the new middle east is coming into focus. this is a victory for a coalition that opposes the west and its regional allies. in serbia, the russian foreign minister was contemptuous of american complaints. he said, "we are tired of hearing this whining from our american colleagues in the current administration. we need to immediately halt military action." the acrimony continued in new york at the u.n. security council. this came from the americans to syria, russia, and iran. >> are you truly incapable of shame? is there literally nothing that can shame you? is there no act of barbarism against civilians, no execution of a child that gets under your skin, that creeps you out a little bit? jeremy: deadlock in the security council for years paralyzed
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hopes of a diplomatic solution to the war. the syrian ambassador showed what he said was proof that syrian soldiers are helping, not hurting civilians in the areas they captured in aleppo. in london, in the commons, the former chancellor disavowed britain's syria policy, for which he admitted some responsibility. >> the tragedy in aleppo did not come out of a vacuum. it was created by a vacuum, a vacuum of western leadership -- of american leadership, british leadership. jeremy: when i was in aleppo last september, handwringing in the west was being matched by decisive military intervention by russia and iran. influence in syria means military force. in the west, chastened by the disasters in iraq, chose not to use its power. the chemical attacks on rebel held areas in damascus in august
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2013 had been a turning point. the americans at the last minute canceled punitive airstrikes against the assad regime. the strikes wouldn't have ended the war, but they might have changed its course. perhaps even mortally wounding the regime. i was in damascus in september 2013 as president assad and his people prepared to be bombed. regime officials i met feared the worst. one asked me nervously what it would be like to be bombed by the americans. western inaction left a vacuum, an opportunity for russia that it took. it's intervention in aleppo was decisive. even last year, rebels in aleppo were well supplied and were trying to encircle the regime-held side of the city. that has all changed. the rebel side collapsed, weekend by -- weakened by
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infighting but left jihadist groups dominant. , the rebels had weapons. pro-regime tv channels show what they said were captured stockpiles. the latest shows a shouldn't by bulgaria, unknown route to supplies for the saudis. the suffering of the people of aleppo is even more intense. rebels and the city have been defeated, and so have the countries backing them, including the u.s. and saudi arabia, and turkey. syria's war continues. jeremy bowen, bbc news. katty: the losers in the battle for aleppo are the men, women, and children. the winners are russia and iran. has announced he will nominate exxon mobil's ceo rex tillerson as secretary of state. even senators from his own party are raising concerns over his ties to russia. the president-elect met with media mogul kanye west.
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here is nick bryant. nick: it was as if aleppo didn't exist. instead, a brief cameo from president-elect and kanye west. recognizedmost globetrotting celebrities. in finally choosing his globetrotting chief diplomat, donald trump has gone for a much less familiar figure that his choice is rex tillerson, a texas oilman, a staunch conservative, and the chairman of exxon mobil, one of the world's largest companies. in that global role, he has conducted a foreign policy and cut major deals with the russians. vladimir putin awarded him with the russian order of friendship. the country's highest honor for a foreigner. but champagne at the kremlin isn't a problem for donald trump. it is a plus. mr. trump: he knows many of the players, and he knows them well. massive deals in russia. nick: the billionaire turned to the selection process into a
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high-stakes version of "celebrity apprentice." names like rudy giuliani and mitt romney were paraded before the cameras. in the end, he opted for a fellow dealmaker, even though tillerson would be the first secretary of state without government or military experience. there is no shortage of global problems. battling the group calling itself islamic state, the wider tensions in china and perhaps taiwan, the nuclear deal with iran, which donald trump wants to renegotiate. and then there is resetting relations with the longtime adversary. >> i have a close relationship with him. i don't agree with everything he is doing. nick: some senior republicans are asking if the relationship is too cozy, especially after he opposed sanctions on moscow. another choice, rick perry as energy secretary. the one time presidential
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candidate will take charge of a department he is out to abolish, and once famously forgot. mr. perry: the third agency of government, i would do away with education -- commerce, and let's see. the third one i can't. sorry. oops. nick: the appointment of so many figures with ties to russia seems to signal one of the biggest shifts in u.s. foreign policy since richard nixon went to china in the early 1970's. that was intended to isolate the soviet union. this seems to be the strategy and reverse, to isolate beijing. nick bryant, bbc news, new york. choice, i more on the spoke with congressman reid ribble, who is on the affairs committee. you have concerns about donald trump's pick for secretary of state, rex tillerson, particularly around any possible conflict of interest with exxon.
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what would you like him to do? rep. ribble: if you divest interests in exxon so there is no way he can be favoring one energy provider in the u.s. over the other, my fears about tillerson go away, because he is an intriguing pick for sure and that is my primary concern with him. he has had a cozy relationship with vladimir putin, but let's face it, russia is a big energy provider and it would be typical for exxon to be there. katty: you wouldn't be concerned that he would favor russia because of his history, for example, with exxon? he has worked his whole life in one company. perhaps if he divests it will be difficult to stop emotional ties. rep. ribble: humans by their nature are compulsively self-interested. you are working for exxon or
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whatever company and are focused on that. but when he becomes secretary of state, he is likely to become compulsively self-interested about the united states. that history and training in the corporate world could actually play very well for the type of work he would be doing. katty: congressman, you sit on the foreign affairs committee, and some of your democratic colleagues has suggested that running a major multinational is not actually the same as running america's state department, that there are times when you have to look out for things like human rights and other interests come into play. do you agree? rep. ribble: i do. i agreed with you to the degree that they are not exactly the same. when you look at human rights in particular, that would be a case for you to be very, very cautious. remember, he is not only working for donald trump. he is working for the american people. when you take a position like that, you are well aware of those things, and some of those concerns can get away. i would also say that he is one
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of the few picks for the united states cabinet who has run an organization as large as the u.s. state department. exxon is a company that is equal to the 30th largest economy in the world with 80,000 global employees. the state department has about 80,000 employees. he has been managing an organization of this size, and those skills might offset other concerns. katty: do you think america under donald trump is about to take a pivot towards russia? rep. ribble: i mentioned that barack obama pivoted towards asia and particularly china and it looks like donald trump is going to pivot towards russia, which is odd to me because russia has never been a particularly good friend of the united states. vladimir putin, with his takeover of ukraine and the shooting down of the malaysian jet, those are troubling issues
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with vladimir putin. we need to make sure that putin understands that our foreign policy towards russia is not going to change unless russia's behavior begins to change. katty: congressman reid ribble thanks very much for joining me. , rep. ribble: good to be with you. katty: about to take a new direction under donald trump. we speak with mikhail gorbachev about distressed on both sides of the relationship, coming up. thetalian court ruled captain of a boat carrying migrants that sank off the coast of libya was responsible for the disaster. years in prison. he was one of 28 who survived when the vessel went down in the mediterranean last year. james reynolds reports. reporter: in april off the coast of libya, smugglers jammed 700
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migrants on board this fishing boat. that astonishing to think more than 700 human beings could be put on this boat and sent into the mediterranean. $1600ers took more than from each person. they made about $1 million from putting people on this boat. the helmsman set sail towards italy. when he reached international waters, he made a distress call. a portuguese container ship was sent to help. at that point, his inexperience began to show with fatal consequences. he steered this ship towards the container ship. they collided. this vessel began to overturn. hundreds of migrants did not
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have a chance. the ship sank in five minutes. almost everyone on board drowned. he was one of only 28 survivors, and now a court in sicily found him guilty of steering the migrants to their death, of manslaughter, human trafficking, and irresponsible sailing. italy's navy rescued this ship. it now stands in sicily as a monument to the debt. -- to the dead. bombing of the aleppo to the cia claims that russia try to influence the u.s. presidential elections relations between washington and moscow are tense. mikhail gorbachev has accused the west of trying to provoke russia and remove vladimir
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putin. he has been speaking to steve rosenberg. steve: mikhail gorbachev gives fewer interviews these days. aged 85 and in failing health, he is taking life a little more slowly. but he agreed to talk to me about the moment the world changed, when the ussr fell apart. mr. gorbachev: what happened to the soviet union is my drama and a drama for everyone who lived there. steve: in december 1991, as president gorbachev was trying to salvage the soviet union, the leaders of russia, the other russia, and ukraine, meant to scrap the ussr. gorbachev announced his resignation, and the soviet flag was lowered for the final time.
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today, the man who helped to end the cold war believes the west is plotting against vladimir putin. sure thechev: i am western press, including you, has been given special instructions to discredit putin. as a result, his approval rating here is 86%. soon, it will be 120%. steve: but does vladimir putin ever ask for his advice? mr. gorbachev: he knows everything already. everyone wants to do things their own way. c'est la vie. steve: away from russia, many people see you as a hero, as the man who ended the cold war, who gave freedom to eastern europe, who allowed the reunification of germany. many people in your own country see you as the man who lost the country.
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mr. gorbachev: what upsets me is that in russia, people don't sufficiently understand what i set out to achieve and what i didn't, for the country and the world. perestroika opened the way to cooperation and peace. i am only sorry i was unable to see it through to the end. steve: the ussr may have passed into history, but mikhail gorbachev still enjoys the songs of the soviet past, like this one from world war ii. the melodies of a superpower which no longer exists. steve rosenberg, bbc news, moscow. katty: singing along with mikhail gorbachev. reminiscing about the soviet union. the united nations children's fund, or unicef, is seven years old, and monday night in new york, some of its most
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high-profile goodwill ambassadors elevated the -- ambassadors celebrated the occasion. among them was retired football legend david beckham. he spent more than a decade traveling the world helping kids. reporter: in the time you have traveled across the world. how frustrating is it that there are children in aleppo trap? you always field you can do more, or you want to do more. i have realized being able to have been the football player i was, playing for the teams played for, having the voice i had, it helped me to be the ambassador i have been. people listen. when unicef has not been able to get into certain places or speak are fans ofns, they
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one of the clubs i played for. i have been able to help in situations like that. violence against children marked them forever. reporter: your new video is aimed at ending violence against children. it is unusual. tell us about it. david: you want to make an impact and make people listen. one thing people talk about is my hairstyles or my tattoos. involving the body of art i have on my body, it made people listen. it is a serious situation around the body, it has been very powerful. we have over 10 million hits. it has been a big, successful campaign for unicef. katty: david beckham, his work around the world, and his tattoos. you can find out more on the date's news, it is there,
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including the latest from aleppo. you can find me on twitter. i am @kattykaybbc. thank you for watching. we will see you back here tomorrow. >> make sense of international news at >> 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
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can all find their escape on the 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 >> "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. >> sreenivasan: and i'm hari sreenivasan. >> woodruff: on the newshour tonight, president-elect trump taps exxon mobil executive rex tillerson for secretary of state, raising concerns even among republicans about the pick's past connections to russia. >> sreenivasan: also ahead this tuesday, a nightmare continues: the syrian government's deadly takeover of the war-ravaged city of aleppo. >> woodruff: and, an artist's take on how to look at art, offering a simple way to enjoy a museum. >> it's a kind of conversation that we're having with each other, so it might sound >> sreenivasan: all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour.


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