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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  December 30, 2016 3:59pm-4:29pm 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, 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."
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kasia: hello, i'm kasia madera with bbc world news. as the u.s.ies -- expels 35 russian diplomats, president-elect donald trump praises the russian president's response. vladimir putin says he won't expel u.s. diplomats but will work to restore ties when donald trump takes office in january. after 24 hours, syria's cease-fire is generally holding. the guns have fallen silent, but all sides remain on alert. and the world footballer of the year, cristiano ronaldo, turns down a big money move to china. kasia: hello, and welcome to the program. just one day after president
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obama announced plans to expel 35 russian diplomats over alleged cyber-hacking, his successor, donald trump, has praised the intelligence of the russian president, vladimir putin, for not reacting in kind. that was in response to putin's decision not to react to the u.s. expulsions by removing american diplomats from russia. with the latest from moscow, here is steve rosenberg. steve: near the kremlin tonight they were putting on a seasonal show. ahead of the new year's celebrations, a song and dance with musical theater. but that was nothing compared to the political theater being played out inside. first up onstage, the foreign minister. he advised president putin to expel 35 u.s. diplomats. america had expelled 35 russians.
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in other words, tit-for-tat, cold war style. it seemed inevitable. but no, vladimir putin said he would not stoop to the level of irresponsible diplomacy, he wasn't going to expel any americans. he even invited the children of all u.s. diplomats in moscow to a new year's party here in the kremlin. that was a surprise, but it didn't change what america's top is intelligence agencies believe to be true, that state-sponsored hackers backed by the highest levels of the russian government had interfered in the u.s. presidential election, with a cyber-attack on the democratic party. was president putin behind it? last week i got a chance to ask him myself. mr. president, your country has been accused of state-sponsored hacking with the aim of influencing the result of the u.s. presidential election. president obama revealed that he told you personally to cut it out.
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so what did you tell him in response? the kremlin leader refused to tell me, dismissing all talk of hacking as sour grapes from the democratic party. today, president putin said he would work to restore relations with america under donald trump, and this evening, mr. trump responded by praising him for not engaging in tit-for-tat expulsions, saying in a tweet, "great move on delay by v. putin. i always knew he was very smart." >> what putin and trump expect from each other is certain kind of decency, certain kind of frankness, and no hypocrisy and political correctness. steve: by not expelling diplomats today, the kremlin was sending a new year's gift to the new man in the white house.
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russia wants to mend ties with trump's america and come in from the cold. steve rosenberg, bbc news, moscow. kasia: lots of different reactions, as you would expect. laura bicker is our correspondent in the washington bureau. donald trump praising vladimir putin, but john mccain, republican senator and former presidential candidate, describes this alleged attack as an act of war. where are we? laura: donald trump might find himself increasingly isolated if he continues on this road of praising vladimir putin. what a stark contrast between the president and president-elect. 24 hours ago, barack obama was slamming russia with sanctions, saying all americans should be alarmed by its actions. today we have a president-elect who says vladimir putin is very smart, also a stark contrast in actions. here in america they are clearing out russian compounds
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in maryland and new york. these compounds that were used by russians linked to the intelligence agencies in moscow. we are told they were holiday homes for officials. and now the officials will be told to go home. and when you have diplomats in russia being invited to new year's parties, this is a new low for u.s.-russia relations. but can donald trump turn that around? kasia: we will watch and see. laura, as always, thank you very much. laura bicker in washington for us. well, to find out what people in moscow think of this diplomatic to and fro i spoke to a , political analyst at the russian news agency. he said few russians would have been surprised by putin's
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response. >> i think when the american side, primarily president obama, decided to expel the russian diplomats, they kind of proceeded from the image of putin created by the mainstream media in the west, that he was a vengeful person, very easily getting angry, bad guy in general. this is certainly not true. putin is not vengeful. there were a lot of people in the government who are opposed to him and criticize him and are still in the government. in the same way, instead of expelling 35 american diplomats and shutting down the diplomatic facilities in russia, as the american side did with the russian embassy in washington, d.c., putin just said i'm not going to expel anyone. i congratulate president obama and his family on the new year. and i invite the children of american diplomats to a christmas celebration in the kremlin.
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i think that was nice. but in 1 -- you say nice, but in one swipe he has completely undermined president obama. of course he is outgoing at the moment, but he completely undermines him and he is looking forward to donald trump. >> well, obama let himself be undermined, because it was not putin who started expelling diplomats. it was obama. obama simply proceeded from the raw intelligence, raw ideology, just like he proceeded from the intelligence and ideology on syria, expecting president assad to fall. in 2he islamists to win weeks in 2011. that was simply wrong. it was a very skewed ideology. so the skewed ideology led obama to a lot of foreign policy disasters, and this is just the latest flop in a chain that he had during his two terms as president of the united states.
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kasia: we are seeing the praise that donald trump has just issued to president putin, via twitter, of course. what does putin want from donald trump? what kind of relationship does he want to achieve? >> i think putin just wants the absurdity we have been seeing from the united states and the eu during the last at least three years -- putin just wants the absurdity to end. because if you look at the advance of the last three years, the foreign policy of the united states was absurd. the united states was not interested in the civil war in syria, which they basically help to start by supporting the armed rebellion in that country. the united states was not interested in the collapse of the legally elected government in ukraine, which they supported. so basically, putin expects trump to be a pragmatic president.
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he doesn't expect trump to be a sympathizer of russia. he doesn't expect trump to be a russian agent. this is the language of hillary clinton and barack obama. putin expects trump to be a pragmatic man and follow american national interests, not the terrible ideology of liberalism that obama has been conducting in the last few years. kasia: political analyst at the russian news agency speaking to me a little bit earlier. a little later on in the program we will talk to a homeland security consultant about the cyber side of all of this. do stay with us on "bbc world news." now, in other news, it has been less than a day since the nationwide cease-fire began across syria, and while it does appear to be holding in most areas, it has now emerged that not all rebel forces consider themselves to be involved. in particular, one islamist group that has links to al qaeda
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has insisted it will continue to fight against the syrian government. our middle east correspondent reports. reporter: there is a cease-fire, but many on the front lines won't put aside their guns just yet. they will watch and wait, suspicious after years of war. >> we are committed to the cease-fire to keep civilian people safe. but we are here on the front lines in case the regime tries to break the cease-fire at any time. we think this cease-fire is a game, but we are committed to it to keep civilian souls safe. reporter: while the fighters draw breath in a new tense calm, others focus on the politics of the truce. in this rebel stronghold, the northern city of idlib, the y protested against president
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bashar al-assad. people here said they would support the cease-fire if he were ousted and the demands of the opposition were met. but the president supporters see things very differently. events have moved in his favor. his army has handed the rebels a major defeat in aleppo and assad is stronger than ever. his great ally russia is the major force between the truce -- behind the truce agreement. >> this reflects the reality that after aleppo's liberation, the situation is different. there is a real opportunity to reach a political solution for the crisis in syria that ends the bloodshed and establishes roots for the future of the country. reporter: those who want the truce to hold worry about the power play by these men, rebels from what used to be called the nusra front, which had links to al qaeda. they rejected the cease-fire deal, and the syrian military says they are still a target.
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but if it goes after these men in the depths of rebel territory, the truce could unravel. but across this shattered land on its first day, the cease-fire appears to be largely holding, despite reports of scattered clashes and some airstrikes. and many syrians desperately hope the truce will endure. >> the cease-fire is good. it is good for the people to get a break from the aircraft. the people are tired. we want our government to realize this, with the cease-fire or anything. we don't have any problem because we want to finish the death and destruction that happened to us. reporter: if his prayers are answered and the guns go quiet, a route to new peace talks will open up. kasia: in neighboring iraq, army special forces are continuing to push back islamic state militants in the eastern sector
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of mosul. it is the second phase of an offensive on the last major stronghold of i.s. in iraq, which began in october. the u.s.-led coalition says iraqi forces have advanced in three directions and opened 2 new fronts in the city. the fighting in the neighborhood comes after forces broke a two-week lull in fighting to stage a multipronged offensive east of the tigris river. in the democratic republic of congo, a leading mediator from the catholic church says a deal has been reached to allow for a peaceful transfer of power, the first since independence in 1960. under the planned deal, president joseph kabila, whose mandate ended in december 2016, will step down after elections to be held by the end of 2017. the deal would ensure that mr. kabila wouldn't be able to change the constitution to extend his mandate and run for a third term. do stay with us on "bbc world
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news." we have lots more to come. if everyone has their price, what should we make of cristiano ronaldo turning down $100 million a year to play football in china? >> the most ambitious financial and political change ever attempted has gotten underway with the introduction of the euro. >> tomorrow in holland we will use money we picked up in belgium today. then we will be in france and again it will be the same money. >> george harrison, the former beatle, is recovering in hospital after being stabbed at his home. a 33-year-old man from liverpool is being interviewed by police on suspicion of attempted murder. >> i think it was good. >> just good? >> no, fantastic. >> that's better.
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kasia: you are watching "bbc world news." i am kasia madera. the latest headlines for you -- president-elect donald trump has praised president putin for rejecting a call to expel u.s. diplomats in retaliation for a similar move by washington. and the guns fall silent as the syrian cease-fire is generally holding after 24 hours. we are going to return to our top story, donald trump praising russian president vladimir putin for his response to america expelling 35 russian diplomats. mr. putin said he would not expel any americans in return
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and trump has described that as a great move which proved the russian leader is, in his words, smart. earlier we brought you the view from moscow. now let's hear from the united states. a homeland security consultant joined me from chicago a short time ago. i began by asking him for his thoughts on the future of cyber conflict. >> i think that we are coming to a changed world where there is going to be a great deal more uncertainty. there is a pervasiveness to cyber vulnerability that goes across all dimensions of western society, and security services will never be able to say with any certainty that all of britain's secrets, all of america's secrets, all our infrastructure, all our political system, is protected against attacks. we are just never going to get to that place. kasia: so what does that mean
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for individual nations, then? do all of our children need to start coding from a young age? realistically, what do we need to be doing? >> there is a great deal more we can do in terms of education. the other portion of this is do better at doing the simple things -- fundamentally we are in the place we are with respect to the u.s. elections because the i.t. manager from the democratic national committee disregarded some pretty clear signals and they wound up getting hacked. that was a solvable problem. that does not mean the russians are absolved from responsibility, but if you don't have the good sense to lock your door, some of the blame is on you. kasia: that was the homeland security consultant speaking to me a little earlier. we have many more details on this developing story. just head to the bbc website. there we have up-to-the-minute information on this ongoing russian and u.s. reaction to all of this.
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all of that on now let's take you to some other news today. police in brazil have confirmed that the body found in the boot of a burned-out car in rio de janeiro is that of the greek ambassador. he had been missing since monday. detectives are questioning his wife and holding three other people, including a local police officer, as part of the investigation. heavy fog is causing disruption to flights in and out of the u.k. london heathrow and london city are reporting delays and around 300 flights have been canceled. visibility is reported as being less than 100 meters in some areas. the medical investigation carried out as part of the investigation into the death of singer george michael has proved inconclusive. he was found dead in his home in the south of england
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christmas day. further tests will be carried out. china has announced that it will ban its entire ivory trade in the coming year. china has the biggest ivory market in the world, with an estimated 70% of the world's supply being traded there. beijing says the commercial processing and the sale of ivory will stop within three months. registered traders will be phased out by the end of next year. the united nations secretary-general ban ki-moon is spending his last full day in office before sending down. -- standing down. this was the scene at the u.n. building in new york, as he said goodbye to his staff. he will be replaced on the first of january by antonio guterres, former prime minister of portugal. mr. ban was in a cheerful mood as he made these remarks. secretary-general ban: now i feel like cinderella.
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[laughter] secretary-general ban: tomorrow at midnight, everything changes. [laughter] [applause] secretary-general ban: it is awkward. i will have to do on my own. so far i have been supported by thousands of your hard-working staff and member states. let us see how i survive. tomorrow night, on the eve of the new year, i will be in times square for the ball drop. billions of people will be watching as i lose my job. [laughter] secretary-general ban: it's a matter of celebration or -- [laughter]
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kasia: what would you do if someone promised you more than $100 million a year to come to work for them? that is what cristiano ronaldo's agent says has been offered for the football star to go for the chinese super league. but he has turned it down. it seems unlikely that the people who run football in china will give up using financial muscle to attract the game's biggest names, as joe wilson reports. joe: china wants football. it wants footballers. earlier this year, bbc sports filmed at one of the first designated football schools. but the country cannot wait for the grassroots to grow. in the meantime, there is money. according to his agent, cristiano ronaldo turned down 85 million pounds a year offered by
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a club in the chinese super league. well, maybe. but the relocation is already happening. one player from manchester saying goodbye to his beloved buenos aires to begin the new year in shanghai, probably becoming the world's highest-paid footballer, 32 million pounds a season in the csl, it's rumored. a sports lawyer who has worked in china tells me these deals will force the world to pay attention. >> we have a situation where the csl is commanding the way the market is moving. they are the ones with the big money, prepared to put it down on the table, with a slightly different window to european football. arguably, they are distorting or advancing the european market. joe: consider oscar, 25, at his peak, leaving chelsea to join a different shanghai side. our chinese clubs affected the premier league? one said he rejected a chance to manage in china but he thinks more players will go there. >> with their population and the
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fact that the people go out to watch football at that level, only time will tell whether it is the right thing to do or not. but the club is not going to turn the money down and certainly the player isn't. joe: it is possible to build a successful league with foreign talent when the national league fails. china aims to win the world cup. if so, the next generation must be better than the current one. in a recent world cup qualifier, china lost to syria. joe wilson, bbc news. kasia: a little earlier i spoke with the director of the football industry group at liverpool university and i asked him just why the chinese super league is willing to spend such huge amounts of money on players like ronaldo. >> football has been pronounced as being good by xi jinping, and you need to think of china as a single business. it is the government's business,
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all of it. if the boss says something is good, everybody bends their shoulder, and there are companies in china that, with the permission of the government, made very large amounts of money and they want to spend this money to illustrate how they are seeking to raise the level of football amongst current chinese players, by mixing in with them some of the great talents of the world. this is all part of putting your shoulder to the wheel, doing what the boss wants, and making chinese football better than it is. kasia: and by spending such huge figures -- we're not sure exactly how much he went over for, but it was not going to be a small amount. do you think they will be successful in improving their game? they have been pretty poor. >> no, i don't think it will be successful. i think the focus on the grassroots of the game, the use of the game, is the real way -- youth of the game, is the
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real way forward. i think most people in chinese football recognize that. this has been done before. and you also have to remember that the government and the nation has had great enthusiasm for football before, when they qualified for the world cup. but that meant that everybody was on football. when they went to the world cup, they didn't win a game, didn't get a single point, in fact. it all collapsed. there has been a series of great corruption scandals, particularly referees and players and bribery and gambling and what have you. chinese football has been kind of a radio wave going up and down, and at the height of one of the big pushes right now. it means everybody is going for it. kasia: lots more as always on our website, and if you would like to get in touch with me and the team on twitter, i am @kasiamadera. but for now, thanks for watching. bye-bye.
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>> 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. >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
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