tv BBC World News America PBS October 31, 2017 2:30pm-3:01pm PDT
>> this is "bbc world news america." funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, and kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. >> 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 aruba.com. >> and now, "bbc world news." laura: this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i am laura trevelyan. there are multiple fatalities in new york city after a truck strikes people on a bike path in lower manhattan. one person is in custody. law enforcement says they are investigating the case as an act of terrorism. we will go live to the scene. and the russian revolution led by vladimir lenin was 100 years ago. in the soviet era, thousands of statues meant he was omnipresent. >> wherever you went in the ussr, there was at least one lenin thinking about you, taking
care of you, or just watching you. laura: welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. we begin with breaking news out of new york city. i talked has plowed into people plowed intok has people on a bike path in the lower manhattan, and the mayor says there has been at least 8 fatalities. information is coming in about the incident, which law enforcement is investigating as a terrorist attack. earlier, the new york police department gave a press conference. your is what some of what mayor of new york bill de blasio had to say. mayor de blasio: it is a painful day in our city, horrible tragedy on the west side. let me be clear that these have information we have at this moment, this was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror, aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at
people going about their lives, who had no idea about what was about to hit them. we, at this moment, based on the information we have, we have 8 innocent people who have lost their lives, and over a dozen more injured. we know that this action was intended to break our spirit. but we also know new yorkers are strong, new yorkers are resilient, and our spirit will never be moved by an act of violence, an act meant to intimidate us. we have been tested before as a city very near the site of today's tragedy, and new yorkers do not give in in the face of these kinds of actions. we will respond as we always do. we will be undeterred. and i want to thank everyone at
the nypd, all our first responders for their extraordinary efforts in the midst of this tragedy, starting with the officer who stopped this tragedy from continuing , all of the first responders who came to the aid of those who were injured. an investigation is underway to get all the facts, and what we will tell you today of course will be preliminary. but we know we will get down to the bottom of what happened. i want to ask all new yorkers, all americans, to keep the families of those lost in your thoughts and prayers. they will need our support. and i want to ask all new yorkers to be vigilant. laura: that was the mayor of new york is there, bill de blasio, speaking just a short time ago. the president, donald trump, of course himself a native new yorker, has just tweeted about this.
"in new york city, looks like another attack by a second deranged person. law enforcement is following this closely," says the president. "not in the usa." we can cross live to michelle fleury, who was on the scene. can you describe what is happening now and the state of the investigation? michelle: as you can see, the ambulances are still lined up behind me. this took place several blocks up what would normally be a busy bike path at this time. now we have heard from the mayor just now, also from the head of the new york police department, providing an update, and we now know this is what they are calling an act of terrorism. we have learned in the last few moments that the individual involved was a 21-year-old, apparently brandishing a firearm -- we are learning now it was a paintball gun. all of this still happening in just a few hours after the
incident unfolded. cap a block from where i'm standing right now, leading to the deaths so far of 8 individuals and more than a dozen injured. laura: michelle, tell us about how this happened. it's a busy place, so close to a school, and school getting out for halloween tonight. michelle: that's right, about a couple of blocks from where i am standing is a school. the incident happened around 3:00, so you can imagine many people would have been getting out of school around threequel entity, parents picking up -- three: 30, parents picking up the children on halloween. the city is still going about its daily business, but that was referenced in the press conference with the mayor, the head of the nypd, where they talked about the fact that it is halloween and people will be uneasy. there will be an extra police
presence, but they wanted to also reassure people that they thought this was someone who acted alone and this was not part of any sort of wider group. laura: michelle, the 9/11 attacks happened not far away from where you are standing, talking to me now, and the mayor of new york reference to that, saying that the city has been tested before, urging new yorkers to be resilient. but this is going to make people very uneasy, isn't it? michelle: well, that is right. he used those very words, resilient. this is a city that is resilient , and we will see tonight in terms of how much people go ahead with their celebrations undeterred. one of the other things worth pointing out is that the police took pains to say that one of the officers near the incident acted very quickly
to prevent this carnage from being any worse than it was. laura: michelle fleury on the scene there, thank you. earlier i spoke to a former new york police commissioner about the attack, and started by asking for his initial reaction. >> unfortunately, it is the new normal. as we make strides against isis and terrorism overseas, a lot of self radicalized people think they are helping the cause, and i believe this is probably an individual -- i don't think it is a cell. unfortunately, in a large city, as you know in london and we have just experienced here, you cannot put protection on every single street or every single building. this is obviously an individual who decided he was going to go and hurt as many people as possible. i'm familiar with the particular bike path right off the west side highway in the open.
laura: what do you make of the location and the fact that it is a vehicle going down a crowded bike path? >> obviously, this is something that this individual planned. it sounds like it is a truck that can be rented hourly from a local hardware store. that is how he planned to do it, and unfortunately, it's a crowded bike path with runners and bicyclists every day, and sadly, who we in the business called soft targets. laura: can you tell us what the nypd and fbi will be focusing on now that they have a suspect in custody, we are told? >> sure, they will be looking at every connection he has. his will be downloading phones, his bank accounts, social media, everybody he has been in contact with to see if he is connected to an organization or this is one crazy individual who did this on his own.
this is what keeps people like me when i was police commissioner up at night. you have a pretty good handle on organizations and intelligence on what they are doing, but you cannot be looking at every of 8e individual in a city million. laura: of course, since 9/11, the nypd has been braced for another attack. how does the nypd prepare for any eventuality that might come its way? >> there are over 35,000 police officers in new york city. there are special teams available. the nypd responded to this very quickly, but unfortunately, what he did happened in seconds. former deputy assistant secretary for homeland security said this looks very similar to other recent attacks around the world. >> the thing that is interesting
about this, laura, is both al qaeda and isis -- al qaeda in yemen, the al qaeda affiliate in yemen, and isis have both put out directives or communiques to followers that if you are not able to come to the middle east to engage in jihad, you should work in your own countries. both have pointed out that one way to commit terrorist acts in a home country would be to use a vehicle as a deadly weapon. we have now seen about 11 or 12 of these types of attacks around the world in very disparate places -- canada, north carolina, barcelona, london, nice, france, ohio, and now of course, new york city. so i think this should be treated as a terrorist attack. obviously, it is being treated. but again, we see the use of this type of modality by a
terrorist, terrorist sympathizer, unfortunately, and as the commissioner said, very difficult to defend against these one-off kinds of attacks. laura: tell us how you expect the investigation to unfold from here. >> certainly there is 2 parts to this investigation. there is the physical investigation -- the investigation of the site, finding out the individual who rented the truck, evidence of the crime scene. that is standard procedure. then of course there is the forensic type of investigation, which as the commissioner said, will be harvesting any of the individual's social media, any postings he has had, to understand what was in the mind of this particular attacker, especially if this individual might be related to any other supervisors or had a support mechanism that enable them to perpetrate this horrific attack in new york.
that is more of the forensic type of the second stage of the investigation, which will go on simultaneously with the physical investigation. laura: with the suspect in custody, do you expect this to be a relatively fast-moving investigation? >> i do. i don't know his physical condition, but investigators will want to interview him immediately, as soon as he is able to be physically interrogated. i think they will find fairly quickly who this guy was, what his motivations were, if you any -- if he had any supporters or sympathizers. i think this will be a very quick investigation. to me earlierg about what authorities are calling an act of terror in new york in which at least eight people were killed and 12 are injured. we will return to this story later in the program. in other news, almost one year after the u.s. presidential election, and we are still
finding out how russia tried to influence the campaign. the president dismissed allegations of collusion between his team and the russians as fake news today. but tech companies were in the hot seat on capitol hill as lawmakers look for answers. facebook says 126 million americans may have seen fake content from russia on their accounts. google and twitter said that russians used the services to spread messages. i spoke earlier to karen bass, a democratic congresswoman from california, about the wider question about russia's meddling in the election and the special investigation by robert mueller. in the aftermath of the indictments, the president has said there is no collusion. would you accept that so far there is no evidence of criminal links between the trump campaign and the russian government? rep. bass: oh, no, i don't think that we know that at all. this is just the beginning, and there is so much more to come,
especially with the guilty plea of papadopoulos. he is going to turn, and he will do it for a lesser sentence. i don't think we can say that absolutely. laura: right, but so far all we know is that someone minor in the campaign has pleaded guilty to lying. do you worry that in the search for links between russia and the trump campaign, we overlook the bigger issue, which is how do we stop russia from interfering in our elections again? oh, you are absolutely correct. we have elections in the next few weeks. there are several governor races , key races around the country. this opens up a huge can of worms. we have to pay attention to what happened in the past to prevent this from happening in the future. laura: right, but what is it specifically you think should be done to stop russia from repeating this again? rep. bass: well, i couldn't say specifically, but let me raise a few things. we do know that their interference on social media, we know that was significant. if you look at how many times
their entries were viewed, if you look at the way they facilitated and fostered racial conflict in the country -- we met last week with the coo from facebook. i think there were a variety of things that were done, and i am glad the social-media companies are here on the hill and were willing to cooperate and prevent this from happening again, at least on their part. but there are several other ways we have to look at it. laura: right, but turning to facebook, who said that maybe 126 million users were exposed to fake russian content, how do you think they should balance freedom of speech with policing that? rep. bass: well, i think they are very well aware they have to police it. take hate speech, for example. you don't let that run rampant, especially if you see that contributing to conflict in the united states. they had a rather flippant
response before, but now recognize how serious this is. if that many people viewed those entries, and if you think the election was just lost by a few 10,000, 20,000, 30,000 votes, it could be very significant. i'm sure those companies do not want to be put into a position where their business practices have led to terrible outcomes in our democracy or other democracies around the world. this is just not a problem in the united states. we know this is a problem around the world. all of us who are concerned about democracy need to be concerned about russian interference. laura: do you get the sense that there is bipartisan agreement on the need for tech companies to crack down on russian propaganda? rep. bass: well, i can't say there is bipartisan agreement, because i know that my republican colleagues are in a very bad position, where i know they have concerns, but they are put in a position of fear, frankly, that they better come
out and defend trump or he might tweet against them and that will impact their ability to get reelected. until we get rid of that fear, we will not see a strong bipartisan response. laura: thank you for joining us. rep. bass: thanks for having me on. laura: vladimir lenin is revered as the father of the revolution in russia, and when he died in 1924, the communist party made him a symbol of the soviet union . even today, russians can view his body in the red square. there is a debate over whether his body should be buried. the bbc's steve rosenberg has been to lenin's final resting place to look at how modern russians view the founder of communism. steve: in a park outside moscow, these are the ghosts of communism past, like a freak show of fallen idols. and the red star of this show is vladimir lenin, who let the -- led the russian revolution. there were an estimated 14,000 statues of this man in the
soviet union. that means wherever you went in the ussr, there was probably at least one lenin thinking about you, taking care of you, or just watching you. but communism did more than make statues of him. it preserved his body and put it on display. lenin is more alive than the living, declared one soviet slogan. a whole scientific institute was set up to maintain the corpse. over time, it has had to replace some skin and flesh with plastics and other material. lenin's red square mausoleum was a sight of -- site of pilgrimage in the ussr. the late revolutionary quite literally cult viewing. it is one of the ironies of the russian revolution that the man who led the bolshevik coup, waged war on the church, and once declared there could be
nothing more abominable than religion, that this man, vladimir lenin, ended up the closest thing communism had to a god. his body put on display in a mausoleum and deified like a soviet saint. but 100 years after lenin's revolution, might it now be time to consign the mausoleum to history and commit his body to the ground? >> i believe that he should be buried. this symbol of the revolution should find its proper place, not on the red square. body,""over our dead says the communist party. "no one is going to lay a finger on him," the party leader says, "and if anyone dares to try, we will chase them away." stanislav has a connection to the burial business. his company decorates funeral accessories. there is a lenin connection, too. he is vladimir lenin's great great grand nephew.
one idea, stanislav says, is to bury lenin in the mausoleum, to satisfy those who think he should lie in the ground and those who think he should stay put. vladimir lenin is little more than a museum piece now to most russians, a curiosity, a relic of a lost world. steve rosenberg, bbc news, moscow. laura: let's return to our top story tonight, the fatal incident in new york city, which is being investigated as an act of terrorism. we now know at least 8 people have been killed. these college students were in class as the commotion began in lower manhattan. >> we were having class, and a couple of my classmates heard the shots, and we went to the window and saw two of the bodies lying down. we saw one in the bike lane, and a second body was next to a tree.
we saw the police and and events and people were like they were running. we saw the guy huddle up. bunch of bicycles on the floor. it was really chaotic. >> [indiscernible] >> are good, like, 4. 4 bicycles. >> did it surprise you? >> it surprised us because he usually never see this happen around here, especially around here. there were just lay there -- they were not even covered yet. we didn't hear the gunshots. we were just paying attention and someone got shot and we ran to the window and the bodies were laying there. laura: an eyewitness in lower manhattan. as we mentioned, the president has posted a message about the incident on twitter. "in nyc, it looks like another attack by a sick, deranged person. law enforcement is following this closely. not in the usa."
crossed to thein bbc's michelle fleury, who is on the scene with the latest. there is a 29-year-old suspect in custody, and the nypd said in a press conference a short time ago that the suspect made a statement consistent with a temper attack -- terror attack. what more can you tell us? ,ichelle: wellmichelle: unfortunately, this does appear -- well, work of eight fortunately, this does appear to be the work of a lone wolf. i think the message they have for new yorkers tonight is to be vigilant, not to be surprised if there is increased police presence on the streets, but at the same time, that this was out of an abundance of caution. michelle, the governor of new york is saying that there is no evidence to suggest a wider plot, but of course this is a very busy night in manhattan. it is halloween. we have the new york marathon
coming up. what is the mood of the city? michelle: well, i think people on supposing we might feel uneasy, given that we now know this is an act of terror. that being said, the mayor himself pointed out that new yorkers tend to be very resilient. i'm standing a few blocks away from the side of the bolt trade center attacks. there is a sense -- world trade center attacks. there is a sense that certainly we will be a long by what has happened, but they will not let this deter them from going about their daily business. even when i have been standing here, there have been people going past in hollowing costumes on their way to enjoy -- halloween costumes on their way to enjoy an evening out, and many school children at this time would be going about trick-or-treating. laura: michelle, the police commissioner said that today is a loss of innocent life, a tragedy of the greatest magnitude.
just how many people were affected by this attack so far? michelle: well, so far the police are saying that about 8 people have lost their lives, and dozens more have been injured. we are waiting to learn more about that. of course, we think of it in terms of families and friends and relatives lives touched by this for you heard from the police commissioner, from the mayor, from the governor of new york, all making the point that people going about their daily lives with no expectation that it would end in tragedy. laura: michelle fleury on the scene there in lower manhattan, thank you very much for joining us. that is the breaking news out of new york tonight. what the authorities are calling an act of terror in lower manhattan, which is left at least 8 people dead, 12 people injured. "it was a cowardly act of said the mayor of
new york, who is urging the city it was in thet as days after 9/11. you can find more of the day's news on our website, and to see what we are working on at time, check out our facebook page. i am laura trevelyan. thank you for watching "world news america." >> with the bbc news app, our vertical videos are designed to work around your lifestyle, so you can swipe your way through the news of the day and stay up to date with the latest headlines you can trust. download now from selected app stores. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, and kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. >> 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,
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: a chaotic scene on the streets of new york city. a motorist drives into pedestrians and cyclists in lower manhattan, leaving a trail of death and injury. then, tech giants testify before a senate committee on how russians used social media to influence the 2016 presidential election. and, home alone. how millions of chinese children are forced to raise themselves and their siblings, while their parents move to the city to work. also ahead, fighting childhood obestiy with farm-fresh food. as a neor