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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  November 15, 2017 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, 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.
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nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at aruba.com. >> and now, "bbc world news." jane: this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i am jane o'brien. robert mugabe is under house arrest as the army seizes control of zimbabwe's capital, but insists it is not a coup. >> we wish to make it abundantly clear that this is not a military takeover. jane: the continuing cost of the fighting in yemen and its impact on thousands of young lives. the second of our special reports. and we meet competitors warming up their vocal cords for the world beatbox championships in new york.
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welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. there is calm but tense atmosphere on the streets of zimbabwe's capital, harare, tonight. the country's president, robert mugabe, is under house arrest and the military took control of the city and the state broadcaster in the early hours of this morning. it insisted it was not a coup, but an attempt to do with what it describes as criminals around the 93-year-old leader. the bbc reports from harare. reporter: this is what zimbabwe woke up to this morning, tanks on the streets of the capital city. something that has never happened in nearly 40 years of independence. followed by a statement from the military on state tv saying the mugabe family is safe and this was not a coup.
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>> what the defense forces is doing is to pacify the degenerating political, social, and economic situation in our country, which, if not addressed , may result in a violent conflict. reporter: overnight, president mugabe, the world's oldest leader, lost control of a country he has led for 37 years. and though the generals say he remains president, he is clearly no longer calling the shots. the presence of the military is being felt here on the streets of harare, and some parts of the city are on lockdown. this is as close as we can get to some of the military tanks that are stationed in strategic positions. one, as you can see here, has blocked off access to the president's office. there is another that has blocked off access to parliament. the president still has his supporters, especially in the rural areas.
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but here in harare, it is a different story. >> we are going to have a good life now. we are looking forward to christmas because of what has happened. we want to thank those who organized this, and we want them to remain until our problems are resolved. >> i want to thank the general for removing this tyrant. he was ruling the country as if it belongs to his family. reporter: much now depends on how to zimbabwe's neighbors react to the situation, especially south africa. its president, jacob zuma, spoke on the phone to mr. mugabe earlier, and sent the south african defense minister to assess the situation firsthand. >> i'm hoping that the defense force will not move and do more damage, that they will be able to respect the constitution of zimbabwe, as well as the people of zimbabwe. reporter: but ultimately, this takeover is down to a power
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struggle within zimbabwe. , themnangagwa vice president, was sacked. a loyal ally, he was like mugabe involved in the country's struggle for independence, but he found himself against this woman, grace mugabe, the president's young, ambitious, and some would say ruthless wife . a one-time typist, now one of the most powerful political country, with plans to take over as vice president. she remains a divisive figure among party supporters. just last week, she was met with boos while attending a rally. do it! go ahead, i don't care. reporter: since the takeover, the military has begun to arrest of those close to her, and british for officers issued a warning to british nationals in
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the city. >> stay in your hotel room until things settle down a bit. reporter: tonight the city remains in relative calm. so far, a bloodless military takeover. but it leaves those inside the country are wondering what lies ahead. change is underway, but whether it is the change zimbabweans have been yearning for is far from clear. more on this, i was joined a short time ago with the former u.s. assistant secretary of state for african affairs. ambassador, thank you for joining me. who is running the country? >> well, i assume based on what we just viewed that the military is running the country, and that we have experienced what everyone would have said is a coup d'état. jane: but why now? 37 years later? >> why not now? it has been 37 years, and i believe that president mugabe has had a number of opportunities over the past 20 years to choose a successor, to
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transition, and to allow zimbabwe to move into a community of democracies and our community of nations. he has every single time allowed that opportunity to flee. and i think this time he didn't succeed. jane: so is this a positive change that could be for the good, or is it simply a transference of power? >> i think that remains to be seen. it depends on what the military does with the power they have taken. if they organize themselves and turn the government over to a civilian government that is prepared to move forward towards elections that are inclusive, then this is a positive change. if this is more of the same, with just a change of names and a change of people, then i am worried that zimbabwe will continue on the path it is on now. jane: how central to all of this
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is mr. mugabe's wife? >> i think she played a key role in all of this. the decision of president mugabe to fire his vice president led many to believe that he was setting up a plan that would allow her to move into his position once he was gone. and i think that scared every zimbabwean, the good ones who are looking for positive change and those who want to see things remain the same. jane: many countries, including the u.s., has been highly critical of the way mr. mugabe has been running the country. does anybody actually want to see him back? >> i don't think so. i can't speak for the world, but as i have had discussions with many people, i think most are not surprised by this, and even his supporters thought that he stayed too long. i think we are all hoping that that this is the path to change in zimbabwe. jane: what about zimbabwe's neighbors, such as south africa?
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could they intervene here? should they be worried about what is happening? >> i think they should be worried, because it is not clear what this will lead to, and if the situation remains calm. we are hopeful it will, but if it doesn't, zimbabwe's impact on south africa will be pretty devastating. i don't think an intervention by the south africans is in the offing. but as the head of sadc, south africa and the sadc countries will be looking to find a path for a smooth transition, and that is in south africa's interest. jane: ambassador, regardless of who gains control in the end, will any of this actually address the underlying issues that have plagued countries like zimbabwe? >> i think that is a key question and a key worry, because the expectations of the average citizen on the street will be very, very high, and how
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to address those expectations in ways that will keep people calm will be very difficult to do. anyone who takes over leadership of zimbabwe now has to start addressing the root causes of unemployment, poverty, and the other difficulties that average zimbabweans have experienced. jane: ambassador, thank you for joining me. >> thank you. jane: 50,000 children under age five are expected to die in yemen this year, according to the charity save the children. the crisis began in 2015 went when houthi rebels, believed to be backed by iran, ousted the president and took control of parts of the country. a coalition led by saudi arabia began a campaign of airstrikes to restore the government. in the second part of this special report from yemen, the bbc goes to the frontline city of taiz, where fierce fighting
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is continuing. reporter: it shouldn't be like this. children fed through plastic tubes, not because of nature, but because of man. she is two years old and acutely malnourished, her skin starved of nutrients, is flaky. she is a prime target for infections that could kill her. >> she had diarrhea and vomiting when we first came to the hospital. now they feed her through a pipe. there seems to be nothing we can do. who can i blame? i don't know. reporter: the tragedy of the yemen war is that she is far from alone in her suffering. there are half a million other children straddling life-and-death. it is estimated a child is dying of a preventable disease here every 10 minutes.
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the city of taiz, population 600,000, sums up yemen's dystopian nightmare. it is a city sinking under the weight of war. no one seems to be in control here. rubbish piles up in the streets. it fills the local canal instead of water, much of it bags of human excrement. cholera is rampant. taiz sits on the front line this country's war between saudi-backed government forces and houthi rebels allegedly supported by iran. win taiz on the main highway running north to south across yemen, and you dominate the southern battlefield. a commander with forces loyal to the government points out the positions of the rebel army. >> there are coalition supporters with airstrikes and
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light weapons, and some heavy weapons, but not enough. their efforts are important to liberating yemen, but we need more heavy weapons. reporter: neither side in this war is making any significant territorial gains. the fighting simply grinds on, with civilians inevitably caught in the middle. for the saudi-led coalition, airpower after two years has not proved decisive. it is not winning the day. the military intervention is stuck, bogged down. any kind of victory here seems a long way off. while the fighting drags on, the neglect mounts in taiz. war dictates everything, not the banalities of peace. this is the local courthouse. what chance of law and order here? whole neighborhoods have been abandoned.
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this man points out there are snipers down the road. we can't go any further. >> there's no food. they are besieging us. we cannot move at all. our lives are full of danger. and no one is helping us. taiz has been forgotten. reporter: and every citizen has a war story, though some require no words. he lost three limbs and his mother. she was martyred, he told me. shot by a sniper. "i wish this country was safe." few in yemen have the luxury of memories that don't include a time of war. through britain's colonial era, the years of communism, civil war, and now the proxy struggle of regional powers that see
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saudi arabia so prominent here. this is what is left of a department store smashed by an airstrike. after all the destruction and lives lost, this war, like most modern conflicts, will only come to an end with a political solution, and at the very least, that requires the yemenis themselves to come together for the greater good. but the chances of that happening are as remote as they have ever been, so it seems yemen's pain is destined to endure. all the malnourished children in this humble ward are victims of grand designs. the maneuverings of the middle east power players from tehran to riyadh. yemen is stuck in the middle. born into this world is war babies. will they ever know peace? jane: children once again bearing the brunt of the tragedy
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in yemen. some other news. the u.s. secretary of state has called for an independent investigation into widespread violence against myanmar's rohingya muslims. on a visit to the country, rex tillerson pledged more aid to those who have fled to bangladesh, describing the scenes as horrific. police in california says a man killed his wife and hid his body in his home before he went on a rampage and shot dead other 4 people. kevin neal fire into an elementary school yesterday but was stopped from entering the building by teachers who put the school on lockdown. you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's program, we are in alabama, where many republican voters are standing by roy moore, dismissing allegations of sexual misconduct with teenagers. australia has voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage, the result of an 8-week postal
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survey showing 61% of the voters are in favor. the vote is it legally any, but the prime minister says he hopes the law can be changed by the end of the year. our correspondent is at a rally for gay campaigners in sydney. reporter: after months of divisive debate, finally australia has its answer. [cheers] reporter: the numbers confirmed what the opinion polls said all along, that a majority of australians do support same-sex marriage. huge.is it is huge. is just being recognized, just like everyone else. it's freedom, its acceptance, it's all of it. reporter: the 8-week vote, was according to the government, a
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prompt of respectful discussion. what it always work out that way. >> go home, homophobes! reporter: both sides have been accused of demonizing each other. faith groups say their right to religious freedom has been diminished, and they will carry out to ensure the people who oppose gay marriage have a legal right to do so. >> the course of effective changing the definition of marriage has been to restrict people's ability to hold a different point of view. reporter: everyone knows this isn't the end of the line. it is not done and dusted until parliament passes legislation. they hope it will be done before christmas. but that is a concern for another day. these folks are celebrity, getting the party started full -- celebrating, getting the party started. the celebrations will continue into the night.
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jane: today, president trump spoke for more than 20 minutes about his 12-day trip to asia, but one topic that never came up was the growing controversy over roy moore. there have been calls for mr. moore to drop out of the alabama senate race over allegations of sexual misconduct. he denies the claims, today tweeting, "we are everything the washington elite hate. we will not quit." but tonight the senate republican party has called for an emergency meeting. roy moore's attorney has been speaking to the press. rajini vaidyanathan is in montgomery, alabama, for us now. what has his lawyer been saying? rajini: well, his lawyer said that not one time have i ever remotelymoore act inappropriately towards any woman. he says he is known roy moore for a long time. very specifically, he refuted allegations made by beverly
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young nelson, the woman who spoke to the media this week alongside lawyer gloria allred. when beverly young nelson made those claims, she said roy moore assaulted her when she was 16 years old and he was in his 30's. at the news conference, she presented her high-school yearbook, which has, she says, roy moore's signature there. the lawyer says that is not roy moore's handwriting, and he has demanded that the yearbook is handed over so they can independently analyze it. the other claim that they saided, beverly nelson after the alleged sexual assault, she hadn't seen him since. the lawyer said that roy moore was actually a judge in divorce proceedings she was involved in several years later. jane: you are on the ground that there. what are his supporters taking of all of this? , i spoke to a group of republicans last night, and they seemed very much behind roy
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moore. many of them told me that they simply do not believe these women who have come forward. tell how old anybody is down here in the south because some of these girls look like they are 20, some look like they are 14. i don't know. that is why i say i feel it is really suspicious that it took 40 years for anybody to come forward. >> i think they have been put up to it, ok? their methods and problems 40 years come i don't know about all of that. but i will say this -- judge moore is a good man, he is a righteous man, and he wants to win for this country. >> unfortunately in this state, i think he is still going to win. well, the latest opinion polls from this senate race, which is only a month away now, do show that the democrats are picking up some ground here. judging by the people i spoke to, jane, roy moore still does have a lot of support in the
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evangelical conservative base. jane: we are getting reports that another woman has come forward. what we know about her? minutes,n the last few the local paper here published an account from another woman who is alleging sexual misconduct by roy moore. she says it happened in 1991, when she was visiting one of his law offices on a legal business. crucially, what the newspaper is saying makes the allegation different is that he was married at the time. the newspaper did reach out to roy moore's office for comment. as of now, they don't have one. ni, roy moore clearly doesn't care what the republican leadership in washington thinks of all this. they have been increasingly putting pressure on him to quit. but how worried should he be about the local gop in alabama holding an emergency meeting about this? rajini: yes, they are talking tonight about whether or not they should remove him as the
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candidate, but there have been a number of republican associations in alabama today who have issued statements supporting roy moore wholeheartedly. many people here say they don't like people from outside alabama telling them what to do, and that certainly is the sense not just amongst republicans i spoke to, but some of the local party organizations. so they as of now are still standing behind him, but of course tonight the number of women who are alleging sexual misconduct is now at 6. jane: rajini vaidyanathan in alabama with the very latest, thanks for joining us. i won't even attempt to try to mimic a drum machine. i believe that up to the experts in our next story. -- i will leave that to the experts in our next story. beatboxers from more than 40 countries have gathered in new york for the beatbox championships, and as you are about to find out, the competition is very fierce. >> no matter how good a
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beatboxer is, anything can happen in the beatbox battle. my name is anthony. i began beatboxing for the fun of it, and that turned into wanting to show others my beatboxing. and that turned into now, where i want to show others my beatboxing and make an impact on the world with my music. >> welcome to the 2017 american beatbox championship. >> if you want to really learn how to beatbox, go back and look at how these brothers did it. >> it was different for me, because people didn't know what i was going to do.
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i mean now, kids can go online and google you and have your whole discography right in front of them. ♪ i am the first beatboxer ever to tour europe extensively. and this is before -- before youtube was huge, before instagram, even before myspace. it is like setting the pavement for what is to come. ♪ music has really touched me in a way that changed me forever. getting too deep, hold on.
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that.i could do maybe not. i am jane o'brien. thank you for watching "bbc 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,
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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 aruba.com. >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> sreenivasan: good evening. i'm hari sreenivasan. judy woodruff is away. on the newshour tonight: a political gamble. republican lawmakers push to repeal a key part of obamacare in their tax reform plan. also ahead, political turmoil in zimbabwe. military leaders stage a coup to remove president robert mugabe from power. plus, down to earth. astronaut scott kelly reflects on life after spending a year in space. >> it's something you think about, especially when you see those flashes and you realize, "hey, that cosmic ray didn't just go through my eye. it went through my brain." >> sreenivasan: all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour.

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