tv BBC World News PBS June 21, 2011 12:30am-1:00am PDT
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>> hello and welcome to "and newsday." >> the headlines. >> the defiance me stubborn opposition. libya's president calls for national dialogue, but protests continue. at least 44 are killed in a plane crash in northwest russia. >> flights canceled in australia as a volcanic ash cloud spreads again. an opposition leader delivers a series of lectures to bbc audiences. it is 11:00 a.m. in singapore. >> 4:00 a.m. in london. broadcasting on pbs and around the world, this is "newsday."
syria's president has addressed his nation and offered to him pitch in dialogue on the country's future. but his message only spark further demonstrations. he accused saboteurs of masterminding the protest and urged the thousands of syrians who have fled the country to return. and international journalists -- international journalists have been banned from serious -- from syria. audienceent assad's chanted they would sacrifice their blood for him. his family's role is being challenged like never before. protesters are calling for reform and blame him for the violence in syria. he has a different view. >> we should bring to account the saboteurs who are terrorizing people and destroying property. how can you do politically with
those who keep on killing people? >> he said 64,000 people are on the authorities wanted list. 1/3 have been arrested. he promised reforms. the audience applauded. the protesters took to the streets. in several cities, including the capital. if president assad hoped his speech could stop this, he is out of touch with most of his people. and in the refugee camps, this was one reaction. >> i will not believe him. the syrian nation will not believe him. he is a traitor. my brother was given electric shocks. we cannot believe the government. >> it became clear how great the gulf is between what the syrian opposition wants and what the
regime is prepared to deliver. that is dangerous. it is a country with big sectarian differences. the longer this goes on, the greater the chance of a deepening conflict. in syria, thousands still live in the open, where tells of army brutality are fueling resistance. one man told us soldiers shot at this bus which carried civilians. we cannot verify that, but his anger is clear. >> the people do not love you. go out. >> in turkey this evening, they were clearing land for another refugee camp. they must believe president assad did nothing today to end the violence, nothing to stop his people fleeing in fear of their lives. matthew price, bbc news, on the turkish-syrian border. >> finding out what is happening
in syria is no easy matter. western journalists have been barred from reporting openly there. susan roberts has been in damascus under cover for the bbc. surely getting off the plane in london, she spoke to me about her experience in the country. >> the president in his address was talking about conspiracy and seven touch. there is tremendous paranoia in the country. they suspect everyone. which does not make it easy for local people. it makes it difficult for a journalist in the country. foreign journalists are not allowed. any foreigner is regarded as a spy. carrying a camera is as bad as carrying a gun in any other country. it is a criminal offense. >> how did you get access to people and their opinions? >> i could not move around much. i had good contact with one of the activists in the country. they got me to people's houses. most of the prominent political activists are in hiding.
there was a lot of varying between the suburbs of damascus, often at night. i talk to a surprising number of people who were willing to talk. >> the opposition you spoke to -- who were they? >> i spoke to the grand old man of syrian opposition, rais -- raid saif. he shows how bloody minded the opposition have become. they have no confidence in the government. >> after at least 1300 lost their life for the revolution, after 1000 injured, and tens of thousands arrested -- now we say there is no way to go back to the old situation. syria belongs to the syrians. syria does not belong to the
assad family. they should have been stopped. it is in us. the syrians would never accept that. >> do people acknowledge that president aside -- assad has support in certain quarters, perhaps concentrated in the army, a powerful institution? >> i could not talk to the army or any of the elite who think along the lines of the president. one thing i did ask people is that up until now it has been thought that at least assad did guarantee some form of stability for the country. so the community were in support of him. but many people and spoke to in the business community said that is gone. there is so much corruption. the country cannot develop. it cannot move until this problem is solved. it can only be solved by the regime going. >> did you see any evidence or
hear people talking about defections from the army to the protests? >> i was in lebanon after a went to syria and met a defecting soldiers. there are dozens. not hundreds yet. he said he was instructed to fire indiscriminately by his commanding officer on women, children, and defenseless civilians. he could not do it. he shot into the air. he knew when they discovered he was not shooting at people that he would be killed, and so he left the country. we were hearing these kind of stories. >> how would you describe the feeling what you were there? >> it was very tense. the people of syria are tense all the time, looking over their shoulders. there is a feeling they are on a winning path. when i concluded every interview, three months on, thousands dead, who is winning?
they all said without hesitation -- the people. local officials said 44 people have been killed after a plane crashed in northwest russia. the tupolev tu-134 came down on a highway near petrozavodsk airport. the plan caught fire and broke up on lending. -- plane caught fire and broke up on landing. >> the plane came down near a road, about a kilometer from the runway at the petrozavodsk airport. emergency crews rushed to the scene, searching through twisted metal, trying to fight back flames. the upturned wheels of the undercarriage had been seen among trees or bushes. one eyewitness called -- recorded the aftermath of the crash on her phone. it is not clear what caused the crash. when news agency quoted the airport director as saying there were unfavorable weather conditions. one asked whether the plane
tried to land on the road or there was a technical fault. the investigation begins now. there were 52 on board. local officials say at least 44 were killed. there are reports that eight survived the crash, including a 10-year-old boy. few other details have been released. russia and the former soviet republic still have the worst air traffic safety records. crashes are not unknown. it will happen again. bbc news. >> now, the sentencing of the former president in tunisia. >> if a court has sentenced president zine al-abdine ben ali and his wife to 35 years in prison. the couple were tried in absence. they are currently in exile in saudi arabia. there were found guilty of
theft and unlawful possession of cash and jewelry, and fined $65 million. >> the legal proceedings against zine al-abdine ben ali took less than a day. tried in absentia, the ousted leader and his wife were sentenced to 35 years in prison for theft and illegal possession of cash and jewelry. , said the court, protesters called for mr. ben ali to be moved back to tunisia to face the charges in person. the former president is in exile in saudi arabia. early this year, huge protests by mainly young and unemployed to nations forced mr. ben ali out after 30 years in office. this was repeated against the arab world. along with the prison sentence, he has spent forced -- ordered to pay more than $65 million in fines. his lawyer is speaking from lebanon, unable to obtain a visa
to attend the trial. he said it is politically motivated. >> it is not a fair trail. -- trial. whatever sentence would be issued at the end of this process, in my opinion, does not meet the requirement for a fair trial. >> the ousted leader is facing a further trial for alleged drug possession. he denies the charges against him and defended the time in office. the caretaker administration is facing rising anger at the slow pace of change since mr. ben ali was forced out. they hope the swift resolution of the corrupt -- corruption trial will be roundly welcomed across the country. bbc news. >> in australia, the ash from a volcano in july is causing problems for travelers. -- in chile is causing problems
for travelers. the services have been disrupted as wind has carried the ash thousands of miles into the country's airspace. joining us from sydney is nick bryant. the ash clouds hover turned, canceling flights and stranding thousands of people's -- of people. >> it has done a lot of the world. last week, it affected 100,000 passengers and 700 flights. this could be worse. we are talking about flights being grounded not only in adelaide, a major airport, canberra, the nation's capital, mel bourne, the second-biggest airport in the country, and crucially, sydney. sydney flights have been grounded. that is australia's biggest airport domestically and internationally. that affects the eastern seaboard and australia as a
whole. it is huge. >> do we know when services will return to normal? >> at the moment, this cloud keeps drifting up the eastern seaboard. it started directly over the flight path in adelaide and kept drifting east. that is bad news for australia, because that is where most people live, this southeastern quadrant that takes in adelaide, melbourne, sydney. there is even a fear it could drift toward brisbane, capital of queensland. it is already affecting outlying towns in new south wales, like new castle. this is having a big impact on travel in australia. coach companies are laying on extra services. obviously, in a country this big, there are distances. for some country, they are impracticable. >> how damaging is this for the
airline industry? >> it is a nightmare for the industry. obviously, they have had the destruction last week. 700 flights were cancelled them. airlines like a virgin australia were trying to fly around and below the ash cloud. this time, they have decided it is too dangerous. qantas has had a cautious policy throughout. it says safety is more important than schedule. this comes at the end of the year or qantas has already had problems with its super jumbos. it grounded those. also, the ash cloud in europe. a nightmare for australian airlines. >> thank you so much for updating us. you are watching "newsday" on the bbc, live from singapore and london. still to come, our series on asian mega-cities continues. what is the secret of singapore's success? >> and even worse state than previously thought.
in the u.k., and there have been disturbances in northern ireland. there are reports a group of men are attacking people. >> in east belfast, there is what is called a flash point area, where a mainly catholic area meets a mainly protestant area. as you can see, there has been trouble. a lot of youths wearing masks, throwing missiles, mostly bricks and stones. sinn fein are claiming some loyalists have thrown paddleballs and paint bombs. they are saying a number of nationalist residents have been injured. "or the said -- this is one of the sad realities of life in northern ireland. this summer tends to brand -- bring some form of rioting in
parts of belfast. that would not be a full-scale riot in northern irish standards. it is more of a mini-riot. it happens only 5 miles or so from a county that last night was the scene of such joyous things as people celebrated northern ireland's favorite golfer, along to ad hoc -- rory mcilroy winning the u.s. open. that was 5 miles up the road. once again, the images of northern ireland no one wants to see. to put it into a context, by northern irish standards it is not a huge public order situation. the police seem confident they can bring it under control. >> we will get more on all of the other stories. you can visit the bbc news
websites. just log on and click on the like. -- link. >> this is "newsday" on the bbc. >> the headlines this hour. syrian activists say anti- government protests will continue as they rejected a speech by president bashar al- assad. a tunisian court has sentenced former president zine al-abdine ben ali and his wife to 35 years in prison for corruption. >> in the second of our series on asian megacities, we will look at singapore. the government foresaw the need to have millions of people on a limited space decades ago, and went about making it one of asia's most planned cities. it looks as though they will --
we look at whether they have succeeded. >> construction never stops here. another building joins the thousands that already dominate this island landscape. singapore is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. more than 7000 people filled the square kilometre of the island. as much as 50 years ago, authorities knew meticulous planning needed to be at the heart of their urban future. reality here is an exact match for the scale models of singapore's master planners. in water and waste management, singapore has been named one of the most efficient in the world. they have plans for everything from land sales to parking lot maintenance. even away from the city center, tall buildings by force base in the suburbs. -- vie for space in the suburbs.
these were built by the housing board. they are subsidized by the government. it is where the majority of singapore's 5.3 million people live. they have been building these states all over the island since the 1960's. a former master planner is the man behind this public housing. >> we are conscious of the fact that we have limited land. if we made a mistake in not building to a density to accommodate everybody, there is no way out of it. from early days, we calculated how much density we needed to maintain in order to house everybody. >> but not everyone agrees. one architect says this organization has a downside. >> is support is touting the notion that nothing else could
work, i would argue it is contributing to some of the problems. we are accelerating the idea that there are no limits to high-density living. the city is the primary center for human development. it is not. i want to see the realization of cities. -- the ruralizatio nof ci -- ruralization of cities. >> there is hardly in the countryside and a tear. singapore is often seen as a model for other developing countries, but this is a particular case. with economic success, it has been able to buy itself order and function. unlike other asian megacities, it does not have to make way for rural migrants flocking to the city for a better life.
bbc news, singapore. >> the nobel winner aung sang syu chi has likened her rise it -- has likened her situation to uprisings in the middle east. >> in the drenching monsoon, rangoon feels cut off from the outside world. but burma now has oil and gas to sell. it has been seven months since sung shi was released and there are signs of growing investment from outside. because foreign journalists are barred from here, a bbc technical team came to rangoon secretly to work with the leader of she recorded brief lectures. >> to be speaking to you now to the bbc has a very special meaning for me. it means that once again i am officially a free person. >> her words will go around the
world. people here will listen to them in great care. she still has a lot of support in burma. the general feeling is that her campaign has stalled. >> on san suu chinos this perfectly well -- aung san shu chi hope that with these lectures she will be able to reignite her campaign and give her followers the kind of fire the used to have. i went to her house. last november, when she was released from house arrest, she walked along the pathway to the gate to greet her ecstatic followers outside in the street. but since then, there has been no big challenge to the burmese regime, in spite of the revolution's elsewhere. there are people who say you yourself are not doing enough, that you should be out there
with banners, on the streets. >> of course i think about that and people talk about that. but i do not think you can ever say there is one way. there is never just one win in politics. >> the difference between burma and countries like tunisia and egypt, which have thrown of oppressive regimes, she says, is that the army did not open fire on demonstrators there. it has here, and is prepared to do it again. >> the problem in burma is fear. there is no feeling of security. that is terrible in our country. people do not feel secure. they are frightened. one could say it is insecurity which is keeping the people under oppression. >> she, unlike a lot of people here, is not afraid in the slightest. but it is clear that rather than force a violent showdown with the regime, she would prefer to
take the long road. john simpson, bbc news, rangoon. >> you have details of the catastrophic warning about the future of our oceans. >> it is a new report on the state of the world's oceans, warning marine life is likely to become extinct at a rate unprecedented in human history. there is a national program on the state of the ocean which claims they are in a worse state than previously thought. alex rogers is the lead reporter of the report. i asked him how he came to this conclusion. >> we actually met with a panel of marine experts in oxford a couple of months ago. we looked across a broad range of different areas of marine science. what we actually discovered was that changes were happening much more rapidly than we expected.
this is in relation to climate change. these effects are occurring at a rate that is unprecedented in past history, at least that we can tell from the record of the past. >> dr. alex rogers. one of the stars of the television series "jack s." has died in a car accident. he was driving in philadelphia when his car came off the road. the passenger was also killed. johnny not spell -- knoxville, the star of the show, said he had lost his brother. >> you have been watching "newsday." >> our main news -- syria's president has addressed his nation and offered to engage in dialogue on the country's future. that is it.