tv BBC World News PBS October 12, 2011 12:30am-1:00am PDT
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>> and now, "bbc world news." >> hello and welcome. i am in singapore. >> and i am in london. a plot to assassinate the saudi ambassador to london. authorities charged to iranians. the release of the captured soldier gilad shalit. in return, israel will hand over 10 -- 1000 palestinian prisoners. >> and dozens are reported to have been freed. authorities in new zealand arrest the captain of a container ship which has caused a maritime pollution disaster. it is 11:00 in singapore. >> it is 4:00 in london. broadcasting to viewers around the world. welcome to newsday.
iran iran has said it is our rage by allegations from the united states that it was involved in a plot to assassinate the saudi ambassador to washington. u.s. officials say the people -- say the plot was conceived and directed from iran. they arrested two men with links to the iranian government. in response, iran embassadors accused the u.s. of politically motivated warmongering. >> the alleged plot was to kill this man, the long serving saudi ambassador to washington. it sounded like fiction, but the polis all too real, said this
u.s. official. >> individuals from this country saw to conspire with a drug- craft -- a drug trafficking cartel in another country to assassinate a u.s. official on a -- on u.s. soil. it reads like a script, but it was very real and many lives would have been lost. >> there was no hesitation about who was to blame. senior members of the president's cabinet pointed the finger at iran. >> this was conceived, sponsored, and directed from iran. it flagrantly and violated international law. >> washington was one place the ambassador could have been bombed. the aman -- the man's body was firing a mexican drug cartel to carry out the hit, but he was talking to an fbi investigator.
there would have been hundreds of people there, including u.s. senators. a group acting outside ironic is said to have ordered the plot. this could have been part of the bitter struggle with the civilian leadership and their struggle for influence in the middle east. >> saudi arabia and iran are engaged in a cold war. the saudi ambassador would be the perfect target. >> a spokesman for the iranian leaders said the allegations are a child story, propaganda designed to distract americans from their domestic problems. >> the u.s. secretary of state, hillary clinton, had this to say about america's message to iran. >> we will be consulting with our friends and partners around the world about how we can send a very strong message that this kind of action, which violates
international norms, must be ended. >> gilad shalit, an israeli soldier held by a loss for the past five years, is to be released in a significant prisoner exchange. he will be back with his family in days. in return, around 1000 palestinian prisoners will be freed by the israelis. >> tonight in jerusalem, the israeli cabinet has gathered to confirm a decision that people have been waiting for for five years. a decision the government has agonized over for nearly as long. the words from prime minister netanyahu confirmed a deal has been struck with a loss to release a young israeli soldier, gilad shalit. >> today, i bring to the
government a proposal for an agreement to return gilad shalit home, alive and well. this is the last prove that he is still alive. a video released by moss more than two years ago. at that time, he had been held somewhere in gaza for three years. in the open hatred between israel and hamas has made this an extremely difficult deal to strike. he has been in captivity for more than five years. israel says it will release 450 palestinian prisoners. once he is free, another 550 prisoners will be released a. for the hammad leadership, this is a huge propaganda coup. it has been quick to point out the scale of its success. >> the summary of this deal is
1000 pow's plus 27 female pow's. and the second deal is two months after the first deal is done. >> this deal will be extremely popular in israel. his five-year captivity has been an open sore in a country where most families have a son or daughter in the military. the one thing that will not do is bring an israeli-palestinian peace deal closer. if anything, by boosting the popularity of a mosque, a could make a resumption of peace negotiation that much harder. >> parliament has voted against the crucial bailout fund for the eurozone. all 17 members must endorse the package. czechoslovaks it was the last country to decide. it thought they would support the fund in a later vote.
>> this is a no-confidence vote in the government. this is because one of the four parties in the coalition have decided it does not want to support this bailout fund. the second poorest member of the eurozone should not have to pay for countries such as greece. it voted against in the shake- up. it has been a big problem in the cabinet for the slovakia and the prime minister. it is not necessarily the end of the line for the bailout fund. as indications came from the finance minister earlier in the day, there may be another vote some point later this week. it is possible that the three coalition parties in the government will vote with the opposition to bring through the
bailout funds. this kind of uncertainty is unlikely to inspire confidence. >> you have details of political amnesty taking place in burma. >> that is right. the military of that government in burma has to leave the popular comedian and a leading dissident as part of a long- awaited amnesty. most of the 600 prisoners released today were just for criminal offenses, but there are expected to see several hundred political detainees released as well. earlier, i asked our southeast asia correspondent about the significance of this release. >> it depends who you ask. the burmese government was said this is a big step is making and it is doing a for the sake of the country. on the list are those prisoners who are coming to the end of
their terms and you have to behave well in prison. you could interpret that, and many lobbyists curbs may interpret that as meaning, no one who can be a threat to established authorities. the flip side of the argument is that this is a significant step. it is a large release and the key will be how many political prisoners are set free and who is on the list. it was widely anticipated that one of the biggest names would be allowed to walk free. he has not been in the greatest health recently. western diplomats, pro-democracy campaigners will scrutinize the faces of those who are walking out of the prison to see exactly how significant they believe this to be. in all likelihood, western government will take their leave from the pro-democracy activists in burma. >> what our political analyst telling you? is this another step towards
more political reforms in burma? >> there really is a split between burma-watchers at the moment. on one hand there are those who are very wary, very cautious, and say none of the steps taken so far by the military-led government are in reversible. it could still go wrong. we have been here before with burma. the flip side is that this is really something different. there is change under way in burma. the question is how far it goes, how deep those reforms go. but the reformers in the new government should be encouraged. it is time for western government to make some sort of gesture in his return. >> the u.s. senators approved legislation intended to punish china for keeping its currency artificially low. the bill would prevent imports
from china. china calls this a breach of rules which will affect relations between the countries. hillary clinton says it is a feeling felt by many americans. this brinksmanship between the americans and chinese on the currency issue has been going on for some time. if the senate approves the deal, it will go to the house of representatives. could this impact relationships between both sides? >> it sadly could. beijing said it would deleterious lea affect relations between the two countries carried it would destroy efforts between the two countries. concerns, itsng's
policy is to maintain the gradual appreciation of the yuan. it would not help china and it would not solve problems in america. this issue is being seen as a political one in china, rather than a valid economic argument. >> despite the senate's currency bill, we have seen the yuan appreciating about 3.5% here and it has hit a new record high on monday, up 6.37%. >> the yuan is appreciating. from the u.s. politicians point of view, it is not appreciating enough. in the u.s., you have presidential elections of next year. some american politicians want to blame somebody.
in this case, they are blaming china. it is very unlikely that this bill will actually pass. there is opposition from john boehner and president obama. it is unlikely that this bill will be signed into law. >> thank you so much. you are watching bbc live from singapore and london. still to come on the program. thousands of bodies found in unmarked graves. who are they and how did they die? >> and the film props' creating a headache. counter-terrorism policing hungary. in on many occasions, libyas new government has declared the battle almost over. it could mean the end of lastting in gaddafi's
stronghold. there are still hundreds of loyalists holding out. >> heavy rain and a low in the fighting on tuesday allowed hundreds of civilians to try and escape sirte. cars packed with families took a chance to get away from the city that has been shelled and bombed relentlessly. frightened children among those braving the cold and wet. but it was not children and families maintaining this checkpoint were after. there were on the lookout for gaddafi's men. signs that they may have handled weapons. >> are you a fighter? >> no, i am not. >> we do not believe him. >> we saw many men being ordered out of their cars for questioning. many had no id papers and told
convincing stories. a man from sub-sahara africa, in particularly, are suspected of being paid mercenaries. each car is meticulously search for weapons or highways. among those detained today is reported to have been one of gaddafi's cousins. any civilians will be allowed to move away from the front lines. as fighting intensifies, his fighters will abandon their weapons and uniforms and tried to disguise themselves as civilians and escape. the violence continues on the road to sirte. >> this is newsday on the bbc. i am in singapore. >> i am in london. u.s. authorities have charged
to by iranians over an alleged plot to assassinate the saudi ambassador to washington. israel has agreed to a deal with a loss which will see the release of the captured soldier, gilad shalit. >> the captain of a ship which ran aground in a new zealand, causing oil to leak into the bay, has faced court. our correspondent in sydney gave me more details about the captain's court appearance. >> he has been charged with operating a vessel in a manner causing unnecessary danger or risk. he was only in court for a few minutes. his lawyer asked for his name not to be published because he said some people might take matters into their own hands given the current climate of anger over this accident. although his name was withheld,
he has now been sent to custody. that was a possibility, including to the minister. he may face more charges. the charges he faces so far could lead to up to a year in jail or a $10,000 fine. as for the ship itself, operations have been suspended because bad weather is continuing. it has been three days of bad weather now. the shift -- the shift is tilted at in 18 degree angle. we also learned that some other contenders have fallen into the water. none of those contain any dangerous chemicals. >> se asia are being flooded in southeast asia, cambodia and the philippines. hundreds of people had -- hundreds of people have drowned and millions of people's lives have been affected. factories have been flooded and billions of dollars of damage have been lost. the government in india ordered
that investigation to determine the identity of nearly 6000 -- 6000 bodies buried in unmarked graves. many of those may be civilians killed by forces over the past 20 years. an armed uprising broke out against indian rule. >> buried in the hillside. a dirty secret. the forgotten remains of those killed in a brutal conflict. >> the only one who can identify the graves, that he said the police made him dig, 235 here alone. just one of several unmarked graves. this is the only thing that tells you that this is a grave. underneath these graves are the bodies of young men between the ages of 25-35.
no one came forward to lay claim to them. at his home nearby, he recalls of the bodies were brought by the police in the dead of night. he is not testifying before a state commission. >> many of the bodies were covered in blood. they had bullet holes. some had broken legs. it is hard to describe. these are not normal deaths. >> at the height of the conflict, thousands of men appeared. many fear that ended up in the grave. income -- allegedly taken by the army in 1996. she remembers the day her husband left home of 11 years ago. >> he still as not returned to. they believe he was retained by the security forces carry it -- by the security forces.
>> she is demanding answers from the government. >> in past the security forces where they are. ask them what has happened. >> inundated by decades of violence, the security forces are a constant presence brought into combat. the government says that is to they have targeted. >> there are men from various parts of the world who were killed by infiltrating. their identities could not be established. there were handed over to the local communities and buried. collects millions of civilians. the grace that ignited the fresh debate over india's conduct. caught between the ambitions of india and pakistan, these people have paid a better price in a war of attrition that has claimed 60,000 lives.
>> production is soaring in afghanistan. efforts to end the power of the drug barons. rising opium prices in world markets. we have spent many years monitoring the drug trade. reporting from col. -- from kabul. >> the country still produces around 90% of the world's illegal opium. the vast majority is being produced in afghanistan's south province the. in a country rife with corruption, week policing, and a dire poverty, the drug is still far too easy to get a hold of. >> we still have around 1
million afghans. that means 1 million afghan families who are being affected by drug addiction. in a proud country like afghanistan, this is very sad. >> the afghan government has identified its eradication program in the last few months. destroying poppy fields, seizing opium, and encouraging farmers to move to other crops. the farmers know that they can make 10 times more money growing poppies than any other crop. this farmer looks on helplessly as his fields are destroyed. eradication of poppy fields and the poverty that follows has often driven poor villagers and farmers into the hands of the taliban and other insurgent groups. the u.n. report says there is a
clear link between insecurity in the country and opium cultivation. the taliban involvement in the drug trade ranges from providing farmers with fertilizers to protecting farmers and distributing drugs. hundreds of millions of dollars per year are flowing from the opium trade into the insurgency. money that is making drug barons richer and helping to fund the taliban. >> there is a surprising weapons sold in hungary. >> dozens of rifles intended to be used in a movie have been seized by counter-terrorism police in hungary. authorities from london could not be allowed to enter the country because they have the potential to fire live ammunition. they were meant to be used as props in the film called "world
war z." >> a cache of weapons. maybe an international gunrunning relationship has been uncovered. in fact, they were to be part of a film featuring this man. they were destined for the set of the latest brad pitt movie, a post of pakalitha epic zombie movie being filmed in hungary. the authorities say the weapons still work. >> weapons like these cannot be imported into the country. this includes support weapons as well as seized military weapons. guns like these can only be used by the army or the police. >> the guns arrived from london, where they had been made safe for use with a blank ammunition. the hungarian customs office said they had not been modified
enough. there has been no official comment from the filmmakers, although the episode has not held up production on the blockbuster. brad pitt is concentrating on his role in the film. whether he will have the firepower he needs to tackle the undead is another question. >> you have been watching newsday on the bbc. i am in singapore. >> i am in london. a reminder of our immane the news this hour. u.s. officials say they have boiled a plot to assassinate the saudi ambassador to washington. two men linked to the iranian government. the u.s. -- an iranian man with u.s. citizenship consents to the plot. secretary clinton promised further sanctions against iran. you are watching news day. thank you for being there.
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