tv BBC World News PBS April 30, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm PDT
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>> hello and welcome to "newsday on the bbc." >> here are the headlines. winning the war, the obama administration defends the use of drones to kill terror suspects but the announcement doesn't go to plan. >> i speak out on behalf of abdul rahman al awacy, 16-year-old born in denver, killed in yemen, just because his father was -- >> more than 100 people feared dead after a ferry capsizes in northeastern india. >> gunshots oust a coup. his family said it's just an attempt to buy off international pressure. it's 9:00 in the morning here in singapore. >> and it's 2:00 a.m. here in london. broadcast to the viewers on pbs
in america and around the world," newsday." president obama's top counterterrorism adviser has given the most detailed explanation yet of america's use of drone attacks to kill suspected terrorists. in a speech in washington, john brennan said the strikes by unmanned aircraft, which were thought to have killed hundreds of militants in afghanistan, pakistan and yemen, were helping to win the war against al qaeda. the comments come in a week marking a year since osama bin laden's death. steve kingston reports from washington. >> it's the twhap redefined warfare. a man's drones allows washington to attack and target militants thousands of mile as way at the touch of a button. now with unprecedented openness,
the obama administration wants to talk about them. translator: let me say it as simply as i can -- yes, in full accordance with the law and in order to prevent terrorist attacks on the united states and to save american lives, the united states government conducts targeted strikes against specific al qaeda terrorists sometimes using remotely piloted aircraft of on referred to publicly as drones. >> the president's counterterrorism adviser then offered a legal and ethical justification for drone strikes. he said al qaeda had attacked america on 9/11 and that the u.s. had the right to strike back at enemies on and off the battlefield. translator: there is nothing in international law that bans the use of a remotely plolted aircraft for this purpose or prohibited us from using lethal force against our enemies outside of an active battlefield. at least when the country
involved can sense or is unable or unwilling to take action against the threat. >> that would cover yemen, far from the battlefields of afghanistan, where last year a u.s. drone strike killed the militant cleric. he was an american citizen with the administration insists his actions were lawful. >> i speak out on behalf of abdul rahman -- >> others strongly disagree and for a time a speech was interrupted by a protester who said the administration should apologize to the deaths of innocent civilians in drone strikes. >> on behalf of the constitution, on behalf of the the rule of law, i love the rule of law. >> eventually she was bundled out with the parting words is, "shame on you." mr. brennan acknowledged he struggled with the moral dimension of drone warfare but insisted it was the most clinical way to limit civilian casualties. >> it's this surgical precision,
ability with laser-like focus to eliminate the cancerous tumor called an al qaeda terrorist while limiting damage to the tissue around it. that makes this counterterrorism tool so essential. >> the obama administration has gone public about drones just as we reached the first anniversary of osama bin laden's death. officially the president says this is about being transparent with the american people. but he also firmly believes that national security is a vote winner. steve kingston, bbc news, washington. >> at least 100 people have died after a ferry capsized during a storm in northeastern india. the ship was reported to be carrying at least 300 passengers on the river in assam state. reports say more than 100 people are missing while dozens of others were rescued or made it to safety. our corespondent in deli said
night fall hampered the rescue effort. >> that's proving to be the problem. rescue teams reached the site of the accident which took place late in the afternoon. very strong winds and heavy rains. we understand the ferry actually split down the middle, broke into two and many of the people on board were swept away in strong currents. local police as well as army soldiers reached the site but they're having a very difficult time carrying out operations because it's dark and also because the weather continues to be bad. they have recovered 35 bodies but there are fears the toll could increase because of the large number of people on board. >> fighting has broken out between rival groups of soldiers in the capital of maully, a month after the president was took within the coup. they clashed with troops of leaders 1 in bamaco.
martin, a journalist, gave us this update on the situation in the capital. >> the fighting is still going on. my home is a few kilometers from the center of town because we have been able to hear continuous small arms fire and also heavy weapons fire. the reports i have is that the red berets are groups of soldier and in controlled of the national broadcaster, the state television and radio and that they may have also attacked the international airport and there's also fighting going on, on the main road that leads to the juentia headquarters. the junta that toppled maully's democratically elected president just over a month ago. >> we hear power cuts in the city and disruption of services and they're showing documentaries rather than news. is that best to your knowledge? >> that's right. i've got state broadcast on at
the moment and it's showing a nature documentary. the 8:00 p.m. news was not on. usually the national news is on at 8:00 p.m. in the evening and that did not come on and as i say, we still hear quite heavy gunfire coming from various parts of the city and i hear reports of trucks with many soldiers circulating throughout the town. >> martin, the significance of the airport being attacked is that i gather they're preparing for the arrival of the west african force that's meant to secure the transition back to civilian rule. >> yeah. this is certainly what the junta is worried about, a junta spokesman i spoke to earlier said this might be the plan to secure the airports, the regional body could send troops in. don't know how credible that is or how much that's rhetoric on behalf of the junta to make sure they keep the population on
side. but certainly there's been a major attempt this evening to destabilize the junta, which has managed to keep control tell mali more or less for the last six weeks and major attempt now to push them out of power. >> martin vogel speaking to us earlier. at least nine people have been killed and as many injured -- 100 injured as explosions in the syrian city. report says three large bombs went off. two targeting security service buildings. opposition activists say the dead included security personnel and civilians. the state news agency said the blasts were the work of suicide bombers. president obama has held talks with the japanese prime minister yashheeky noto in washington. the talks were dominated by north korea and its failed missile launch and china's growing influence in the pacific region. and there's more tension in bahrain. >> that's right, gavin.
a court in the tiny gulf kingdom has ordered retrial in the case of the hunger striker who was jailed for leading last year's pro-democracy protest, abdul haji waja and 20 other activists convicted. frank gardner reports. >> supports from the bahrainian activist sentenced to life for treason last year by a military tribunal. he's been on a hunger strike since february. he will remain in custody while his case is reviewed in civil court. his wife told me she hoped he would be freed. >> he was telling me that my hunger strike is not for negotiation. i'm not going to stop until i'm free. either gidge or by coming out of jail. i'm not going to stop. i think the government is assassinating my husband in a very slow and baneful way.
>> the allegation that the government intends any harm is absolutely untrue, since the beginning he's been given access 24 hours a day, best medical attention. with regular reported on his health and he's been visited regularly by the danish ambassador and his family. >> at weekly prayers in the sunni mosque, they condemned the anti-government protest that turned violent. we found little sympathy here and those who clash with police or the hunger striker. >> it's quite accurate. there are other prisoners and other parts of the world who have hunger and no one cares about them. why should we care about him? >> large numbers from the shia majority want more rights from the sunni monarchy. he wants them gone altogether and in these districts has a following.
>> he's speaking for democracy and everything, human rights. therefore he's popular and we will fight for him as he is fighting this. >> this is one of the original anti-government protesters in the week here in bahrain. the problem start when's most of the demonstrators go home and activists come out on the street and respond with tear gas. driving away, we witnessed the beginnings of exactly that escalation. >> go for it! and this footage recently posted online appears to show the mass petrol bombing of an activist. how do they assess security here? >> you can go and find trouble. no one denied that. the vast majority of the island is peaceful. and most people know that.
>> in much of the country life and business goes on. but until issues of human rights and sharing power are resolved, sporadic violence will continue to plague this island. frank gardner, bbc news, bahrain. >> united nations' secretary-general ban ki-moon will be flying to rangoon today to meet up with burmese opposition leader sue which i. ; soo-chi said they will take up her seat in parliament. they are party refused to swear in the parliamentary oath. we're joined by bang coke n your view, what kind of involvement and role should the united nations have in burma going forward? >> well, at this point it needs to play the role of human rights advocate to a certain extent. when you look at the u.n. role over the decade, human rights has been a key benchmark if you
will, or at least metric for measuring progress in the country. and two outstanding issues remain the situation for remaining political prisoners behind bars or at least hundreds, if not perhaps a thousand political prisoners remain behind bars in myanmar. while we're often reminded rome was not built in a day, given some of those prisoners are prisons of conscience that can and should be released immediately, certainly secretary-general ban ki-moon should be raising that. secondly, we're looking at the situation in the ethnic minority areas where internal armed conflict continues to take place in three areas and in some cases human rights violations are so widespread or systematic to constitute crimes against humanitarianty. that's always been of interest to the united nations, codified in a host of resolutions and treaties and banky should certainly raise that with the government. >> he will be meeting later today in rangoon. it seems like human rights and
sanctions seem to be a key point in their discussions because soo-chi says the western countries should not be lifting sanctions until human rights are in check. while mr. ban is saying all sanctions should be lifted while the u.s. is saying they won't lift human rights if dealt with. how do you think they will be able to meet halfway on this particular issue? >> there's been a halfway meeting already. some of the sanctions have been partially rolled back. even the united states relaxed some of their restrictions. ditto on the european union, australia, canada. i think now it's a matter of finishing the job and i think ban's message to choo's government and also with das soo-chi is to ensure that that job is finished. again, political prisoners, ethic minority situation, and host of legal reform because really without that sort of
reform and building up of the human rights infrastructure in the country, if you will, this whole reform effort depends on individuals and individuals come and go from the scene as we know. so this progress needs to be underlined by legal and judicial reform as well. >> ba gentleman minute joining us from bangkok, thank you, sir, for your insights. you're watching "newsday" on the bbc. still to come -- the art of science. leonardo da vinci's intricate work on display at the queen's gallery at buckingham palace. and carrying above the rest, the new world trade center that becomes new york's tallest building. >> now for a quick look at what's making front page news in britain and around the world. independent reports on u.n.
warnings that the border area between the newly sudans is in danger of becoming a humanitarian disaster zone. with thousands forced to flee their homes in the face of worsening fighting between the two countries. the former chairman of news corporation, james murdoch, will be formally criticized by m.p.'s investigating the u.k.'s phone hacking scandal says the guardian, when a report being released tuesday is expected to fall short of accusing him and misleading parliament about the extent of his knowledge of the affair. the south china morning post quotes a u.s. human rights group, which says the blind chinese dissident is likely to be given asylum in america in the coming days as officials from both countries try to strike a deal before high-level talks begin in beijing. and those are the main headlines from around the world.
this is "newsday" on the bbc. >> i'm gavin gray in london. the headlines this hour -- president obama's counterterrorism adviser john brennan has defended the american use of drone attacks to kill suspected terrorists. at least 100 people have drowned and another 100 missing from a capsized ferry in northeastern india. more now on our top story and john bellinger is a former legal adviser for the state department during the bush administration and he's now former -- senior fellow, rather, on the council of foreign relations in washington and joins us to talk about those public statements about the use of drones. thank you for joining us indeed, mr. bellinger. the talk in that statement was all about surgical precision, all about eliminating the al qaeda tumor but we didn't really
get very much else. this is the first public statement we had on zrones. why is it taking this long? >> this is the first acknowledgment by the obama administration that they are conducting drone strikes, even though that's a wildly known fact around the world. this was a top adviser to the president, john brennan, giving this on the anniversary of the death of bin laden. it did lay out the legal framework that the administration is applying for the use of drones in some significant detail as well as acknowledging that the u.s. is using drones. so it's significant in that regard. >> now, you were working for the state department during the bush administration and the american position under george bush and oshe's administration has been these attacks, these drones are lawful under u.s. and international law. does today's protests and the
killing of individuals who may not necessarily be of pakistani origin suggest there's a problem with this legalty? >> i have had some concerns over the last several years that president obama has dramatically ramped up the use of drone strikes. this is after all the president who was given the nobel peace prize and yet he is now, according to some reports, authorized up to 300 drone strikes, killing several thousand people over the last several years without laying out the legal framework he was using. it became more controversial last year when he targeted and killed an american citizen an anwr ail lackey last year and that raised significant consternation on groups in the right and left in the united states. this speech today by the president's counterterrorism adviser is an effort to address some of those concerns primarily
on the left but also on the right in the united states. i do applaud it in that regard. it's a pretty detailed speech about the legal rules that the u.s. is applying. not everybody will be happy with it. it doesn't go that far in saying who specifically has been targeted or how many people have been killed. but it's a pretty detailed speech. >> john bellinger, thank you so much for your insight. >> the largest-ever exhibition of leonardo da vinci's drawings of the human body go on display at the queen's gallery at buckingham palace later this week. da vinci has long been recognized as a great heartist but he was also a pioneer in the study of the human body. as our medical corespondent reports. >> the artist and agnat mist -- agnat writist, across 90 drawings, leonardo da vinci
depicts the human body in astonishing detail, using his skill as architect and engineer, three dimensional structures are revealed with extraordinary clarity. it's the biggest-ever exhibition of its kind but is it art or science? >> they are scientific papers. they may have aesthetic qualities that they think they're beautiful but they are not works of art and did not conceive them as works of art. we find them beautiful and moving and fascinating and expressions of the human spirit that match art but it's not art, it's science. >> leonardo injected wax into the cavities of the brain in order to draw it more accurately. and he created a glass model of the aortic valve so he could experience how blood flowed through the heart. these drawings were made in florence in 1507 following leonardo's dissection of a 100-year-old man that contained the first clear descriptions in medical history of narrowing of the arteries and of cirrhosis of
the liver. the museum in london contains thousands of anatty specimens collected in the 18th century. by this stage leonardo's drawings were still unpublished and would remain so for another 200 years. even today anatomyists say some of the studies such as this hand using layers to build up the bone, muscle and tendons are as accurate as any modern depiction. >> this idea of looking in layers is what you can now do to modern c.t. and magnetic resonance scanning. so he predated and anticipated what we are now doing 500 years later. >> leonardo produced the first accurate depiction of the spine. again compare it with the modern-day medical image. in amat my, as in so many fields, he was a genius far ahead of his time showing a thirst for knowledge and mastery
of art and science. >> one world trade center. the building replacing the twin towers destroyed on september 11 claimed the title of new york's tallest ice scraper overtaking the empire state building. still call him fitted monday structure is over 381 meters. >> eyes are drawn upwards nowadays on ground zero in lower manhattan. you can't miss the towering skyscraper rising at the rate of a floor a week. al qaeda destroyed the twin towers that stood here killing nearly 3,000 people in the 9/11 attacks. seeing the new structure, the source of pride for new yorkers. >> it's a miracle that's been long overdue. >> it's bittersweet. it's a beautiful thing we're up there but horrible reason to have to put it up, that the others came down the way they
did. >> it basically shows that we can resurrect. we're moving forward as a whole. >> with that steel column, one world trade center overtakes the empire state building as the tallest skyscraper in new york. ten years after the 9/11 attacks, once again, lower manhattan is home to the tallest bidding in the city. the milestone was reached, praise for those who toiled to make this rise from the rubble. >> as you can see when you see the people working here, this is more than a job for this team. to build this incredible tower. it's been an act of passion and act of patriotic duty. >> he love -- >> for mirke burke, whose firefighter brother was killed 9/11, it's symbolism in the timing of this. >> interesting it's coming very close to the anniversary of bin laden's death. so it's poetic justice.
>> the empire state building remains iconic but the title of tallest building has been reclaimed by skyscraper soaring over downtown. symbolizing the renaissance of ground zero. >> have you been watching newsday from the bbc. >> i'm gavin gray in london and reminder of the main news this hour -- president obama's counterterrorism adviser, john brennan, has given the most detailed explanation yet of america's use of drone attacks to kill suspected terrorists. in a speech in washington mr. brennan said the strikes by unmanned aircrafts, which are thought to kill hundreds of militants in afghanistan, pakistan and yemen were helping to win the war against al qaeda. he described the tactic as legal, ethical and necessary that his speech was interrupted by a protester. that's it for us in london and singapore,s this "newsday."
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