tv BBC World News PBS May 19, 2012 12:30am-1:00am PDT
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a meeting of minds, g-eight leaders have gathered for a crucial summit, with the question remaining about how to resolve the eurozone crisis. protests against the syrian government. the stock might rocket -- stock market rollercoaster, facebook shares valued. hello, and welcome to our viewers and america and around the globe. amid more worries of mid it the financial crisis in spain, we go to madrid to gauge the nation's mood and the olympic flame arrives on british soil ahead of the torch relay. hello, again. world leaders are beginning
talks and the united states, likely to be dominated by the crisis and the eurozone. they're also expected to discuss iran, north korea, and syria. president obama and the new french president had their first meeting, making it clear that they wanted to see a focus on growth rather than austerity. >> just a week in the job and the demand is at the eye of the storm, being sized up at the white house. when it comes to the european economy at least, president obama may have found himself a new friend. there are both men of the center-left, both want to stimulate a new european debate on the need for economic growth. >> we are looking forward to a fruitful discussion later this evening and tomorrow with the other g-eight leaders about how we can manage irresponsible approach to fiscal consolidation -- how we can manage a responsible approach to
fiscal consolidation coupled with a strong growth agenda. >> he said what happened to the result was of extraordinary importance to the whole world and the french president also said they had a message to the people of greece. >> on the greek-eurozone situation, we share the same views that greece must day in the eurozone and that all of us months to do what we can to make sure of that. >> then president obama teased that 30 years ago, he had come to america to study. his special subject? fast food. >> cheeseburgers go very well with french fries. >> they amount to a classic combination. president obama will have strong advice on how to solve the crisis, while saying in the end is up to the eurozone. they need to prioritize growth, not just focus on austerity. a stimulus package aimed at greece, assertive action by the
european central bank to send a message to the banks -- to the markets, and he does not want to spend and the american taxpayer money to help the eurozone. the money has to come from germany. angela merkel will be under a lot of pressure to stand her ground. there is a swirl of confusion. the greeks claim that merkel has been pushing them to hold a referendum on the euro. germany says that is not true. as the president of the european commission arrived in washington, they said they're working on an emergency exit strategy for greece, another denied it. >> decisive action is needed by the eurozone. they cannot go on kicking the can down the road. they have to be decisive about banks, the fire wall. and this is in britain's interests, too. >> eurozone leaders are not sure of the advice. president obama has been making the same point for several months. they think the dynamic in the
room may change and germans might, just might budge. protests have taken place across syria, with opposition activists calling friday a day of solidarity. two weeks ago, four students were killed when government troops stormed a campus of the university, sparking demonstrations in syria's main commercial center, which had been relatively quiet. >> the scenes may be familiar, but not for syria's largest city. it has largely escaped the violence seen elsewhere, but not anymore. there is an anchor, after soldiers stormed the university a few weeks ago and killed four students. u.n. monitors arrived, surrounded. a man is injured. his friends get him to a car.
lock the door, locked the door, locked the door, they cry. who can blame them for their nervousness. chaos has erupted. even this u.n. car was target. at the head of the observer-led team says there are limitations. >> no volume of observers can achieve a progressive drop and the permanent and to the violence if the commitment to give this a chance is not genuine from all internal and external actors. >> activists say there was also violence in other parts of the country, including damascus and homs. >> mortar shells and missiles rained down.
they went into some areas in the suburbs of the of homs city. moreover, arrests take place every day, including women and children. >> these pictures cannot be verified, but suggest a heavy armed presence on the streets of the capital. in a week that has exposed a deep divisions between the opposition and when the head of the u.n. reveals he believes al qaeda was behind two deadly car bombs and capital, worries that syria had entered civil war. tens of thousands of mainly shi'ite protesters have gathered in the capital of bahrain to oppose the unification of the country. arab heads of state met in saudi arabia to discuss the idea, but
failed to reach agreement. the president of mulally said she will repeal a law that bans thomas equality. she made the announcement in her first date of the nation address. the director general of the u.n. nuclear watchdog will travel to iran after what is described as signs of progress over a dialogue on iran's nuclear program. there are expected to push the case for full inspections of nuclear facilities, which iran insists will only be used for peaceful purposes. now to burma, peace talks underway between the ministers and rebels in the latest tips towards reform. the rebels agreed to a cease- fire in december after more than 50 years of conflict. john fisher is at the talks in eastern burma and joins me. what was the turning point that
convinced the rebels to come to the negotiating table? are they expected to gain concessions? >> the invitation for the rebels to come to the table, the invitation to many of the different armed ethnic groups across burma came from the president last year in august. he urged them all to come to the negotiating table. he said he would be taking it seriously. and one has to put it into the context of what is helping -- happening elsewhere in burma. but they have seen political reform taking place. the pro-democracy campaigner has come into the political process, now a parliamentarian taking part in the political processes of burma. they see that and they see a window of opportunity to engage with the government. at the moment, the talks have just started. a delegation of largely military representatives from the government are sitting down with representatives from the army. really, a trust building measure
taking place, trying to establish the trust after such a long time of conflict between the sides. >> yet that is only one rebel group that has laid down its weapons. there are others. another just a few hours ago was fighting the burmese army and there have been casualties? >> that is right, they are probably the conflict that will prove the hardest for the burmese government to try to resolve. there of been consistent reports of the past few weeks over an increase of fighting. one certainly should not underestimate the problem of trying to resolve the ethnic conflicts. there are six or seven parallel processes taking place, all in various different stages. this has gone just beyond a cease-fire, moving towards difficult talks, but the ultimate aim of the government is to achieve a cease-fire, some level of trust with the armed groups, and hold a conference where all of the issues, all of the grievances which exist after
such a long time of military dictatorship can be addressed. the idea is that the interests of these ethnic groups will then be incorporated into what appears to be a new, more reform-minded parmalat. >> -- a new, more reform-minded burma. trading in shares of facebook marked one of the biggest ever business flotations. shares jumped more than 10% within minutes of making their stock-market debut in new york, from where we have this report. >> facebook's army of employees in menlo park, calif., had plenty of celebration as the company went public. the gift from the boss at the nasdaq stock market, a reference to mark zuckerberg's preference for wearing hoodies. is now worth an estimated $19
billion. am out on this special day, on behalf of everyone at facebook, all of the people use facebook and our product, thank you. so let's do this. >> with that, the company worth nothing eight years ago made its stock market debut. on the other side of the country, in new york, where trading started, there was also a sense of optimism. >> everybody uses facebook for social networking and connecting with old friends. i will buy a share. >> they will do well and continue to do well. they put myspace out of business, so it is a good investment. but we wouldse it, buy shares if we could. that no american company has ever been so highly valued at its ipo, but now that facebook shares have begun trading at the nasdaq stock market in new york, that value is about to be tested by investors. facebook was launched in february 2004.
a year later, viacom tried to buy it for $55 million. and 2007, yahoo offered $1 billion. today's valuation values it at 100 times that figure, more than amazon and disney. last time a technology share offering generated this much excitement was google and 2004. how they stack up? >> a lot of people will say facebook will be bigger than google, but facebook right now is one-tenth the side of google -- the size of google. google is growing faster at this stage of the company then facebook is. i don't think that is a safe assumption to make. >> facebook's share prices ended thursday much where it started, $38, who knows where it will go from here. this is "bbc world news."
you have part of the chinese economic boom, but the country's population is aging faster than any other nation. that may put the brakes on it. in the u.k., the police in northern ireland have charged five men with part of a pro- active investigation into dissident republican activity. it's been charged with a range of terrorism offenses, including conspiracy to murder and cause an explosion. it will appear in court later saturday. rescuers searching for three fishermen have found a body. they had not been heard from since -- two navy ships and a coast guard helicopter have been involved in the search. a body found has not yet been identified. ieves have stolen a plant that was erected in memory of
two children who were killed several years ago they died when two small devices exploded in the town center of warrington. hello, this is "bbc world news." leaders of major economic powers have gathered for a summit in the united states, which is likely to be dominated by the eurozone debt crisis. unprecedented demonstrations against the syrian government have been held in the country's second city. amid more worries about a pfennig a crisis in spain, the government in madrid has announced a level of bad loans has hit an 18-year high after 16 spanish banks were down. by a leading credit rating agency. gavin hewitt has been to madrid to gauge the nation's mood. >> spain is on edge, its economy in recession, a country being
buffeted by the uncertainty in the eurozone. the biggest concern? the health of its banks. here, the spanish minister of finance has stopped in the street by a woman distraught about whether her life savings, held in a bank since she was 13, are safe. the minister tries to reassure her. but there are persistent reports that significant sums are being withdrawn,. teselle from this nationalized bank -- particularly from this nationalized bank. i met a person who works in animation. per savings until a few days ago or with the bank, but her confidence has been shaken. >> when i saw the problem was growing, i took my money out. about how much? >> 40,000 euros. >> what have you done with it? >> i put it into another account
in another bank. >> why? that is quite drastic. >> it is drastic, but i think we have a drastic situation. >> many of her friends have taken similar steps and moved their money, but there are no signs of a wider panic. the spanish markets have been on a rollercoaster today, volatile after the downgrading of 16 spanish banks. what makes investors so nervous is the bad loans held by the banks. we learned today those loans at risk of never being repaid have reached an 18-year high and the government, struggling with huge debt, is in no position to help the banks. among banks downgraded, but others say it will have no impact on their business, run and regulated in britain. the big fear is that loans that were used to finance
construction and the property boom could deteriorate further, adding pressure to spain's already shaky finances. >> we are in a very difficult situation. if the situation slides further, down the road we could get into a bailout situation, and want to avoid that at all costs. >> tonight, a controversy all suggestion that the banks should be recapitalized by using bailout funds, from the new french president. as china closes in on the global economy's top spot, it is also said to catch up with long established industrial powers and another key area, and it could slow its growth, thanks to a longer life expectancy and plummeting birth rates. the population is getting older at a rapid rate. 30 years after it implemented its one-child policy, china
faces an aging crisis. >> this is one of the fastest aging places on earth. in shanghai, there are more than twice as many old people as a young. breakneck economic growth in chinese cities have been accompanied by an astonishing rapid aging of their population. china is growing cold at a rate unprecedented in human history. this could mean their seemingly irresistible march out of poverty could end. this person spent her working life in a small factory. her husband was a tailor. have been married 53 years. now, she has alzheimer's disease. every day, he bathes her, a dresser, and prefer to this shopping center for lunch. >> before she got sick, she was
full of life. she loved the opera. now she does not really understand what is going on. her mind is gone. what has become difficult. >> providing for the elderly will be a massive drain on china's future wealth. >> chinese society has not been fully prepared for this. people are worried, what do people do not have social security, what can they do when they get old? >> traditionally, this did not used to be a problem. the elderly were cared for at home. but as the birth rate has declined, there are now not enough of the younger generation to look after the old. by the year 2050, one-third of china's population will be over 60. that is 450 million people. this imbalance has been caused by china's showcase development
policy, the one-child program. having too few young people is a serious threat. the chinese economic engine has been fuelled by a seemingly endless supply of young labor. as the supply runs out, their ability to keep growing could be seriously undermined. in addition, many migrant workers have moved back to their home towns to care for their elderly parents. in the factory built around shanghai, there is now an acute labor shortage. >> it is really tough to find new workers because the cost of labor keeps increasing. workers are asking for more pay and better conditions when we hire them. we are becoming uncompetitive. it is more affordable for companies to move from china to thailand and vietnam. >> all of this means that china's one-child policy is
beginning to loosen. shanghai is in the vanguard. in this family planning clinic, young women are no longer instructed in contraception or abortion but infertility and how to conceive more successfully. in chinese terms, this is something of a revolution. >> we hope that people will follow the regulations and have a second child. we are offering parenting classes and fertility clinics. if you are an only child and marry someone else who is also an only child, you have always been allowed to have two children, but now we are encouraging everyone to do so. >> china is facing up to the fact that it is aging. and at a rate that few societies tevere experienced. it will have to find a way to pay for the costs of aging, without the economic growth supplied by so many young
people. there is a special phrase for why they worry. china, they say, might become too old to get rich. the olympic flame is now in the u.k. in just a few hours, it will begin a 70-day relay in which it will travel 12,000 kilometers across the country. it was brought from greece on a special british airways flight. our sports editor was the only broadcast journalist to trouble with it. -- to travel with it. >> and out of the gloomy sky, a golden delivery. after all of the talk, the plan, and the money, the olympic moment had the last arrived. hundreds had come to greet the flight at the naval base in caldwell this evening, and it is a very special cargo. when it eventually emerged, held tightly by the princess royal,
it did not look very much, but inside of this little hurricane lamp was the olympic flame. >> only when it comes into your possession and it gets here do you really realize this is it. >> all eyes then switched to sporting royalty for the lighting of the cauldron, which marks the start of the 70-day torch relay tomorrow. >> this has been 10 years in the making and the start of the countdown. and the flame is here. >> for the trip from athens, the flame and its three backups were fitted into safety cradles with the vip treatment all the way. london 2012 admits the buildup to the game so far has been a bit of a slow burn, but the arrival of these in the u.k. will change all of that. and the closer the flam got to u.k. soil, the more the excitement seemed to build.
>> it is special. i am scared to touch it right now. it is special. it really is, it really is a proud mom at forever -- a proud moment for everyone in the country and a reminder the games will be here and a reminder that tomorrow is the start of something smashing special, today is something special, bringing it back to the country. >> after a very british greeting tonight, the torch will now embarked on an 8,000 mile to four around the country. for london, it looks like the slow burn might be over. follow the olympic flame as it passes from every single runner to the next, through every town, across every day. just go to the bbc news website. there, you will see continuous video of the torch relay, some of the iconic places the flame
will be passing. and if you have twitter, stay in sh tag.y using the cash th the king of bahrain was among nearly 50 foreign kings and queens attending a lunch at windsor castle to observe the diamond jubilee. the spanish queen sofia of pulled out because of spent -- tensions with britain over gibraltar. president obama has welcomed world leaders to talks in the united states, which are likely to be dominated by the crisis in the eurozone. they have concluded their opening dinner at camp david, where they discussed iran, north korea, and also syria. they said they should be talking not about the political transition in syria. -- they said they should be
talking now about the political transition in syria. >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding was made possible by -- the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers use their expertise to guide you through the business strategies and opportunities of international commerce. we put our extended global network to work for a wide range of companies. from small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news" was