tv BBC World News America PBS November 13, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm EST
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america" reporting from washington. the scam which brought down the c.i.a. director spread further. now it is the actions of the top u.s. commander in afghanistan called into question. failing its mandate, the bbc gains access into an internal report showing the united nations failed to protect civilians in sri lanka. >> they left actually at the moment the population needed them more than ever. the government wanted them out of the way essentially because they didn't want anyone to see what was happening. >> running the world in just a week. a marathon man on a mission that boo leave most of us in the dust. welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. bizarre. it is the only way to describe the scandal that has already
claimed the job of the c.i.a. director and now has america's top commander in afghanistan under investigation. both are strange enough, but how do you explain the addition of a shirtless f.b.i. agent and 30,000 e-mails. here is the latest. >> it is a washington drama with a stellar cast. the spy chief, the top general and two women who soon found themselves at the heart of american power. the lid came off the scandal last friday with an admission of adult tri by general david petraeus, the revered military commander who had become the head of the c.i.a. he had cheated on his wife of 38 years with paula broadwell, a married former military intelligence officer who became close to the general while writing his biography, which she then publicized. >> i think he is a terrific role model for young people.
>> how does this scandal unfold? it began when another woman, jill kelley,on ttaedcthe f.b.i. during the summer after receiving a series of anonymous harassing e-mails. the f.b.i. traced the messages to paula broadwell, and while looking at her account, found evidence of meetings with david petraeus. petraeus admitted it and resigned as head of the c.i.a. and jill kelley herself was exchanging inappropriate e-mail with general john allen. general allen leads coalition forces in afghanistan and was to be the nato command ner europe. now that is on hold following the discovery of flirtatious e-mails between general and jill kelley. he denies having an affair. at the white house, the classic question. when was the president told? >> it is simply a fact that the
white house was not aware of the situation regarding general petraeus until wednesday, and the situation regarding general allen until friday. >> there are lingering questions that members of congress will raise tomorrow. why did it take the f.b.i. so long to inform officials here about the petraeus affair? after all, this was national security compromised. it is as radio gripping as it is messy. an american soap opera. there may yet be more twists in the plot. steve kingston, "bbc news," washington. >> for more, i am joined by a senior correspondent for national journal. thank you for coming in. is this what this is really all about. it sounds like a soap opera. there is sex involved, and that is why we are interested in it, or is there more to it? does it matter?
>> it sounds like an august scandal in washington where congress is out and they are looking for something to cover. it is november this time. i think that it could be what you see on the surface, which is some people giving into temptation in high places. the mighty have fallen. but if it puts a lot of tension between the f.b.i. and the c.i.a., which they have always had a lot of tension between those two anyway, if you have the white house and congress disagreeing about the time line and who knew what when, this could have a lot of legs. it could be unfortunate for a president just starting out a second term. >> if this really was not an issue of national security but just an affair between two consenting adults, then the f.b.i., there they are, they put out six or seven agents and a lot of time and resources into investigating that. >> right. i talk todd a justice department official, and he
said we don't have a protocol for this. it started out as a criminal investigation looking into cyberstalking. then they found something that might belong to the director of central intelligence. at that point it becomes a national security issue. if there were no crenl charges, normally they would drop the case. it was the head of the c.i.a., and there was a suspicion or concern that he could be open to blackmail. they reported it to his boss. at that point it could have still been kept secret. >> do you think petraeus needed to go? >> i don't think he needed to go if it played out like this. to me, the f.b.i. agent -- >> not wearing a shirt? >> to the woman who is being harassed, who has the e-mails
with general allen. he thought the investigation was being stone walled or not going any play, so he took his concerns to congress. that is where it is going to leak and become public. at that point, petraeus has to go because he does not want to have distractions like this. >> what are they saying to the military about all this? >> the military feels rangled. he is a once in a generation type officer. he was like an eisenhower or george marshall, the greatest strategic thinker in his era. he has been separated 10 years. you shouldn't be surprised there are family problems there. and by the way, did he really have to go? do we need to be deprived of someone that talented just because he had a moment of weakness? >> thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you.
>> a leaked draft of an internal united nations report seen by the bbc says the u.n. was responsible for a grave failure to protect civilians in the final stages of sri lanka's civil war in 2009. the report says staff didn't see it their responsibility to prevent the killing of innocent people and wept on to criticize a decision not to publish the number of civilian casualties. here is our report. >> in may of 2009, one of the world's longest running and bloodiest civil wars ended on the northern shores of sri lanka. since then, the u.n. and others have found growing evidence of abuses and possible war crimes by sri lanka forces and tiger forces. now a draft report given to the bbc concludes there was a grave failure of the u.n. in the final months of war to the detriment of hundreds of thousands of civilians.
it says in the capital columbo, many senior u.n. staff did not perceive the prevention of the killing of civilians as their responsibility, and they weren't being instructed to do otherwise from new york. this wasn't a peacekeeping mission. when the government launched its final assault in the north, warning u.n. aid workers it could not guarantee their safety, the u.n. pulled out. the report says the u.n. never questioned the government. bing minute dix was part of the team told to go. >> as a humanitarian worker, questions were running through my mind of what is this all about? isn't this what we signed up to do? we are here to protect and prevent these things. >> cam else left outside the u.n. compound. hundreds of thousands of civilians were trapped. tamil reportedly recruited them
or used them as human shields. the government is accused of shelling in a no fire zone. it denies that. in the final stages of the conflict, the u.n. issued only one statement condemning both sides. why did this happen? the report explains it in this way. it says decision mf making a-- decision-making across the u.n. was dominated by a culture of trade-offs, choosing not to speak out against a government intimidating the u.n. staff, seen as the only way to maintain humanitarian access. >> the report highlights some roles on the ground as well as the role of the secretary-general. he won't comment until he sees the final version. a former senior official now chairs the campaign for peace and justice. >> they left actually at the moment the population needed them more than ever. the government wanted them out of the way because they didn't
want anybody to see what was happening. >> the world largely looked away as the government crushed a banned terrorist group. now we know the u.n. failed to tell the world. le "bbc news." >> the too many of the former palestinian leader yassir air fat is being exhumed. testing will be determined to determine if he was exposed to radioactive material before his death. today france become the first european country to recognize the anti-assad government. here is our report.
>> here at the very edge of europe, the destitute and the scared are waiting in home. this is where they count the days and the hours. the refugees wait in anonymous hospitals, like this family, who fled syria a month ago. the young and the old have lost their country. 2-year-old lauren suffers from the blood disease hemophelia. in the war, health services have collapsed. >> this room is too small, and there are seven of us living here. my son is sick, and that affects all of us. my hope is to go to a european country and take care of my soften. all i am asking for is treatment for my son. >> but the short sea journey to europe can be pirro luis. in august nearly 60 people
drowned, mostly women and children, drowned when a smuggler's boat overturned. >> he has asked us not to show his face. he is haunted by what happened. >> i saw people under the war. a woman and child tried to cling to me. people were all over each other and drowning. there was a little boy on the boat and i talked to him and said i would take care of him in europe. but he drowned. >> here, the shortest crossing to greece is just eight kilometers. the gateway to europe is close. having sold everything they own, many of the refugees are paying up to 5,000 pounds, their entire life savings, to try and escape to europe. what they hope they will find over there is safety and a new life. but in greece they find a country in the grip of economic crisis. the rise of the neo nazi golden
dawn has created a climate of fear for my immigrants. greece is struggling to deal with hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants. many, like these syrians lack proper travel documents and find themselves trapped. these priests of the orthodox church in athens are now trying to help christian refugees who found little welcome here. >> thrown in jail for having the wrong papers, this man who asked not to be identified now faces foretakes. >> i am afraid. i escaped from fear only to come here and find more fare. they know of the dangers ahead, but they would rather make the journey with all its risks than stay stranded on the edge of europe. "bbc news," turkey. >> the refugees flying syria
and still not finding safety in turkey. you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's program, once all but forget, a series of islands is now the center of a dangerous feud between china and japan. we travel to investigate the stand-off. >> at least three people have died in central italy during heavy rainfall and widespread flooding. two men and one woman died when their car fell off a collapsed bridge in tuscany. the region has been hard hit with 800 people evacuated. thousands have been left without electricity and several towns are isolated because the roads are swamped. the city of venice is slowly returning to normal after a weekend deluge. here is the report on the flooding throughout italy. >> it seems there is no end in sight to the gushing water. in this part of italy, towns
have become inundated, bringing life to a standstill. this is the seaside town. in summer tourists normally flock here in the thousands. now, people are doing everything they can to get out. roads and recreation grounds are submerged in brown, soupy water. and in some warts of this region the only way to get around is by boat. elsewhere, it is just not safe at all. the area affected is just north of rome. here it has been raining for days. the bad weather has swept across italy. in venice, seasonal flooding was higher and more widespread than normal.
and unless you were in a gondola, there was little way to stay dry. there the floods are receding. but it is now the waterlogged tuscana and brea tna that are baring the brunt. "bbc news." >> right now china's ruling communicatist party is meeting in beijing to anoint its new leaders. among the most pressing issues they will face, a territorial dispute with japan that has erupted into the worst crisis interest the two nations in decades. at issue is a group of islands. our correspondent has gone to take a closer look and to see what is fueling all this controversy. >> just after dawn we get our
first view of the islands. a jagged huddle of rocks sticking up from the deep blue waters of the east china sea. it has taken 10 hours sailing to get here from japan's closest inhabitted island. as we approach, the japanese coast guard speeds alongside making sure we do not get any closer. for decades, these islands were all but forgotten, the last handful of japanese setters left here during world war 2:00. but now a newly emboldened china has decided to assert itsdz claim. and as if on cue, the chinese make their entrance. the skipper of our boat has just been told by the japanese coast guard that we have to move around to the north of the island because they say there are chinese ships off to the south here.
they are worried they will come and board us. things now start to get very busy. four chinese ships are clearly visible, well inside japan's territorial waters. overhead, a japanese air force plane swoops low, but the chinese ships steam on, undeterred. until last month it was inconceivable that japan and china could come to blows over this uninhabitted groupon of islands. yet look at the situation today. there are four chinese cutsers and two japanese cutsers in my sight. there is a tense stand-off going on. the japanese coast guard is very nervous about us being here. this crisis is clearly not over. they are worried about it becoming an international incident. in september the dispute burst on to the street of china's cities. protests turned into riots against anything japanese.
cars were smashed, japanese-owned businesses were burned. in japan there has been no violent reaction, but there is growing anger here. these are students for the future. they want japan to scrap its pacifist constitution and rearm. on sunday afternoon students for the future are out recruiting. this woman likens the island dispute to britain and argentina's fight over the falklands 30 years ago. >> the japanese need to take these island like margaret thatcher did. japanese need to have determination like she did to protect our islands. >> for a country with a pacifist constitution, japan already has a pretty mean-looking navy. it may not be called a navy, but it has some of the most powerful and modern ships and submarines in the world.
it is open day on the flagship of japan's not navy. it is a 19,000-10 helicopter carrier. hundreds of ordinary japanese are climbing aboard, fascinating to see this sleek new ship. officially this is called a helicopter destroyer. but as the saying goes, if it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. this is essentially a small aircraft carrier, the first to be built in japan since the end of the second word war. this is just the beginning. two more of these ships twice as biggs as this one are currently under construction down the coast here. the question is why has japan decided it needs to build aircraft carriers? >> today it is getting more and more nervous. the chinese are more active day
by day. >> there is now an undeclared arms race going on in east asia. it is being driven by china's massive growth in military spending and it's increasingly assertive territory claims. the next prime minister says it is now time for japan to scrap its pacifist constitution. >> china is increasing its military spending by 10% every year. it is aggressively pushing for control of the south china sea and now the east china sea. the chinese are trying to draw us in a game of chicken. >> like any game of chicken, what is going on out here is very dangerous. since we left the islands, chinese ships have been reported inside japanese waters every single day. the japanese government is so far resisting the urge to act.
but with a game of chicken, if both sides refuse to back down, there is usually only one possible outcome. "bbc news" in the east china sea. >> a rare look at the tiny islands causing a huge problem between china and japan are being watched from around the world. now for this next story, you may want to sit down because most of us were exhausted just hearing about it. running a marathon is a taxing thing, but manage tackling seven of them across seven continents. that is challenge one doctor is tackling to express the importance of exercise. >> he is a man on a mission embarking on a challenge. around the world in a week, running seven ultramarathons along the way. >> running is my way of seeing the world.
it is a challenge. i am doing 50 kilometers per day on foot. the total air miles i am clocking up is about 41,000. >> quite a journey. >> it is, but a spectacular one. >> this really will be an incredible journey. starting in antarctica, he travels to south america. day three sees him running through atlanta in the united states before heading to london on day four. on day five his marathon takes him past the egyptian pyramids, then on to dubai, on day seven crossing the finishing line at the opera house in sydney. the 32-year-old is no stranger to grueling adventures. earlier this year he won an arduous marathon at the north pole. before that he ran 2,500 miles from scotland to the sahara. he initially wanted to run to nepal, and i put my foot down
about that one. this one doesn't seem so bad. >> with a challenge this big, there are likely to be some difficulties along the way. >> there is running, and there is the logistics getting all the flights coordinated. i am sure the muscles will be aching. i won't get that much sleep. i will be jet-lagged. >> but he already knows how he will celebrate if he succeeds. a wee drum of whiskey followed by a long sleep. "bbc news." >> totally crazy. there is no way i would be able to do that. that brings today's program to a close. you can get updates on that story and on any others on our website at any time. if you would like to reach me and the bbc team, you can find us on twitter. thank you for watching. do tune in tomorrow.
>> make sense of international news at bbc become -- "bbc news" news. >> funding of this presentation is 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 in global finance 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? bb "rl>>wowsc ned >> "bbc world news" was presented by >> "bbc world news" was presented by