tv BBC World News WHUT October 14, 2011 7:00am-7:30am EDT
a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news." >> and the italian prime minister silvio berlusconi fakes a defaces a vote of confidence in parliament as political opposition widens. them vote comes as protests are planned over the weekend over his handling of the debt crisis that has left italy as one of the weakest eurozone economies. hello, and welcome to "gmt." also -- no let up in the floods in thailand. the government makes frantic efforts to protect the capital and appeals for calm. a giant in the race movement in
america martin luther king is honored in a giant -- with a giant statue in washington. it is midday in london, 7:00 a.m. in new york and 1:00 p.m. in rome were the italian prime minister silvio berlusconi is facing a confidence vote in parliament. he has faced more than 50 such votes in his last three and a half years as prime minister but in this time of the severe debt crisis in italy as well as a slew of sexual and financial scandals left many believing he is living politically on borrowed time. a scene live in rome, the parliament, where deputies are preparing for the final vote. it is not very clear especially after some members of berlusconi's governing freedom party left their support in doubt. many are expecting a close result. let's go to rome and our correspondent who is monitoring developments as they happened.
david, so, he has a very narrow majority in the house. what do you reckon? >> the arithmetic is clear. 630 members of parliament altogether. to get a majority, he has to have half of that plus one, which means 316 votes. it is not absolutely clear whether he can get the votes. some members of his own freedom party have left him in doubt as to whether they will vote for him. i hold no crystal ball. i don't really know. but the general feeling is that mr. berlusconi is a very canny politician, very good negotiator with members of his own party, and he will survive this confidence vote as he survived all 52 previous confidence votes. having said that, the country is in a very difficult state at the moment. >> as you say, he is the ultimate survivor of italian
politics. he has made an appeal for support ahead of this vote on thursday when he made a 15- minute address. what is the thrust of his argument? why is he asking people to back him? saying i am the man to steer italy out of this crisis? >> yes, he regards himself as irreplaceable. i think the great drama is that many italians don't agree with him at this moment. i was listening to a talk radio show this morning, and people are very angry. not only angry but very frustrated because there is no clear transition of power in view. and this is his trump card. he can very easily say, all right, if i go, who is going to take over? it is not immediately clear. various solutions have been proposed, including a technical government led by a leading economist, somebody like mario monti, and the former italian commissioner of the eu, a very
simple person. but there is no clear succession and that is a strong card. >> david, keep on watching and keep us updated if there are further developments. thank you very much on the vote of confidence on berlusconi expected in the parliament but let us take a look at some of the other stories making headlines. the capital of thailand is being threatened by the worst floods to hit the country. so far, around 280 people have died in thailand and more rain is forecast. the army has build defenses around the city but there is concern the commercial center could suffer. rachel harvey has the latest from bangkok. >> two diggers and maroons in a ocean of money water. these floods have been spreading for more than two months, submerging farm land and factories. turning roads into rivers as the barriers are breached. cautiously, they wave their way
through the bay leaves, heading who knows where. all the houses here are awash. >> this is one of the embankment that has been built up to hold the water back but it is already seeping through at the bottom. if i just climb up, about a meter and a half or 5 feet high. just on the other side you can see that the water has already risen almost to the top of the amendment. >> to the north of bangkok, the mighty river has already burst its banks. it runs from here right through the capital and onto the seat. and it is in a hurry. closer to the city, desperate efforts are underway to hold back the flood waters, to shore up the last lines of defense. >> if we cannot protect this dam and this water -- the water will go through bangkok. i don't know what else will happen after that. >> but protecting bangkok means what -- more water accumulating
in the areas which surround the city. that is causing some resentment. this man is deliberately dismantling an official flood barrier. next to him, a woman calls out to me -- we are short of food, she says. we have not had any help. the authorities are in a race against time. a runoff, rain, and high tides are about to come by. these are already the worst floods thailand has seen and half a century and it is not over yet. rachel harvey, bbc news. >> soldiers who are refusing to join the syrian government crackdown on demonstrations have become the focus of protests today. pro-democracy activists have called today a day of action in support of the soldiers. the united nations human rights office says more than 3000 people have died since the unrest began in syria seven months ago, and it is calling on the international community to act before the repression and killing drives syria into a
full-blown civil war. mike wooldridge -- aldridge report. >> media organizations including bbc arabic and did the city where troops loyal to the government have fought the battles with arian defectors siding with the protesters. these pictures shows some of the impact of the fighting. this army officer says that after accomplishing the operation, they captured many weapons, missiles, machine guns, ak-47's, grenades and bombs. they say the weapons have come in illegally through neighboring countries. this amateur video shot two weeks ago captured the ferocity of the fighting at that time in the rebellious town. those doing the filming celebrate what they claim is a government tank being destroyed. this footage purports to show
the impact of shelling and closer fighting in a residential area. syrian authorities denied that the armed men who controlled rastan before it was retaken by the government or army defectors. but in this video in july, the most senior to date, announced the of -- formation of what he called the free syria army. recently he spoke to the bbc. >> we are counting on defections. there are larger numbers occurring every day. but we know this regime cannot be taken out without using force. we are now preparing for this stage. you understand? >> and before government forces moved in to suppress the revolt, other officers were publicly announcing their defections. this footage, according to the cameraman, 15th brigade special forces declaring no matter how
high the price, we will get our justice. the president said yesterday that syria had passed the most difficult period. but there are many signs he is engaged in an increasingly militarized conflict. mike wooldridge, bbc news. >> in greece, and to bonds in baghdad -- bombs and back said. police say the first bomb went off in a narrow alley and a second more powerful blast happened nearby as people gathered. a verdict to be delivered in the trial of a bbc journalist from tajikistan owho was charged with association with a banned group. he denies all charges.
the government of sudan denied allegations that the sudanese police abducted and killed displaced civilians close to a u.n. peacekeeping base in the border region. human rights campaigners from the u.s.-based group enough project says they have eye witness accounts of abuse as but a city spokesman rejected the claim. the racial divide in the united states has been one of the most contentious episodes in its history, and its legacy still persists today. well, on sunday at a ceremony in washington, president obama will be inaugurating a memorial to one of the people will help end racial segregation in america, martin luther king. it will be the first time anything other than a president has been honored in this way. steve kingston has more. >> i have seen the promised land. i may not get there with you, but i want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to
the promised land. >> he changed a nation and now martin luther king becomes the first african-american to take his place among the hallowed memorials of the washington mall. >> of first -- for the first time in our countries history, this great land that we call the mall is now diversified, looking like the country, that we have a person of color gracing the mall sitting between the lincoln and the jefferson memorial. it gets no better than that. >> we will walk non violently and peacefully. >> preaching nonviolent protest, the charismatic baptist minister gave irresistible form to the civil rights struggle. this 30-foot slab of granite has been surprisingly controversial. there are some people will feel it looks too severe, even totalitarian. others think this type of memorial should be reserved for former presidents for a and of course, what makes the debate all the more in motive is that the history it evokes is brought
in the memory. >in august of 1963 king delivered his celebrated "i have a dream" speech. years later he was dead. the assassination sparked days of riots. troops were destroyed -- deployed to a black neighborhood consumed by rage. through the islands, one of the few businesses remains a -- that remained open was ben's chili bowl. king himself smack here and the who's who of black americans and the four decades cents. how far does the owner thinks america has come in realizing king's dream? >> i think we have come a long way. the kind of equality he dreamed of, i am not sure we are there yet. we still have poor school systems and that affects all people. there is a lot more work to be done. >> u street today is smarter, richer, wider.
a gentrification pushed some african-americans out. nationwide average wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households. even as an african-american president prepares to salute the standard bearer in a ceremony on sunday, the dream of an equal post-racial america is a work in progress. steve kingston, bbc news. washington. >> that memorial to martin luther king. still to come, we look at how china and india struggled with high food prices despite economic growth. how countries can cope with such inflation. just as in italy, as we reported earlier, there will be protests in spain over the impact of the economic crisis. in fact, such demonstrations are taking place in 45 countries this weekend. in spain, the biggest margins expected in madrid. >> getting ready for a revolution. these are some of spain's
indignant, planning their biggest protests yet. many are young, unemployed, and fear for the future. they say politicians are removed from the people and the banks have too much power and they want change. believe the world should be this way. >> we are supporting the same things and we are united together. >> it all began here in spain when tens of thousands took to the streets. this outpouring of frustration has inspired similar scenes from brussels to wall street ever since. in madrid, the rallies became a huge protest camp. it is where i first met one, full of enthusiasm that all of this could make a difference. five months on, he thinks the protests. lives on but he tells me the politicians need another reminder of who they work for, and this is a global protest this time.
>> and his beloved -- big political and economic harm in it, and they should go to the street where the people are and should answer the problems the people are having. >> here in spain, the problems that are all of this have not changed. massive unemployment, recession, austerity. but this is -- and the protest banners and the tents have gone but this weekend at the crowd will be back and are planning to fill this square with a wave of social spending -- filled the square. with a wave of social spending cuts in europe there is still plenty to be indignant about. >> this is "gmt" from bbc world news. the italian prime minister silvio bark -- silvio berlusconi faces a no-confidence vote in parliament as political
opposition to him widens. flood defenses built around thailand's capital bangkok as the government appeals for calm. let's get the latest business news. maryann, would you kick off with a bit of news from eurozone? >> absolutely. the continuing crisis. a solution may be found now in beijing and brasilia rather than in brussels. there are reports that leaders from the world's 20 richest countries are working on a deal to create a massive international bailout fund financed by increasingly rich emerging powers like china and brazil. the plan is said -- set to be discussed at the g-20 some along with the fate of the eu bailout fund. >> get a grip on your debt crisis or your export -- you will export recession to the rest of the world. that is one bluntness is being
brought to paris this weekend by several visiting g-20 finance ministers. the first of three all-important summits for the euro from now until early november. this international economist said the eurozone is finally in a race to put together a more credible rescue plan. >> the issue is, of course, who should provide resources. is the european financial stability fund large enough, can it be leveraged? should government put their own money into banks? or to what extent markets are prepared to refinance banks and take a hit if there is an event in greece. >> it is commentator says eurozone members now realize the cost of giving up on their way were periphery is just too great. >> you have to support the euro because it is in your own interest, because a collapse in the euro would have dramatic social consequences. when it becomes systemic, you
are part of it. but prices can be considered a great crisis and you can't believe that it is not your problem. >> one of france that the biggest worries is that it could lose its coveted aaa rating. but all of this doesn't seem to be persuading some euro states that it may be -- doesn't seem to be persuading some your resting stops it may be worth more to underwrite some lenders. to the final deal may be a mixture of the still larger belau and top off funds for individual banks in each country. ministers have just a 10 days to deliver it. nigel cassidy, bbc news. >> he mentioned france that a credit rating and overnight standard and poor's cut state that a credit rating by one notch to aa- and a negative outlook. it cited heightened risks to growth prospects due to higher
unemployment, tighter financial conditions, and a higher level of private-sector debt. the likely economic slowdown in its trading partners. another day of a strike in greece. buses, trains, taxis, and the metro all stopped running in athens monday. fresh protest against government spending cuts are not in their second day. the greek finance minister are warning the protesters are giving greece an image of lawlessness around the world. the action culminates in a general strike on tuesday. european markets very pretty well this morning. investor shrugging off any worries they may have over the china inflation figures we saw earlier. a chinese inflation still high. looking toward to the g 20 summit with some hope perhaps and also seeing some financial stocks rebounding and a bit more today. that is the latest business from a. >> thanks very much.
it is a reality that none of us can escape -- food is getting more expensive, putting further pressure on household budgets already squeezed by the economic crisis. figures from two asian giants published today shows the extent of the problem. inflation in china was 6.1% in september. that is marginally lower -- but the food component remained unchanged at more than 13%. in india, wholesale prices went up nearly 10% in september. food prices were more than 9% higher compared to the same period last year. our correspondents have been getting a feel of how the prices are affecting ordinary people in beijing and in mumbai in india. here is our correspondent in china. >> a supermarket on the outskirts of beijing. inflation in china over the past
few months has been more than 6%. but it is here in the aisles of supermarkets across the country that people are really feeling the pinch. that is because food prices in the last year have gone up by almost 10%. if there is one item that is responsible for inflation here, it is pork. china consumes more than half the world's poor. it is a staple meet. in the last 12 months the price has been up by more than one have. >> prices for things like rice and oil have all gone up, but what are you going to do? i don't think the price hikes will change what i buy. i will just have to make more money. >> we are at the time of year when vegetables should be cheaper but they are all more expensive. it is just ridiculous. i can't stop eating, so i just buy less. >> authorities have said that
curbing inflation is one of their top priorities. and with millions of households spending more they're half -- more than half of the income on food, inflation is becoming a pressing issue here. >> the cost of food has been a big concern right across india for a year and a half, and it is affecting very millions of indians. basic items like grains, fruits and vegetables, have all gone up substantially in price. you you have been shopping at this marker for some time. tell me how has your experience changed? >> it has changed quite a bit. this year they just shot up to 40 or 50 rupees. >> to help people like her and very million -- millions of others across the country, the reserve bank and india have been lifting interest rates to bring down the soaring prices. but seems like it may still be
some time before people who are coming to the markets and those looking to have a male could once again enjoy the experience. >> reporting from mumbai. let us talk more about this. here in the studio with me is the renowned economist from columbia university. don't make it too long, this answer, but what you think is the main reason why food prices are so high? >> i then the main reason is it has nothing to do with the bad harvests -- i think the main reason, it has nothing to do with bad harvests. and these are not enduring price increases -- but what is happening for the last few years is that the demand for food has been rising on a sustained basis because countries like india and china have been so prosperous, that people earning more income are buying more food which they could not afford before. >> just increased demands. >> you wrote a highly acclaimed
book but also criticized by many "in defense of globalization." you are a clear advocate for globalization. but critics say this is one of the unpleasant effects, that it is poor people across the world suffering from high food prices. >> there are two sides to it. a lot of urban consumers are actually suffering, which is really what you are showing. but on the other hand, the producers, all who are also poor peasants in many cases and developing countries, they are actually profiting from higher prices. s two-sided. >> but then you have people saying one of the reasons why the prices are so high is because you have actions of a financial speculators who are part of this financial -- international finance, that everybody is linked together. >> that can lead to a minor variations. like food prices could begin to rise so you or i could buy more this week -- it is minor.
that is where you need government's actions through fair price shops and stuff like that which countries like india have -- where you get a certain ration on a steady basis. so you are not going to be falling below the line and going into really unpleasant starvation, etcetera. >> in conclusion, what would you say and about 35 seconds -- where is it going? >> what i would say it is that because this is a demand problem, people are demanding more, we have to match it with supply. which means we have to try to really reexamine how we are going to be able to handle what are called frankenstein foods, because these are the new seeds that will increase productivity. >> thank you for all of that. from columbia university. thank you so much for joining us.
that as of a moment. but do stay with us here on bbc world news. goodbye. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. union bank. and shell. >> this is kim - about to feel one of his favorite sensations. at shell, we're developing more efficient fuels in countries like malaysia that can help us get the most from our energy resources. let's use energy more efficiently. let's go.