tv BBC World News WHUT January 18, 2012 7:00am-7:30am EST
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>> and now "bbc world news." >> deadly delay. pipa aid agencies say thousands of people starved to death in the horn of africa because the world was late to react. and now there's a new famine in the making in west africa. a special report from new share. -- from niger. >> there's a window of a couple months to get more help to the most honorable in the country, to the children in particular. >> hello and welcome. a world of news and opinion. also in the program, the christmas day bombing of a church in nigeria, the key suspect escaped amid fears extremists have infiltrated the police force.
the search of at the rex crew ships suspended over safety fears. hopes of finding any walone else alive off the italian coast is fading. its midday in london. two major aid agencies have published a damning report into how last year's famine in east africa was handled. oxfam and save the children say tens of thousands have died because people fail to come up with the cash until it was too late. they want the world to learn a lesson of that catastrophe. a test case is unfolding right now. this time it is in the west african state of niger. now this report from the capital. >> the mothers are waiting. when the health clinic opens at almost all their children will
have treatment for malnutrition. it is this 11-month-old showing progress. but many more children are at risk of severe malnutrition in this country and across the sahara at this time. the mother returns to her village nearby. the rainfall stopped early in many places and pests did a lot of damage to crops in this region that is supposed to be one of the breadbaskets. the water seems more precious than usual. >> the harvest gave us only 10% of the food we need. my husband went to nigeria to work, but the money went quickly. he has gone back there again. i have to fetch wood and water and sell them to get something for us to live on.
>> there is grain on sale at a market in the nearby town, but poor people cannot afford the rising price. this unit for patients malnourished is full and expected to be stretched further. >> we have seen there's almost a shortage of a half million tons of grain. there could be further consequences if nothing is done. >> that places even more importance on the ways in which centers run like this one by save the children show they can reduce the chances that the children will become acutely malnourished. >> there's a window of a couple of months to get more help to the most vulnerable in this country, to the children in particular. failing that, there's every likelihood that the world will have another severe humanitarian crisis on its hands. bbc news from southern niger.
>> joining me from our central london studio is our africa editor, martin. i hate to sound cynical, but this is an age-old problem. i remember people saying this 20 years ago, the last time there was a horn of africa disaster. >> that is true. but what is unique about this report is that the agencies themselves have not tried to hide the problem under the carpet. they have said that they received warnings in late 2010 hat there was going to be hoa crisis in 2011 and that they did not press the panic button until june or july of 2011. the situation was allowed to fester for six months. that is what is unique about this report. it is not they are trying to blame other people. there are feelings of
government. but people like oxfam and save the children are saying they did not listen enough to the early- warning system that produces satellite imagery can expand on the ground reports. they were warning but this situation was going to get much worse and people in the field or saying it is not that bad, so the warnings were ignored. that is why this report is important. >> they are also saying that actually the problem is that the world or donor community needs those horrible pictures of sick babies before the money starts to flow. >> you can only get those pictures if the aid agencies themselves warn about just how bad the situation is. it is like a frog in a pot on a fire. it does not know that it is
cooking. finally it is dead. their staff on the grounds of seen so much suffering for so long but they did not notice it was tipping over the edge. of course there are many crises around the world. but all obeyit did not come to f the desk. the problem is the risk of these situations is transferred to the port and the most vulnerable. that is what the aid agencies are now trying to avoid a, by saying we will call this as we see it's even if sometimes get it wrong. >> thank you. let's look at other stores making headlines around the world. the suspected mastermind of a christmas day bombing of a catholic church outside nigeria oppose the capital abuja which left more than 40 people dead has escaped from police custody. he fled when the convoy transferring him between two police stations came under attack.
let's get more on this from our correspondent mark lobel in lagos. the suspect did not escape. he was freed by accomplices, which raises the question about exactly who knew about this transfer. >> when he was taken to the area that included his home to search his home while he was there, why he was needed for this search of his home was not clear, and why there were so few police officers, according to reports. the police commissioner in charge had made that decision. that police commissioner has been suspended at the moment. local reports suggest that the investigative office in charge of cooperation had not actually been around for that visit and had not necessarily known that visit would take place. >> the backdrop to this is the suggestion that several
niger arens in infiltrated and that's why they had prior knowledge and were able to free the man, infiltrated the police. >> it is a big question as to why the man was taken there in the first place. if you have a big fish. he was a very senior member of boko haram. why would you take him there for the search? why could you not do that without him? the trip itself probably should not have taken place. we're not sure if there were accomplices within the police. the only proof we have so far but there is a suspected member of boko haram in the government is a senator on trial of the moment, awaiting trial. the president good luck jonathan has said that he suspects members and supporters of boko haram are in the police force,
the military, security forces, and in his own government. we believe he is looking bright now at the members of his own government and getting people to investigate who they have been talking to recently and what they have been doing, to possibly get rid of those members who are boko haram. >> in syria there's fighting near the lebanese border and they have agreed to a temporary truce with the syrian army. this amateur footage from the town reportedly shows the syrian town set on fire by a insurgents during fighting. opposition leaders tell us soldiers have agreed to withdraw while insurgency the street. russian foreign ministers defended their trade while delivering a supply of arms to damascus. they have refused to support an arms embargo by washington and
others. burmese pro-democracy leader aung san suu kyi has registered as a parliamentary candidate, the first time she has stood for public office. her party, the national league for democracy, is due to protest 40 seats in by-elections due in april. she was released from house arrest in november 2010. time for the business news. aaron is here. let's look at greece for a moment. talks between the government and the people who hold greek government debt. they restored but they have stalled again. >> another crucial day. but those talks resume today between athens and the private debt holders, a private bondholders. they own billions of dollars of greek debt. we are talking private institutions and banks say that
we know there was a proposal on the table but these private debt holders cut grease owes them by 50%, a voluntary year cut, then rolling over the remaining into longer-term greek debt. those deals fell apart on friday. a sticking point was the interest rates to investors were demanding absence pay them to roll over the remaining debt. many believe an agreement will be reached. but the world's largest bond trader pimco tells me they are starting to prepare investors and give advice to investors and they're saying you have to be prepared for one or two members leaving the euro zone. >> really? >> the first thing investors should be doing is anticipating rising credit risk occurring in their portfolios, which means they ought to reduce its today or they need to change the credit mix in their portfolio by earning a higher stock of safe assets such as treasury bonds or gilts. bonds are a safe assets in the
euro zone, but if politicians get their act in order, then the credit quality of bonds will change very quickly. it is important to look at valuation. >> let's look at the internet. yahoo!, a big search engine, the man who helped to create it resign today. correct jerry ya>> jerry yang h, after founding the company decades ago. the company has struggled to find its role in a world dominated by google. jerry yang has been surrounded in controversy. he kind of annoyed shareholders back in 2008 when microsoft kinect offered to give the company $48 billion for the company. he said no.
shareholders said what are you doing? now the company is valued at around $20 billion. he is resigning. so what is next for yahoo!? >> microsoft offered by that company at twice the price that it is currently trading at. what it does allow is for a swap to happen with asian operations so they can focus on the core business around the world without having to worry. it is definitely a takeover target. they have a new ceo whose job will be to make sure the company continues to be successful. it is still very good company with a good brand. >> the old blood is out of the way and new blood is in and maybe they can try to turn the company around. so stocks are up on that news. still to come, a new kind of
united russia party, a special report looking at reportwho created the league of voters. greece's prime minister has indicated a country will hold elections in april. meanwhile, talks are due to take place between government and private bondholders on wednesday. athens is to write off half the debt it owes by lenders who would get new bonds with extended repayment periods. talks are being held up by a disagreement on interest rates to the new bonds. >> tough negotiating to do this week. and there's a lot at stake. athens has already had one bailout. but to one lot the next $166 billion, the country must first agree on a deal that will wipe out $127 billion worth adept. it is trying to make that happen by swapping current bonds with
new ones that have a 50% lower face value but can be paid back over longer-term. negotiations between the government and the bondholders' representatives were set to be on track last week, but things broke down on friday over an interest rate the new bonds would have. the problem is the country has to pay out more than $17 billion in bond redemptions in mid march. without a deal with bondholders there will be no second issuance of bailout money. without that the country will not able to pay back its debt. it is impossible to underestimate the effect that a default would have. if the country goes bankrupt, the markets will be thrown into chaos. and that would be catastrophic for the global economy. bbc news. >> bulgarian prime minister is preparing for an emotional and angry debate in the european parliament amid european union claims that his government
reforms are threatening the norms of democracy, depriving but judiciary and central bank of their independence. the question is not solely political. the country badly needs a new credit line from the european union and the imf. this is gmt from bbc world news. the headlines, aid agencies say thousands died unnecessarily in east africa because of a slow response to last year's famine. now the warnings of a new food shortage in west africa. a key suspect in the christmas day bombing in nigeria has escaped amid fears that extremists have infiltrated the police forced. the italian cruise ship the costa concordia has shifted once again, forcing another suspension in the final rescue efforts. 24 people still missing. if it seems almost certain no one else will be found alive.
11 bodies have been recovered so far. among the missing is russell, who worked as a waiter on the ship. his brother kevin has traveled there today to look for. >> i am thinking -- it's indescribable. something impossible, to wonder how this could happen. the second is, 29 lives still missing. it is not just my brother. 28 families, 29 families. and along with 11 people that have died already, how did this thing really happen? >> let's go to the island to speak with our correspondent there allen johnson. distressing as it will be for people like that relative we have just been hearing, we must be coming to a stage when this stops being a search and rescue
mission. >> i think that is very much the case. very few people here on the key seriously believe there may be any survivors left. the search on that half of the hull that is sticking out of the water has been barely completed. every cabin and every area has been certification. it is not realistic at all to think there might be anybody submerged in that's emerg part. >> as relatives have pointed out, the question is how on earth did this happen? what has the reaction in italy been to vote at the tape recordings of the captain of the ship and the harbor master? >> italy is absolutely transfixed by this disaster and transfixed by the man at the very center, but captain.
his reputation is in tatters -- was in tatters even before those extraordinary tapes emerged yesterday and in the aftermath. you can imagine how they played for him soon after they came out. he was allowed to go home but to be held under house arrest in his home near sorrento, south of naples. the family home has been under siege by the media ever since. >> there will be an investigation and there will also be the court case. how long will this whole process take? >> we have not had any indication as to that yet. remember, the captain is yet to be charged with anything concretely, although prosecutors have said they want to see him charged with multiple manslaughter, causing a
shipwreck, can and it with having abandoned ship too early, not having fulfilled his duty as a captain. he could face up to 12 years in prison if convicted. this inquiry is still in its early stages spirit we don't know everything. >> thanks very much. >> thank you. >> a group of russian riders and television presenters have s to makea legal voter sure future elections are fair. it is one of a string of new initiatives. \ the government has ignored demands for the vote to be held again. it is already made some concessions to the protesters. our moscow correspondent has prepared this profile of. rush opposing new of. grex as moscow emerged from its long winter break, the kremlin will hope to protest low for fair elections would've lost its
momentum. but in secret meetings and ever changing venues, activists have been working hard to keep a pledge and movement alive. at a press conference today a group of russian riders and celebrities formally launched one of the initiatives, a newly created league of voters. >> this is a non-political organization to help people take part in fair elections. we want people to know that when their boat goes in the ballot box it will be counted. >> before the new year moscow saw the three biggest protests of the vladimir putin era. tens of thousands took to the streets of furious at what they believed were fixed parliamentary elections. the protests inspired and gave hope to a new generation of activists. among them yuri, whose day job as editorial director of one of the biggest media empires in russia. >> it is the start of a huge
social discussion, which was frozen artificially for many years. but now it woke up and i think it will be hard to stop it. >> the internet is still boiling with further evidence of alleged election fraud. this was a raid on monday by journalists and others in what appears to be a roomful of people falsifying a list of supporters for april-kremlin candidates. the video is fueling anger of ordinary demonstrators like this person, and internet entrepreneur. she says her fury helped her to overcome her fear. >> i have never been to any protest before. but i felt -- and i called my parents and they said i should
not go and that it was dangerous and begged me not to go, but i thought there was no way not to stand ups. >> in the weeks since the protest began, the kremlin has made several concessions, including the reintroduction of democratically elected. governors in the elected but there's still a huge gap between what the government is offering and a truly fair elections the demonstrators want. daniel sanford, abc news, moscow. >> one of the founder's son of the new league of voters that i mentioned is joining me now live from moscow. thanks for being on gmt. you say that you are a movement that wants greater access to democracy in russia. your opponents say that you are an opponent simply of vladimir putin disguised as a wider protest movement. >> i believe that's not true. we are opposing fixed elections.
first of all, our goal is to achieve fair presidential elections. so that vladimir putin, or however it will be in will win and it will be considered fair by the majority of citizens. >> is not a fact that you and the of the people involved in the league of voters all come from a particular political standpoint? you just don't like vladimir putin? >> i do not think so. it is not the main fact that we are drawn together by. the main fact is that we are deeply terrified by the fact that the last elections in parliament have been falsified a lot. and several facts have been proven. but a lot more facts have not
been researched yet and will not be researched. it is terrible. theake all the citizens thought in russia to be socially responsible and that is a big story. it is not as it is now. many people join the elections, but not enough people to. only 50% of the russian citizens. have citizens the other 50% said at home and do nothing. >> i'm sorry. i need to stop you there. thank you very much for being with us, dmitri. that brings us to the end of this part. stay with bbc world news. there's plenty more to come.
>> 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 work hard to know your business, offering specialized solutions and capital to help you meet your growth objectives. we offer expertise and tailored solutions for small businesses and major corporations. what can we do for you?