tv BBC World News WHUT February 24, 2012 7:00am-7:30am EST
>> this is "bbc world news." funding for 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 work hard to understand the industry you operate in, working to nurture new ventures and help provide capital for key strategic decisions. we offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you?
>> and now, "bbc world news." >> more than 70 nations gather in tunisia to try to stop the bloodshed in syria. they call for an immediate cease-fire to allow aid to the civilians trapped in the conflict. but what leverage do they have over the assad regime with the glaring absence of russia and china? hello, and welcome to "gmt." also in this program -- nato appeals for calm and patience in afghanistan as protests continued after korans were burned in u.s. military base. hungary under mounting pressure
from the european union to get its house in order. we will talk to a -- leading hungarian politician. it is midday here in london, 2:00 p.m. in damascus and 1:00 in the afternoon in tunis where representatives from 70 countries are trying to forge some kind of coherent and effective strategy on syria to help civilians in the country and to try to end the violent actions from authorities. the friends of syria conference includes leading western powers, eric nations, and members of the syrian opposition. but there is concern any action will not be possible without the cooperation of china and russia, who refuse to attend. in syria, the opposition free syrian army has claimed it attacked government troops in the district of the opposition stronghold of homs. in this video, opposition forces say they blew up a syrian armored vehicle that they
describe as a message to russia which has been a staunch supporter of the al-assad regime and supplies much of the military hardware. delegates are expected to demand an immediate cease-fire and opening of corridors to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians. one passage in the south would bring aid from jordan, and another to help people cut off in the city of homs, and a third from turkey for the north of the country. one of the delegates is the adviser to the opposition syrian national council. usama, what is the likelihood of anything strong emerging on this and really getting the assad regime to accept the humanitarian corridors? >> the condition of the syrian national council and the desire
-- dire need for assistance. we discussed humanitarian corridors. we established a description of areas under crisis. and we had a meeting with the president of the red cross also in this regard. we expect today will be a strong announcement that the international community is behind the syrian national council in its effort to topple the regime. we are hoping russia would be part of it, but unfortunately they did not want to be part of it. >> just supposing that the assad regime does except -- accept a cease-fire, would it provide a basis for negotiations between him and the opposition? >> we are fully backing the arab
league initiative, which actually explains that assad has to relinquish power and hand it to his deputy, and the deputy has to pull the army from the towns and villages, ending the occupation of the different parts of syria, releasing political clutter -- prisoners, allow foreign press in the country, and then the negotiations with the deputy would start as to how to hand over power. >> sorry to interrupt. what about a yemeni-style solution, where he is granted immunity to present as long as he hands power to his deputy. >> we do not think that situation applies. this is a syrian situation and it has to be developed from within the syrian context, considering all of the actors
and different elements. i think the case is by large different from the yemeni one, but it does not mean a political or diplomatic solution is still not an option yet. all options are on the table. >> can i ask you, apart from intervention, another option could be arming the opposition forces in syria, is it something the national council supports? >> again, this is a political decision. once there is a political decision to move on that track and only that track, it is not a difficult issue -- or than the details are not difficult to discuss. then we would be left with one option, which is fighting the
forces and having one chain of command in order to take over assad's forces and move into these territories. >> thank you very much for talking to us, live from tunisia, where the major conference is taking place. in syria itself, government forces are still bombarding opposition strongholds. it thousands have fled the fighting into neighboring countries, including jordan. our reporter sent this report from jordan, close to the syrian border. and what is she doing here? >> no wonder some of these children look been used. of the boys and girls in the first three rows are from syria. -- the boys and girls of the first three rows of far from syria. now in the safety of neighboring jordan, some have been given places in local schools. the latest shaky images from
syria show anti-government protests in several towns. despite the obvious dangers -- many are being killed in the humanitarian crisis. this civil servant fled with his family when he was ordered to shoot protesters. it was deeply traumatic, especially for the children. >> psychologically it has affected them really badly. they would not leave my side because they were so scared. they were afraid of any new ways, asking me if it is a sniper or a gunman. >> in recent months, thousands of syrian refugees have crossed the border illegally into the safety of jordan. we have learned in the last couple of days, syrian officials on the other side have been physically preventing people from leaving. leaving people having to escape the fighting illegally, often through minefields.
this town, where there has been heavy fighting, is clearly visible from the jordanian side. one suggestion is to open a humanitarian corridor to this and other border towns. with more than 70,000 syrian refugees in jordan, it is a heavy burden on the u.n. refugee agency and the jordanian government. >> off of the more traumatized people are, the more difficult it is to find them -- often, the more traumatized the people are, the more difficult it is to find them because they are more scared. >> preparations for more permanent camps are already being made, but the fighting continues and more syrians fully their homeland. -- fle their homee land. >> -- flee their . >> coming up our reporter will
be with citizen journalists to talk about the changing ways wars are reported. let's take a look at some of the other stories making headlines around the world. in australia it is shaking up to be a weekend of fears campaigning for the governing labor party as a showdown between prime minister julia gillard and her predecessor and rival kevin rudd comes to a head. ballots will be held monday. kevin rudd abruptly resigned as foreign minister. he says the labor party will lose the next election unless he is returned to the top job -- labour party >> things have to change. it is no secret that our government has a lot of work to do if it is to regain confidence of the australian people. rightly or wrongly, julia has lost the trust of the australian people, and starting on monday i want to start restoring that trust.
>> kevin rudd. in response, australian prime minister julia gillard told a news conference that a leader should be chosen on strength of character. >> the choice the nation faces and my parliamentary colleagues face on monday is a choice as to who has got the character, the temperament, the strength to deliver on behalf of the australian people. this is not celebrity big brother. it is about working out who can lead the nation, who has got the ability to get things done. >> australia's princeton julia gillard. staying in australia, a fourth in quest into the death of a baby girl who disappeared in the australian outback more than 30 years ago. the girl's mother, lindy chamberlain-creighton, insist that the baby was taken by a dingo. she was convicted of the child's murderer in 1982 but freed four years later when the baby's
jacket was found near a dingo's ir businessmen will be extradited to the ninth states for conspiring to sell missile parts to iran. -- extradited to the united states. the man says he was the victim of an fbi sting and he could be jailed for up to 35 years if convicted. in bolivia, riot police have clashed with dozens of disabled people marching on the main city. the protesters were demanding more financial assistance for the disabled. some have traveled from across the country for more than three months on crutches and wheel chairs. several people were injured. >> the end of a long and almost impossible journey. in a country largely ill- equipped for wheelchairs' and crutches, hundreds -- hundreds of these disabled protesters traveled up to three months, some of for 1,500 kilometers to
the main city of the cost -- la paz. there the man was simple -- more financial aid from the state -- their demand was simple -- more financially from the state. we are bolivian citizens. we are not foreigners. >> yes, that is what we are demanding. equal treatment. >> but before the demands could be heard, riot police moved in, blocking the center and the street toward the presidential square. peaceful negotiations were briefed, and then this. tired, angry, and fed up, protesters used what they could, many of their own crutches and wheelchair, to attack police. any attempt to break the barriers. pepper spray and greater force proved too much. several were heard, four were
arrested. they want their yearly payments raised to $430 and currently receive one-third of that. they say the president fail to honor commitments he made to create more public sector jobs for the disabled. the president was elected the country's first indigenous leader in 2005 on the promise to give greater rights to the indigenous and largely poor majority. as long as the running gap between rich and poor remains unchanged, demonstrations like these from his own power base are likely to continue. bbc news. >> still to come here on "gmt quote we hear from the hungarian politician who has been told this country must get its budget under control or they will not get any cash from europe. look at some of the
stories making headlines around the world. we start with a report on how the united nations is accusing syria's government of crimes against humanity, including the use of snipers against small children. vladimir putin dominates the front page of "the moscow times." the paper reports on a website that he uses suggested videos to get first-time voters to support him -- using the slogan "the first time is -- ." back off or we will end up like british -- the royal bank of scotland says it could end up like the failed british car maker.
this is" "gmt from bbc world news. these are the top headlines. more than 70 countries demand a ceasefire in syria and access for aid when they are meeting in tunis today. a battle for the top job in australian politics, australia's former prime minister kevin rudd challenges the current leader julia gillard as head of the labour party. now let's get the latest big but -- business news from juliet foster. we have this deep 20 meeting, an important one. anything significant likely to emerge? >> it is difficult to say the one thing that is likely to happen is the eurozone will dominate the agenda -- the agenda. wanting china and japan to put more money into the european stability fund, but if you talk to countries like china they will say europe needs to do more
to get a grip of the problem. but most of their reserves are denominated in euros. donor states will say we will give you something, but we want something back in return, which is likely to be influenced, perhaps compromise on trade issues. one just told me earlier in the likes of china there is more to this g-20 meeting than trade- offs but the very future of the single european country. >> political integration is going to be a major factor. why invest and by euro- denominated assets if the level of political integration is not strong enough? then there is the issue of currency debasement -- debasement. china, the largest holder of u.s. treasuries, has a consistent policy of the basement of currency to deal with. if the european central bank goes down that route, it makes bureau and less viable alternative to the dollar.
i think the big question is what is the euro -- an alternative to the u.s. dollar or a pretender? >> it is not just the euro and what will happen to the currency and the contributions. there are issues about financial regulation coordinating, also global trade imbalances. it remains to be seen, really. the lloyds bank in the u.k. announced a very big losses. it is really a combination of factors. but it is also interesting, the timing. what they do have in common is that both the banks got stung on the mis-selling of claims. the actual figure is $5 billion. in fact, $5.6 billion. it is a turnaround in the wrong direction because it is look at 2010, in a profit of about $442
million. these numbers are going to be heavily scrutinized by the politicians because, remember, like rbs, the taxpayer own some of lloyd's. it was bailed out by the government in the financial crisis of 2008. a restructuring has also taken a toll. but the former head of another british bank -- he believes lloyd's is showing some signs of improvement. >> the underlying figures are quite good. we knew they will make the provision for the ppi, that is a bit past. but the core business activities are beginning to improve as profitability. equally, very importantly, they have been able to reduce the size of the balance sheets and the assets of the capital strength of the bank becomes much higher. another significant part is they have been able to reduce the day to day funding needs of the banking group. that is, the money it borrows from other banks to support
operations. all of that helps the overall stability. >> also reducing the bonus pool by about 30%. >> thank you very much, julia. nato was a top commander says an investigation into the burning of copies of the karan in a u.s. base in afghanistan is underway and asked for patience. today there has been a fourth day of angry demonstrations which have already claimed 13 lives. the afghan president hamid karzai says there should be a public trial for those who carried out the desecration. andrew exton served with the u.s. army in 2005 and was an advisor to stem the mcchrystal in 2009 and is what the center for -- security and he is in our edinburgh studio in scotland. what kind of a threat to stability are these protests? >> i think there are a number of different factors that can use this unfortunate incident to their and manage. on the one hand, you will see
hamid karzai to use the incident to increase his own negotiating power, telling the americans it is time for the bathroom of facilities to be turned over to afghan control. -- bagram facilities turned over to afghan control. others causing more violence and afghanistan. and i think the most general reaction that many of us have -- both many of us who serve in the military as well as many afghans who do not have any negative feelings towards the coalition in afghanistan, it is just the will demint, how this happened. had this happen in february of 2002 when the united states was relatively new to afghanistan, fine, may be understandable, but this is 10 years on. >> are you surprised that soldiers are not sufficiently attuned to culture and religious sensitivities in afghanistan after all of this time? maybe somebody has not done their job in training, surely? >> i am not terribly surprised
that instance like this take place. whenever you have 18-year old or 19-year-old soldiers serving in an area for the first time, it is somewhat understandable. the united states has not fought a 10 year campaign in afghanistan, but tend consecutive one-hit campaigns. a lot of people who have never been there before. on the other hand, as you said, obviously the training failed in some capacity. at some point, somebody has to step in and think through strategically of this type of incident might affect the overall campaign and that the not happened. >> very quickly, if anybody is found culpable after a trial, punitive measures have to be taken? >> certainly within the uniform code of military justice, they will look at whether or not any crime was committed. again, from the perspective of the uniform code of military justice, it is hard to see how exactly this would violate a crime. i do not think anyone would be punished, although i think the
entire view of the military has been punished enough. you have two soldiers killed in jalalabad, right in afghanistan, so rest assured, the united states military and afghan allies are being punished by this incident. but it is hard to see any criminal case would be envious. >> thank you very much, indeed. while greece has been the forefront of receiving money from the eurozone, another country is in danger of getting this funding slashed. hungry stands to use a half a billion euros if it cannot get its budget deficit in order. the eu has been hungry until the start of 2013 -- has given hungary until the start of 2013. the constitutions, critics claim, will erode the central bank and other institutions like the judiciary. i enjoyed by a member of the european parliament from hungary's ruling party and was instrumental in drawing up the new controversial constitution.
the hungarian economy in dire straits. some people say they are struggling economically. hungary cannot afford to lose its funding. the sure. the only difference between the commission that accounting and hungary's accounting, by 2013, according to hungarian ethnic it will be under 6% and according to european commission, 3.5%. this of the debate. i think it is very unjust, double standard from the point of view that while greece has considerable part of the debt ridden off, but a country really making an effort and for a first time putting the budget deficit under 3% is punished. >> you cannot save the discussion in isolation from the rest of the problems that your country has experienced. people are not happy about the new constitution that took effect for a number of reasons. >> some foreign criticism, but the hungarian public is
supporting the new constitution. >> you did not know that. although you had a two-thirds majority in the election bid >> the support is still there. >> although the approval ratings have gone down. however, opposition parties in the parliament did not discuss the constitution -- there have been public demonstrations. >> nine months of very thorough discussion of the constitution and it provides a good framework for democratic development. many of the criticisms are coming from ignorance. >> it is not. the european commission president -- european monetary commission, they have all criticized -- >> but hungary said if you are in convene -- with the european laws we are changing it. we all members of the club. what except that the rules and if something -- they are criticizing us specifically. but what you said is that
democracy is in danger. >> what about the very specific criticism about the independence of the judiciary being eroded? your wife has been appointed head of the national judiciary office. she has been appointed for nine years. very difficult to remove her. we have a whole stack of judges who have to retire. she is going to have the power to appoint judges who are very close -- not alone -- but she is married to you and you are very close -- is that -- >> i resigned when she was appointed to this position. i resigned all of my political positions. >> you are no longer an ally of the prime minister? >> i am supporting him -- >> that is what i need. >> but my wife is a judge for 25 years. she was the president of the labour court of budapest and is an excellent lawyer.
i did not think it will then should sacrifice career because her husband is a member of the european parliament. >> thank you. after living there. stay with us here on bbc world news. plenty more to come. the freeman foundation of new newman's own foundation, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to understand the industry you operate in, working to nurture new ventures and help provide