tv BBC Newsnight WHUT April 14, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
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>> this week, mitt romney is all but confirmed as the man to face barack obama in november's election. but as the intense debate over abortion threatened to derail his chances given -- >> failure of his policy, weak economy, high energy price, it would be hard to lose an election to president obama. >> titanic, the world's most populous country. and the world man who moved his future leader. he and his wife arrested. as elections loom, the president of france fights for his political life. what does he claim is a core conviction? >> one of the most amazing things. but i must say, the core belief is not [inaudible] ♪ >> hello.
after months of tussling among u.s. republican presidential candidates, rick santorum steps aside this week, leaving mitt romney candidate-elect to face barack obama in november's elections. one group romney will be looking to woo in the coming seven months or so is women voters. a cohort who currently significantly favor president obama. there are intense divisions in the u.s. over abortion. paul mason reports. >> an abortion clinic in toledo, ohio. protesters come here every day the clinic operates. inside, for all the intimacy and calm, they cannot escape the theory the presidential elections have stirred up. >> barack obama voted in favor of legalizing in it. to trust doctors to kill babies who survived the abortion. >> it has been a campaign where each candidate has tried to sound more anti-abortion than
the rest. last year, half of all u.s. states imposed new curbs on abortion. >> the laws being proposed represent a new radical restriction on abortion. the debate is being conducted in language that is shocking and extreme. some republicans think they're potty is being dragged so far to the right on this issue that it is prospect in november's election could be seriously compromised. in ohio, home to rest belt cities and millions of the post- industrial poor, they're working on one of the most restrictive new laws. if passed, it will ban all abortions once a heartbeat is detected. and that is usually at around six weeks. >> the strategy is to put those laws in places state by state and erode and destroy access to abortions, and that is what is working. >> under pressure from
protesters, hospitals here no longer perform abortions. this basic facility in toledo, run by a charity, is the only one for miles around. people who work here say it is the poorest women who need the most help. >> we know that even when it is illegal, women still have done abortions themselves, and they do that at great personal risk. it is not an issue of banning abortion. it is an issue of banning safe and legal abortions. that makes it harder for them to get services. the other thing is that it makes it harder for them to fund these services once they find them. and it makes them -- i think it also puts a burden of despair on the them. it puts the burden of guilt and shame that they should not have. >> mitch daniels was once a serious contender for the republican party's nominati for president, but he lacked support among the conservative base. he believes the party's focus on
social issues could doom its prospects in november. >> up to this stage, our party could be doing a lot better. sometimes i say, given the failure of his policies, a weak economy, high energy prices, and so forth, it would be very hard to lose an election to president obama, but we have just the team that could do it. >> that is not how it looks in findlay, ohio. among these rural and a look as voters, the religious right will take the battle for the party's soul right up to november. this group of ohio activists lobbied tires leave for the heart beat bill. >> the doctor has to actually show the woman at the heart beats on the ultrasound, let her hear the heartbeat. if that heartbeat is detected, then the baby is protected from the abortion. >> the heart beat so important? >> all over the world, the
signal -- one import issue of whether or not there is live is whether or not there's a heartbeat. >> politically, there appears to determine to keep abortion at the center of the election campaign regardless of the consequences. >> the time has come for us to stand up and stand for what is right. >> you would rather lose on the principal issue than one in with an alliance of quite conservative people who just do not share your views on abortion. >> yes. >> it is not political. from my vantage will, it is a theological issue. so, yes, courage to take the stand, willing to lose, yes. we get all worked up because hitler killed 6 million. and look how he did it. and we are allowing it, and we are promoting it. >> are you comparing it to the holocaust? >> it is a holocaust. time that america wakes up. genocide. >> you cannot really then have a political candidate who denied that. it would be like being in
holocaust denial. >> exactly. >> texas and forces something called a trans vaginal ultrasound. this man didn't inserting a probe like this into a woman's vagina with the intent that she sees and hears the fetus before abortion. outside the toledo clinic, the vigil continues. its side to my gynecologist has finished work of today and which he terminated 10 pregnancies. he says there is no medical science behind the new laws. above all, he thinks the older son probe is about pure politics. >> this is a trans vaginal probe. the patient needs to be in the stirrups, and then you need to use a condom for protection and you need to use a lubricant. you must literally take this lengthy probe and insert it into the vagina to be able to get an interior view of what is going on. it gives you a different perspective. to mandate the use of this would be an absolute interest and into
women's reproductive health care, and it is totally unnecessary in the practice of abortion practice. >> why are they doing it? >> to try to drive doctors away. to make the procedure more expensive. to make it more costly. to scare women away. basically, to put an additional obstacles, one after the other, in the path of a woman who is pregnant and does not want to be. >> in some ways, this is part of the old culture war between liberals and conservatives. the result is almost silently, legal abortion for women from the poorest neighborhoods has become harder and harder. but it is in the election and its effect on how women's vote in november that the debate might have its biggest impac >> the man tipped as a possible future leader of china was dramatically sacked from the ruling communist party this week. while his wife was arrested for involvement in the mysterious
death of an english businessman. the party said bo xilai had committed serious discipline violations. he is already been stripped of his position as a regional party head after a scandal involving the area as police chief. the whole affair is surrounded by mystery. but what does this tell us about china? i discussed that with dr. martin jencks. with bloomberg's economic doctor, and with a professor of international politics at the university of bristol. how big of an event is this? >> i think it is very important. because ever since teen amend square when the general secretary was turned out, there has not been anything like this at the highest level, nearly the highest level of chinese politics. and bo xilai, he met his political demise, clearly.
but the backdrop to all this is clearly a major struggle taking place in the chinese leadership over the composition of the new leadership that will emerge from the party congress in the autumn, and secondly, over the policies to be pursued by that new leadership. >> do you see it in the same terms, the terms of the power struggle? >> yes, it reflects the fact that it -- that the chinese communist party within itself has always had factions. but this is quite interesting. >> is the ideological or is it just about naked power? >> if i had to venture, i would say naked power. sure, bo xilai was associated with a lot more moves towards a state led investment model. he was sort of popular in the sense that he was talking about an era of more equality. lot of times people miss that because of the high levels of inequality. however, if you strip it back, he clearly is somebody that was a rising star, but at the same
time, the last time i was in china it became clear that most policy makers knew who the next generation of leaders are going to be. and he perhaps is adjusting for his position. >> is it likely that we're going to see more of this sort of episode? >> certainly this is not the end of the scandal or this particular event that we have now. what is interesting, of course, is this kind of drama attached to this, partly because of the murder case and also the defection of the police chief. also involving a foreign national, which is a british businessman. >> it is fascinating. when we see the chinese leadership, you always see a bunch of late and middle-aged men in identical suits, using identical hair dye. this opens up something fascinating. >> yes, but not middle-age. all sort of in their 60's.
it is interesting. again, this is a part of the political transition that we are looking at. and it is certainly not very strong standing, this is not what we actually anticipated. we all thought at some stage that institutional efficient of political succession in china has been happening, and this time would be for the fifth generation transition, relatively smooth. now, of course, we do not know what is next. >> it is taking place in a completely changed world, isn't it, in which people are tweeting in communicating socially? it is fascinating. >> one thing that is very interesting is the extent to which this has become public. and it is being discussed and known about in real time, as opposed away after the event, which used to be much more the case. what is this a result of? i think the opening up of chinese society.
internet, microblogging. less centered media. and so on. now the chinese have, in some degree or another, access to some of this. >> it is a problem for the leadership, isn't it? >> yes. one of the issues here is they're going to have to get used to it. increasing transparency is something they cannot turn back the clock on. in fact, the fact that his is a tie publicity involving a foreigner, and there will probably be bore instances where china is going to have to become much more open about the kinds of issues that this case poses. corruption, succession, responsiveness, ideology, development. these are all things that as they become more globally integrated, foreign investors, foreigners dealing with china are going to want to see more of. they will have to respond to that. >> given that the economy so much depends or has depended
upon western involvement, not perhaps the primary challenge now, but what is it going to do to the way western businesses regard china? >> how they handle it will be crucially important. it comes on the back of a rio tinto executive who was also imprisoned in china just a few years ago. i think the ability of the chinese government to continue to show that even if they are not a democracy but they have increasingly improved role of law and transparency of that process is going to be crucial. in fact, if you look at what china needs now, i would say they need global integration. the reason they have grown so quickly is because they integrated in caught up on manufacturing and the next phase of growth requires the same thing on services. that means more foreigners, more engagement with the global market. one of the gene -- one of the things to and is behind on is reforming rule of law to catch
up with economic reform. >> the fact that his wife has been arrested, is she going to get a fair trial? is an arrest an indication of guilt? how does it work? >> obviously, they have been very kind of strong evidence. you can see from the report, even by chinese media. and from the police chief, we do not really know what he has to do. from the report, obviously already sort of had some kind of evidence, will be scrutinized, not only by chinese media and chinese people but also globally. i really expect a rather fair trial of this particular case. >> if they have already arrested her, they said she is being held by the authorities. i think that they -- with the
have already put out about it, murder of neil heywood and so on, i think it is -- she is going to be found guilty. i mean, she may well be guilty, but i think she is going to be found guilty. >> thank you all very much. next week, the people of france of votes and begin the process of determining whether nicolas sarkozy will serve a second presidential term. while he has been in office, france has lost its triple a credit rating. his socialist opponent francois hollande claims he can save the economy by spending instead of cutting. a message to voters seem to like. so how is nicolas sarkozy trying to save his presidency? mark urban reports. >> here, a few hours east of paris, there is a shrine to a man and his ideology. general charles de gaulle lived
and died here, leaving behind a powerful idea of france. his views on how the country should be run are still so influential that apparently his error as leader of his movement comes here to commune with his spirit -- his heir comes here to commune with this spirit. >> president nicolas sarkozy often comes alone. it is for him, as it was for general de gaulle, an ideal place for reflection. >> learning about the galt is part of the syllabus for french schools. for these children, he was a war leader who embodied national unity. later, they learn about how he put
and nicholas sarkozy almost never invoked the greatness of france. the grand tour of france. it is not in his project. nevertheless, he certainly considers germany and france as the leaders, legitimate leaders of europe. >> president charles de gaulle had a very well-defined idea of what france should represent and of its place at the head of the nations of europe. but today, as the country heads
for presidential elections, it is national self-confidence has been battered by the economic crisis. and the standard bearer, president sarkozy is accused of losing his way and not knowing what on earth he stands for. president sarkozy's personal and campaign styles are a world away from the world simplicity's of french life for those of charles de gaulle. the economic crisis, most french people want to protect their lifestyle. the president is behind in the polls, and his position is hardly helped by the message they gaining economic vitality will require him to adopt a foreign models. >> now in europe, their two models. the swedish and german model, which means cutting spending. and reforming our economy so that they will be more
competitive. that is of course a german- swedish model but there is another model that has become the greek model. it is a model where you choose to make even more spending during the following years, making more spending, you raise taxes to a rocketing level. this is not a good model. >> president sarkozy started this contest far behind in the pols. so he unleashed a series of messages about security, immigration, and identity that were designed to bring him support from the far right. but in the process, he has alienated many in the center and on the left who say he is ignoring the real issues people say they care about in pulse dump -- polls, and discarding national unity. >> we're social and democratic.
communist agree about debt. at this time, we do not discriminate people from -- [unintelligible] it is the end. it is the death of all this tradition in france. >> even so, socialist party leader francois hollande is still set to beat sarkozy in any runoff. he promised to keep the french model will first-aid alive, even if that means renegotiating the european austerity deal that sarkozy signed up to in december. francois hollande's supporters insist that would not bring disaster. >> if elected, which is far from certain, i am sure the first thing he will do will be to ask a report on the real situation
of french finance and act accordingly. and i will advise him to do so, because the only way not to bear the burden of the cuts will be to do it immediately, just under the election to the i am sure he will do it. i am sure that nicolas sarkozy will do it also. >> further to the left is a man who seeks to protect the french social model with the same determination with which she corraled the press that his policy launch. jean-luc melenchon represents the left front, and against the americans, nato, the markets, and the eu. >> of course it is a complicated, and i will not hide from you that when it was presented to me, i thought of a vision which i like to call jacobin. for me, that is not an insult. it is an honor. >> it is quite extraordinary after two hours of listening to
jean-luc melenchon how extensively his ideas about what france should stand for are informed by ideas at exceptionally some that france's unique place in the world goes back to general charles de gaulle and a type of nationalism which i do not think many of us would expect to see on what normally would have been called the far left. his rejection of austerity has contributed to a steady rise in the polls. >> austerity is a strategy of international finance that is shared by french liberals. we say that the anglo-saxons like facts the effect is that austerity will release a recession in all of europe, which will lead us into a disaster by keeping down the salaries of the working class and maximizing the profits. >> the critique of president sarkozy extends to his probity, too.
an online newspaper accused the president of taking contributions from libya and big business during his 2007 campaign. at a morning meeting, they followed this contest, arguing that sarkozy has to win to stay ahead of the investigators. >> you know, in france, the president's as traditional immunity. if he lose, it would be gone in the cabinet. and i must ask some questions. >> the murders in france were seen by some as a game changer. in his role as president, he attended memorial events and articulate it the nation's outrage. it also played into a cirque's's security agenda, allow them to rise about the funding allegations. he denies them anyway. and finally, demonstrates the maturity of his years in the top
job. at his campaign rallies, then what -- this one is the party youth movement, president sarkozy of his as his experience and competence. [cheers and applause] sent if these people of the, the public is more skeptical. so the negative campaign tactics now extend to suggesting front runner francois hollande could destroy international economic confidence in france. >> francois hollande has a problem for me of credibility on financial issues, deficit issues, and international issues. >> but what does president sarkozy and himself and his many
presidential zigzags from policy? an critics argue that he is opportunist who lacks an ideological call. >> nicolas sarkozy is a very close friend of mine since more than 30 years. very good friend. i like him very much as a friend. one of the most amazing friends he may have in life. but i must say, the core belief is not his cup of tea. that is what i can say. if i may add something, i would say he is a lawyer. what is a lawyer? someone who can -- >> argue any position. >> yes. >> in this election, the public seems to be rallying behind those who say they will protect the goal is the idea of france. nicolas sarkozy, on the other hand, as used the language of austerity, and that has made him distinctly suspect to many voters.
>> well, that is all for this week. goodbye. ♪ >> 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 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? >> "bbc newsnight" was presented