tv BBC World News WHUT October 9, 2013 7:00am-7:30am EDT
is the most likely source of the epidemic. u.n. soldiers dumped untreated sewage here. the disease got into the river. a year ago i spoke to a scientist in the united states who had earlier been employed by the united nations as a top expert on cholera. >> the most likely course was someone infected with a strain of cholera and who was associated with the united nations facility >> but the united nations itself has refused to comment on the substance of the case against it. it says it has immunity and that the compensation claim is therefore in legal terms not receivable. >> the representatives that the claims are not receivable, pursuant to section 29 of theil and i am muents of the united
nations. >> the lawyers for these cholera patients say they have strong arguments to counter the u.n. position. they say the world body, known for trying to do good around the world, has this time made a terrible, deadly mistake, and it should now pay. mark doyle, bbc news. >> mark is with me now. mark, you reported on this, reported on the epidemic. let's remind our viewers around the world what that was like. >> well, first of all, i think the most important thing is yesterday there was a big earthquake in early 2010, and then cholera hit, but they were completely unrelated. cholera had not been seen in haiti for a century until late 2010, when it exploded. the number of case exploded outside the base for u.n. peacekeepers from nepal, where cholera is he democratic, and scientists have subsequently -- well, proven in the court of law, in the next few days, but
very, very strong indications are it was a nepali strain of cholera which was brought to haiti by these nepali soldiers. they dumped raw sewage, which then leached into the water table of haiti t. spread down the river with a horrible speed into the crowded cities of haiti, which is one of the poorest countries in the world. >> tented camps, etc. >> in fact, the tent camps where victims of the earthquake were living were better served than the slums, because they had water. in fact, the cholera spread faster through the ordinary slums, if you like, of haiti rather than the tent camps, but it was a terrible tragedy. hospitals were overflowing. >> now, there's a legal case pending, but in the meantime, and the whole question is the u.n.'s i am montreal will come up, but she's a high commissioner for human rights.
he sort of accepted the people of haiti should get compensation. >> the legal department of the united nations in new york has been very, very tight in what it says. they basically say, we are immunity under the treaties of the united nations when it was created in the second world war. we're above nation states, the sits, so we're immune. but this very senior u.n. official did say in geneva recently she thinks compensation should be paid. now, she's not directly involved, but this case will be thought out in the court of public opinion, if you like, as well as in the court of law, especially as it's taking place in the united states court, where all sorts of politics will come into play as well. >> all right. mark, we may come back to you again if we've got some time. we are now speak to the director of the institute for justice and democracy in haiti. that's the organization bringing the case. he joins us now from geneva. thank you for being with us, brian. so, legally, what is it that you're going to have to prove
beyond doubt? >> proving the actual liability, the fact that the u.n. is responsible and it caused damage to the haitian victims is actuallyize. it's uncontested, as mark doyle has been reporting for a long time. even the u.n.'s own scientists have been admitting it. back in early 2012, president bill clinton, the u.n. special envoy for haiti, conceded the u.n. was the approximate cause. our hurdle, as you mentioned, is jurisdictional. the u.n. is claiming immunity. he u.n. has immunity, for good reasons. it is conditioned on the u.n. keeping up its end of the bargain, which is providing alternative mechanisms for justice to people hurt by its operations. and in this case, the u.n. is refusing to provide those mechanisms. courts throughout the world -- and this is a developing, more and more every year, courts throughout the world are saying that if the u.n. does not uphold its end of the bargain,
or if international organizations do not uphold their end of the bargain, then courts should not allow them to claim immunity. and so in this case, it's clear that the u.n. has not allowed the victims of its cholera to have an alternative mechanism for justice, and so we have now choice but to go into a national court. >> does the fact that someone like she's talked about compensation that she comes from within the u.n. family, does that make any difference at all? >> it doesn't make any difference legally. i don't believe she speaks authoritatively for the u.n. on this issue, but it certainly makes a difference in the court of public opinion, and she's not the only one. the u.n.'s own scientists have said it, and just last month, the former head of peacekeeping operations said that the u.n. needs to come clean on haiti. there's obviously a movement within the u.n. to push the organization to live up to its own ideals. >> some people, what they're
saying is that, look, if you allow this case to go forward and the united nations finds itself having to give compensation, what do you do is open the floodgates to loads of claims against the united nations, in which case you get a situation where actually peacekeepers might be reluctant to go into trouble spots. >> first of all, the u.n., in document after document, has over and over again reiterated its obligation to provide compensation for people harmed by its operations. there's no question that the u.n. has this obligation to do it. and what this will do will really be enforcing that obligation, and i think it will open the floodgates to forcing the u.n. to take more care, to reduce harm to the vulnerable populations that peacekeeping mission serves. it will reduce the rapes committed by u.n. peacekeeping troops, especial until africa, where it's been a serial problem. it will make the u.n. take better care of its dangerous sewage, and that's not a
completely bad thing. >> all right. brian, we have to leave it there. thanks very much. there's one very quick one for you, mark. what is the situation there? of course, it's three years. we don't often get a chance to go back to haiti. how are things now? >> the fact is that the cholera, which was introduced to haiti in late 2010, has now become so widespread that it's in the water. it is now endemic in haiti. haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. it didn't have cholera three years ago. now it's endemic. >> all right. mark doyle, thanks very much. >> thank you. >> let me give you a roundup of other news stories -- in egypt, it's been announced the trial of the deposed president will begin on the fourth of november. mohammed morsi will be tried for incitement and murder, along with 14 other members of the muslim brotherhood. the charges were related to the protesters during demonstrations last year. the italian prime minister says there will be a state funeral
for the victims of the tragedy near the island of lampedusa. over 270 african migrants died off the coast of the island when their boats sank last week. the europian commission president is currently visiting the island to show solidarity with the victims. at least seven people have been killed in a fire at a garment factory in bangladesh. 50 people were reportedly injured when the flames engulfed the warehouse near the capital. it's the latest disaster for bangladesh's $21 billion garment industry. the cause of the latest fire remains unclear. they're calling it johannesburg's second gold rush, an illegal and desperate scramble for what remains of the precious metal. every day, thousands of men, many from poorer african countries, head underground to sift through the remnants of abandoned mines, but as andrew harding reports, it's a dangerous and often deadly
trade. >> on the edge of town, a small hole. the entrance to a vast and dangerous world. these men are illegal miners. they've been burrying under johannesburg in search of gold. but not today. instead they're hauling out the body of a dead colleague. t's a regular occurrence here. this man, age 28, was killed deep underground when an old, abandoned tunnel collapsed on top of him. it took three hours to carry the body to the surface. >> i know seven people who died down there now, said his friend, of course this job scares me. big mining companies have been digging beneath the city for well over a century. when they finished in one area, the illegal teams now move in
hunting for scraps. t's a new gold rush. >> the south african police arrived to seal the hole, but they know the miners will quickly find another way in. >> hunal problem. >> why is it huge? >> just the numbers, the numbers of people underground. >> what, for security, for safety? >> i think all. >> nearby, the miners' body lies in the open. this is a huge industry. it's incredibly dangerous, as we've seen today. it's also highly illegal, but it's lucrative enough to tempt thousands of men down into the mineshaft beneath johannesburg. after all, gold is gold, and jobs are scarce. we feel bad, but nothing can do.
>> and so they gather around this body, a traditional miner's sendoff. the police keep their distance. once they've left, these men will go straight back underground. andrew harding, bbc news, johannesburg. >> stay with us here on "bbc world news." still to come -- why glasses of wine and hunks of cheese are disappearing from russian dinner tables. if you live anywhere near a busy airport, you'll known the drone of arriving and departing airplanes can keep you up late and wake you up early. however, researchers have found high levels of aircraft noise may also price an increased risk of having a stroke or suffering from heart disease. here's our health correspondent, jane draper. >> margaret finds the noise from airplanes going over her
flat highly stressful. she wants to see more control from aircraft noise levels. it to ve got used to some extent, but it's still very annoying. so it's upsetting when you can't have a conversation at a normal level. you have to raise your voice and shout over the top of these aircraft rather than being normal. today's study looked at noise from heathrow airport and how it affected 3.6 million people living nearby. % of the areas studied had the highest noise levels. above 60 decibels. there, the risk of going to hospital or dying from stroke or heart disease was 10 to 20% higher. >> the noise, we know, can cause a racing heart rate and a raise in blood pressure, and that's just normal, physician yo logical reaction to noise t. may be disturbing sleep.
it may also be annoying people, so people who get annoyed may result in increased stress, might result in an increase in blood pressure. >> the government says the number of people affected by high levels of noise from planes has been falling for years because of various changes, including quieter aircraft. habits like smoke having far more dramatic effect on people's risk of illness. jane draper, bbc news. >> it's reported at least 60 tibetans have been injured after the chinese security forces opened fire on a crowd of protesters in tibet, according to the london-based free tibet group. the demonstrations were triggered when authorities attempted to force tibetans to fly the chinese flag during national day celebrations.
let's go live to martin patience in beijing. martin, just how much do we know about what actually happened? >> well, this was a very serious incident. the information is still trickling out. the only information we have, only accounts, is from these activist groups. now, according to free tibt, a crowd has gathered at the government office on sunday. the reason they were there was to protest -- was to try to get e authorities to release a detained tibet appear. chinese security forces opened fire on the crowd. it's not clear whether they used tear gas, but according to free tibet, 60 tibia eight ans were injured, two critically. in terms of the chinese authorities, well, there's been no word from china's foreign ministry much it says yesterday it wasn't aware of these reports. >> martin, this is surely
another example of the tension that exists over the future of tibet. >> well, that's right. there's very serious intentions in that part of the country. foreign journalists are only allowed to enter if the chinese authorities ask them. e last time the bb was asked as more than 50 years ago. >> and ever since then, was seen more than 100 tibia eight ans is the on fire. these are gruesome protests. why are they happening? according to tibt ans, them say they're protesting against the repressive rule of regime, cultural and religious oppression. that is something that beijing denies, and it's economic development in what was once an impoverished region. >> there is a new leadership in
beijing. so are there any signs policy on tibet might just change? > well, it's very interesting. i think with the transition, there was a sense there might be a change toward the tibetan policy. i think most analysts say china's current tough security policies aren't working, because we've seen a spate of self-immolations. but in terms of anything concrete happening on the ground, there certainly doesn't seem to be any difference between china's old leaders compared with this new generation of leaders, who took up part earlier this year. >> martin patience, thanks very much. thank you. and in other news, a court in russia has sentenced a critic of president putin to forced psychiatric treatment. psychiatrists ruled that mikhail is a danger to society. he took part in a protest against the russian leader last year. rights groups say it marks a eturn to soviet-era practices.
the court case involving australia's richest woman has resumed after it was adjourned on tuesday. it's claimed gina rhine hath refused to give two of her children their share of the family fortune. they accuse her of serious misconduct. the mining heiress reportedly claims her children were lazy. the pilot who fell ill at the controls of his plane, forcing his passenger to land the light aircraft, has died. the man collapsed in the cockpit of the prean after taking off from an airport in the u.k. a passenger was then forced to make an emergency landing with help from instructors on the ground. the relay for next summer's commonwealth games in scotland has set off from buckingham palace. the queen placed a message inside bat ton, that will travel to all the 70 countries and territories that will take part in the games. it will use every scoveable method of transport. believe it or want, it's to a camel.
now, what do american turkeys, georgian wine, and ukrainian cheese have in common? they're l food products, which at within time or another, have been banned by russia, raising suspicions that moscow has been using food to play politics. this week russia suspended imports of dairy products from lithuania, sparking an angry response from the european union. our moscow correspondent, steve rosenberg, has spent his lunchtime exploring the connection between the kremlin and the kitchen. >> now, if you like cooking, let me give you a piece of advice. make sure you squat up on international politics before you choose your recipe. because that could affect the ingredients available for you. whenever russia has a political rowe with another country, it often ends with mosc slapping a ban on food imports from the country she's fallen out with. for example, when the russian
government squabbled with the georgian government a few years ago, russia suddenly declared that georgian wine and georgian mineral water were of poor quality and refused to import anymore, and that resulted in big losses for the georgian economy. then russia got cheesed off with ukraine. there was a row over gas prices, over trade links, and what a coincidence, you're rainian cheese was declared rather dodgy and banned. and the latest food feud is over dairy products from lithuania. this week, moscow suspended imports, again citing concerns over quality. but the lithuanians, they smelled geo politics here. after all, next month lithuania hosts an e.u. summit aimed at forging closer ties with countries traditionally in russia's influence, like ukraine and georgia. now that's a recipe to make moscow mad.
by the way, this is the man with the bans. russia's chief inspector, he's the official who always seems to announce the suspensions, and he claims that they have nothing at all to do with politics, but it's simply about protecting the health of russian citizens. now, i should say that these suspensions are normally temporary. georgian wine and ukraine yawn cheese are now back on the shelves here. personally, i really hope that russia doesn't fall out with everybody, because if that happens, dinner could be a bit of a problem. >> and doesn't he look good in an apron? now, her face defined the idea of beauty in the 19 auto 50's and 1960's. men idolized her, women tried to copy her, and photographers tried to capture her alluring looks. now it seems marilyn monroe may have had a little help from a surgeon. old x-rays have come to light that suggests she might have had work done on her nose and
chin. emily thomas reports. >> she was thought so beautiful, many couldn't believe her looks weren't natural. but six x-rays and a medical file to be sold at auction appear to confirm rumors that marilyn monroe went under the surgeon's knife. michael, a hollywood plastic surgeon, gave the items to the unnamed seller. the doctor started the file in the late 1950's when the actress claimed about a chin deformity. the notes say a cartilage implant in her chin had begun to dissolve. they also documented rhine masty procedure on the tip of her nose. >> nobody ever really thought about marilyn monroe having plastic surgery. it was always speculation, did she or didn't she? they thought she was such a natural beauty, and they dent want to believe. going back to the 1950's, people didn't go for plastic surgery procedures. this was very, very new. but again, marilyn monroe was always cutting edge. >> the x-rays are from june
1962, just two months before the actress died from an overdose. her details were recorded under the name joan newman the items are expected to fetched 30,000. three years ago, a set of x-rays stole for $445,000. league thomas, bbc news. >> and coming up in the next half-hour on "g.m.t." -- we continue our 100-day series. and we look at our women in india, changing way they're treated. more police on the streets, more women coming forward. stay with us. >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding of this presentation
is made possible by the freeman foundation. newman's own foundation, giving all profits to charity and pursuing the common good for over 30 years. 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? >> bbc world news was presented by kcet los angeles.
leaders from across southeast asia and beyond have gathered together to try to overcome some maritime tensions. white house officials say u.s. president barack obama will nominate janet yellen to lead the world's most powerful central bank. and some municipalities in south korea are turning to grandparents to help families grow and raise the country's low fertility rate. southeast asian leaders have sat down to discuss two crucial issues affecting their future, free trade and maritime security. china plays a key role in both these areas and invited the chinese leader to discuss them face to face. the ten asean leaders are meeting for two days of talks. they're kicking off their summit with business and trade negotiations, trying to set up a single economic market by 2015. a meeting with chinese premier takes place later in the day. they'll be discussing conflicting territorial claims in the south china sea.
china's growing naval presence in the sea is provoking concern. asean and chinese officials started discussions last month to create a legally binding code of conduct. the treaty is aimed at peacefully resolving disputes before they get out of hand. regional leaders have made much of the fact that u.s. president barack obama was not there with them this week for some of the meetings. he stayed home from summit of the asia pacific economic forum and talks on the trans-pacific partnership. obama said some of his counterparts took advantage of his absence. >> i'm sure the chinese don't mind that i'm not there right now. in the sense that, you know, there are areas where we have differences and they can present their point of view. >> obama said he thinks some leaders may be concerned about the direction of the talks but he said it's still possible to strike a deal by the end of the year.
despite obama's reassurances, the negotiators working on the tpp have had difficulty reaching common grounds. now japanese government officials say they're thinking of eliminating tariffs on items they fought to protect. government officials had promised they would keep tariffs high in five categories to protect farmers. they said they would seek kpejss for rice, beef, pork, tedairy products and sugar. they'll consider removing 600 items in those categories to move the talks forward. farmers are calling on members of the ruling liberal democratic party to stick to their promises and some lawmakers support them. the leaders of opposition parties are criticizing ldpd members for breaking promises they made earlier this year during campaigning for the upper house election. officials in the white house say president obama has made his choice for the next chairman of the federal reserve. janet yellen will succeed ben bernanke in the most powerful job in the world economy and
would become the first woman to lead the central bank if she is confirmed by the senate. yellen has been at the fed's second in command since 2010. she's also served as president of the federal reserve bank of san francisco. she headed the council of economic advisers under former president bill clion and she's played a crucial role in establishing the fed's monetary easing policies. a white house official says president barack obama will formally nominate yellen later on wednesday. if confirmed, she would take over for bernanke when his second term expires in january. white house officials and republican lawmakers are still at odds at the u.s. debt deadline approaches. the chief economist for the international monetary fund has warned about the dangers of defaulting on the national debt. olivier blanchard said it would have catastrophic consequences and not only for americas. in the latest report, they lowered their forecast for global econo