tv BBC World News America PBS October 31, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT
small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news america." >> we are reporting from washington. welcome to the world. the arrival of the earth's 7 billion person is met with the question. is there room and resources for all of us? the united nations cultural organization, unesco, approved palestine as a member, prompting israel and the u.s. to freeze funding. one of the world's finest -- finest collections of islamic art goes on display in york. is it culture or politics?
welcome to our viewers on pbs in america, and around the globe. if you are feeling a little cramped today, you have good reason. planet earth never has a population of 7 billion. the philippines was the first country to declare the seven billionth person, a little girl who is no doubt aware of all of the fuss. other countries claim milestone babies. the question remains -- can the world cope with so many of us? >> it is more about symbols than exact sums when it comes to global population. the u.n. has declared that in each country, one baby going on october 31 becomes the seven billionth person. there are many tiny candidates. is philippines' contribution dankeeka mae, blissfully unaware
of her celebrity status. going in a crowded public hospital in manila, she was greeted with a chocolate cake. family planning is controversial in this catholic country. her mother decided to defy church teachings and practice birth control. this little boy is the chosen one, according to russian state television. but a quarrel is brewing. in the far east of the country, politicians have declared another can of it as the first to be going on monday. russia's regions are competing to show how they are trying to boost the country's shrinking population. india has the opposite problem. the u.n. projects that from 2025, its population will overtake china. india also struggles with a skewed sex ratio because of a cultural preference for boys. in the book are pradesh -- uttar
pradesh, they are appointing seven girls going on monday to symbolize 7 billion. china is also dogged by a shortage of girls. but the country believes its family planning has boosted the economy. its problem now is not enough young chinese to support a huge elderly population. the u.n. does not want this milestone just to be about total numbers. there is the urgent issue of equality. >> 1 billion people go hungry. lavish lifestyles for a few, but poverty for too many others. there are huge advances in medicine, while others died every day in china worth -- while mothers die every day in childbirth and children died from drinking dirty water. >> for many, the question of how
to manage scarce resources, so babies going now have a bright future. bbc news. >> for more on the milestone and how the planet is poised to cope, i am joined by the global director of the health and development program at the aspen institute. i have to start with a basic question. we have been following up to this number for the last week. it is almost remarkable we can say this is the day. we are sure? >> today is the day. we have been thinking about this for some time. the u.n. has the ability to project population at a very precise level. >> it is remarkable we can count that closely hominy we are. what the challenges are there? >> i think the untold story about the 7 billion is what you were just talking about. most of europe and america is seeing aging populations and
smaller family sizes, but the poorest countries of the world, those most vulnerable to climate change and food scarcity, have off the charts fertility rates that have not changed in many decades. there is a confluence of population, environment, and scarcity that comes together in some of the poorest countries on the planet. >> what is the opportunity? >> the opportunity -- in many ways, we are coming up to the 20th anniversary of the talk on sustainability. i think there is time to return to discussions of population. people are uncomfortable talking about it. it has become politicized to talk about family planning. yet in most of the developing world there is a high unmet need for family planning. this opportunity is to begin looking at population and talking about it as relates to sustainability. for example, in somalia, it is
easy to see the horn of africa cannot sustain family sizes of seven or eight people. already, 30,000 children have died in the drought this year as a result of the confluence of these crises coming together. >> we have seen how quickly 7 billion has crept up on us. where will we be in 10 years? >> people say we will be at 9 billion by 2015, without question. there is no question these milestones will be met. it would be difficult to reverse that. what we can do differently is began to invest in population research and family planning so that we can turn it around in some of the countries that need it the most. >> thank you for coming in. have the 7 billion. now, a controversial vote which is already proving costly for
unesco. today in paris, the agency voted to grant palestinians full membership. no sooner had the bozen counted in the u.s. and israel cut their funding. the white house warned it could hurt the prospects for middle east peace. >> as they went around the table in paris, giving their votes, it rapidly became clear who was going to win. there were knows from america and israel, vastly outnumbered by the gases -- yeses from almost everyone else. >> france, oui. russian federation, yes. >> then came the announcement. >> the general conference has voted to adopt the draft resolution and admit palestine as a member of unesco. >> what followed was jubilation from the palestinian delegation.
after decades of waiting, palestine has formally been admitted to a u.n. body as a state. back in armagh, the palestinian government was quick to claim victory. >> , we appreciate the acceptance of palestine in unesco, and the positive overwhelming voting. it is an indicator of growing international support to the palestinian requirement from the international community to be recognized as a state, in the borders of 1967. >> kilometers away in jerusalem, the israeli reaction was less enthusiastic. >> that will not change the situation on the ground. it will only make it more difficult and tricky to actually renew constructive negotiations. >> today was a small but
significant victory for palestinians in their battle for u.n. recognition. the 107 countries who voted yesterday, including france, russia, and china, have all made a statement of support for palestinian recognition. unesco helps protect hundreds of ancient and beautiful places around the world, including the old city of jerusalem, but its work is funded in large part by american money, money washington is almost certain to withdraw. bbc news in jerusalem. >> nato has officially brought its mission in libya to a close. to mark the conclusion, the chief made a surprise visit to tripoli, where he heralded the success of operations and congratulated the country. hours later, in the interim leadership chose an electronics magnate from tripoli as the
interim prime minister. we spoke to a correspondent in the libyan capital. the transitional government has announced a new prime minister for libya. what can you tell us about him? >> he is seen as somebody who can bring the transitional council together. there have been reports of internal squabbling, not least over the body of the former dictator, where it should be buried, how it should be buried, and so on. this man is a consensus figure. he is from tripoli, which will help the city. until now, the transitional council has been sitting in the east, in benghazi. this is a tripoli candidate. this should help unify feelings and bring people together. that is what libyans want. they want to move ahead on this
ambitious plan toward democracy, with the idea that the new prime minister will not elect a cabinet, which will lead to public elections -- will now elected cabinet, which will lead to public elections for a council to draw up a constitution and an election. people are eager to move on the road as soon as they can. >> how much of those plans for the future been affected by nato ending its mission tonight? >> it certainly focused minds in libya, the fact that nato has ended its mission. it made libyans feel safe. they thanked nato for winning the war against colonel gaddafi have powerful forces. what you had here on the ground work ill-equipped and ill- trained fighters. having nato flight 25,000 missions -- everybody here knows it was really nato that won the
battle, even though its official mission was to protect civilians. libya has asked nato to stay. officially, it cannot. what the secretary general has said here in the libyan capital today is that member states of nato are happy to lend a helping hand, if invited, securing libyas borders and helping with decommissioning of weapons. it is important for there to be a new military force in the country so libyans feel safe by themselves. they want nato to stay, but only to equip the libyans to move forward in their new democracy. literally, the people on the street say, "we know it is an ambitious plan. for most of us, all we have known this dictatorship." this is a young country. they believe they can do it. the road may be rocky, but they want to do it.
>> thank you so much. in other news, a suicide bomber has carried out an attack near a u.n. building in southern afghanistan, in can the heart. five people were killed, including a policeman. this comes days after a car bomb detonated in kabul, destroying an armored bus and killing 17 people, mostly american soldiers. the u.n. agency has warned that social unrest because of a lack of jobs has brought the global economy on the brink of a new and deeper jobs recession. it predicted a million new jobs are required to restore the unemployment rate before the economic crisis of 2008. after weeks of posting anti- capitalist protests on its doorsteps, the dean of st. paul's cathedral in london has resigned. the protesters are inspired by
occupy wall street, but the clergy has been divided on how to handle them. we have the details. >> hours from his resignation, his body language betrayed the pressure he was under. visibly uncomfortable, he asked protesters as today to give st. paul's the space to pursue social justice in its own way. >> i find it difficult that you assume that i do not hold the same views as you, simply because i do not use the same methods of expressing my views as you. >> today, the news that shocked the church, a statement from the dean, read by a colleague, which said he was going, with immediate effect. >> it has become increasingly clear to me that as criticism of the cathedral has mounted in the press, media, and public opinion, my position as dean of st. paul's was becoming untenable. >> protesters said they had not wanted to force the been out.
>> there have been times when a certain amount of pressure has gone around, in some cases a good show of honor. >> everyone here is shocked. i think we did not feel he had to step down. we want to get back to the issues. that is what he and the bishops said when we met on the steps of st. paul's. >> when protesters were barred by police for the stock exchange, the cathedral appeared to offer sanctuary. a week into the occupation, the cathedral suddenly closed, citing health and safety concerns. on october 7, there was a resignation over the use of force to evict protesters. then the dean of england's principal the cathedral was forced of office by a public protest.
the bishop of london will take over the dean's duties. he said the resignation was tragic and saddened him. he made clear the cathedral's policy would not change. >> i am not taking a softer line at all. i think that as people were saying yesterday morning, the campsite has to disappear at some point. it has to be scaled down. the cathedral is sensitive in exploring the legal territory. >> grahem knowles spoke of insurmountable issues. the departure may do little to ease st. paul's of agony. >> those protests are not going away. still to come, shining a light on the islamic art. one at new york museum experiences last beyond the exhibition hall. here in the united states, this
halloween looks more like christmas, after an unusually early storm hit the northeast. up to 2 million homes are still without power. at least nine people were killed in snow-related accidents. the worst hit massachusetts. the winter weather caught many off guard. >> it begins again. winter weather has come early to america's northeast. new englanders are digging themselves out, and it is only halloween. over the weekend, more than a foot of snow fell, saddling quickly on trees that have not lost their leaves, and causing tremendous damage. >> it is cold. we have senior citizens and children suffering. schools are closed. >> no heat, no food, no power, and it is october. >> a flight was stuck on the tarmac in hartford for seven hours. the pilots pleaded for help.
>> i have a paraplegic that needs to come off. i have a diabetic that has an issue. i just have to get some help. >> today, 2 million people are still without power. why? because power lines here are above ground. when branches come down, so do electricity cables. nobody wants to pay to put the cables underground. >> it has become a difficult political sell to say we need to spend money today so that we can have good infrastructure decades into the future that will help living standards. >> when people talk about america's aging and unreliable and the structure, this is the sort of thing they mean. many americans feel winter weather should not make them as miserable as it does. bbc news, washington.
>> returning to the world's growing population. in the half century, urban centers have exploded around the world. perhaps nowhere is more efficent -- evident and the pakistani port city of karachi. how is the city coping with growing pains? that is explored in the book "instant city." the author joins me in the studio. >> it is great to be here. >> today, the population hit 7 billion. we are talking about a city that has exploded. many cities have grown incredibly fast in the last few years. what was it about karachi? >> i had reported there before. watching your newscast day, you get a reflection of many news stories. there is increasing population. there is news about terrorism.
in the largest city in pakistan, you have that. there are demonstrations about economic inequality, which is on display in a city like this. you have glass towers by the beach at the same time that millions of people live in neighborhoods without any services. many of the greatest problems facing the world are being struggled with in a city like this, in the developing world. >> he spent a lot of time researching the book. how has it changed since partition days? >> in 1947, this was a city of 400,000 people. today, it is more than 13 million. unrecognizable. you see a few of the old british-era buildings, but it has grown so much. that isn't just a high birthrate. it is also mass migration. migrations from india at
partition, migrations from other parts of pakistan. anytime there is conflict along the border of afghanistan, people are motivated to come south and look for a job that pays $5 a day. that, for them, is an opportunity, compared to what they have elsewhere, which is a story around the world. >> if you had the unfortunate job of being a city planner, could you manage this population explosion? >> when i researched, i found planners who tried repeatedly to manage exploding growth, and failed. they were overwhelmed by human nature and unintended consequences. there are a lot of planners who have had influence on cities around the world, but not necessarily the consequences they planned for. that is true in karachi. there has been a growth of unauthorized neighborhoods, people who will grab property from the government and sell it
to the poor to make tiny houses. that is the way cities are growing. keeping up with that and bring them within the government is a huge challenge. >> thank you for coming in. on this 7 billion day, you are the right person. it is one of the world's finest collections of islamic art. it now has a new home in new york city. but there is a diplomatic mission. the metropolitan museum of art hopes the new gallery will help dispel stereotypes about muslim culture that have gripped america since 9/11. >> we must recognize that we live in the nation where the widespread consciousness of the islamic world really did not exist until 10 years ago. that awareness came at one of
the darkest hours in american history. >> a decade after new york was attacked by muslim extremists, the city's preeminent museum has unveiled a suite of new galleries which trace the full course of islamic civilization. >> we have one of the biggest collections of islamic art in the western world, 12,000 pieces. the gallery spans 1800 years, from the earliest origin of muslim culture through variations across the world. >> most of this collection was taken off display in 2003. some in the muslim community suspected this was in retaliation for the attacks of 9/11. not so, says the museum. old galleries needed to be
reconfigured, and new ones painstakingly built. >> this is an eight-year process. so many people were involved, including designers, architects, and engineers -- every person you can imagine, right down to the people marbling pieces of wood last week. >> a team of moroccan artisans was brought to new york to create an exquisite courtyard. >> it shows people that artists are still alive and working. art did not die in 1900. >> apart from being a major addition, there is a major effort in cultural diplomacy. the riches on this plan might go some way to improving poor relations between the united states and the muslim world over the past 10 years.
>> our mission is to educate and help people about world culture. we want to get away from this narrow focus of contemporary politics and contemporary journalism, showing things in a broader perspective. >> a member of the interfaith center in new york says the opening of the new galleries is a major breakthrough for muslims in the city. >> i think the gallery will help broaden and deepen people's appreciation of who muslims are. there is a real opportunity here. it is wonderful this gallery is opening at this time. >> that is a look at the beautiful islamic art now on display in new york, on this the day of 7 billion people in the world. you can find constant updates on our website. for all of us, thank you for watching.
>> 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.