tv BBC World News America PBS May 3, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT
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>> and now, "bbc world news america." >> this is "bbc world news america," reporting from washington. >> is delving into the mind of osama bin laden. lessons release from his compound show the frustration of the al qaeda leader. the fate of china's blind dissident. american officials have tried to help him. have they failed? a new rush for treasure in california. it is not gold, but a meteorite that has people searching. >> this is so important to science. this is very fragile. this is such an extraordinary meeting right. this is literally stardust. -- this is an extraordinary meteorite.
>> welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. papers seized from osama bin laden's hideout in pakistan have now been released to the public and they show that the leader was frustrated at the dysfunction in his network and concerned about losing muslim support for his cause. he believed that assassinating barack obama would restore faith in al qaeda. >> the last days of osama bin laden, holed up in his walled compound in pakistan before he was killed by u.s. navy commandos. now, we are getting a glimpse of the so-called treasure trove of documents taken from the compound. in a u.s. election year, washington has chosen to release a fraction of the documents. the files reveal that he task two groups with the mission of
anticipating and spotting a visit from president obama or general petraeus to afghanistan or pakistan. they are not to target visits by u.s. vice president biden. they believed that joe biden is incompetent and as a president, he will lead the country into crisis. >> how can you conduct a military strike that has operational significance, and more importantly, has enormous political significance. terrorism is at its heart a political contest as opposed to a military contest. >> one of the classified documents referred to british targets in afghanistan. even though we have a chance to attack the british, he says, which not waste our efforts to do so, but concentrate on defeating america. what emerges here is that by the time he was killed, osama bin
laden was struggling to remain in control of al qaeda. the organization had already fragmented. today's offshoots have sprung up pretty independently in pakistan, yemen, iraq, somalia. there is no longer firm control at the top. >> al qaeda was already on the decline before the death of bin laden. the group is struggling to be relevant. there are new outfits that have emerged from the shuttle that have their own resources and leadership, desire to plot and plan mass casualty attacks. they did not need al qaeda to do it but they are motivated by bin laden's ideology. that is one of the most relevant aspects. >> bin laden was a high of the charismatic figure for many. for many, it is surprising that his memory was revised to day --
was revived today. his organization is a shadow of what it once was. >> as frank mentioned, this is an election year here in the u.s., there for everything, including the death of osama bin laden is sparking a political fight. we are joined by our north america added there. how does it come from an anniversary to the political hot topic of the week? >> crowds gathered spontaneously outside of the white house celebrating. it was clear that this was the one of sent in the obama administration, one success that was celebrated by nearly all americans. even those that would not match the support president obama. almost immediately, a narrative began that this is not just what happened, it was a tough decision taken by the president to pursue bin laden. in this particular raid, it was a hard and difficult decision taken by obama. that is a useful in their
active -- that is a useful there to to use against those who say that he is a wimp. there are advertisements that mitt romney, his likely republican challenger, would not have taken that chance. to many, that seemed to go over the top. >> the white house thinks it has the upper hand when it comes to national security issues. let's face it, this is not an election that will be one on those issues. >> that is why we are seeing this come out now. it is the anniversary. obama launches this campaign this weekend. this is the backdrop, you have that backdrop as foreign affairs. foreign affairs when not play a big part unless something extraordinary happens. character always matters in a presidential election. obama takes very hard decisions when other people don't have the guts.
>> thank you for coming in. the blind chinese activist at the center of a diplomatic standoff between the beijing and washington appears to be in detention a day after chinese authorities promised to guarantee his safety and freedom. no friends, lawyers, diplomats were allowed to see him. chen guangcheng chen says that he would like to leave china with his family and has appealed for help from hillary clinton. >> surrounded by chinese police, watching everything. this is a hospital in beijing down now looks like chen guangcheng -- that now looks like chen guangcheng's new prison. he was brought here by american diplomats yesterday. he was reunited with his wife and children. china guarantee his safety. just after these pictures, his wife told him how police had beaten her following is a state. he said that his wife was tied
to a chair by the police and kept there for two days. his family was afraid. chen guangcheng now says that the chinese assurances are worthless. inside of the hospital, he is surrounded by security. no u.s. diplomats there to protect him. he appealed to hillary clinton for help. she was meeting china's leaders. in beijing, for annual talks aimed at building a working relationship between the u.s. superpower and a rising china. both sides had wanted the standoff over the blind chen guangcheng settled quickly. a day after u.s. diplomats were congratulating themselves on a deal hailed as a new model for china, allowing this it is to stay in the country, it has all unraveled. -- allowing dissidents to stay
in the country, it all unraveled. chen guangcheng told us that the guards have prevented people from seeing him. no friends all lawyers have been able to see him. the chinese police photograph anyone trying to get in. negotiations are going on about his fate. tonight, we caught up with the u.s. officials to brokered the deal for chen to leave the embassy. they delivered him to chinese hands and they might not be able to undo that deal. >> a tense situation between washington and beijing. prosecutors have demanded an 80- year sentence for former liberian president charles taylor. he was found of 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity, including murder and rape.
he will be sentenced next month. the head of the catholic church in ireland is coming under intense pressure to resign. a number of senior politicians have called on him to step down following regulations in a documentary about his role in a secret how the deuce inquiry in 1975. -- a secret child abuse inquiry in 1975. an announcement comes after unidentified attackers armed with rocks, firebombs, and shot and killed at least 20 protesters on wednesday in egypt. the military says they regret the killings. a war in the area of sudan is close to triggering agent answering crisis. clashes and government troops and opposition fighters at this place more than 70,000 local people in less than a month. most of them and up in refugee camps across the border in south
sudan. it is there that we got this report. >> on a dirt track, a weary family driven on by fear and desperation. they have been walking for days. thousands more are coming, fleeing for their lives. why did you come here? >> under, she says, too tired to elaborate. -- hunger, she says. this is what she is escaping from. in the mountains, the bombs are falling every day. get down, he says. the sudanese government is not only trying to crush an armed rebellion, but bringing an entire population to its knees. hiding in caves from the circle of flames, tens of thousands now live like this. it is too dangerous to go out to farm, said they cannot feed themselves. foreign aid is not allowed in.
so, whole communities are trying to leave, crossing the border into south sudan in growing numbers. there is another family just arriving joining be exhausted people here. it is pretty clear that these people are being targeted by a military campaign which is designed to terrorize and displace -- and displace. all have their scars from the bombings. this woman tells me that she had to leave bohai two of her children that were too young to make the journey. -- she had to leave behind two of her children that were too young to make the journey. our husband was killed. there is help for them here and a growing fear for those left behind. what are you eating?
>> she said, we're just eating things from the trees. >> is it getting worse? >> yes, every day. >> more and more. yes, more and more. >> a dangerous journey here. the cap is filling up fast with terror and hunkered making their way through the mountains. -- hunger making their way through the mountains. >> the innocent victims of a long-running war. a tiny electronic chip this some blind patients new hope of regaining their sight. to we will have the details. with just weeks to go until the final tournament of the european championship, one of the hosts, ukraine, is at the center of a political fight. germany, austria, and belgium
say they will not be sending any representatives in protest of the treatment of the prime minister -- of the former prime minister. "they're working day and night to get the stadium ready for the tournament. -- >> they are working day and night to get the stadium ready for the tournament. they are waiting to welcome the world. this is a proud moment in this young country's history. it started to go wrong when four bombs went off last week. one of them recorded on this camera. then, there are these pictures apparently showing bruises on the former prime minister, yulia tymoshenko, who was in prison after a suspiciously political
incident. >> she feels the only way that she can protest and show the world that this is going too far. >> now, there is a threat of a series political boycott of euro 2012. leaders of several european countries said they will not be coming unless the treatment for yulia tymoshenko improves. i asked a foreign minister what concessions they might make. he said, ukraine was listening but pleaded with his european colleagues not to makes football with politics. at one point, there was talk of moving the championships. what should have been a month of celebration now threatens to be awash in controversy. >> the meeting might have been scheduled long ago, or perhaps
hard-hit spain was not the best place for the european central bank to hold a get together. ecb head mario draghi said there was a need to cut deficits. outside, there were demonstrations against tuition cuts and fee increases. >> in barcelona, life and traditions go on, like they have done for years. this is despite this crisis. in this working-class suburb, the unemployed are everywhere. 44-year-old francisco lost his job a year ago. he, like others you speak to here, simply cannot find a new job. there are not any, he says. today, a stone's throw away, the banking bosses met. at a meeting long-planned but held amid tight security.
there is anger towards the banks for their role in spain's economic crisis. the idea of taking an ecb meeting and out of frankfurt to a conference center and some are like barcelona is to provide accountability. -- out of frankfurt to a conference center in somewhere like barcelona is to provide accountability. security has kept people at arm's length. after their meeting, the european central banks loss erased the reform taken by countries like spain. bossropean central bank's praised the reform taken by countries like spain. >> there is the violent image, but this does not detract at from understanding. >> in the end, the demonstrations were sporadic and
small, but many more people here are unhappy about government cuts. the ecb's message is that the spanish government is moving in the right direction. >> a british safari guide and a group of his colleagues have been held for six weeks without charge in the central african republic after discovering the site of a mass killing. he reported the find to the authorities but was then arrested on suspicion of committing the murders. >> the central african republic is a country where hunting is big business. in these wilderness areas, wealthy clients can combine the experience of the savannah with that of the african forests. it is what drew david simpson here two years ago. he left his home in england, obtained a pilot's license, and began working for a safari company. his brother, who is at home in
york sure, said that a few weeks ago, david was clearing a road when he came across what appeared to be the site of a massacre. >> he saw a camp from a distance. the first thing that he sought was six people, face down, with their hands behind their backs. they had a machete to the back of the head. he went further and found another four people died in the same fashion. they had been killed by boiling water. >> this had occurred near an eastern town. david reported what he had seen but found himself in police custody in the capital. >> they had a six-hour interrogation in a language he does not now. he is not fluent in it. they spent six hours accusing him of doing it single-handed. >> in london, the foreign office has confirmed the arrest and says that it is in touch with
officials in the central african republic. the british government says there are credible reports of periodic incursions into the southeastern areas of the area by the lord's resistance army. also detained has been his boss, and 10 local employees of the company. the men have appeared in court this week, but as yet, no formal charges have been laid by the authorities. >> at it is a tiny electronic chip roughly the size of a match head but it could change the life of a blind person. once implanted, the device helps them regain some measure of useful vision tend to be met with the first patients in england to receive this kind of implant. -- once implanted, the device helped them regain some measure of useful vision. we met with one of the first patients in england to receive
this kind of implant. >> to six weeks ago, this man was totally blind. now, he can perceive light. this box powerses implant, but it is what is under his scalp which is amazing. -- this box power is his implant. the cit is just 3 millimeters square. compare this to be -- compare this to the test that was done when he had no vision. with this one, after. now, he can perceive light and even the outlines of shapes. >> i find it very exciting, really. we know it is working, which is the most important thing. it is a question of teaching the brain to wake up and interpret what the flashes of light are telling me.
>> chris is what thousands of people -- chris is one of thousands of people with a condition where the light-detecting cells in his eyes no longer function. the chip sense signals direct to the optic nerve, from there to the brain. getting the implants in place required a steady hand at the oxford eye hospital. the operation lasting several hours. this surgery is the culmination of years of research here and in germany where the implant is made. up to 12 british patients will have the chip fitted as part of a major trial of this truly innovative technology. >> i think this is an amazing development. we're talking about a patient that is completely blind, able to see. we're talking about something here, now. not in 5-10 years, but now. >> which the machine on km comes
on instantly. -- switch the machine on, it comes on instantly. >> he is able to perceive light. there is another unusual benefit. >> i am dreaming in color for the first time for 25 years. in tents, bright color. that is an extraordinary thing. bright color. >> there is the hope of restoring clear vision in the future. >> amazing. when a meteor shower went across the skies in california, it did more than sparked amazement. treasure seekers went across the gold country looking for space rocks. to the scientific community, they are worth more than gold. even the tiniest these can fetch
up to $1,000 per gram. -- even the tiniest peace can fetch up to $1,000 per gram. >> there is a fever in the old country. they are known as meteorite zombies searching for a tiny piece of rock which could get them a fortune. the professional treasure hunters scrambled the moment that they heard reports of a meter strike in california. arestis is probably the re meteorite. this is literally stardust. quotes a woman walking her dog caught a picture of the meteorite. it was a possibly the size of a minibus when it crashed into the
atmosphere. it is really quite difficult walking around here looking to see if there is a fragment of this fighting in the grass that could make a fortune. they say there has not been this much excitement in 150 years, since they first drug goal just over there. this is the mill where the gold rush began. -- they say there has not been this much excitement in 150 years, since the first gold rush began. >> it turns into a flying saucer shays. >> this park ranger found 8 smaller piece of weighing in and over 10 grams. they were careful not to contaminate it. >> we will put it on display, said the people can come visit, they can see a piece of the meteorite from the meteorite
this discovery. we would not want to sell it unless it is going to science. >> he has a piece. >> all sorts of people have been finding fragments and cashing in at $1,000 a gram. this is his college fund. quite an incentive to keep eyes down looking for something truly spectacular. >> the hunt for a stardust, fame, fortune. that breeze today's show to a close. you can get updates any time on our website. today's show to a close. thank you so much for watching. be sure to tune in tomorrow.
>> 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 use their expertise in global finance to guide you through the business strategies and opportunities of international commerce. we put our extended, global network to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations.