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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  May 18, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT

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>> this is "bbc world news america," reported from washington. world leaders gather in washington for economic stocks as banks in spain face another blow. facebook makes its stock market debut, but at the end of the day, wore an ounce by year's liking what they saw? sasha boren cohen gives a rare interview. >> i enjoy being anonymous. >> will you enjoy it not being anonymous? >> no, not so much. >> welcome to our viewers on pbs and america and around the globe. this weekend, the problems of
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the eurozone are coming to america's shores as president obama hosts the g8 summit. he met with the new french president, francois hollande at the white house. they reiterated their condition that greece must stay in the common currency. athens only needs to look to madrid where spanish banks are hitting new lows. >> spain is on the edge, its economy in recession. a country being buffeted by the uncertainty in the eurozone. the biggest concern -- of the health of the banks. hear, the spanish minister of finance is stock in the street by a woman of distraught whether her life savings held in a bank since she was 13 are safe. the minister tries to reassure her. there are reports that significant sums are being withdrawn, particularly from
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bankia. i met this woman who works in animation. her savings, until a few days ago, were with bankia, but she took her money out a few days ago. >> when i saw the was problems, i took the money out. >> how much was it? >> 40,000 euros. >> what did you do with it? >> i put it in another bank. >> why did you do this? >> this is a drastic situation. >> she says that many of her friends have taken similar steps but there is no sign of wider panic. the spanish markets has been on a roller coaster today, a volatile after the downgrading of 16 spanish banks. what makes investors so nervous are the bad loans held by the banks and we have learned that those loans that are at risk of
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never being repaid have reached an 18-year high. the government, struggling with huge debt, is in no condition to help the banks. the fear here is that loans that were used to fuel construction could deteriorate further. all of this is pushing up spain's borrowing costs, fueling anxiety that the country will need a bailout. the spanish government believes that it is being hurt by speculations that greece might leave the arrow, leading to instability elsewhere. -- might leave the euro, leading to instability elsewhere. >> facebook updated its status to public company adds its shares make their debut on the stock exchange. trading got off to a brisk start, but the price settled near its initial offering over $38 a share. >> mark zuckerberg has a lot of
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new friends. the facebook founder whose web site connect people on-line, rang the opening bell at the company's headquarters in menlo park, california. the company started in a harvard dormitory. this will result in a huge payday. with shares going on sale for $30 apiece, founder of mark zuckerberg, who remains controller, will now be worth $19 billion. the lead singer of the band u2, bono, who bought shares through an investment company, will be worth just over a billion dollars. as for where facebook shares are traded, many of people would invest in the company if they could. >> i think it would be a good by temporarily. like most of the text box, they peaked out and then they fade. >> -- like most of the tech
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stocks, they peek out and then they fade. >> they put myspace out of business. >> now that facebook shares have began trading at the nasdaq, the value will be tested by investors. an early challenge this week, general motors stop their facebook advertising campaign claiming that the advertisements have little impact. to succeed, the social network will have to figure out how to make more money through advertising to its users. >> some say that this will be bigger than google. facebook is 1/10 the size of google in terms of revenue. google has more cash flow than at facebook has revenue. google is growing faster. >> this is the moment that facebook shares began trading.
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who knows where they will go from here. >> and other news now, there have been reports of mass demonstrations against president assad's government in the syrian city of aleppo. this is the second day of protests. these pictures are from thursday. eyewitnesses say that tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets. if that is true, it is the biggest single show of discontent since the u.n.-backed peace plan was due to come into effect last month. what will happen and afghanistan after the departure of foreign troops? that is the main question facing native leaders as they plan to meet in chicago over the weekend. -- that is the main question facing nato leaders. we reported from a region in afghanistan that was controlled by the taliban and reflect on
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the region's future. >> a moment of calm on a city on edge. on the surface, life looks like it is getting better. regular cricket matches now attract sellout crowds. in the city center, now under afghan control, signs of a boom. i hitched a ride in one of the rickshaws, the city i last visited seven years ago. i discovered that this is still a place of mixed fortunes. rehearsals at the city's only movie studio parent of the security has allowed more filmmaking. -- rehearsals at the city's only movie studio. security has allowed more filmmaking. the taliban still continues this a target. they fear a return to the past.
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i am concerned, he tells us. the taliban are threatening us, telling us that to work with the government. we head out of the city, to the mountains along the border with pakistan with an escort of armed police wearing local close in an effort to blend in. -- wearing local clothes in an effort to blend in. this is taliban, not nato territory. there are poppy fields blooming. the government would like to destroy some of the poppy fields. we have no choice but to grow, claims this farmer. we are very poor and we don't get any help. a deal has been done and the eradication team will not go too far.
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this looks like a serious effort to clear opium poppies but this is just one small area. all around here, there are hundreds of other fields. they will be left untouched. all of the signs are that the farmers will grow even more this year because they are worried about the future after nato pulls out. in this border region, many fear that pakistan will roll in and squeeze the still fragile country. a decade of nato intervention might not have changed as much as america and its allies hoped. >> today, the french president francois hollande made a point of reminding president obama that he campaigned in france on a promise of withdrawing his
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combat troops by the end of this year. for more on that prospect and the nato summit, i spoke to the former u.s. ambassador to nato. thank you for coming in. france is not alone in wanting to bring its troops early before the 2014 deadline. is president obama going to hold the line on this? >> i certainly hope so. all of the nato countries went into afghanistan together in the summer of the 2003. the idea was to leave in 2014. if president hollande honors his campaign commitments, that will be really breaking ranks and will send a signal to other european countries that perhaps they can leave. that will affect the battle on the ground against the taliban and diminish the ability to fight well against the taliban. there is an attempt to negotiate a peace agreement between the
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afghan government and the taliban. if the taliban believes that the allies are heading to the exits, they will have very little incentive to negotiate. it is a problem to resolve this weekend. >> a lot of people are concerned that even if the troops stay up until 2014, the taliban will get a foothold and al qaeda will come back. is this likely? >> this is a problem that has to be watched and that is why president obama went to afghanistan two weeks ago and signed a long-term agreement with the government. they're pledged to keep forces in the country after the withdrawal of the nato forces in 2014. you know about the terrorist problem on the border. that will not go away. the afghan government will need to have, as well as the rest of us, the capacity to strike on those terror groups in the counter-terrorism capacity. >> president obama has tried
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very hard to build partnerships and lead from behind. as libya shows, there's not much that nato can do without the u.s.. can america afford to take a back seat? >> i don't think so. i think that the u.s. has to lead the alliance. that has been the role since the alliance was created in 1949 to fight the cold war. america has to be there to provide political and of military leadership. britain and the prime minister cameron and france under president sarkozy showed tremendous leadership in libya. i think that britain and france deserve some credit. >> many countries are facing huge economic problems, cutbacks on defense. what does the future hold for nato? >> i think natal will be strong well into the future because all of us and need nato.
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-- i think that nato will be strong well into the future. we are seeing declining defense budgets including in the u.s.. the trick will be to keep nato strong militarily. "thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you -- >> thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you. >> still to come, you have heard about china's economic boom but its population is aging faster than any other nation and that could put the brakes on. it is just a few days that the dominican republic will elect a new president. as we found, there are some young politicians already making a real difference when it comes to and getting results. >> there are plenty of smiles now, but conditions at this school are primitive.
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children falling ill and even dying. it is water that is the problem. whether it is contaminated by sewage or just not there at all. courtesy of a 15-year-old politician, a new water tank has arrived. i talked to my fellow counselors because i could not think of these children having diseases. i saw that adults could not fix is, so i decided to fix it through the municipal use council. -- youth council. these groups are in areas all over the country. even if they are not part of the official government, their power israel. it is an exchange, says one adult. -- even if they're not part of the official government, their power is real. we learn from their innocence.
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it is that in a sense that they hope can have a lasting impact on dominican politics. innocence that they hope can have a lasting impact. an average of 85% of teenagers and children have voted in local elections. the immediate effect, organizers say, are more projects that would have fallen through the cracks in adults politics. that is no easy task. >> as china closes in on the global economy pont's top spot, it is set to catch up with -- established areas that could slow its growth. thanks to plummeting birth rates, its population is getting
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under at a rapid rate. 30 years after the implemented their one-child policy, china faces an aging crisis. >> this is one of the fastest- aging places on earth. in shanghai, there are as many twice as many old people as there are young. breakneck economic growth in the chinese cities has been accompanied by astonishingly rapid aging of their population. china is growing old at a rate unprecedented in human history. this aging could bring the march out of poverty to an end. this woman spent her working life in a small factory. her husband was a tailor. they had been married for 53 years. now, she has alzheimer's.
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every day, he paid sir, seeds are, and takes her to a center. >> -- every day, he bathes her, feeds her. >> she does not know what is going on. life is becoming difficult. >> chinese society is not prepared with a pension system and a social system. so, people are worried. and what can they do? >> traditionally in chinese families, this did not used to be a problem. the elderly were cared for at home. as the birthrate has declined, there are not enough of the younger generation to look after the old. by the year 2015, 1/3 of the
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chinese population will be over 60. that is 450 million people. this huge imbalance has been caused by the one child program. having too few young people is a serious threat in itself. china's economic engine has been fuelled by a seemingly endless supply of cheap and young labor. after that supply runs out, then the chinese ability to keep on growing would be seriously undermined. in addition, many migrant workers have moved back to their hometowns to care for their elderly parents. in the factory belt around shanghai, there is now an acute labor shortage. it is tough to find new workers because the cost of labor keeps increasing. workers are asking for more pay and better conditions. we are becoming uncompetitive. it is more affordable for companies to move from china to
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time and and vietnam. -- to thailand and vietnam. all this means that the one child policy is beginning to loosen, and shanghai is in the van haute -- is in the vanguard. young women are no longer instructed on contraception or on abortion, but in fertility and how to conceive more successfully. in chinese terms, this is something of a revolution. >> we hope that people will follow the regulations and have a second child. we are offering parenting classes as well as fertility clinics. if you are an only child and you marry someone who is an only child, you have always been allowed to have two children. now, we are encouraging everyone to do so. china is facing up to the fact that it is aging, at a rate that
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few societies could ever experience. they will have to figure out a way to pay the costs of aging without the economic wealth provided by some young people. there is a special phrase for why they worry -- china, they say, might become too old to get rich. >> and the olympic flame has arrived in england tonight at the start of an epic journey across britain. football star david beckham got the honor of lighting the torch which over the next 70 days will cover 8,000 miles before arriving at the opening ceremony. the relay starts at the southwestern tip of england at cornwall. i asked what the weather out like -- outlook was like and even if it matters. >> the forecast is good. don't worry. i spoke to the weatherman about an hour ago and he said, don't
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worry, it will be dry. as long as it is dry, you cannot do any complaining. now, we had this situation where the plane was taking off from greece, which you'd think would be boiling hot, but the weather was not great at all. meanwhile, over here in cornwall, it was all blue skies and gentle breezes. let's not count our chickens. it is looking good, at least dry for the start of the torch relay. >> this is all about showcasing britain. how significant is it that it starts in cornwall? >> it is very significant. this is the significant for the people who live here. actually, the torch relay performs a much bigger role. this is funded by the u.k. government but it is not the u.k. which is hosting the
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olympics, it is london. there is a real concern that resentment might grow at 10 billion pounds has been spent on the games which is being hosted by one city. the torch relay is crucial in the eyes of organizers in getting the rest of the country on board. this torch relay, it goes to all four nations within the uk. it is absolutely vital. they are emphasizing no one will be more than one hour away from the torch relay. if you hear the helicopter, talked-about media attention. that is a helicopter going through their rehearsals before tomorrow morning. >> i assume you will not be running after the torture cell. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. -- i assume you will not be running after the torch. thank you for joining us.
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>> thank you. >> what is sasha baron cohen president jacob zuma -- what is sasha baron cohen like out of character? >> the cannes film festival, 2012. sasha baron cohen has a new character to promote. he rarely gives interviews as himself. he decides to make a personal appearance. why? >> that is a very good question. basically, there was a chance that the interviewee would see the interview and withdraw consent. now, i don't have to do that. >> i am for free press, fair elections, equal rights for women. [laughter] i cannot say that. >> his film "of the dictator"
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opens this week. he plays a dictator with an enormous ego. >> i had always found this hilarious. >> i highly recommend a visit to the empire state building before when you or your cousin's takes it down. >> i think the word is ludicrous. they are fishes and yet ludicrous. dictators, because they are all powerful end up becoming these kind of larger than life observed characters. -- they are vicious and yet ludicrous. >> this is a satirical stereotypes with which he made his name. >> is simple, two words, keep it real. >> the great things is that they can expose things.
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i remember the first time i went out, i was going, [speaking with an accent] would you like to hunt the jew? i remember people coming back saying [talking with an upper- class accent] oh, yes, let's hunt the jew. >> not everyone that it sees his work finds it acceptable. >> i enjoy being anonymous. >> will you enjoy not being anonymous? >> no, not as much. >> that brings today's show to a close. for all of us here at "bbc world news america," thank you for watching and have a good weekend.
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>> make sense of international news at >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank. >> 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. >> "bbc world news america" was
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