tv BBC World News America PBS May 31, 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. i'm kathy kay. is the euro zone disintegrating? two top officials sound dire warnings, calling the current system unsustainable. europe drops new sanctions against syria as refugees continue to flee to turkey. we take a closer look at the divided syrian opposition there. >> do you think your leaders are going to be able to get you home soon? >> no, never. i think there is another war. >> and beneath thelf south dakota hills, one former gold mine now houses the research for a dine civic treasure. -- for a scientific treasure.
welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and also around the world. how close is the euro zone to breaking up? for months we have been hearing increasingly dire forecasts. today we had the sternest warnings yet from two of the most senior officials in europe. the head of european central bank called the current system unsustainable. while the e.u.'s top economics official said it faced disintegration. the bbc's matthew price reports now from brussels. >> things are getting nasty in spain. both on the streets, these were coal miners protesting cuts, and in the markets. right now it's hard to see who will help this country overcome its debt crisis in other the banging sector or government. rarely does the european union's top economic's official deliver a message as blunt as the one he gave today -- >> beneath both a genuine,
stable culture in the euro zone and its member states, and a much upgraded capacity to contain contagions and to reduce the borrowing costs for its members. and let's be frank. this is the case in we want to avoid a disintegration are or the euro zone. >> that word, disintegration, chose how worried he and others are. others including the head of europe's central bank, now publicly agreeing with the many economists who have been warning for the last decade since the euro was formed that the way the single currency was set up was never going to be able to deal with a crisis of this magnitude. >> that configuration that we had with us by and large for 10 years which was basically considered sustainable, i should say, i should add perhaps myopic
way, is being shown to be unsustainable unless further steps are being undertaken. >> both men called for greater integration of the euro zone economies. but it's up to the euro member states to implement such changes. and the leader of the most important of those, germany, had other things on her mind. angela merkel at the baltic summit today still september getting in a flap, sticking to her line that reducing government debt must come before greater economic integration. but protests against government cutbacks are growing across europe. cutting debt is a long-term process. so, too, is implementing the institutional changes europe's top economic officials called for today. but in greece and spain, the crisis is real and immediate. matthew price, b bcht c news,
brussels. >> for more on the stark warnings about the future of the euro zone, i'm joined by ryan evan, who is economic correspondent. thank you for coming in. when people start using words like unsustainable and disintegration, it makes markets around the world nervous. are they putting pressure tookt or do they really think we reached a tipping point in europe? >> i think it's both. in the past couple years that the crisis built, there's realization further steps need to be made in terms of euro zone integration. it hasn't been cleared how quickly they need to be made and now given the panic and troubles and banking systems around the southern portion of the euro zone, it's clear they need to be done quite quickly to avert a catastrophe. i think there's the realization that european leaders have bided their time and now is the time to put concrete proposals on the table and move the process forward. >> ryan, explain to me what happened. we had the beginning of the year everything seemed terrible, doom and gloom in europe.
and then it all seemed to lift and people in washington were saying it's fixed, isn't it, european crisis? what crisis? now we're back to where we were at the beginning of the year again, only it's worse? >> we are indeed. late last year we saw very similar situation, stock prices were falling, bond yields were soaring and at that point we seemed to be on the brink but european central bank stepped in and lent roughly a trillion dollar euros to struggling euro zone banks and spenlly what that did was calm the markets and buy a space of time for european leaders to get their acts together and try to move forward on some of these integration steps. unfortunately they didn't use the time given to them so at this point we sort of run out of the time that the euros could buy and we're back to where we were before. although things are now actually a bit worse since the euro zone economy seems to have gotten weaker in the meantime. >> now european leaders are looking to germany saying last time european central bank coughed up a trillion euros,
that bought us time. germany couldn't you step in and give us more money too. >> yeah, there's a couple things sort of need to be done in short term. one i think is europe needs to do something to shore up the banking system. we've seen this especially in spain where there's loss of confidence in banks. government is going to bail one out in particular. finance these are not capitalized and it will take more money than spain alone can muster, there will be bank runs across the south of europe. >> that's what countries around the world are worried about, right? that's why you is barack obama weighing in and david cameron weighing in on this. >> sure, there's fears of aun uncontrolled contagion that would lead to a breakup, than would have disastrous effects on the financial market and hit the u.s. economy. >> tell me more about germany. we saw what looked like the bottom of the ocean, angela merkel along with european leaders. she seems to be isolated in europe at the moment. what do european leaders want us to do and will she do it?
>> i think there's the understanding increasingly there needs to be a sort of european wide system, banking integration like fdic like we have in the u.s. where depts are guaranteed by all european government than would reduce the fear of bank runs across the euro zone. that integration is something gernlens might potentially agree to at some point but i think angela merkel in particular is concerned about agreeing to too much before she sees the reform in greece and spain and elsewhere, before she sees the deficit reduction she wants to see elsewhere. there's a sort of game of chicken going on where angela merkel doesn't want to blink but she can't afford not to at some point or the whole thing will fall apart. >> from what i know, playing chicken with ankle merkel is not a good idea. thank you for coming in. while they're not struggling with their economies, europe is drafting new sanctions against syria, amongst other nations to do the same. but for now the international community is not planning any military action. speaking did thenmark, u.s.
secretary of state reiterated american opposition to military intervention on the grounds that the syrian army is strong and that the opposition is divided. the bbc went to istanbul to find out more about the exiles trying to unseat assad. >> syria was once ruled from the city a distance province of the great otoman empire. but today istanbul is a city of refuge. for syrians fleeing the terror at home. translator: he's women are packing clothes to send back to embattled families inside syria. translator: my brother is here but my feeling and my mind there in syria really. >> do you think your leaders are going to be able to get you home soon? >> no, never. i think there is another war. >> from this city of exiles and
this point in time, the fall of the regime seems far away. it still has the strong support of the security forces. the international community is divided and no intentions of intervening militarily. and there is another crucial factor -- a crisis of the heart of syria's opposition. the syrian national council is the main opposition grouping. it's the one that has most international backing. but it has 300 members representing different interests in a deeply divided country. the s & c has been beset by power struggles between competing factions and it has no control over the military campaign being waged by the free syrian army. the most damaging charge is that the syrian national council has squabbled while billions have died. this man spent 10 years in the
regime's prisons. he quit the s.n.c. earlier this year. what do the activists inside syria, whom you deal with all the time, feel about the s.n.c.? >> they feel he failed to do anything, not anything happened inside syria. >> the international community is frustrated too at the opposition's failure to agree a political plan for the future. current leader of the s.n.c. is this politics professor who's lived in paris for the last 30 years. isn't the big problem here that you are so incompetent and so divided as an opposition? translator: do you think people who have lived half a century without political freedom under this murderous regime would speak with one voice and that there wouldn't be different sides? these divisions are normal. but the unity in the international community is far more serious in the divisions within the s.n.c.
>> it's a sign of the crisis that the day after our interview, the professor resigned ander from divisions, driven by in-fighting and far removed from the reality of the struggle inside syria, s.n.c. looks anything but a credible government in waiting. the fear is that unless the opposition inside and outside syria can achieve some kind of unity, there would be a new power struggle. if the sad regime falls. bbc news, sis stan bull. >> moving from one of the newest to oldest conflicts in the middle east, the remains of more than 90 palestinian militants killed while carrying out attacks against israel have been handed over to the palestinian authorities. israel described the gesture as a confidence-building measure. we have this report from ramallah on the west bank. >> for palestinians, a long overdue funeral. some of the dead were killed more than 30 years ago.
they included suicide bombers. up to now buried in unmarked secret graves inside israel. for most palestinians these were martyrs finding to end israel's occupation. now finally allowed to come home. this woman's husband blew himself up in jerusalem in 2004, killing eight israelis. she says the transfer will change her life and give her a chance to visit his grave. palestinians do not have a state, but these events today certainly have some of the trappings of a state funeral, a real military feel to it for these men who died over the course of the last three, four decades so people here fighting for the palestinian cause. as you can imagine, that does not go down well in israel. for israelis, the bodies return today belong to terrorists, militants who murdered scores of civilians. some were not happy with the
transfer. people -- >> people who were victimed by terrorists, somehow it became a political issue. we are against it. we see it building up more terrorism to join them. this is another step to fight and confrontation between the free society, innocent people and victims and terrorist elements. >> the remains were taken to palestinian towns and villages for reburial. after decades of middle east conflict, the repro creation of bodies has long been a sensitive issue, often subject to prolonged negotiations. the remains are used as bargaining chips. this transfer was part of a deal toped a mass hunger strike by hundreds of palestinian prisoners held in israeli jails. israel said it was a gesture and vote of confidence. such confidence is in short supply. direct peace talks between the
two sides collapsed in 2010. and show little sign of resuming. bbc news, ramallah. >> a quick look at other news now, egyptian officials have confirmed two american tourists kidnapped in egypt's sinai peninsula have been released unharmed. the state-run newspaper said the tourists, both 31, were in a car headed to a hotel from the town of da ha thursday morning when they were abducted by gunmen. police in canada say the porn star suspected of sending human body parts through the post may have fled north america. 29-year-old luka rocco mag nodia is the main suspect. police discovered a blog he once wrote about how to disappear. a chinese activist who flew to the u.s. after tense diplomatic negotiations has revealed his family and friends have suffered severe beating since he left the country. in his first major public appearance in new york,
guangcheng spoke about concerns of his family and concerns of his country. >> applause for guion check, guangcheng, a blind activist still hobbling after his escape from house arrest in china. he called on china's authorities to observe the rule of law. tn it's not that there are now laws. we have laws that are not being enforced. that's the first question. the second question is the judicial agencies, they themselves are not being told to enforce laws. they're being told to do things illegally. >> his journey to america after fleeing chinese captors and taking refuge in the u.s. embassy in beijing put the spotlight on china's human rights record. he believe change is coming to his country. translator: can you really do cover-ups? no, that possibility is
diminishing. for officials to ride on top of the constitution, and i think that possibility is less and less likely to be accepted by the people. >> asia experts say china's ability to handle critics is crucial. for china's economy to succeed, it needs to rebalance itself. it needs to reform. the only way this reform process can succeed is people like cheeng and those he represents, those who are getting the short end of the stick in china's growth story, are empowered to have his voices heard. guangcheng is now one of the most high-profiled human rights activists in the world. studying in new york and in a public platform. the question is there whether it suits the chinese authorities to are have him on another continent. chinese-americans have been able to follow this story closely. usually little news about chinese political prisoners
reaches new york. >> guangcheng is the exception because his news is getting media and now china can't just, you know, imprison him because they know -- everyone knows, everyone in the world is watching. >> chen guangcheng's treatment when he returns to china will be a test of the authority's commitment to human rights. >> you're watching bbc world news america. still to come on tonight's program, president george w. bush makes a return visit to the white house and for one day smiles between the two parties. in london, prince charles has been watching the final preparations for this weekend's diamond jubilee river pageant on the thames. hundreds of thousands are expected to line the river to watch the boats. just one event in four days of celebrations to mark queen elizabeth's 60 years on the throne. bbc has all of the details.
>> the pageant boats, some already in position at st. katherine, docks along side the thames. the flags are up, bunting well and truly out and decks are clean. the prince of wales is down at the river today to check over things and heard the slight nervousness of those involved. >> we have been thinking about what could go wrong for the last week. there have been so many things. >> the prince met some of the cross men and women who helped to decorate the royal barge, the boat that will carry most senior royals on sunday. and the future king's presence out on the water was a surprise added attraction for many tourist boats. the jubilee river pageant set sail at 2:30 on sunday with a royal barge leading the way. the root is around seven miles long, sailing past london's most well known landmarks. it ends at tower bridge, three hours later, with the queen back
on dry land at around 5:30. hundreds of thousands of people are expected to line the routes to watch. and the mood towards the jubilee celebration seem generally positive. >> we're looking forward to it. it should be lovely. all of the preparations are saying so. looking forward to it. >> i think it's a good thing. have you to support your monarchy. >> not particularly interested. traffic is already a nightmare getting home tonight. >> over the next couple of days, all of the boats taking part will gather along the route. their main concern now is the weather. >> the first privately owned space capsule returned to earth after a landmark mission delivering supplies to the international space station. the journey home began early thursday when the dragon module was detached from the space station by robotic arm t later
splashed down in the ocean off the coast of california. sometimes you don't have to travel up to unlock the mysteries. universe. you have to look down, way down. that's exactly what they're doing in a form of gold mine of south dakota. bbc's kate daly ha as all of the curious details. >> tucked high in south dakota is lead, a little town built on an enormous gold mine. >> right now we're riding in the ross cage and we're descending to the 4,850 level underground in what used to be the home state gold mine. >> for centuries gold provided leed and surrounding mining towns of the steady source of work and profits. but actually high clofts shut the mine down. they stopped mining for gold here in 2001 and home state closed in 2003. but now the mine is back in use. only this time they're not
hunting for precious metals. they're looking for something much more illusive and much more valuable, dark matter. >> this is what we're looking into. we don't know exactly what dark matter is but it interacks gravitationally. understanding what dark matter is will allow us to help understand the formation of galaxies, formation of large bodies of matter in our universe. >> by conducting experiments for dark matter underground, scientists can afoyd the cosmic rays and night vision that affects the surface. >> we have a million or 10 million times more background events that surface compared to coming underground to a facility like we have here. >> to do that, they're turning the century old home stake mine into the stanford underground research facility. cutting-edge laboratory located a mile under the surface of the
earth sbhfment >> any kind of project like this underground takes a lot of coordination. >> how do you get all of these giant boxes, how do they come down here? >> you break them down in small pieces as you possibly can and he reassemble them when they get down to the area they're required. >> everything we see here came down on that teeny tiny elevator we all crammed into to get down here is this >> one just like it. >> the facility, which opens this month, will conduct two initial experiments. the next experience will try to measure flashes of white created when dark matter interacts with other particles. this experiment will will exam radioactive decay. both will provide important puzzle pieces to some of the least understood parts of our universe. >> some people go to observatory perched on mountains to get a better view of the cosmos. we're studying cosmos, astro physics by coming underground. we're getting away from some of
the natural backgrounds that really impede the service for this needle in a hay stack. >> kate daly, bbc news, south dakota. >> now, a scene you definitely don't see every day and especially not during an election year. today president obama welcomed his predecessor, george w. bush back to the white house for the hanging of his official portrait. as steve king ton reports, it was kind of a jolly affair. >> he's back and this time it's permanent. the portrait george w. and laura bush will hang inside the white house, continuing the tradition honoring former presidents that dates all the way back to george washington. >> when the british burned the white house, as fred mentioned in 1814, dolly madison famously saved this portrait of the first george w.
now, michelle, if anything happens, there's your man! >> there was a lot of laughter but tears too. adds mr. bush paid trib -- as mr. bush pays tribute to another former president, his dad. >> i'm honored to be standing next to a man who gave me you the most precious gift possible, unconditional love. that would be number 41. >> painted by an artist from his home state of texas, mr. bush is betrayed standing in the oval office in front of a desk gifted to the white house by queen victoria. the current tenant paid a gracious tribute to his predecessor explaining how the cares of presidential office transcend party politics. >> george, i will always remember the gathering you hosted for all of the living former presidents before i took office. your kind words of encouragement, plus you also left me really good tv sports
package. [laughter] i use it. >> there is, of course, much more that divides the new night these members of an exclusive club and with an election looming, bipartisan warmth ends here. as mr. obama tries to put off the hanging of his portrait for another four years. steve kingston, bbc news, washington. >> who knows what they really think of each other and their policies? but they made a pretty good show today of being on friendly terms. that brings the broadcast to a close. remember, get updates on our website any time f you would like to find me on twitter, i'm at katty kay, bbc. for all of us here at "world news america" thank you for watching. tune in tomorrow.
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