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tv   BBC World News  BBC America  October 17, 2014 7:00am-8:01am EDT

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hello, and welcome to "gmt" on "bbc world news." our top stories. big promises, but little cash. the u.n. secretary-general condemns the world for failing to deliver on pledges of aid to combat west africa's ebola crisis. as ban ki-moon calls for a huge and urgent international response, some of the world's richest countries stand accused of ignoring the ebola threat. at least 29 dead, many still missing in nepal.
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snowstorms and avalanches cause the himalayan trekking disaster. we've got a little light jazz, a sprinkle of politics from louisiana. we're asking how president obama's popularity will affect the midterm elections. and also in the program, jamie's got all the business, including, jamie, a high-stress week in the world markets. >> it's volatility, really. a very volatile week. today the volatility has not stopped. but some investors might take a little bit of comfort in the fact that the european stock markets are shooting upwards rather than downwards. one company has been pulling up its boot straps and wading into these stormy financial waters. jimmy choo, the maker of shoes like these, sparkly, very expensive ones, did manage to sell $870 million worth of shares during its london flotation today.
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a very warm welcome to "gmt." it's 12:00 noon here in london, and 7:00 a.m. in new york city, where the secretary-general of the united nations ban ki-moon has made an urgent appeal for more money to fight ebola, after a u.n. drive for international donations to a specially created trust fund fell woefully short. so far, it's received less than 1% of its billion-dollar target. now, outside that emergency fund, donors have given almost $400 million to other u.n. agencies and aid organizations. so, who is giving what? well, the u.s. has pledged 3,000 military personnel and more than $350 million. britain is sending 750 military personnel to sierra leone. 100 army medics have already been sent. cuba has sent 165 doctors and
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nurses with 300 more to follow. china has sent millions of dollars worth of supplies as well as an experimental vaccine to be used by its aid workers. but former u.n. secretary-general kofi annan has accused the world's richest countries of acting too slowly. >> if the crisis had hit some other region, it probably would have been handled very differently. in fact, when you look at the evolution of the crisis, the international community really woke up when the disease got to america and europe. >> well, we can join the eu commissioner responsible for international cooperation and humanitarian aid. she's in brussels. thank you very much for joining
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us on "gmt." yourp europe's response has been pretty pathetic, hasn't it? >> very hard to say that the european commission was the first to fund the fight against ebola, when it was announced on march 21st, we were there virtually the next day. today our contribution stands at the 180 million euros. but i would focus the discussion on what we must do more. >> well, let's just consider the sum you've just put forward. 125 million euros, did you say. >> 180. >> 180. >> 180 million euros from the commission. but together with our member states -- >> yeah, yeah, yeah. but let's just stick with the commission. here you sit as the chief responsible for humanitarian aid across the european union. you're talking about 180 million euros. the united states has already
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committed $350 million. britain, just one member state, has already committed well over 100 million pounds. why is the eu collectively giving so little? >> what we have in the european commission is about 1.3 billion euros for humanitarian aid. and unfortunately, we live in a world with multiple crisis. we have syria and iraq and south sudan and central africa republic, and of course, fighting ebola. we prioritize the fight against ebola the first among the donors, and right now, in addition of the money we provide, we are acting on two very critical aspects. one, to remove the barrier for international health workers, to be more willing to go by securing evacuation. we now have within no more than
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48 hours capacity to evacuate the cases of ebola patients. and two, working on making sure that we build more capacity closer to the countries and in the countries for treatment of health workers. my own staff, every single medical doctor of my own staff are there in the countries. and we work very closely with those who are engaged. and i would say this -- >> commissioner, we don't have so much time. >> we need to do more. >> you've made that point very clear. we need to do more. the question is whether the words will be matched by actions. i don't know if you heard kofi annan tell the bbc that he believes this this ebola outbreak had taken place in a different part of the world, not in poor west africa, the international response would have been very different. and we've got the msf chief saying it is ridiculous that we in an ngo are still bearing the brunt of this crisis.
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all recent pledges of help and deployments haven't had any impact. so how can you guarantee to me that your words are now going to be matched by real action? >> with the actions we have already been taking, and more to come. we have been right there with msf from the first day of this epidemic. and i want to stand for the europeans, hundreds of them, who are risking their lives fighting ebola in the three affected countries, and more will come. but i also completely agree with kofi annan and others, we have to be much faster in response to threats of these natures. and remember, why is it happening in these three countries and not in the richer world? because after conflicts and lack of development, their health systems are simply not there. so the big lesson for us is fight ebola today, but those who
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support the countries to build a capacity to handle, not just ebola, but any threat that is affecting their people. >> all right. >> and i give you my word, we would work for that. >> i hope we'll have you back and we'll test just how that word matches up to reality on the ground. >> please do. >> thank you for joining us on "gmt." >> thank you. >> the ebola outbreak has had a devastating impact on communities and the local economies across west africa. "csn game day," of course, is one of the nations worst hit by the disease. the uk charity street child is at the forefront of efforts to help the most vulnerable in that country, and they've been speaking to people most affected by the ebola outbreak.
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>> those voices brought to us by the charity street child. we know from the figures that the ebola crisis is getting worse in "csn game day" and other countries in west africa, guinea, liberia as well. we can join omaro fafana. there's been a lot about the efficacy to bring assistance to sierra leone and the other countries. what are you seeing on the ground? >> reporter: on the ground, the united kingdom, china, and cuba. there are cuban doctors here. they were the first to hit the
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ground when the appeal was made for international assistance. but even that, they are having difficulty deploying in areas that are most needed simply because treatments are not available for these ebola patients, and the situation is particularly bad in the north of the country where you have no beds whatsoever for ebola patients. and that's a grim reality. it is hoped that the british intervention here will address, because the british troops are establishing treatments, about 700 beds, in fact, across the country. >> you mentioned the british. a british hospital ship is now on its way to sierra leone. unfortunately, it's not going to get there for more than two weeks. you've given us reporting on the ground day after day. how urgent do you feel things to be in freetown today? >> things are urgently needed here. now the new epicenter of the disease. they are turning out a lot more new cases than any other part of
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the country. that used to be in the eastern district. now they are sometimes returning zero infection rates, which is very positive. but in freetown and parts of the north of the country, they are turning out very, very grim figures on a daily basis, and basically to have those patients and freetown, people are really apprehensive, particularly in the outskirts, because of these new figures, because of the number of deaths that have been recorded almost every day. i mean, the president of the country has called to send the boots on the ground now. the united nations says it needs 3,000 medics to do that. at the moment, the country has less than a quarter of that number. it tells you how much the country has to recover from this ebola outbreak, which costs about a thousand lives now. according to the w.h.o. estimates.
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the numbers are really rising. >> umaru, thank you very much. the numbers very depressing and alarming. but thank you for joining us from freetown. and the race is on to develop a vaccine to fight the ebola outbreak. and later in this addition of "gmt," we're going to be looking at the current vaccine trials and just why it is taking so long to get them ready for market. so stay with us for that. but now other news. prosecutors in the trial of oscar pistorius have called for him to be jailed for a minimum of ten years for killing his girlfriend reeva steenkamp. the judge has adjourned the session until next tuesday when she is expected to deliver the sentence. and police in hong kong have cleared a democracy protest site, tearing down tents and barricades. the dawn raid in the monocaulk
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area was not met with demonstrators. search teams have managed to reach the high mountain pass in the himalayas. at least 29 local and foreign trekkers are known to have died. 40 more have been air lifted out. and a search and rescue effort is now under way for those still missing. british trekker paul sherridan was one of those who managed to survive the snowstorm. he's described the treacherous conditions. >> through the snow, gusting for air, sorting pushing past. i looked around and i saw a nepalese boy and his face was frozen. it was sheer glass ice. i said your face is frozen. he went, i know. he began to cry and we both
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began to cry. there was a spanish woman. i said we're not going to die, we're all going to live today. at that point, the wind came again and we were all forced to to floor, just to prevent ourselves from being blown away. >> so dramatic scenes in the himalayas. andrew north is on the line and joins us now from kathmandu. what's the very latest with the search and rescue operation? >> reporter: there are still helicopters up there. i was told a short time ago that 16 israeli trekkers had, in fact, been rescued up there. but at the same time, they're also still seeing bodies buried in the snow that are yet to be retrieved, so they still think the number of dead in this disaster is still likely to rise. we're stimgetting a full sense of the scale in this disaster.
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>> and i just wonder, i imagine local resources are still very stretched. where are the resources coming from? >> this is obviously by definition a very remote place. up on a pass that's over 5,000 meters high. most of the dead are among people who then tried to descend. but they're still very high. most helicopters can't reach those kinds of altitudes. it is a mixture of nepalese helicopters and private helicopters, and then some locals doing search operations on the ground. but this covers a very large area on either side of this very big pass. so it's quite possible that there are still many more people buried, because this happened on
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one of the most popular trekking routes in nepal. so there were hundreds of people there when this storm came in. >> this is going to be the himalayas' worst ever disaster of this type involving trekkers. >> i think already, it has reached that level. and this, of course, comes in a year when there were 16 nepali sherpa guides killed on mount everest, so it has put a very harsh spotlight on the dangers and the way that the climbing and trekking business is managed in nepal. >> indeed. thank you very much for giving us the latest there from kathmandu. do stay with us on "bbc world news." still to come, we hear from one of the top defenders of the northern syrian town of kobane still besieged. ♪
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the military effort to roll back the territory held by the extremist group known as islamic state is unfolding on multiple fronts across iraq and syria. the united states and its allies remain deeply concerned about i.s.'s grip on anbar province. the provincial capital is currently braced for a possible military attack. but much of the aerial fire power in the last few days has been focused on kobane, the kurdish town on syria's border with turkey. u.s. war planes have flown over kobane in the last 72 hours in a concerted effort to drive back the i.s. fighters who appeared to be close to taking the town. we've been following developments in kobane from the turkish side of the border. >> reporter: kobane under fire.
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it's been a month since the i.s. fighters began a push for this kurdish city in northern syria along the border with turkey. turkish tanks and troops have been watching and doing very little else. there have been more fighting in kobane today. we can hear from here.
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>> our journey of five days through five states has finally brought us here.çó to beautiful new orleans. we've been looking at five different as well. when you think new orleans, you can't look past jazz, and we're lucky enough to have been ininvii invited to the home of irvin mayfield. >> jazz is to new orleans what oil is to the middle east. it's our natural resource. right outside, open the door, run outside, and join the parade.
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>> reporter: irvin performed to raise money for barack obama's re-election. so how does he feel now the president's approval ratings are by many estimates the lowest they've ever been? >> barack obama did not become president of the united states by wanting to get a high grade for a very difficult extremely complex job. >> what could decide which way louisiana goes is the obama factor. how people feel the president has performed over the last six years. so what do people here in new orleans think? >> i'm a professional singer and guitar player. he's maybe come through on about half of the things that i hoped he'd come through on. so he's about 50/50. i'm right in the middle. >> reporter: a lot of politicians are sort of distancing themselves from him, thinking it might harm them. >> i think it's our politician and they have to, and i think that obama would understand that they have to do that. >> reporter: but you've seen the way politics is working right now. the republicans are using the
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word obama almost as an insult. >> i remember back when george bush was president. and all the democrats had a blast of rolling him out through every issue that possibly could happen. the financial crisis. the war in iraq. the war in afghanistan. you name it. hurricane katrina. bush had to wear that jacket. he had to own it. what did we expect the republicans to do? play nice? >> reporter: but the worry for democrats is disillusionment when their supporters don't go out to vote. new republican senators here in louisiana and elsewhere, and an even rougher ride for president obama. now, before we end this half-hour of "gmt," i'm going to bring you some breaking news from south korea. news agencies report that 14
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people are feared dead after what's called a ventilation grate collapsed during a pop concert in a town close to south korea's capital seoul. authorities say two confirmed dead, 12 others believed to be unresponsive. we'll bring you more on that when we can. ♪ i thought it'd be bigger. ♪ ♪ (dad) there's nothing i can't reach in my subaru. (vo) introducing the all-new subaru outback. love. it's what makes a subaru,a subaru. . . (receptionist) gunderman group.
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hello, and welcome to "gmt" on "bbc world news." in this half-hour, as the ebola crisis deepens, sobering news from the lab. researchers say no vaccine is likely for a year or more. one of the world's pharmaceutical giants confirms that news. four decades after ebola first hit africa, we ask why the research effort hasn't achieved more.
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who needs parmesan cheese-and-sun dried tomatoes when you have crab meat. moscow and the eu impose tit for tat sanctions, russians learn to love home grown food. jamie is here with all the business news and he'll be looking at the economic impact of ebola. >> yes, exactly, steven. if there's one thing that is more contagious than the disease, it is the fear of that disease. while ebola itself has in large part stayed within the boundaries of three west african nations, dread of it spreading is starting to paralyze other economies. we'll be looking at how it's affected ghana. a warm welcome back to "gmt." the race is on to develop a vaccine to fight the ebola outbreak in west africa.
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clinical trials are under way in the u.s. and canada, but the british pharmaceutical company glaxo smith klein has told the bbc that the vaccine it has been developing won't be fully ready for at least a year. and it will not be the solution to the current outbreak. simon cox went to the gsk lab to find out why. >> reporter: try as they might to stop its spread, ebola still has the upper hand. some experts believe the only way to contain it is with a vaccine. gsk is one of the companies fast-tracking an ebola vaccine, trying to shrink ten years of development into one. but they warn it still won't be ready in time to solve the current outbreak. >> we have to have data on its efficacy. that will not be available until after the end of 2015.
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we have to be able to make doses consistent with general use and that's going to take well into 2016 to be able to do that. so unfortunately it's not going to be as quickly as we would like. >> trials have already begun with volunteers receiving the drug, but there are no guarantees it will work. the next stage of testing is to offer 20,000 doses of the vaccine to health workers in the new year. until then, it's up to bodies like the world health organization to tackle the outbreak. at its headquarters in geneva, there's a daily ebola crisis meeting and each day brings more bad news. >> the situation is really deteriorating. >> reporter: but the w.h.o. has been criticized for its slow response. one former senior w.h.o. expert told us it had been completely unacceptable. other insiders we spoke to described it as an absolute
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disaster. so the daily ebola meeting has just finished here at the w.h.o. they're clearly ramping up their efforts. there's a lot more urgency. but how does the organization respond to the criticism that this has all come months too late? >> that's tough. >> that's tough. i will say that in retrospect, there are a number of things that we could have done better. i think we could have perhaps engaged the governments more, sooner. i think that we could have brought communities onboard more effectively sooner, and i think we could have brought onboard a broader range of partners. >> reporter: for people in west africa, a mass vaccination program is a long way off. for the time being, they must rely on their own initiative and the courage of health workers to stop the disease spreading. simon cox, bbc news.
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>> so, a question. has the ebola outbreak and the rush to find a vaccine caught out governments and pharmaceutical companies? has it exposed a weakness in the way the pharmaceutical industry works? well, from the university of oxford, we're joined now by a professor who specializes in drug discovery and was formerly vice president and head of biology at glaxosmithkline. so you are in a great position to address this. has there been a marked failure in a sense when it comes to ebola and the search for vaccine in recent decades? >> i think we have to recognize drug discovery is incredibly expensive, it's incredibly slow, and it's incredibly risky. i think it's unreasonable for us to expect any private organization or the pharmaceutical industry to concentrate their resources on all common chronic diseases. dement
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dementia, cancer, inflammatory diseases, obesity, diabetes. and for them to work on all rare diseases. there's 7,000 of these. and to work on all potential infectious diseases. and importantly, to have a stockpile of vaccines for each of these in case there's an outbreak. i think that just isn't going to happen. >> you very fairly point out the scale and range of different problems facing researchers in the health care area, but the point is this. we first learned about ebola four decades ago. and it then was obvious it was a terribly dangerous virus. so four decades on, the question is have pharmaceutical companies not poured resources and research effort into ebola simply because it appeared to involve very poor countries with very little commercial potential? >> i'm sure that's a reason, but i don't think we can accuse private industries of that. i think the thing is, whenever
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we have a health crisis, i think governments have to come together quickly. they have to assess scenarios. i think they have to assess risk. they need to come up with a clear plan. have clear accountability and leadership. but importantly, ensure that there's adequate funding. >> so you're pinning the responsibility and the blame, if you like, if that's the right word, on government? >> i absolutely am. i do not think we can expect industry to have, as i said, stockpiles of vaccines for all these diseases. i do think that -- you know, as you say, we had the outbreak in march. do i believe that there's been a clear plan? i'm not convinced. has it been coordinated? is there clear accountability and leadership? i'm not convinced. has there been adequate funding? absolutely not. >> so obviously, people watching this, particularly in west africa, but probably all over the world, will want to know where are we now? you know, glaxosmithkline have
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just said despite the best hopes, there isn't going to be a vaccine from then for at least a year, if not two. you followed the signs very carefully. what's our best hope right now? >> i think in the short term, we've got to do everything that's now being done at last to contain the disease, stop it spreading, and look after the patient and minimize deaths, etc. there's clearly going to be economic consequences in the countries affected. we need to help those countries appropriately, etc. and hopefully in 18 months, 24 months, we will have a vaccine, and then hopefully we can start a large program in those countries most affected. >> i mean, this is important. you seem to be very confident there will be a vaccine. you're saying the science of ebola is so straight forward that unlike hiv/aids, for example, you can say with certainty that there will ultimately, given the right research effort, be a successful
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vaccine? >> i believe now that with the resources that are being applied, the you are generj urg being recognized and the funding that's available and the expertise that's coming together, i'm pretty confident that we will get a vaccine. but i think here there are some important lessons, actually. if i think in terms of antibiotics, our chief medical officer sally davis for the past two years has highlighted that this is a crisis. we desperately need a new antibiotic. now, i'm not convinced in the past two years globally we've made significant progress. you know, are we closer to a new antibiotic? i'm not convinced. and again, i think when we have a global crisis like this, we have to come up with a clear plan, we have to have clear accountability leadership, and importantly, we need to ensure adequate funds. otherwise it will not happen. >> yeah. we have to end there, but professor, thank you very much for joining me. >> thank you very much.
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>> for more on the unfolding ebola crisis, do stay with us here on "bbc world news," because at 1830 gmt, as we've been doing all of this week, we're going to bring you a special program with the very latest news and developments on the outbreak, and that program will be today right here on "bbc world news." now, we're going to stick with ebola, because jamie is here with the business news. i know you're going to start by looking at the very serious economic impact of the disease. >> the broadening economic impact, in fact. the economies of the affected countries of sierra leone, liberia and guinea have been hard-hit with the world bank warning it could cost the region about $32 billion. but of course, they're not the only countries in the region feeling its impact. the fear of ebola is spreading even if the disease so far is not. a report now from ghana. >> reporter: it's a quiet morning in what's normally one
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of the busiest hotels in acra. the drop in visitors is no fault of the hotel. it's because of where it is. even though ghana has had no cases of ebola yet, fear of the deadly virus is keeping business people and tourists away. >> we're offering 20% reduction in room occupancy. really, at the end of july when the government here announced that they were cancelling their international meetings and conferences, it was a very large scale change to the business. so when there's a reduction of 20% in business directly in accommodation, that affects the local restaurants, affects the shops, affects the airlines. so everybody has a small knock-on effect. >> reporter: so with fewer people visiting the capital, even fewer go into the heart of the country. smaller hotels and lodges have also felt their numbers decrease. at this range, you can stay and go on horse rides around the lake. but these horses lately haven't
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been going out as much as they used to. >> if i talk with my neighbors who are running other tourist sectors, they are all telling me they have no bookings for the next few months. >> reporter: through new festivities like this showcasing of local tribes in acra, the government is looking to create more domestic tourism instead. >> people elsewhere think that ebola is in west africa. it's not every west africa country that has ebola. ghana is safe. we in ghana know it is safe to be anywhere. but people out there don't know. look at the rich natural resources we have. we can sell it to other people. >> reporter: but businesses at the higher end of the market are afraid that won't be enough. like this beach resort in the western region. >> we are mostly into beach and nature. if you go around here, you're not going to see a single tv, for example. and this is not something really
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which most local customers are attracted to. >> reporter: with the ebola epidemic far from over, the tourist businesses may have to down scale their operations or even lay off staff, and until the spread of the virus is halted, the whole region will suffer as ebola continues to have an economic impact far beyond the directly affected countries. >> let's turn to the markets. the expression tgif i think is particularly pertinent today. thank goodness it's friday. after a week of market volatility, the global indices are going to be glad to have a couple of days trading free for the weekend. millions have been lost over the last few weeks of trading over concerns of slowdowns in asia and in europe as well as lackluster data out of the u.s. actually, the ebola crisis hasn't helped either. that also seems to just send a feeling of fear into the markets. today the volatility has continued, but the markets in london, france, and germany have actually been rising upwards as
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fast as they've been falling. volatility includes movements both ways. you can see the ftse is up, dax almost 2%. ftse was up almost 1.5% earlier. i asked louise cooper when we can actually expect an end to the current market crisis. >> the plan was for psalmer melt up and an autumn meltdown. and that's kind of what we've seen. october has always got a tough month for markets because the big crashes of 1929 and 1987 both happened in october. so it makes traders quite jittery this month. and it has been extraordinarily volatile, and the big concern is europe and whether the recovery has stalled substantially because of some really quite ap appalling statistics from germany. >> these pictures are particularly pertinent to the market crisis.
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strangely. one company braving the turbulent financial storm is the maker of these. these shoes. jimmy choo. floated on the london stock exchange today. it did float for shares at the lower end of the pricing share. $2.26 equivalent, valued the luxury schumaker at about $877 million. it had originally hoped the company would be at a billion dollars. if the shoe fits. i asked louise what she makes of today's flotation. >> shoes, accessories and handbags. i think you buy a scarf for 200 pounds, should you wish to buy a scarf for 200 pounds. so it is a bit of a mix. but actually, there are business strategists which say you should concentrate on what you do really, really well. you know, stick to your knitting, is the classic terminology that management consultants would use. and actually, they've got a really great position in a fast-growing niche, and it's worked very, very well for them. i think the first store was in
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1996, and now got sales something like 280 million. so this is a company that's grown incredibly fast and is very profitable. it's not often that you see in a london stock exchange statement a company saying they have a playfully daring spirit, but that's how jimmy choo chooses to describe itself. it's a very unique brand, and a very strong brand made even stronger by "sex & the city" and sarah jessica parker's wearing of their shoes. all the luxury goods around the world, shoes is one of the fastest growing segments because us women just can't get enough of them. >> louise cooper there. can't see my shoes on that shot on the camera. can't see your shoes either. >> why doesn't jimmy choo make men's shoes? >> i don't know. >> 50% of the market. >> that's true. very true. >> jamie, thank you very much.
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stay with us. still to come. we will have the latest from the asia-europe summit in milan where vladimir putin and the eu leaders are holding difficult talks over the crisis in ukraine. is. sam always gives you the good news in person, then the bad news on email. good news-fedex has flat rate shipping. it's called fedex one rate ®. and it's affordable. >>sounds great. (cell phone typing) (typing continues) (woosh) (cell phones buzz, chirp) >>and we have to work the weekend... great. more good news-it's friday! woo! ship a pak via fedex express saver® for as low as $7.50.
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non-hormonal option. brisdelle. welcome back to "gmt." the top stories this hour. the u.n. secretary-general ban ki-moon has launched a fresh appeal for funds to help fight ebola after a drive for donations fell woefully short of its target. at least 29 trekkers have been killed and others are still missing in the himalayas after snowstorms and avalanches struck a popular trekking trail.
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ukraine's president petro poroshenko has declared himself not optimistic about finding a resolution to the problems in the east of his country after meetings with russia's president vladimir putin and eu leaders at the eu-asia summit in milan. there has been lots of talking, but clearly no breakthrough. we can get the very latest now from milan, and we can join our correspondent there, damian grammaticas. i gather the russians have been putting out words like difficult talks, major disagreements. what are you hearing? >> reporter: yes, exactly. the europeans came out of the big meeting this morning, that was the breakfast meeting with all the major european leaders there. we had angela merkel. we had francois hollande, david cameron, mateo renzi from italy. all there along with petro
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poroshenko and mr. putin. mr. putin had said that he was satisfied, but his spokesman then followed that up talking about disagreements, exactly as you say, steven, talking about the fact that he said some on the european side simply were unwilling to understand the reality of the situation on the ground in ukraine. so although david cameron and others thought things were positive, it seems there's still a very, very big gulf between the sides here. the europeans calling on russia to do more. russia saying you don't understand what's happening in ukraine. >> how much do you think sanctions were discussed? you know, the europeans are trying to punish the russians. the russians have imposed some tit for tat sanctions. where's that going, do you think? >> i think there probably wasn't that much discussion of it, to be honest, because i think two things really. on the european side, what they want to focus on is what they want to push russia on right now, which is doing more on the ground to try and advance any efforts to resolve the conflict in eastern ukraine.
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so talks about very practical things like securing the border, whether they can have drones flying in the air above that border to monitor it. on the russian side, they don't want to talk about it because mr. putin has been very clear, he likes to present a front that says this isn't affecting russia. this isn't a serious problem for russia and he's done that a bit, if you like, by his actions here. he met angela merkel, he was late arriving, and then he went out to party with silvio berlusconi. >> damian, thank you very much for the update. oh, to be a fly on the wall. i'm waiting for my invitation. anyway, let's stick with this story. we're going to look at what's
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happening inside russia. middle class russians have been acquiring a taste over the years, recent years, for food items like parmesan cheese, and sushi. that is foreign foods. as they have more money, they can afford them. after president putin recently banned most western food imports, russians are back to eating local delicacies instead. some russians may be feeling starved of their favorites, but als it's also feeding a new wave of patriotism.o it's also feedi wave of patriotism. >> it's one of the victims of sanctions. at this restaurant, oysters are off the menu. today's offerings are far more pro saiic. president putin has banned imports from the countries that blame him for the problems in eastern ukraine.
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still, the owner is putting a brave face on it. >> translator: we explain to our guests there will be no oysters now. but russian meat instead. we make a bit of a joke out of it. but of course it's affected us. we had to change our whole concept. >> reporter: it's not just elite oyster eaters hit by the import ban. prices are shooting up for everyone. they have changed what's on offer here. the dairy section looks pretty normal. there's feta cheese, mozzarella, even ricotta. but if you take a closer look at the packaging, you discover that all of this cheese is actually made here in russia. local producers trying to prove that they can go it alone without the west.
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these days it's all about patriotism. the government is busy spinning its import ban as an opportunity for local producers, a chance to seize back the markets. more moose meat perhaps in place of serrano ham. but russian food for russia, that's easier said than done, especially with cattle. >> there's a big demand, yes. but we need the time. >> reporter: boosting production takes money too and there's been no offer of that yet from the government. there's clearly a taste for buying russian, like this mozzarella, made in moscow. the crowd tell me it's as good as the italian stuff. russia's a huge and capable country, this girl says. she's sure it can do without food from the west. in the current climate, even restrictions get applauded here. russians seem ready to suffer, at least a little for a national cause. bbc news, moscow.
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>> before we go, a quick reminder of our top story here on "gmt." the u.n. secretary-general ban ki-moon has made an urgent appeal for more money to fight ebola. it comes after a drive for international donations to a special u.n. fund fell woefully short. that's it from this edition of "gmt." goodbye. ♪
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