tv BBC World News BBC America December 4, 2014 9:00am-10:01am EST
this is bbc america, and now live from london, "bbc world news." >> hello, i'm david eades with "bbc world news." our top stories. president putin addresses the nation, and focuses on a faltering economy. he warns russians of tough times ahead. more radical tension in the united states, after the decision not to charge a white police officer over the death of a black man he restrained with a choke hold. and also on the program, could zimbabwe's powerful first lady succeed her husband robert as president?
thanks for joining us. got one or two problems with our technical department there, but let's focus on our main story. russian president vladimir putin has used his annual state of the nation address to attack the west for what he described as its hypocritical attitude over the conflict in ukraine. the president said he was certain that if ukraine hadn't experienced a political crisis, the west would have come up with another excuse to contain russian power. russia's economy has been hurt by western sanctions over the country's role in the confrontation in ukraine. also by the fall in oil prices. mr. putin said that events in ukraine were simply an excuse to impose sanctions on russia. well, our correspondent in moscow sarah rainsford has been following this speech.
she gave me her reaction to what he had to say. as feared, we can't bring you that at the moment, so we will come back to that if we can a little bit later in the program. the situation facing mr. putin, a challenging effort in terms of trying to work out how to bolster russia's economy. he has talked about a three to four-year process in which russia needs to rediscover some sense of growth. three to four years of what would be very hard times, it would seem, for the russian people. as i said, probably the most important element of his state of the nation speech was ways in which he was laying out very much for a domestic audience how that could be achieved. he did also demand of the central bank that they must bring an end to the speculation over the ruble. but as i said, let's just catch up on sarah rainsford's take on
the president's speech. well, you're just not going to get it today, i think. that's the way it feels like at the moment. nonetheless, we are going to take into account the business ramifications of what have been said. aaron is going to join me in just a second, as he sneaks across the set. and we cope with the one or two little technical hitches we've had here. but it's an important time, not least because in the course of the speech itself as it started, we were aware that the ruble was falling. that's as president putin started to speak. and indeed, as aaron will be able to vouch, during the course of that speech -- we're getting there eventually. >> sorry. >> aaron, the ruble started to rise again. >> yeah. >> so clearly, that is pivotal, isn't it, the ruble, whether it's responding to oil --
>> the oil. the oil prices have tanked. i was going to say the ruble has tanked. it is down something like 40% against the dollar so far this year. 60% against the euro. and it is making things very complicated. also a couple of days ago, we heard from -- it was the first acknowledgement coming from the government, the russian government from the finance minister saying hands up. the russian economy will likely slip into recession next year. they were expecting a growth number next year of about 1.2% positive, but they've sort of said look, it's going to go down to 0.8 of a percent. >> it's all over the place. >> it is all over the place, like the cameras in the studio. god love these robotic cameras, david. when he was talking, there was kind of a -- and it is president putin, isn't it? a defiant stance, really, and certainly on the economy. to the point where -- and this is where a lot of us went, what? to the point where he was almost saying the sanctions, the
sanctions imposed against russia, could be a blessing in disguise. he said it will make russia stronger, it will make russia much more silver-lined -- >> a national desire to get on and do stuff. >> exactly. and there were some other measures, certain measures that he announced. one was tax-free. so no tax increases. one other interesting point, i found it interesting, is he's putting -- they're putting an amnesty on capital coming back and said basically money that has been taken out of russia -- >> a lot of it. >> whether it be through illegal means or to avoid taxation payments in russia. he's saying bring that money back now, put it into our banks here and we'll turn a blind eye. no questions asked almost. and the idea behind that is if you've got more money coming back, it should hopefully support the ruble. they're trying to put a halt to the decline in that particular currency, so it's all been -- yeah, a lot on the plate.
>> and a lot of pressure on the central bank as well, being told you've got to stabilize the ruble. you look at things like repatrioting money. but the central bank can only do so much presumably. >> they can only do so much also when you've got these external factors that really -- they don't have too much control. they don't really have that much control over the falling oil prices. so those oil prices have been plummeting, as we know. down about 31% from the peak in summer. i always love this little interesting tidbit here. that for every $1 drop or fall in the price of a barrel of oil, russia loses $2 billion of revenue. i think so far they're saying they've lost about $140 billion out of the economy because of the falling oil prices. not much they can do.
they could try to cut production, but unless everybody else is around the world, then the other oil producers -- it's going to be a big deal. >> massive challenge for the russians. aaron, thanks very much indeed. we could all listen to aaron all day, but given the technical issues we're having at the moment, what we're going to do instead is take a break here and bring you an edition of "hard talk." stay with us here on "bbc world news." welcome to "hard talk." i'm stephen sackur. here in london and around the world, the election of barack obama was seen as a water shed moment in race relations in america. the country's first black president was taken as the symbol of a new post-racial era. but now, with tensions between black communities and the police running sky high, is anyone still talking about a
post-racial united states? well, my guest today is cornell west, leading academic writer, civil rights campaigner, and fierce critic of barack obama. why has the race debate turned so sour? cornell west, welcome to "hard talk." >> i am very blessed to be here. >> i think we have to start with the fallout of events in ferguson, missouri. the killing of teenager michael brown at the hands of a police officer. since then, there's been violence. there have been political ramifications. you said it represents -- and i'm quoting you here -- the end of the age of obama.
what did you mean by that? >> what i meant was that so many of us had tremendous hope at the beginning of the age of obama, the very idea of a black man going to the white house, primarily built by black slaves. the idea of a reversal given the very ugly legacy of white supremacy in the united states. we had high hopes for his presidency. and what we have seen is the choices that not just he, but his democratic party have made. a wall street presidency as opposed to a main street presidency. a drone presidency. a massive surveillance presidency that edward snowden and others have revealed rather than fighting for rights and liberties. and now we get to the issue of race, and you would have thought that it would have been a breakthrough. but the policing that has been in place for five and a half years, you think of it, every 28
hours, a policeman shoots a young black youth. that's been going on now for six years under the obama presidency. >> let me stop you, because you've raise sod many issues and put so much symbolic weight on this water shed moment, as you see it, the killing of michael brown in ferguson, missouri. but surely, that is a deeply unfair way of looking at barack obama's contribution over six years of his presidency, just to say that this particular moment signals his entire failure across the board. >> because what he promised, though, what he promised was more equality. wall street presidency is more inequality. what he promised was a more just foreign policy. drones, more unjust. what he promised was a more free america. massive surveillance, less free.
>> sure, but politics isn't black and white. and if we just stick with race for a moment -- because obviously you've spent your career with your african-american studies background. >> yes. >> and with your campaigning, your public speaking. you have devoted your life to thinking about the black african-american experience. and surely, you would acknowledge that barack obama has made real efforts to change the dynamic in america over the last six years. and one shooting, or a host of particular incidents cannot take away his effort to change. >> certainly, he's made some efforts. i mean, health care was significant in terms of gaining assets. >> but i'm just thinking on the race issue. since ferguson, he's said look, we are going to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into retraining the police. we are going to insist that the police go out with body cameras. 50,000 body cameras going to be issued to police officers to ensure that they play by the rules when they are dealing with
young black men. doesn't that make a difference to you? >> yeah, but those are symbolic, though. look at it this way. that it was 4.5 years ago, we saw the massive transfer of military gear to local policemen. that's under not just barack obama. that's under a black attorney general eric holder. >> that's right. who now says, by the way, that we are going to in the justice department make a real effort to end the practice of racial profiling. so i come back to my point. yes, of course, there are still many problems. >> six years, every 28 hours a black youth has been shot for six years. and now finally we get these symbolic gestures after the massive transfer of huge amounts of military wear to the local policemen? what we're getting is what politicians do. it's calculations. we were looking for a president that had more conviction and was concerned with doing what is just and moral, not just
calculation. >> in our interview, you've suggested it's no good issuing symbolic words and gestures. hang on a second. is there not something about having a black president in the white house for the last six years which has been symbolically important, and that some of the words he uses, for example, the now famous phrase he used after the killing of the teenager trayvon martin in florida in 2012, when obama went before the public on the tv cameras and he said this about trayvon martin, he said if i had a son, he would look just like trayvon. and when i think about this boy, i think about my own kids. that is new for americans, and doesn't that matter? >> it does matter. it matters at the symbolic level. but let me tell you why it's hollow. because you had a son, i had a son shot down by either police or a vigilante. the response to that shooting would not be, we must accept the decision, we are a nation of
laws. the response in that way to the death of his son, something is wrong. so the words may come out, if i had a son, it would look like trayvon martin. but when trayvon was shot, what did he say? he said, we are a nation of laws, we must follow through with the trial and accept the trial. >> but he's the president. presidents cannot recommend the breaking of the law. >> but you can't use the language of the father and the next minute act like you're a president and represent an unjust rule of law. it's an unjust rule of law. the killing of michael brown was unjust, immoral, and wrong. he can't say that. he can't take a stand. >> let's think about the structural issues facing the criminal justice system. >> they're very deep. >> and you've gone so deep into this in terms of the statistics and you can point out that a black man is 21 times more likely it seems right now to be shot by the police than a white man, if you dig down into the
stats. look at the prison system. i think 1/3 of the entire prison population in the united states is black, despite the fact that african-americans represent only 12% of the population. so something is going on. >> and the intake. 12% white, 12% black engaged in drug intake. 65% of convictions are black in america. it's a deeply racist criminal justice system. >> so when you say that it's a deeply racist system, what is your prescription for change? >> well, one is you've got to call into question the war on drugs. you have to make sure that it's not just a war on poor people. that we have to come up with ways in which we deal with soft drug offensive. i taught in prison for 37 years now. 2/3 of the folks in my class, 150 brothers every friday night. 2/3 are in there for soft drugs. now, if it's soft drugs and 65% of convictions are black and 12%
of black and white intake, we have to bring an an end this war on drugs, which is a war on poor folks. but secondly, you also have to have a fair rule of law. we're right back to the obama administration. crimes committed on wall street. market manipulation. insider trading. how many wall street executives went to jail? zero. zero. which means what? you don't really have a rule of law. you have an unjust rule of law as it relates to punitive treatment of poor and the well-to-do get off scot-free. torturers scot-free. wiretappers, scot-free. so it's very clear that we have to have a fair rule of law. i'm not against police. i'm not against rule of law. i just want to make it fair and just. >> i read something recently that interested me a lot. i wonder what your take is on
this. ell ellis coes wrote about this, his take is that the civil rights tradition of the '50s and the '60s, the demand for changes in the law and a demand to the overt segsegregation, that mind doesn't really work in the present day, in the united states, because it's not so much a question of changing the laws, it's a question of changing people's mindsets, attitudes, particularly towards young black men, who he says in the media, in the entertainment business are routinely demonized. so if it's not a question of changing laws, but changing people's hearts and minds, attitudes, how do you do that? >> well, i mean, that's a wonderful question. i'm here actually for the 50th anniversary of my uncle max's debate. he talked about not just changing the laws, but more on executing the laws and changing
hearts. and you need both. take, for example, the number of police who end up shooting these young kids in the back. how many have gone to jail? zero. execute the law. send some policemen to jail when they kill young people. you will get a change in behavior. >> but you're prejudging what the law would say. if, for example, the grand jury in ferguson, missouri, they looked at the evidence involving the particular young police officer who shot michael brown, and they weighed the evidence, and they concluded that there was no case to -- >> no cross-examination whatsoever. that's not part of the legal process in the united states. the legal process in the united states includes the exposure to both views. that was not the case under robert mccollum. you can get a conviction over a ham sandwich, as they say. if a criminal prosecutor wants an indictment, he can get it. one out of 11,000 cases come down with no indictment. that's what came down in this case. that gives you a sense of the
bias. gives you a sense of the selective reading of the process. but what we're talking about with laws here. it's true. you do have to change hearts now. there's no doubt about that. fwhu te but in terms of executing the law. we have laws against crimes on wall street. do they execute the law? no. do they prosecute? no. it's not just a matter of laws. it's how do you execute them. >> so your inclination is always to look first at the systemic problems rather than the personal issues? would that be fair? >> no, i would say that i keep track of the humanity of poor people. and by keeping track of their humanity, the systemic and structural, those go hand in hand with the personal. but our conservative brothers and sisters, they're not really obsessed with the humanity of poor people. they're much more interested in viewing poor people as statistics who can then be use ed to trivialize their
suffering. >> i just wonder with actually, despite the fact with your long academic record, a lot of your focus is on race issues in america. >> well, it's class, race -- >> i was going to say, maybe the key to your critique of america is actually about class and about economics and about the distribution of economic power. it's not really about race at all. >> well, it's about both. but i'm concerned about gender, too. patriarchy is vicious. i'm concerned homophobia. >> when you said that obama is more comfortable with the white rich man than he is with the free black man, that seemed to me to be conflating the two things in an unfair way to obama. almost like you're saying any successful black politician or african-american success story in culture or the business world
has to be by definition some sort of uncle tom. >> no, not at all. because there's a significant number of black business men and women who are deeply concerned about working and poor people. there's politicians. there's bernie sanders, for example. he is a mainstream politician concerned about -- >> but he's not really a mainstream politician because an independent. >> but he's a senator in the united states senate. >> but inner party of one. an independent. a very well-known maverick independent. but take black politicians. not just obama. >> that's right. >> but cory brooker in new jersey. or deval patrick in massachusetts. these are very successful mainstream black politicians who many in the black community it seems to me would look up to and aspire to follow. but you seem to say no, they're just gate keepers of the establishment. >> i just had dinner with brother cory booker last week. i supported him all the way in
his career. always as a critic and a supporter. but when you look at what he says about poverty, and he's very strong when he talks about poverty, look at what he's doing with the criminal justice system. full scale reform. >> if you were a hispanic intellectual, public figure today, do you think you'd be as hard on obama? because obama has just gone out on a limb, used his executive powers to ensure that up to five million illegal immigrants no longer need fear the daily threat of deportation. you look at the response of his panic community groups across the country -- i'm just looking at one here. gustavo torres says, this is an extraordinary step in the right direction. so this president that you characterize as weak and spineless and having failed to represent the minorities that in many ways put him into power, he has done something extraordinarily courageous. >> why? because obama's deported more
illegal immigrants than any other president in the history of the nation. they have shifted because of this bold step. i support the bold step, even though it wasn't bold enough. no benefits. they're still paying taxes, but no benefits. it's only for three years. three years from now it can be completely undercut. i try to be a person of principle. i want to be a person that follows a certain vision, that holds across the board no matter what color people are. people expect me not to be critical of obama because he's black and because i'm black. i refuse to do that. >> i think you've gone the other way. i think you're more critical of obama because he's black than you would have been if he was white. >> i was just as critical of bill clinton when he signed the welfare bill. my god -- >> people will want to hear. this is a recent tweet of yours about obama. you referred to his quote. and you didn't have many words to play with. empty neutrality, his moral bankruptcy, and his cowardice. and in a different quote, you
said he's a rockefeller republican in black face. i can't imagine anything more personally rude, aggressively rude than essentially calling obama that terrible phrase, an oreo, a guy who's black on the outside. >> i never used that language. >> but when you say he's a republican in black face. >> buecause of republican policies. >> but you're pushing the envelope of insult here. and i just wonder if it's personal for you because he's black. >> i think if you look at what i said about clinton, and my god, george bush. the things i said about george bush were even more hyperbolic in many ways. and even bill clinton, who was loved by black america. the mandatory sentences to prisons and the elimination of welfare. my language was very strong. it's strong precisely because it reflects not only my own
righteous indignation, but also because of the expectations they generated and the promises they put forward. >> i was going to say, you've done a lot of community activism and you go around the nation talking to community groups. you know that barack obama and indeed his wife spent long years in chicago in community organization, in the sorts of places helping people that you want to work. and does that count for nothing? >> it's because when he got into positions of power -- let's look, for example, in terms of the middle east. barack obama, ten years ago was talking about the dignity of palestinians and how important they were. as soon as he gets into office, 400 palestinian babies are killed. he won't say a mumbling word. a mumbling word. meaning that right when it comes to a context where he's wielding power, both rhetorical power and political power, that's where
he's tested. ten years ago, he was talking about the dignity of palestinians, how wrong the occupation was. no, he got in a position and will not be honest about either what he believes or what he once believed and no longer believes in terms of how wrong occupation is and the killing of innocent babies. >> i just wonder whether you've left a lot of your own african community behind in the strength of your condemnation of obama, because i'm interested in these words of a young black writer called david dennis. he works as the creative director of a website called "the smoking section." he says this about you, and i want you to respond to it. he says, cornell west has become a hater. when i was in college, i wanted to grow up to emulate cornell west. he influenced millions of young black americans. but now i feel sad at the way he's let pettiness and his pride overshadow his desire to effect real change. >> well, i'm so glad he doesn't
speak on behalf of large numbers of young people. you go to the young leaders of ferguson right now, you ask alexis templeton, you ask tori russell and so many of those right there in the heat of struggle, they call me uncle. why? because i was there with them. arrested with them. why? because they know i am a hater. i hate injustice. i don't hate people. i am a hater. >> you sometimes give the impression you hate barack obama. >> i hate barack obama's policies. i hate his his deeds. i hate his cowardice. i love him as a human being. i'm a christian, so this is a deeply personal issue in terms of how you separate a righteous indignation of people's policies, deeds, and acts from their humanity. because people can change, and we're all made in the image of god and i love that image no matter who they are. but i am a hater of injustice, no doubt about that. so to the young brother who said
he saw me 20 years ago, i'm going to go down hating injustice. that's the kind of person i am. >> a final thought for you. we talked about this earlier about the civil rights movement and what it achieved and what it didn't achieve. you said you believe if martin luther king were alive today in the united states, he would be weeping about the state of the united states today. and you're very strong in your condemnation of the failings of the traditional civil rights groups like the naacp, the national urban league. you say that they're not delivering for the african-american community. and you use a word, the word is revolution. you say the united states needs a revolution. is that what you have become, an advocate of revolution? >> well, i've always been a revolutionary christian. my first book published 32 years ago prophesized deliverance. it's a transformation of both
the priorities and values. it's a democratic process. but no, we have already seen a massive transfer of wealth from the poor and working class to the well-to-do in the last 30 years. all i'm calling for is a massive transfer of power and wealth from the 1%, who now own 43% of the wealth in america. 1% own 43% of the wealth. now, i can't see how anybody can talk about the future of a democracy without there being some kind of transfer of wealth back to working and poor people. >> but the point is how do you do it? >> stronger trade unions, by means of the kinds of investments in education and infrastructure, basic kinds of moves that other societies, much more civilized than the united states, norway, finland, sweden, other places where they're concerned about quality of education, concerned about quality jobs, and concerned about eliminating poverty. >> and you know what? i'm sure there are many people
like you in the united states who would like to see the u.s. transformed into sweden. but the system as it stands in the u.s. ain't gonna deliver that. so my final question is this -- >> i got that keep telling the truth. >> but how far do you go in that cause of yours? because we have seen flames licking around ferguson, missouri in recent weeks. we've seen people on the streets in other towns also very nearly con fronting the police in demonstrations. there is a sense that there could be a new round of violent confrontation in the united states. >> keeping in mind, any time you talk about violence, you're talking about already police violence against poor black folk. every 28 hours a black person getting shot, that is violence. the response of black people is important. and the response has to be felt through love and justice, rather than hatred and revenge. >> have you fallen out of love with your country? >> i'm in love with the people in the country. we've got some great people in america. but america's not a great nation.
greatness is not measured by how big your buildings are. it's not measured by the military might. it's measured by how you treat the least of these. how you treat the poor. how you treat working people. that's greatness. that's the difference between alexander the great and the jesus that i am in love with. >> we have to end there. cornell west, thank you for being on "hard talk." >> thank you so much, my brother. appreciate it. hello, i'm david eades. you've been watching an unscheduled edition of "hard talk" because of technical
problems. we can now return to "bbc world news." and our top stories. president putin addresses the russian nation, and attack was he calls the west's cynical attitude over the conflict in ukraine. >> translator: even if the events in ukraine didn't happen, they would have come up with a different motive to restrain the greing tension of russia. more racial tension in the united states after the decision not to charge a white police officer over the death of a black man he restrained with a choke hold. and could zimbabwe's powerful first lady succeed her husband robert as president? hello.
thanks vr -- very much for being with us. vladimir putin has used his state of the nation address to attack the west for what he described as its hypocritical attitude over the conflict in ukraine. mr. putin said he was certain that if ukraine hadn't experienced a political crisis, then the west would have come up with another excuse to contain russian power. his speech comes as russia's economy is hit by falling oil prices and those western sanctions imposed because of the ukrainian conflict. >> translator: i propose sanctions, this is not just the nervous reaction of the united states and the opposition, vis-a-vis the coup. not just the crimean spring. i want to emphasize, even if all of that hadn't happened, they would have come up with a different motive to restrain
growing potential of russia, influence the policy of restraint, was not made up yesterday. >> vladimir putin there. our correspondent in moscow sarah rainsford gave me her reaction to what mr. putin had to say. >> mr. putin came out very strong, very assured, talking about essentially a campaign by the west of contain russia, as he described it. he's also talked about the situation in ukraine. he has said repeating his previously stated position many, many times, that the annexation of crimea was a legitimate step, that it was a justified step because as he described it again, the people of crimea wanted that. and he said, describing kroe ii as almost a holy site for russia and saying it would almost remain extreme significance to
russia. so no suggestion, no hint at all that russia is considering softening its position on crimea, which of course western europe and the united states reacted so strongly against imposing sanctions against russia, specifically because of the annexation of crimea, which has judged illegal in western europe and the united states, an illegal annexation of ukrainian territory. >> of course it's an important speech in terms of either preparing russians for pretty hard times to come, or for really encouraging people to make a difference. but i suppose a huge amount does still hinge, frankly, on what happens elsewhere in the rest of the world. oil prices in particular. >> i think it does. i mean, russia's economy is very, very heavily dependent on energy exports. it has been always, in their 14 years that president putin has been in power here, one way or the other, he's done very little to change that. that's something that he has been criticized for sbhomewhat,
particularly in the newspapers here, that failure to diversify the economy. i think russia is clearly seeing the effects of that now. the global oil price has plummeted and the impact on russia's economy is huge. one of the ministers recently talked about the combined effect of sanctions and the falling oil price as being equivalent to $140 billion a year. that's the impact, most of that coming from a fall in the oil price. >> sarah rainsford in moscow. the chechnyan president has said several rebels have died in a fierce gun battle. it ended up with this building under flames. another grub under siege at a nearby school. militants reportedly dressed up as police officers opened fire on a group of traffic policemen. for the second time in less than a week, a grand jury in the united states has decided not to press charges against a white police officer over the death of
an unarmed black man. and once again, it sparked protests in new york. those protests spread, in fact, to los angeles as well. eric grn garner was the man in question, a 43-year-old, an asthmatic put in a banned choke hold by an officer as he was being arrested. he died later in hospital. here's the latest report from ben bland. >> reporter: this is the video that sparked outrage over the death of eric garner in july. it shows a white police officer holding the unarmed black man in a head lock, for allegedly selling cigarettes illegally. eric garner can be heard gasping "i can't breathe." >> i can't breathe. i can't breathe. >> reporter: the 43-year-old later died in hospital. the new york city coroner ruled it was a homicide, but a grand jury has now decided the police officer will not face criminal charges. >> i don't know what video they were looking at. evidently, it wasn't the same one that the rest of the world
was looking at. how could we put our trust in the justice system when they fail us like this? he should be here, celebrating christmas and thanksgiving and everything else with his children and his grandchildren. and he can't. why? because a cop did wrong. somebody that get paid to do right did wrong, and he's not held accountable for it. >> reporter: that feeling shared by hundreds who gth gathered to protest in times square in new york. the u.s. justice department has now launched a federal investigation into whether any civil rights were violated. >> our prosecutors will conduct an independent, thorough, fair, and expeditious investigation. in addition to performing our own investigative work, the department will conduct a complete review of the material gathered during the local investigation.
>> reporter: all this comes just a week after riots broke out in ferguson, missouri. sparked there by a grand jury decision not to charge a white police officer who shot dead the unarmed black teenager michael brown. >> we are dealing with a national crisis. how many people have to die before people understand this is not an illusion. this is a reality that america has got to come to terms with. >> reporter: the i don't thiong protests present a challenge, can they repair the deep mistrust and apparent racial tensions between some communities and the police. ben bland, bbc news. now to a figure you might become increasingly familiar with. this is grace mugabe, wife of
president robert mugabe in zimbabwe. the 91-year-old leader has absolute power over who to appoint as his successor and the speculation is rife that he may well turn to grace, who is likely to be given a plum role at their annual congress. our correspondent is in the capital. she told me more. >> reporter: 12,000 delegates were expected to attend this all important congress here. the constitution has rekrenly be -- recently been amended, which gives him the power to appoint his vice president. there's wide speculation that his wife is -- there's speculation that his wife could be the vice president here, but it's also important to note that the road leading to this conference venue has actually been changed.
it's now been called dr. grace mugabe way, which shows the inroads she has made in politics since about three months ago. so she is widely expected to take up a leadership position and one of those positions includes that she could be appointed the leader of the women's league. >> are there many, or indeed any voices of opposition to this? >> there are voices of opposition, but nobody is prepared to speak on record, because a lot of people are saying they don't want to be seen as not toeing the party line or doing what they are supposed to be doing. it's been quite strange the way in which things have been happening within zanu pf. we've been seeing it washing its dirty lemon in public, which is quite unpopular. we've seen the vice president being victimized. the spokesperson of zanu pf
being expelled just last night. he was told that he was being expelled. and those people were seen as to not toeing the party line. wanting the vice president to take over from president robert mugabe himself. the president himself has also not shown any signs of slowing down in terms of continuing to lead zanu pf and the country. the only person at the moment who knows who the vice president will be is president mugabe himself, and he is expected to make some form of announcement later in the day. do stay with us here on "bbc world news." still to come in the bulletin, more sexual assault allegations against the american comedian bill cosby. three women come forward to tell their stories. ow!
hello, you're watching "bbc world news." i'm david eades with the headlines. president putin addresses the nation and focuses on a faltering economy. he warns russians of tough times ahead. the federal government in the united states is to conduct a review into the case of a white police officer who used a choke hold on an unarmed black man who later died in hospital. what next for afghanistan? with less than a month to go before foreign combat troops withdraw, the country's new government wants assurances that military withdrawals won't be followed by withdrawals of financial aid. and with that in mind, ashraf ghani, the new president, is here in london for a conference on afghanistan's future. our chief international correspondent lyse doucet is there. >> reporter: the afghans are here, and their big message is we want the international community to remain engaged. there's no denying that there will be engagement, but it's equally clear it won't be on the
same level. aid levels are dropping. most of the combat troops are pulling out, except for the americans who are beginning to stay on to remain involved in missions against the remnants of al qaeda as they say, as well as the taliban. so what are the feelings among afghans as they enter this new chapter? it's being described as the decade of transformation. i'm joined here by one of the many afghan delegates from civil society who have joined the london conference along with the government. a very successful school in afghanistan, civil society activist. you've got a smile on your face. is there something to smile about with this london conference? >> i think it's a reason for our optimism, because after 13 years, the target of the international community to provide us with a civil society in afghanistan has become our achievement. so we are now in a stage to celebrate this achievement with our colleagues in the international forum.
i think the decade of change -- the commitment of the international community to help afghans to go on, with this new chapter. the support of the international community by the new generation of the country. i think there's a very big reason for us to be smiling and to be optimistic. >> what do you expect from the international community? there's not as much money being pledged, and this is not a pledging conference. there's fewer troops. what is it that afghans that you speak for, what do they want? >> in this 13 years, we've come a long way ahead. fw but this is a time that afghans should practice to do their own part of the job as well. but they are not supported by the institutions to protect all these achievements of 13 years. so in need of the international
community support, to maintain this progress, and i'm sure that in ten years, it will have a big deal to be a good partner, an effective partner of the international community. this is our expectation now, to tell the international community and to realize that they've done a very big job in afghanistan. if there are some shortcomings, this is not a productive new afghanistan. this new afghanistan is a civil society, the new generation which is seen now in the face of all these groups that we are representing here. >> reporter: no denying the commitment, but no denying security risks as well. afghanistan has now been described as the most dangerous place for aid workers. 95 died over the past year. 223 worldwide. it's a big risk now, isn't it? >> yes, i think it's also a big challenge for the new leadership
in afghanistan. we are still in a state of transition, and the new leadership is there to help afghans to have a balanced and very good rational approach to all the issues that they're facing. they'll have to rebuild the trust of the afghan people. they'll have to rebuild the trust of the international community and to use them for the better jobs that they have in front of them. >> let's see what comes out today. thank you very much for joining us here on a very rainy day at lancaster house here in london. there is what the new afghan leaders, of course the new president ashraf ghani, the new chief executive officer, effective prime minister in afghanistan dr. abdullah abdullah. this will be the first conference where you won't see the familiar figure of hamid karzai appearing at the conference. but afghans are asking, new faces is one thing. we want a new government. there's noen c cabinet yet, andy also want a new solutions to
very old problems in the country. >> lyse doucet there at lancaster house. the american comedian bill cosby has been urged to waive his rights under the statute of limitations so the courts can hear new allegations of sexual assault against him. three women have gone public recently with claims that he groped and assaulted them. the alleged incidents happened more than 30 years ago, and that is too long for the cases to come to trial. should just tell you alistair leithead's report does have some flash photography. >> reporter: three more women going public with their allegations against bill cosby. the celebrity lawyer gloria allred is representing them. she brought the media to hear this latest raft of accusations against the comedian. >> i believe that mr. cosby drugged me and sexually assaulted me that night. for years, i did not tell anyone
about what he had done to me, because i was afraid. >> reporter: beth farrior claimed she had an affair with bill cosby in the mid 1980s, but he attacked her in colorado after they had broken up. then helen hayes spoke. she claimed the star had groped her in 1973. >> he approached me from behind, and reached over my shoulder and grabbed my right breast. >> reporter: and finally cherlan. she didn't give her surname. in 1976, she was a 17-year-old aspiring model working at the las vegas hilton, who also claimed she was drugged and assaulted. >> i could not open my eyes. i couldn't move or say anything. >> reporter: she alleged he had assaulted her in the elvis presley suite, and when she came to, gave her $1,500. >> the annual family defrost. >> reporter: bill cosby hit the big-time in the 1980s when he
played the family man and father figure in "the cosby show." he was sued for sexual assault in 2005 after a criminal case was dropped for lack of evidence and a number of anonymous women came forward, but the case was settled out of court. multiple allegations over the past month have led to tv channels dropping him and cancellations of his standup touring show. this week, he resigned from the board of temple university, which he's been a generous supporter. but he has refused to address the accusations publicly, and has never been charged with any offense. lawyer gloria allred said the statute of limitations meant it was too late for her clients to file a lawsuit, but bill cosby could allow the women to bring the cases if he had nothing to hide. >> it is time for justice and accountability. we challenge mr. cosby to end this nightmare for both him and the alleged victims. >> reporter: she also suggested an alternative. that he set up a $100 million
compensation fund. these are three more cases, three more women adding their accounts, their allegations of what bill cosby did to them to an increasing number of accounts and public made, many of them tl and going back decades. a huge multi-national conference is under way in peru, hoping to lay the ground work for a new limit to greenhouse gases. hundreds of projects may never be implemented. the problem, a lack of funds. our correspondent has been to central nepal where the failure to implement climate change protection has been disastrous for the people living in one remote valley. >> reporter: all that's left of this small village of mankha, on the highway between central nepal and tibet. this was an established
community of corn and rice farmers. around 160 people, most of them children, were killed by this massive landslide last august. many of them still remain buried underneath those slopes up there. no one knows whether those bodies will ever be recovered. tucked away in the mountains, which have been getting heavier with more frequent rain. the region is known for landslides. six years ago, it was declared one of nepal's most vulnerable sites. i tracked down one of the few survivors in the place where his three-story house had been. the disaster wiped out his and his brother's family, including all nine of their children. >> translator: people living up there were sure nothing bad would happen. so i always thought we were safe. no officials ever warned us of
the danger. >> reporter: nepal has received less than a tenth of what it needs for its climate projects. and officials warn there is no money left. in fact, none of the 48 least developed countries have received all the funds. whatever little they did get was difficult to access. >> if you submit a project and it's approved after three years, you need to access the funds when the slaides are hitting th communities. >> reporter: poorer communities can access the fund. they are mostly in africa. it was developed after the devastating floods in mozambique in 2000. scientists say these countries where extreme weather events are more frequent are most urgently in need of the support. to date, of the $2 billion pledged, less than half has been
made available. as a result, fewer than one fifth of the projects are actually under way. >> it lievs people high and dry. they have to face the circumstances on their own. the promised money doesn't come or comes in dribs or drabs and it's very difficult for these countries who are poor to start with. >> new climate defense obligations are about to make life harder. countries like nepal fear these changes could be at the cost of their most urgent needs. bbc news, central nepal. bond is back. james bond. the producers of the movie franchise have announced the title of the new film. it's going to be called "spectre." there we are. as i said, "spectre." the film is due to be released in november 2015. daniel craig on his fourth
outing, and sam mendes will be back to direct. i also want to just show you some pictures for a moment of nasa is back as well, you could say, or at least it should be. this is a spaceship they're sending up. it's the first launch of an exploratory move to start a manned mission to mars. this is unmanned. mmm, a perfect 177-degrees. and that's why this road warrior rents from national. i can bypass the counter and go straight to my car. and i don't have to talk to any humans, unless i want to. and i don't. and national lets me choose any car in the aisle. control. it's so, what's the word?... sexy. go national. go like a pro.
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hello, you're watching "gmt" on "bbc world news." i'm lucy hockings. our top stories. hands up, don't shoot, and i'm choking. the chants in demonstrations in new york, as another grand jury clears a white police officer of killing an unarmed black man. this video shows eric garner being choked to death and telling officers he can't breathe. the toerattorney general says t will now be a civil rights investigation. we're counting down to the liftoff of orion, the spacecraft that could one day carry us to