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tv   France 24 News  PBS  August 24, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT

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options for military options against the mask is, with no clue so far if the green light has been given, while the pentagon's naval forces move closer to syria. this as syrian troops say they have found toxic weapons in tunnels found and used by the rebels. 200 days and counting, guantanamo prisoners pushing on with their hunger protest, struggling to change the fate of force-feeding and indefinite
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intentions. and a digital currency gets real recognition. the german government decides that virtual money bit coin is a legal and private means of payment. international news and comment, live from our studio center in moscow. it has just turned 1 a.m. sunday morning. this is " rt." the u.s. is readying for a possible missile strike on syria and reports say preparations are underway. the pentagon is ensuring that president obama has military options available. he has met with advisers to consider actions following an alleged chemical attack blamed on the syrian government. three destroyers are currently
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deployed, with reports of another is on the way, all of them carrying up to 300 cruise missiles, which is more than enough to act rapidly if obama wants to order the strike. there is also the nato maritime group, which includes four more ships. and if we look at the mainland, the u.s. and western allies military presence around syria is also very significant. we are following america's military willingness. >> it appears the u.s. is no longer just using words to address these. crisis. they are pointing to possible military action now being deliberated. despite the fact the unconfirmed reports made by the syrian rebels not been verified, president obama has called recent allegations of chemical weapons being used by the syrian government a big event of grave concern. white house officials say the u.s. has a range of options and the administration is going to
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act very deliberately in making decisions consistent with u.s. national security interests and how washington can advance its objectives in syria. meantime, friday, the u.s. navy had repositioned a ship armed with cruise missiles and the mediterranean. u.s. defense secretary chuck hagel said obama has artie asked the pentagon for options on syria. according to cbs news, potential targets include command bunkers and launchers used to fire chemical weapons. up until this point, a red line for the united states, he is under growing pressure to act. u.s. officials have acknowledged
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there is no conclusive evidence linking the syrian president with this week's alleged chemical attacks. nonetheless, a state department spokesman has also said that washington does not believe the rebels are capable of carrying out chemical attacks. logically, this would lead one to think the white house has found a syrian government guilty of the alleged chemical weapons being used in syria. the media has also played a significant role in recent days, with many outlets looping very sad and shocking video of dead victims in syria while reporting the assumption is the syrian government is behind the mass killings. >> new reports from serious say the army has discovered chemicals in an area controlled by opposition forces. according to iranian officials, the syrian government has allow the a team of you in investor gators -- a team of you when
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investigators to examine the area. despite confirmation the government has used chemical weapons, international pressure on president assad is increasing. they suggest the government was behind the massacre and wants to respond with force if the allegations are approved. the united nations fourth secretary said this was a chemical attack carried out by the assad regime. and a similar voice from sweden, its foreign minister concluding there was a hard decision other than chemicals had been used. a necessary response to what they call is a crime against humanity. president obama called them an indispensable nation stabilizing the middle east. there has been no international action on the findings of the syrian army. our correspondent has more. >> syrian state television is saying that they found traces of
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chemical agents after entering tunnels used by rebel fighters in the damascus suburbs. the shells they found had markings on them that said they had been made in southeast arabia, just a reminder that saudi arabia is opposed to the syrian president. the soldiers started suffocating and ambulances had be sent to the scene to assist. syrian television is also reporting the soldiers found antidotes that are used to heal the intoxication, this coming after reports of a new attack earlier this week that saw involvement of chemical weaponry. we have reports that anywhere from between a dozen and over 1000 people were killed in the new attack. air has been a loss of footage making the rounds online, photos of people foaming at the mouth, suffocating, all of them pointing to the possible use of sarah and gas. some of the photos online show empty cells. it seems to point to the fact
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these ad is of the attack had this weaponry fired from rebel held areas. all of this comes as the u n inspectors are inside syria, investigating some 30 other reports of chemical weapon usage . the united nations chief of disarmament arrived in the country. they have been tasked with trying to reach the scene of this latest chemical attack. damascus has indicated they are giving their full support and there will be help in whatever way they can, but there is heavy fighting on the road in that area. >> still no confirmation about the number of victims from the alleged mass chemical attack. doctors without water say they have received over 3000 patients -- doctors without borders say they have received over 3000 patients, 355 died, but who was behind the attack is still hard to verify the spike the west suspecting president aside and
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not the rebels. we have a professor at international law but georgetown university. if the united nations proves it was the syrian opposition that used chemical weapons, washington will be embarrassed? >> i think if it is going to turn out to be the rebels who are using these weapons, these poisonous materials, the u.s. would be embarrassed because it would be the allies of the u.s., the opposition that the u.s. has been supporting, claiming these are people who are fighting for democracy and rule of law, fighting corruption in syria. this is the purpose of the regime change. the u.s. would like to prove, and some of its allies, that it is the regime who has done this.
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>> according to local tv, a car bomb went off in a crowded christian area after heavy fighting continues on the outskirts of the city. >> still to come, the far east on edge. armies of rescue workers, soldiers, and volunteer struggle to protect russia's city as massive floods threaten the city on all sides. we will bring you the latest on the efforts there shortly. nearly seven months of refusing to eat, being force fed, and alleged abuse with no end in sight. edit the daily experience for
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many guantanamo bay inmate since early february. the food protest has gone on 200 days, but president obama still stalling shutting down the facility. but see what the situation is like right now. at the moment there are 166 inmates there and the military says 37 are still refusing food to protest their indefinite detention. many of them have not even gone to trial and more than half have been cleared for release years ago. u.s. taxpayers are picking up the time for all of this, 2.7 million dollars annually. you get nearly half $1 billion per year coming out of citizen'' pockets. we frequently talk to the guantánamo inmates, and earlier he told me what is going on at the camp and why it remains open. >> the words that i hear from
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the camp are just as bad as they have always been. suffering, tube feeding, people not getting along, no communication with the military. although the military is telling us the numbers have gone down, that is not the story we are hearing. we are hearing there is still this horrible suffering going on. >> we have heard accounts of horrible detainee treatment, including allegations of sexual abuse. is anybody investigating? >> i think that goes around the groin searches that began. they do these searches, obviously, to keep my clients from talking to me. in terms of investigation, i don't think anybody is investigating. the camp says they are doing this for security purposes, but that is preposterous when you consider the client is not even seeing a lawyer. >> president obama has not kept his promise to close the prison,
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costing millions during the time of budget cuts. what will it take to finally close down guantanamo? >> guantanamo is a political animal, run by xenophobia in the united states and it will take a lot of hard work, not only people like me, but from people in washington in order to close it, and you don't see that. the president has the authority to transfer these individuals now. he could do it under the current law with no exceptions come and he is choosing not to do so. he has even said there are several countries that are ready, willing, able to take these individuals. we know there are 86 cleared for release. the president has done nothing on that yet. >> still to come -- virtual currency and coin is getting recognition in germany as being accepted as legal. those stories in just a few minutes.
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>> bitcoin may be exchanged for other currencies in the system. we have this report from berlin. >> germany and berlin is one of the places that has really embraced bitcoin as a new major player when it comes to world currency. i am standing on the floor, the trading floor of the berlin
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bitcoin exchange, which they come forward for cash. it is a growing community inside of berlin. guys like this dressed in the below hats -- the bolo hats like the traditional london stock exchange. this gentleman here is selling the one bit coin for 85 euros. you pay your money, you get your bit coin, which goes into an a one line wallet, uris to spend however you want. to find out where the coins are going in berlin, i am joined by the organizer of the event. thank you very much for joining us. >> what we have seen is from the german finance ministry they have given their backing to bit coin. >> it looks like that, and i think it is a great decision because it is clear it will never be illegal. hopefully they are setting a standard, saying we should not have too many rules but we
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should see how it develops. >> this is because bit coin has dan accepted as a unit of account by the german government. they have not said it is legal tender but it can be taxed, actually. why has berlin in particular embraced bit coin? >> because many people from all over the world have come together, and it is obviously the place to try out new things. i think it is natural that it is very strong here. >> i did not know the computer was invented in berlin. the latest in the crypto- currency, bit coin, given almost a green light by the german government and exchanges like this to trade them and get involved in bit coin to reach out to more people around the world. >> bit coin was invented in 2008 when anonymous creator laid out a paper about a cash system being operated.
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it has gained popularity across the world. thousands are sold online and merchants are now recognizing it as an alternative to major currencies full stop the value of individual bi t coins hit a record high when it was being traded at over $260 u.s. growing concerns about its effect on the dollar cost the government to investigate it earlier this month. they claim it could be used in criminal activity. we have everything that you need to know about bit coin on our website, also online, a sci-fi come true, a way to free people's minds. go to our website to find out how the invention plucks thoughts from your heads. and healthy habits hurting business as russia's ban on nighttime booze sales means foreign producers have to find new ways to ship their beer.
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all of this and more on rt.cxoo.
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>> if you have just joined us, a warm welcome to "rt." 90 minutes past the hour in the russian capital. flood levels in russia's for east -- far east are rising. soldiers and civilians are braced for that to get higher in what is already the worst floods in the region for over two centuries. russia's not the only country suffering at the moment. this river runs along the border of the chinese -- along the border with china, which has also been hit i catastrophic weather since the beginning of the summer. already 100 are reported dead and another 150 missing. three of russia's regions have been severely affected, and the floods have yet to hit their
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peak. the next 24 hours are critical. paul scott is monitoring the situation. >> this is a city under threat, or the edge. water levels are continuing to rise, with the peak not expected for about 14 hours. the river to my right is causing all of the problems. it breached its banks and is beginning to filter through the city. work is continuing to reinforce the city, about 15 kilometers worth of dams being built like this, and they are being reinforced and raised along with the water levels. despite the perilous situation, the authorities say they are prepared for the worst. >> all the organizational issues are worked out. there could be some setbacks, but the main point is there are no victims. we will analyze our work. we will work for the good. >> about 2500 people have been
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affected by the floods in and around the city. the majority have been housed in temporary accommodation centers with food, drinking water, shelter, and medicine, respite from the floods. about 70 have been built around the city at sports arenas and schools. this resident told us he does not know what to expect. >> everything has been washed away, coal, firewood. the second floor has been flooded. my flat is on the first floor. there is 1.5 meters of water there. i am here now, but all of my positions are there.
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>> a suicide bombers dropped a café in the northern shia district. a claimed four lives. they are deadly attacks on almost a daily basis as internal strife spirals. farc rebels have called for temporary peace negotiations with the colombian government. you're considering a proposal that could clear the way for long-awaited peace agreement. this is after violent protests by the countries miners, truckers, and farmers over presidential reforms they say are hurting their revenues. there's been a new round of protests in bahrain, thousands gathering for a mass march outside of the capital. the movement started back in 2011, but human rights activists say the arab neighbors are undermining what they are trying to achieve there.
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>> you have to keep in mind we are facing many governments. many troops came to my country to take art in the crackdown. they do not want any modern democracy. that is why we are facing many countries, supported by many western countries. and even the media did not come to report what is happening in my country. all of the media is banned, so they are not speaking. they are not covering what is happening here in my country because many of them are owned by the governments. it is complicated, as we are part of the arab spring, but we still cannot get the opportunity the egyptian people need. >> that is it for the moment.
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the new steam will be back in about a half-hour. think you for joining us on "rt ." -- thank you for joining us on "rt." >> they say geopolitics is a lot like a schoolyard, and it sounds kind of immature. that is kind of stuff they would do, cancel a date to show you how much their feelings are hurt. it's not mistake this canceled meeting with cutting off diplomatic relations, which is a total rejection of any form of discussion with another country, which sends a bold and possibly dangerous political message.
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what obama did was a minor annoyance. he knows that he will talk to the group and a near future. how will they not talk to the next g8 summit? will he just hide behind angela merkel the whole time or duck behind the sharp cocktail -- the shrimp cocktail? one could argue that he had to appease republicans by looking strong, but this grand snubbing comes across as silly. passing something like a new amendment is how you show the people you are really mad, even if your anger is a rational because you still pretty much did the right thing. but that is just my opinion.
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