tv BBC World News America PBS January 17, 2014 2:30pm-3:01pm PST
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and now, "bbc world news america." >> president obama rolled out his reforms to u.s. surveillance. he called for an end to the government control of some data. he made this promise to partners abroad. >> unless there is a compelling national security purpose, we will not monitor b communications of heads of state and government of our close friends and allies. >> the russian president tells the bbc he has had western help securing the winter olympics in sochi during a rare interview. could this contact lens help millions of diabetics worldwide with the technology embedded inside? google tells us what this might do.
welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. after months of revelations by national security agency analyst edward snowden, today president obama rolled out his reforms to u.s. surveillance programs. he vowed the nsa would take a new approach when it comes to collecting and storing the phone records of americans. he promised the government will not eavesdrop on foreign leaders who are american allies. our north american editor starts our coverage. >> it could be you or him. you just cannot know. but information about millions of innocent phone calls and e- mails have been collected by u.s. intelligence, swept up as part of a vast operation that shocked many at home and abroad. president obama says now there will be changes. >> the bottom line is people around the world, regardless of
their nationality, should know the united states is not spying on ordinary people who do not threaten our national security. we take their privacy concerns into account in our policies and procedures. this applies to foreign leaders as well. has ordered obama that spying on friendly foreign leaders should stop unless there is a compelling national security purpose. he has instructed the privacy of people at home and abroad should be treated with dignity and respect, and he will appoint an official responsible for civil liberties to work with agencies. the fate of the huge intelligence trawl exposed by edward snowden is far from clear. the president said the collection of bulk data must continue but not in its present form. there will be some curbs and report on a new way forward in 60 days time. then congress will vote. some are wary of change. >> we could take steps that if
not carefully carried out could limit the flexibility and agility and speed with which we can detect and process intelligence material in order to prevent attacks, in order to disrupt terrorist activity. that is the danger. >> the president's new directive is clear. privacy shall be integral. private information should not be misused or mishandled. but a lot of it is left up to the intelligence agencies themselves. it will have an effect. the british government says we have strong protections. if washington changes, so must britain, according to david davis who has been gathering information on the debate. >> we cannot do the american -- we cannot do things the americans will not do.
ghq receives about $100 million a year from the nsa to help them do the things they are now being stopped doing. >> some protesters had a simple demand. other civil liberties groups gave a cautious welcome to the tone. the president has ensured the debate is far from over. bbc news, washington. >> for more on the president's remarks today, i spoke a brief time ago with ambassador james jeffries. he served as security advisor in the administration of george w. bush. angela merkel's phones will not be tapped. other than that, did the president announce anything drastic? >> he has taken limited steps across most of the major programs involved in electronic surveillance of americans and foreigners. these are broad steps but not deep. they try to balance the need for concerns of privacy with the very important security concerns
he underlined in his speech. >> if you were still deputy national security adviser, would you feel your ability to go after extremists had been curtailed by what he announced? >> we have to look at the key ingredient in all of this. that is the judicial review before anybody can go into the mega data of telephone numbers and e-mail links to get more information. that is a new development along with the two steps removed from terrorist policy he has instituted. if that does have an impact on slowing things down, congress will look at this in more detail in the months ahead. we will see what they come up with. >> the president kicked a lot back to congress. what chance is there of them agreeing with him? >> they are faced with competing priorities like the president. privacy and individual liberty on one hand and protecting the homeland on the other. what we have seen in other developments is congress is very
conservative on taking action that would limit the ability of american spies and operators to go after terrorists. >> the president said the nsa will only pursue phone calls fedor two steps removed from a number associated with a terrorist organization rather than three steps. is that a big change? >> i would have to look into it in more detail. i think this would not have been proposed if we had not discovered that 99 .9% of the third step level of calls are made to order pizza rather than set up bombing situations. i am pretty sure we can live with this. >> how does that reassure the public who feel they are being spied on? >> the public should be reassured by what the president said. this is a guy that has shown a lot of skepticism about this. with all of the reform commissions and reviews, we have seen no example of deliberate abuse of the system.
he did underline there is a potential for abuse and what he is trying to do is close the aperture of that potential more. but he cannot close it completely without compromising our security. >> how about extremists? government know the is tracking their data and they will have to communicate differently? >> many have known for some time. the surprising thing is they continue to use this because there is no other way to communicate quickly. if we can force them to go only to couriers and other means that are slow, we are half way to victory already. >> thank you for joining us. in other news, after nearly three years of conflict in syria, president assad's government has said for the first time it is prepared to agree to peace with rebels. the move comes after a meeting between syria's prime minister and a russian counterpart. employees are missing
and at least 14 have died in an attack on a restaurant in kabul. a suicide bomber blew himself up outside. the taliban has said it is responsible for the attack. the russian president is trying to reassure people next month's winter olympics in sochi will be safe after a recent wave of bombings. when it comes to the controversy law banning homosexual propaganda, he said gay athletes and spectators attending should leave children in peace. andrew is one of just three international journalists granted a broadcast interview with the president before the games. >> it is just teed of weeks until the winter olympics. the russian city, the scene of the world's largest construction site, is almost open for
business. the russian president, vladimir putin, rarely gives interviews to foreign journalists. but this is such a big moment for him and russia that today, he is making an exception. putin told me this was a turning point in the story of russia itself. >> after the collapse of the soviet union and the bloody events in the caucasus, our society was in a state of depression. we need to shake that off. we need to understand and feel we can do great things. but after recent terrorist attacks, security remains the number one concern in russia. putin confirmed he has had help from western security agencies in throwing an iron ring around sochi. >> if we allow ourselves to
display weakness or show our fear, then we will be helping the terrorists to achieve their aims. >> the saatchi games are a huge moment of national pride and prestige involving huge investment, new roads, new railways, an entirely new winter resort. but the rest of the world has been looking on and seeing controversy over corruption, the release of political prisoners, between the row west and russia over gay rights. at remains a philosophical divide on a day when he said gays are welcome at the olympics, but they should leave the kids in peace. with all of the money, risk, controversy worth it? it is a huge project and a huge gamble, but already one that mr. putin thinks he's winning.
bbc news, sochi. >> documents in the vatican of saint -- obtained by the reveals theress sexual abuse of children. the vatican has disputed the numbers but confirms the story is true. i'm joined by alan johnston in rome. what is your analysis of these figures? abuse ofe talk of the children by priests, we are talking of a scandal that has rocked the catholic church to its very core for more than a decade. there is hardly anything more beious that has had to confronted in recent years. the sheds light on what has been going on in the vatican trying to tackle this. agencyociated press news
went through a wealth of data managing to establish between 2011 and 2012, during the time of pope an addict, nearly 400 priests were defrocked. that would be nearly double the number who lost their jobs in a previous two-year. period. the vatican is trying to get the word out that it gets it, that it is determined to root out the pedophile clerics in its ranks. those who defend the vatican will say these numbers show it is succeeding to an extent, that it is finding more criminal priests and dealing with them, expelling them from the church. >> do we know if any of the priests who were defrocked were prosecuted by the police? >> well, that is not clear from
these figures. number inthat a various parts of the world may have been prosecuted by the authorities in the countries in which they lived. certainly for the critics of the vatican, they will not be impressed with this. it is just a matter of the church policing itself. these people were to fraud. they were not punished in any other way by the church, at least. >> thank you. for weeks, we have been reporting on the violence in the central african republic. now there is a warning that the conflict between muslims and christians there could turn into genocide. a senior united nations official who has returned from a visit says it has all of the elements seem in conflicts like bosnia and rwanda. we have this report from where the conflict is playing out. wounded but alive.
a muslim man saved by african peacekeepers. he is accused of fighting with the forces that have controlled this country for almost a year. we must kill him, he shouts. only a gun makes a difference in front of a lynch mob. [gunshots] these christian militiamen are on the hunt. they want revenge. there are only 11 african union soldiers here. they have just prevented a man from being killed. but will they save the next one? we have come to meet the imam. just last night, his house was attacked.
more than 1000 muslims were evacuated this week. who thoughthe imam they could stay now say there is no alternative. >> in 40 years, we have never seen that. but the violence is out of control now. we do not have a choice. we must leave or get killed. >> time seems up for some. before the christians displaced, it means safe passage back to their neighborhood. many have lost relatives. the church became their only sanctuary. >> we have had enough and want to go home. an international force must come to protect us. we live in fear. >> even though their homes are just down the hill, the people around me chose to camp out here by the church for more than a month. they are returning home today, but they are not sure what they will find. on the roads north and south,
villagers are still hiding in the force. >> signs of the brutality they have faced. an estimated 1300 houses were burned down last week. works at the parish year. he was captured, beaten, and held for three days, deprived of water and food. there's nothing left in his house but cold ashes. >> the man who negotiated his release, an italian priest. after nearly 25 years in this country, he has seen rebellions and coups. but he is now dealing with unprecedented sectarian violence. without a stronger international force, he may be the last chance of mediation between the communities here. >> if the muslims do not leave, we must continue fighting.
>> few believe the new interim authorities will avert the hatred that has emerged in the last few months. mass killings remain the major risk. the conflict in the central african republic. you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come, the tiny computer could revolutionize the treatment of diabetes. the pew research center has released a study about religious hostilities worldwide. >> religion plays a part in countless lives. the world lives in countries where religion is highly restricted according to a new report which also found hostilities towards religion have reached a six-year high.
you have places where the government restricts religion, egypt being where this happens the most. then you have countries where the society itself is hostile to certain religions. pakistan leads on this front. the u.k., france, and mexico are for government restrictions but higher for social hostility. north korea was not included in the study because of a lack of data. what is happening? christians and muslims are harassed in the most numbers of countries. buddhists are harassed in the least number of countries. jews face more social harassment than actual government restrictions. the research found religious minorities are often targets of muslimshether they are in buddhist majority sri lanka or coptic christians in muslim majority in egypt. looking at the percentage of countries where this happens,
there is a growing trend. women and what they wear are also religious flashpoints. women countries saw harassed over religious dress, a big jump from just a few years ago. when it comes to the overall rise in religious hostilities, the sharpest increases to lace in the middle east and north africa. the country with a population over 500,000 showing the least hostility? that is this one. for 50 years, the u.s. has been waging a campaign against smoking. today a new report celebrated the progress while adding a number of new diseases, from arthritis to diabetes, to the growing list linked to cigarettes. i spoke to the man who edited the report a short time ago.
we all know smoking causes lung cancer. but what else does it cause? >> the list has grown since the 1964 surgeon general's report. as you can see in the 50th anniversary report, we have a lot of evidence. we have 10 different diseases that had adverse effects caused by tobacco. in 1964, we started with lung cancer. now we have 13 cancers. some of the new cancers we added our cancer of the colon, rectum, liver. already on the list, stomach, bladder, leukemia, cervix, and others. diseaseadded on heart and adverse fertility affects. could the tobacco industry say this is about diet and lifestyle? >> we are looking to set aside
those factors and hone in on smoking and say yes, this is the cause. we have the epidemiology of the studies. we have a lot of laboratory research about smoking and how it causes disease. >> 18% of americans still smoke. how are you going to stop them? >> we think that is too many. we have a number of strategies in hand. >what we have heard from the government and public health community is there will be a renewed effort to use tools we already have that we know work like raising the price, educating, using the media as effectively as we can. we want to immunize our youth against getting started, encouraging people to quit, and using those as a package more effectively than we are. ofwill you get a lot pushback from the tobacco industry if you try to increase the tax on cigarettes? >> there is that possibility. in other countries, cigarettes
are far more expensive than they are here. we know as a strategy increasing price works. it keeps kids from smoking. encourages those who smoke to quit. are there politics around tobacco tax increases? of course. there is a plan to try to increase the federal tax. >> what about e-cigarettes and whether they encourage increased smoking? >> they are new. the evidence is not in yet. we are waiting and watching and studying them to understand what they are, what the long-term risks are, and how they may play in the mix of products people who are addicted to nicotine will turn to. >> thank you for joining us. now to a medical advance which someday could change the lives of millions of diabetics. the google research lab has a new smart contact lens that can
monitor glucose levels. david grossman has more. >> i would like to show you one of our prototypes. >> a computer that fits on the end of your finger that you wearing your i. not another way of watching td or checking e-mail. this is a way of monitoring blood glucose that could help millions of people with diabetes. >> you can see a small rectangle that looks like a piece of glitter. that is the integrated circuit embedded in the layers of the soft contact lens. >> the team at google has miniaturized the necessary electronics to make a working prototype. >> i am excited about the fact this is a device that people wear daily, the contact lens. for us to take that platform and exists that people wear add intelligence and functionality is exciting. >> is there any reason why you could not even shall he have a display? >> possibly you would be able to
have an indication of high or low glucose readings. a subtle indication that only the wearer would be able to see. >> did you hear that? >> for millions with diabetes, keeping track of blood sugar is a pain -- literally. drawing and analyzing a tiny drop of blood many times of day. she was diagnosed with diabetes in her teens. >> we are thrilled google has taken on this problem. it is a big problem. it will make life that are for all of us, including you, because you're also paying for the cost of diabetes. >> scientists want to point out that what they have is potential, not a perfected product. they approved the technology can work. it is up to the medical community to take it forward. that could take years. bbc news at google headquarters in california. >> thank you for watching. have a great weekend.
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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> sreenivasan: for our intelligence community to be effective over the long haul, we must maintain the trust of the american people and people around the world. >> sreenivasan: in a bid to solidify that trust, president obama today unveiled new rules for government spying, including the bulk collection of phone records. good evening, i'm hari sreenivasan. judy woodruff is away. the former c.e.o. of a major health insurer on ways to change the way we pay for care to improve our well being. >> when someone has a congestive heart failure, we pay a lot of money to the care system for that. but if that same organization prevents the failure they don't get paid for it.