tv BBC World News America PBS August 26, 2014 3:59pm-4:31pm PDT
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welcome to our viewers on public television in america and also around the globe. a long-term cease-fire has been agreed between israel and palestinian militants in the gaza strip. it ends seven weeks of fighting that left more than 2,000 people dead. the terms of the truce include an indefinite end to hostilities and the immediate opening of gaza's crossings with israel and egypt. a report now from gaza city. >> after 50 days of conflict and 50 days of loss the streets of gaza came alive tonight. it was a fight that cost 2,000 lives. but here they are calling it a victory.
>> they are celebrating tonight because they believe the it ing is over and that has ended. >> they believe that they won despite the huge suffering that they encountered these days. >> if the cease-fire holds rebuilding can begin. it is a huge job. this apartment block was the latest to be destroyed in an israeli air strike this morning. it will cost billions and gaza will need help. >> we managed today at this particular moments to declare our acceptance to the egyptian initiative to have a cease-fire with ng that gaza supplies and reconstruction efforts that is desperately needed. >> israel said hamas has to stop for the truce to work. this one landed today in a
playground. no one was hurt. >> for israel, the most important thing is protecting our people. and if this cease-fire does stick, and we see an end to the rocket attacks on our cities. if we see an end to the tunnel attacks, the terrorist tunnels with death squads coming out on our side. if that ends for us, that is victory. >> the celebration is not to be short lived. this was only a truce, not a comprehensive peace deal. at least for now the killing has stopped. bbc news, gaza city. >> president obama vowed today to go after the islamic state militants that killed american journalist, james foley. he spoke after authorizing u.s. surveillance flights over syria raising expectations that the air strikes can follow. white house insists no decision
has been made but said any strikes like that would be legal. speaking to a group of military veterans president obama made it clear that this is a long fight. >> rooting out a cancer like isis won't be easy or quick. tyrants and murderers before hem should recognize that kind of hateful vision ultimately is no match for the strength and hopes of people that stand together for the security and freedom that is the birth right of every human being. >> president obama will show just how hard this battle will be. today there are reports an american citizen from california was killed while fighting along side militants in syria this weekend. for more on the military options to combat the islamic state i am joined from the pentagon. thank you so much for joining me. what are the options on the table? your bosses have already indicated you can't get rid of
the islamic state without dealing with them in syria. it is where americaville to strike inside syria? >> i don't know if i would characterize it as almost inevitable. we have to look at the whole region and they are across what is no longer a real border between the two countries. there will not be strictly a military solution. it has to be a holistic and international approach and can't just be through the use of air strikes. as you know radical ideology can only be defeated when it is rejected. it will be governance in iraq and syria which is sorely lacking in both places. >> you represented the pentagon. >> we will defend our personnel and our facilities to help the iraqi security forces and kurdish forces take the fight
to them. i will not get into operations conducted anywhere else. i can say we are keenly focused on supporting the iraqi security forces in dealing with this threat. this is their fight to fight. >> if the american military were to conduct air strikes inside syria against the forces of the islamic state wouldn't hat de facto support president asad? >> i won't get into hypothetical operations that have not occurred. that said there will not be coordination with that regime and there hasn't been. i don't anticipate any coordination in that regard. isil atever we do against will be against them and not anybody else. >> admiral kirby, what can you tell me about the reports that an american citizen was killed in syria this weekend fighting along side militants? >> we have seen those reports.
i am not in a position to confirm them. but i think it brings home one of the real threats about isil and why we think about them in an imminent way. we don't have indications they are planning a large scale attack on the homeland, it is through the use of foreign fighters that their threat can be brought home to western governance all over the world in terms of these people getting back, radicalized and coming back to conduct strikes on the homeland which is entirely possible. >> i know since the killing of james foley the united states and the general public has been focused on the threat of the islamic state, the pentagon and the white house you have been watching this movement rise for quite some time. if you had to point to what it is that particularly alarms the pentagon about the rise of the islamic state what would it be? >> this is not just a terrorist group. they have governing ambitions.
what makes them different and what makes them stand apart is their aspirations. the tangible ways they are trying to meet those aspirations. they are not just killing people. they are taking ground. they are holding ground. they want infrastructure and sources of revenue. they have governing ambitions and they have moved with quite some speed. they are also well resourced. not just through donors but trying to get their own funding streams and revenue making methods. so they are a different creator than we have seen before. >> ok. thanks very much for joining me. >> thank you. >> quick look at other news from around the world. the french president unveiled his new government after it was forced to resign on monday. the minister's republic that criticized the economic policies are out and have been
replaced by his loyal supporters. france is struggling with high unemployment and low growth and his popularity is the lowest for a french president in more than 50 years. as if there were any question of mistakes, today ukraine's president said the fate of europe is being decided at a summit meeting when he took part in face-to-face meetings with the russian president putin. just as they were meeting there was reports of another incident involving russian paratroopers on the ukrainian border. here is the story. >> ukrainian tanks were on the move today. the frontline is 10 miles from here. but it felt much closer. his is the town. they have grown used to the sound of war here.
at the local hospital the casualties keep rising. this woman has lost a leg. an artillery shell exploded near her home. it is russia, she blames believing moscow is behind the rebellion in eastern ukraine. >> dear mr. putin. we are told that weapons are coming across from russia. we are choking from grief and blood. please, take back your man. >> today kiev presented what it said was evidence of direct russian involvement in the fighting releasing a video of russian paratroopers who were captured in eastern ukraine. russia denies sending troop. a military source told russian news agency the men had crossed over by accident. embarrassing for moscow but it did not stop ukraine's president shaking hands with
vladimir putin. expectations for the meeting were low. it sun likely to change the reality on the ground any time soon. in recent weeks ukrainian forces made some gains in the fight against the pro russia separatists. but the militants are digging in now and there is no end in sight to the fighting. this is today. the russian fighters that control the city accuse the ukrainian military of shelling. she is as she wants her old life back. a peaceful life where children can walk outside without fear. for now though it is life in the basement that is the safer ption. >> after today's meetings with president putin they said a roadmap would be prepared to
agree to a cease-fire as soon as possible in eastern ukraine. i spoke with steven who formally served as the american ambassador to kiev. it has been described by both sides as difficult. i guess the fact it happened at all is significant. >> it was important that they had this meeting which has just concluded. but it would be a difficult talk. have you two sides coming with very dvent approaches. they clearly want to establish eastern ukraine. he has strong support among the ukrainian population. as he has had success suppressing the area mr. putin increased the flow of weapons and arms and supplies into that area and you have that stand off now. >> what do you think president putin's ambitions are in eastern ukraine? >> it seems mr. putin wants to have something to basically
destabilize the government there with a couple of objectives. first of all, to prevent it having normal see within the country preventing them from getting on with the difficult economic and political reforms he faces. but i think mr. putin is trying to make it more difficult for ukraine to move towards the european union. >> you know the country well. tell me about that eastern area. these 10 soldiers have been picked up. ukrainians are saying russians. russians are saying they strayed into ukrainian territory by mistake. how plausible is that? >> i suppose it is plausible but i personally do not believe it. there are a lot of reports and indications over the last 5-4 weeks of the russian military firing on ukrainian forces from within russian territory. have you seen reports about russian military units operating in ukraine. >> when you see the pictures of ukraine today, you left in
2000. did you ever think it would look like a civil war there, people hiding in bunkers, explosions on the streets of cities. did you think you would ever see the country see like this? >> this is something i would have never expected in 2000 or two years ago. you look after russia seized crimea. there was an expectation in moscow there would be broader demonstrations in eastern ukraine which did not materialize in favor of russia. only then did you have the appearance of the little green men, the term the ukrainians use for soldiers without insignia. if the russians did not get involved you would have had nothing like the current conflict you see going on. >> do you see a resolution here? >> ultimately there has to be a resolution. i think one of the temptations they have to resist is in addition to his military he has to be thinking of a political solution with regards to the population of eastern ukraine and at the end of the day he
has to have some way to have russia on board. mr. putin has too many levers that can make ukraine's life difficult. you need to bring russia on board. but unfortunately over the last couple of months we saw no sign the russians want to get on board. >> thank you very much for coming in. you are watching bbc world news america. still to come on tonight's program with afghanistan's presidential election mired in each more controversy, we speak to a "new york times" journalist who was excelled for what he wrote. a japanese court ruled the -- any that >> she walked into court holding a picture of his dead wife. she fell into deep depression after being forced from her home by the nuclear disaster.
a month later she took her own life. when it came the court's decision was emphatic. tokyo electric power was guilty of causing her death. at a press conference a short time later he said he was overwhelmed by the decision. >> when i heard the words there was a great casual relationship. my tears would not stop. >> he says he only ever wanted them apologize to the misery that caused it his wife. this could open the way for many more to pursue compensation from tokyo electric power. more than 50 people have killed themselves since 2011 as a result of the nuclear disaster. tens of thousands more were forced to flee their homes and businesses after the disaster and many are still unable to return now. and then there is the even more thorny issue of radiation
related illnesses. hundreds of thousands of children have been screened for possible thyroid cancer and their legal problems now stretch all the way to the united states. a group of sailors who served in japan during the disaster is trying to file a luge lawsuit claiming they are suffering from a host of rare illnesses because they were exposed to radiation. tokyo electric power, it is clear this ruling is just the beginning. >> once again the presidential election in afghanistan is in jeopardy after one of the candidates warned that he might pull out of the u.n. backed by tomorrow. this comes after the fairness of the june election controversy. the government seems defensive.
a "new york times" journalist was excelled from afghanistan after an article he wrote was labeled devicive. it is the first ex pummings of a western journalist since the taliban. i spoke to matthew earlier. matthew, there has been a political vacuum in afghanistan anyway since the controversy surrounding the election. if he were to pull out of the process tomorrow what would happen? >> you know it is so uncertain at this point. that is what scares the community and many afghans. if he pulls out and saying we are going to go ahead and decide who the winner is and move on, that is fine. there are a lot of powerful people behind him that have a lot of weapons. the fear is that this would be a potentially violent split in the government that would leave them exposed to the taliban and put the united states and britain and others in a tremendously difficult position. you do not want to be in the middle of the civil war. you can't support people fighting it.
suddenly 13 years of work is very much at risk. that is one of the big fears. > you should be in kabul reporting at the moment. you were thrown out for reporting something that the government said was devicive. how defensive are they at the moment? >> because of the fear of the split and because of the fear of paralysis with no functioning government going on and the fear you can have a violent confrontation between supporters of the two candidates, senior ministers had been talking about maybe we need a third option. maybe we will get an interim government and have another lection next year. that is what they think they were doing.
the president didn't take it well. and the reaction was swift and furious. the day that it came out, that afternoon the attorney general said come in for an informal chat. i went there with an american and afghan colleague. there were three senior officials who had come in on a national holiday. it was apparent we were not free to leave. they were insisting i would sign something saying i would not reveal my sources. we pushed back on that and said we would rather come back with the lawyer. the next day we sent them a note. so after i left we get out and then we see on twitter i am want allowed to leave the country. afghan news stations are reporting this. they did not tell us that. >> how much of it is a reflection of how hard that it is becoming to report what is going on in afghanistan? >> i think it is a mix. i think that there have always been red lines about ethnicity
and internal government that provoked sharp responses. you know to the president's credit those issues have been under wraps for 12-13 years and he has done a good job of balancing that but the election is exposing those divides. when you talk about them you are branded as divisive, underminding afghanistan. you are not. these are realities that they have to grapple with. >> ok matthew, thanks very much for coming in. >> thank you. >> now the weather is always hot and dry in the american west but it has been so hot and so dry for so long that the region is now in the grips of a massive drought. normally you would think that would cause a lot of lethal wildfires. but the work of one group of particularly daring firefighters seems to be preventing that. they are known as the smoke jumpers, brave people that parachute into fire zones. we caught up with some of them in redding, california.
>> the best part is probably jumping out of the airplane. you are only 1,500 feet up, which isn't that high, you know. they said get ready, get in the door. you exit and jump out, that is retty crazy. when the parachute opens up and everything is really quiet. you have this minute and 30 seconds, nobody is talking to you. you are not talking to anybody. it is quiet and you are flying through the air, you are in control, you know. your jump shot is different sizes and different shapes. it is kind of like you are solving this little problem in the air. it is up to you to get there. nobody can help you out. when you make a good landing and hit the jump spot that is a good feeling. i am 29. i am a rookie smoke jumper in redding, california.
when the horn goes off for us it is a perfect feeling. you know you get in the locker room. if you are not suiting up to get on the plane you are helping other people suiting up. you have your jump suit. there is a harness with a parachute attached to that. if it is not attached properly obviously you are going to have a bad day. >> i am gretchen. i am 25. i have been a smoke jumper for my third season now. i am the only female smoke jumper here in california. i don't feel that i have to act like a guy or have male manners or anything. i think i am respected and appreciated as a woman here and we have all of the same physical standards for men and women. i think that helps out a lot in terms of getting respect. >> my title here is smoke jumper operations manager. i have been jumping out of redding off and on for 16 or 17 years. once we drop the guys they set
up the area for a cargo mission where we throw the fire boxes and saws and whatever else they might need. in the fire boxes there are two bags, two tools and food for three days for two people. once they do the safety briefing right there on the fire perimeter hay go into fire operations, cutting all of your material that can burn away from the fire. creating a area that will not burn. you are going down the mineral soil. our largest hazard is actualamy out in the wilderness area here anything is possible. >> the smoke jumpers. all firefighters are unbelievably brave. but the smoke jumpers, those guys and that woman really take the biscuit. you can find much more about
today's news and about the smoke jumpers on our website. you can find us on twitter. for thanks so much for watching. i will see you back here tomorrow. >> make sense of international news at bbc.com. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation. newman's own foundation, giving all profits to charity and mur suing the common good for over 30 years. kobler foundation and union bank. >> at union bank our relationship managers use their expertise in global finance to guide you through the business