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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  December 2, 2016 3:59pm-4:29pm PST

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>> this is "bbc world news america." funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation. newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good. kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. and aruba tourism authority. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the island with warm, sunny days, cooling trade winds, and the
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crystal blue caribbean sea. nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at aruba.com. >> and now, "bbc world news america." laura: this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i am laura trevelyan. finding shelter in western aleppo. the bbc visits an abandoned warehouse to meet with those who fled violence from the other side of town. they call him mad dog mattis and he could be the next head of the u.s. military. a look at donald trump's pick for secretary of defense. with my i can make it hands ♪ laura: marking a half-century in song. musician stephen merritt tells the bbc about his latest project, one song for each year of his life.
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our viewers onto public television in america and also around the globe. diplomacy is still alive when it comes to syria. so says u.s. secretary of state john kerry in rome on friday at a meeting which included russian foreign minister sergei lavrov. international efforts to bring an end to the fighting in syria have failed repeatedly and an increase in violence in aleppo has forced tens of thousands to flee their homes. chief international correspondent lyse doucet is in government-controlled western aleppo and has this report. lyse: an abandoned warehouse in a derelict industrial zone on the outskirts of aleppo. cold, bleak, not what any child would recognize as a home. this is where thousands who fled east aleppo are taken when they
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arrive in the government-held west. some bringing only the clothes they were wearing. they are safe, but exhausted. this woman fled with her husband and five children. "we are happy we left," she tells me. "there was heavy shelling there, and our children were starving. it is better here." but no one wants to keep their children here for long. she is 10 days old, almost as old as this offensive against eastern aleppo. born into the heat of the war. now living here in the freezing cold of winter. such a bleak way to start life.
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he is only 15. three months ago he lost his leg when his workplace was shelled. >> there were no good doctors. my leg kept bleeding, so they had to cut it off. there was a hospital but no medicine. i was in great pain. lyse: it is not the only tragedy in this family. last year the eldest son was killed by shelling. then on their journey here they said they came under fire from rebel fighters trying to stop them from leaving. everyone has a story. each one center -- each one sadder than the next. these three are all profoundly disabled. last week the mother abandoned them. their father was a civil servant before the war. >> we were at home. the house next to us was hit and destroyed.
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i told my children, we are leaving. some good people helped to carry my children to safety. and now we are stuck here. lyse: it is playtime for the children in this temporary shelter. most of these children have only ever known war. they all grew up in the rebel area opposed to president assad. today they are being taught to chant slogans to praise him. too little to understand this war. never too little to be caught up in it. lyse doucet, bbc news, aleppo. laura: a short time ago i spoke with lyse, who is in the western part of the city. to the people you have been of aidg to have any hope
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finally reaching them? lyse: some aid is reaching them. they have come from areas of the rebel-held east, which were under very heavy siege for many months. people talk to us about starving there. hardly any access to food or water and certainly no safety. they fled here, thousands into the government-held part of aleppo. they are getting food and blankets. there is some water. conditions are still quite dire here. they are living in these empty ehrnhouses, at least they first arrived, where they are getting some sustenance. but very little protection against what is freezing cold temperatures. the big question for many of them is where do they go? many of them came up to us and said we need somewhere to live, we can't stay here. the real problem is the government will press on with its efforts and its vow to retake all of the rebel-held east, which means the humanitarian crisis will continue to deepen. that is why there is more u.n. and icrc officials in the city to reinforce the assistance they
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are able to provide because they are very stretched now. laura: lyse doucet there reporting from aleppo. that is the humanitarian crisis. when it comes to managing the u.s. military response in syria , thather global hotspots may fall to retired marine general james mattis. president-elect donald trump named the marine veteran as his pick for secretary of defense at a rally thursday night. president-elect trump: we are going to appoint mad dog mattis as our secretary of defense. they say he is the closest thing to general george patton that we have, and it is about time. it is about time. laura: donald trump there. for more on this appointment, i spoke earlier with a man who knows a thing or two about the post, former defense secretary and bbc world affairs analyst william cohen.
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thanks for being with us. mr. cohen: good to be with you. laura: you know what it takes to be defense secretary. what would general mattis bring to the role? mr. cohen: he brings the skill of a great warrior. i don't like the term "mad dog," and by virtue of the powers i once had as secretary, i've decided to call him braveheart. so he is braveheart mattis because he is very, very courageous as a warrior. he has the warrior spirit of being concerned about the welfare and well-being of the soldiers. i mentioned that earlier in talking about how after when he left the military he was going to seattle to live, and he crisscrossed the country, stopping to visit 10 gold star families, with sons who had been killed under his command while he was in office. that tells you something about the man that he is. he is quiet, strong, deeply patriotic. laura: and understands the sacrifice of military families. what about the tradition in
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america of civilian control of the military? does it bother you? mr. cohen: as a general rule it is a good rule to have. he is an exception i would make. i would point out that when i was in the senate we had a rule saying no uniformed officer could serve as national security advisor. except when colin powell was named as national security adviser under george bush 41, we made an exception, saying this man deserves an exception. i think jim mattis deserves an exception. laura: do you think he will be hawkish on russia, russia's expansionist tendencies in the eastern backyard, in syria? or will he take the softer line as donald trump seems to? mr. cohen: he serves at the pleasure of the president. one would expect he would bring his views to bear. mr. president, i think this is wrong, we are heading in the wrong direction with russia, they should be held accountable for what they've done in ukraine.
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what they are doing in aleppo. we should not have this new reset program with them without them being held accountable. i would hope he would bring that to the president. but ultimately he serves at the pleasure of the president so if the president says i want a different relationship, he will have to salute smartly or say, sorry, i cannot serve you. laura: from what we know of the man, do you think he would be not afraid to stand up for his views? mr. cohen: i don't think we have any worry about jim mattis not standing up for what he believes to be the right thing. obviously, if he signs up to be secretary of defense, he will do whatever he can to support his president and carry out the mission. but there may come a point in time, whether it is torture, waterboarding of something he feels is so fundamentally antithetical to what he has a -- as a soldier or citizen believes he could not carry it out -- other than that, he will serve the president. laura: when you look around the world, and you were defense
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secretary, what will be the greatest challenge facing general mattis? mr. cohen: right now i think it would be korea. you have a very unstable individual as the head of that hermetically sealed country. kim jong-un is into testing the new president, and with all the turbulence of the world, i think it will be a time for him to do something that will test the new president, and that is very dangerous. i think the president-elect is going to have to send a very strong signal that it will not be acceptable. i will not sit back and idly watching you destabilize the region or threaten the united states. laura: secretary cohen, thank you for joining us. in other postelection news, an attorney for trump supporters is moving to block recount efforts in wisconsin, pennsylvania, and michigan. legal motions are designed to stop jill stein's request for a ballot review. the green party says it is
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focused on ensuring the integrity of the voting system. but even if the recounts take unlikely toare change the result of the election. in other news, gambia's long-term leader yahya jammeh has been defeated in the election. leader adama barrow made his first comments since the victory. agency warns the islamic state militants are likely to step up attacks on european targets. it says foreign fighters will try to return to europe to deploy tactics they used in the middle east such as car bombs. it warns some syrian refugees in camps in europe may be recruited by extremists. racingn formula one driver has a tad -- announced his retirement days after winning the world temperature for the first time.
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in a video statement on facebook, he said the past year had been extremely tough and he was not willing to do it again. the 31-year-old clinched the title on sunday. now, a protest against the construction of a massive oil pipeline here in the u.s. has grown into what could be the largest gathering of indigenous tribes in a century. an estimated 10,000 people are camping at the site in north dakota. in recent weeks there have been violent clashes with police. our correspondent james cook reports from the camp, south of the state capital, bismarck. ♪ james: they sing of tribal unity in a place that embodies the idea. this is the seven fires council. not since the battle of the little bighorn in 1876 have the sioux gathered like this, and not just the sioux.
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more than 10,000 have come here from all over the world with this demand. >> i want them to take every pipe out of the ground, repair the ground and put it back to the way it was, and stop this fossil fuel from doing destruction of our land and water. james: at times the battle has been bloody. in a bitter winter, water cannon is especially brutal. protesters who confronted the police here have been beaten back with rubber bullets and tear gas. the governor of north dakota defends these tactics but says now it is time to talk. >> we need to begin now to talk about how we are going to eventually arrive at a peaceful resolution of the situation and restore the relationship between north dakota and the standing rock people. james: that will be far from easy. no one here seems ready to give up their claim to this ground.
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the near bank of this river is tribal land, but most of the camp has been established on what is officially private land on the other side, although many native americans claim it is theirs by right. the pipeline is being built along the horizon here and is almost complete, apart from a short section which would go under the reservoir in the distance, which joins the missouri river. and for the sioux, water from the missouri is both vital and sacred. these tribesfolk have paddled nearly 200 miles to join the protest at the standing rock reservation. >> we come all this way down to healing waters to heal my people in standing rock! my indian people! my family! this is what it is for, to break
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the black snake, for it not to ever come up again. james: the energy company building the pipeline insists it is safe and legal. but the native americans in this camp have a question -- who wrote these laws? age-old conflicts are flaring up again. the tribes here have scores to settle. james cook, bbc news in north dakota. laura: you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come on tonight's program, why a deal between china's communist government and the catholic church may not be a match made in heaven. that story just ahead. capital ofnesian jakarta, hundreds of mostly muslim protesters have taken to the streets demanding the arrest of the city's christian governor. he faces prosecution over jokes he made about the koran.
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this is the second major protest against the governor. people from across the country flocking to the park to demand his arrest. most of the clouds came to protest but if you can just to pray -- a few came just two great. >> it he is not arrested, it would not be fair. >> this is my second rally demanding for his arrest. until he goes to jail, i will rally wherever i need to. i am not here for the friday prayer. he is now running his second term as the jakarta governor and is no longer campaigning the organizers
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of the rally say it is a peaceful rally as people come in listening to preaching, chanting, holding friday prayers. actorsere political behind the previous rally. but earlier in the morning, police arrested 10 people for suspected treason, saying they plan to use the protest to cause chaos and overthrow the government. the president unexpectedly joined prayers and the crowds but refused to release the demonstrations against the governor. bbc news, jakarta. the chinese government and the catholic church are believed to be close to an historic deal over ordination of bishops.
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in recent years, china's 10 million catholics have been allowed to worship publicly, but their relationship with the state remains tense. some chinese catholics worried that the latest deal may result in less religious freedom, not more. reporter: how do you solve a problem like this man, a thorn in the side of the catholic church and the chinese state. without the pope's commission or beijing's permission, he calls himself a bishop, arguing over who chooses bishops has kept church and state in conflict for seven decades. both want to put that behind them. but he doesn't trust the deal. i respect the pope, but i don't support this. the agreement will hurt us. the church will be harmed because the hard-line government will not bend.
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beijing cathedral is not for outlaws. generation to generation, services here sanctioned right the state -- by the state. despite decades of persecution, china's catholics have held to faith, and even now their allegiance to the pope is closely monitored, and their bishops appointed by beijing. >> sooner or later we will have trouble -- reporter: this father has spent his whole life on the delicate frontline could he says a deal between the church and the chinese state will be historic. >> we have not seen this in 70 years, so we have great hope. it is essential. this is what constitutes, in my for thisew opportunity dialogue to succeed. reporter: the pope returns to
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bring china's catholics in from the cold. but he faces 2 risks. first, the charge that he is the train the memory of those who suffered and even died here for their faith. and then the charge that he is abandoning today's true believers to the control of a communist state. mass.om beijing, catholic despite freezing temperatures and police harassment, there were many more worshipers here than in the local government church. china hopes a deal with the vatican will bring these people in and convince them that defying is crazy. >> there are people who say jesus was crazy, too. sometimes the government rewards people who give in. i don't covet those awards and i'm not afraid, because my conscience is clear. reporter: the catholic church has expelled him for breaking
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rules, and the government is watching him closely. this thorn in the side, reminder that deals between a mighty faith and a mighty state are only part of christian history. the individual conscience is another. china's catholics hoping for in a store deal and greater religious freedom. the american singer-songwriter stephen merritt has been called the cole porter of our time. for the frontman of magnetic fields, his blend of urbane lyrics and distinctive voice has won over fans and critics. his latest project includes one song for each year of his life. the bbc caught up with him at a recent performance. ♪ stephen: i don't usually write autobiographical songs. i'm new to this, really, i don't
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know i will ever do it again, because i don't see any particular virtue in autobiography. ♪ and i can make it with my hands ♪ >> the reason this shows different from anything magnetic fields has done before is it is more theatrical. there is light design, projections that accompany most of the songs. >> the whole band is here. "50's songe set for memoir" lookssong like it is taking place in a play. maybe the first act of "peter pan" or something. a nursery, but an eccentric electronic nursery. i want to write true songs for this particular record. not in general, but for this record i want to write true songs, but i also want them to
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be entertaining and worth listening to. >> the euphoria of childhood, the depression he went through in his 20's, the transition into his 30's and what happens as he gets older. the songs change, the styles change. stephin: some of the songs that correspond to the years, i concentrated less on what i did that year and a little more on what happens that year. there is an oblique sort of 9/11 song in which i defend new york city, saying it is actually quite pretty under certain circumstances. have you seen it in the snow? ♪ it is a response to my mother coming to the east village and
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saying, "how can you live here?" just before religious terrorists slammed 2 planes into the world trade center. >> the song i find surprising is "be true to your bar." when he is writing he usually spends the entire day either in a café or a bar, and he will work nine, 12 hours a day, possibly. the song is a celebration of the places that allow him to write that way. [applause] stephin merritt's 50
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song spending the day to a close. to reach me and the rest of the team, go to twitter. i am @lauratrevelyan pit from all of us here, thanks for watching, have a great weekend. >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation. newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good. kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. and aruba tourism authority. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the
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island with warm, sunny days, cooling trade winds, and the crystal blue caribbean sea. nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at aruba.com. >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
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