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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  March 17, 2017 2:30pm-3:01pm PDT

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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 crystal blue caribbean sea.
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nonstop flights are available from most major airports. more information for your vacation planning is available at >> and now, "bbc world news." jane: this is "bbc world news america." reporting from washington, i am jane o'brien. a rift in relations between the u.s. and the u.k. britain's intelligence agency theyallegations eavesdropped on president trump are utterly ridiculous. wiretapping allegations took center stage as president trump meeting with angela merkel. he stood by his claim. president trump: as far as wiretapping, this past administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps. ♪ jane: and the famous kronos
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quartet is helping the next generation of musicians with music from around the globe. welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. they are supposed to be the closest of allies, but unusually sharp words have been exchanged between britain and the u.s. the u.k. is outraged over claims that its intelligence donald trump during the campaign. the allegation was made by a television analyst and repeated by the white house press secretary. britain's denial comes a day after a key senate committee said there was no evidence that mr. trump was bugged by u.s. intelligence either. reporter: caught up in the eye of the storm, the gchq
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surveillance agency, secretly listening in, said the white house, on donald trump's conversations. not true, says gchq, in a rare public rebuttal. it began with a tweet, trump alleging on social media barack obama had ordered the tapping of his phone calls at trump tower in new york. then the claim from fox news that the gchq may have been behind it. presidentlitano: obama could have easily been and probably did use an intelligence foreign service to gather the information, and the probable culprit here is called gchq. reporter: the next thing, that unsubstantiated claim was being quoted by donald trump's spokesman. mr. spicer: he used gchq. reporter: that triggered alarms in whitehall, that it was a serious enough to be a threat to britain's national security.
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it prompted an unprecedented denial from gchq. said,t allegations," it "made by media commentator andrew napolitano about gchq conducting wiretap against the then-president-elect are nonsense. they are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored." >> this is not something gchq does. the legislation under which it operates doesn't allow it to happen. the governance and oversight of the organization does not allow that kind of thing to happen. i think in this case it is absolutely clear that this is a completely false statement. wasrter: if donald trump embarrassed, he wasn't showing it today, seen here meeting the german chancellor angela merkel. his administration has promised not to be these allegations, but it hasn't actually apologized. so what is the damage to relations with washington? mi6, mi5, and gchq, britain's three spy agencies, have incredibly close working relationships with their u.s. counterparts. whitehall insists the
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partnership remains as strong as ever despite the controversy over wiretapping. still, it is a bad day for western intelligence when britain has to publicly contradict a statement coming out of the highest office of its closest partner, the white house. bbc news, outside mi6 headquarters in central london. jane: president trump was asked about the allegations today during a news conference with chancellor merkel. he said the media initially pointed the finger at the british intelligence agency and not the white house or the president himself. president trump: we said nothing. all we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for saying that on television. i didn't make an opinion on it. that was a statement made by a very talented lawyer on fox. you shouldn't be talking to me, you should be talking to fox, ok? jane: making matters even
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murkier, a short time ago fox news said they had no evidence of any kind that president trump was under surveillance at any time in any way. wiretapping was one of the topics the 2 leaders discussed today, and a short time ago i discussed chancellor merkel's visit with the former senior director of european affairs at the national security council during the obama administration. thanks very much for joining me. how damaging are these wiretapping allegations? they just won't go away. >> we have an expression that when you are in a hole, stop digging, and president trump just seems to keep digging because the republican leadership has come out and said no wiretapping. now the u.s. has more or less had to apologize to the u.k. for this report that it was british intelligence that was giving information. that is no more confirmable than the wiretapping to begin with, than backing off,
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president trump keeps doubling down and it is damaging his credibility. jane: those comments came at the end of the news conference but what we saw throughout was a vision of 2 different worldviews. you had angela merkel talking about globalization and defending free trade, and donald trump putting america first. how are these approaches going to be reconciled? >> i think merkel put her finger on it when she said it is better to be talking to each other than about each other. in some ways that was an indication that the discussion in the oval office was probably pretty frank and pretty tough. as you said, they are coming at the core issues from opposite ends of the political spectrum. i think we did see a little bit of movement on some of the core issues with the chancellor accepting that she needs to do more on defense spending, with president trump saying "i will stand by historic institutions," whatever that means. he didn't come out and say "i support the eu," which i think chancellor merkel would
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have liked. but there's no question this is the initial conversation in what is going to be a very tough conversation across the atlantic over the coming months. jane: what are the priorities here? they disagree on virtually everything from russia to nato to the eu. what is the consequence if they don't get it right? particularly on russia? >> well, i think if they don't get it right we are in a heap of trouble. as we found out from the obama presidency, berlin and washington need to stay in lockstep, in part because the french are weak politically and economically, the british are tied up in the brexit negotiation. so it is really the leader of germany and the leader of the united states who have been guiding the west at a troubled time when there is populists rising on both sides of the atlantic. the key issues for now are to stand by the core institutions of nato and eu, and trump did
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say he supports nato. to stand up to russia, because russia continues to lead in an and interfere with our politics and has troops in ukraine. and the toughest conversation may be on trade and we saw that in the press conference where merkel said "i'm a free trader , i'm standing by trade deals," and trump was america first. that will be a tough conversation, especially because merkel is hosting the g20 in july. jane: all eyes on that. thank you very much indeed. ok, let's look at the world's other news now. the un's refugee agency says it is appalled by the deaths of dozens of somali refugees after their boat was attacked off yemen's red sea coast. more than 40 bodies have been recovered and survivors have been taken to detention centers. it is not clear who was behind the attack. the" said the vessel was traveling from yemen to sudan when it was fired at the u.s. secret service laptop containing
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sensitive information about president trump and hillary clinton has been stolen. the computer contains the floor plans of trump tower and details about the investigation into mrs. clinton's use of a private e-mail server. it is said to be taken from an agent in the new york bureau of brooklyn on thursday. ayptian archaeologists say vast statue uncovered in a suburb of cairo last week is not favre ramses ii-- pharaoh ramses ii, but a much later king. its torso a loan way to more than 300 pounds. today u.s. secretary of state rex tillerson continued his trip to asia with a blunt message for north korea. the white house is ruling nothing out, that includes military action. speaking after talks with south
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korean leaders, mr. tillerson said a policy of strategic patience with pyongyang was over. steve evans reports from seoul. stephen: mr. tillerson came here with a particular message in the foreign ministry, and that is that the ironclad alliance, as he calls it, between the u.s. and south korea will remain whoever wins elections here in two months time. he was firm, though quietly spoken. he said the old policies had ended. we wait to see exactly what the new policy will be. secretary tillerson: let me be very clear -- the politics of strategic patience has ended. we are exploring a new range of diplomatic, security, and economic measures. all options are on the table. north korea must understand that the only path to a secure, economically prosperous future is to abandon its development of nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and other weapons of mass destruction. we call on other reasonable
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-- regional powers in demanding the north korean government choose a better path and a different future for its people. stephen: beyond the actual words, the tone of the press conference was that the moment north korea has the ability to hit the continental united states with nuclear weapons, is a moment of real crisis, and military options will really be on the table then. jane: for more on secretary tillerson's tough talk, i spoke with gordon chang, author of "nuclear showdown." he joined us from new york. thank you very much for joining me. very different tone, but what can we actually make of it? what does it mean? gordon: i think the trump administration has yet to figure out its policy on north korea and that is sort of understandable because a policy on north korea is not just about north korea.
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it is also about iran, pakistan, and of course, china, because these countries cooperate on ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons technology. this is a hard issue for the united states. tillerson -- part of his brief from the white house is to find out what the chinese position really is and how far they can be pushed, and of course he talks about the military option but that is not going to happen, because there are 25 million south koreans who live in in seoul, 30 kilometers from the demilitarized zone that separates the 2 koreas. and north korea's fourth-largest army has 60% of its forces forward to deployed on the dmz. jane: if the military option is not an option, what is? gordon: he did talk about arming south korea and japan with the world's most dangerous weapons. i don't think that will happen because that is ditching seven decades of proliferation policy. the one thing he can do, which administrations in the past have not tried -- the only thing they
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have not tried -- is to impose severe costs on china for aiding north korea in illicit ways. for instance, if we unplug chinese banks from the global system for money laundering, which we should do, yes, it would rock global markets, but it would tell the chinese for the first time in two decades that we are serious about protecting the american homeland. there are no longer any no-cost solutions. we have ourselves in a very bad place and it will be horrible getting out of it. jane: how is china going to react, because that is his next stop? gordon: if tillerson was going to do this -- he's talked about sanctioning chinese companies -- beijing would be upset. but beijing has not been cooperating could it has been helping north korea, transferring weapons technology and probably nuclear technology as well, because we know they also transferred fissile material to the north koreans. we have to come to an
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understanding, and really, horrible realization for us, that the chinese are on north korea's side and we have a long way to go to get china to a good place on this. jane: the wild card is north korea. you have not mentioned what their reaction is going to be and you are not dealing with a rational regime. gordon: well, i think the regime is rational, but kim jong-un, the ruler, has a low threshold of risk. at the end of a 3-4-week period in january through february, we saw many instances of instability. the demotion of a minister of security, the execution of senior subordinates, the killing of kim jong nam, the elder half brother of the ruler, which is even more heinous in a confucian society than it is in yours or ofs, and the launch intermediate range ballistic missile. this is an exceedingly dangerous situation right now because north korea, i believe, is not stable.
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jane: gordon chang, thank you very much for joining me. gordon: thank you. jane: you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come, reaching a remote part of china where a security crackdown is underway. why beijing worries about terrorism among this uighur community. authorities in peru reman on high alert after heavy rains caused mudslides and will to rivers to burst their banks in the capital, lima. it is forced schools and roads to close and tens of thousands of people have been left homeless. churnsr: as a mudslide up the debris of what was someone's home, a woman suddenly emerges, clinging for her life. slowly she is able to find her feet and carefully step away.
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before onlookers rush to help .er peru's healthtal, minister tells her she has had a lucky escape. she is not the only one. just watch as the mudslide takes out new into trucks -- takes out 2 trucks could one of the drivers managed to climb from the camp just before the rushing water drags his vehicle away. it is not clear what happens to the people in the other lorry. in some parts of peru's capital, lima, the only route to safety is out. police airlift children out of the waters. warm temperatures in the pacific have brought torrential rains to peru, causing burst riverbanks and mudslides. at least 60 people have died in
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floods since december and tens of thousands have lost their homes. the costs don't stoppages repairs, though. crops,ods have damage the water supply, and hit the country's tourism industry. the fullest and of the damage won't be known for a while. -- full extent of the damage won't be known for a while. heavy rain will continue for another two weeks. jane: china has declared that islamist separatists in the far west of the country are the greatest threat to the nation security. the president has promised to build what he calls a great wall of iron to safeguard the vast western region. it is home to a community of some 10 million uighurs, mostly muslims, who the government says may you vulnerable to radicalizing propaganda from syria and iraq. widespread intimidation makes
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reporting from the region extremely difficult, but our china editor carrie graciesd gain exclusive access -- gain exclusive access and sent this report. once the favored road between china and the west, now the front line in china's more on terror. they have called it an all-out offensive, a new great wall of fire. thousands of troops pledging to lay down their lives and shed blood. we are heading to the scene of the only confirmed attack this year. china doesn't want the world to see the police checkpoints. filming has to be discreet. body searches in every public building. we are the only foreign reporters to get to the county. d a groupighurs knife of han chinese on the streets here last month.
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five victims died of their wounds. police shot the attackers dead. the government offered huge rewards for information, and some are glad of the heightened security. afraid,"t need to be she says. "this place is full of police. you can feel safe. it is a lot better than before." recent attacks here have all been local and low-tech -- i handful of young farmers armed only with knives. they show no sign of delivering the kind of large-scale atrocity that would explain the government's call for an all-out offensive and sending thousands of troops to this so-called front line. but some say there are more tax than the government admits -- more attacks than the government admits to. security the only growth business. here,ay it is backward
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they would get out if they could. but beijing worries about where they would go. the so-called islamic state inted this video of uighurs iraq, promising rivers of blood in china's heartland. beijing fears they will come home to kill. and so religion in xinjiang is under ever growing pressure. no young people in the mosque, no beards except the very old. propaganda slogans urging the public to thank their communist party leaders. ♪ some are grateful. tune that beijing likes. 's justin him xinjiang bieber. wereinder that uighurs
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once more famous for some than for -- song then for violence. he tells fans to seize every chance the government offers. the relation between uighurs and han chinese? he says he can't talk about it. and i can see why he is careful. people disappear. armed swat teams are everywhere. thisgn critics warn repression is a recruiter for terror. but china vows it will triumph, and until then, every uighur is suspect. carrie gracie, bbc news, xinjiang. jane: for more than 40 years, the kronos quartet has been entertaining audiences worldwide. now they are focusing their attention on the next generation of musicians. they have launched "50 for the future," which helps students and emerging professionals with a series of specially commissioned scores.
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the bbc caught up with the kronos team at the historic sixth & i synagogue in washington, d.c. ♪ >> "50 for the future" is a five-year commissioning program, and each year we are commissioning five women and five men composers and making music for future generations. and i want just the most amazing music we can find. we are frequently working with young groups, some from high school, some from colleges, and young professional groups, and they are playing our repertoire that they can download for free from the website -- you can listen to the recordings, you can hear each composer speaking about their work and giving details, interpretations, background.
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for free, anytime day or night. whether it has been written by laurie anderson or terry riley, we just decided, let's make it as readily available as possible. that is what "50 for the future" is trying to do. >> working with kronos is a great honor. i just think as well that the younger quartets behind them -- i was thinking as i was running, -- writing what is useful for , young quartet to learn. little things they have not seen before but nothing too extreme, and quite enjoyable, and i play myself and i know what to do. [laughter] i am very conscious of how it feels to play it, because when that's because when i write i wanted to feel good as well as sound good, because when it feels good and the players are
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happy to do it, then it works. ♪ and i'm so pleased about the way the project is developing because it is much bigger than i thought. it is a generous gesture by kronos to give to future generations 50 new pieces they can have access to free online. it is a great, wonderful thing. >> what i hope is that "50 for the future" is this platform that will allow other groups all over the world to have as much fun as kronos does. and i want the world to be a part of this art form. i want diversity of musical viewpoints to be expressed, not only through "50 for the future," but all the work. ♪ [applause] ending on aat is us
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high note, but you can find much more of all the day's news on a website. from all of us here at "bbc world news america," thank you for watching and have a good weekend. >> make sense of international news at >> 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 voya financial. >> ♪ voya >> hey, how's it going? >> who are you? >> i am the orange money retirement squirrel from voya. i represent the money you save for the future. we are putting away acorns to show you the importance of being organized. >> that's smart.
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who is he? >> he is the green money you can spend now. what's up? >> oh, you know, going to pay some bills, maybe buy a new tennis racket. >> tennis racket for a squirrel? >> he's got a killer backhand. >> ♪ voya >> when it is time to get organized for retirement, it is time to get voya. >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight... >> i reiterated to chancellor merkel my strong support of nato and need of allies to pay their fa share for the cost of defense. >> woodruff: in his first meeting with the leader of germany, president trump signals a hard line and confronts questions about his charge that president obama wiretapped him. then, on a tour of asian capitals, secretary of state rex tillerson talks tough on dealing with north korea's nuclear program. and it's friday, mark shields and david brooks analyze this full week of news.


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